Guess Who’s Back?

March 8, 2006

Well well well, look who’s back. After a long sabtical, I have decided to try to resurrect my fledging blog and give back to all my loyal fans (2 at last count and even them I’m not sure of).

So, what exciting news do I have?

1. One really exciting piece of news is that my wife is 25 weeks pregnant!!! Yes, Sledgemiester will soon have his own little mini-sledge! It’s all very exciting and in the last 2 weeks I’ve felt the baby kicking/punching – quite a unique experience I tell you. So far we’ve brought the pram and have some clothes/toys etc but we haven’t gotten the big stuff yet – cot, car seat etc.

2. I brought a 17″ Samsung 740B LCD monitor. Actually, that’s not really that exciting but it’s interesting… kinda. Ties in with point #1, cause I’ve been kicked out of the spare bedroom and put into the back area of our house. As such, I had to get a really small desk which made necessary the sale of my 19″ Philips CRT monitor. Was sad to see it go, but I actually prefer the LCD. It’s pretty cool – you can raise & lower the screen plus you can rotate from landscape to potrait mode (abit of a gimmic if you ask me). I didn’t even realise it had this feature when I brought it.

3. Brought an 80GB PVR about 6 months ago too – did I blog on this already? Who knows. The time slip ability (pause live TV and then start watching it while its still recording) is very handy, the picture quaility is great (being a digital set top box too) and the extra digital channels are interesting to watch. Had been having some problems with the remote, but it turns out it was just a loose connection in the battery area.

4. Went to Cairns & Port Douglas for our annual holiday in 2005. Had a great time up there, check out my photos: Cairns & Port Douglas 2005.

5. Plus so many other things that I can’t think of at the moment!

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I like it!

July 15, 2005

This keyboard is crazy baby! It basically uses an led like display for every key, enabling one to setup different “key” layouts for different programs (they show as an example Photoshop, Quake & Qwerty). Now that’s pretty cool.


The death of folders?

June 10, 2005

Slashdot has a fascinating article on the Macs new Spotlight tool in Tiger called The Death of folders?.

When saving files, you add meta data information to them and just save them – the Spotlight tool keeps an index of this meta data and the files that relate to it. The meta data becomes virtual folders, displaying the “files” contained within. This is very similiar to Gmails “labels” for organising your email. Now this is pretty cool because it means you can now have the one file “stored” under two/three/four/+ virtual folders. You got a bill from your University? Well file it under “Finances” & “University”. It’s not ground break stuff, I agree, it fact it’s quite simplistic but it does address a need for better searching of files on our computers.

Having said that, do I believe the classic Folder is dead? No way. For starters, adding meta data to files can be a real pain. For instance, photos. I’ve taking thousands of photos, do I really want to have to add meta tags to all my photos just so I can find them at a later date? No way. I’d prefer to use a directory structure to store them. “What am I looking for? That’s right, photos from Christmas 2003”. So I goto my Photos directory, events, christmas 2005. Simple.

Also, Folders are necessary to segment data efficiently. Do I really want application installs, word documents, photos, videos, emails etc all stored in some flat directory structure? That basic thought goes against all the organisational processes we learn or are taught during our lives. Would you organise your house like this? Just throw everything into the living room? Nope – you use draws for clothes, cupboards for dishes, entertainment unit for tv/stereo etc etc.

So I prefer to see a convergence of the two worlds. The use of folders to store your files efficiently, while using a meta data “virtual” folder for finding files.

I think we’ll find it’s the best of both worlds.


Media hysteria 2

June 2, 2005

Now starring at a cinema near you: Kylie Minogue – Episode Two, Clearing of the Ward.

Apparently the Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne cleared out an 8 bed cardio ward last month, to make room/privacy for Kylie. Read about it here: Kylie Cleared. Obviously the elderly patients, and doctors, that were in that ward weren’t too impressed.

Festival Mushroom Records states, “Kylie made no request to where she was staying within the hospital”. Sure, Kylie didn’t – but who’s to say YOU didn’t Mushie!?

Pathetic.


