Programming for the kids!

Few websites for gentle introduction to game programming

Learn Python the hard way!
http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/

Learn to code from Google Coding University
https://developers.google.com/university/

A few fantastic coding websites to visit for the young;
Code.org is a non-profit whose goal is to expose all students to computer programming. We believe that computer programming is something everybody should learn.
http://www.code.org/

Create stories, games, and animations
Share with others around the world with Scratch

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Introducing Kids to Java Programming Using Minecraft
https://blogs.oracle.com/arungupta/entry/introducing_kids_to_java_programming

http://marshallbrain.com/kids-programming.htm

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Distributed Version Control Systems

Hello, a brief topic on Version Control Systems. I have used a few in the past mostly with Subversion – SVN. I liked this product very much.  This product can be found at http://subversion.apache.org/

Extensive free documentation on SVN can be found at http://svnbook.red-bean.com/

Now, what is version control?

The code, programmers write changes often. Bugs need to be fixed, features need to be added, and content needs to be changed.

Most code is stored as plain old text files, and the code is changed by editing these files. Every time a change is saved, the old version of the file is overwritten with a new one.

Unfortunately, no programmer is perfect, and sometimes, mistakes are made. If you make a change to a file, save it, compile it, and find out that something went wrong, it’s often helpful to be able to go back to the old version or to get a report of what was actually changed, in order to focus on what may have gone wrong.

That’s where Version Control Systems come in. (Sourced from Altassian).

http://blogs.atlassian.com/2012/02/version-control-diffs-patches/?utm_source=wac-dvcs&utm_medium=text&utm_content=what-is-version-control

A bit more about Distributed Version Control systems

There are many version control systems out there. Often they are divided into two groups: “centralized” and “distributed”.

Centralized version control systems are based on the idea that there is a single “central” copy of your project somewhere (probably on a server), and programmers will “commit” their changes to this central copy.

Recently a new breed of tools has appeared: so-called “distributed” version control systems (DVCS for short). The three most popular of these are Mercurial, Git and Bazaar. These systems do not necessarily rely on a central server to store all the versions of a project’s files. Instead, every developer “clones” a copy of a repository and has the full history of the project on their own hard drive. This copy (or “clone”) has all of the metadata of the original.

This method may sound wasteful, but in practice, it’s not a problem. (sourced from Altassian).

at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_revision_control

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Manning River History

A Manning Valley Timeline

1770

Captain Cook, sailing a fair distance from shore, observed three prominent mountains grouped together, which he called the Three Brothers. They also observed smoke from the fires of aborigines. (The district TV towers are now located on Middle Brother Mountain.)

Aborigines had been living in Australia for many thousands of years.  In the days before the white man, the Biripi lived in the area between Tuncurry in the south to Telegraph Point in the north, and as far west as Gloucester and Nowendoc.  They lived in harmony with the land and the sea  –  it was little disturbed by their presence.

1818

John Oxley and George Evans set out from Bathurst on an expedition of exploration. They went north-east along the Macquarie, Castlereagh and Peel Rivers. They eventually crossed the Great Dividing Range and headed east to the coast (near where Walcha is today). They climbed Mount Seaview and saw the Hastings River to the east and the Manning River in the distant south-east.

They travelled to the mouth of the Hastings and named it Port Macquarie. Then they proceeded south to Camden Haven and on to Harrington at the northern mouth of the Manning. They did not realize it was a large river and named it Harrington Inlet.

Using a boat they had found further up the coast, they crossed to the south side (Manning Point on Mitchell’s Island). They were able to cross Old Bar at low tide and found the wreck of the “Jane” from which the boat had come. The southern mouth of the Manning was named Farqhar Inlet.

They needed the boat to cross the river at Tuncurry, where they saw the wreck of the “Governor Hunter”. William Blake was speared by an aboriginal when he wandered away from the main group. They continued south, reaching Port Stephens on November 1, before travelling onto Sydney.

1821

A penal colony at Port Macquarie was established, when Captain Allman landed with convicts and soldiers.

1825

The Australian Agricultural Company, which had been formed in England for the specific purpose of agricultural investment in Australia, asked John Oxley for a recommendation of where they should operate. They accepted his second recommendation – the area north of Port Stephens (a deep harbour). His first had been the Hasting Valley area.

