2013 Annual Blog Statistics

These are some stats from Google Analytics, the figures from 2012 are in brackets.

Overall in 2013 there were about 5,000 fewer visits, from 4,700 fewer visitors than in 2012. This is the third year in a row of declining visitor numbers. However, this continues to be correlated to the reduction of posts to this blog – and the change in focus to more personal adventure than just random commentary.

Total

  • Visits: 9,458 (14,714)
  • Unique Visitors: 8,626 (13,371)
  • Page Views: 12,609 (24,504)

Visitors from came from 165 Countries. Australia, United States, New Zealand continue to hold the top three visitor locations. 64.3% of all visits came from Aus/USA/NZ/UK down 1% from 2012. Continue reading

Happy 2014 – fireworks from Sydney

Happy New Year!

Midnight Fireworks

Once again I spent New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour.

This year we didn’t have tickets to any special areas, so we arrived at Bradfield Park, Milsons Point at 1.30pm and spent the afternoon basking in the beautiful sunny Sydney summer afternoon.

Getting to the harbour as early as we did scored us a seat right on the harbour’s edge, which gave great angles for photos.

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Goals for 2014

In no particular, but some sort of order:

  • Graduate and get a real job – I’ve submitted the thesis, now just waiting on the marks.
  • Continue Learning German – and go back to Germany.
  • Summit Mt Kosciusko – it has to be achieved some day soon.
  • Publish a journal article – or two.
  • Read at least ten books – including the six paperbacks I currently have unread.
  • Buy a VF Commodore – I’ve wanted a Holden since I was in my teens.
  • Keep this blog up to date – In the last few months I’ve been about three months behind on posts.

2013 – The Year of Adventure

2013 has been great. It’s been a year of fantastic fun, growth and personal achievement.

At the start of 2013 I laid out some goals for the year, they were:

  • Complete my PhD
    • Achieved!
    • I submitted on November 20.
  • Get a real job
    • Not completely achieved, I’m freelancing at the moment.
  • Learn German
    • I did far better at this than in 2012. I am still very much a beginner, but I am learning.
    • Duolingo has been great for this.
  • Summit Mt Kosciusko
    • Once again this goal was elusive.
  • Publish a paper and a journal article
    • I published two papers.
  • Go on a holiday for at least a week without internet access
    • I didn’t end up away for a whole week without internet, but there were a few weekends of digital silence.

An additional personal achievement was reading 12 books over the year – four histories, three science, three theology, and two novels.

There are also a number of highlights from throughout the year: Continue reading

The Control Centre – 2013

For the past seven years, every two years, I have posted a photo of my “control centre”, aka my home computer setup. Only this time, by mistake, it has been three years since I last posted. So below is the control centre in 2013.

Control Centre 2013

Control Centre 2013

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Euro Trip: Part Six – London

The final part of my Euro trip began on the Eurostar train from Paris to London. After racing through the French countryside we went though the Channel Tunnel and finally emerged in London.

Once I had checked into my hotel for the weekend, I caught up with a former flatmate for the evening. By convenient coincidence there was a Science Uncovered late night at the Natural History Museum which we explored before making a late night cafe visit in Kensington.

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Euro Trip: Part Five – Paris

After two fantastic weeks in Germany, it was time for the next part of the Europe adventure.

After staying the night in Frankfurt, I caught a train to Paris. Having been all over Germany on IC, EC, and DB Regio trains – all of which leave NZ/AU trains looking very old and slow – the ICE train was another level of speed (and comfort). The trip from Frankfurt to the French border went through small town after small town, in very thick heavy fog. We then went into a deep valley between mountains and came out in France. Once into the French countryside we blasted along the tracks at 300kmh+.

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Euro Trip: Part Four – Munich and Bavaria

The final portion of my travels in Germany was visiting friends in Munich.

By pure coincidence I arrived in Munich for the start of Oktoberfest. The biggest fair in the world begins with a massive street parade where each brewery brings its beer into the city. This was a rather interesting parade to watch, where marching bands that I would normally expect to see at a Santa Parade played between each brewery’s float.

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Euro Trip: Part Three – Koblenz and Cologne

The main purpose of my trip to Germany was to present some of my doctoral research at the German Multiagent Systems Technologies Conference. This year the conference was co-located with the Germany Artificial Intelligence conference and a number of smaller conferences as part of the Informatik which was held in Koblenz.

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Euro Trip: Part Two – Heidelberg and Mannheim

I spent my first weekend in Germany in the area around Heidelberg and Mannheim.

After spending the day walking around Frankfurt with random friends, I caught the train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg. After checking into my hotel, I went for a walk around the city while waiting for my friends to arrive from Munich.

The town of Heidelberg is incredibly pedestrian friendly. The core area is one long narrow street that runs from the centre of town through to the base of the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle. Once my friends arrived, we had dinner at a local pub.

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