Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for December 1999

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
28
Dec 99
Tue

Bleh

At a cafe with a friend. Jumped onto a free net computer with a 1.5MB connection :). I didn’t find a terminal at the airport though. Anyway I thought I’d take the opportunity to check mail and do a quick post. I’ve decided I’ll get a Kodak DC290 digital camera, if I can find it at a good price. Prices I’ve seen so far range from HK$5500 (which sounds dodgy) to HK$6700 and everything in between. Full retail games here are cheap – average about AU$55-60 for new releases. Of course, you could get the “OEM versions” for 10% of that at AU$5 :).

People here are short. I’m actually taller than the majority of people on the streets. It’s giving me a bit of an ego boost, actually :). Of course it’s the opposite in Sydney where just about everyone is taller. I need to buy a suit for work (which starts on Jan 17th). I’m actually too small in Australia to buy a premade suit (nothing is that small). But everything here is like… mini-size or asian-size. My cousin is sharing the hotel room with me. He’s 5’9 and his feet stick off the end of the bed. Clothing in adults’ small size in Australia just fits me, but I have to go to adults’ large size here :). Anyway, gotta run. Have a great new millennium y’all.

And one tip. Never open Solo’s site at a public terminal when people are watching :).

24
Dec 99
Fri

Just Can’t Keep Me Away

We’re just about to leave for Hong Kong. It turns out that my uncle has access to the business class lounge. How bourgeious is this? Free alcohol and food! And a free net connection (yes, I’m not paying to make this page update). I can’t imagine what the first class lounge is like…

Another $2 to Burn

Safely made it :). I’m now 6800km from good ol’ Camden. And found another Net terminal. Singapore’s airport definitely seems much more modern (I’m on IE 5.0 now, and my $2 buys me 15 minutes :). Not to mention clean. Think I’ll try to find another terminal in Hong Kong airport when I get there later tomorrow, make it a habit of sorts. Oh yeah, Merry Christmas!

23
Dec 99
Thu

Burning $2

Well we arrived at the airport about three hours too early. I was just thinking how strange it was that an Airport that will be a hub of international travel in September next year has not one internet terminal for people to access. I wasn’t quite right – there’s three terminals running Netscape 3 (can we say, ancient?) inside the boarding area. So what the hell… I needed to burn some time, so I shoved $2 in for this 10 minute net session I’m now getting. I still reckon though, that an airport is the best place for an internet cafe – people needing to get in touch with others around the world, while needing to kill some time waiting for flights.

Time Man of the Year

It’s Mr Amazon, Jeff Bezos. Makes me want to go into e-commerce.

Communal Crier – Holiday Bonus Edition

This will be the final post I’ll be making from Australia until the 8th, next month. In the meantime, check out the holiday pullout section (don’t forget to check out the bundle of tickets I scanned :). Have a safe, but fabulous Christmas (or whatever celebration you may be engaged in) and an incredible New Year. Gee, I think I’ve run dry of superlatives to describe Christmas and the New Year over the last week.

And of course, here are the regular features:

New
• Four20
• FUKCINPICEOFSHT

Moved
• De/nnis
• Rebelonet – back to its rightful domain
• White Ty Affair

Plea
As stated on www.bunkford.com our host is giving us the boot.  If anyone knows of a good, fast, cheap host plz let us know. If you don’t mind, could you post something on your site about BF needing a new home, cuz we have until Tuesday December 28th to find one. [Mail him]

And I can just imagine getting back and spending 5 hours downloading what’s arrived in my mailbox while I’m away :( But don’t let that stop you from mailing me.

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21
Dec 99
Tue

Communal Crier

New
• Dysfunction – Part of the Ramblings network
• Losing Our Minds – Ditto
• Moo.nothing
• Sustalk – Ramblings again. Getting in gear for world domination?
• The Frail – Get your dosage of Doug

Moved
• Piratepete
• Wordpage 10 – Wordpage’s 10th release. Totally free upgrade. Now includes lubricated crap.

