Suunto….You Muppets!

October 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

I may be an old hardrock miner, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to keep up with a bit of technology.


It’s not like we wander around with candles on our heads pulling donkeys and carts in mines these days, our tunnels are filled with wireless networks, enough optic fibre to run a small city, and everything is run by computer. Even your average exploration driller is running around with a toughbook and can diagnose a network connection (most of them will walk off the job if they can’t access their portfolio to do a bit of day trading while the rods are spinning).

I recently had the opportunity to visit Finland to see a bloke about some mine trucks (don’t get me started on Finnair!). I’m a bit of an outdoorsy kind of person and was very excited to see the full range of Suunto GPS watches….they’re made in Finland..and bought one of their top models.

I read the instructions and was able to connect, calibrate, go for a paddle around a lake in Tampere and upload the excersise to my laptop.

Anyway, I went out to dinner that night to a charming restaurant which served a quaint little South American Pinot Noir and a wonderful Atlantic Samon with a cheeky pesto sauce. I returned to my hotel room at around 11:00pm set the alarm on my watch, plugged it into my computer to charge and went to bed.

I was a little groggy when the alarm went off and was a little suprised to find that I had slept until 1:00pm in the afternoon. I had planned to do some work and had now lost most of the day. Putting it all down to Jetlag, I thought a run would do me the world of good and clear my head. So, off I went jogging around said lake in Tampere.

Perhaps I should have realised that there was something wrong when I noticed that there was no one about. I did think that it was a little strange that the streets were deserted at 2pm in the afternoon.

I was now desperate for a coffee, but all of the coffee shops were closed. The day was overcast, but the sun up high and it wasn’t that cold, so there should have been hundreds of people in the streets and the cafes should have been busy.

I got back to my hotel room, showered and started some work. A short time later I realised it was 4:30pm. I was due to meet for dinner drinks at 4pm. When I rang my collegue and appologised for being late, he thought I must have been on drugs. The conversation went something like this;

Ring, Ring. ring, Ring.

Him: Mate, what’s up?

Me: Sorry mate, I’m running late for dinner. I’ll be down soon.


Him: Are you OK?

Me: Yeah, just running late, drinks were at 4, weren’t they.

Him: Are you on drugs?

Me: What do you mean?

Him: It’s 5:30 in the morning you idiot?


The watch HAS A GPS BUILT INTO IT. It already knows what timezone it is in.

Tell me it didn’t occur to the 20 year old boffin that wrote the software that changing the time on a watch without telling anyone might carry an element of risk. Think about it….the only way you know the time is by the position of the sun and by your watch. Finland….. Summer.

If someone has set an alarm on a watch and you decide to change the time automatically and by default, you might flash up a big red screen that says;

“Warning – your day is about to be ruined. Press OK to continue”

It’s a GPS watch you goat herders! If you must have a default sync, it should ask you whether you want to sync to your PC or to GPS.

No one has ever crossed a timezone with one of your watches?

The worst thing is that even after changing the setting, it still occasionally syncs to my PC.

No, this is not the case where the user is technically challenged, I have a PhD in Computer Science FFS, so don’t even think of going down that path. This is a classic example of ill-conceived, poorly contrived, ludicrously delivered functionality that someone thought was a good idea at the time.


I would appreciate it if someone could track down the boffin who decided this would be a good idea and read him this email. Then, wake him up at 3am in the morning with no coffee and slap him around the head with a large pickled herring.

Gen Z. Bloody Hell


You have to stand for something.

October 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

You are defined by what you stand for.

Call me old fashioned, call me a dinosaur if you want, but I come out of a generation that believes in things.

ISIS believes in things……things they are prepared to die for. Things they are prepared to persecute unfathomable evil to achieve.

In 1915, twenty six men (led by the local rifle club president) left Gilgandra to join the Australian Imperial Force and  to fight the great war. By the time they had marched through Dubbo and Orange and the 320 miles to Sydney, their ranks had grown tenfold. They were clothed and fed by the crowds that cheered them on their way. These were men who, like ISIS, were prepared to die for what they believed in.

Anyway you look at it, war is about right and wrong and what you believe in and what you are prepared to stand up for….and what you are prepared to die for. While any side would make the claim that they fight for right and for justice, the extent of evil perpetrated by ISIS is beyond rationality, is beyond logic and is so far beyond any natural or human norm that any civilised nation has a moral right to wipe them off the face of the planet.

So what do we believe in? In Australia? Now?

You all know how much I love the Greens, God bless ’em, but have a look at their response to the unspeakable terror that ISIS brings to communities.

  1. They question and hamper the elected government’s undertaking to send troops to Syria
  2. They want an apology from Jackie Lambie – get in line.
  3. They want everyone in Australia to hold hands, close their eyes, and wish evil terrorism away.

I’m sorry Dr Di Natale, but the fairies at the bottom of the garden are not going to stop this scourge. This guy sums up the problem well;

I watched four corners last night (for those of you who have read my previous posts, the local publican has again allowed me to turn the TV to the ABC as long as it is off before Q&A, or I am tied to my bar stool). I had tears streaming down my cheeks by the end of it. What Edward Watts presented to us was a bunch of people who absolutely stood up for what they believed in and who were prepared to die a horrible death for what they believed in.

Here is a man, Khaleel, who has more courage, more good in him and more commitment than I’ll ever have. Read his story and then look at our society and the issues we argue over, that dominate Australian politics. Watch the program. Watch it again and again and think about the life we have here, and then think about the life they have there. Do you think these people give a rat’s arse about climate change?

We need to stand up for what we believe in, we must help these people. This means guns and war and horrible, terrible things. It means death and destruction in the name of good and right and justice and praying like hell that when we meet St Peter we got it right. It means putting aside petty arguments and getting your hands bloody. I’m an old bugger, but if me over there with a rifle would help, then so be it.

You gotta stand up.

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