Interesting Population Statistics

I thought this was interesting, estimated statistics for 2011.

360,000 births per day 151,600 people die each day
15,000 births each hour 6,316 people die each hour
World Population Estimate 6,948,542,820 (Nearly 7 Billion)

That means the planet is growing at about 2.4% every year, based on my calculations.

1.8 billion People under age 15 years (26%)
4.4 billion People age 15-64 years (66%)
516 million people are 65 years and over (8%) (Half a Billion)

Australia’s estimated population as at December 2010 is 22,557,266. That is approximately 0.32% of the world. We are a small number of people compared to the rest of the world.

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E-tax and Income – Gross interest. You have to wait!

OK! all you E-tax fans get ready for the latest.  Screen 1302, Income – Gross interest.  This is where you enter what interest was paid to you from your financial institution, that typically pay around 0.5% interest.  If your total interest paid is less than $1 then you do not have to declare interest paid.

Well I got to this stage and you cannot enter the amount of interest that was paid.  You have to wait for your bank, building society etc. to send the details to the ATO.  Once the ATO has the details you can then pre-fill your return which will supposedly have all the correct amounts.  You then specify what percentage is yours, if it’s a joint account.

The problem with this is I’m ready to finalise my tax return but the financial institutions have until the 15 August to post the amounts to the ATO so I now have to wait.  Apparently this is a new thing that the ATO brought into E-tax this year.

I was on the phone to the ATO for 45 minutes this morning to sort this out. Even the people at the ATO did not know about this.  I was passed onto many layers of the ATO to find out.  Shouldn’t all the people employed in the E-tax department know?  Obviously not!

So no-one is able to complete their E-tax until their financial institution posts all interest paid to the ATO.  Good luck in waiting if you want to complete your return now.

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Android Backup/Restore and MyBackup Pro

I’ve been looking for a method to backup my phone so if I should loose or upgrade the firmware I’m able to restore the phone to its previous state.  All of my contacts are either in Facebook or Email so I have no problems restoring contacts as they are all “cloud” based.  What I would like restored is all of my SMS, MMS, Call Logs, Screen layout and installed applications and associated data.

After searching a number of forums I decided to use the application MyBackup Pro as this application seems to be highly recommended by the Android forums.  This program was able to backup and restore my Call Logs, SMS and MMS data after I did a factory reset so that was pretty good, but to get all the other data I had to root my phone.

I’ll list the procedures below that I followed to root my phone, but after doing so I am now able to backup all Android Market applications and data, Home Screen layouts and other items.

I am reasonably happy with the MyBackup Pro application but it is not perfect.  Below is a list of items that were and were not backed up.

— Lost Settings —

  • Wallpaper
  • Desktop widgets (even though they were restored from the application backup I just had to place the widgets back onto the appropriate desktop page)
  • Wi-Fi Settings
  • Bluetooth Name and Pairing
  • Application screen layout
  • Mobile AP settings
  • Swype Data
  • Inbuilt Phone Applications Accounts and Sync.

— Items that were Restored —

  • Call Logs
  • SMS and MMS
  • Internet Browser Favourites and Page History.
  • Desktop Layout
  • Windows Live Settings
  • Google Market Applications and Data
  • Some other system systems.

I just used the default call notification settings so I don’t know if that was able to be restored or not.

For those of you that don’t already know I am using the Samsung Galaxy S, GT-I9000.

One of the good things I like about MyBackup Pro is that I can schedule a backup to occur on a daily basis at a certain time which is automatically backed up to the “cloud”.  The trial version of MyBackup functions for 30 days and they give you 2 MB of online storage.  When you purchase MyBackup Pro for about US$5 you get 100 MB of storage and you can also backup to a SD card if you prefer.

— Rooting Procedure —

Step 1.
For some reason as far as I’m aware the Galaxy S sold in Australia did not have the 3 button recover and download buttons activated.  To activate this functionality you can follow the Fix 3-Button Combo Download & Recovery Mode In Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 from addictivetips.

Step 2.
You need to replace the recovery manager from Version 3 to version 2e.  Version 3 does not allow the use of unsigned zip files but 2e does.  Again there is an addictivetips page that describes the process called How To Install ClockworkMod Recovery On Samsung Galaxy S I9000.  Even though ClockworkMod is not been installed, we are only interested in the recovery manager downgrade process.

Step 3.
The final step is to download and install the root functionality.  There are many ways to do this but I find the easiest is to download the root file and apply to your phone now that recovery manager 2e is installed.  Download the One-Click-Root file and extract its contents.  Then copy the for Android 2.1 operating system or as to your phone, boot into recovery manager and then select apply and your done.

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WOW! 3G Access from Ipswich to Caloundra

It’s not very often I get impressed but I sure was impressed today.  I left our home at Redbank Plains at Ipswich today to head to Dicky Beach, Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.  During this trip I decided to listed to an Internet radio station that I like to listen to.

