Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Talking at the UQ Engineering + Technology Careers Evening

On Thursday night I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Queensland for an Engineering + Technology Careers Evening. It was aimed at high school students looking at studying engineering and tech at UQ, and I was (surprisingly) selected as a graduate success story to speak for 5 minutes on my academic and career journey. I have uploaded the slides from my presentation. It was the first time since our wedding that I've spoken in front of so many people! :S

I have to admit, it was a little strange talking about myself as a 'success' … Read more →

Work T450s and USB Switches

Lenovo T450sFor the past 10 months I have been using a Lenovo i7 T450s as my work laptop, and I have to say how impressed I have been with it. In my opinion, it's a great balance between portability and power. The SSD boots it up in a few seconds, and for the most part, it runs Fedora (with multiple VMs) admirably. The laptop keyboard is fantastic, and the dual batteries (one internal, one removable) last a while.

After my intense illness earlier this year, I have been doing a lot more working from home. As I use the same … Read more →

Open-Sourcing My .bashrc File on GitHub

gitprompt_Lucas_bullettrain_tags I've posted some pretty nerdy things on this blog over the years, but this would have to be one of the nerdiest things I've ever posted.

I use a Linux operating system on my work laptop (Fedora, to be precise). We're now fairly entrenched in a git workflow for the documentation we write: asciidoc(tor)-based source, and GitLab CE or GitHub as the hosted VCS.

For the non-uber-tech-savvy: because of the git workflow (amongst other things), I spend a lot of time running commands in a bash shell (or command prompt). One of the files that controls … Read more →

Grammar By Instinct vs. Rules

Continuing with the MOOC that I am taking on English Grammar and Style, last week we covered adjectives. I can't believe I'm learning so much from this course that I didn't previously know! Below is my writing submission for the week.


I was fascinated by this week's adjective material, as it really highlighted how much of grammar I know solely by instinct rather than by rules.

The perfect example of this was the demonstration of the 'Royal Order of Adjectives'. I did not even realise that adjectives had to be placed in a certain sequence in order for them

Read more →

Online Course: UQx: Write101x English Grammar and Style

Free online courses seem to be all the rage at the moment. Heck, even my Dad has taken a few courses from some American universities. I've decided to take the plunge and am enrolled in a course offered by UQ:  Write101x: English Grammar and Style.

This choice of course may surprise some. "Aren't you a technical writer, Lucas?!". Yes, but whilst I think I can write fairly decently, for the most part I don't really know why. Trying to understand that 'why' is mostly why I'm taking this course.

This first week involved submitting a 300 word blog … Read more →

1 Year as a Technical Writer

It's now been one year since I've been working as a technical writer. To say I've thoroughly enjoyed the work would be an understatement. I've always loved technology (as evidenced by this blog and an IT degree), and I've always loved writing (as evidenced by this blog and an Arts degree 😉 ), so I have to pinch myself that I have a job at a great company where I get paid to combine the two.

In this past year I have learned a lot more about both writing and technology. I've been exposed to some great experience in using … Read more →

Experimenting with GNOME Shell Extensions

After using Fedora 17 and 18 as my OS at work for the past few months, I've been getting to know the somewhat controversial GNOME Shell. Although recent googling has found that a lot gripes with GNOME Shell may be addressed in the recently released GNOME 3.8 (which will be included in the upcoming Fedora 19), I thought I might share a few things that I have done to make my desktop environment in GNOME 3.6 a little more usable without having to switch to other environments like Cinammon or Xfce.

Like with Chrome and Firefox as browsers, GNOME … Read more →

Recovery: The Flood Cleanup Begins

Brisbane Flood CleanupThe waters in Brisbane are receding, and for now the flood is largely over. The waters peaked on Thursday morning, and thankfully they peaked about 1 metre lower than the authorities were fearing. It didn't quite get up to the 1974 levels and this made the difference for a lot of people, but for many others their homes were still very much inundated.

The metre made the difference for my brother's house in Rocklea: it meant that the water stayed underneath his house and thankfully didn't get up to the floorboards of his living level.

At work the floods inundated … Read more →

Disaster: Brisbane Starts to Flood

Brisbane floodsI'm typing this entry quite distressed and tired. There's no other way to describe what's happening in Brisbane at the moment other than an unfolding 'disaster' in the true sense of the word. The whole city next to the river is beginning to flood in truly epic proportions.

When people were saying in the days before today that it could get as high as the fabled 1974 floods, i admit that i thought it was all media hype and exaggeration. Watching what is happening today, i have no doubt about that any more.

The amount of water coming down the … Read more →

Data Centres & Rain, Rain, More Rain

It's been raining here like crazy over the past few days and weeks. The floods further west and north of the state have been devastating for entire communities. I really encourage everybody to give what they can to the flood relief appeal.

Although all this rain has dampened many peoples summer (quite literally), I for one am loving the lower than usual temperatures it has brought this season. I'm pretty sure you can count the number of 30+ degree days we've had this summer on one hand, and we're almost half way through the season. It's really quite unprecedented … Read more →