better

Blackbutt Reserve


Since I was unable to visit Gap Creek Falls the other day, I decided I might pop in to have a look at the new animal enclosures at Blackbutt Reserve near Newcastle. I will say straight off the bat that I do have something of a prejudice against Blackbutt Reserve, as I see the place as nothing like a natural bush setting, it being far too ‘corrupted’ by human activity, weeds and the like. Having said that it is a good place for a family or group outing/event. It certainly has its place, but it is not a true nature reserve (in my opinion).

Visitor Centre

ABOVE: Visitor Centre

I do think that some well designed animal and bird enclosures at Blackbutt could lift the value of the reserve dramatically and make it a really great place for families, especially young families. There are opportunities for educational visits for kids, possible environmental activities and the like there. So the potential is certainly there for Blackbutt.

The enclosures of my youth are giving way to those that are much better and up to a more modern standard, which is great to see. Certainly the improvements I saw are great and some of them are outstanding. The Quoll enclosure, with nocturnal habitat viewing was brilliant. Some of the other enclosures are getting there also, though I was disappointed with the size of some of the aviaries and poor vegetation choices they appeared to have. They didn’t look to great for the birds, which I think is not a good look. Still, they are a major improvement on what had been there before.

Some of the other enclosures for snakes and amphibians were really good also I have to say and overall the place is going ahead and improving all of the time. So I think it has a place into the future, if it can continue to improve along the way. Just some thoughts…

Modern Enclosures Koala

ABOVE LEFT: Modern Enclosures  ABOVE RIGHT: Koala BELOW: Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Online Video Rotator


From time to time when taking a video you sometimes find it better to shoot the video ‘on its side.’ Of course when this is done the video is only able to be viewed side ways. If only the video could be turned and viewed the correct way up. Online Video Rotator does this job for you, though it is limited to 3MB only. Does anyone know of a place for converting larger files – that would be very useful? Still, having an online tool that does the job even for small files is a great help.

For more, visit:
http://www.rotatevideo.org/

 

Evernote: Changes to Premium Accounts Make Evernote Even Better


I use Evernote and have a premium account to which I save all manner of files and notes that otherwise would clutter my life. I use Evernote as an archive to which I can turn should I ever need something that I have stored digitally there. It is a great service which I will be using more and more as time goes by. This is why I am very impressed with the latest improvements to the Evernote service and why I have decided to post on Evernote for my post today.

Evernote now has a ‘history’ feature, allowing premium users to view a file over time as it develops. A past version of a note can be downloaded just as easily as the current version of the note. These historical views of files are not added to the monthly upload limit that premium users have for their accounts.

Another upgrade to the premium service is that individual note sizes have now been doubled from 25 Mb to 50 Mb, which certainly allows for much larger notes to be saved and uploaded. The current monthly limit of 500 Mb of file uploads a month may soon be increased also.

It is great to be a premium account holder at Evernote.

http://www.evernote.com/

Adobe Buzzword


The era of installed software appears to be coming to an end, with online or web based applications becoming more the norm these days. I will find it hard to go past Microsoft Word and Office, however, online office-like applications are getting better and better.

Adobe Buzzword is an online word processor that is free to use. Not only can the application be used by an individual, but documents can also be accessed and worked on by others you choose to share it with as well. You can also access your document on any Internet connected computer.

For more on Adobe Buzzword visit:

http://www.adobe.com/acom/buzzword/

While on the Adobe website, check out the other web applications available, including Presentations and Tables.

Great Free Web Host


For today’s ‘daily,’ I have a link to a great site that offers free web hosting with no advertising. It also gives you 5000MB of space and 50 000MB of free bandwidth a month. But it gets better still, as you can also have as many accounts as you like.

So if you have always wanted to have a go at building a web site, what a great opportunity to do so. If you want to have a look at a free site, I have set one up as a ‘portal’ for my online presence on the World Wide Web. View my site at:

http://kevinmatthews.zxq.net

Visit the free web hosting site at:

http://www.zymic.com/free-web-hosting/ 

The Beaches of Newcastle


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It has often been said that Newcastle has some of the world’s best beaches. I wouldn’t know about that – I haven’t visited all of them.

What I do know is that having travelled around a lot of Australia, Newcastle is certainly up there with the best that Australia has to offer.

It is hard, in my view, to define just what makes the best beach. I imagine that someone who surfs would have certain criteria that differs from someone like me, who likes the natural beauty of a place more than anything else when it comes to liking a beach.

I think the beaches around the West Australia town of Esperance are simply stunning and I currently rate these as the best beaches in Australia that I have seen. There may well be better beaches, but in my opinion, those of Esperance are better than Newcastle’s beaches. But that opinion includes criteria such as seclusion, natural beauty, etc. For recreational use, access, etc, Newcastle has some brilliant beaches that the locals adore. They are certainly good for a walk along when it isn’t too hot and they aren’t too crowded.