Sunday, November 19, 2023

Hilton Travis - Part of the Team Leading Change for Redland City, 2024

It is my pleasure to be invited to join Jos Mitchell's team of people looking at Leading Change and bringing the community focus back into our Council.

I am really looking forward to connecting with more people leading up to the election and beyond so we can build a truly community focused strategy moving forward.

Hilton Travis - Div 5 Candidate, Redland City, 2024


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, April 02, 2020

SMBI Food & Goods & Services Options

G'day All,

(Updated: 6 September, 2020)

In response to a question on one of the SMBI-related Facebook Groups, I've made this blog post so that not only the Facebook users, but also non-Facebook users can have access to this information.

During the Covid-19 restrictions, we're in a slightly tricky place over here on the SMBI - both in a good and a bad way (but by far, mostly good).

One of the more interesting exercises is getting food delivered to those of us who are in the higher risk categories and have been either directed to self-isolate, or had it strongly suggested that we self-isolate.

So, here's a list of the Food and Goods takeaway delivery options available to the SMBI that will be updated as and when I'm made aware of any changes. (Saying that, unless I'm informed of a change to the information below, the information is as presented the last time I was made aware of it, so it may be out of date slightly.) Also listed are other businesses and their current operating information.

Please also note that a number of businesses are making their products available through Bay Islands Eats, which is an initiative of the SMBI Little Bus. To place orders for delivery, order and pay over the phone with the store and ask for it to be delivered via Bay Island Eats. The details for this service are:

Bay Island Eats - How It Works
1. Browse our index of local businesses for the items you need
You can do this via the ‘Eat’, ‘Drink’ and 'Health and Groceries’ options on our website.
2. Contact the business you wish to place an order with
Make your order in full and specify that you would like delivery.
3. Pay for your goods
The cost of your goods can be paid directly to the business over the phone (excluding delivery fee), or our Bay Island Eats delivery driver can take payment of cash and card upon delivery.
Delivery costs should ALWAYS be paid directly to the driver when your order is delivered.
4. Collection and delivery
The business will book in a pickup time for your goods and one of our drivers will collect it from the venue and deliver it to your door.
Visit for more information and delivery costs.


On-Island Businesses

Coochiemudlo Island

Curlew Cafe - 07 3207 7207
Hours: 8:00AM - 2:00PM every day
Delivery: Yes
Takeaway: Yes
We are building our grocery line daily. Fruit and veges are now in stock. Phone us and order any groceries including our entire dining menu hot and cold.

Oasis - 07 3207 7600
Hours: 5:00PM - 7:30PM Wed - Sun
Delivery: No
Oasis will be open for takeaway dinner and drinks (including alcohol). Convenience Corner will be operated from Oasis during opening hours. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer phone or internet orders but will provide a safe environment for people waiting for their meals. As always Wednesday night will be Pizza Night plus our expanded every night menu options.

Lamb Island

Lamb Island Convenience Store - 07 3409 5222
Hours: 6.30AM - 6.30PM Mon-Fri, and 7:00AM - 3:00PM Sat - Sun
Delivery: Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Takeaway: Yes
Full menu is available, including coffee.

Lamb Island Rec Club - 07 3409 5832
Hours: 5:30PM - 7:00PM Wed - Sat, Dine-In, Take Away or Delivery
Takeaway:Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Take away alcohol is available and take away meals are available, as are pre-frozen meals to take home and warm up later.

Macleay Island

Blue Parrot Cafe - 07 3409 4900
Hours: 7:00AM - 1:00PM Mon - Sat, closed over Easter
Delivery:Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Takeaway: Yes
Please phone to pre-order. Frozen meals from $10, coffee, cakes and savouries.

Bay Islands Golf Club -07 3409 5299
Hours: 11:00AM - 3:00PM each day (Bistro closed for now)
Takeaway: Yes (no food, bistro closed for now)
Bay Islands Golf Club is closed for normal services until further notice. The club will be open only to our members and reciprocal members for alcohol takeaway. There is a good range of soft drinks and mixers, as well as snacks such as chips, nuts and cashews. Also, the greens are open for 2 player games, there are no competitions.

Club Macleay (Water's Edge Bistro) - 07 3409 5364
Hours: Food 12:00PM - 2:00PM and 4:30PM - 6:00PM Wed - Sun
Hours: Alcohol 12:00PM - 5:30PM Mon - Tues, 10:00AM - 5:30PM Wed - Sat
Hours: Alcohol 10:00AM - 4:00PM Sun
Takeaway: Yes (members and reciprocal members only)
Club Macleay is closed for normal services until further notice. The club will be open only to our members and reciprocal members for food and alcohol takeaway. For food takeaway phone 3409 5364 to order.

5 Star - 07 3409 5408
Hours: 6:30AM - 6:30PM Mon - Fri
Hours:  7:00AM - 5.30PM Sat, 7.30AM - 4.30PM Sun
Delivery: No
Takeaway: Yes
5 Star is open regular trading hours. Easter hours will be reduced.

Bay Island Island Bakery - 07 3409 2006
Hours: 6:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri, 6:00AM - 3:00PM Sat
Takeaway: Yes
Our regular products are available.

Macleay Island Takeaway - 0475 506 232
Hours: 10:30AM - 2:30PM and 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM Tues - Sat

Delivery: Yes between 2:30PM and 4:30PM (free for the over 70s)
Takeaway: Yes (also Bay Island Eats)
Please ring and place your order between 10:30AM and 2:30PM and I will close between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM and make the deliveries every day (Tues - Sat).

