I did it. I F*@kin did it! I got my license in just 6 weeks.

That’s right. I did it. It took a fair while, but I finally did it.

I went to the RTA today, and got my provisional license.

There was no bribery involved. So it’s real. I do have my licence, and it only took 6 weeks to get it.

It’s fantastic. No longer must I have my transport situation dictated by bus timetables and taxi queues. No longer must we shell out hundreds a year for public transport.

No longer must we try and rush to meet a schedule.

The lesson before hand, not 100% good, but it helped me prepare for the real deal.

The folk at Central Coast Driving School are fantastic. Professional, yet affordable. Friendly, and experienced.

I’m happy to have passed first time! And its something that would almost certainly not have happened without the assistance of the instructor I had, who is a fantastic person, doing a fantastic job at driver tuition.

The lesson today was pretty good, the RTA test was actually really good, with the exception that at one orange light, I pulled it up tooo quickly, and that might have been a problem. I was actually concerned that I failed because of that, but it wasn’t a problem.

To make the test situation worse, it was certainly not easier having two of them (that is, the RTA examiner, and the examiners examiner) in the car with me while I took the test.

Full of suspense, we sat in the RTA waiting area, waiting for them to mark off the test, and patiently waiting for perhaps the words I failed.

But, I woke up today with every feeling I would get it, and I convinced myself I certainly am ready to get it.

And, I got it. That simple. Not.

It took 6 weeks. About $1000 odd in driving lessons every day over the period of 6 weeks. A lot of concentration. A replaced tyre. A patient instructor. A lot of learning. And, after all that, you eventually end up getting there, signed off and “Congratulations, You Passed!” made it worth it!

Fantastic news for me. I’m still excited.

After passing the test, we went out for a drive to find the one who doubted anyone could pass first time, simply due to his own misconception that you fail first time for whatever reason. Anyway, that was proven wrong today, when I started (with no to low driving experience before hand) 6 weeks earlier, and now, I’m the proud holder of a provisional license.

After we showed off to him, we took a trip to the video store and rented ourselves some DVDs, and then decided we’d go take the car for a much needed scrub (you see, when you park your car since August, it tends to get bird crap on it, and a lot of cob webs and just in general, get dirty), after the scrub, we decided we would cruise off to HJ’s at Wyong and go and have HJ’s for dinner.

While its misleading to say I got my licence in just 6 weeks (I had my L’s for something like 4 years, just sitting there), I did indeed pass first time!


Moving onto another unrelated topic, I purchased a power meter from Jaycar on the weekend and it arrived today.

I’ve had it testing using the computers in the office.

I’ve made an interesting discovery:
1 x My new PC.
2 x 17″ LCD monitors.
1 x ATA.
1 x Cordless phone.
1 x beefed up P4 server.

Use around 300W of power. Incredible, considering we have 400W power supplies in both machines.

The LCD monitors combined use the same energy as just a 60W light globe when on.

My system uses approx 150W switched on.

The server uses around that, though I have completed my hard drive lowering process, and now we have just 3 HDDs in the server, removing 3 drives.

My partners 2 x 17 CRT monitors and system combined with a few small network routers, use 220W. That’s alot considering I fit a lot of my side of the room inside of ~280W (it reads now), and she is just one machine, and it is sucking around 220W+.

Time to invest in LCD monitors, considering her machine is identical to mine, I should have seen at least near identical results.

So the CRTs should go, but not now. I’m generally happy with the power bill as in (hovers around $280 for 2 adults and one baby), but it would always be good in the face of rising electricity prices to push downward pressure on usage to at least reduce the consumption (and stick it to the power company).

A few theories in mind for reducing our usage involve less reliance on network storage for some applications, so that the systems can go into stand by without affecting anything running. Implementing standby after lack of usage > 2 hours.

Adding wake up feature so that there’s no wait to wake the machine up (thereby cutting power consumption even further through the use of off peak sleeping – since the power company still bill us for off peak as if it was peak!!).

Anyway, back to the power meter, a great buy at just $40 and has some pretty funky features (yet to work them all out), and can indeed be used as a tool to discover loading placed on any point of power, and just what exactly is the biggest juice drinker in your household.

Since I plugged it in at around 1PM (I reset and started), I’ve worked on the server taking HDDs out (so, the copy process has resulted in higher power draw), the power usage for my point is just at 3.2kWH or – $0.374 cents for the time so far (its nearly 1AM now).

It also tells you the voltage and hertz range of the power being delivered so you can guage some idea of the consistent quality of the delivery (and it mostly sits at 240V – 50Hz, with exception to bumping down to 238V).

Very useful tool, and its just $40!

We always assumed the office sucked a lot of juice, but combined load off the only power point comes in at around 400 – 500W continuously, and that gets us 4 monitors, 3 new / recent systems, 4 network devices, 2 sets of sub powered speakers, 1 phone, 1 printer – that’s it I think..

So that’s pretty good considering the usage. And the only real way to trim our usage is getting 2 LCDs for the other workstation and setting up standby features on the machine for perhaps a few kWH a day gain (probably 2 – 3 a day). So around $35 a bill. Not that big a saving for the issues which setting that up will cause (reconfiguring applications that use network for storage to not do that any more (MySQL DBs, web sites, etc..).


Still excited about getting my provisional licence. Incredible.


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