The census delivery chick turned up and offered us the option of paper or electronic form.
Two programmers looked at each other, thought about how they value their time and the response was a no-brainer:
“We’re programmers,” I explained, “we’ll take the paper form.”
“There’s a phone number you can call if you have any trouble filling out the electronic form” reassures the collector.
Cathy thinks: “Sure, that line won’t have any trouble when twenty million Australians simultaneously log into the web site to fill in the forms via a broken SSL link, using IE specific controls (that only work under some versions Windows assuming they’re correctly patched and have the right libraries loaded), demanding full round-trips to the underspec’d Windows servers to populate unnecessarily complex custom controls, some of which will no doubt demand Flash or COM. Come to think of it, it probably won’t even be web based, and we’ve only got two Windows boxes, one of which is tucked under a table (Yay! Census night on the floor swearing at the ABS’s programmers!) and the other has a screen resolution that went out with buggy whips (I’ve had programs barf and refuse to run because the resolution was unacceptable).”
We chose paper. For another view of the world, I’m looking forward hearing to how census night worked for Daniel…
Actually – it works just fine – I did mine in Safari – You can do it in advance..
I haven’t even got my visit from the ABS yet!
They finally came… while I was out. I have still yet to make up my mind if I’ll go online or paper, since they left both.
Enjoying the official Twitter feed http://twitter.com/#!/2011Census
Just received our Census info. The eCensus site site “has been designed to work with a range of Internet browsers including [sic] Explorer (version 7 or later is recommended) Firefox, Safari and Chrome.”
We’re doing ours online because we know the ABS is far better at this than the Tax Office, and we did it last year. And my wife is a census collector and knows that it’s far more efficient for you to do the form online, any time between when you receive it and census night, than for her to have to visit your house five times to try catching you at home so she can collect the form.
It does work in Safari, it works on a Mac, it probably even works without Flash but I haven’t checked that. In short, it’s everything the tax return should be but isn’t.
(last time, not last year)
Wot he said. Quick and easy. I used Chrome.
For a site so busy tonight, they’ve obviously done well on ensuring it was well-resourced, as the response time was excellent.
The guff on system requirements says:
“To maintain the security and confidentiality of the information you provide to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the eCensus has been designed to work with a range of internet browsers. Most common browsers should work successfully with the eCensus, providing they support 128-bit SSL encryption. If your browser does not support 128-bit encryption you will not be able to complete your Census online. For information on how to enable 128-bit encryption click on the link to Technical Help.
The technical help page has some other details. http://stream0.census.gov.au/eCensusWeb/technical_help.html
They’ve done the opposite of what the tax office does, haven’t they. They’ve tried to make it usable by everyone!
I was surprised so many failed to submit, since it was fairly obvious to me that you had to do it, but that might be because I went back and reviewed some of my answers first. Once submitted it returns a receipt number you can write on the card with your eCensus number on it.