Mumma's Pizza - 07 3409 4915
Hours: 4:30PM - 8:30PM every day
Delivery: Yes. free for orders over $15
Takeaway: Yes
We are taking extra caution at Mumma's but its business as usual. Remember you can call in phone orders for delivery and pay over the phone by card to avoid coming to the store 3409 4915 or 3409 5822.

My Health Aisle - 0431 250 292
Hours: 9:30 - 4:30 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, and 9.30AM - 1.30PM Sat - Sun
Delivery: Yes
Takeaway: Yes
My Health Aisle will continue to do deliveries to all islands with the assistance of SMBI Little Bus/Bay Island Eats, Oasis Direct and partnering businesses. We take phone orders and payment over the phone and if we haven't got it we will do our best to source it.

Oasis Direct Fruit and Veg - 0405 260 610
Hours: 9:30AM - 12:30PM Sun
Delivery: Pick up, delivered to your vehicle
Pop Up Shop at Emerald Isle. Pre-orders can be arranged by emailing or calling or texting 0476 041 977. Orders can be collected at the Shop.

Pub Paradise Bistro - 07 3409 5200
Hours: Delivery only
Delivery: Yes
Takeaway: No
All prepared in commercial kitchen on Lamb Island.
Frozen meals are available for delivery at $10 each.

Pub Paradise Bottle Shop - 07 3409 5200
Hours: 10:00AM - 6:00PM every day
Delivery: Yes
Takeaway: Yes (Bay Island Eats)
The Macleay Island Hotel Bottle Shop is open for take away purchases every day.

Scorpion Cafe - 07 3409 4031
Hours: 8:00AM - 3:00PM Mon - Fri
Delivery:Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Scorpion Cafe is open for take away purchases on Mon to Fri.

Spar - 07 3409 4477
Hours: 6:30AM - 6:45PM Mon - Fri,
Hours: 7:00AM - 5:45PM Sat and 7:00AM - 4:45PM Sun
Delivery: Yes, Mon and Thurs, Email order before 11:00AM
Spar is open our normal hours. We have Home Delivery available on Mon and Thurs. Please email your order before 11AM for Home Delivery. email:

Tingira Boat Club - 07 3409 5341
Hours: Closed until further notice

Willow and Oak - 07 3409 4331
Hours: 7:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Sat
Delivery: Available from 1:00PM - 3:00PM in cafe next door
Takeaway: Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Payment: Prefer card, but cash available
A good selection of fruit, vegetable and health food products.

Russell Island

Aunty Alice's Cafe - 07 3409 2002
Hours: 7:00AM - 3:00PM Mon-Thurs, and 7:00AM - 6:00PM Fri
Hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM Sat, and 9:00AM - 2:00PM Sun
Aunty Alice's is open for takeaway orders.

Fresh On Bayview - 07 3409 2713
Hours: 6:00AM - 4:00PM Mon, Wed and Fri
Hours: 6:00AM - 6:00PM Tues and Thurs
Takeaway: Yes
At Fresh on Bayview you will enjoy fresh homemade food ,hot dogs, sandwich bar, fresh juice, barista coffee, ice cream and more. We specialise in Vegetarian food.  Special menu of Covid-19 takeaway meals.  Home made apple pie and cheesecake. OPEN GOOD FRIDAY - please call for information.

Island Beans - 0456 390 755
Hours: 7:20AM - late, 7 days
Delivery: Yes, call
Now operating from right next door to Pizza and Kebab Express in the IGA complex.  :)

My Health Aisle - 0431 250 292
Hours: 9:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri, and 9:00AM - 2:00PM Sat
Delivery: Yes
My Health Aisle will continue to do deliveries to all islands with the assistance of SMBI Little Bus/Bay Island Eats, Oasis Direct and partnering businesses. We take phone orders and payment over the phone and if we haven't got it we will do our best to source it.

Oasis Direct Fruit and Veg - 0405 260 610
Hours: 8:00AM - 1:30PM on Wed and 8:00AM - 2:00PM Sat
Delivery: Yes
Pop Up Shop at Aunty Alice's Cafe on Wed and Sat. Home deliveries are available by emailing or calling or texting 0476 041 977. Pre-orders can also be collected at the shop.

Pizza and Kebab Express - 07 3409 1518
Hours: 10:00AM - 8:00PM Mon - Sat, and 11:00AM - 8:00PM Sun
Delivery: Yes, free for phone orders over $30, otherwise $5
Pizza and Kebab Express is open for takeaway and home delivery menu orders. Our full menu is available.

Russell Island Bakery - 07 3409 2006
Hours: 6:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri, 6:00AM - 3:00PM Sat
Takeaway: Yes
Our regular products are available.

Russell Island Bowls Club -07 3409 1330
Hours: 5:00PM - 7:00PM Wed - Sat
Yan's Bistro will be open for takeaway only.

Russell Island RSL - 07 3409 1372
Hours: Food 4:00PM - 7:00PM Tue - Sat
Hours: Alcohol 4:00PM - 7:00PM Tues - Sat
Takeaway: Yes
The Russell Island RSL hereby announce the closure of the club for normal service until further notice. The club will be open only to our members and reciprocal members for food and alcohol takeaway. For food takeaway phone 3409 1372 to order.

