My "I’d Like To See That" Wallaby Team

Okay. After reading Greg’s column on SMH, “Dean’s Test Dilemma: Form or Reputation”, I figured if he can spend the article talking about how awesome the Reds are (on Form), and pick a “Form” team with a bunch of Tah’s, then why shouldn’t I give forth my own opinion.

My “I’d Like To See That” Wallaby Team:

This is the team I’d like to see have a run at the All Blacks, Springboks, the Irish and anyone one else game enough.

My Wallaby Test Team, 2010 1. (Loose-Head Prop) – Benn Robinson

2. (Hooker) – Tatafu Polatu-Nau

3. (Tight-Head Prop) – Laurie Weeks

4. (Lock) – Nathan Sharpe <VC>

5. (Lock) – Dave Dennis

6. (Blind-Side Flanker) – Matt Hodgson

7. (Open-Side Flanker) – David Pocock

8. (Number 8) – Stephen Hoiles

9. (Scrum-Half) – Will Genia <C>

10. (Fly-Half) – Quade Cooper

11. (Left-Wing) – Digby Ioane

12. (Inside-Center) – Anthony Faingaa

13. (Outside-Center) Rob Horne

14. (Right-Wing) – Drew Mitchell

15. (Fullback) – Adam Ashley-Cooper

Bench: Saia Faingaa, Rocky Elsom, Ben Daley, Matt Giteau, Josh Holmes

Sadly, it’s just not cricket without George.


How to add a “Resize Image” Procedure in Clarion 7

Yesterday I was adding "Internet Profile" functionality for Users. That is, a Description and Image can be entered in the back-end which will then show on the public website, under "Our Team".

Getting the image into my file structure (within the web folder) was no problems (have it in a number of places for all kinds of media), but Profile images have an important rule:

  • They must be small.

And then a second, more general, rule occurred to me.

  • Standardise ALL images uploaded into the system.

With these in mind I opened up my Data DLL app and got to work.

First things first. Two global templates have to be added before going any further.

1. The Clarion FreeImage template.


And 2. The Capesoft Draw global template.


As you can see, in the Options tab of the Draw global template dialogue, we’ve ticked the "Use DrawImage Functionality" checkbox. IMPORTANT!

Then we get onto creating the procedure.

I wanted to pass the Source and Destination paths (eg. c:\\images\\profile.png), and the Max Width and Height. That’s it.

Oh! And because it’s good practice in my books, I’ve got a return variable.


Then we open up the Window and add the Draw control (from the Control Templates pad).


And finally we come to the code. The rule is to make sure the code is called AFTER the Window is opened. I’ve made a routine and called it in the "After Window Opened" embed.

ResizeImage routinedataimage:Width longimage:Height longimage:BitDepth longimage:Type longcode!-! Init!—-if not Drawer4.useDrawImageDrawer4.InitDrawImage()endDrawer4.Blank(COLOR:White)Drawer4.diGetImageInfo(pSourcePath,image:Width,image:Height,image:BitDepth,image:Type)Drawer4.BestFit(image:Width,image:Height,Drawer4.width,Drawer4.height,image:Width,image:Height)Drawer4.Resize(image:Width,image:Height)Drawer4.diReadImage(pSourcePath, 1 + (Drawer4.width-image:Width)/2, 1 + (Drawer4.height-image:Height)/2, image:Width, image:Height)Drawer4.Display()Drawer4.WritePNG(pDestPath)post(EVENT:CloseWindow)

(Edit: Some changes made thanks to Sean (from Capesoft) in comment below. Thanks Sean!)

This code will take in your image, resize it to "best fit" within the Max Width and Height you passed, and save it to the Destination Path as a PNG image file.


Working With Clarion 7 (First Impressions)

21042010125208PM A couple of weeks back I took the plunge and ordered my CSP upgrade. I’ve been working solidly in Clarion 7 since then. These are my (please note FIRST) impressions.

What I’ve done:

  • Converted a medium size project from C6.3 to Clarion 7.1
  • At the same time (why do i do these things?) I decided to split the app into Data DLL and three separate main exes.
  • The app has most of the Capesoft templates attached in some way or another, plus PDFTools (was 3, then in amongst all this i upgraded to 4), and some other 3rdParty templates.
  • The system is primarily two Nettalk Webserver apps. So it doesn’t have a lot of the 3rd-Party templates that might normally be associated with desktop development.

