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A technical writer in Sydney – and some trees

Julie Norris had a great idea this week. She has created a YouTube channel specifically for the #tcchat Twitter chat group, and she’s uploaded a video of herself and her corner of the world. Now she’s inviting us to do the same. What a lovely idea, thanks Julie!

So I’ve spent the last few days making a video and uploading it to YouTube. To cut a long story short, here’s the video. As Julie suggested, the video introduces me as a technical writer working in Sydney, and shows you a bit about my surroundings:

I think it’s a cool idea that will help to bring far-flung technical writers closer together, especially those of us who take part in the #tcchat Twitter chat group.

The long story

It took many, many tries to get this far. I have to confess that the air turned a delicate blue hue at times. Why oh why are movie formats so finicky, fussy and frustrating? 😉

I first read Julie’s post when I was on the bus on the way to work. Unsurprisingly, I did not have my camera with me. I did, however, have my sparkling new iPhone 4, which does movies. Cool. I made a cute movie of the Sydney Harbour Bridge through the bus window, and of the building where I work. On the way home, I filmed a Paperbark tree flapping in the breeze and a Sydney Red Gum glowing in the gentle afternoon light.

The next day I sallied forth with my “real” camera and took some more movies.

Then I attempted to splice them together. Disaster. I tried free software and trial versions of expensive software. Suffice it to say: Nothing works perfectly.

So in the end, I’ve decided to use the software that came with my Canon camera. It’s pretty good, but it is not able to merge the movie files made by the iPhone. It gets the picture OK, but no sound.

Oh, and I’m fond of Australian trees. You’ve probably noticed there are a couple in the movie above. 🙂

My trees and this blog are one year old

In August last year, I planted two trees at about the same time as I started this blog. Now the trees and this blog are just over a year old. A good opportunity for some stats 🙂


WordPress says that ffeathers has:

  • 62 posts
  • 184 tags (hmm, interesting but meaningless coincidence)
  • 17,216 total views
  • 7,584 blocked spam comments (thank you Akismet)

The most popular post is The agile technical writer with 1,247 views.

Today, someone found ffeathers by Googling for:

“your mouse has moved” error

I hope you found what you were looking for 🙂

Prickly Paperbark

Yesterday, another person came here searching for:

paperbark tree information on growth

So in your honour, here’s some idea of what a Paperbark tree does in a year.

The Prickly Paperbark was a tube, about 40cm high, when I planted it in August last year. Now it’s nearly 2 metres high and quite robust. (It needs to be robust, to survive the onslaught of weeds, floods, cold and heat that our garden inflicts upon it.)

Prickly Paperbark a year ago, at 40cm

Prickly Paperbark a year ago, at 40cm

Prickly Paperbark now, at 198cm

Prickly Paperbark now, at 198cm

It has a very pretty trunk and bark already. The diameter of the trunk is almost 3cm at its thickest part.

Prickly Paperbark close-up

Prickly Paperbark close-up

Old Man Banksia

The Banksia has not grown much since I last measured it in April this year. It’s approximately one metre tall, and battling an ever-changing environment. Since I planted it, a couple of tree ferns have muscled in on the territory.

Old Man Banksia last year, at 17cm

Old Man Banksia last year, at 17cm

Old Man Banksia now, at approx 1 metre

Old Man Banksia now, at approx 1 metre

Still, it is putting up a gallant fight. Its trunk is almost 2cm in diameter and it always has a lot of new growth, although much of it goes sideways in an attempt to find the sun.

Old Man Banksia close-up

Old Man Banksia close-up

As well as my two favourites, we planted around 20 native trees and shrubs last year. Spring has sprung, and we’ll be shopping for more soon. Death to all agapanthus 😉

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