Bunker bulldust day 64

Musee d'Orsay 11Sep08

Musee d’Orsay, Paris   © PJ Croft 2020

I wasn’t going to write a post today but I’ve just been provided with some stupid material by our wonderful government.

I’ve just been on the My.Gov website updating some bank details. While I was logged in, I realised that my password is a bit dated and needed changing. OK, I clicked Change Password and was taken to a screen that asked me for my Customer Access Number. Huh?

I have a number that I log in with, given to me a decade ago or whenever My.Gov was set up and it logs me in OK. Try that – no, “The Format of Your Customer Access Number is Incorrect”.  I have a CRN (Customer Reference Number) printed on my pension card – try that. No, same error message.

It’s got spaces in it. I remove the spaces – still no go.

The result is, I give up, I can’t work out what to enter to change my password.

But when I want to go back to the base page, there’s no way back. There’s the Centrelink logo at top left and a Services Australia text at top right, but neither is clickable. I click the back button on my browser and instead of going back to the Centrelink home page, I’m taken to Human Services Australia home page which asks me to Sign In again. I  was never on this page! I just have to go through the sign in again, which involves User Name, Password and an SMS code. Damn.

Second, I decided to add a couple of “Secret questions” as they call them. I clicked on that and was taken to a list of questions about how to do it. OK, I understand, but where do I start? There’s no Go button on that page, it’s purely Help topics. I can’t remember exactly what I did but somehow I had to back out of that page to find the button to add my secret questions.

I did this successfully.

Then I changed my bank account details (very carefully!) It seemed to work, so I clicked an exit button and got this:

Screenshot_2020-05-20 Payment Destination Centrelink Online

This is classic programming bullshit! “Do you want to cancel?” OK / Cancel. Which is correct?  This is still happening in 2020? I clicked OK, which to me meant that I would be cancelling what I’d just done, but it accepted and I was OK. Phew! And people with poor computer skills are supposed to be able to use this web site?

Then there’s this message:

Screenshot_2020-05-20 Payment History Centrelink Online

Understand that? It’s like a Monty Python script from Meaning of Life. “The boy on the left of you, unless he’s your brother, in which case you do may defer this message, and last week’s message which may have been in error, unless we say otherwise, may exit by the side door, unless it’s closed for repair…”

It’s gobbledegook. Word salad. Government-speak.


I said my internet speed has been “shaped” by iiNet because I’ve exceeded the 250GB limit for the month. I’m supposed to be on 250Kb/s but it was so slow this morning that Speedtest wouldn’t even attempt to measure the speed. I’ve had to pay $15 to add a 20GB data pack to get me through until tomorrow night. Grrrr. Not happy.


There are a few people, prominently Liza Harvey, the leader of the WA Liberal Party and the putative alternative premier of WA, who say we should reopen WA’s borders with the other states. They say it’s bad for business to keep us isolated etc etc.

What they don’t seem to understand or care about is that although the risk is low, people are still being infected by the corona-virus in NSW and Victoria. If they come here and bring the virus here, it’s not just their bad luck that they get sick, it puts at risk the airport staff, the taxi drivers, the ambulance drivers and the doctors and nurses in the hospitals. Yes, the danger seems to be low here, but it’s not a matter of saying “Oh well, it’s only the individual who gets sick.” It’s a whole string of people who can be affected, and doctors and nurses, particularly, die of this infection.

So it is utterly irresponsible for the Liberal Party leader to argue against the WA government to say the borders should be reopened. It’s dangerous until we can be sure there are no more cases in the eastern states. It’s typical of the Liberal Party, both here and federally, to say that business is more important than people. It shows again why the Liberal Party is not fit to govern.


I’ve said that the Denon Super Audio CD/DVD player I bought about a month ago refuses to play SACDs. Ordinary CDs are OK, but nothing more complicated. I wasn’t too worried because I figured it would be something simple like a dirty laser lens.

No such luck. I’ve had the covers off today and cleaned the lens, but it’s made no difference. Also, whereas the front panel Load/Eject button wasn’t working, now virtually no buttons work on the front panel (but all functions work from the remote, which indicates that the problem is only in the front panel, not the main logic). I’ve also noticed that the tinplate shielding inside is looking rusty and corroded. Urrrgh.

But I’m a tech and I’m used to this. I’m not too worried – I figure if there’s corrosion on the metal, there’s possibly also dirt/gunk in the connectors too, so I’ll just have to remove and replace all the connectors. It only takes a speck of dust or dirt. But:


There’s a lot of them. This is a far more complex unit than a simple CD or DVD player.


There are more outside this picture.


That’s the laser, that blue dot in the middle. Isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud and wipe carefully, but it didn’t help.

OK, the next step is to dismantle it a fair bit so as to get at the connectors. The front panel seems to only have a couple of ribbon connectors so that will be first.

There are also complete laser assemblies advertised on eBay for about $100, but I’ll do the connectors first before spending that money.

Watch this space.


Another crazy web page programming error:

Crazy screen 1

Huh? Step 1 of 0?