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Mormons, eh? Come in, have some coffee and biscuits…

“MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) A man received a suspended two-month jail sentence Friday for feeding hash cookies to two unsuspecting American Mormons.” Read on. Anyone have any funny run-ins with street-roaming religious fanatics? [Source: SNoT]

Hear Ye! Will Be On Hiatus

That’s right, a scheduled period of no regular updates (not that I have been updating regularly, anyhow) from 24th December, 1999 to 8th January, 2000. I’ll be off to hot and humid Singapore, flying off on Christmas Eve, followed by a week long foray into wintery Hong Kong (city of cheap “OEM software” ;) which includes a daytrip into China. It appears we need a separate visa to get into China. I thought China retook Hong Kong, and thus since Hong Kong was now annexed with China, only one visa would be required? I guess the HK “Special Administrative Region” is still quite separate from mainland China. I’ve got a bit of a shopping list which is dominated by technological products. Singapore’s hardware is quite a bit cheaper than in Sydney (it helps that most hard drives are manufactured there, and that Creative Labs is a Singaporean company). I’ll be looking for a 2+ megapixel digital camera there, along with an international warranty for it. Which one to choose though? The Kodak DC290 looks quite good, but it’s probably out of my price range. Suggestions?

In the meantime, I set up a quick and dirty CGI script so I can update this page via the web, should I get the time, inclination, and access to a web browser. I’ll be updating between now and the 24th though, so don’t go anywhere just yet.

17
Dec 99
Fri

HSC 99 Results Out

This time last year was quite euphoric and somewhat surreal for me. I hope anyone who sat the HSC this year feels the same way. They made the UAI available through the Net this year, and it’s about bloody time. Surprising they didn’t do that last year.

The Bone Collector

Quite a good crime movie with an interesting twist. First time I’ve ever seen “remote-control forensics” :).

16
Dec 99
Thu

Communal Crier

New
• Nyquilman’s Page Of Shit
• The Amazing Rando

This instalment of sites straight from Solo’s.

Cross-Pacific Weather

Sunny. Warm. And not a cyclone in sight. Well not in Sydney, anyway. The cyclones that do hit Australia are often on its relatively unpopulated Northwestern coasts. Notice that the highest number of people mentioned in this news report is 12 Aussies (as opposed to the 2 million Floridian evacuees mentioned when hurricanes hit Florida earlier this year). Who cares about these obscure outback outposts anyway? j/k :) It’s all still better than hurricanes in the East, and earthquakes in the West, Solo. HA! :) Hmm… I got sunburnt on the face the other day. Not pleasant at all.

One Drunk Pussy

Quite a photo. Thanks to Fuzz.

Trek

KillKrazy has written about the future of the Trek franchise. It’s worrying. I haven’t heard anything about a 10th film, and I haven’t heard anything about new series (although there was a rumour a while ago that they were going to bring out 3 more series, but in hindsight that sounds pretty ridiculous). Of course, since Aust is a few years behind season-wise, I have a fair few episodes left to watch.

Windows 2000 Goes Gold

But will come out next year mid-February. In this month’s shipment of MS CDs, I got the Beta 1 version of Windows Millennium (basically, the consumer version of Win2k). I don’t know anything about it. Wonder if it’s worth a test run? Can anyone tell me anything about Win Millennium?

Those Crazy CAP Alert People Are At It Again

BAMF linked to this “Don’t touch me there” feature the fanatical fundamentalist CAP Alert People dished up. In case you don’t know, CAP (ChildCare Action Project) is run by a Christian group which aims to “protect” today’s children from the blight of contemporary culture. Unfortunately they are a touch too zealous and in the end look nothing more than foolish. In the “don’t touch me there” feature was this, which I just have to point out is erroneous:

What Are Private Places
Private places on your body are the places which God covered on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They are places that God does not want others to touch.

