How could I not buy this book. I am loving it – it is a story about an engineer trapped on Mars, and how he works to try to get home. It is sort of like the story of the Miners in Chile, but on Mars.

As one reviewer commented “By the time I got to the part where they talked about the orbital mechanics to get home, I didn’t bother checking the numbers. I trusted the author!”

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

mwm223After many years, I finally got to do some real Microwave Engineering today. You see, the carousel on my Panasonic Genius Inverter Microwave had ceased working. On a hunch, I guessed it was the motor that had failed, so I unplugged the device and turned it upside down exposing an access panel. This required me to cut the slots exposing the old motor. It was a MULJ23ZA13 DOUBLE FLAT SHAFT Motor, so I ordered a new unit, and just installed it. It works perfectly, and cost less than $20. Simple! I guess I am really a Microwave Engineer now!

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 4.53.28 pmMac OSX Yosemite came out yesterday, and I was out all working for a client, and then a friend came over to drop some packages over that he is storing under my house whilst he finds a new place to leave. That friend leaves after 11pm, so I did not get a chance to do much more than kick off the process of installing Yosemite last night.

So today I started looking at which applications I could delete since I no longer use them, or they come free with the latest version of OSX. I saw VMware Fusion had a cross through it, so I tried to run it. It said VMware Fusion 4.1.4 is too old and will not run under Yosemite. Checking the VMware Web Site, it seems that I don’t have many options. The current version of VMware Fusion is version 7, and my version is so old that they no longer offer upgrades for it.

Since all my accounts are done under Windows Vista under Fusion, I had no choice but to buy a new license. I was not happy about it, and actually looked at moving to Parallels Desktop, but in the end I decided to stay with Fusion. Thankfully this seems to be the only program I need to replace, and now I have, I can invoice my client for yesterdays work!

As one anonymous mailing list member pointed out to me privately yesterdaunwelly, I accidentally Spammed both Facebook and Linked In with blog updates. And the comparison between Linked In and Facebook was really interesting:

Facebook did not let most of my updates through, only permitting about 20 of them. LinkedIn I think permitted every single one, and I needed to delete every single one. No problem. There were only about 2800 updates! And every one needed to be clicked on to delete and then have the deletion confirmed.

The fact that Facebook did this probably results from their zealousness on protecting revenues LinkedIN is not quite to that point

How I arrived at this was also interesting. I was looking at my PowWeb hosting of my Redshift Wireless WordPress site, and saw that performance was horrid, with page loads taking five seconds. So I span up a cheap Amazon server, and things were much better.

Then I realised that two other blog/web sites were very slow, and I got annoyed at PowWeb, so I started moving them across. But to do this I grabbed the server from Redshift Wireless and cloned it, and then cloned the wordpress instances on top of that. This meant that the wordpress instances were set to automatically post to Facebook and LinkedIn whenever I posted a blog update. This was fine until I imported my old blog from Blogger, all 2800 entries.

Thankfully it is all fixed now, and I think all the errant entries have been deleted.

After a few years on Drupal, I have moved the Radioactive Networks Web Site to WordPress. bh2I was rather unimpressed with Drupal as a content management system, and was actually rather more impressed with WordPress. I have been using WordPress for a couple of other sites, and I was happy with it, hence the move. I have also moved to self-hosting the Blog, although it is on a server that is rented by the hour (or year) from Amazon. This provides a significant upgrade from using the server at PowWeb, in terms of speed.

I have moved my Blog, which has been sorely neglected for the last few years, onto the site as well. Some links have broken, but since most of the traffic to them comes from search engines, things should be better in a few weeks.

The design for the site does need some significant work, as do many of the pages. I will spend time to update them as appropriate. Since I have recently started Redshift Wireless, this may not be possible as often as I would like.

This is a quick post to say that I have started a new business. It is called Redshift Wireless, and it is designed to help people manage their Air Conditioners in the Cloud.

I have just bought a HP 110 Mini 3017tu that came with XP, and I wanted to upgrade it to Vista. To do this I blew away the old install and downloaded the Vista drivers from HP. Unfortunately, not all the drivers were there, and I was locked out of using the computer how I wanted.

