750 Year Old Boab Tree Moves Home

 

Boab Tree (Adansonia gregorii)

Boab Tree (Adansonia gregorii)

Imagine living for 750 years and all the events that have passed by since a tiny boab seedling sprouts forth and takes root in the northern Kimberley of north western Australia. Over the centuries it grew, taking its place in the lives of the local Aboriginal tribe of the Gija people until one day, along comes the 21st century. A new road, immune to the annual flooding, must be be built (“it’s a bypass, you’ve got to build bypasses”) and in its way, near to the Aboriginal community of Warmun, stands the majestic boab tree (Adansonia gregorii). Thankfully instead of bulldozing the boab away, as would have happened in times past, plans were made to move the tree to Perth where it would be planted alongside younger versions of its species in Kings Park.

Boab Tree's Journey

Boab Tree's Journey

The journey took 6 days to complete, covering 3,200km (2,000 miles) and, considering the distance covered, required only 61 electric overhead wire lifts.  Most of the agencies involved in transporting the 36 ton tree across Western Australia provided their time and services free of charge.

One of the companies involved was the Road Pilot company OZWest Ltd whose vehicles escorted the oversized load on its journey. The company boss, Joe was keen to explain to the  inquisitive onlookers in Kings Park the task involved in removing the tree from its origin in Warmun to its new home.

 

The Kings Park Management Officers were on hand to organise the logistics of planting the giant tree and

OZWest Road Pilots

OZWest Road Pilots

took time to show the boab seed-pods to waiting crowds, explain the expected timetable of events and answer a thousand and one questions from interested adults and children alike.

An Aboriginal ceremony “The Smoking” was performed by representatives of the Nyoongar people, the traditional owners of the land around Perth, to welcome the tree to its new home and to accept the gift of the tree from the Gija people of Warmun.

Finally late in the afternoon the great boab was lowered into position overlooking the Swan River where it may well live for another 750 years.

You can see more photos of the historic boab tree planting and Aboriginal ceremony in Kings park at my Flickr Photostream.

Return to SLR Photography

 

Olympus OM2n

Olympus OM2n

 

 

Back in the early 1980’s I bought an Olympus OM2n 35mm SLR camera, yes one of those old-fashioned devices that you actually had to put a roll of film inside! The Olympus served me well throughout a couple of decades of home and travel photography. As the era of digital photography arrived I moved on to a small point and shoot digital camera, a 2.1 megapixel Olympus C200Z.

 

 

Canon Ixus65

Canon Ixus65

The convenience of the digital camera was a revelation, no more messing around with rolls of film, developing costs or storage of a multitude of prints. These attributes together with the ability to fire off shots and delete the unwanted photos would see the end of film-based cameras in popular photography the world over. As the mega pixel count increased on cameras and the prices fell I moved on to an even smaller point and shoot camera with 6 megapixel, the Canon Ixus 65, but I regretted the lack of a viewfinder on this particular model. Holding the camera in outstretched arms does nothing to help secure a sharp picture!

 

Canon 450D (Rebel XSi)

Canon 450D (Rebel XSi)

 

For some time I had felt the urge to return to the realms of SLR photography and after much research I recently purchased a Canon 450D (Rebel XSi) digital SLR. This camera has given me a new found enthusiasm for photography. I created a Flickr account where some of my photos are displayed and I’ve had comments and advice (much needed!) from some great people out there on Flickr and via the NosillaCast podcast. The internet has surely done wonders for creating a photographic community around the world.

 

Listen to the First Part of the full story of my Return From the Photographic Dark Years as told on the NosillaCast Podcast, Episode 157

For the full version of this posting see the Longer Tales page.

Part 2 will follow in a later posting….

iPhone 3G Launches

Friday 11th July 2008, a big day in Australia for Apple fans as the iPhone arrives on these shores for the first time. Well, legitimately that is, because there have been hacked iPhones turning up on this continent since the launch of the original iPhone in June 2007.

Surprisingly for an Apple fan, I have yet to see the iPhone for real. I set out on iPhone Launch Day to rectify this gaping hole in my Apple life, but no matter how hard I searched the various iPhone outlets the closest I came to handling an actual iPhone was seeing a boxed iPhone being handed over to a customer. I will eventually acquire an iPhone and that void will be filled, but not for a while yet. 

In the meantime I console myself with the iPod touch upgraded to the latest 2.0 software. I was at first flummoxed by my inability to get the 2.0 software on 11th July. You see 11th July was the date Apple promised to release the much anticipated software, so i spent many hours clicking on the “Check for Update” button on iTunes but to no avail. Then it was pointed out to me on Twitter by a much more astute person than I, that the date of 11th July was USA time zone related which of course meant early on 12th July here in Australia.

Saturday 12th July,  iPod Touch connected to iTunes V7.7, “Check for Update” clicked and let the download begin! 10 minutes to download and another 50 minutes to update the iPod and restore all audio and videos. Oh, I also need to complain here that we in Australia pay Au$12.99 (US$12.57) for the 2.0 update against US$9.99 in the USA. That said, the upgrade is well worth the outlay… and now to get some of those wonderful applications from Apple’s aptly named App Store! Do you think I got enough “ap” words into that sentence!

 

Listen to my audio description of iPhone 3G on Episode 161 of Allison Sheridan’s NosillaCast podcast.

