• Later this year we're travelling to Spain so we're learning a bit of Spanish. I learned some Spanish decades ago, and while I … [Read more…]

    My Mac speaks Spanish perfectly, hooray!
  • The beach was empty today: no shells, no bits of driftwood, no bluebottles, no people. It was a vast expanse of bare sand and … [Read more…]

    A fur seal surprise
  • Since I plan to live to 100 I want to make sure I make good use of my time. I already have a motivational hashtag: TheNext40, … [Read more…]

    How many days are left?
  • Yesterday I spent about an hour sitting in a car on Aitken Street in Thorndon, Wellington, while waiting for someone who … [Read more…]

    A slight brush with the law
  • I struck a big problem yesterday while trying to ready my iPad mini for sale: it wanted my Restrictions PIN. What? I didn't … [Read more…]

    Set and forget: the iPad Restrictions PIN
  • I never knew Dad's dad: he died before I was born. Like his father, he was a printer by trade, but developed cataracts and … [Read more…]

    TheNext40 — a great motivator
  • Years ago I bought a simple second-hand bookcase I liked the shape of. At some point I decided it was a bit tatty and thought … [Read more…]

    A cheap bookcase refreshed
  • As Christmas draws near Wellington empties out as all the university students go elsewhere, parents take their school age … [Read more…]

    Wellington in the red
  • This month has been an experiment for me. For a long time this blog was consumed by my Tech Universe columns and I seldom … [Read more…]

    No novels round here, but a daily blog
  • I've been reading a bit lately — still mystery novels mainly. They are also mainly by UK or US authors — see … [Read more…]

    A Melbourne mystery

Real Life


My Mac speaks Spanish perfectly, hooray!

A simple tweak made my Mac read me Spanish language text with perfect Spanish pronunciation.

More Real Life



Recharging your iPhone is simple with Magicstick

The Magicstick iPhone and Kindle charger by Powerocks is an extremely handy gadget to keep in your bag. It weighs only a few grams, is reasonable inexpensive and can recharge your iPhone twice before it has to be recharged itself.

More Reviews

Science and Tech


A better Barbie book

A book published in 2013 reveals terrible attitudes about women in computing. Luckily, the Internet put it right.

More Science and Tech…

A cheap bookcase refreshed

Bookcase side detail

I stripped a cheap bookcase I bought and used tung oil to refurbish it. The results are very satisfying.

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Wellington in the red


Wellington’s pohutukawa trees are finally flowering, and they are as splendid as ever.

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No novels round here, but a daily blog


My experiment in writing every day for a month has been a success. Whew, I can still write after all.

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A Melbourne mystery


It’s a bit of a relief to read an Australian mystery book for a change. The book is also enjoyable and well-written.

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The yellow fuzz


Lupins: lovely but fiercely scented and allergy producing.

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A glitch in time is mine


Timezone metadata can be a headache.

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