The network driver is a RealTek RTL8101E, and this can be found here. The autoinstall program is probably the right one.

The WiFi driver is Ralink RT2860, and this can be downloaded from RaLink

With those tow installed, the computer will probably operate a heap better. The video drivers can be downloaded from Intel. It is an Intel GMA 3150, and can be downloaded here

With those bits of software things should be a heap better. One issue I had was installing the Service Packs so I could install .NET Framework 3.5. To do this I installed Vista, then the SP1 and SP2 download installs. Then I used LiveUpdate to install the framework.

Flight 1 – Bankstown to Broken Hill – 30-July-2010

Via Menindee Lakes

There was a lot of early fog in Sydney so we were not able to leave as early as we had hoped. We ended up leaving around 11am. The flight to Broken Hill was flown IFR, without a view of the ground much of the way. At times we could see the ground to the side, but not through the front windscreen. We later estimated that we flew through at least an inch of rain during the four hour trip.

There was a reasonable head wind which slowed us down somewhat, causing us to use more fuel than we had hoped. Thankfully we did not need to stop for fuel part way as the landing would have been bumpy and the conditions on the ground somewhat wet.

Menindee Lakes – Near Broken Hill

The Plains East of Broken Hill – Normally this would be very very dry.

Broken Hill

It was good to get to Broken Hill, if not for anything more than to get out of the plane and walk around. I rang my great uncle Don Mudie and unpacked the plane whilst Richard refueled and parked the plane. By the time Richard was finished parking, Don had arrived and got a tour of the plane. To say he was impressed was an understatement. Don commented that they had received some rain that day, but not much.

Following the tour of the plane, Don took us to the Broken Hill Cemetery where Mum’s ashes have been interned. I had not had a chance to get up to Broken Hill since they had been interned, and the Council had not had a chance to send a photo either, so I was unsure really what to expect. In the end, I think mum would have been happy with her ashes going to Broken Hill.

After visiting the Cemetery, Don took us back to his place to show us around his unofficial museum. The house looked even more cluttered than it did last time I visited. I was pleased to see that the Austin Healey was close to being roadworthy once more, although the Porsche looks similar to how it did a couple of years back. Don did say that he has so many things on that he often does not get a chance to work on the cars.

By this stage, Richard and I were starting to get hungry, so we checked into the Hotel before looking for some food. We stayed at the Royal Exchange Hotel, which looked like a mix between Art Deco and 1940’s brick architecture. Regardless of the style it was absolutely stunning inside, with little expense spared.

We tried the Musicians Club first for dinner, although only being 5pm they had no food on offer. Neither of us were quite up to waiting over an hour for dinner so we went walking down the main street looking for food. After turning down sushi and seafood, we settled on the Argyle Cafe where I had eaten before. Being hungry we chose a platter entre followed by a couple of pizzas to share. Service was variable, but the food was good. After dinner it was time for an early night.

The next morning we woke up and grabbed breakfast at the hotel before putting in a flight plan, checking the weather and buying a few minor provisions for the trip. We walked to the taxi rank and were shocked to discover that there was not a Taxi in sight. We were wondering what was going on before two taxis turned up. Apparently it had been a busy morning, and we were dropped at the Airport.

Broken Hill Airport

Broken Hill Airport

Flight 2 – Broken Hill to Andamooka – 31-July-2010

Via Silverton, Lake Frome, Lake Torrens and the Flinders Ranges

The second flight was fantastic, taking off from Broken Hill to beautiful blue skies. We then flew roughly towards Silverton, and came to understand why principle photography on the next Mad Max movie has been put on hold for six months. The whole area looks green. Maybe not what people in Sydney would call green, but it was certainly not an arid desert environment.

We flew north-west up to Lake Frome before crossing it and turning slightly north of west as we flew over the start of the Flinders Ranges. We then passed over Leigh Creek, a small township with a sealed airstrip and about 700 people. I thought it looked small – little did I know what was coming up later. Passing over Leigh Creek we headed over to Lake Torrens and then to Andamooka.