In hindsight, I was ordering a complete roast cow instead of just a steak. Doing the conversion AND breaking apart the app AND upgrading 3rd-Party templates .. It shouldn’t have worked.

But after some mucking about (a couple of days), everything got sorted out.

The biggest trouble I had was not with the conversion but with some logic I forgot about with breaking an app into dlls+exes.


  • I’m not having much trouble with the IDE. There are some “scratch-your-head” design decisions, sure. But overall, I’m now comfortable and much more agile (read rapid development) than in Clarion 6. And I was quick in 6.
  • Most of the issues I have with Clarion 7 are problems that will be fixed. Like remembering how I had my embed options. Or being able to Generate, Make and Run the selected application.
  • Some of the stuff that bugged me because it was different to Clarion 6 is now process I couldn’t do without. Double-clicking on a procedure .. Gold.
  • Of course, some stuff just will always be there. Getting to the Nettalk Options can be a bit of a pain. You have to click on quite a few buttons to get there. But that’s okay. I’m okay with that, because overall, it’s still much faster to make stuff in Clarion 7.
  • It is a worry to hear about folk having heaps of problems. My machine is pretty new, but I thrash it good. I don’t have any answers for folk having the problems .. Mine works. Not very heartening for you though.

Tips To Begin With:

  • Turn off code completion. Seriously. It just gets in the way.
  • Turn indentation to “Automatic”.
  • “Unpick” all the panels.
    • Except when compiling, then you probably want to pick the Output panel. There seems to be some kind of wierdness with it minimising after compilation when unpicked.
  • 21042010125134PMIf you’ve got a decent sized screen, forget about the buttons on the right and go with the double-click to open the procedure up. Far quicker than tracking your mouse across the screen.
  • Until they get some “embed option memory” in, get used to having your embeds ALWAYS open up fully every time, unless you check “Show Filled ONLY”. This will remember the setting for that procedure, and only while the app is open. Close it down and open again, it’ll go back to default.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be okay with what it is at the moment. I get frustrated easily, but I also can focus hard on getting a result. You have to be okay with the glitches. I know, it’s not ideal, and the SV history etc etc .. But you have to get over it if you want to work in Clarion 7.
    • And really, you should. In my experience (limited granted), it’s already made me a lot more productive.

Watcher Of The Dead (First Impressions, Spoilers!)

A Cavern of Black Ice” is absolutely one of my favourite story-books. There are a number of chapters, scenes within the book that capture time and space and fragmented weaving of minute details with far-reaching actions and foreshadows and .. Oh, the joy.

I’d known “Watcher of the Dead” was coming out here soon, but even so when we found it at an Angus and Robertson bookshop in Burwood Westfields, I nearly leapt out of my skin.

WOTD (nice, this is the way cool people do it, like for GRRM’s ASOIAF books, or RJs WOT books, or .. ahem) is the fourth book in the Sword Of Shadows series.

It continues the story of Raif Sevrance, a.k.a Watcher of the Dead (or a number of other very cool names). There are a good handful of pov characters, and they all tell an amazing story.

Impression: GREAT READ.

The book feels tighter and more .. dense .. that the others, if that’s possible. It’s shorter by a couple of hundred pages, and I think that makes it feel perhaps go quicker than the previous books. That could also be because I sat and read it through over two night-time sits.

Re-Reads will bear out my initial thoughts, but I have to say that there was one particular revelation in the last chapter of a pov that cause me to go back to the previous page (which on a first read I almost never do), to check if I’d missed something. I’m eager for the next read, to see if there were any fore-almost-shadows of it.

Okay, to Raif.

Back in Cavern (oh wait, ACOBI), Raif was near death and met with Death, who seems rather female if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, she made a promise to him about killing an army.

Now, for the first three books (I’m slow) I pretty much thought that just meant he was going to bring the hurt on many, many, many folk (loved ones and acquaintances included). But now I’m thinking that while this is true, there’s another meaning.

A specific army.

It’s just a hunch. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, JVJ (hey Julie!) is moulding Raif towards herculean abilities in battle. In this book we see how (at least, one of the steps, but it’s a big one). There’s Moon Snakes and rebel Sull and a friend dies and well, not for the delicate this reading is.

