Archive for June, 2006

Accidental purchase

Would you look at that?

Well, perhaps it wasn’t entirely accidental, but I appear to have bought myself a new Apple MacBook.

So far it appears to be pretty lovely. Being used to a Windows machine, I’m still getting used to the slight keyboard odditites and lack of a right mouse button, but it’s proved to be a fairly easy transition so far.

I switched it on, filled in my details, chose a wireless network… and we’re done. Start up iTunes and within seconds I’m streaming music from the rest of the house. It’s a bucket full of aceness!

Right, what’s the text editor of choice out there? I’m used to TopStyle on the PC if that’s any help. Any other must-have software I need to download?

The obligatory “I’m back from @media 2006” post

So, my first @media is over and very good it was too. Highlights for me (in no particular order):

  • Jeff Veen‘s presentation: Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps. Caused me to have all manner of light-bulb moments.
  • Chris Wilson’s very informative presentation about IE7 – and (perhaps more importantly) future versions beyond that one.
  • Mexican food with Adam and Gareth.
  • The relief when Peter Crouch finally scored for England, then the elation when Steven Gerrard sealed it.
  • Kate “buying” us (Amanda, Rich, Ross, Alan and myself) the most foul champagne of all time, then running away without drinking any enough.
  • Ian Lloyd mistaking the moon for Big Ben.
  • Robin Christopherson’s presentation was absolutely amazing (despite the technical hiccups). It gave a real insight into how a blind user operates a PC and what problems they can (and do) run into on a daily basis.
  • Chatting with Adam, Nate Koechley (it’s pronounced “Keckley”) and [insert name of that canadian dude who took a liking to London Pride here] about some of the innovations going on at Yahoo! including a great sounding inverse-forum on their corporate intranet.
  • Andy “Malarkey” Clarke‘s presentation: The Fine Art of Web Design. Really inspirational talk on pushing web design out of it’s current “comfort zone”. I intend to try. I wonder how far marketing will let me push it?
  • The “hot topics” panel session which closed the conference. Jeremy Keith lorded it over Molly, Jon Hicks, Eric Meyer and Tantek Çelic, which produced a very entertaining debate.
  • Inventing a series of new microformats (including hTopTrumps and hLove – for dating websites) in the pub with Rich, Gareth and Andy.

Big thanks to Patrick, Amanda and the rest of the team for organising it and everybody else who made it such a good event. It was great to meet you all again / for the first time. Can we book tickets for the next one yet?

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The obligatory “I’m off to @media 2006” post

I’ll be jumping on a train to London in the not-too-distant future and making my way down to the @media 2006 conference, which is nice.

If you’re going, I might well see you there. I you’re not, well, yah boo sucks to you.

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Memory loss

Them: “So what were the highlights then?”
Me: “Um…”

It’s amazing what happens when you’re on holiday for three weeks. You do so much that you start to forget things. I started looking through the photos this evening and it all started to come flooding back.

That awesome fountain in Kings Park. The DNA tower. The bikini photoshoot. The mental waitress and the Arsenal-supporting (HA-HA!) waiter from Islington. Waffles in Fremantle. The scary prison tour. The tandem on Rottnest Island. The supermonsterpatrolmeister 4×4 behemoth truck. The evil seagulls. The penguins. The only miserable aussie. The biggest ants ever. The steaming lake at sunrise. The trees you can walk through. Dôme. The high pitched receptionist. Owen’s crazy ladder tree – and the bonkers granny who went all the way to the top. Hardcore offroad driving (dude). Those amazing caves, and the guide who’d clearly spent too much time down there. Tales of the runaway “controlled” bush-fire (oops). The wine tour. The streak, ah, the steak. The road-trains. Getting up before sunrise to see the pinnacles. The sand-boarding. The snorkelling. The trek through death valley. The world’s biggest spider (except for that even bigger one). The stripey feet. The parrots. The reunion. Dim sung for breakfast. The booze run across the border to Kuala Lurah. Sushi. The crown prince, twice. The water village. The most ostentacious hotel on earth. The lagoon. The most apologetic staff in the world. The safe. Getting the bride. The wedding. The reception. The hangover. All-you-can-eat noodles. The goodbyes. The not wanting to come home, but being glad to be back. The passport with a nice selection of stamps.

…and that’s just scratching the surface. Man, we did everything! I’ll start uploading photos at some point. There’s just sooo many to work through… I’ve started uploading my photos to Flickr – there’s a whole set dedicated to them.

Back, with a vengeance

I’ve returned from the other end of the world. In the last three weeks we did Western Australia, Brunei and Malaysia (briefly). As a result, I’m kinda tired. Apparently I’ve got 1.3gb of photos to sort through – not including the ones Owen and Anne took. More when I have the energy.

Big congratulations to Wei and Steve on their marriage, and thanks very much for having us. It was fantastic to see you all again and meet so many new people.

Oh, the answer you were looking for is a pedestrian crossing in Perth. They made me laugh every time.

Travel Photolog: 3rd June 2006

Wei and Steve

The day of the wedding. It started at Steve’s place in the morning, where he gathered all of his homies together. We all trooped in convoy over to Wei’s house where he (along with the rest of us) had to pass a variety of tests in order to get to the bride.

Once we’d got through that, we proceeded to the church for a traditional catholic wedding. It was a very nice service, in which Wei sang the psalm – very brave, but she carried it off perfectly.

The evening saw probably the biggest wedding reception ever, followed by a party at which certain people got ever so slightly inebriated. Great fun.

See more photos taken on 3rd June 2006, or all of my photos from Australia and Brunei.

[The very next day we headed for home. Alas I’d managed to pack my camera very well, so alas there are no photos of my hangover. Gutted.]

Travel Photolog: 2nd June 2006

The three of us at The Empire

After a couple of days staying at Steve’s place, we transferred to The Empire, which is possibly the most ostentacious hotel I’ll ever stay in. It’s one of those places that you walk into and think “wow”.

The evening saw us head back to Steve’s for an evening send-off, which included us carrying a safe upstairs, drinking the first third of the secret beer-stash and comparing me to Kimi Raikkonen – I can’t remember who came off better…

See more photos taken on 2nd June 2006, or all of my photos from Australia and Brunei.

Travel Photolog: 1st June 2006

Kids in the water

The last couple of days are just a blur of driving down one side of Australia, eating a massive steak and then flying over to Brunei: consequently I failed to take any photos at all.

Today was good though: After a slow start, we had a Japanese lunch at a well hidden restaurant in the centre of Bandar Seri Begawan, before Steve led us on a tourist tour of the city centre, taking in the military regalia museum and a boat-ride around the water village. Fantastic.

See more photos taken on 1st June 2006, or all of my photos from Australia and Brunei.