Lake Frome or Lake Torrens

Lake Frome or Lake Torrens

The Flinders Ranges

The Flinders Ranges

Andamooka from the air


Andamooka was a bit of a moonscape from the air. Actually, almost a martian landscape. We were both struck by the number of people digging for opals on the western side of town. We circled the airstrip a few times and I noticed that there was actually a tractor on the strip rolling it. Armed with this knowledge, Richard did a low flight to warn the driver that we were there before coming in to land. There were actually two tractors, and both got out of the way so we could land. After closing up the plane and one of the locals turns up in his 4×4 and says to Richard ‘You must be Fred’.

Wild Sturt Desert Pea at Andamooka Airport

We introduced ourselves and worked out that he had come to pick up the two people we had met at Broken Hill Airport. He offered to take us into two, and drop us back afterward too. This was good as it turned out to be about 3km into town through the opal fields on dirt tracks, and there was no Taxi either. Actually there was only Telstra mobile coverage, and neither of us had a Telstra phone. Well, apart from Richard’s Satellite phone. The guy who picked us up runs the landing strip, as well as one of the motels and the post office, as well as one of the many Opal stores in town.

Richard in the Andamooka Main Street

Andamooka Main Street

We had lunch – deciding on Hamburgers. Being a small mining community, the hamburgers were huge. Following lunch we had a quick look around the main street. This included walking to the ‘historic’ dug out huts and walking up to the other ‘motel’ in town. Actually there is some debate as to if it was a motel or workers accommodation. Neither of us were sure, but it looked basic and the buildings were demountables. As if to highlight how the world has changed in the last few years, during our walk we saw two nine year old girls walking down the centre of the main street texting on a mobile phone. Just a few years back they would have been lucky to have a phone in town!

We then went back to the post office to get a lift back to the aircraft. Unfortunately they had just left and so we needed to wait for him to get back before he could take us back. A few minutes earlier and it would have been a single trip.

Me at Andamooka Airport

Flight 3 – Andamooka to Coober Pedy – 31-July-2010

Via Lake Eyre South, south Lake Eyre North including Bluebird Point and Campbell Point

Leaving Andamooka we flew due north to Lake Eyre. Actually, since Lake Eyre is two separate lakes, we were heading to Lake Eyre South initially concentrating on it so we could explore North the following day. The whole scenery was amazing, and the amount of water in the lake was unbelievable. You could tell that the water had been higher, but the level was impressive by itself. The Lakes are fairly large, and have a surface area of close to 10,000 km2 according to Wikipedia.

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

We passed over Lake Eyre South first before heading up to Lake Eyre North, around Elliot Price Conservation Park. This is the peninsula at the south of the north lake on the right side. We flew up on the left side of the peninsula and back down the right side, finding where Campbell raced his Bluebird vehicle back in the 1960’s whilst we were at it. We then flew back down to the northern shore of Lake Eyre South and followed it west towards Coober Pedy. The Woomera flight area was open so we were able to fly direct to Coober Pedy.

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

Coober Pedy Airport from the air

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy Airport

Coober Pedy Airport

When we got to Coober Pedy, it was good to get out and walk around. We refueled and organized with the owner of the hotel to pick us up. He was there a few minutes later. Coming into town I was struck by the fact that most of the shops had significant bars on the windows. Not just vertical bars, but horizontal bars too. We found out that there is a reasonably sophisticated criminal element in town. It is to the point where there is actually a local team of detectives to support the local general duties police. This is unusual for a town this size. We stayed in the Underground Motel on Catacomb St in town. After checking in we decided to explore the town.

Coober Pedy Underground Hotel

Coober Pedy Underground Hotel

Coober Pedy Underground Hotel

Coober Pedy Underground Hotel

Coober Pedy Underground Hotel

We first walked to the Old Timers Mine just south of our hotel. This was a $10 self guided tour inside an old opal mine and underground house. The conditions in the mine appeared somewhat similar to the Honeymoon Mine I toured back in 2008 just outside Broken Hill. This mine did appear to be in harder rock and less dusty. It was interesting to see the Opal in the rock just inside the mine, with an estimated value of $40,000. Some of the mine was a bit cramped, but most of the passageways were fairly good.

