Thailand Trip (part 2)

Got a taxi from Stable Lodge to Bangkok airport early in the morning to fly to Surat Thani. Surat Thani airport reminds me a lot of Avalon Airport. Pretty small and smells funny. Once we grabbed our bags, there was a guy selling tickets to Ko Samui. Perfect.


Air Asia plane at Surat Thani

We jumped on the bus and it took us to the Sea Trans ferry at Don Sak. We got off the bus and onto the ferry for about and hour and a half. Once we arrived at Na Thon port at Ko Samui, we got our bags off the bus and got a mini bus to the bungalow, except the guy must have mistaken me, and dropped us off at the Beach House, not Beer’s House. Simple mistake. Once we worked out where we were, we jumped on a ute with a roof, which finally got us to Beer’s house.

Beer’s house was awesome. We had a bungalow right on the beach. For the few days we were staying in Ko Samui, the weather held out. Just before and just after, Ko Samui had rain and thunderstorms, so we were pretty lucky.

Beer's House Beach-front bungalow
Beer’s House Beach-front bungalow

Ko Samui is an interesting place. Like the rest of Thailand, the roads are full of motorbikes, doing crazy stuff. We did lots of walking around, but mainly around the Lamai beach area which is on the west side of the island. The way the trip worked out, we only stayed there a few days. I could have easily spent much more time there.

Sunday morning we left early to make our way up to Chiang Mai. We organised our trip to the Surat Thani airport with a travel agency, which might have cost us a little more, but it did make it easy. Although Bek and I had this feeling that something would go wrong and we’d miss our flight, it seemed to work out fine in the end.

A mini-bus picked us up at 6:30am from Beer’s House and took us to Na Thon port.
We were told to get on a bus at Na Thon port, which was crammed full. People were standing in the aisle. Nobody had any idea what was going on, we just were fed small bits of english which gave us an uncomfortable feeling.

We took the bus 15 minutes to the Raja Ferry pier. Bek had read lots of bad things about the Raja ferry, so when she saw the sign, she began to get really nervous. Not to mention she also gets sea sick. She’d heard stories about the ferries running aground and other dodgy acts.


Boarding the Raja ferry

We were told to get off the bus, and get onto the ferry. We were also told to leave our bags on there, which made us a little nervous. The ferry ride was fine, so that was a relief. We got back on the bus at Don Sak and travelled about an hour to the town of Surat Thani.

In the middle of nowhere, we had to get off the bus and get into a different one. We when traveled a bit further and had to get out again. This time it was a little shed, which was some sort of bus terminal. We got in a mini-van with a few other people from there on our way to Surat Thani airport.

Meanwhile, I had brought my Nokia Internet Tablet with me and my external GPS. I had pre-downloaded all the Google Maps tiles so I could track where we were going. It was really handy, because we got lost a couple of times. I was following where the guy was taking us for a while, and he was going in a totally different direction to the airport. I was getting a bit nervous, but he eventually turned the van around. He was taking a short-cut 🙂

One interesting moment was when we were overtaking a truck. We weren’t going that fast and there was a car coming towards us in the other direction but it seems there was time for another car to overtake us at the same time. Thailand drivers are nuts.

We checked in to our Air Asia flight with plenty of time. We flew from Surat Thani to Bangkok airport but had to wait 5 and a half hours to then board another Air Asia flight to Chiang Mai.

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized at November 29th, 2008. No Comments.

Mick and Jen’s Wedding: Before

Mick, Tim, Tom and myself went out for dinner, played some pool and generally loitered around, before the big game tomorrow (Mick and Jen’s wedding)

The kick-off is at 1pm. Go team!

Posted in Uncategorized at January 27th, 2006. No Comments.

Hot

I am hot.

Posted in Uncategorized at January 21st, 2006. 1 Comment.

The Gradiators

Well done to the Gradiators for making it to the volleyball grand final.

Posted in Uncategorized at December 1st, 2005. 1 Comment.

Firefox unfriendly sites

I hate that web developers only develop for IE. It shits me on so many levels. My mum has been having issues for ages trying to get to the Westpac Altitude points website. At one stage, it would refuse to even let her try and log in because it would only allow IE, based on the browser’s useragent string. It seems that changing the useragent isn’t neccessary on this site any more, but now when logging in, firefox pops up with the following error:

Firefox and images.pinpoint.net.au cannot communicate securely because they have
no common encryption algorithms

when firefox tries to download the images for the site.