The final Raif chapter must have been incredibly hard to write. Not-Raif as a character, who is the same character but not at all the same, has minimal thought process and higher-level brain function. At least, that’s how it seemed on the read. It felt like I was reading through a cloud. Like there was a block, “more beast than man” (Simpsons quotes for everything), which really came through.

When I think about Cavern, while there’s a great deal of pain and sadness, there is a sense of beginning which gives hope. The start of the journey.

This book, Watcher, is the nadir point. Truly. It’s the base line level where every single chapter is tinged (or coated) with sadness and despair.

I guess in a way that made it a hard read. Don’t hear me wrong, it’s a great read, but it’s hard.

Here’s to the dawning of hope.

JVJ writes with passion and diligence. She has exceptional depth of emotion in her characters, reaching far into the big themes of hope and loss and pain and death and redemption.

Kudos Julie on the fourth installment in this epic tale. Cannot wait for the next one!

Oh, and FINALLY .. The Scarpes get some comeuppance!

David Gemmell’s Stories (A Retrospective)

David Gemmell, Druss and Waylander

I can still remember the book. Back in high-school, the library had a surprising wealth of fantasy and sci-fi in the offing.

It was a story of a character who was the second-best swordsman in the land. They fought against an enemy who could send giant melded beast-men into battle. And one of the characters claimed to be the descendant of some fellow named Druss.

It was The King Beyond The Gate, and my young mind revelled in the action and simplicity of the story-telling.

Of course, while I will always love that first book, the character of Druss stands out amongst Gemmell’s characters, amongst his worlds.

Druss is truly indomitable. He is a fighter like no other, but what separates him out from the wave of 80s action heroes (when Legend was published) is the moral fibre of the man.

From reading about Gemmell, this was obviously very important to him. He created simple characters, they weren’t all that complex, and they mostly followed stereo-types.

But you know what, that can be said of any character really. It’s how well you deliver, how deep you go, how much flesh is put on them.

But also, sometimes, a character is in their simplicity far more powerful.

This is Druss. And to me, Gemmell will always be Druss. His other stories are often fantastic (Waylander especially), but every book with the giant axeman saying “Laddie” and belting obnoxious drunkards across a bar will always be his best. Because Druss always won, because he never backed down.

I do not idolise nor look up to Gemmell.

But I would have gladly had him around for a barbie and got to know this man better. He wrote heroic fiction very well. He wrote the kind of book that you can read in an outing. And these books are as important as the trilogies and wheels .. err big long epics.

And he created Druss, who really stands out amongst characters in today’s fantasy stories for his strength, purpose, will and general awesomeness.

Manual (Space Office Fight 2)

Hi there!

Your mission when playing Space Office Fight 2 is to defeat the Conglomerate, a being of vast almost unbelievable power!


  • For fast-levelling concentrate fire purely on the highest level Enemy on the screen. They give the most experience.
  • If you are wanting to better your stats, then be careful with your Bullet weapon. Don’t fire willy-nilly.
  • Hope for a Multi-Shot! They are game-changing Powerups.



The Player, known now as “The Guy Who Beast The First Conglomerate Invasion”, is a humble white-collar worker who is experiencing similar dreams to those that happened a year ago.




Manager. Weak, although numerous. These Enemies will soon be but a blip on your radar.




Visiting Suits. Those that come in packs, laughing and joking and making you feel all small and tiny and helpless.




Upper Management. Tough. They’ve earned their spot near the top of the heap. Don’t be fooled by their sweet talking and pleasant eyes, they are Enemies.




CEO. Wowza. Tough as nails in boots and wotnot. Careful.




Board Member. Hard as hard-coredness. They don’t come any tougher than these guys. Give you nightmares. Well, actually, it’s the Conglomerate that gives you these nightmares, but that’s another story.




Friend One. That’s right. You’ve got friends. They have a portion of your strength and power.




Friend Two. Smart. Funny. Got your back.




The Conglomerate. This is the one who has been sending you the dreams, the nightmares, the darkness.

It’s (it’s probably a he, but noone is really sure) full plan is yet to be revealed, but for the moment, you have to defeat it.

We Miss You George (Song)

George Smith, Rugby ExtraordinaireSome folk will tell you that George Smith was good, but not great.

I”ve already dealt with them.

Here”s an ode I composed to the greatest modern player of rugby since .. errr .. since I started getting into it ..

[audio:WeMissYouGeorge.mp3|titles=We Miss You George]