Now that he was the Surveyor-General of NSW, Oxley ordered Henry Dangar, a surveyor employed by the Company, to examine the area between Port Macquarie and Port Stephens. Dangar went west from the Hunter then north through mountainous country. He found a large stream flowing east, but only followed it until he was about 40 km from the sea, before heading north east to Port Macquarie. (This was the Manning River.)

1826

Dangar returned again to this river, but this time followed it to the sea at the southern outlet. He assumed that the outlet at Harrington was also the same river. He named it the Manning River after Sir William Manning, the Deputy Govenor of the Australian Agricultural Company.

The Company’s Estate was now established as going from Port Stephens to the Manning as the northern border and the Gloucestor Valley in the west.

1827

Thomas Florance, a government surveyor, mapped the position of the Manning River.

During the year two attempts were made to sail into the Manning across the bar at Old Bar and one attempt at Harrington – all failed.

Robert Dawson, the manager of the Company stationed at Port Stephens, sent a party including surveyor John Armstrong to survey north of the Manning. They then surveyed the Manning River up to the mouth of a tributary opposite Dumaresque Island (naming it the Dawson River) and then down the southern branch.

John Guilding was impressed with the plains in the Ghinni Ghinni area and decided he would return to settle there. He planted sugar cane, maize and tobacco before he left. The party then mapped the river 40 km upstream, where they could go no further. On their return to Old Bar, one of the party was injured by a spear from an aborigine, cutting short the expedition.

1828

John Guilding was granted an estate where he wanted it. He called it “Mooto” (now called Moto). Guilding had nine men working for him including seven convicts. A. P. Snow was granted an estate on Jones Island but found it had salt marshes and was not suitable for the tropical crops he wanted to grow. He moved south of Guilding’s estate to “Goonal Goonal”. When refused permission to settle there, he left the district.

Hart Davis received a grant of land on the Landsdowne River but never took it up.

1829

William Wynter arrived in Sydney on the “Pyramus” with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children, Mary, William and Thomas. He was 41 years of age and retired from the navy after 30 years service. This service gave him due consideration when he applied for a grant of land. He was awarded 2560 acres and selected it on the northern side of the Manning. In his letters to the government, he used the aboriginal word “Taree” as the name of his selection.

His description of the selection to the Suveyor General was: “… to the westward of the Dawson River ……northerly from a bight or bend in the River Manning, just above the western corner of Dumaresque Island ……. the whole of the neck of land formed by the Bend of the River and as much of the adjoining land to the northward as will complete number of acres authorized to be selected.”

The Wynter family, and the four convicts assigned to them, stayed at “Goonal Goonal” briefly before moving to their Taree Estate on the treeless flats opposite present day Tinonee.

1830

Guilding lost his estate after mortgage problems, and left the district. William Wynter was the only settler on the Manning.

1834

William Wynter wrote to the Colonial Secretary stating that there were now a number of groups of squatters who had arrived on the Manning and were cutting cedar trees.   He had his own cedar cutting site called ’The Cedar Party’ (near present-day Wingham)

William Wynter had his own boat, the ’Tarree’, 48 tons with two masts, built on the Manning.  It commenced trading along the NSW coast in September. He had complained that, as he was alone and the river entrance was dangerous, ships had been reluctant to visit and trade with him.

1835

The government tried to control cedar cutting by issuing licences.  William Wynter and Dr. Fattorini were the first on the Manning to receive licences.

[Red Cedar was highly valuable and used for many things, especially furniture.  It obtained a beautiful red lustre when polished – but only matured after growing for 100 years or more. It can only grow in the middle of rainforests.  Giant cedars can grow for 1000 years and be over 35 metres tall.]

1837

First properties bought were:

  • ’Braynbyn’ (later known as ’Brimbin’), 960 acres,  on the Dawson River by A. C. Innes.
  • ’Mondrook’, 980 acres, on the Manning opposite the ’Tarree’ estate by C. Steele.
  • ’Mt. George’, 895 acres, by Isabella Mary Kelly.
  • An unnamed property of 726 acres further up river from Mt. George by T. Steele.
  • ’Purfleet’, 1280 acres, south of  Tarree, by W. Caswell (1838).