SupaIGA - 07 3409 2777 and
Hours: 6:00AM - 8:00PM every day
Delivery: Telephone orders 9:00AM - 5:00PM Mon - Fri on 07 3206 6680
Delivery: Yes, $10 per delivery, Tues - Sat, subject to transport and order timing
Takeaway:  Yes is operating as per normal.

Thirsty Camel - 07 3409 1515
Hours: 10:00AM - 6:15PM Mon - Sat, and 10:00AM - 6:00PM Sun.
Service with a smile at the doorway.

Off-Island Businesses

Banjo's Bakery - 07 3821 5660
Banjo's Bakery Café is a bakery café with a difference. We combine freshly baked breads, sweets, savouries, pies & pastries with quality espresso in a take away format for delivery to the Islands. We really do have something for everyone!

Boutique Meats - 0427 613 823
Boutique Meats have been delivering to the Islands for some time now and this will continue to happen throughout the Covid-19 restrictions where at all possible.

Pattemore's Meats - 07 3824 0576
Specialising in 1st grade quality Beef, Pork, Lamb and Chicken products along with a fantastic range of value added products prepared onsite by our own Master Butchers.

Salads Made Fresh - 07 3207 6877
Salads Made Fresh is a salad manufacturing company located in Victoria Point QLD, specializing in a variety of freshly made salads, curries and cut veggies. They supply a number of different customers including restaurants, take-aways and the public.

Skippy's Fresh Frootz - 0451 069 808
Deliveries are being made to the Islands. Call for more information.

The Nook - 0455 054 418
Farm fresh fruit and veg, as well as health food and Gislers Pies

Woolworths - 1800 000 610
Woolworths Home Delivery continues to deliver to the Islands, prioritising access to our most vulnerable customers including seniors, people with a disability and those in mandatory isolation. Once these vulnerable customers have been given first access, we are providing online deliveries to our valued customers where we can.


On-Island Businesses

Lamb Island

SMBI Little Bus - 07 3064 8000
SMBI Little Bus is still offering their regular passenger transport services on Lamb and Macleay Islands.

Macleay Island

Auto and Marine Supplies - 07 3409 5647
Hours: 8:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri
Hours: 8:00AM - 12:00PM Sat -Sun
Delivery: Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Takeaway: Yes
Operating as normal, please maintain physical distancing!

Bay Islands Medical Service - 07 3409 1151
Hours: 9:30AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri
In response to the new social distancing guidelines and Telehealth availability, Bay Island Medical Service will be making changes to how we book in our patients appointments.
Please discuss your health needs with reception when booking to allow us to book an appropriate appointment time and type.
If you can stay home, please do!

Carbrook Veterinary Services - 0400 280 094
We run an emergency service along with routine. Our hours are 24/7, 7 days for our existing clients. We work by appointment only, non urgent and routine procedures are conducted Mon - Fri.

iLegal Services Pty Ltd - 07 3409 4221 or 0455 453 425
Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM Mon - Fri
Appointments: Telephone, Facetime, and Skype
All conveyancing is being done electronically to ensure settlements are completed on time.

JSB Earthmoving and Tree Specialists - 0428 259 060
Hours: 7:00AM - 6:00PM Mon - Fri, and 7:00AM - 1:00PM Sat
Business as usual, with observance of physical distancing requirements

Macleay Island Community Library - 07 3409 4243
Hours: 09:00AM - 12:00PM Mon - Tue
Delivery: Yes (Mon and Tue mornings)
Takeaway: No
The Macleay Island Community Library is operating as a delivery and drop-off/collect service Monday and Tuesday mornings.

Macleay Island Hardware and Landscaping Supplies - 07 3409 5666
Hours: 7:00AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri
Hours: 7.30AM - 2:00PM Sat, 7.30AM - 12:00PM Sun
Delivery: Yes
Takeaway: Yes
Currently operating as normal.

Macleay Island Taxi - 0418 734 741
We are operating business as usual.

Macleay Pets Plus - 07 3409 4992
Hours: 9:00AM - 1:00PM Mon - Sat, except public holidays
Delivery: Yes, free home deliveries as always
Takeaway: Yes
For all your pets and pool supplies.
For deliveries, either call the shop number (above) or SMS/TEXT only to Michelle on 0490 675 222 for delivery and you will receive a text back with bank account details for payment. Delivery will be made once payment has been made.

Mater Pathology - 07 3409 4318
Hours: 7:30AM - 2:00PM Mon and Fri, and 9:00AM - 2:00PM Wed

Home Visits: Can  be arranged for people who require, speak to your GP 

Pharmacy Essentials - 07 3409 5187
Hours: 9:00AM - 5:15PM Mon - Fri
Hours: 8:00AM - 12:45PM Sat, and 8:00AM - 11:45AM Sun
Delivery: Yes (Bay Island Eats)
Takeaway: Yes

SMBI Little Bus - 07 3064 8000
SMBI Little Bus is still offering their regular passenger transport services on Lamb and Macleay Islands.

Russell Island

Bay Islands Medical Service - 07 3409 1151
Hours: 8:30AM - 4:00PM Mon - Fri
In response to the new social distancing guidelines and Telehealth availability, Bay Island Medical Service will be making changes to how we book in our patients appointments.
Please discuss your health needs with reception when booking to allow us to book an appropriate appointment time and type.
If you can stay home, please do!

Loveable Pets - 07 3409 1573
Hours: 8:00AM - 3:00PM Mon, 8:00AM - 5:00PM Tues - Fri, and 8:00AM - 2:00PM Sat
Delivery: Yes, phone orders and payments available
Takeaway: Yes
* From Mon 7 Sep until further notice all customers will be served at the door. Pet owners will be phoned when their pet is ready for collection. 

