Sydney's Driving Habits

Published on Sunday, December 30, 2007

Status: 10%
I've heard that Sydney is one of the most liveable cities in the entire world -- a statement I would generally agree with. However. whoever made this statement obviously didn't drive to work every day. I've reached the conclusion that one of the biggest (and only) drawbacks to Sydney, is the traffic.
So why is the traffic this bad? I have a few theories. The first theory is that Sydney drivers aren't particularly cordial. I mean, the road could be ending on the merging lane and drivers still won't let you in. I've literally sat for two blocks in near deadlock traffic with my blinker on, and nobody would let me in. Combine this with the fact that whoever designed Sydney's roads was drunk at the time (roads that suddenly veer off to one side, other roads that go from three lanes to one, roads that steer around a park causing 20 minute delays, or roads always having a bottleneck whilst crossing the rail tracks, etc.,). This plays a role in how everybody typically drives -- they drive very close to each other. I don't just mean tailgating, it is something else. I've been to quite a few cities in the world, and I've never seen people drive so close to each other.
This close driving has one serious repercussion: there are accidents every morning. When I list to the radio, I continually hear of several major accidents every day. Now, I can't stop people from tailgating, nor can I stop the accidents -- but what I can do is at least try to plot the bottlenecks around the city. I mean, after driving a route several times you'll already know the bottlenecks -- but I think it would be fun to visualize them.
I've already done a fair bit of the research how to technically graph it, although there is still quite a bit more to do. My plan is to use OpenLayersOpenStreetMapMapnik and of course Django to glue everything together. I'll let you know when I have a prototype working.

Small Business Server 2003

Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Status: Done!

I've recently been hired for a company that does consulting for small businesses. Naturally, I haven't had a huge exposure to SBS. My employer asked me to take the SBS MCP Certification, and this afternoon, I passed. The exam was pretty easy -- I think Microsoft basically took the easy questions spread out across the MCSE and dumped them into the SBS exam (some of the questions were very similar). My tips to anybody taking the exam:

  • Really know the benefits and drawbacks of SBS; for instance, it has to be the root of the forest, Premium vs. Standard, it comes with Exchange/SQL/ISA, always use the wizards first...
  • The exam is a showcase for SBS, and then a showcase for 2003.
  • There is usually a logical answer.

Well, I know that isn't helpful at all. But a start.

Check Exam 70-282: Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for a Small- and Medium-Sized Business