Old Timers Mine

Opal at the Old Timers Mine

Old Timers Mine

Opal at the Old Timers Mine

Old Timers Mine

Old Timers Mine

Following the visit to the cave it was starting to get a bit dull outside so we headed towards the restaurants in the main street. We were also planning to visit another underground mine, but to be frank, one was enough, and we found it more interesting to climb to the top of the hill to see the area. We got some great shots.

On a hill in the centre of town – Richard

On a hill in the centre

On a hill in the centre

Me on a hill in the centre

Richard on a hill in the centre

This was also next door to the local backpacker’s accommodation, which is also the home of the town’s only space ship. Yes, you heard me, space ship. Despite being so close to Woomera and the space industry there, this one was not real. It was a prop from a movie, probably Red Planet staring Carie Ann Moss and Val Kilmer.

The Spaceship from Red Planet

Me by the Space Ship

Richard by the Space Ship

After seeing the space ship, I was feeling more and more that this was some outpost on Mars. It just had that feel to it. Dinner was at the local Pizza joint. They served more than that, and it was recommended to us. It was however one of the places that does not offer tap water even if you ask for it. You cannot have everything I guess. By the time we left, the place was packed.

We then walked back to the hotel. This was about 1km, and the walk was fairly well lit. It was nice walking in the fresh air and being able to see the stars in the sky. Walking back we passed one great piece of 20th century engineering – A Drive In Theater. Apparently they have a movie every second Saturday. Sadly this was the other Saturday so no movies.

[It is interesting to note that every small town has DVD rentals these days. Even White Cliffs with under 200 people has rentals available from the local store. Coober Pedy was no exception.]

Walking back we also passed a coin operated water dispenser. This as much as anything else made me think that I might have landed in some weird science fiction movie.

Water For Sale

I slept well that night in the climate controlled environment of the cave. The next morning I was awake nice and early. Being so far west, Coober Pedy did not have sunrise until 7:15am. By the time the sun had risen, we were ready to go. Not wanting to disturb the owner on a Sunday morning we tried calling a Taxi. After several minutes searching for a number we came to a horrible conclusion – Coober Pedy does not have a taxi service. I guess the place is small enough so that you are either close enough to walk, or you know someone who can drive you. Thankfully soon after we made this discovery, the owner surfaced and drove us to the airport.

Coober Pedy Airport

Coober Pedy Airport

Me in the plane at Coober Pedy Airport

Flight 4 – Coober Pedy to White Cliffs – 1-August-2010

Via Lake Eyre North, Copper Creek, Birdsville, Strezleki and Oodnadatta Tracks, south of Moomba and Cameron’s Corner

Coober Pedy from the air

Coober Pedy from the Air

The fourth flight was rather fun. We took off from Coober Pedy soon after dawn and flew straight for Lake Eyre North. After about an hours flying we hit the Lake and headed for the outlet of Cooper Creek. The thing with this creek is that it is normally not much more than a sandy shoreline. We followed the creek for a while heading generally east and then north before the creek broke its banks near the Strezleki and Innaminka Recreation Reserves.

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

We ended up crossing the Oodnatatta, Birdsville and Strezleki Tracks, and they each looked close to unpassable thanks to the flooding. In fact as were were trying to follow the general line of the creek we saw a Road Closed sign with stranged 4×4’s on both sides of the river.

Cooper Creek

Cooper Creek

Cooper Creek – in flood

We then decided to head a bit further north towards the Moomba Gas Fields before heading towards Cameron’s Corner. The Gas Fields is a bit of a misnomer. It makes you think that there is a huge amount of civilization up there. In reality each gas well involves generally a building with a fence and a road. After seeing what the field was like we plotted a course straight for the Corner.