To solve this problem, to go the about:config page in firefox, and set the option:
security.ssl3.rsa_rc2_40_md5 and set to true.

For other websites (e.g. Amazon) that I have seen have problems may require different security options to be set. I worked my way down the list of security options and changed the ones which were false to true, one by one. Maybe this might help somebody else one day.

Posted in Uncategorized at November 27th, 2005. 2 Comments.

Xen is cool

Xen is one of the coolest open source projects I’ve seen. Like I said in my previous post, it’s a way of doing a VMWare style of virtualisation on x86 hardware. Like the Xen guys say:

Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation.

As I found out after talking to CSam from VPAC, the VMWare license states that you cannot use it for grid computing. I would have thought that VMWare would be great to use for testing simple grid computing configurations, so this restriction seems a little harsh.

The way that Xen works is that you create virtual machines running under a hypervisor, which is a xen-patched linux kernel. You can install any disto you like to become the hypervisor, but the difference is that instead of booting the linux kernel directly, you actually boot a Xen image first, which then loads the xen-patched Linux kernel. To Xen, this machine is known as the domain0.

When you have this up and running, you can begin to create your domainU machines inside of this. The easiest way to do this is by mounting the filesystem for your new VM, and doing a manual gentoo-style install of whatever distro you like. For the RPM based distro’s, there is a tool to accomplish this for you very easily. A Gentoo install isn’t much different, and debian provide a mechanism for bootstrapping also.

By default, Xen uses bridging to bridge together your eth0 from your domain0 to the eth0 of the VM’s, but this is completely configurable. From here, you can then use the virtual console connection to your VM’s to start making your VM’s do stuff.

For a very quick guide to setting up a Xen system, you can take a look at Damon’s guide using CentOS, but it would definately be a good idea to read the Xen docs first.

Posted in Uncategorized at September 29th, 2005. No Comments.

The Linksys WPG54G Presentation Player

This device is labeled as a presentation player, but it is really a VNC viewer in a box! As most of the Linksys devices around today, it runs a customised version of Linux, just waiting to be hacked…

As the software shipped with the WPG54G is Windows only, some workarounds are needed to get it to play nicely with Linux or Mac. Here’s the details:

Firstly, you’ll need some form of VNC server set up on your PC. For GNOME users, GNOME 2.8+ ships with the Vino remote desktop utility. Windows users can use just plain old RealVNC, and I’m sure there is a solution for OSX users too, but I haven’t ever used a VNC server on a Mac before.

NOTE: for this to work correctly, your VNC server must be set to not require a password. This might not be necessary, but I believe the password sent to the WPG54G is encrypted. Without knowing the encryption, it won’t work.

The Windows utility does some sort of local subnet broadcast to discover the WPG54G, but for us, we will connect directly to the WPG54G’s IP address. For the WPG54G to initiate a connection to your VNC server, the windows software uses a GET URL for the unit to discover the client.

To start it, I used curl in Linux, but you could use any web brower. Fire up the URL

http://IP address/connect.html?DTYPE=plain&ov_name=your name&ov_passwd=whatever you want

and the WPG54G should start a VNC connection to your client’s IP address 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized at September 13th, 2005. 2 Comments.

Me and my mate Dave

Had a BBQ and some drinks last night for my birthday. Sat around and watched some Chappell show and Team America: World Police. Some very funny stuff right there. Simone also bought a new digital camera for her trip, so today we went down to St. Kilda and walked along Acland St. and checked out some of the market stalls along the waterfront. The funny thing was, we walked into my mate Dave Hughes 🙂

Dave with Simone, Andy and Bek
Us with my mate Dave Hughes

Simone and Bek at Luna Park
Simone and Bek at Luna Park

Simone, Bek, Kelly and Shane
Simone, Bek, Kelly and Shane at the tram stop at Flinders St.

Andy in the blue sky
Andy in the blue sky

Bek would like to note, for the record, Dave put his hand on her ass. She loved it 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized at September 11th, 2005. No Comments.

Testing thumbnails

I needed to test thumbnails by image upload. So, here’s a photo of my dad on a scooter 🙂


Dad riding a scooter

Posted in Uncategorized at April 14th, 2005. No Comments.