Writing

I have written copy for a wide range of purposes. I have written recruitment ads, real estate ads, reviews and technical documents. See below for some examples.


Live-In Property Manager/s – Karumba

Mature person or couple required to manage the daily operations of well- established holiday villas in the fishing/tourist town of Karumba on the coast of north Queensland.

Karumba is a popular destination for tourists and sunset fishing lovers who enjoy the “outback by the sea” experience. The villas are conveniently situated near the centre of town, the ocean and the Norman River. Amenities and attractions include: fishing, boating, airport, fishing charters, sunset cruises, the Barramundi Discovery Centre, child care, state school, library, coffee shop, trendy tavern, bakery, fish & chip shop, fishing tackle & marine shop, gift shop, post office, police, pharmacy, supermarket, service station, mechanic, health & medical centre, hardware, green grocer, swimming pool, waterpark, sports centre and public gym.

The role would suit a practical person or couple seeking a “sea change” from urban life who would like to take some time out to decompress from the rat race. Must be able to honour a twelve month commitment staying at the holiday villas, residing in their own private air-conditioned villa on-site which includes access to pool, BBQ and laundry.

Duties include cleaning villas, laundry, gardening, general maintenance, and light office work. Must be reliable, honest and responsible. Training will be provided to the successful person or couple. Must provide photo ID, resumé and references. Option to lease if interested.

Expressions of interest briefly outlining your work experience, short statement as to why you think you would be suitable for the role and your email and mobile number to grant@fnqcreative.com.au

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For Sale – 78 Ann Street Mitchell Qld 4465

Golden opportunity to own your own home! Cheap as chips at $79,000! A renovator’s delight!

Option to rent, lease or buy (vendor finance available).
This property is a quintessential example of the high-set Queenslander that we all know and love. Situated in the quaint Queensland town of Mitchell on the Warrego Highway near the Maranoa River, this spacious home has huge potential for those that love to renovate and flip properties or someone who is looking to renovate and create their own special Queenslander home that has the space and water to create their dream home and garden.

Mitchell is centrally located in the Western Downs district of the Maranoa Region. Halfway between Charleville and Roma, Mitchell boasts many local attractions, such as The Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, the Maranoa River, Maranoa Art Gallery, Bird Sanctuary, the Neil Turner Weir, Mount Moffatt and the Carnarvon National Park.

Conveniently located directly opposite the Mitchell State School on an impressive fully fenced (just under half and acre) 1619m2 block, this home boasts vertical joint walls, wrap around verandahs, high ceilings, three bedrooms with separate lounge and dining, two bathrooms and a carport. Close to the main street, shire offices, hospital, bowls club and the healing waters of The Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, this home would be the perfect place for you to enjoy your newly renovated home set amongst a beautifully designed garden. Need more space? Just jack the house up and put in another floor beneath. You could even put a bore down and harvest the crystal-clear artesian water to grow organic fruit and vegetables or create the tropical oasis you’ve always dreamed of!

This timeless home holds so much promise for those seeking a classic Queenslander to bring back to life whilst enjoying a quiet country town lifestyle and the pleasures of a well-tended garden.
If you are someone who dreams of renovating your own Queenslander and designing your own garden and isn’t afraid of a bit of hard work, please enquire without delay to secure this Western Downs beauty!

Option to rent, lease or buy (vendor finance available).

To enquire, please contact Grant on 0413 807 900 or grant@fnqcreative.com.au

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For Sale – Western Hotel 93 Cambridge St Mitchell Qld 4465

Fantastic opportunity to own a grandiose hotel in the beautiful Western Downs District.

Option to rent, lease or buy (vendor finance available).

Replacement cost $3.8M. Will sell for $595,000+ A bargain of a lifetime! On two titles. Owner will consider property trade close to Brisbane. Inquiries from hospitality chains welcomed.