1840

Henry Flett, a Scot, first took up land at Killawarra.  He later married Mary Wynter, daughter of William Wynter, and bought her father’s estate, ’Tarree’.

1841

The population on the Manning reached about 300 in 1841.  Below are figures taken from the 1841 census:

  • Brown’s Creek  –  7
  • Brymbyn  –  9 and 2 servants
  • Bungy Bungy  –  30 and 8 servants
  • Cateye  –  6
  • Cedar Party  –  12
  • Croki  –  13 with 7 servants
  • Cundle Cundle  –  35 and 3 servants
  • Duramba  –  7 and 4 servants
  • Johnson’s Station  –  7 and 5 servants
  • Killawarra  –  21 and 13 servants
  • Koory Island (Jones Island)  –  15
  • Lewis’ Station  –  11 and 10 servants
  • Mitchell Island  –  5 and 1 servant
  • Mondrook  –  15
  • Mt. George  –  13 and 8 servants
  • Pelican Island  –  14
  • Tarree  –  25 with 14 servants
  • Yakengat  –  15

N.B. The “servants” were “assigned servants”, who were convicts assigned to settlers.

1842

The ’Sovereign’, 119 tons and under the command of Captain Cape, successfully entered the Manning River.  It ran aground on shallow flats near the mouth but floated off several hours later before proceeding up river to Taree. There she loaded 94 bales of wool as well as a quantity of wheat.  It was the largest ship up to this time to enter the Manning.

1844

The village of Wingham is proclaimed. It had been surveyed by John Gormon under instructions from the Surveyor-General.  It was chosen for a number of reasons:

  • Boats of a reasonable size were not able to travel further up river.
  • It was central to existing farms.
  • It was on the high road between Maitland and Port Macquarie.
  • The river was fordable at low tide.

Although it was proclaimed there was not a great demand for village lots.

1854

In September, village lots at Wingham were sold at public auction. Henry Flett, who now owned the Tarree estate, set aside about 100 acres for the establishment of the village of Taree.  He laid out the streets and named them.  In December, a total of 40 allotments were sold at a public auction.

 

Reference

http://www.manninghistorical.org/P&E1.htm

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Q Station at Manly, August 2013

I organised a Deaf Men’s day out at Q Station, Manly on North Head, only 2 km away from Manly Wharf. We had a tour guide at 12.15pm that was supposed to last for only 45 minutes but knowing what deaf men are like we ended up having a 2 hour tour 🙂 The tour size was only 24 men excluding two male interpreters, Sean and Adrian.

It was a glorious day today. Simply warm and sunny. The waters of North Head were simply stunning. Clear and clean. Sydney Harbour at its might!

A bit about the Quarantine Station:
Q station is Sydney’s Historical Quarantine Station. It also has a spectacular national park setting. This Quarantine Station was established on the North Head site in 1833 to protect the Sydney population from the spread of infectious diseases.

I asked the tour guide, Kelly, whether Convict ships were also stopped and convicts sent to the Quarantine station for processing and treatment? I did some research and I found out that convict ships were not under pressure to offload its passengers so if the ship were found to contain infected convicts, the ship merely stayed offshore until the convicts were treated and recovered and then they are allowed to get on the shores of Sydney. So only one convict ship was stopped and its passengers sent to the station.

David Parker.

References
http://manlyquarantine.com/History.htm

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My three favorite electronics prototyping platforms

1. Ardunio
http://www.arduino.cc/
http://www.adafruit.com/category/17

2. Raspberry Pi
http://www.raspberrypi.org/
http://www.adafruit.com/category/105

3. BeagleBone
http://beagleboard.org/Products/BeagleBone
http://www.adafruit.com/category/75

Tutorial on how to use BeagleBone
http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/07/29/tutorial-introduction-to-the-beaglebone-black-device-tree/

That’s all!

Deaf Dave.

 

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Balmain Cemetery

I visited the Pioneers Memorial Park  (formerly the Balmain Cemetery) which is located at Norton St, Liechhardt on Monday 5th August 2013. This cemetery opened in 1868 and closed in 1912. This cemetery during that time accepted 10,608 interments.

