Archive for November, 2005

Shiny

I don’t normally post feedback without permission, but I got a real kick out of this, and I’m assuming the person who sent it won’t mind me posting an extract here.

… I would love to try Drivey, but I use a Mac. And I have a feeling, as simple as Drivey may (or may not) be, it isn’t based on OpenGL or anything easily ported to that platform. But I love it anyway. It is an imaginary love, since I have no idea how it actually is, other than the screenshots; but I project a lot of wishful thinking on Drivey …

Best feedback in ages :) I think I need to make some time to work on Drivey again…

Blah-de-blah

I likes:

My iPod nano, which is just the right size for me in both physical and logical dimensions. And it only scratches as much as you would expect a shiny plastic thing to. There’s a cute thing you can do in photo mode where panorama sequences can be played/swivelled using the thumbwheel– it’s way cool, and I highly recommend trying it. Also I think it would be nice is to have a screen flip mode + external lens fitting, so I could watch a slideshow on the wall at night (these little screens are ridiculously bright, and once your eyes have adjusted for a darkened room I reckon a 20" projection would be quite doable– I speak as one who has wasted countless hours rigging up impractical home made tv projection systems.)… iPod nano, you rock!

I don’t likes:

Telecom NZ. Their wifi hotspots are shit, and to use them you have to log in using three separate four digit fields + a four digit password. So basically they give you a sixteen digit number which is for no obvious reason is broken into a retarded set of form entries which are tedious as hell to enter, and when your login fails it does not appear to make any distinction between a technical failure (which happens lots because apparently they can’t keep their authorization server up) and expired credit. Brilliant… Telecom NZ, you suck!

My weekend

On Saturday I caught a ferry over to Waiheke island, since I haven’t really done much exploring since the first weekend I got here. I’ve gotta say that while the idea of living on an island and catching a ferry to work is somewhat appealing, the reality is that it’s probably not a very practical arrangement for a daily commute. Also the additional expense of ferry travel ($260/mo) would have to be factored into living expenses beyond regular transport (and what if I want to get a car?)

I also caught up with a couple of movies: Flight Plan, which I really liked until the totally retarded resolution, and Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed [I didn't really expect W&G to work in feature length format].

More bitching about internet access

This internet situation is just getting ridiculous. Frustrated by the lack of access from my room, the limited access from the common computer room (no POP access for some reason) and the absolutely shite public wireless hotspots charged at $10/hour rates yet offering a level of service that can be described as patchy at best – around 30% of the time the login fails for no specific reason, and even when I do get online the connection can be pretty poor, with lots of timeouts – I’m beginning to understand why Cory Doctorow is so pissed off all the time; paying extortionate rates for substandard over-complicated service is maddening! I decided maybe I should just spring for the local wireless broadband solution, which is actually quite affordable, but then when I went to sign up only to discover that their coverage doesn’t extend to my area… argh!

Subjective review of Twinhead 12KT

Pros: ok battery life (~3hrs), small, light etc, has an actual rotating knob for adjusting volume so no piddling about with software controls or onscreen displays.

Cons: standby and battery indicator lights are hideously bright, and blink on and off while charging, almost lighting up the room! I have to drape a shirt over it in order to sleep undistracted. DVD tray has an eject button right where I pick the case up, so I’m constantly ejecting it accidentally. Headphone socket is at the front, so the cable gets scrunched against my stomach when I’m holding it on my lap with my knees up in bed (as I am doing right now). Using screen in lo-brightness mode (for power saving) creates irritating buzz in audio output.

FPS

  1. I am very annoyed that the Half Life 2: Lost Coast bonus level was released within a week of me leaving my reasonably powerful desktop computer behind in Sydney. I had been waiting for ages for the damn thing to be released, and now I can’t play it! (although it probably wouldn’t have run so great on my machine, since I only had a fairly standard graphics card).
  2. I went out and saw a bit over an hour of Doom [the movie] last night, then fortunately the center audio channel dropped out so I had a good excuse to go get my money back ;) Then I went back home to my room and watched (mostly heard) fireworks explode around the general area (it was Guy Fawkes night). Amazingly, you can still buy fireworks here– evidence that New Zealand is indeed less safety conscious than Australia,* where they were banned from public sale several years ago.

__________

* it has been pointed out to me that NZ is less flammable than Australia, which could also account for the discrepancy ;)

Some time later…

Hey, I’m still alive, in case anyone is still reading. Apologies for the gap; there are a few reasons for it:

  1. I don’t yet feel comfortable blogging about work, and I’m starting to wonder if I ever will. It just seems like inappropriate subject matter, and upon reflection I realize that none of the bloggers I read say much about their work either.
  2. I have been kinda busy what with the work that I’m not blogging about.
  3. my room, finger on trackpad The place where I’m staying (until I decide where I want to live) has no internet connectivity in the rooms. It does have a broken wifi network, which is particularly infuriating since I can connect to it ok; just not the world beyond. To be fair, they told me they didn’t have network access from the rooms when I booked it, but still, once you’ve gone all wifi with a laptop it’s bloody hard to accept that it isn’t FREE and EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME.

Bah, enough with the numbered list already– I want to start a new paragraph but not a new number, because I’m still talking about wifi.

Every city in the world should shell out for free metropolitan coverage, because there is [I imagine] no better way to make a computer toting visitor feel comfortable than to let them have their internet whenever and wherever they want. Especially if that visitor is me, accustomed to 8+ hours a day, suddenly having to go back to the same Starbucks every morning to buy an overpriced and rather ordinary coffee, just so I can briefly connect to their hotspot (which is of course charged by time, so I log on for just a few minutes at a time to transfer emails, then log off again. How tedious!)

PS I love my ipod, especially that it’s light and somehow still working even though I’m constantly yanking it out of my pocket when I catch the headphone cord on things (also yanking the plugs out of my ears for the same reason… very impressive that they still work too).