Affordable pet products, home care and advice, grooming, pet minding, and veterinary care.
We are offering over the phone payment and delivery of products for free. Pick up and drop off of pets is available. We also have puppy and small dog Kindy Tues, Wed and Thurs mornings 9:00AM - 12:00 PM for $25.

Mater Pathology - 07 3409 2946
Hours: 7:30AM - 1:50PM Tues and Thurs

Home Visits: Can  be arranged for people who require, speak to your GP 

Russell Island Building Supplies (RIBS) - 07 3409 1163
Hours: 7:30AM - 3:30PM Mon - Fri and 7:30AM - 1:00PM Sat
Takeaway: Yes
Payment: No cash - card only
We will be serving from the door (no people inside).

Russell Island Pharmacy - 07 3409 1366
Hours: 9:15AM - 4:45PM Mon - Thurs, 9:15AM - 4:30PM Friday
Hours: 9:15AM - 12:00PM Sat
Normal trading hours, normal trading conditions.

Russell Island Post Office - 07 3409 1910
Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00PM Mon - Fri, and 8:00AM - 11:30AM Sat
Trading as normal.

Russell Island Service Station - 07 3409 1269
Hours: 6.30AM - 5:00PM Mon - Fri and 7:00AM - 2:00PM Sat - Sun and PHols
Hours: Closed Good Friday and Xmas Day
Delivery: No
Operating as normal, except traffic through the doors is in one direction.

Russell Island Soapery - No telephone contact
Hours: 8:00AM - 4:00PM every day
Takeaway: Yes
To keep social distance, advise time of pickup and your bag of soaps with a complimentary sample will be waiting for you beside our mailbox. This is great value for $$ because our soap normally retail for $6+ each. Soaps are made in our soap room under strict sanitary conditions, work surfaces are sprayed with 100% alcohol, gloves, mask & hairnet worn during production. Message us for payment details and address. Stay safe, wash your hands!

Russell Island Taxi - 0408 785 555
We are operating business as usual.

Off-Island Businesses

Bay Island Transport - 07 3206 8603
Bay Island Transport continues to deliver daily


Hilton Travis
Humanist Chaplain

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Division 5 Councillor Candidate, Redland City Council, 2020

After having been asked by a number of people whether I'd consider running for the 2020 Local Government elections as a Candidate for Division 5, having a long, hard think about it and discussing it with my partner and a number of friends, I have decided that I will throw my hat in the ring.

The deciding factor was asking myself if I thought I would have a better opportunity to help my community more as a Councillor - and I can see a lot of opportunity to improve the lives of those not only living in Division 5, but also across the Redlands.

As an active community member who volunteers in a number of areas across the region, I get to speak with a wide range of people about their lived experiences and the disparity between this and the position government seems to have been taking.

I will continue to make myself available to meet with people and groups across the region to listen to your input and to keep your lived experiences front and centre when making decisions about current and future needs of our community.

So with that, I ask you to have a look at to read the "Story" page for a more comprehensive Announcement and I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you and to represent you in Council after the 2020 election.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The New Microsoft Partner Center (Le Sigh)

Microsoft's latest regurgitation of their Partner Portal is the Microsoft Partner Center.  This is a fair bit different to previous regurgitations as it now requires an Azure AD account to authenticate against.  For newer Partners this won't really be an issue as they will have a single Azure AD tenant that is where their MPN Azure Credits and also their IUR Office 365 rights are assigned.  Most likely.

But for those of us who have been around since before Azure/BPOS/Office 365 existed, that's likely a very different story.  :(

Way back in prehistoric times, many Microsoft Partners had a Live ID (later known as a Personal Account) that they signed into the Partner Portal with.  Then Microsoft came up with Azure and created a tenant based on that Live ID and failed to mention this to their Partner Channel.  So, for instance, if your original Live ID was then a new tenant named "fsmrocks" was created and it was here that the Azure Credits were assigned.

Since many of us longer-term Partners signed up for BPOS (what Office 365 was originally known as) before taking a serious look at Azure, many of us followed the procedure as we'd do for our clients - create a tenant (such as, set up a custom domain, assign the License Key here (in this case the IUR key) and away you go.  This then created an Azure AD tenant and the world was good.

Or so we thought...

Now there was an Azure AD tenant for your MPN and Azure credits (fsmrocks) and another ( that had all your real users and the custom domain you used regularly (  And unless you really needed to have Azure guests working with Azure AD COnnect back to your on-premises domain, that was also a non-issue.

Now Partner Center is introduced.  It needs to use an Azure AD account.  But which one?  Which tenant?

The more switched on members of the long-term MS Partner crowd here will see this will be an issue.  And another Partner issue is just what we don't need.  Yet another Partner issue...

So, here we go down the complicated, time consuming and unnecessarily frustrating rabid hole.  (Yes, I know - it really is rabid, though...)

You will need to "merge" the tenants.  If you don't have anything you're not willing to rebuild (or export and import) in Azure on the MPN account, then that's going to be a lot easier.  So you have a source tenant (MPN tenant - in this case fsmrocks) and a destination tenant (Partner Center tenant - in this case  We will need to migrate your older MPN account to the new Partner Center (relatively easy) and then create an Azure Support Ticket and have the MPN subscription moved to this new Partner Center tenant (unnecessarily frustrating and difficult).