Time for a laugh

June 1, 2005

I came across the following while reading /. today: Zalman get extreme with P4 cooling. As one person so wisely commented:

This CPU cooler would be good for the guy who buys that dumb “type R” PSU that was featured earlier. It seems the PC-modder crowd is seeing more and more “rice boxes” out there.

I can picture it now…”cool” nerd going a LAN party, driving a brightly painted Civic with that screaming 115HP motor, windows tinted almost opaque with 18″ wheels on a goofy camber due to the chopped springs/hack lowering job and glowing neon and red “R” stickers all over the place.

In the passenger seat sits his ‘leet gamer PC (the trunk is full of amps and speakers). It is an amazing construction of aluminum, plexiglass, neon and silver and gold Tremclad housing a type R power supply (as advertised on /.!), the biggest heat sink that’ll fit inside and six fans to coll that screamin’ $80 mobo and Celeron CPU. Good thing that mobo has built in audio, video and LAN becasue the slots are blocked by all the other gear…

Just a word of advice…if you “pimp your ride”, then “pimp your PC” to match your ride, it is time to seek therapy.

Pretty hilarious but in fact it’s an enlarged display model of the real product. Someone tried a late April fools joke… 😉

Further browsing today revealed: Hyper Type-R Modular Blue Line 580W. Yepo, that’s the name of a newly released PSU. Type-R!? Whadda!? As if the stupid craze of plastering Type-R stickers on riced up cars wasn’t bad enough, people are now doing the same for computer modding. Sad, very sad.


Star Wars III review

May 24, 2005

I finally went and saw Star Wars III – Revenge of the Sith last night. I must congratulate Mr Lucas on a fine job, “Impressive, most impressive”. It is most definitely the best movie out of the prequels, absolutely trouncing on TPMs dead body and giving AoTCs a swift turkish crescent kick to the head also. The space scenes, lightsaber fights, land battles etc are all spectacular. It feels like a galatic conflict with wars on many planets, simutaneously etc. There are also the tie ins to the original movies with early model X-Wings, Tie Fighters, Mon Calamari Cruisers, AT-ST Walkers etc. However, when I left the cinema I felt the dark clouds of depressing decending upon me (in fact, they had stayed decending towards the end of the movie). Why was I in such a state? Let us delve into Star Wars lore…

Spoilers Alert – what follows is discussion on Ep 3. Do NOT read the rest of this post if you haven’t seen it yet.

On the side, my order of viewing these movies are: 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6. 1, 2 and especially 3 give away too much of what were surprises in 5 & 6 – so if you’ve NEVER seen the movies, that’s my recommendation. And now, lets continue…

In my mind, pre Ep 3, I always thought or presumed that it was a mechanical Darth Vader (ie the Vader we know it Eps 4 onwards) that destroys the Jedi – having already been a student of the Dark Side for some time. But not so. In Ep 3 we learn that Anakin turns to the Dark Side quite quickly and proceeds to rid the galaxy of the Jedi while still being the normal bodied Anakin Skywalker! As the mechnical, twisted & hate filled Darth Vader – I could understand this. But as Anakin, it just doesn’t make sense.

Palpatine sows seeds of doubt in his mind, tells him that the Dark Side can cheat death (which appeals to Anakin due to his constant visions of Padme dying in child birth) & acts as a quasi father figure. This is obviously a gradual process & it is no surprise when he turns – what is surprising is the speed in which he turns his back on 20+ years of Jedi teachings. Around 24 hours is all it takes! The thought is proposterous. The timeline within 24 hours is something like this:

1. He discovers Palpatine is a Sith Lord and informs Mace Windu & co (Obi-wan & Yoda are on outter rim worlds fighting the separatists). I give him credit for at least doing this.
2. He turns on Mace Windu, who is about to execute Palpatine, using some ironic logic about not killing Palpatine (ironic because earlier we see him execute Count Dooku in a similiar fashion/situation). About 2 minutes after this he is calling Palpatine “Master”! LOL!
3. He begins his mission of wiping out all the Jedi.