The Western Hotel Motel is an iconic, majestic two-storey building, a classic example of the Australian country pub. Situated on the main road of the quaint Queensland town of Mitchell on the Warrego Highway, near the Maranoa River, this charming Federation Filigree style hotel, set on a huge allotment, is loaded with potential for a conversion into a spacious home/studio, Air BnB, health retreat, ecotourism resort, tropical oasis, specialist horticulture business and/or a whole foods restaurant.

Mitchell is centrally located in the Western Downs district of the Maranoa Region. Halfway between Charleville and Roma, Mitchell boasts many local attractions, such as The Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, the Maranoa River, Maranoa Art Gallery, Bird Sanctuary, the Neil Turner Weir, Mount Moffatt and the Carnarvon National Park.

Prominently located on a fully fenced level acre, (4047m2) on the main street of town, the Western Hotel Motel has a floor area of 1120m2 and boasts its own artesian water supply. The interior of the building still has all the hallmarks of the craftsmanship found in a turn of the century building, such as polished floorboards, lead light and stained glass windows, vertical joint walls, timber fretwork, two fireplaces, high ornate ceilings and dado rails. The ground floor has a bar, dining area, kitchen and a guest lounge room. Upstairs has thirteen rooms featuring expansive verandahs at the front and back of the building. Enjoy the magnificent view through the French doors in the “Royal Suite” which opens out to the tree-lined backyard featuring a pergola, covered BBQ and carport. Wake up every morning to fresh air and birds carolling in the trees.

With it’s own supply of free crystal-clear artesian water, ample space in the backyard, fertile soil and plenty of sunshine, this property would be perfect for those interested in starting a hospitality or specialist horticulture business growing and selling high value organic fruit and vegetables for wholesale and/or consumption in the hotel’s restaurant. It would also be the perfect choice for those interested in using the endless supply of water to create a lush tropical oasis for their Air BnB, health and ecotourism guests to enjoy during their stay. Offer your guests relaxing baths at the healing waters of The Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, or build your own private spa baths in the centre of your tropical oasis for your guests to enjoy before a meal in your restaurant using fruit and vegetables grown in your own garden!

The Western Hotel Motel is just waiting to be reborn as a self-sustaining hospitality and health/ecotourism resort hub for the Western Downs district. A unique opportunity awaits to create a live-in business with a relaxed country lifestyle with all the fresh water and greenery your heart desires. Take action now before this hidden gem goes off the market!

Option to rent, lease or buy (vendor finance available).

To enquire, please contact Grant on 0413 807 900 or grant@fnqcreative.com.au

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ReadyNAS RN102 Review

There is a old chinese saying: “May you live in interesting times.” It is an interesting time if you look at current and emerging technologies in home networking and entertainment right now. Most homes now have computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones and personal video recorders gaming consoles, set-top boxes, smart TV’s and a broadband internet connection. All these devices can be used to edit and store documents, listen to music and watch video. Before you know it, you’re storing and backing up terabytes of data that everybody wants to access to, sometimes all at the same time.

What to do? As most homes now have a broadband modem that also doubles as router, we’ve already got a local network at home, but where’s the server? This is how I came across the idea of the home NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.

Enter the Netgear ReadyNAS RN102. Designed to be the heart of a networked home, the ReadyNAS is a excellent solution at a very reasonable price.

The is unit encased in a compact, well-designed metal chassis that would make a welcome addition to any decor-consicious home. The processor is a Marvell Armada 370 1.2GHz ARM chip with 512Mb or RAM and two hot- swappable SATA hard drive bays will handle up to 8Tb of storage. You’ll need to buy at least one SATA or USB hard drive and install it before getting started. For connectivity, it has one Gigabit LAN Port and two USB 2.0 ports at the back and one USB 3.0 port at the front. I had a 2Tb USB drive connected to one of the rear ports and was was able to stream movies to my smart TV and my Telstra T-Box via ethernet flawlessly.

The RN102 supports all the important networking protocols, including CIFS/SMB, AFP, NFS, HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, WebDAV and more. An excellent web-based GUI (Graphical User Interface) with intuitive tab-based navigation is provided, which works well all the major web browsers. If you need access to your files on the RN102 via the web, there is good support of Dropbox via the Backup tab in the GUI.