So, either calling Microsoft Support (hhmmm...) or using their online support you will get the existing MPN account converted to a new Partner Center account.  The primary login for this Partner Account needs to be a user with Admin rights in the destination tenant, so we'll use as an example.  This account needs an email box assigned for the duration of this exercise, which can then be removed.  Once this has finished, you'll be able to log into both and also with this account, however the My.VisualStudio site won't have your MPN details assigned yet.

Now the fun really starts.

Signing into the source Azure Portal, see if you can go into Subscriptions and initiate a move of the MPN subscription to the destination tenant (
).  I'm betting it fails.  So kick off a support ticket and ask to have your MPN subscription moved to the new Partner Centre account.  This is where things really can go South.

Quite probably, you won't have a Partner Center account that Azure can see.  I don't know if the Azure team yet know the Partner Center is using Azure AD credentials.  I'm sure in a few years or so they will work it out.  Thre Azure team should contact you within 24 hours and will likely have no idea what you are trying to do, why, and how to fix it effectively.

So after prompting by the Azure Support call center contractor, from the source tenant email address (the old Live ID) you'll eventually need to send them a lot of information - the MPN Subscription ID you wish to move, the physical address of the old tenant, the last 4 digits of the CC used on the old tenant tenant, the email address of the administrator of the new tenant, some screenshots of you logged into the new Partner Center so they can see you can log in, some screenshots of the login with the destination tenant admin account showing there is no MPN stuff assigned yet, and maybe something else, depending on which call center contractor you get hold of.

Then from the email account of the Partner Center admin (in this case, you need to send the same details as you sent for the source tenant, but with destination tenant information (CC, email of the source tenant, MPN subscription ID, fully worked proof of Legendre's Conjecture, and possibly some other random information about your neighbors across the road).

Eventually, a few dozen emails and days later (hopefully a lot less for you since I have already detailed a lot of information above to help this procedure out) it should be sorted.

If you need to know where to send a bottle of bourbon, contact me for the details.  :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, July 09, 2018

CIAOPS Microsoft Cloud Course

As an IT provider to SMB clients, do you look up and see this wibbly wobbly cloudy woudy thing and wonder what it actually is?  Do you look at Microsoft Office 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Business and wonder what the difference is, except one includes Windows 10 which your clients already own?  Are you looking at the Google offerings and wondering what Microsoft could possibly do better?

Or maybe you are rather hoopy and wish to become quite a frood regarding Microsoft's Cloud offerings?

Well, either way, Robert Crane (yes, THAT Robert Crane) from CIAOPS (no, not the real CIA, they already know all about you) who is a really hoopy frood can help you learn more about what Microsoft has to offer the SMBs using their Cloud services.

So, if you're in or around Sydney on 19th July and are wondering which cafe to sip latte at for the day, how about heading over to Cliftons on Margaret Street instead for a great day of learning?  If you want more information on this course, have a read of this page, and if you really love the idea of Robert being able to eat from his efforts and receive a lot more information from him regularly (not necessarily just about what he eats), then have a look here.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Microgreens Experiment

As part of my "lose it to gain it" plan I'm working on, I need to eat more vegetables (not that I don't eat a lot anyway - I'd gladly become a vegetarian if meat wasn't so god-damned tasty) and more importantly, more vegetables that offer a high nutritional content.  So, microgreens!

What are microgreens?  Sprouts.  Basically.  Well, kinda.  Microgreens includes the salad greens and leafy vegetables as well as herbs and edible flowers.  And sprouts.  Microgreens includes a variety of edible, yet immature greens harvested up to a month after planting.  You eat not only the first proper set of leaves, but also the stems and even the seed leaves (cotyledons).

So, basically, I want to grow these in a quantity and format that there is enough to eat every day in various forms.

Day 1
So, to do this I went to a garden shop (in this case, just to Bunnings as they were open at 5:45pm one evening) and bought some seeds (shown below) as well as some 5L plastic containers.  I then decided to use the 5L containers to store stuff in - such as the unused seeds and potting mix - and use takeaway food containers (of which I have a half dozen or so - Fred's chicken necks come in these) instead.

As I had some left over potting mix downstairs, I wet that with water from the fish tank, put about 2cm in the bottom of each food container then sprinkled the seeds I wanted on top of this potting mix.  Some places suggest soaking the seeds overnight - I didn't do this but if there is a less than stellar result from this first attempt, may try that.

I then covered the seeds with a thin layer of dry potting mix and put the covers on the container to keep the moisture in.

I then placed the containers on the verandah where they get a reasonable amount of afternoon sun (except on a day like today when it is heavily overcast and rainy).  You can also see the sweet basil and coriander (cilantro) growing in pots - Pete and Linda kindly donated these to my collection. :)  For those people who hate coriander, you're wrong! :)

I will spray these containers each day with a spray bottle filled with pre-pooed-in fish tank water (fish poo, not Outspoken Wookie poo - that would be gross).  In a few days I should see the seeds starting to germinate and then a week or two after that I should have a decent crop.  We'll see...  I'll then work out how long they take to grow and what sort of harvest I get and work out how many more containers I will need in a rotation and how often I will need to set a rotation off.  :)

Update: Day 6

I've left the containers inside until around lunch time today.  They seeds have germinated quite nicely and I'll now leave the lids off and leave them all on the verandah during the day and bring them into the kitchen at night so they can receive early morning sun.  Looking good so far! :)  The basil and coriander are also coming along nicely.

