Friday, 31 October 2008

Krishna Left

Today the colleagues from work got together for a lunch at an Indian restaurant. The food was excellent. It was the tastiest thing I have tried since my arrival to Melbourne. I tried all the different meals that were available, including ice cream and a mango lhassi.
The reason for the lunch was that one more colleague left the company.

Crisis and the Employment

One of the IT companies I have a contact with told me that they have frozen the recruitment for open positions because of the current economic situation. The things are moving fast over here.
On Monday I will know more details and see whether they will fill in any positions at all or if all the recruitment is currently frozen.

Photos: Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles

2008-10-26 Great Ocean Road

Photos from the trip via Great Ocean Road to 12 Apostles.

Photos: Lillydale - Eltham Ride

2008-10-05 Lillydale

Here are the photos from the ride between Lillydale and Eltham, on 2008-10-05.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Average Australian Salary = 83K

Salary Information - Latest Pay Rates by Industry at MyCareer

According to MyCareer salary centre, the current average Australian salary amounts to A$83,500. This is quite a high amount.

According to some sources, average Bosnian monthly salary is around BAM 960, which is roughly the same amount in Australian Dollars today. This would be rougly 11,000 per annum.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Great Ocean Road

On Sunday, 26th of October, with a group of friends from work I went on the Great Ocean Road trip all the way to 12 Apostles and Port Campbell. It was a whole day drive. The scenery was amazing. Noone of us expected to see so many green fields and forests.
Apollo Bay was magnificent. The 12 Apostles are impressive. Photos are to be placed online soon.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Troubles in Bosnia (Did They Ever Cease?) - Ex-Envoys Urge Action on ‘Troubled’ Bosnia

Spending a few months in such a healthy environment like Australia led my thoughts towards going back closer to home, family, friends, etc. But, every now and then, when I get in touch with people from the region or read some news, I get anxious again about the whole situation there.
The text like the one linked at the top, brings back memories from the past and that funny feeling in the stomach. As I was aware long time ago, after the Dayton Agreement, the things have not been settled in the Balkans and won't be for a long time. That will remain the trouble spot for a decent future from now. Things keep revolving around the same issues over and over again and no real progress can be made when such basic elements are not settled.
While living there I felt constantly under pressure because of such issues one could not get around. Now I feel I should think more about what the weather will be tomorrow during the Great Ocean Road drive and when the water will get warm enough to go swimming in the Ocean. Should I bring the sun lotion or not? And so on. These kind of thoughts are much healthier.
Makes me wonder whether will I really consider going back there.

Also, on the Finance blog, I've posted a few links to the analysis of the economic situation in Serbia. Many facts I did not realize. The progress in the country I felt was healthy now appears less so and, in fact, in a very troubled state.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

New Camera

I've just completed my new photo set. The other day I was simply looking for a camera that has a viewfinder. It appears that later cameras simply do not have that feature. I used to use this with my older Fuji camera to save the battery charge when on vacation or away from an electrical outlet.
Then I found, in forums, that Canon A580 has this feature. This camera was recommended first so I looked for some reviews. The reviews were alright. Canon was a well known name in the world of photo cameras. At the same time I looked for a comparison on prices for A580 in Australia. Found a shop in Victoria that had the best prices. Looked at their web site to find that there was a newer version - A590. And, also, A1000. Then I read the reviews to compare these two. The only notable difference was the physical size. Everything else was alright even with the older model. But, the depth difference of 1cm makes a difference when carrying the camera. Well, so I thought and decided to go for A1000.
Made an order online. The store has a warehouse in Abbotsford and the camera would be available for pick up after the payment was received. So I went to the bank web site and sent the payment according to the invoice received. I could trace my order online.
I guess it took one day for the payment to reach the shop and the next to be processed. The second day I got an email stating that the camera would be available for pick up later that day (today, actually). I went to the warehouse (this was quicker than to wait for postal delivery) and picked up the camera. I must admit it's great. I played with it in the park on my way home. One thing I did not like was that as soon as focus is activated, the LCD turns back on. That's not what I want. Viewfinder becomes more or less useless in this case. Took a few photos and a short movie after which the space on provided 32MB SD card ran out. So I decided to run to K-Mart, which was close by, and use the $10 gift card I received yesterday.
So I headed there to get the rechargeable batteries and a camera case I saw earlier. I got Varta pack of batteries with 2500mAh capacity and a nice bag that I can use for the PocketPC as well. Then I found some SD cards on sale for $11.19 and I could not resist to get one.
The batteries are being charged. The good thing is that a pair of alkaline batteries and a 32MB SD card are provided along with the camera. This gives you a feel for the camera and also, in my case, some time to use the camera while the rechargeable batteries are being charged for the first time.
The PDA can read this 2GB SD card so I might get another one, just for Pocket PC.
So, the new photo taking season starts... :)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Moving Web Sites

