Back in Holland

Posted by matthew on Jun 29, 2005 in holland

It was about a 16 hour drive from Sigean, France to Zeeland, The Netherlands. We’re so tired! But it’s good to be back in Holland. We dropped in to Ko’s place for a cuppa before heading to Ans’ to drop off our stuff. Next is a short bike ride down to the beach box where we’ll spend the next two nights. I’m looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for a while. Justin gave me a DVD with all the photos everyone took in the South of France leg, so I’ll get to uploading some of those while I’m in Holland. Not all of them, though — there are something like 2000.


Bonjour from Narbonne

Posted by matthew on Jun 28, 2005 in travel

For those who don’t know, I’m currently on holiday in Europe. Today is our last day in France before we head up to Holland by car. So far things have been really great (apart from my health, which remains poor). We spent the first two nights in Paris before meeting Bill, Dory and Geoff and taking the train down to Toulouse. One great night in Toulouse (with lots of dancing and not much sleep) left us tired for the car trip down to Hameau du Lac (near Sigean) but it was worth it. We’ve spent the last week just relaxing and seeing sights in the Sigean, Narbonne and Perpignan region. Lots of castles and beaches and small villages to explore. We have stacks of photos but I don’t have time to upload anything right now apart from this one of Lotte being the Eiffel tower.



Intel inside

Posted by matthew on Jun 9, 2005 in funny, technology

So it’s true. Apple is putting Intel chips into Macs from next year. The five stages of Intel Macs has an amusing take on the way it panned out. For the full story, you need to see the Steve Jobs’ WWDC Keynote.

I’ve been mulling it over for a week now and I guess I’m starting to see the sense in it. They’re not talking about ditching Apple hardware, just about making it faster and cheaper. They’re also not talking about another painful OS9 -> OSX type jump. Anything that runs on PPC will still run courtesy of Rosetta, with a 30-40% speed hit that will be at least partly compensated for by the horsepower of the new boxes. And developers are for the most part very positive, meaning that we shouldn’t see a return to the days of Copland when developers started leaving in droves. The proof of the pudding will be how smooth the transition is, of course, and how well Apple is able to ride out the inevitable blip in its sales as people wait for the new boxes to arrive in a year’s time.


Digital TV ahoy

Posted by matthew on Jun 6, 2005 in technology, tv

Last week I’d pretty much decided that it was time to get a digital set top box to improve our reception at home. Our antenna was blown off the roof soon after I moved in and for various reasons (long story) we’ve never replaced it. Of course, those little rabbit ears only go so far. Then I learnt that JB Hi Fi was selling set top boxes for $99, so yesterday I went out and got one (a Soniq DVB12). Took 5 minutes to plug in, and it works a treat. Crystal clear TV, with program guides and all. And at that price, you can’t go too far wrong.


Thousands hit by train delays

Posted by matthew on Jun 6, 2005 in funny

On the front page of the web edition of The Age today was this Odd Spot article:

A 39-year-old Chinese man, Zhang Xinquan, has put his right ear in an iron clamp device, locked with a long bolt, then pulled a 21.8-tonne train 40 metres with it within four minutes.

Directly underneath was the headline: Thousands hit by train delays. These things amuse me.


Natalie & Yuval make the blog time

Posted by matthew on Jun 3, 2005 in dance

This entry on Screenhead, the online review of “funny shit” accords New York swing dancers Natalie and Yuval new geekly fame by linking directly to a clip of their “Swing Me Brother Swing” routine at the World Swing Dance Invitational. I wonder if they are wondering exactly what hit their server a day or so ago. Dig those aerials.


To drupe or not to drupe

Posted by matthew on Jun 3, 2005 in technology

A few of us are getting peeved again at the amount of time ModBlog has been down lately. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving my entire blog over to my own drupal installation and offering blog space to friends too.

The positives of Modblog are many. I think the gallery is the most impressive thing about it, but there’s also the sense of community generated from the automatic links to other users as they browse your blog. You have a feeling that there is an audience of some sort out there. But I have to say it’s a pretty non-vocal one. The only comments that are ever posted here really are from my own IRL friends.

The other features here are nice, but there are mostly equivalents in a drupal world. So really the only major negative of moving to this new blogspace would be the lack of a really good gallery management system. There are drupal-based gallery mods, but they suck by comparison with the one here.

The big upside of moving would be the ability to limit access. No anonymous browsing (unless we want it). This would mean that the audience for the blogs would be limited in size, but the idea would be that it would become a more close and vocal sub-community that we would all feel free to participate in just outside of the public gaze. More of an invitation-only party than a public event.