Posts by Ruben Hillier

Ground zero, version 8.0. Welcome back.

Baby Quail

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Our quails have been rooting a fair bit. The girls are popping out eggs without a care. Unfortunately, they are rather unreliable at getting clucky. Luckily Speedy, like many bantams, loves to keep eggs warm.

Today Jay found that she’d hatched one of the quail eggs. Cute hey?

Simon Wilson

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I found a series of photo’s on an old back-up a few months ago. Which reminded me of my pal Simon. I’m going to post them here so that he can ask me to unpost it.

I am quite an annoying old friend.

I’m not quite sure how old I was, perhaps about 14 or 15, when I made friends with Simon Wilson. Without extended family in the immediate vicinity we were outsiders in our village. Tribal sports such as football or rugby did not interest us. We both liked gaming on ZX Spectrums. We were both a tad geeky, which was not cool back in 1984. It still isn’t really, despite what the telly tells you (Big Bang? Fibs).

We went for cycle rides mostly just to the gravel pits but at least once to Rinsey and on occaison to Ha’penny Park. We explored Lowertown woods with BJ, the Wilson family dog. Simon’s little brother sometimes tagged along. We enjoyed discussing and playing computer and board games. Jet Set Willy was my favourite, only because I could ‘hack’ it with ‘pokes’ (too boring to explain). The fledgling franchises of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars all figured strongly.

Like the many friendships throughout my life this one dissolved in time. Now I live on the otherside of the world and never glimpse my old friend, which is a shame.

Wishing you all the best Simon.

Root Agora

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After several weeks of intermittent failed attempts I finally managed to get root on my crapass phone.

“Getting root” has a different meanings here in Australia but in this case it refers to gaining full control of my telephone operating system. A bizarre idea when I stop and think about it. Just in case there is another sad geek in need of emotional support or instructions, here is how I did it:

I pulled up the phone specifications (Settings>About phone) and searched the net.

Kogan Agora HD+

The Phone: Kogan Agora HD+

Build: KoganAgora_build. V2.0

Kernel version: 3.4.5 KoganAgora_Kernel.V2.0 3/12/2013

Custom build version: KAQC05

Some of the things I tried were:

  • Configuring my Debian Wheezy laptop to use backported ADB tools and ensuring it connects properly via udev rules. Thanks Nicolas Bernaerts.
  • Marc Lane’s has a great little guide on his blog, but it did not work for me.
  • The ‘quick and easy steps’ over at Gleescape led me nowhere.
  • I even booted the Mini-Mac into Windows just to try SRSRoot and a few other shonky executables.

That last one, SRSRoot, is an executable which runs through a database of popular exploits to crack the phone security. This led me to search for a specific exploit that may work on my phone. I found a few posts in which eventually led me to Dan Rosenbergs motochopper exploit, (via Sourceforge Japan).

Motochopper appears to have given me root access. Without seeing what the exploit code did it is possible Dan Rosenberg has supplanted Google as my phones keeper. I can live with that, security is just an illusion anyway. Thanks Dan.


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CJ was a friend of mine who died of old age. I say old age but the hospital would tell you it was stroke. CJ would have told you it was because his body betrayed him.

After going for a run this morning I climbed down the 74 steps for a morning swim. The water was cold and the waves messy. I ducked, floated and dived before finally letting the waves wash me back in. As I walked back up the steps struggling with my damp t-shirt I thought about CJ. He loved Murrays beach, he pulled out the bitou bushes, to give the native plants a chance, and he picked up the rubbish people left behind. He planted grass and pandanaus palms to stabilise the sand dunes, he wrote many lovely poems about his ‘ancient beach’.

I hope his family won’t mind if I share one here:

My Ancient Beach

The over-arching vault of peerless blue sky.
The metamorphic tongue of blackened rock
lancing the beach of spangling brightness
to islands beyond the surf,
now rookeries for tern and gull.
The pineappled pandanus standing stark
its roots tracking nutrients and water
as it leaches back to the sea.

Crackling waves kiss the beach today
swirling round the polished pebbles
which I sample for my Shinto garden.
The search for tranquility in my life
comes closer to fruition here
and like some druid admiring Nature
I leave offerings by taking rubbish away
pulling out weeds and starting out
a host of young pandanus
to reach out and touch the sky.


Still Emptying Dozemary Pool.

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Time passes and I’ve removed another iteration of, there is a hole in the shell and my thoughts keep running through.

Some Nerdy History

I don’t really remember when I first registered Sometime around 1999/2000, I think. I first hosted the website on Pair. I wrote my first pages in some version of Windows 3.1 notepad, and something called arachniweb or webspinner or something. It was all a bit rubbish and I had no idea what I was doing I still don’t really. In 2002 I got a job with Webcentral which came with free hosting somewhat reluctantly I closed my Pair account and used the servers that came with my job. My websites began to get built with abodminations like Frontpage and Coldfusion. Dreamweaver and Homesite were slightly better but I am a shite coder.

Eventually I saw the error of my ways and quit my job and moved to the beach and spent a few years messing around with Dreamhost and Drupal. Nowadays I am running it all out of a VPS with the excellent Linode and am becoming keen on a simpler approach using Octopress.

I look/ed like this on a good day:

On my old BMW when I worked for Courier Systems back in the 90sWishing I had my own helicopter

I am currently at the end of my second year of a nursing degree. I have a break over the summer which is why I have time to piddle about with this stuff. I work as a retained firefighter. My spare time is spent hanging out with my family, chatting with my pal MJD and other stuff.

Like Jan Tregeagle I never seem to get to the end of my travails, the least I can do is pass the time.

So, welcome to another version of my web log.