Openly Secular

  • Posted on: 19 November 2014
  • By: NickLitten
just because it looks incredible doesnt mean an invisible being created it

Hi, my name is Nick Litten and I am Openly Secular

Perhaps openly-atheist would better describe my outlook: I have been an atheist for as long as I can think (literally). I raise my kids to be respectful of others and their beliefs. I do not believe in magic. I do not believe in supernatural beings whether they be angels, ghosts, goblins, fairies or dragons (but maybe dragons are real because that would be awesome).

seriously all theists are completely bonkersI do not necessarily identify with the terms "free-thinker, humanist or agnostic" but I really admire the thought process behind the term "Secular" and what it describes.

Do you believe in universal human rights? Do you view human beings a part of nature and not superior to it? Are you free from the belief of supernaturalism? Are you living your life to be the best person you can be without hurting others? If the answers to these questions are YES then, in the words of Jeff Foxworthy, "YOU MIGHT BE A SECULAR"

Uber - an alternative taxi cab service is ubergood

  • Posted on: 12 November 2014
  • By: NickLitten
honda element breakdown

So, my trusty old work horse (Herman the Honda) starter motor has been failing for a few months now, I've known it was on the way out but have been hoping that it would make it past christmas. Sadly, on Sunday (bloody Sunday!) it finally gave up and expired. I quickly procured a new starter and had to wait for a mobile mechanic to come and fit it on Monday morning, after a failed attempt at some home mechanics myself. This is a separate story involving an old programmers sudden realization that modern car engines are a world away from the Mk1 Ford Escorts that he used to tinker with in his teenage years  :)

Anyway I digress...

So, Monday morning I still had to get Nate (#1 Son) to school so we opted to use the most excellent UBER app on my android. As an alternative to calling a cab, it is simply the best service I've used in recent years ever! Your phone finds your location, asks you where to go, gives you a quote and if you accept it shows your drivers name, his photo, the car he is driving his exact location and you can track him arriving at your house in real time. Once he picks you (or your passenger up) you can then track the car during its trip:

The Madness of King Bob

  • Posted on: 12 November 2014
  • By: NickLitten
as mad as a hatter

I love my Family. The Litten clan is made from an eccentric bunch of family members spread far and wide across this wonderful world of ours. Diversity seems to define us with differing political views, religious beliefs and life goals. Variety is the spice of life. But we all share one common gene... the gene of utter madness! Put us together, add a sprinkling of sangria and a warm sunny evening and soon utter insanity will prevail.

For your perusal I present.... Cousin Rob (of Drums the Word fame) who has been recording a series of short vignettes on Facebook recently. Waffling, delusional, hilarious and utterly genius. I cant watch them without crying with laughter so decided to have a play and import them into a single video shot and play them all at the same time.

The result is a pandemonium of... erm.... it defies description:

Rob - I salute you!

Fixing Skype problems with Win10 9860 technical preview

  • Posted on: 2 November 2014
  • By: NickLitten
how to fix windows 8 10 skype problem

Since the first service pack (9860 or quickie update) to Windows10 Technical Preview my skype has stopped working. Researching this online, I found thta some Win8.1 users also suffer from the same annoying problem. Hashtag bugger and darnation.

All I see in Skype is this annoying message:

Luckily, Microsoft is aware of the problem and will (hopefully) be fixed in the next build. Until then, we have a nice little workaround:

Reply In reply to Akshay [MSFT]'s post on October 23, 2014

Win10 technical preview bug : Skype error using a mobile broadband or metered internet connection.

  • Posted on: 30 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
windows10 unable to install skype error build 9860
UPDATE NOV 17 2014 -- Skype problem has been fixed by the service pack for #WIN10-Build9879. Huzzah!


SKYPE stopped working with WIN10(9860)

So far I'm liking Windows10 very muchly. I've only had a couple of niggles and this weeks has been the inconvenience of Skype suddenly dying after the upgrade to Build9860.


Symptom: Skype will not log and kept failing to log in, reporting that Skype servers were unavailable.


Solution: Reboot. try again. fail. tinker with internet connection. reboot. try again, fail. join new wireless connection. reboot. tinker... /repeat ad infinitum.



Admin defeat and consider reinstalling ICQ. ;)

Eventually I decided to try re-installing SKYPE to see if that helped. It didn't LOL -- Now I get an error saying "you cant download over a metered internet connection" but I am on a standard wireless (I've tried several). I even went in to network settings and changed the metered option to ALLOW connection over metered and it hasn't helped. So, I'm currently stuck using skype on android and anxiously waiting for the next technical preview release and fingers crossed, this problem will be solved.

In the meantime -- anyone got any ideas on how to override this?

Ingress is just a plot to get Nerds to exercise more

  • Posted on: 28 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
Ingress is fun

What is Ingress?

It's a game. A huge MMO that is played world wide. It's played outside, in the real world, using any mobile device. It's using google maps to show a real world view.