And here we have probably the most disturbing scene (at least for me) of the movie. Anakin rocks up to the Jedi temple, with a large army of clones, and proceeds to annihilate the Jedi. We see him enter a room where youngling padawans are hiding. They leave their hiding places, eyes full of fear but trust towards Anakin. Holding their lightsabers, one young padawan pleads, “Master Skywalker, there’s too many of them – what are we to do?” Save us Anakin, protect us Anakin, redeem us Anakin they say in the force. And how is their trust repaid? With the hot blade of Anakins lightsaber – betrayal, of the highest order.

Fast forward & we see Obi-wan telling Anakin that he was supposed to bring balance to the force, the chosen one, a brother, someone Obi-wan loved. Anakin of course is now totally consumed and spews forth his hate at Kenobi, while his legless & armless body is ignited by the lava that flows past his body. In the end, his dark powers go a long way to causing Padmes eventual death – her will to live destroyed upon learning that Anakin has turned to the Dark Side & him using his force choke on her.

Thus we have the story of Palpatines ascension, the Jedis fall, Anakins demise & Vaders rise.

But it was all so depressing. So depressing in fact that I found myself on the side of the separatists (who would later form into the Rebellion as we know it in Eps 4+) & thinking that the Rebellion isn’t such a bad thing. Thoughts I’d not had in years!

So yes, I found the fall of the Jedi & Anakins turning to the Dark Side quite depressing but found consolence in the ending where Luke Skywalker is adopted to his Uncle/Aunt on Tatooine and we hear the familiar Force music. You just know that “the force is strong with this one”. Oh it won’t be long Palpatine – you’ll get yours as Vader/Anakin shakes off your shackles and finally redeems himself rather than let his son also become of slave to you.

You know what they say, “Revenge is a dish best served up cold”.


World views

May 23, 2005

Today I was browsing some right wing blogs – my own views being more akined to their views then our fellow humans of the left wing persuasion. In right wing though I refer to conservative rather than the extreme right you see in neofascism & neonazis. On a whole however, I am not overly political with my views and tend to not engage in political discussion except amongst my closest of friends.

I will however read blogs by leftist writers too though because I believe in getting both sides of a story, empathising with peoples feelings/beliefs & just to get some knowledge/intelligence. However, one website I ended up visiting was disturbing, most disturbing. Check it out: Forsake The Troops.

Here we have Michael Crook, a left wing nutter, going on about how American soldiers are leeches on the US taxpayers and that they are basically, what we call in Australia, "Dole bludgers". Its quite extraordinary that one can come imagine the thought let alone come to that conclusion. Check out this quote from the bottom of FTTs website:

Number of US soldiers killed in the Iraq War, of their own doing, because they CHOSE to be leeches: 1,587. These scumbags asked for it, and got it. Simper Cry.

And here's one persons well written reply to this strange creature:

Hello, Im a former combat Marine who came across this website and would like to add my opinion if so allowed. I am a great believer in the Constitution that we live by, And I would defend it with my life if so asked.

The United States was built on the ability to make your own decisions and speak out about how you feel without the fear of reprisals by the gov't. This also includes speaking out against the gov't when it comes to ideas and ideals that they form that you may not agree are in the best interest of the citizens. Its our responsibility as citizens to do so, As it is the responsibility of a soldier to defend your right to speak out as well.

A soldier must be willing to give his life for a flag, that you as a citizen can burn and deface. Not only must we defend our staunchest allies, we must also defend our worst protractors as well, and we must do it equally, without reservation.

We as marines, soldiers, sailors, or airmen, know this, and though it may pain us to do so, will do it. It was our forefather before us who gave their blood and made the ultimate sacrafice to gift us with these liberties, and it is our generation who must defend them.

I may not agree with what you say, or what you print on this website, but please do remember, that without Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, both male and female in gender, who have given their lives, you may have never had the chance to do so.

Isn't it ironic that Michael Crook calls the US army "leeches" when he himself "leeches" the freedom (speech, democracy, religion) they afford him, each & every day. That's the pot calling the kettle black, Comrade Crook.