Props to Nokia

A quick shout out to Nokia for the minimal packaging that came with Lou’s new phone,

When purchasing it, I couldn’t believe how small the box was and (perhaps foolishly) actually asked if that was the complete kit: phone charger, car kit, manual and phone – all in that box?!

So yeah, kudos Nokia for getting the packaging about as small as you could have. Nice wee phone too!

Welcoming Katie – my niece!

Congrats to my sister Nic and hubby Andrew on the arrival of their second child. Kathryn (Katie) Rose Chinn was born on Saturday (one week early), weighing in at 3.925kg (8.65lb or about 8lb 10oz for the imperialists). Here’s a couple of pics,

The happy family – Andrew, Nic, Katie and Oliver,

And a very cute little sleeping girl,

Best wishes to the Chinnobles!

New website for

My favourite local news site got a major overhaul yesterday.

Sticking with recent style trends, they now have more whitespace, larger and more colourful headings, flashy draggable content and they now permit limited user customisation.

Below is a side-by-side of the old and the new homepage – the most obvious change being the page height!

The underlying three-column layout remains, but is now much cleaner and easier to read in my opinion. Obviously, the new site is much longer, requiring a lot more scrolling, but overall I like the layout.

Gone are the dropdown menus from the old site (which were badly broken in the second beta of IE8), but I have mixed views on this. While I like the new horizontal menu at the top of the page, you now have to click twice and pass through an intermediate page to get to some of the subsections, eg, National News, then Education. For this, the dropdown was faster.

The inclusion of a (customisable) weather box at the top left is nice – afterall, that data comes from MetService (my employer for disclosure!). The other side of the header leads to my biggest gripe – the site search, powered by Google. Sadly, only around 50% of the results (during my tests) have dates attached – which is next to useless for searching for specific news items. Bring back the old search! Seriously.

So thus far I think the update is a good one, despite slower navigation and broken search. Final judgement however will have to be reserved until I’ve used it some more…

Kapiti vs Wellington

A quick dig at the parochial family up the coast! Here’s some February ’09 temp stats for ya,


Mean Feb temp = 17.1
Highest Feb maximum = 23.0 (2nd)
Lowest Feb minimum = 5.0 (15th)
Number of days >21C = 9
Number of days >23C = 0


Mean Feb temp = 17.1
Highest Feb maximum = 26.0 (8th)
Lowest Feb minimum = 8.0 (15th)
Number of days >21C = 10
Number of days >23C = 3