To my amazment I was able to listen to the radion station with only three minor interuptions. 

  1. The first was at Indooroopilly on the Western Freeway for about 10 to 15 secdons. 
  2. The second was at the Redcliff turn off for about five seconds.
  3. The final interruption was at the racecourse heading into Caloundra and that was only for about a second.

I’m with VirginMobile which uses the Optus network.  I was astounded that I was able to use the Internet all that way with only minor interruptions.

Another interesting fact is that I was on the road for one and a half hours and used up 47.5 MB of data.  Not bad at all at 64k using HE-ACC.  On the way home I’ll try 96k MP3 and see how I go.

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Brand New Branded Car Mats from Matcraft.

I can highly recommend using Matcraft for any car mats that would like to purchase.  I have found them to cheaper than anyone else and the mats are original branded.  They are sent to your door in just a matter of three to four days.  I think they say up to ten days for delivery but on the occasions I have used them it has always been less than five working days.

Their web site is

I doubt they would not have a brand, model car mat that you would require.  The only gripe I have is that they do not list any prices and you have to call them for a price.  Other than that they are spot on.

With my experiences with them they have always responded to requests within 24 hours.   I am no way associated with this company or the people at Matcraft.  I am an extremely happy customer.

Contact Details

18 Cohn St
Carlisle Western Australia  6101

Phone    61 8 9470 2944
Fax         61 8 9470 3102

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Insulating the Garage Door

Garage Door Insulation

Garage Door Insulation

I have my home office in the garage and my desk is right up against the garage door.  Whats more is that the door faces west so you can image how how it has been lately and we have not even hit summer.

What I’ve noticed is how heavy the door now is to open.  We do not have an automatic door so we have to lift it by hand.  I wouldn’t have thought it would have made the door so heavy.

When I was carrying the bag of insulation bats out of Bunnings I didn’t find it heavy but trying to lift the garage door while the bats are installed is a struggle.

I paid $55 for the insulation bats which are rated R3.0, which means they are one of the thicker bats you can get.  I deliberately got the thicker ones as I wanted to make sure the suns heat could not penetrate through the garage door.  Typically standing a metre or so from the door feels like you are standing in front of an open oven cooking a roast.

Garage Door Rail Mount

Garage Door Rail Mount

The insulation bats are made out of fibreglass and holding a single bat does not feel like any weight at all, but put it all together is another story.

I’m now concerned that the bolts screwed to the roof that hold the garage door track up may not be strong enough to now support the weight of the garage door.  I have images of it falling down on top of me.

I’m sort of glad that I don’t have an automatic garage door otherwise I reckon the motor may burn out.

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WordPress and Wordbooker

Man there there are some excellent products out there, and the real exciting part is that they are all free.  I just found out about this product called Wordbooker that integrates into WordPress, my blog site.  Wordbooker allows my blogs to be directly published into Facebook and allows the Facebook Like and Share buttons.

I’m impressed and there is not much that impresses me.

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Twitter, Twitter, Twitter

Hhhmmm,  I’m back on Twitter.

Why, I’m not really sure.  You can see my tweets at

I’m currently using Twitter to follow some open source tweets, mostly Android at this stage.

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Samsung Galaxy S. Is it really that good?

Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S


If you want my 2 cents worth the my answer is Yes it is. 

So I hear yourself asking; what is the value of your 2 cents?  Is your two cents equivalent to US$0.02 or is it more like HK$0.02?  Well I’m from Australia and based on the current value of the AU$ my two cents is worth more than the US$. 

The fact of the matter is this is my very first smart phone so I don’t have a lot of experience using these types of devices.  The good news is, if you think my opinion is worth anything its that I have been in the computer industry for over 22 years.  Wow, that makes me sound old. 

Anyhow getting back on track, even thought I have not had much experience with smart phones I have spent many years wanting a smart phone and researching the best of the best and came to the conclusion that an android based phone would ultimately provide the best operating system, freedom and applications. 

I believe if you select any Android type of phone you will not be sorry, however I believe the Samsung Galaxy S is best for business, private and entertainment use. 

Let me share with you what I have found with the Samsung Galaxy S. 

Android 2.2 has not been released as yet for the Samsung and I am eagerly awaiting its release.  I have heard many great things  about 2.2 and I expect my phone to be so much better. 

