Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in review

Baby Alex dominated my life in 2009. From a tiny two month old to fourteen months the changes have been remarkable and the experience wonderful. However, I am yet to have a full night's sleep!

I did do many other things in 2009. January saw us pick up our new car, a red Mazda 6. I suggested that the best job in the world could end painfully and I was right, with the blogger getting stung by a jellyfish! Alex experienced his first art exhibitions with Degas in Canberra and Monet and the Impressionists in Sydney. I also joined the USB missile club, though I'm keeping my nuclear intentions secret at this stage.

February saw us planning a trip to Japan to view unknown gripped poop, but before we departed in March we first visited friends in the Blue Mountains with a robot lawnmower.

Alex's first overseas holiday was to Japan. He got sick, I cracked a tooth, but we still managed to have a fantastic time catching trains all the way south to Kagoshima. Then in April we took him, and our dog Kita, on another holiday, this time to the South of NSW over Easter.

Alex turned 6 months old in May.

It was my turn to travel in June, but this time all by myself. We had launched the new website using Plone and I was to attend a three day course on the technology. The thing was that the course was held in London. So I caught Qantas' giant A380 to Singapore, the 747's to London, Hong Kong and back home. In the process I rediscovered the magic of long distance flying.

Swimming lessons started for our little fish Alex in July and his first tooth appeared.

My June travels had made B envious, so we took advantage of cheap airfares to book a trip to Singapore and Malaysia in August and September, riding the Qantas A380. Alex handled the five flights really well and B drove for the first time in Malaysia.

We woke up on Mars on September 23 when the big dust storm struck Sydney. It was an amazing experience.

Alex began crawling in October, while I became a television star thanks to Catalyst. One of my brother-in-laws Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Monty, sadly passed away due to a consequence of his fine breeding. We also found a new home for ourselves.

In November Alex turned one, but B had to return to work, so I began working most of the week from home to look after him.

Finally, in December we sold our current house and we got a Playstation 3 at Christmas.

A pretty amazing year, especially considering the age of our baby. 2010, less than quarter of an hour away as I write this, is shaping up to be even busier.

Happy New Year!

No Santa next year

If you missed out on your pressies this year, sorry. Our dog killed Santa.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Playstation 3

Santa was very kind to me this year. He brought me a Playstation 3. So I spent Christmas day glued to the console playing games... No, that's not right. I don't actually own any games for the PS3 and getting the time to play them is nigh on impossible anyway.

Using the PS3 I can
  • Watch Blu-ray discs;
  • Record HD television using the PlayTV attachment;
  • View my photos in glorious big high definition on the TV;
  • Listen to my MP3 collection through the stereo downstairs;
  • View web pages on the tv (and update this blog!)

I've got a WD MyBook World network storage device with my MP3 and photo collections, which it shares with other DLNA devices. That means my Sony VAIO PC's and notebooks, the VAIO networked photo frame (through which I can view photos and listen to music) and the PS3. The systems works really well for me.

Photos look fantastic on the LCD tv, so much more vibrant than on the computer monitors and large enough that you feel like you are almost there. It's good to have the music playing in the background too. If only the PS3 automatically rotated portrait photos.

I haven't yet got PlayTV to pick up SBS, but the signal is pretty poor anyway.

The PS3's web browser is okay, but not as good as your standard PC browser. A number of websites, including Jetstar, think that it's a mobile device and don't show the standard pages. I'm used to browsing on non-standard devices, but I haven't had the mobile issue before, except when actually using a mobile phone.

I attached my Logitech EX100 wireless keyboard and mouse to the PS3 and it worked automatically, although the range is quite poor. Still, it's much easier than using the game controller or remote to try to type.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the setup. If I wanted to play games I'd get a Wii, but the PS3 is fun for many other reasons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Multitasking minds

An interesting article in Scientific American about the abilities of individuals to multitask media (eg blogs, television, music) and their ability to focus only certain information. The results were basically that heavy media multitaskers had difficulty focusing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hidden Linux everywhere

I used to run Linux on my computers, usually in preference to Windows. I still prefer Linux based servers to Windows, but these days I seem to spend most of my time in a desktop environment using the default version of Windows that was installed with my machine. Yet the usage of Linux in this house increases.

My Sony Vaio P mini notebook computer has a Linux Instant On mode that is really useful. The Sharp Zaurus 3100 PDA runs Linux, as does my Sony MyLO handheld media device. My Sony digital photo frame uses a Linux operating system and so does my Western Digital WorldBook network storage drive. Apparently our Sony DSC-T70 digital camera runs Linux. Even our Sharp LCD television runs Linux!

Sony has a list of their consumer devices that run Linux - it's quite surprising!

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