The Deck

Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything! Keeping the blog up to date is obviously not one of my priorities at the moment. Still, I think posting every once in a while is a good activity in and of itself. Without further adieu, here is the deck.

Just a bit of background for context. I was made redundant around August 2017 – perfect opportunity I thought, to spend some time with Dad. After flying him over from New Zealand in October we went straight to work on the deck, a project I had been putting off because of lack of free time. Four months on and after one very stressful visit from the council, the deck is done.

A word of warning – If you live in Victoria and are planning to build a deck, you need a permit. No exceptions. If you have called your local council and they have said it’s fine – you most likely spoke to someone in the wrong department.


Day Oneish:

You’d be surprised at how much work digging can be.

Day Twoish:

Digging was going to take a while. As the ground was on an angle, I had to clear a lot of dirt away from the side of the house:

Once enough dirt had been cleared, I started to dig some of the post holes by hand. Each hole was taking around 3 hours – the ground had some very dry/hard layers making progress very slow. Time to get the machines in.

There were something like 24 holes to dig. We started with concreting the wall poles first, then the stumps for the deck.

With the stumps done it was time for the bearers:

After letting it set, we put the joists on:

After another 3 days and 3000 screws, we had the decking laid:

It was around this time when we got a visit from the local council. The gentleman politely asked if we had a building permit – which we did not. We were informed that an order to destroy the deck would be issued, and we would have up to a month to show evidence (In the form of a building certificate) that the construction was in-line with all the building regulations and local laws. All work on the deck stopped at this point while we worked out how best to deal with the situation. Long story short, two months and $2000, along with lots of back and forth with a local building company, the council and the estate management resulted in a certificate of compliance being issued, which the council thankfully accepted. The unexpected cost meant we had to leave the feature wall unfinished.

There were a few more bits left to complete:

After letting the deck leak out the tannin, it was time for the oil:

Now we just need to get that feature wall done….


Deck Details:

  • Decking – 90mm Merbau
  • Screws – Star Drive, Coloured
  • Joists / Bearers – Treated Pine
  • Posts – Cyprus Pine
  • Deck Size – 9.7m x 3.7m

SP112 Laser Printer Parts / Disassembly / Break-down

I found a cheap Ricoh Mono Laser Printer – SP112, (Thanks OzBargain! and wanted to see if I could source some cheap stepper motors. Long story short – there are no stepper motors in this printer. There are however many parts that could be useful. See below for photos. Let me know if you know what they are / are for.

Not Sure

Laser Sensor?

Laser Sensor?

Laser Sensor?





Power Supply

Power Supply

Not Sure / Sensor?


Not Sure

Heating Element

The one Motor

More Gears

Power Cable Socket

Top Buttons / Status Lights

More Gears


SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM Fix / Repair / Workaround

Just like many other Pentax-DA* 50-135mm users out there, I have the SDM issue where the lens will no longer auto focus. While possible to repair yourself (not recommended) I have found a simple work-around that seems to get the lens working. If you listen carefully (ear to the lens body) when you depress the shutter you will hear a high-pitch sound. If you keep pressing the shutter (triggering the auto focus), you may notice the pitch getting higher and higher. I have found after about 15 times, the lens will start to auto focus again. Depending on how much you then use the lens your mileage will vary.

Need to work out the IP address and MAC addresses of your Hyper-V VMs in SCVMM?

If you have been trying to get information out of VMM using the ‘traditional’ Get-VM commandlet you may have noticed it throws an error similar to this:

get-vm : The cmdlet cannot find a specified class. Verify that the relevant feature is enabled on the operating system.

Now this threw me off as being an incorrect command. What I found is that you need to specify the VMM server name.

If you just want a list of all the VMs, you can run the following:

get-vm -VMMServer your.vmmserver.domain

I also noticed that if you run get-vm by itself in the PowerShell (don’t forget to run Import-Module -Name “virtualmachinemanager”) it does not need the -VMMServer to be specified.

Anyhoo – once you have the command to spit out all the VMs in your environment, its a simple pipe to select the information you need:

get-vm -VMMServer your.vmmserver.domain | Get-VirtualNetworkAdapter | select name,ipv4address,MACAddress | Format-Table

Your output should look something like this:

VMMVMsIPSimple as that!

Change Default Windows Audio Device via Command Line

I just had to share this!

I use 3 different audio devices (Speakers, Stereo Headset and a 7.1 Headset) for various different applications. While Windows is now relatively smart about how it sets the default device when detected, it still requires removing / adding the device.

I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if I could just create a script that I could execute before running certain applications that would allow me to set the audio device automatically. Most search results provided links to third party macro / hotkey applications which was not what I was looking for. Looking deeper I came across a gem of an application, AudioEndPointController by Dan Stevens.

This application lets you list the audio output devices attached to the computer and can also set the default output. Using shortcuts to call the executable, I can parse the audio device number of my choosing, and the default device flips, simple as that. Chrome plays well and any audio playing (Youtube etc) will immediately switch over. Firefox (for me) requires a restart.

I Googled for images of my headphones / speakers and converted them to .ico files so I could have graphical shortcuts on the start bar. I used to convert them online. Works great!

Compulsory – yet tiny image:


Hyper-V Getting MAC Address using VM Name

As part of my automated provisioning (yes – System Center and Sysprep will probably be a better option, but hey whatever) script, I need to be able to automatically assign an IP address to a VM. At this point, the only way I can see this being a possibility is to mount the VHD before booting then copying a script that will set the correct IP address to an autostart location.

The ‘script’ is broken down into two parts. The first needs to run on the node, and create the second script inside the VHD. The second script then needs to identify what network adapter/s are present and assign the correct IP address to each.

The first challenge is finding out how to have the second script identify the correct adapter. I initially though about testing connectivity after the IP address was set, and upon a failure, revert the changes and try the next adapter present. Rather than doing this, I found you can get the MAC address for a VM from the Hyper-V node, and filter based on which Virtual Switch the interface is attached to:

The following example will get the MAC address for a VM based on the VM name, and the network it is attached to:

Get-VM -Name NAME | Get-VMNetworkAdapter | Where SwitchName -eq "SWITCHNAME" | Select MacAddress

This returns a MAC address.

I believe I can then use this MAC address in the second part of the script to pull the network adapter name.

Something along the lines of this:

Get-NetAdapter | Where-Object {$_.MacAddress -eq "MACADD"} | Format-List -Property InterfaceDescription

Once I have the correct adapter name, I can use this in an IP address setting script to set the correct IP / gateway etc essentially automating the networking side of provisioning.

At this point there are a few things I have yet to confirm that might make the above attempt futile. First, I do not know if I can run a powershell script on startup – I know there are issues with signed code etc, and this might mean a freshly provisioned system will not allow unsigned code to run – especially if it needs administrator permissions. Second – I don’t know how this will work with a sysprepped image. It is possible (probable?) that with a sysprep image, the network configuration information could be copied to the sysprep config eliminating the need for an autorun script.

You can see an example of a powershell script to assign IP addresses here:

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