Pioneeers Memorial Park entrance Dave and the pioneers memorial park sign Old Balmain Cemetery 1868 - 1912 RIP to 10608 souls. Pioneers Memorial Park declaration.

My ancestor, James Fitzgerald via my dad’s mum heritage was buried at the Balmain Cemetery on 1883. According to the registry (part 2), James Fitzgerald was mentioned.
FITZGERALD James 1883 24 6378 Part 2

The Balmain Burial register can be found at
http://www.balmaincemetery.org/Burial%20Register/Balmain%20Cemetery%20Register.pdf

More information about James Fitzgerald can be found at
http://trees.ancestry.com.au/tree/12891791/person/-108879426

More information can be found at the website which is maintained by Tricia Mack.
www.balmaincemetery.org

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Core HTML 5 Canvas

I thought I will share with you guys in regards to a book I acquired recently from Amazon. I have just purchased a book, Core HTML 5 Canvas by David Geary. I wanted to develop dazzling graphics on a web page easily. I wanted to explore the mathematics and display the beauty of them via graphs.

So I am studying this book. I wish to whip up web pages that utilise the canvas and its powerful functionality.

http://corehtml5canvas.wordpress.com/

http://philip.html5.org/tests/canvas/suite/tests

 

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Winter Magic Festival – Blue Mountains – June 2013

We left our home for Blue Mountains to visit the Winter Magic Festival June 21 to June 23rd. What magic it was! This festival is a free annual community event, celebrated around the Winter solstice in Katoomba, Blue Mountains, NSW.

The Winter Solstice in 2013 is June 21st, 5:04am.  What is the winter solstice? It is the day when the Sun reaches its furthest north position in the sky and starts moving back towards the south. It marks one of the main turning points in the year with the others being the equinoxes and the summer solstice in December.

We caught up with our family and friends. We explored, we laughed, we chatted and we dined. We were lucky not to experience the downpour on Saturday at all! On Sunday, it was only a light drizzle.

Heavy traffic on the way to Katoomba - M4

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3642 Steam Train3642 Steam Train - lots of steam!

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IMG_5199 IMG_5193

My family having dinnerIMG_5227

On the way home

Foggy Katoomba

Overall, it was a great weekend away!

References

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SAS

I am currently reading a book “The Amazing SAS“by Ian McPhedran – the inside story of Australia’s special forces.

The SAS, special air service regiment, is among the world’s most respected special forces units, a specialised team of men from the Australian Defence Force who can be relied upon to handle the most difficult, strategically sensitive and dangerous of military tasks.

The book covers in detail about recent SAS deployments: East Timor, the 2000 Olympic games, the Tampa, the Afghanistan campaign and the regiment’s action–packed mission in Iraq. In this book, there are interviews with General Peter Cosgrove, Prime Minister John Howard, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, former SAS commanding officers Gus Gilmore and Tim McOwan, and many SAS soldiers and officers.

References

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Air_Service_Regiment
  • http://www.army.gov.au/Who-we-are/Divisions-and-Brigades/Special-Operations-Command/Special-Forces-Training-Centre
  • http://ausmilitary.com/sasregiment.htm
  • http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_21856vietnam.asp

Videos about SAS

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srp3KUkykAk
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Brush Farm Park at Eastwood

My little walk with my two daughters Mikaela and Imogen. My middle daughter, Jenna was out at Parramatta shops and Jitka my beloved wife was away in Jervis Bay with Bridget Nunan for the whole weekend.

I was stunned to explore such beauty in this tiny bush reserve. It is a remnant of a rainforest…

Deaf Dave at Brush Farm park

Bush Farm BushWalk 16June2013 (8)

Bush Farm BushWalk 16June2013 (28)

Bush Farm BushWalk 16June2013 (7)

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From Wikipedia

Darvall Park and Brush Farm Park are examples of remnant forest areas in the Eastwood district. Volunteers and professional bush regenerators have worked to preserve the Blue Gum high forest and rainforest in these areas. The largest Tree Heath known anywhere in existence occurs at Brush Farm park. Other notable plants include Native CrabappleJackwood and Red Olive Berry. Despite being within a large city, Brush Farm has remarkable fauna, including the Powerful OwlEmerald DoveEastern WhipbirdSatin Bowerbird and the Green Tree Snake.

References

 

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