Update: Day 7

I thought I'd take a closer photo this time - they seem to be doing well - the "D" container did have fewer seeds in it to begin with and the result shows that. They are all looking quite decent and I'll leave them another few days and see how they look before I start sampling them. :)

Update: Day 10

OK, so I think I could call this a success.  The "D" packet (Kale, Cabbage Red and Pea Morgan) may need a little more loving, else I will drop it and try something else later.  Maybe I didn't sprinkle enough seeds?  Aside from that, the rest look good - especially the "B" packet - the Hot & Spicy Mix of Radish, Radish Red Arrow, Kale Red Russian and Broccoli.  Now, how did this experiment know that this is the one of the four I was most interested in?  :)  I'd like the Alfalfa to be a little heavier next time, too.    But all up, I'll call this a successful first attempt with a little tweaking needed to get it to a regular production level for myself. :)

I will add another update or two here and then see how long it takes me to eat through this lot.  I'll start another batch probably on Monday next week (it is Friday now).  This will let me see how many sets I need to have in a rotation to keep this all at a satisfactory level.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Bootable Windows Server 2016 UEFI ISO

This is an update of my post.

Back in the Windows F^HVista/7 and Server 2008/2008R2 days, it was possible to install an operating system instance without needing to input a key during the installation process.  You could use various methods to make a bootable OS Install USB key then simply remove the \sources\ei.cfg file and you'd be able to choose between all the versions of the OS inside the boot.wim file - this was very handy!

Microsoft has made a change since Windows Server 2012/Windows 8 whereby they don't allow you to install Windows without the use of a Product Key.  There is no ei.cfg file in the \sources folder and you are forced to input a Product Key during installation.

Well, there's a simple way to work around this to not only create a bootable USB Key that doesn't need a Product Key during install (and lets you choose among the multiple OS variants in the boot.wim file), but also to re-create a bootable ISO image so that you can then mount this as an installation media source in Hyper-V!

The steps to achieve these goals are:
  • First, you'll need to download a Windows Server 2012, 2012R2 or 2016 ISO image or use the VL ISO image you already have there.  Then you'll need to either extract this image to a folder, or better still, just run the (portable) Rufus application to make yourself a bootable USB key that allows for quite quick OS installs.
  • Now, you'll need to copy the following into a new plain text file called ei.cfg in the \sources folder of the USB key:
  • If you only need the bootable USB key, you can stop here, however if you now wish to recreate the ISO image file so that you can then use this modified image in a Hyper-V environment...
  • Download and install the latest Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) (the latest at time of writing this post was for Windows 10 Build 1607).  The installer itself is around 1.7MB and the only component you need to install for this process is Deployment Tools, which is around 68MB
  • Now, to create an ISO image that will work with BIOS-based systems, assuming the USB Key we just made is available at U: and you're creating the ISO image on D:
    • Run the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment (Command Prompt) as Administrator, change to the "amd64\oscdimg" folder and then type the following:
    • oscdimg.exe –l<disc_label> -m -u2 –b<path_of_bootable_img_file> <path_of_installation_source> <path_where_ISO_is_to_be_created>
    • Please see this link for an explanation of the oscdimg.exe command-line options
    • Example:
      oscdimg.exe -lSVR2016BIOS -m -u2 -b"U:\boot\" "U:\" "D:\Svr2016BIOS.iso"
  • If you wish to create an ISO image that will work on both BIOS-based and UEFI-based systems such as a Hyper-V 2012 R2 and 2016 Gen 2 guest instance, assuming the USB Key we just made is available at U: and you're creating the ISO image on D: (this uses a modified version of the instructions found here):
    • Run the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment (Command Prompt) as Administrator, change to the "amd64\oscdimg" folder and then type the following:
    • oscdimg -l2016UEFI -m -o -u2 -udfver102 -bootdata:2#p0,e,b"U:\boot\"#pEF,e,b"U:\efi\microsoft\boot\efisys.bin" "U:\" "D:\2016-ei-UEFI.iso"
    • Please see the original post (here) for more information on the command-line options used.
  • Now, you can burn this ISO image to a DVD or simply use it as the source for a Hyper-V guest and because it contains both the BIOS and UEFI boot data, it can be used to install either a Gen 1 (BIOS) or Gen 2 (UEFI) Hyper-V Guest. :)



The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Network Stack Reset - Access Denied

A number of times I have seen network stack corruption on a Windows desktop and when trying to reset the stack, an "access denied" error message is given and the stack reset fails.

Here's how to fix this.

  1. Run RegEdit and provide approval/authentication at the UAC prompt.
  2. Navigate to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NSI\{eb004a00-9b1a-11d4-9123-0050047759bc}\26
  3. Right click on the "26" key and choose "Permissions"
  4. Click on "Everyone" and then "Full Control" under "Allow", Apply, OK and exit from RegEdit
  5. In an elevated command prompt, type "netsh int ip reset"
  6. Check that all steps reset successfully
  7. Reboot and all will be good with the world(1)

(1) Well, with this teensy little part of it at least...


