"Friends Reunited"/"SchoolFriends"

After prompting from my younger bro some time ago, and a post from Rodney Olsen last year, I finally looked at "Friends Reunited" (formerly "SchoolFriends"), an Australian site for finding people you used to go to school with.

For the record, I went to Maranatha Christian School in Doveton and Endeavour Hills from 1980 to 1991. The school was probably a small to medium sized private school - my Year 12 class had only 11 guys in it. It was easy to pretty much know everyone within a couple of years of your year level (made all the easier by having three younger brothers).

Back to Friends Reunited: the site does what it says it does. On the plus side, the layout is easy to follow and the site works - I selected my school from a list, and straight away was able to see the names of 100 or so past students that went to school in the same timeframe as I did. Registration is free, with prompts to upgrade if you want to use features such as actually contacting someone on the list. One negative is the marketing for a dating site - it's not like I get enough dating crap from messages appended to people's e-mails by their e-mail provider (Hotmail, you know what I'm talking about)!

It was good to see a few old names on the site, people that I haven't spoken to or heard of for years (a bit like the recent Sven wedding).

I reckon the only way sites like this must work is if lots of people use them - I'm glad to be a number, and I'm contributing my bit by using the site!

p.s. Rodney did anyone get back in touch with you after you sent some messages out?

[Listening to: We Are All Made Of Stars (Live) - Moby - Live at Splendour in the Grass Festival, Byron Bay (03:46)]

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Get Rich Slowly

I can't remember how (or through whom) I found the "Get Rich Slowly" blog. Here's part of the blurb:

You will not find any get rich quickly schemes here. You will not find multi-level marketing fads or hot stock tips here. I am not pitching any product or book. (Yet.)

You will find daily information about personal finance and related topics. I’ll share stories about debt elimination, saving money, and practical investing. I will post occasional reviews of books, magazines, and software. I will scour the web for the latest personal finance tools and articles. I’ll also post news on related topics like simplicity, frugality, and personal development. (I believe that personal growth is systemic, that in order to improve financially, you have to improve in other areas of your life.)

It's an interesting blog because there's practical posts and links on spending less, with entries in the past week like - How to Slash Summer Energy Costs, How Budgeting Can Improve Your Life and Essential Gear for a Bike Commute.

Well worth a read. And it seems a lot more level-headed than "self-help" stuff I've read in the past that's almost prosperity-cultish. But that's a post for another day.

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Code Camp Oz 2006

Over the Anzac Day long weekend a couple of weeks ago, I drove to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales to go to "Code Camp Oz", a conference-ish event (explained to my friends as a "geek weekend").

I had a great time, learned a lot, and was really blessed by having my boss provide transportation and pay for accomodation. A summary of my time can be found at my IT-related blog.

I took the photo at left, early in the misty morning with a crescent moon fairly low in the sky (it looked much bigger in real life) on the highway near Glenrowan.

Tags: code camp oz, code camp

[Listening to: Let Down - Radiohead - OK Computer (04:59)]


Blogging Banned at Work?

Fellow Melbournian Stephen Said points to an interesting Melbourne Age article "Bosses consider blog ban". The title sounds a little alarmist (to me, anyway: here I am at work, in my lunch break, writing this), but while the article doesn't necessarily give any examples where employees have been banned from blogging, it quotes experts who say that may happen in the future.

Hmmm...

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Lego® Mindstorms® NXT


There's a new line of Lego "robotics" kits coming out later this year, called Mindstorms NXT. Touch, sound, and sight sensors; servo motors; connectivity to PC's for programming; built with Technic bricks...cool (drools)...

This is just a placeholder page so when I look at my own blog and can remind myself :-)

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Who's Searching For What at Yahoo!

I was spending some time bumming around the Yahoo! main page today, and saw they've got a page called "Buzz" which lists the top searches on Yahoo!

Very cool. I don't know exactly how they calculate it, but here's the "top movers" for the day, as it stood during my lunchtime:

RankSubject1-Day Move
1Anna Nicole Smith1938%
2Doctors Without Borders1030%
3Catherine Keener648%
4Michelle Monaghan576%
5Good Morning America487%
6Cynthia Watros480%
7Vanessa Bryant426%
8Lou Dobbs414%
9Susan Miller367%
10I Bonds349%

Hmmm...I don't know who half these people are, but then again, maybe neither does anyone else, and that's why people are searching :-)

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