Streaming movies and music to your network is just a matter of copying some files onto a USB drive or an internal drive, setting up DLNA/UPnP in the GUI with a few clicks of the mouse, selecting “My Media” or similar in your networked smart TV, T-Box, Fetch TV, gaming console or PVR, navigating the file system, and you’re watching your favourite movie or listening to music on whatever device you have that supports DLNA or Universal Plug & Play.

As I have an MacBook and iPhones at home, I was keen to find out how well the RN102 would work with these devices. The ReadyNAS comes with built in support for Apple Time Machine which was easy to set up and worked seamlessly over Wi-Fi. There is also support for Apple iTunes for those interested in hosting their media collection on a NAS.

For streaming movies from the ReadyNAS to Apple and Android devices the I found the best apps were Netgear’s ReadyDLNA and VLC. I found the former the most reliable, but due to the varying quality of downloaded files you will always get a few that will not play. At one stage I had two iPhones and my TV streaming movies from the RN102 at the same time and it handled it all just fine.

All in all, I was very happy with the Netgear ReadyNAS RN102. It was easy to use and did everything it was supposed to do well. I would recommend it anybody with basic IT skills looking to set up a budget-conscious home entertainment network. Once you have a ReadyNAS, it won’t be long before it becomes as important to your home entertainment system as your TV and your Hi-Fi is.


Creating PDF files for Offset Printing

Adobe Acrobat/Reader/Distiller™

Adobe Acrobat is a suite of applications developed by Adobe for converting Postscript Print files (.ps or .prn files) into Portable Document Files (.pdf files). Acrobat PDF was developed by Adobe Systems to create a document exchange file format that is multi-platform and resource independent. The purpose of PDF is to encapsulate all the resources for a document (ie: fonts, raster & vector graphics, art/layout) into a single file that is portable across all computers.

Correctly prepared PDFs can be downloaded from the web or distributed on disk media and then viewed and printed on any computer running Acrobat Reader, which is freely available from the Adobe web site.

The purpose of Distiller is twofold: The first is to convert postscript files into PDF files. The second is optimise the postscript by reducing the size of the file to the minimum required for the end purpose of the file. Distiller does this by flattening and compressing images that are embedded in the postscript file according to the setting chosen.

There are three (Default) Distiller settings that will produce the following types of PDF file:

ScreenOptimised – Suitable for publishing on the web and viewing on computers. Not suitable for printing.

PrintOptimised– Suitable for publishing on the web and disk media.

Suitable for colour composite proofs on inkjet or laserwriter printers.

PressOptimised– Suitable for publishing on disk media. Suitable for producing CMYK or Greyscale film separations for film and plates for offset printing. (Spot colour is not well supported in version 4.0)

Fonts

All fonts used in the art/layout should be fully embedded in the pdf. The best way to ensure that this occurs successfully is threefold:

Firstly, use Adobe Type 1 fonts rather than TrueType fonts if possible. Some TrueTypes are subject to licensing restrictions which prevent them from being downloaded successfully and some Postscript RIPs are unable to process them reliably.

Second, ensure that all the fonts used in the layout are loaded correctly on your computer. The best way to determine this is to print a proof of your art/layout to your printer. If everything prints o.k. this is a good (although not completely definitive since many printers have their own fonts installed in their memory) indication that all your fonts are loaded correctly. When you print your art/layout to a postscript file ensure that any options you have in your application and printer driver software to “download all fonts” or ”include fonts” is enabled.

Third, once your postscript file has been created, convert it to a .pdf (portable document file) using Adobe Acrobat Distiller using the “Press Optimised” setting. This will embed all fonts using  Adobe’s Multiple Master Font technology. If Distiller reports problems with embedding a particular font, it is recommended that you change this font in the layout and re-print your postscript file.

Raster/Vector graphics

In order for the final PDF file to be viable for print work, the linked or embedded raster or vector graphic files must be prepared correctly prior to writing postscript and converting to PDF.