Cameron’s Corner

Most people try to tell you that there is no magic line painted on the earth saying where the borders are. Australia it would appear has done things differently. They have put an animal control fence on the border, as well as a road. This provides a great demarcation of the border. We had already confirmed that the landing strip was probably unusable, and this was confirmed when we got that. It was a pity really as it had been graded only a week before.

But the rains in the last couple of days had caused galleys to be cut into the strip and puddles of water were sitting on the strip. If we ever decided to land regardless, that was an indication that the strip was a no go zone. In fact, the road did not look much better in the distance with sections also disappearing under water.

It was interesting to see the Corner. The border road in NSW was chamfered at the corner to allow people to get access to the point where NSW, QLD and SA join. We did a few loops of the site, and took a heap of photos. I was a bit disappointed to be honest that we could not land. It would have been good to visit. We then headed towards White Cliffs for fuel and lunch

White Cliffs

White Cliffs Airport

White Cliffs was an interesting place. Landing was a bit dicey due to the increasing winds. Nothing we could not handle, but they were starting to get up. When we did land we found that the amenities were basic. Despite what Air Services tried to tell us, the runway was asphalt. We found the public phone, of sorts. It was inside a Telstra public phone box, but instead consisted of a Telstra Touchphone mounted on the wall. With that we were able to call for fuel. The ‘lounge’ involved a bench seat under cover between two sheds, and the toilet involved literally a hold in the ground.

White Cliffs Main Street

The fuel dispenser was interesting by itself – it was an old unit displaying Gallons but dispensing in Litres. Fuel actually got delivered by 44 Gallon drums and we paid for the fuel by Credit Card, using an old style credit card machine. The fuel person offered to take us the 1.5km into two, which we accepted. He dropped us by a shop, and we asked where he would recommend. Turned out this was the only place in town! We bought some food there. After a hot lunch we walked back to the plane. The wind was starting to pick up and it was starting to get a bit cool.

Richard testing the fuel at White Cliffs Airport

Flight 5 – White Cliffs to Bankstown – 1-August-2010

Via Katoomba

The final flight from White Cliffs was interesting. Just as we were about to leave, a Country Energy surveillance plane was landing having decided that the conditions were not really conducive to working. We had a flight plan lodged taking us almost on a straight line from White Cliffs to Sydney. Pretty soon we were hitting storms and needed to go to 7,000 feet in order to pass through most of them. The ones that we could not go through were more of a problem because the air was very cold and caused ice to form on the front windscreen as well as the leading edge of the wings.

Ice on the Windscreen

To stop the icing, Richard needed to fly at 10,000 feet, where the temperature was a balmy -14C. The little heater in the cockpit just could not cope with those sorts of temperatures. Thankfully the humidity was fairly low because I had decided not to wear a jacket and so I started getting a bit cold. I could have removed my harness to get the jacked from behind my seat but I was not confident enough of the weather not to cause turbulence just at that time.

Flying over Cloud

Cloud – which we had been in

Air traffic control was great and routed us around most of the storms and gave weather updates when they could. The flight from White Cliffs ended up taking a bit over three hours, which was long enough for me. It was nice to get back into Sydney – I know I was a bit surprised when we arrived back into the Sydney Basin and there was no rain and the conditions were fairly sedate.

Katoomba and the Three Sisters

I just subscribed to a hosting package for Exchange with SherWeb and it came with Outlook 2010. Wanting to improve things and living in Outlook, I decided to download this and upgrade from Outlook 2007.

However, AutoCorrect and underlining of spelling mistakes no longer works in Outlook 2010. Pressing F7 however does work. There were comments about editing the registry, but I could not find the options they said to correct. After more searching, I found the answer.

It turns out that these options do not come with Outlook 2010, when installed by itself. You need to get Office 2010 to be able to install these. So now I need to pay my Microsoft Tax and buy Office 2010!

I got a new video card for my Dell GX280 computer today. I ended up getting an Asus EN9400GT video card. This is a half height design which would fit into the case. With the half height adapter it did fit but the HDMI was unusable. This is fine as I had a DVI to HDMI adapter.

