• Amazon Deals

  • Ebay Affilliate Links

Architecture & Design

    Construction Progress at old savoy tavern site melbourne opposite southern cross train station Fragrance group development

    I was in Melbourne for the day, and happened to pass by the 1800m2 old savoy tavern site opposite southern cross Spencer street station, on the corner of Bourke street and Spencer street. (134-160 Spencer Street, West Melbourne)WP_20170815_17_08_03_Pro

    Beyond the fence was a gigantic hole where the new building's basement was being constructed into the bowels of the earth with huge pile drivers, concrete and steel.

    Being built on the site by Fragrance group is a 68 story tower, which will house 660 apartments, and 160 hotel rooms.

    Fragrance group is controlled by the billionare singapore businessman Koh Wee Meng, who also goes by the name James Koh.

    The this is a significantly downscaled project compared to the original proposal, of a 300 metre high tower, which would have overshadowed the Yarra River, and housed over 1000 apartments, mostly of sub 40m2 "dogbox" proportions.  (see pic below from fairfax website)

    find more at this link:


    Pic: fairfax group.

    Fragrance group bought the site off an Australian, Mark Rowsthorn who had held the site since 2005, who has acquired the property from the Republic of Nauru for the bargain knockdown price of $9.9m, and left the site derelict till 2014, when the original savoy tavern building was refurbished in conjunction with Sam Danish, who reportedly hopes to secure a presence in the new building, as trade at the pub was strong during it's short revitalized history over the last couple years. Back in 1973, the savoy tavern apparently sold more litres of beer than any other single pub in the whole of the state of Victoria, highlighting the prominence of the site and commercial potential for any business which may operate there int he future.

    Its first Australian acquisition was a site on Hobart's historic waterfront, at 28-30 Davey Street, which it has grand plans to develop a 20 story hotel and conference center, designed by architect Samuel Haberle.

    Fragrance already has a 296 room hotel under construction on Macquarie street, and has plans for another hotel in collins street, pictured below.

    Hobart is unsure about the appropriateness of this development on its historic waterfront precinct.

    Fragrence goup collins street development proposal.


    Read more link text

    Rat Lane Ballarat CBD aka McKensie Street (Situated at 208 Sturt street, between GMBHA and Stephen & Turner Travel)

    Tucked between stephen & turner travel associates a 206 sturt street, and GMHBA health insurance at 208 is Ballarat's very own "Rat Lane". - It may well be an extension of Mckensie street, as no official maps appaer to refer to it as such, but theres the sign, and it's sort of cool and quirky.

    WP_20170813_22_05_15_ProFor Ballarat, the iconic, and ironically named Rat Lane is clearly one of the most Auspicious addresses in the central business district, clearly!




    It is questionable about whether rat lane is truly called rat lane, or a local  subversive stencil artist dubbed it as such in timeless paint, (which has not been removed in years, I note, as cheryl muir's / cole mcallister's photo below from 2015 indicates), but it seems apt that our great city celebrates the pesky rodent, and its fondness for dark alleys.





    Read more link text

    Nokia N95 how to recover data with screen or keypad broken and unresponsive

    nokia_n95_flexcable_slider_broken_recover_contacts_succesful_methodRecently my trusty Nokia N95 died of advanced age... or, probably the technological version of a stroke. Initially, the signs of impending terminal illness were there, slurring of words, blurred vision, disorganised display... paralysis down one side of the keypad, and eventual complete screen and keypad death.

    However, I was busy, ignored the cries for help, convalescence, and urgent data recovery attention, and so I plowed on, assuming it was just an irritating software problem that would eventually right itself via the age old method of dealing with temperamental technology- turning it off and on again. Repeatedly. Often. A typical ham fisted implementation of an old IT guys remedy. 

    Just like when people are showing the signs of a stroke, when essential technology starts going on the
    fritz, you have to act FAST to avert data Armageddon... :(


    nokia_n95_8gb_synch_backup_data_recovery_success_broken_phone_screen_keypad_flexNot an ideal situation, since had not gotten around to backing up all my contacts for over a year.

    Worse still, the old backup was not in human readable text form- I needed another N95, or old school Nokia smartphone of a similar Symbian era to decipher the backup and recovery package for me.

    Plugging it into my PC with the USB cable to recover data off a Nokia was a fruitless pursuit while using the old version of the Nokia PC suite which related to the bygone era the phone came from.. circa 2008. Not to mention that old versions of PC suite and the drivers suitable for win XP and win 7 were not compatible with Windows 10, causing another issue. Even so, even the old windows 8.0 tablet I had kicking about could not connect to the phone successfully, even though it had done so in the not so distant past 12 months. The reason was that when plugging the phone into a computer, usually you have to engage phone side by confirming few things- pressing the odd button to authorise the USB connection of the phone to the computer. With a dead screen on my Nokia and worse still, an unresponsive keypad that was dead as a doornail, including the home and select keys, even memorising the keypresses required that are up on blogs on the internet was not a solution.

    Getting a view on the mobile screen while it was broken or damaged beyond legibility I found a solution to- by plugging in the AV out cable in, and connecting to a monitor or TV via the RCA cables. With a broken keypad though, the knowledge that my phone was like a locked in coma patient, unable to receive stimuli from the outside world and communicate just added to my frustration.