Raster graphics are scanned or captured images saved as .eps or .tif files by applications such as Adobe Photoshop. Any other file formats are not recommended for print work.

There are four main colour modes used in graphics files for printing. CMYK, Duotone, Greyscale, and Bitmap. Duotone files are used in spot colour separation which is not supported in Acrobat PDF files and should not be used. Files saved in RGB colour mode are not acceptable. RGB colour does not separate correctly in a CMYK separation.

The resolution of CMYK and Greyscale files used in art/layouts should be between 150dpi-300dpi. Bitmaps used in art/layouts should between 600dpi-1200dpi.

Any alpha channels or unused paths should be removed from Photoshop files.

Vector graphics are files created in drawing applications such as Adobe Illustrator and saved as .eps files. Any other file formats are not recommended for print work.

Vector .eps files can be saved in CMYK or Greyscale colour modes. RGB colour is not acceptable. Any fonts used in vector .eps files should converted to outlines. It is recommended that the attributes or properties of vector line work be set to 2540dpi to ensure full resolution at output stage.

Art/Layout – Printing Postscript to file

Once you have ensured that any graphics linked to your art/layout parent file (eg: QuarkXpress, PageMaker, etc) conform to the above guidelines you should re-import or re-link them to your art/layout application. You should also remove any unused colours and ensure any colours used are set to process colour mode

Any application-based type styles that convert roman or regular fonts to italic or bold should removed as some RIPs do not interpret these well and will produce unpredictable results. Please only use the actual italic or bold forms of the font in question,

Any large black backgrounds should be changed to Rich Blacks – usually defined as 99% Black and 40% Cyan.

Multiple page documents are o.k., Distiller will convert these to multiple-page PDFs.

The next step is to print your art/layout to file as postscript. One can think of this step as akin to printing the file to a colour inkjet or laser printer with bleeds and trims, except rather than downloading the postscript file to a printer on your network, you are writing it down a directory on your hard drive.

Rather than outline a series of steps in a particular application, I have attempted to outline a set of generalised settings that should be chosen when setting up to print postscript to file. (See page 3)

Print settings for writing Acrobat – Ready Postscriptfiles

Trim Marks/Registration marks – On

Bleed– On (Should be at least 3mm but ideally 5mm beyond the edges of the page.)

PageTiling– Off

Spreads– Off

PrinterDescription/Type– Acrobat Distiller/Acrobat Distiller 3.0

PaperSize– Should be larger than the trimmed size of your document with trims and bleeds (eg: If your finished size is A4, A3 will do.

However, the Distiller Printer Description will allow you to define a custom page size to suit unusual formats.)

Reduce/Enlarge– 100%

Page Positioning– Centred

Orientation– Portrait

PrintColours– CMYK or Greyscale
(Choose one of the two to suit the art/layout.)

Halftoning– Conventional

Resolution– 1200-2540dpi

Screening/Frequency– 150lpi

PageFlip– None

NegativePrint– Off

Output– Normal

Data– Binary

OPI– Include Images

Overprint EPSBlack– On (Off if the areas of Black are backgrounds)

Full Resolution TiffOutput– Off

Format– Postscript Job

PostscriptLevel– 1,2 or 1 & 2

DataFormat– (Binary if MacOs, ASCII if Windows)

Font Inclusion/Download Fonts – On or All

Once the postscript file has been written to disk, Launch Adobe Distiller, choose the “PressOptimised” setting and open the postscript file. Watch carefully for any error messages, especially relating to the embedding of fonts. Distiller will prompt you choose a directory where you would like the PDF saved.

When Distiller has finished saving the PDF file, open it in Acrobat and check that it looks o.k. It should look something like this. (See Figure 1)

As a final check, it would be a good idea to print the PDF to a black and white or colour printer to check that all is well.

If the size of the file is lower than 2Mb in size you may wish to email it as attachment to us, or if it is larger you should send on a 100Mb Zip disk, or better still on CD.