Unfortunately, the device did like my TV, in terms of sound. The sound connection was via a Line Input on my TV, and the new video card had an audio channel with nothing on it. So, I needed to hack the audio on the card. The input on the video card was S/PDIF but my motherboard did not have a suitable output. Thankfully I did have a spare RCA Analogue to SPDIF/Optical. So I hacked it. I powered the converter with 5V from the power supply, and added an RCA connector for the cable to the video card. This worked well.

A minor amount of metal work was needed in the area of the HDD mount to get the case to shut, but apart from that the card looks like it works well

This might seem strange, but I have found it hard to buy a decent door bell pushbutton. They all seem just wrong. And I don’t feel like spending $40 on a pushbutton that looks horrible either. Anyway, I was looking through the WES catalog to buy some supplies, and found some Video Door Intercoms. The camera unit was $40 for B&W, or $50 for colour. And they included a pushbutton. WOW. This one was a LOOK-C unit.

This did not include the base unit, but who cares. Debugging the four wire interface I worked out how they work. First, the 12V is only active when the unit is fully active. The video signal is therefore only active when 12V is supplied. And the ground is simple. The audio does the rest. When there is 12V or so on the audio line, the internal relay is activated causing the door strike (if attached) to open. And if the button is pressed, the voltage on the audio line goes to ground. The audio line normally sits at 5V.

Audio signals going both ways sit on the single audio line, meaning that there must be a hybrid in the camera unit allowing for hands free.

To interface to my alarm, to use the Alarm as a door bell, I purchased the KC5377 Voltage Switch Relay Kit from Jaycar. This was under $30. To simulate the 5V, I took the 8V from the regulator and connected this to the input of the switch via a 100 ohm resistor. Then I connected the input to ground via a 220 ohm resistor. This gave a bit over 5V at the input. The I then tuned the relay settings so that it would detect the pushbutton.

This seems to have worked well. I have yet to install it, but I am sure it will work

I had some USB issues when installing VMWare ESXi 4 on some non-VMWare approved hardware today. I was installing onto an ICH10 motherboard. In fact, by USB troubles, I mean I had major issues. I think I have solved them, but I am not sure of the exact solution.

Anyway, my install would die when trying to load one of the USB drivers. It would just sit there and sit there. Using a PS/2 keyboard would almost work, but would reach a screen that asked for me to press enter, and that did not work. I also had the machine hang on IDE.

The solution is simple. First, turn off the legacy IDE. I had SATA, and so I did not need IDE. I don’t know if this did anything, but it did not hurt. I also turned on VT in the bios. This was probably important too. The CPU I was using was a Core 2 Duo… The E-7500 running just under 3 GHz.

The solution to the lock ups? Simple. Remove the USB keyboard and mouse as soon as possible at the beginning of the Yellow and Black screen. Then just before it ends you need to put the keyboard back in. Actually, you can do this once it gets to about 2/3rds of the way through the process.

What this does is removes the USB device so it is not detected incorrectly by the VMWare software. Then, once we have gone past that step, the Plug and Play will detect the keyboard as a keyboard and things will be fine. I don’t know if you need to remove the USB on reboot, but the solution to that is to log in via SSH to the VMWare and edit a conf file in /etc

This is a rare post. It says how to do something, and it is something that I have spent a LOT of time investigating. It is not complete thanks to one or two issues, but it is close.

Basically I wanted to write a service in Python and consume it in VB.NET. That should be easy. Well, it is, if you want to write your own Web Service code under .NET. I am lazy and do not like that idea. So you need to generate a WSDL from what I can work out. And this code does that for VB.NET and C#, at least in Visual Studio 2005. There is an issue though. Data types are not being sent correctly. I think this is an issue with SoapLib, but I cannot be sure. The GIT repository does not have any patches either. So this is CUTTING EDGE!