I’m in the middle of moving my web site(s) to another location. It is an interesting exercise because there is a lot of things to be done, links to maintain, pages and style sheets to upload… Every time I do this it gets easier for the next time. The sites get simpler and simpler. Some sort of structure appears on its own. My only worry is that the new provider will introduce some measures that will make me have to move the sites again.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Price Comparison for Electronics

staticICE :: Australia's comprehensive computer hardware and gadget price comparison search engine

This is one of the best search engines for product price comparison in Australia. Mostly electronics and IT - computer stuff in here.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


There are days when everything seems wrong. Savings are going down, nothing interesting is going on, no contacts with new people, can't think of places to go, thinking of job does not leave a good feeling...
Such things happen and the best thing to do is to do nothing. These times come and go. Usually its best not to do anything otherwise that gets "spoiled" in a way.
I'm glad I had enough rest during the weekend. Spend some time at home, just relaxing. Now I know what it takes to feel good again. No plans, no action, no goals, just nothing. Life can be so easy and simple. And, yes, that's how it should be.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Motorcycle Riding Schools

I've got my Bosnian driving license back again. A few months ago I have transferred the car license into the Australian one. Now I'm looking to transfer the motorcycle license, too.
Here is the list of motorcycle riding schools I am looking into:

Ride-Tek - One of the schools from the VicRoads list. They were kind enough to explain how to transfer an overseas license. Located in Dandenong.

Stay Upright - Came to their testing site accidentally while riding a bicycle. Located in Hoppers Crossing.

Friday, 17 October 2008

12 Apostles

We, at work, are planning a road trip one of the next Sundays. The idea is to get to 12 apostles and see as much as possible. Since the travel time is quite high in case we go through Great Ocean Road AND the Port Campbell, the decision reached is to go only to Port Campbell and see the 12 apostles. That way we'd have enough time for lunch, dinner, looking around, taking pictures, etc. Then, some other time, we could focus on the Great Ocean Road itself.
Mmm, I like the idea already. This will be a nice trip. First time completely out of the metropolitan area.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Australia Post : POSTbillpay - Home Page

Australia Post offers a way to pay bills online. There are lots of billers in the scheme. All that is required is Post billpay code (biller), reference number (bill), payment amount, and credit card details – number and expiry date.

Australia Post : POSTbillpay - Home Page

Health Insurance

I just found out that the bill, increasing the income threshold for Medicare Levy Surcharge, has not been passed yet. The agreement has just been achieved and the bill is to be voted on. As a result of negotiation, the new thresholds will be $70,000 for individuals and $140,000 for families.

A good, not-for-profit, health insurance provider is GMHBA. They have recently introduced a minimum package – Bronze Hospital Young Singles Start Package. This is an addition to what is now Silver Hospital Young Singles Start Package. It used to be only Young Singles Start Package. :)

Other useful links, related to GMHBA health insurance, are the list of participating hospitals and member services page.

Comparison of extras on different plans for Victorian residents.

Just for reference, here is a list of approximate costs for dental services in Melbourne – Melbourne Dentist Fee Schedule (Vic).

