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Bob Bain

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Saturday [Oct. 6th, 2007|11:10 am]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |stressedstressed]

A quick update on my lost $50 note. I went into the Penrith branch of Westpac at Penrith and told the receptionist that I had a number and that with this number I had been promised that I could obtain a $50 refund. This is a "posh" branch of Westpac complete with customer service and I was directed to Michael. I explained about the number to Michael and he nodded noting that he was new so had a couple of people assisting him as he negotiated his way through the press this button, select this item etc.. He asked for my ID (driver's license) and he noted my address and told how before joining Westpac he used to sell real estate and had sold a few units in my particular townhouse complex. He explained that the number I had received was possibly classified as "Red Carpet" treatment - meaning that it was a small amount involved and that is was Westpac policy to keep the customer happy... (?). (I hadn't realised this).

I clutched my number but he didn't seem to need it navigating about 12 menus and pull down boxes and then he came to a section where he had to ring some authentication agency. After some debate about the authentication number that he required from them they noted "it's the number the customer is holding in his hand". So Michael entered the number and filled in a deposit slip for $50 and it was refunded to my account overnight.

I have come to the conclusion that my Vista Multi-Media machine (Vista Home Premium) isn't that great at multimedia. It appears that with Windows Vista Operating System it's necessary to have really great hardware and while it runs multimedia stuff it isn't that efficient. I note that for Business Customers Microsoft are offering downgrades to Windows XP and have extended the date at which Windows XP can be sold by six months. I have Vista Business and it runs on one machine. It came installed on the machine. With a similar machine of the same type I removed the Vista Business Hard Drive and replaced it with a larger hard drive on which I installed Ubuntu Linux. I now have more computers and hardware than I contemplated at the beginning of the year. I've also purchased various other "goodies".

I thank Theo for the suggestion of advice regarding company formation. I have however downloaded a checklist of things to know from the member's section of the NIA (National Institute of Accountants) website and am trawling my way through it. There are things that were covered in the Small Business Finance subject of the Master of Commerce Degree and things that are specific to New South Wales, things relating to Trade Marks etc.. (would I be infringing the Trade Mark of "Bain and Company" for instance and would they sue me ( I doubt it somehow). In New South Wales one has to register a Business Name if the name is anything other than the name provided at birth. There are numerous issues. It is possible to apply for assistance under the NEIS which pays the equivalent of the New Start Allowance, provides free training in Business Management (Certificate IV in "Business Management") and entitles a person registered for the scheme to keep any income from the business without it affecting any payment that Centrelink may provide. It does however have to fall into the category of a "new enterprise" and in my opinion offering support for Open Source OLAP modeling primarily for smaller concerns running say MYOB would constitute a new enterprise (something that nobody else is providing). There are issues relating to whether one is a Contractor or Employee and it is indeed possible to be either depending on the nature of the work undertaken. As I see it Open Source OLAP support could be used as a supplement to proprietary software I have been used to using and which normally costs companies a fortune and locks them in to the software vendor.

I note that Channel 7 "Medical Emergency" on Wednesday ran a episode concerning a person with an enlarged aorta - however at over 8 cm this was "well over the limit" and extremely dangerous. The surgeon noted that he normally deals with people with aortas of 5.5 to 6 cm (mine is 4.8 -> 4.9). Next Wednesday they will showing the surgical procedure. I'll assume the person survives the op. I note that Kevin Rudd has had a similar operation and appears quite healthy (sigh). My next ultrasound is less than two weeks away.