Sorry about the lack of indent. I am sure you can work it out!

import web
from soaplib.wsgi_soap import SimpleWSGISoapApp
from soaplib.service import soapmethod
from soaplib.serializers import primitive as soap_types
from soaplib.serializers.primitive import String

urls = ("/hello", "HelloService",
"/hello.wsdl", "HelloService",
render = web.template.Template("$def with (var)n$:var")

class SoapService(SimpleWSGISoapApp):
"""Class for webservice """

#__tns__ = ''

# @soapmethod(soap_types.String,_returns=soap_types.String)
def hello(self,message):
""" Method for webservice"""
return "Hello world "+message

class HelloService(SoapService):
"""Class for """
def start_response(self,status, headers):
web.ctx.status = status
for header, value in headers:
web.header(header, value)

def GET(self):
response = super(SimpleWSGISoapApp, self).__call__(web.ctx.environ, self.start_response)
return render("n".join(response))

def POST(self):
response = super(SimpleWSGISoapApp, self).__call__(web.ctx.environ, self.start_response)
return render("n".join(response))

app=web.application(urls, globals())

if __name__ == "__main__":

Removing the old ceiling is easy. Hammer or pry bar or whatever. It will generally be screwed or nailed as well as glued. Remove the nails or screws as you find them. Don’t worry about getting dried glue off any wood work. Not worth the hassle.

Work out what size cornice is installed, or more importantly what you want to replace. When you buy the cornice, get a cutting jig. They are cheap and commonly made from plastic.

Once you have removed the plasterboard, you will need to measure up for installing the new board. Since the cornice is going to cover the edge of the plasterboard you should cut the board a bit small. If you leave it to go right to the edge you will run into issues.

If you can, buy or rent a stand to hold the plasterboard to the ceiling. Otherwise make sure you have at least two people. A third comes in rather handy.

Work out how you are going to secure the plasterboard to the wood. Commonly these days self tapping screws are used in association with builders adhesive. You can get a good idea as to how much adhesive is needed from looking at what was used before. Ideally install the adhesive to the top of the plasterboard, but you can install it direct to the woodwork. We found it was better to install it to the woodwork with a paint scraper.

If you can, install a series of screws in the wall just below the ceiling height along the long side. Leave the screws so they are sticking out. These can then be used to lean the plasterboard on during install.

With the plasterboard held in place, install enough screws into the plasterboard to hold it flat and also hold it in place until the glue dries. Eventually the screws will need to be removed for screwed in so that they are below the surface. Either ways the holes will need to be filled.

When placing two boards next to each other, make sure that they have a slight gap as this will make it more likely that both boards will line up. Apply about 4″ of filler along the entire seam. Then get some 2″ plasterboard paper and put it in a bucket of water. Then apply it to the seam over the filler. Then use a scraper to remove any air bubbles. Then apply filler over the entire length and allow to dry. Once dry, sand slightly and apply another layer of filler.

The cornices can be a pain. There are a few tricks. First, apply screws to the wall just below the height of the cornice. These will be used to rest the cornice on whilst securing it. Cut the cornice to length. I have found generally I need to cut it about 1/2″ long. Not sure why. It is then the right length when I install it.

Apply adhesive to the back of the cornice, but only when you are sure it is going to fit. Apply more to the top rather than the side as any excess will most likely be hidden.

It is important to install cornice so that it is touching already installed pieces if possible. This will minimise the issues with installing a piece of cornice that needs to fit next to two previously installed pieces. But you will need to install one piece like this in most cases. In this case, measure and cut the cornice as before, but then cut it in half. The join will need to be fixed, but this should be easy. If you are concerned, have this join so it will normally be behind a door.

Do not use extra hard filler unless you want to have problems with sanding.

Buy a special plasterboard sander. They are worth the little that they cost.

The National Broadband Network tenders are all in. And Telstra is out. But someone has told that Huawei is linked to the Chinese Military. Strange Story. The opposition is really pushing the issue. But I am just wondering why. And where the story came from.

I am just guessing here, but could it be Telstra? The Huawei equipment is used by Telstra for their Next-G for some customers wanting broadband. But who would win if Optus drops out of the NBN? Would that be Telstra?