Category Archives: IT

Yaari SPAM

I’ve recently been receiving a fair few emails from along the lines of:

[unamed person] wants you to join Yaari!

Is [unamed] your friend?

Yes, [unamed] is my friend! <link>
No, [unamed] isn’t my friend. <link>

Please respond or [unamed] may think you said no 🙁


The Yaari Team

A quick Google search shows a common theme. Yaari, while seeming to be an Indian social networking site, seeming to be a big SPAM network.
It seems that when you join, you give Yaari permission to look through any connected email accounts address books and send emails on your behalf.
Not particularly nice.

What is especially bad in this case is that the [unamed person] is from a webhosting company I obtained quotes from.
They have joined a social network which is now SPAMMING their clients or potential clients.

It also seems that my address was entered into [unamed person]s Gmail account.
Why would a work contact have been entered into a personal Gmail account?

Safely on the ground

A while ago, I looked up at the ceiling at work and found myself looking at a Canon webcam.

Finally, that camera is now sitting on my desk waiting for its power pack and then a new use.
I’ll have to get into the roof cavity to track or even just pull back the cables and power pack.

Last week I also said goodbye to the grump old AS/400 machine sitting in the way in a storage area (former server room).
IMG00023-20090109-1349 The network was a token ring network which has chunky cables and connectors (and locking clips).

(I only realised this because I recognised the connectors from the pictures on Wikipedia.)

People feared to touch these cables when it was in operation for fear of bringing the entire network down.


I should have taken a few more photos of the AS/400 as it was incredibly modular.

Ohayou gozaimasu from Tokyo

The Ballet’s international tour this year is to the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan theatre, Japan.

I arrived with the advanced party (mechs / stage management / Operations Manager) a few days ago and had the first day in the theatre today.

What do I do on tour? Glade you asked.
It’s my job to ensure all technologies are working when traveling. I liaise with the venues about Internet connectivity so staff can connect to the VPN back in Melbourne and get email and documents and also ensure any printer or photocopier that’s toured is available, preferably over a network.

In the case of Japan, as they rely solely on a 3G mobile phone network here, I had to hire in Blackberry units and phone units as our Australian ones were not going to work.
All the units came out of the UK, with the Blackberry units UK units and sims (O2 network) and the phones 3G Nokia units with Japanese sims.

So far, so good. All the mobiles and BBs are working and Internet and printer access at the venue is sorted.
I now should have plenty of free time to explore before I leave in a few days. Or should I say, explore even more…

Yesterday I had the day free to sight-see and that I did.
I covered Shibuya, Harajuku, the IT hubs that are Shinjuku and Akihabara along with a trip on the Yurikamome over the Rainbow Bridge to the man made island of Odaiba. (no wonder I have sore feet!)
Rainbow Bridge

I hung out with Astro Boy and that strange blue guy at the Tokyo Anime Center in Akihabara and of course went to NHK Studios to say hi to Domo-Kun. (amongst other things)

Strange blue guy. Domo-Kun

Every day is a new experience at the Ballet….

Yes, you can quote me on that.

I don’t know if other organisations suffer from the same thing, but in the past 2 weeks i’ve discovered a number of paid services which have not been used in 4 years.
This just comes down to lack of documentation about those services so when departments changed hands, no one knew. But then again, some of these things would have changed when the same staff were there. They forgot?

Example 1: We have a Canon VC-C4R webcam on the ceiling of one of the studios. No documentation. We only found out about this when enquiring about an extras ISDN service we were paying for.
After a bit of digging around (still no paper trail) we found the ISDN and webcam were installed in 2001, but were turned off in 2002 due to a security breach.
I just canceled the ISDN service today… Now I have to try and find where the cabling for the webcam ends and we might use it again.

Canon VC-C4R

Example 2: Yearly Dial-up account. I got asked to look into a dial-up account when a bill arrived this month. It turns out this account has not been used in the past year, and for all we know, at least the year before that.

These also raise another important point. None of the contact details on any of these accounts were kept up-to-date with the service companys. All the authorised staff on the accounts have left the company. Makes life difficult…

Time to make an office a usable space

Thursday looms as the big I.T. cleanup.

Over the past 3 weeks i’ve cleaned up and given away about 35 retired desktop and laptop computers from the Ballet which has certainly created some breathing space in my office.

This time we’ll attack the server room and the rest of the office and actually finish the job.

Before an after shots coming soon…

Shanghai, city of lights..

The Shanghai Grand Theatre is where we are located in Shanghai.
The offices are located downstairs as per the norm but are pretty much concrete rooms. The cabling for phone & power have been an afterthought in most of the rooms.
Pick a cable, any cable….After getting one of the points made live, and the router and printer plugged in, everything seemed to work. Well, a few issues with the router, but I sorted them out eventually.I have a feeling most of the cabling etc has come about due to a few professional shows coming throught the venue. The Lion King only left last week.

Tuesday afternoon I had the oppertunity to play tourist, so I caught the metro along Line 2 to the technology district. I train hoped numerous times to explore the areas around the different stations. Train fairs are about 50c AUD per trip. I think we could learn something.

Amongst the places I wandered by were the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum which is like Scienceworks but 3 or 4 times the size. Seems to be a reoccuring theme here. Gotta be big.

The view towards the main city from Century Park and the view over the Park with heaps of highrise living.
All the gardens here are perfectly maintained. I mean everywhere.

Oh and have I mentioned advertising here? You can not escape. It’s in the lifts, both sides of the street, on any free building space and even floating down the rivers on huge video screens.

I found my way up the Oriental Pearl Tower which is the 3rd tallest tower in the world. Remember that thing about must be big.
The other building here is the Shanghai Grand Hyatt which is where i’m heading to tonight for drinks to Cloud 9, the world’s highest bar.

And finally, I was told I had to experience the Bund Tourist Tunnel which travels underneath the Huangpu River. The easiest way to describe it is a sound and light show that you see as you travel in a small pod like vehicle. I’ll post a video of the experience soon.

A home of my own….

At first you might think I’m talking about finally moving to a place of my own, but alas no. I’ve actually just moved my domain,, to some proper hosting (courtesy of my friend)This blog is so young, but soon to become redundant.I’ll move everything when I get the new place ready.
Plenty of space to host photos (if I don’t keep using flickr) and a portfolio of my work as such.A web home before a real home. It says it all……


Well, a few weeks ago I started working for national arts company based in Melbourne, rolling out new PC’s across the network. (yes I.T. is my real job)I’m now virtually running the place. 3 weeks people! 3 weeks! What the?Hey, don’t get me wrong, It’s kinda cool.
I have a Blackberry, a place to hide in the building and the obligatory couple of dumb users.

I’m also probably going on tour for two weeks with the company to NZ & China.

Now, I think I’d better get a passport organized…..

Better late than never….

Well, I’ve often thought about it, but never done it.A blog. Yes, after watching everyone else Nike*.I can not honestly say i’ve put 3 years into it, just been thinking about it for 3 years…

Now for some content. I’ve just come out of a 3 show crazy month. Much posting to be done.