Mac Related Podcasts

 

Shortly after the acquisition of my first Mac, the iMac G5, i became hungry for as much Mac related information as my tiny brain could handle. I found that one source of such info was the multitude of Mac related podcasts available via the iTunes store. It wasn’t long before I had subscribed to around a dozen or so tech-related podcasts. There was the Mac ReviewCast with the amazingly resourceful Tim Verpoorten from whom I’ve picked up many useful Mac software applications, the Typical Mac User podcast with Victor Cajiao who has endless tips and tricks and ScreenCastsOnline by Don McAllister where the added benefits of visual tutorials are invaluable.

However there is one podcast in particular that I started listening to in September 2005 and haven’t missed an episode since, it’s the NosillaCast Podcast by Allison Sheridan, her tag line sums up the podcast beautifully: “A technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh Bias”. Allison’s enthusiasm for all technology is infectious and she even explains how to wax-polish cars!

Over the years I heard many of Allison’s listeners sending in audio reviews of software and hardware to the NosillaCast, so one day in April 2008 I suddenly had the wild idea that I too could produce an audio clip for the NosillaCast.  Then I pulled myself together and said out loud “what the heck would I talk about” and mentally filed away the ridiculous idea.

Some days later I sat down in front of my MacBook Pro and, for no apparent reason, started typing out a my thoughts on my recent installation of an Apple Time Capsule router.  

Apple's Time Capsule

Apple's Time Capsule

My fingers flew across the keyboard, which probably explains the huge number of typo’s, and I eventually had three pages of text. “If I’ve gone this far, then I really ought to give the audio recording thingy a go” I thought, so I fired up GarageBand (the music/audio recording software on the Mac) and sat there staring at the screen trying to work out how to use it. I clicked here and there, slid sliders around and watched great swathes of coloured bands traipse across the GarageBand interface. I was much saddened by my inability to grasp the intricacies of GarageBand and therefore screamed very loudly at it.

GarageBand

GarageBand

 

Some four hours and a packet of crisps later I had mastered the rudiments of GarageBand sufficient to allow me to make an audio recording of my script. I took a deep breath and started to read my script as GarageBand dutifully recorded every syllable. Eventually I worked out how to export the audio file into something that I could send to the NosillaCast and I emailed the audio file off to Allison. By this time I was a delirious wreck, buoyed up by the thrill of having completed my mission and so I fell asleep.

 

A week later I eagerly downloaded and listened to the latest episode of the Allison’s podcast and promptly turned bright red and grinned inanely as I heard my own voice emanating from the NosillaCast Podcast. I was hooked and went on to record other audio clips for the NosillaCast, some of which may just appear on this blog eventually.

Listen to my   Audio Review of Time Capsule   

Listen to the whole episode of the NosillaCast Podcast containing my review:

The NosillaCast Podcast, Episode 148.

My First Foray into the World of Mac

 

In August 2005 I bought my first Apple computer. Only a year before I had replaced a deceased Dell desktop machine with another locally built Windows PC, so I’m not sure that I actually needed a new computer at the time. I had been reading articles on the BBC Technology website about a recently introduced desktop Mac computer called the Mac Mini. I was immediately gripped by the design of the Mac Mini and instantly became infected with the Macintosh virus resulting in an overwhelming desire to seek out all Mac related information.

The Mac design that first caught my eye.

The Mac design that first caught my eye.

 After weeks of my usual manic quest to research a new topic I felt the urge to own a Mac Mini. A little gentle persuasion of my husband was required before I could rush down to the local Apple reseller, but after a day or two he relented and I set off to acquire my first Apple product. 

 

To be honest I don’t know why it had taken me so long to be bitten by the Apple Mac bug, after all my brother-in-law had been using Macs for years, but for some reason I had blindly followed the Windows PC line. I eventually saw the light of Apple’s software advantages after trying to edit home video on Windows XP, it was such hard work and I never could seem to achieve the simplest of results. During my research I had visited the Apple reseller and sampled the delights of iMovie video editing software, I was convinced it would be much easier to use than the standard Windows movie editing software. I was entranced when the store assistant showed me the rest the goodies that the Apple software offered.

 

And so one rainy morning in August I walked into the Apple shop and asked to purchase a Mac Mini, “ah” said the sales assistant “great choice, but I’m afraid we don’t have any in stock”. My spirit sank and I wandered around the store aimlessly sampling the other Apple goodies on display. I kept returning to the 17” iMac G5 desktop and eventually convinced myself that it was worth the extra few hundred dollars and so ten minutes later I was walking back to my car with the box containing my very first Mac.

 

My first Mac, an iMac G5

My first Mac, an iMac G5

For those that need to know, it’s a 2.0GHz PowerPC with 512MB RAM, ambient light sensor version. After a few weeks an extra stick of 1GB RAM was added to give a total of 1.5GB. Three years later it continues to behave impeccably, its only fault having been a failed SuperDrive that was replaced under warranty.

It All Starts Here

My enthusiasm for all things tech has prompted me to create this weblog, my first venture into “creating” a website. I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of how to create a website, so WordPress.com’s free blog service was the only choice for me. Well, perhaps not my only choice, as Apple’s iWeb would have worked just as well at this stage, but certain far more web-savvy persons than I, suggested that WordPress would be a better choice and who am I to argue!

So here I am, writing up my first posting on this newly created WordPress weblog. 

My motivation for this enterprise is the multitude of people publishing blogs on the internet and my desire not to be left behind by changes in today’s communication possibilities. As I start my weblog I have no idea how many people will ever read the articles I write, view the pictures I publish, or listen to the audio clips I post to the site, but that isn’t as important as the fact that I am actually taking part in the worldwide phenomenon that is the blogosphere.