Wrong. Adam and Eve were both unashamedly naked to begin with. Only when sin entered the world (via the snake’s influence) did Adam and Eve become ashamed with their nakedness.

“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” – Genesis 3:7-11

I believe CAP just preached incorrectly. Crazy people. Worse than the Mormons parading up and down George Street trying to convert people. Seriously – do they expect to convert people by annoying the hell out of them? The only way they’re going to convert someone, is if someone actively approaches them. Which doesn’t happen often, I’ll bet.

Fineprint

Save paper, save time. Fineprint is an “add-on” print driver that will put multiple pages onto one page (you can fit 2, 4 or 8 pages onto one piece of paper). It shrinks each page and tiles them onto a single page.

Quick Link

The Most Complete and Most Useless Collection of Pickup Lines. Thanks to Miyagi.

Optus Cable

Optus has released their cable modem pricing scheme. It’s bona-fide flat rate.

15
Dec 99
Wed

Update

Yeah, been neglecting updates lately. I know that.

Communal Crier

New
• Bunkford

Moved
• Ramblings

OI!

Userfriendly knocked Frontpage! Dammit :).

Blair Witch

Interesting concept. Not scary, not tense. If I was in the woods, like the actors, I’d be shitting myself, but that same tension and fear wasn’t passed to me. It’s like one of those experimental films you’d expect film school students to make. I guess I wasn’t totally disappointed though. Just because a movie has so much hype about it doesn’t mean it should be ripped to shreds because it didn’t live up to expectations. But the “upwards-nose-shot” where a torrent of mucas came tumbling out of Heather’s nose was one I could have done without.

UIX Ascension Dragon Edition

Asked that guy at the small computer game store near the cinemas on George Street about the Dragon Edition. He seems to think it “might” be imported to Australia in January. Good news. Except for the fact that Ascension is ridiculously overspeced and somewhat buggy.

Dust Puppy Plush Toy

Shish tells me that Userfriendly’s dust puppy has been released in the form of a US $12 doll. Hey, it’s cute, I’ll give you that, but that much for a furball with feet?

Movie Tickets

That $7 Greater Union movie ticket thing is still on (thanks to Fuzz yet again).

11
Dec 99
Sat

Communal Crier

New
• Not A Satisfied Customer

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Doohan Retires from Motorcycling

Mick retires from motorcycling due to injuries. Damn, I thought he was fit enough to resume riding.

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10
Dec 99
Fri

Famous Last Words: “Mate, just be there, you’re in!”

Last night, 10.45pm, outside Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour
We’re at the entrance to Home, and there’s no queue there. We ask the bouncers what time it opens. Extremely strange for a nightclub that holds over 1000 people, and that opens in 15 minutes, that there’s absolutely no queue. Nonetheless, we figure we’re lucky and line up anyway.

10 minutes pass. The bouncer comes up to us. “Can I see your tickets, please?” And we’re thinking, “WTF? What tickets?”

“Guys, you do know that tonight is a gay night.”

Silence.

Aw, fuck.

Shuffle away. Quick. That explains the two guys in tight shiny leather standing behind us.

Of all the nights we choose, we get the gay night. We ended up further down the wharf in Pontoon, which was shit (especially compared to Home) – the girls were complaining about the sleeze, dance floor too cramped etc. Now my dilemma is, should I go to sleep, or shouldn’t I? I feel awake.

8
Dec 99
Wed

Communal Crier

A report from ground zero of the latest conflict in the neighbourhood, straight from one of the 5 disorderly sanitary technicians:

Here I sit, in Stile’s house, after everything is said and done. The events of this evening have been unbelievable and turned out in a way desirable to all.

First of all, I rallied at Stile’s house to defend against the attacking team of webmasters, unfortunately consisting of some of my fellow janitors. Upon arrival the gang started to trash Stile’s house. Until we found something to everyone’s amazement. Two VCR’s connected with gold plated video and stereo chords. A concoction suitable for only one thing, movie duplication. We were all stunned. It seems as though Stile had been stealing movies, dubbing them and returning them. There were all kinds of flicks in his archives ranging from “ROBOCOP” to “TANGO & CASH.”

