Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Rant: Why Wash the Colours Away?

iTunes left menu interface comparison, new washed out version 10 colours on the left, the previous version on the rightIn terms of computer and application interfaces (either hardware or software) I'm pretty critical of a lot of 'fashion' or 'trendy' changes that have absolutely no practical improvement, and especially those that are in my opinion completely unpractical.

Years ago I criticised Apple's fashion of white that permeated to most other technology manufacturers and into society in general.

Now it seems there is a general shift to washing away colours from program interfaces. One thing we were taught in interface design at uni (although that was a while ago), is that in addition to logically and easily shaped and recognisable … Read more →

VMware Geekness, EPL, Cowboys and Aliens

VMware PlayerOther than for work, I've been playing around with virtual machines for quite a while. I use them mainly to test out operating systems that I am interested in, notably on this blog the release candidates for the previous two Windows releases. I also use them to try software and other stuff that might be dodgy so I don't expose my 'real' computer to threats.

I've been using VMware Workstation which is VMware's flagship and somewhat-costly product for workstation testing and trialling. However, I didn't know that sometime recently that VMware opened up their free 'Player' software to include a … Read more →

Mass emails & Canon purchases

In the past week I organised for the inaugural Bribie e-newsletter to be sent out using a professional email service. I ended up using MailChimp, which, other than the very amusing images of monkeys delivering mail, is also a fantastic service for this kind of thing as they provide a free service for less than 2000 subscribers and a monthly send limit of 12000 emails.

You can see the online version of the newsletter here, and if you are interested in getting put on the list, you can sign up here.

It was an interesting experience; since … Read more →

Internode Pricing Woes & Construction Begins…

Recently it's been very disappointing to see my ISP, Internode, revising it's Naked ADSL plans in a very downwards direction. The price-point that I'm on now ($60/month) fetched me 70GB of quota when i signed up just over a year ago, then later last year moved up to 150GB for the same price. Now they're making users on that plan pay an extra $10/month to keep the same quota, or take up the new plan at the same $60 price-point which only includes a measly 30GB of quota.

Partly the reasons given for this almost unprecedented decrease in value is … Read more →

Google+ starts to take shape

Google+ LogoIn the past few weeks Google has unveiled a decent competitor in the social networking market to Facebook. Following their rather weak previous attempt in the form of Buzz well-over a year ago, it seems Google have finally thrown a bit of weight and money into developing a decent Facebook competitor.

At the moment the service is what Google calls a limited 'field trial', which for me begs the question: has Google dropped the term 'beta' for describing these types of pre-release versions? Maybe keeping Gmail in a state of perpetual beta for years means the term had lost it's … Read more →

Am I a Logitech Fanboy? New Mouse & X-Men

Logitech G9xIn the past few weeks the middle-click button on my trusty Logitech MX 400 mouse that I got about five years ago was starting to play up. This is especially concerning as the middle mouse button is what I use as melee-knifing in BC2, and the last thing you want in close quarters knife-combat in BC2 is to have an unreliable mouse button for that action.

The MX400 is a great mouse, and a five-year tour of duty is nothing to baulk at, but the time had come for a replacement. Of course five years has seen the MX400 go … Read more →

Crysis 2 & Surgery

Crysis 2 boxI know it's a few weeks late, but i've played through the next big gaming release of the year: Crysis 2. Overall i'd have to say i'm a bit disappointed.

Although the visuals of the game were pretty amazing, they didn't really have the same 'wow' effect that the first game did about 4 years ago.

The plot in the game was also pretty pathetic. They barely made any reference to the storyline of the first game (which ended without much closure at all), rather just sweeping it under the rug hoping that no-one would really notice, and changing … Read more →

Firefox 4

Firefox 4The past few days has seen (finally) the release of the next major version of Firefox: Version 4.

This has probably been one of the longest release cycles for the browser (not that i've minded much), but they have changed a tonne of stuff.

The most noticeable change is the complete user-interface redesign. They have really tried to clean up the interface, and like Google's Chrome browser, tried to eliminate as much 'chrome' space as possible.

Whilst I don't disagree with eliminating wasted 'chrome' space, i don't believe in doing so just for the sake of it.

The perfect example … Read more →

Inspections, de Blob 2, Tests

de Blob 2It's been a hectic few weeks. The past two weeks has seen our first set of real-estate inspections for the unit. Part of me is hoping it'll sell quickly, and the other part hopes it won't happen too soon. I can't say i'm looking forward to moving properly to the other house.

Last week also saw me go to hospital for another ERCP. The procedure went ok, but the initial results don't sound too promising; i'll wait until seeing the Doctors properly before getting too much into it. Nevertheless, prayers for me are still very much appreciated.

The past few … Read more →

Getting Ready, Anniversary, Indoor

New RAMA lot has been happening accommodation-wise recently. The new house is rapidly being prepared, and that means we are cleaning and tidying up the unit in anticipation of putting it on the market in the near future.

It's really sad doing this though; we've loved living in this unit for the past five years, and i think it's going to be very emotional when we do actually move out.

For my birthday recently, one gift that I did get was some awesome new RAM for The Cannon. It's faster RAM and has awesome timings, and the blue heatsinks are … Read more →