Currently I am running Android 2.1 and have found: 

  • Exchange ActiveSync does not work effectively with the inbuilt applications.  It stops synchronising and a removal and reinstall of the configuration seems to fix the problem.  Syncing will last about three to five days before playing up.  I have since moved to a paid application which has a 15 day trial.  I am currently into my 4th day and so far everything is great.  The product I am using is called RoadSync.
  • Battery Life: I have found the battery life is very poor if you are constantly using the device.  I find if you are continually playing games or using the screen in any way this really chews through the battery life.  I’m probably using the phone much more than usual as this is my first smart phone so I am doing a lot of playing.
  • Heat: As I’m using the phone a lot I find that when I put the phone in my pocket I can feel the heat of the phone on my leg and it is very noticeable.  It’s actually quite warm and warmer than one would expect, and this is just after 15 minutes of usage.

Other than the battery life and more so the ActiveSync problem the phone is perfect.  I have not gone into any great detail about all the features and functions as that would take weeks. 

I have spent a lot of time in the Android Market and there are so many useful free and paid applications, you can not go wrong with Android. All of my applictions with the exception of the RoadSync which I’m hoping Android 2.2 fixes, are free.

My favourite feature is the Mobile AP Setting.  Enabling this feature allows one to share your mobiles carrier Internet access to three other devices.  It works so well and is so easy to use.

 I know this is not a comprehensive feature guide but is just an insight into the Samsung Galaxy S.

I purchased this phone because:

  1. Runs Android
  2. Bright and large screen
  3. Competitively priced
  4. Runs smoothly
  5. Very light in weight
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The goCard by TRANSLink, friend or foe.

goCard by TRANSLinkWith the release of the goCard some time ago, travellers in the South East of Queensland Australia can now use a card which is pre-paid and can be topped up for the use of  travelling on public transport.  The idea is that all busses, ferries and train stations have a swipe point that allows you to swipe your card when entering or leaving a station, bus stop etc.  Each swipe tells TRANSLink where you got on and off and what type of public transport you used so they can calculate what your fare would be.

So why use a goCard?  According to the TRANSLink web site they claim the following.

  • Quicker
  • Great Value
  • Convenient
  • Easier
  • Smarter
  • Reusable
  • Safer

I won’t go into all of the bullet points as there is one item in particular that I would like to expand on, and that is their claim of Great Value.

They claim that by using the goCard you will receive 20% to 35% discount off of the usual full fare, and if you use your card more than 10 times in a week (Starting first service on Monday and finishing last service on Sunday) you will get 50% off of the cost of any fairs (after the first 10) for the remainder of that week.

So, let’s take a closer look at this Great Value.  I’ll use the station near me as an example but if you are in zone 5 like I am then the figures below will be identical.  I will also need to assume that your travel is for getting to and from work, so 10 trips per week.

Using the goCard, each trip will cost you $3.44 at 10 trips per week will come to $34.44. Now let’s compare that to a weekly ticket which will cost you $34.40. Hmm, that’s interesting; I don’t see how by using a goCard that it gives you Great Value.

Maybe I’m not using the full potential of the goCard.  Maybe if I used the goCard more often during the week I can take advantage of the 50% rate that is on offer.

Let’s examine the comparison with going to and from work for a week and then adding in a weekend trip to the markets or a ride on the City Cat.

So using my goCard I would have the ten trips at $34.44.  Let say I take a ride from Southbank to Eagle St on the City Cat, with a return journey which would cost me $1.92 each way, but as I have exceeded 10 trips for the week that would make the fare $1.92 and not $3.84.  Now that’s not a bad saving.  My weekly cost would be $36.36. So how does that compare to a weekly ticket.  My weekly ticked would cost me $34.44.  As my weekly ticket covers the cost of all transportation for the 7 day period within zone 5 there would be no additional expense using the weekly ticket.  I’m now starting to see the value in the goCard (sarcasm if you’re not aware).

Let’s take this a bit further down the time scale.  Maybe the Greater Value is over a longer time period.  Let’s look at it over a 12 month period.  Surely the goCard will offer better value for this period.

As there are public holidays, annual leave and sick days to take into considerations I’m going to base the amount of trips to be 440.

How did I work out the 440 trip calculation?

52 weeks to a year
4 weeks a year holiday
2 weeks a year public holidays
2 weeks a year sick leave

44 weeks at 10 trips per week comes to 440 trips.

So 440 trips per year comes to $3.44 times 440 which is $1,513.00 using your goCard.  If I was to purchase a yearly ticket which covers 5 zones the cost will be $1,376.00.  That makes the goCard $137 more expensive to use.  The other advantage of the yearly ticket is if I go to the footy or just use public transportation more often I am getting better value with a yearly ticket rather than using the goCard, as the yearly ticked includes all travel within zone 5.  In reality I only take 2 to 3 weeks a year for holidays and I’d be unlucky enough to take 1 week’s sick leave and not two which makes the yearly ticket so much more value than the Great Value goCard.

In summary: For those people who only use public transport once or twice a week at the most, the goCard offers great value, but for those who use public transport 5 or more times a week with return journeys then you are much better off without the Great Value goCard.

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