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, April 22, 2016

Microsoft Action Pack Subscription Promo Codes

Does anyone need to renew their MAPS (Microsoft Action Pack Subscription)? If so, when you go to pay, use the Promo Code "WELCOME2ACTIONPACK" for a 50% discount and then once you have entered this one, enter "GROWYOURBIZWITHMAPS" for a further 50% discount - that brought it from $490 ex tax down to $134.20 inc tax! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Mar 2016 Update to .NET Redistributables

I have just updated my post with links to the latest redistributables for dotNET 4.6 and 4.6.1.  :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Accessing O365 Shared Mailboxes With Android

Microsoft's official position is that you cannot access Shared Mailboxes in an Office 365 tenancy from an Android device.  Here's how to do it by configuring a new IMAP account with the following settings:

Incoming Settings
1. Email Address =
2. Username =\SharedMailbox
3. Password = Password
4. IMAP Server =
5. Security Type = SSL
6. Port = 993
7. IMAP path prefix = Optional

Outgoing Settings
1. SMTP Server =
2. Security Type = TLS
3. Port = 587
4. Require Sign In = Yes
5. Username =
6. Password = Password

You should be able to have this work also on iOS and Android (and maybe even Mac OSX) devices by setting an account up in a similar fashion.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Windows 7 Reaches Its First EOL Step

Windows 7, the operating system that Microsoft simply can't kill off, has reached the first major step in its End Of Life cycle - the end of mainstream support was yesterday (13 Jan, 2015).  As can be seen on Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle page for Windows 7, this date has now been reached and we're now in the Extended Support phase.  This is just like when Voyager 1 passed out of our Solar System in August 2012 and into interstellar space.

What this means is that the product will now only receive security updates - no non-security updates will be made available for Windows 7 based products (unless you have a Premier Support Agreement for Windows 7 Enterprise, which I can guarantee no small business has).  This is not a nail in the coffin of Windows 7, but it does mean that the product is entering its final years of functionality.  Paid support is still available for Windows 7 on a per-incident basis.

On the 14th of January, 2020 we'll have another milestone - the last day of extended (security update) support.  That will be the last nail in the coffin of Windows 7 - this is what happened to Windows XP back on 8th April, 2014.

So, right now there's nothing to worry about if you're still running Windows 7 on your computers - currently computer manufacturers are still allowed to supply computers with Windows 7 pre-installed if the manufacturer still has old stock of Windows 7 licenses.  But with Windows 8 and also Windows 8.1 already out and Windows 10 on the horizon, it may be time to think about the steps needed to move up to the current/next version of Windows.


The Outspoken Wookie

Outright theft and plagiarism

It was brought to my attention yesterday that the author (sic) Pomiraja from the site was plagiarising my blog posts.  I'd like to thank the anonymous person who brought this to my attention.

AskMeBoy have so far, through Pomiraja's plagiarism, republished 26 of my blog posts (as of right now) as Pomiraja's own work without giving any credit to me.  To see exactly how stupid this plagiarist is, they have even left my signature on all of the posts they have stolen!

If you would like to see a list of the plagiarised posts, have a look at or the screen captures I took below - as I said, there are 26 at this point in time.  I don't know if this will encourage the owners of the website to axe Pomiraja for this plagiarism, axe the stolen and mis-credited posts, or have the site publish a written apology.  Their contact page is broken so I could not contact them directly about this, forcing me to make this public complaint about their plagiarism.


The Outspoken Wookie

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Does A 6Gbps SATA Interface Actually Matter

As we've been told all our lives, bigger is better.  But as we also know, what we've always been told isn't necessarily right any more (and often wasn't ever right).  So, with that in mind, I present the 6Gbps SATA Interface!

First, for those who get confused by the nomenclature and numbering used in computing, a Byte (B) is a collection of 8 bits (b), a Kilobyte (KB) is 1,000 Bytes, a Megabyte (MB) is 1,000,000 Bytes (or 1,000 KB) and a Gigabyte (GB) is 1,000,000,000 Bytes (or 1,000 MB or 1 million KB).(1)

So, with that information at hand, we can do a few calculations to see what 6Gbps really means.  An added complication is the way that the data is encoded across the SATA interface using something called 8b/10b Encoding (and here's a link for the nerdy types) which results in a slight loss in data throughput across the SATA.  The end result of this data encoding means that a SATA 1.5Gbps (187.50MB/s) interface will deliver a total of 1.2Gbps (150MBps) of data.

SATA RevisionInterface Speed GbpsInterface Speed MBpsData Throughput GbpsData Throughput MBps
1.0  1.5Gbps  187.5MBps  1.2Gbps  150MBps
2.0  3.0Gbps  375.0MBps  2.4 Gbps  300MBps
3.0  6.0Gbps  750.0MBps  4.8Gbps  600MBps
3.1  6.0Gbps  750.0MBps  4.8Gbps  600MBps

Right, now that we know the actual maximum data throughput of a bunch of different SATA standards, what we need to do is to look for drives that we can attach to these SATA interfaces and see how fast they can go compares to the data throughput speed of the SATA interfaces.

Drive ManufDrive ModelDrive CapacityMax/Sustained Read MBps
SeagateDesktop SSHD ST4000DX001   4TB 146MBps (from all zones)
SeagateDesktop SSHD ST4000DX001   4TB 190MBps (from NAND)
SeagateDesktop NAS HDD ST4000VN000   4TB 180MBps
SeagateLaptop SSHD ST1000LM014   1TB 100MBps
SamsungSSD Pro 840 MZ-7PD512  500GB 540/520MBps (Read/Write)
SamsungSSD 840 Evo MZ-7TE1T0  1TB 540/520MBps (Read/Write)
SamsungXP941 Gen 2 X4 M.2 SSD  512GB1170/950MBps (Read/Write)
PlextorM6E Gen 2 X2 M.2 SSD  512GB 705/638MBps (Read/Write)

As you can quite clearly see, all of the regular Hard Drives (and even the Hybrid SSD/HDDs) are pretty much around the same maximum or sustained transfer rate of somewhere under 200Mbps, which means that plugging one into anything faster than a SATA 3.0Gbps controller will give no performance improvement whatsoever.

