Monthly Archives: February 2008

Smile Plus, Just Like A Day Spa Only Different

On the way to work in the morning, I listen to Hot Tomato with Luke, Rob & Renae. Like any good radio network, they have advertising blips that they play periodically and one that has come up lately makes me laugh every time I hear it.

The advertisement is for a Gold Coast dentist named Smileplus (Smile+) and this particular dentist offers, among other things, cosmetic dentistry. The thing in this advert that catches my attention each and every time, is the fact that they inform the user that going to their dentistry is like no other. I’m probably reproducing the wording with inaccuracies, but you’ll get the point of it:

Coming to Smile Plus is more like going to a day spa than a dentist, you’ll receive a lavender eye mask, hand massage and music from an iPod.

Without me telling you, I bet you can guess which part of that snippet makes me chuckle. While I’m certainly no veteran of day spas and the like, I’m fairly sure that the last time I visited one I wasn’t listening to music on a personal music device that most 12 year old kids have.

I always think of day spas as being a little fancy pants and exclusive, so hearing this Gold Coast dentist associate themselves with an iPod makes me chuckle.

Straying The Path Of Righteousness

It has finally happened, I didn’t think it would – I have been faithful for such a long time but it felt so right.

A week or two ago while at the gym, I was reminded ever so gently that my shoes needed replacing again. I’ve been using Asics sport shoes for a very long time, if I were to take a guess I would say since about 1995. During that time, I’ve been through a pair about once per year or just over. In most cases, the reason for upgrading was that the fabric in the heal of the shoes was wearing through, which is to be expected with a lot of use. I don’t recall ever wearing a sole out or having a blow out, even though the lateral movement from tennis isn’t what an average running shoe is designed to cater for. Despite literally daily use and a solid serving of abuse, they kept on keeping on.

I ventured into an Athletes Foot and stood in my socks on the pressure device and was quite shocked to see that I have even distribution of weight down both legs; apparently not normal at all. My arch is pretty standard, not too low and not super high which gives me a good selection of shoes to choose from. The bloke brought out a pair of Asics, New Balance and Brooks.

I tried them all on, the Asics were very familiar of course and felt really good. The New Balance were a little too narrow and I seemed to get quite a lot of roll in when I stepped, not enough support in the right spot for my size/weight I suppose. At this point, the Asics felt soo much better than the New Balance that I figured I’d end up with yet another pair of Asics; that was completely shot down after stepping into the latest release Brooks running shoe. To my complete surprise, the Brooks shoe was more comfortable in the sole and the width and length of the shoe was even better than the Asics but the clincher for me was the stability it provided when I walked in them – they virtually removed any roll in which I have (not a lot) but that small improvement makes my foot feel so much more stable in the shoe.

In the last two or three weeks since having the new Brooks running shoes, I’ve been giving them a bit of a workout at the gym. I can now quite comfortably jog for 20 minutes without feeling any soreness in my shins and I’m increasing that each week. I would love to keep the jogging up at the gym over the next couple of months and compete (read:finish without being near death) the 10km run for the Gold Coast Marathon in July this year.

In the meantime though, I’m enjoying straying the path of righteousness!

Making HP Laserjet Printers Work In Windows Vista

I’ve been fighting against Windows Vista to get my HP Laserjet 1010 working for about a month now and finally have a working solution. You’re mileage might vary:

  1. Go to and find the driver for your printer. If a direct match isn’t available, see if there is one for the updated version of your printer (in my case, a Laserjet 1012 or a Laserjet 1015). If none of those are available, there are numerous forums that suggest using the Windows XP driver will work as expected, see how you go.
  2. Decompress the drivers you’ve downloaded to a known location on your computer.
  3. Go into Control Panel, Printers and select the Add Printer option.
  4. When the prompt comes up to select the port to connect your printer to, instinctively you would have chosen USB. Don’t ask me why, but even though the printer is connected via a USB connection, you’ll need to select the DOT4 option. I had been choosing the USB option with no success, so if you’re having trouble with your existing driver it might be worth switching it just to see if it fixes your printer problem.
  5. When you get to the vendor/printer screen, select the Have Disk option and navigate to where you decompressed the files to in point 2.
  6. Follow the rest of the wizard though.

I’m currently using the HP provided Laserjet 1012 drivers against my Laserjet 1010. After my new found knowledge of selecting the DOT4 port option, I now suspect that the Microsoft provided driver for the HP Laserjet 1010 would have worked as well.

WordPress Upgrade

Just before the end of last year, the team behind WordPress released an update, which was marked as an urgent upgrade for all users. For whatever reason, it’d been quite a long time since I’d updated last – that I’d let this upgrade pass by as well. Not quite sure what made me actually do the upgrade last night but it was such a painless exercise, I’m going to make a point of upgrading in step with the releases of WordPress from now on.

To give you an idea of what is involved in upgrading a copy of WordPress:

  1. Backup my current installation of WordPress
    1. First I downloaded my out dated copy of WordPress, which took about two minutes.
    2. Second I took a backup of the database as well, this took approximately ten minutes as I included everything in the database.
  2. Download the latest and greatest copy of WordPress, takes approximately a minute.
  3. Extract the freshly downloaded WordPress.
  4. Disable any plugins that are running, in case they aren’t compatible with the new version of WordPress.
  5. Set the theme back to the default, in case the current theme had any dependencies on any of the plugins which were active.
  6. Upload the new WordPress files onto the server, takes about two minutes.
  7. Load the web site upgrade file, which upgrades the database schema to the latest version.
  8. Re-enable plugins one by one, making sure they function correctly as you go.
  9. Restore your preferred theme.

After all of the fluffing about, it took about 20 minutes in total and most of that could have been avoided if I chose to only backup selected bits of the database (thus reducing the download size).

As a by product of the upgrade, I have a little house keeping to do around the site. I noticed that one of my WordPress plugins isn’t functioning correctly, since the category management has been completely overhauled since the version I was running. WordPress now supports tagging, which are essentially micro-categories; so it’ll be a bit of an exercise to go back through the last few years of posts and tag them appropriately but it’ll make finding information much easier for users.