    I tried one last thing- plugging the phone into a brand spanking new, (but pretty horribly budget, cheapo thing)
    running a new build of win 10, on HP hardware resulted in the Nokia N95 device being recognised, and the required software and drivers that were most up to date being loaded.

    The relevant version of Nokia suite is 3.8.54.

    Somehow, the software bypassed all the problems associated with the broken slider flex
    strap, like the phone demanding the time before doing anything, or needing keypresses to acknowledge, nokia_n95_contacts_recovered_data_broken_phoneconfirm or authorise the USB connection and data backup and syncing.

    A really nice part of the software was the option to take the entire address book, photos, contacts and calendar of the old Nokia N95, and transfer it seamlessly to the new Lumia I'm now using. This is a pretty exciting new innovation I have not seen documented on the web yet, so thought it worth sharing.nokia_n95_copy_transfer_contacts_to_lumia

    For quite a while, I had thought data and profile transfer between old Symbian Nokia N95's and the New Lumia's was impossible and unsupported, but it seems the capability had been developed now. Bravo Microsoft!.. That Lumia had been sitting untouched and unloved in my drawer for close to 6 months till now because it looked like too much trouble and effort switching.. or well. making the necessary upgrade to a modern phone.

    Yes, I know its just a plan for me, and other die hard vintage Nokia users to give up on our archaic technology and modernise into the world of endless data hungry connectivity and irritating social updates... but oh well. When one thing dies, it makes room for a newer, sharper generation.

    I'm Just glad that the new software actaully supports such old phones, and does a very good job of extracting difficult to obtain data out of them relatively painlessly. There were a lot of great memories.. and tracks sored on that phone which I'm glad I have not lost.



    Read more link text

    Gazania flowers in Ballarat and Melbourne

    Gazanias ballarat markets all colours pottedGAZANIAS- DESCRIPTION, GROWING & CARE GUIDE

    The gazania flower, named after the 15th-century Greek-Italian scholar Theodorus of Gaza, is a low maintenance South African annual (perennial in Australia) that will brighten up your hard-to-landscape areas, particular those with poor soil, or suffering from dry conditions

    Origins and nomenclature of Gazania Flowers

    Gazania flowers are a member of the daisy family Asteraceae, genus Gazania. Also known as the treasure flower, the ​​gazania is a hardy annual, or perennial (depending on the strain), and will bounce back from a light frost.  There are over 16 distinct species, but the majority of plants in cultivation are hybrids and crossbreeds, selected for their best traits.

    In Australia, including Ballarat, gazanias typically perform as perennials, though some are technically an annual.

    Gazania flowers thrive in full sun. Morning or afternoon shade may cause the flowers to stay closed for a portion of the day, and may cause the plants to grow lanky, exceeding their normal height of six to ten inches.


    The leathery foliage of gazania plants is a clue to the high drought tolerance of this flower.

    They quickly develop into small clumps of narrow lance-shaped leaves that can be downy and lobed near the base, often with lighter coloured undersides. Their showy flowers, which appear throughout the warmer months, are large, brightly coloured, often interestingly marked, and the ray florets tend to be darker at the base, with a contrastingly coloured central disc.

    The species usually have yellow or orange flowers, but the garden forms are available in a wide colour range

    IDEAL SOIL CONDIITONS- They grow well in any old rubbish soil of low fertility. Cheap-O $3 potting mix is fine

    Gazanias do extremely well in pots, and look great on your deck and patio.

    Their preference for sharply drained soil makes them a natural choice for the rock garden, low maintenance, or often neglected and drought affected gardens, such as rental properties, or holiday homes.

    How to Plant Gazania Flowers

    Gazania is easy to grow to a fault: it’s hard to make a mistake and kill these.

    Plant young gazania plants about a foot apart, allowing them to reach their eventual spread of 25cm without crowding, which promotes mildew. If your soil is heavy, plant your gazanias in containers.

    Gazania plants don’t mind the heat that radiates off the pavement, so you can include them in your footpath garden or alongside your driveway.

    How  to Care for Gazania Flowers

    In their native habitat of the rocky cliffs of South Africa, gazanias grow in soils of low fertility. Compost and supplemental fertilizer aren’t necessary. Deadhead gazania flowers to extend the blooming time of the plants.

    Gazania plants are adaptable enough to overwinter indoors so you won’t need to purchase new plants or seeds for the next growing season. Cut the plant back and keep it in a cool, sunny window. Water when the soil surface is dry. Check the plants regularly for pests like mealybugs that may proliferate on indoor specimens.


    Perennial strains of this plant, most common in Australia may also be divided or can be grown from basal cuttings.

    Read more link text

    Rubbish Design- Very Clever repurposing- Portable Cafe outdoor dining space

    Saw this outside a cafe in geelong.. It's a parkable outdoor cafe dining module that takes up the space of a couple carparks. 140520161924

    I was impressed with the clever, sustainable and thoughtful design employed, where it started out life as an old  builders rubbish skip, and thought it worth sharing.




    No indications as to the manufacturer and architect, but if you know something about it, please comment and we can flesh out this story a bit more!

    Read more link text

Facebook Comments

  • Amazon Deals