This changes when we start to look at SSDs.  The regular Samsung SSDs will deliver up to 540MBps of read performance which is well in excess of the throughput of a 3.0Gbps SATA interface - to get the full performance from any modern SSD you will need to have a SATA 3.0 (6.0Gbps) to connect it to.  This goes for many current SSDs that all deliver up to around 550MBps from Samsung, Intel, Crucial, Transcend and others.

Things, however, start to really get interesting when we look at the newer M.2 (SATA Rev 3.2) devices.  These can deliver data across an older SATA 3.0 interface, or a PCIEx2 or PCIEx4 interface, depending on the configuration of the drive (and socket).  Currently, the Asrock Z97 Extreme6 is the only motherboard to support the X4 transfer rates, however more boards are sure to hit the market soon.  The Plextor M6E drive delivers just under 50% faster transfers using its PCIEx2 interface than can be achieved using the SATA specification, and impressively the Samsung XP941 512GB M.2 drive on an Asrock Z97 Extreme6 delivers over 1GBps in read performance!

So, basically, if you have any form of spinning metal disk, be it a hybrid or not, there's no need to upgrade to a 6Gbps SATA controller, though if you have one on your motherboard, it won't hurt to use it.  If, however, you have one of the current fast crop of SSD drives, then you will need to connect this to a 6Gbps SATA port to realise the full speed of the device.

If speed is your bag, baby, then a 6Gbps SATA port is not enough and you'll need to look at the newer M.2 X4 devices on a controller that will allow it to run at full speed and right now, the only onboard controller that will handle this is on the Asrock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard.  Plug in adapters that will support this spec include the BPlus M2P4S and the PEX16X-LTSSD-ADP adapter.  There may be others out there and Google may well help locate them! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


There have been a number of vulnerabilities detected in various security protocols over the past year or two including BEAST Attack, Heartbleed Bug and POODLE Attack.  At least 2/3 of these have names that give some indication of their severity and the remaining 1/3 leaves you with a rather interesting visual image.  But be ye not distracted by the names - they are all things that need to be addressed in various ways.

Information about the Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS (BEAST) Attack was released in September 2011 and involved attacking the lack of security in particular implementations of TLS 1.0 traffic.  This vulnerability has been pretty much mitigated today (Dec, 2014), however there are still some older, non-updated systems out there that are vulnerable to this attack.  The table below lists the earliest version of the products that have mitigated the BEAST Attack (and yes, Apple took an inordinately long time to patch for this vulnerability):

Apple iOSiOS 7.0
Apple OS-XOS-X 10.9 (Mavericks)
Google ChromeVersion 16
Microsoft WindowsMS12-006 on Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 and older
Mozilla FirefoxVersion 10

Following on from the BEAST Attack were the CRIME and BREACH attacks which, too, have been mitigated in current browsers and are a low-grade threat at worst these days.

The Heartbleed bug, publicly announced in April, 2014, affected anything running OpenSSL.  The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.  Yup, it is pretty nasty but this, too, is pretty much completely mitigated by the various vendors using this code.

For an easy to understand explanation of the Heartbleed bug, have a read of this XKCD comic.  To see if your website is affected by the Heartbleed bug, have a look at (Heartbleed bug only) and (Heartbleed and more).  Any site that you go to that uses the "https" protocol can be checked to ensure it is running a version of OpenSSL that is not vulnerable to this attack.  If the site *still* has not been updated, I'd suggest speaking with the vendor, outing them in social media and removing your account and changing any passwords and/or information that was stored in that site.

And now we come to what at first glance may be the fluffiest of all these vulnerabilities - the POODLE Attack.  Basically, there's the ability in browsers to request a lower level of security from the server if the browser doesn't support the version the server prefers.  This is called a security renegotation.  The POODLE Attack uses a recently discovered flaw in the now obsoleted and in the process of fast becoming deprecated SSL 3.0 protocol mixed with a renegotiation attack (forcing the server to drop from TLS 1.x to SSL 3.0).  The simple fix is to disable SSL 3.0 on all your web servers, however there are still some applications that use SSL 3.0 (again, speak with the vendor, expose in social media and seriously question your continued trusting of a vendor using 18 year old technology that's been superseded 3 times).

To read more on the POODLE Attack and how to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect against it, have a read of and then go to and to confirm your server mitigations have been invoked.  There's also a funky little tool from Nartac Software called IISCrypto that can help you properly configure your Windows IIS to mitigate against POODLE and other vulnerabilities.

The table below lists the earliest version of the products that have mitigated the POODLE Attack:

Apple iOSiOS 8.1
Apple OS-XOS-X Security Update 2014-005 (Mavericks & Mountain Lion)
Google AndroidChrome - still waiting
Google AndroidSamsung Browser - still waiting
Google ChromeVersion 39
Microsoft WindowsTemporary Fix it released, also shows Group Policy fix
Mozilla FirefoxVersion 34

If you want to see if your client (browser) is susceptible to the POODLE Attack, go to  If your browser is vulnerable, don't trust it to keep your data secure.


The Outspoken Wookie