Sunday, 12 October 2008

30 Degrees

Today we went to Werribee. As soon as we arrived, Roger and I found a cash shop open near the station so we went to have a look. There I decided I'm getting a camera. I should probably have it next week.
Then we rode through Werribee to the West. There is a nice path next to a creek. That one continues on the Federation Trail. We were at the very beginning of the Fed Trail but we then went further West. We cycled on the highway (yes, here you CAN cycle on the highway) and ended up climbing across the fences and pushing our bikes across the agriculture fields.
On the way back to Werribee, cause we decided to go back in order to reach the park south of the town, we came across the B-24 Liberator site. This is the only B-24 Liberator in the world. There is a hangar where volunteers are assembling the airplane from original and engineered parts. The place looks totally out of this world. There should be quite a few photos from that visit.
The project is very interesting. Lots of people donate parts, engine, or work on restauration of the original parts and are assembling the aircraft. The whole thing started sometimes in 1988 when the remains of a Liberator were found somewhere in the jungle. The completion of the restauration work is expected in 2010. The airplane is an amazing sight. The look inside it leaves a pretty claustrophobic feeling. I could not believe how small the space was and the seats were tiny in today's standards.

After that we rode on the Federation Trail. Took some nice photos of the Australian outback. The grassy plains, gum trees... That's what I'll remember of Australia later. Certainly won't miss the city and the jam that much.
The wind was quite strong so we decided to back on a train and use the time more productively. I'm going to try to read the remaining 300 pages of the .Net book today. :D

Saturday, 11 October 2008

News from the Front

Not much new development. I mean, things are appearing but it takes time to finalize them.

At work, we don't have to work Saturdays any more. We don't have to work *every* Saturday, that is. Now we are going to have a roster where we work 4 days the first week and then 6 days the alternate. That's OK. In fact, I'll see how it goes but it sounds OK.

Still haven't reserved the ticket. Will look to do that on Monday. There are some interviews coming but those should not interfere with the flight plan.

Today is the end of this working week. The plan for Sunday, tomorrow, is to go to Werribee. There appears to be a nice park with a castle. Roger will bring the camera so there should be some nice photos from the ride. It's not that far so we could cycle back towards the city along the coast.

Got a refund from Metlink. In return for 5 x daily ticket, they gave me back two 5 x weekend daily tickets. :) Now that I have both days off on every other weekend, these will get used faster. I could use them to go to Frankston or Sandrigham on weekends. Those places are quite far from the city and beaches are wonderful.

The market fell more than looks real in the graph. People start mentioning horror stories about loans, obligations, ruined investments, etc. Well, I never thought debt was a good thing and I'm glad I do not have any obligations in that regard.

I'm reading some reference book on software development. It has sections on software engineering with .Net, SQL Server, UML, XML, and design. It's a good reference book and a refresher for all the technologies above.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Changing Geopolitics

Business Spectator - Geopolitics turned on its head

Ha, the current financial crisis will have adverse effects on the world's geopolitical scene. I didn't expect this to happen so suddenly.
In effect, this may mean that I came to Australia only to witness the fall of western civilisation (I dramatize, of course). But, really, soon I might be looking for a working visa to some other country, I never suspected of going to. :))
Or I might just go home and live happily ever after.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Lillydale - Eltham

On Sunday I cycled through beautiful areas from Lillydale to Eltham. The terrain is hilly. Lots of trees, pastures, farmlands and large houses. Definitely to be repeated in the summer.
Kudos to iGo as it has excellent maps. Even dirt roads are there and path finding works excellent.
I need to draw this route on Bikely when I find the time.

Other than that, I'm looking for plane tickets for January/February.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Home Decoration

Home... how good that sounds.
I've started to look for nice software to help in home decoration. I thought there must be, by now, some good and free software that does the basic thing almost everyone needs.
The post with links and my opinions is at
So far, I like the best Sweet Home 3D. It is open source, runs via Java Web Start so is available almost everywhere, and can import 3DS and OBJ models. The last part means that you can find lots of models for 3D Studio or other modeling programs on the Internet and use them in your design. The software itself comes with enough elements to get you started. It contains some very nice features.
There are two windows - one displays the plan, where you draw stuff, and the other is a 3D view of the model. The 3D view can be either Aerial or Inside view.
There are just enough features to do whatever I wanted to do. The overall feeling while using it for about 15 minutes was great. I don't even feel the need to check out other programs out there.