Ingress is an Augmented Reality Game (ARG) where you have to go to certain locations and hack portals. There are two factions in this game, the Enlightened and the Resistance. The story behind the game is that a +CERN scientific experiment created a cascade that released exotic matter (XM) around the world and portals have been formed in locations like statues,  museums and other public spaces. Both factions are trying to capture these portals and set up resonators to generate more energy. When three portals are linked together, a field will be created to protect the area between those portals from "Shapers".

Join the Enlightenment

Faction attempting to help the Shapers infiltrate Earth. Followers believe that the Shapers bring a powerful enlightenment that will lift humankind.

Join the Resistance

Faction defending the Earth from the Shaper ingression. They are seen by some as being fearful of change or progress, but the Resistance is firm in its belief that it is protecting humanity.

Recharging the English with podcasts

  • Posted on: 18 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
I used to live near here

I love living in the USA.

The weather is fantastic, people are friendly, I can see palms trees out the window, petrol gas is cheap and I can own a gun. Life is good.

Saying that... I've been here over five years now and I've definitely noticed that I'm picking up a few verbal american'isms. I find myself developing a transatlantic inflection on many of my speech patterns. I'm frequently asked either (a) "Are you Australian?" or (b) "My cousin lives in England - do you know him?". Luckily, the answer to both questions is "No"

I regularly recharge my English Accent Batteries by listening to podcasts from the BBC. A fun alternative to the incessant twang of country music geeetars on my local radio. If you haven't played with podcasts yet grab yourself a free podcast listener like Juice (or even iTunes if you have gone to the dark side) and click one of the links below.


The big list of most excellent British Broadcasting Corporation Podcasts follows:


BBC Radio 4 Podcasts RSS FEED

What The Papers Say takes a look at how the broadsheets and red tops treat the week's news.

VPN Happiness -- how to fix Cisco "Unable to Manage Networking Component"

  • Posted on: 15 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
stop the Unable to Manage Networking Component

A week into my #WINDOWS10 Experience and I'm definitely more than pleased with the whole thing. Thumbs up Windows chaps and chapettes  :)

I just discovered a cure for my only other little VPN niggle.

Last week I had a problem getting Cisco AnycConnect to work, but a little registry tweak seemed to fix that problem. This week I had a similar problem installing another VPN client, in this case the older legacy CISCO VPN Client. So, just to be awkward I am running three VPN clients on my laptop and I am happy to report that all three are running happily together while I type this blog:

  1. Shrewsoft VPN
  2. Cisco AnnyConnect
  3. Cisco VPN (the older unsupported *legacy* version

Problem with the older CISCO VPN

Error 27850 Unable to Manage Networking Component - Cisco VPN

Initially, i had a problem with the CISCO VPN LEGACY installation giving me this error:

Error 27850 Unable to Manage Networking Component - Cisco VPN

RPG Technology Releases for IBM i 7.1 and 7.2

  • Posted on: 7 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
this is a real TR7 not the IBM RPG sort of TR7

IBM has announced it's latest round of "technology Refreshes" (aka PTF's or service packs) for the IBM i operating system. A couple of nice tweaks to RPG are included in TR9 for IBM i 7.1 and TR1 for IBM i 7.2. For RPG, we will have enhanced ALIAS keyword support, and a streamlined DataStructure I/O support making tihngs just a bit easier for us coders:

Extended ALIAS support for files

The ALIAS keyword can now be specified for any externally-described file.

If the ALIAS keyword is specified for a global file that is not qualified, the alternate names of the fields will be available for use in the RPG program.

In the following example, the field REQALC in the file MYFILE has the alternate name REQUIRED_ALLOCATION. The ALIAS keyword indicates that the name for this field within the RPG program will be REQUIRED_ALLOCATION.

dcl-f myfile ALIAS;

read myfile;

if required_allocation <> 0

and size > 0;


Relaxed rules for data structures for I/O operations

An externally-described data structure or LIKEREC data structure defined with type *ALL can be used as the result data structure for any I/O operation.

How to fix Windows 10 Problem - VPN ​Failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco anyconnect

  • Posted on: 3 October 2014
  • By: NickLitten
Starships are powered by microsoft windows - windows into space duh!

A day after installing the Windows10 Technical Preview I have nothing but nice things to say about it!

Well... that is not quite accurate as I have hit one or two niggling problems... but here is the solution to the main finger biter:



Shrewsoft VPN 2.2.2 reported "network not available" and would not connect to remote VPN


Easy... just re-install the VPN Software from


CISCO: Failed to initialize connection subsystem


Cisco AnyConnect reported "Failed to initialise connection subsystem" and would not connect to remote VPN

CISCO connection error with windows 8 and windows 9 and windows 10


OK, so this one is a little trickier to fix as a simple re-installation did not fix the problem. I read a few different sources from the web and finally found a straightforward solution. I am going to place the blame at Cisco's feet but also blame Microsoft as well... shame on you both! I want you both to go and sit on the naughty step!!!!