Blog

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

NBN Rollout Announced & Giving DD-WRT a try

As fate would have it, there are two loosely related things to blog about today.

NBN MapFirstly, in the past week NBN Co. has announced it's schedule for stage one of the wide-scale rollout of connecting areas. I was of course clamouring to see whether I could expect fibre-based internet within the foreseeable future. Luckily for us, our area is included in this three-year plan, and is due to "commence work in your area from Jun 2014 in phases with last work scheduled to commence in Jun 2015".

The news could be better (Ipswich and north-eastern Brisbane start getting … Read more →

Windows 8 Beta: Upcoming MS Disaster

As I've done with Windows 7 and Vista previously, I like to get my hands on the public betas or release candidates of upcoming Windows releases to have a bit of a play.

Right now I'm having a play of Windows 8, and to be frank I'm still trying to comprehend what's sitting in front of me. Some would say this beta is a revolution in Windows interface design, others would say it's a catastrophe. I'm more inclined to the latter. But before I get into it, here's the obligatory screenshots.

Win 8 logon screen Win 8 Start Screen Win 8 task manager

With Windows 8, Microsoft is attempting to develop an … Read more →

The Home Stretch

It looks like we're entering the home stretch in the construction of our house (see what I did there? ;)). Although it didn't look like it two weeks ago, everything seems to be coming together and most will be done before Christmas.

I really can't wait for it all to be finished (it's looking like we'll be moving in in January), the early starts and now the increasing temperatures are starting to take their toll. Although, the past week has been awesome in terms of temperatures, apparently we've had one of the coolest starts to summer in recorded history, and … Read more →

Google’s New Look of Doom & On Virgin

Google has been busy rolling out it's new look, and even after using it on a few products for a while now, it isn't getting any better for me. As i've ranted about before, the grey-washing of colours across it's services (most eye-soringly in Blogger entries) is truly perplexing.

But I can live with bland and unlively colour changes; what is bugging me the most is basic usability impediments. Google used to be really good at this type of thing, making highly usable and accessible services. Just to use the new Reader look again as an example:

Google Reader snapshot

Other than the … Read more →

New Mobile: HTC Desire S

HTC Desire SIn what is probably the shortest intervals between new mobile phones since I started using them, and barely a year since I got my last new one, I have a new mobile.

After going up to Bribie earlier this month for a break, my Vodafone based mobile had no access to data at all, and I found myself having to use the Mrs' iPhone to check emails. During the last year on my small Android phone, I have noticed a lot of developers neglecting the small screen size (and associated resolution) in terms of developing apps and features. Plus … Read more →

Terrible Reader Updates & NAS, Media Player Gadgetry

A few months ago I criticised Google's upcoming interface design for Gmail as being bland and not user friendly. It seems in the past week that in rolling out this design across all their products Google has taken the remodelling knife to my beloved Google Reader.

I've loved using Google Reader for over five years as my main web and RSS aggregator, but their recent update has really irked me. I was expecting the colour-washed interface (which is still terrible btw), but to the point of making link colours the same as normal text, terrible text-size scaling, and the … 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 →

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 →