Stile darted for the door only to be stopped by the FBI. Turns out that they had heard about Stile’s little movie stealing scam. “Yah, I read the Janitor site everyday. I am an expert on this stuff, and when i saw the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Commando’ being followed up by the disappearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Total Recall,’ it had movie piracy written all over it,” says SWAT leader Martin Roberts.

It was a mess, the SWAT team came in through the windows and doors. Roberts asked Sharkey exactly who had been copying movies. Sharkey gave one look to Stile and realized, hell, they were only movies, and proceeded to point to TBA from BrainDamage. The FBI shot him. Stile pointed to Solosier and said “yah, it was him too.” They shot him twice. He made a gurgling sound on the floor.

The FBI just cleared out all the bodies and everyone has sat down to watch the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, “Commando.” I gotta go because I am missing the beginning.
[Source: Unruly Janitors]

Help, stop me laughing before I rupture some internal organ! :).

New
• CrackerJap
• Persephone Records and Forum
• Pen Is Mightier (Penis Mightier? :)

These guys wanted a plug: Kill Ugly TV. Weird stuff on this site.

SoloTrek

Sorry to say this Solo, but Sisko is as “badass” and angry a captain as you’re going to see in Trek. I don’t know how he was in that episode (which is probably 2 seasons ahead of what screened here), but push him enough and the guy goes psycho :).

Must… Have… More… Bandwidth

I totally agree with what you just said. Optus have been experimenting with cable for four years in australia now and still, nothing. To make things worse, I’ve heard that Telstra have or about to set their standard 100 meg deal (which features the unlimited ftp, data from bigpond servers etc.) to a 250 meg all up deal, meaning that they’re not just going to count http like they currently do, but ftp and stuff as well :(

Also, the other problem with satelite is latency, which is inherintly pretty bad for satelite’s, and of course because you’re still using a dialup connection to upload that only makes the problem worse.

I guess we can just keep hoping that eventually we’ll have a high bandwidth service, comparable to what the US have… altho I doubt that it’ll happen.

Warmaker

Valid comments. The day Australia has bandwidth comparable to the US, though, will be the day Internet 2 comes into circulation (ie: a very, very long time).

Communal Crier – Offering A Different Controversy Every Fortnight

Have you seen BAMF and Stile Lately?

ABA Hacked

A friend, Andrew, forwarded me this link to the ABA’s web site (Australian Broadcasting Commission). It’s been hacked (local screenshot). Australia does indeed have the weirdest stance on Internet regulation. They are trying to regulate something which is unregulatable, and something which normal people have no desire to see regulated. For a developed country such as ours, we sure have some crony old backward luddite politicians. Also, when hackers hack, why can’t they spend a bit of extra time composing a message that is coherent and written in proper English? Then maybe for once, when people who read the hack think about the hacker, images of a rebellious, uneducated teenage muckabout aren’t conjured up. It would give them a little credibility … and dropping the hacking lingo would show you’re more serious about your message, and not the fact that you’re so “l33t” cos you cracked the security of some site.

Browser Testing Site

This site was set up to test your web browser’s capabilities. I didn’t know there were so many &xxx; tags in existence: áâã.

Feats of Dexterity

I found this absolutely amazing link off Userfriendly. It’s a juggling simulator which demonstrates a myriad of juggling tricks and their variations. There’s so much more than the 3-ball cascade – I wasn’t aware how much! I know what I’m going to be trying to do all of today :). I just managed to do the reverse cascade … going to try learn the “chop”. Juggling can be somewhat therapeutic – but only once you master it. Listening to balls go “thump, thump, thump” on the floor for hours on end will not only drive you crazy, but if there is anyone around you and they have to keep listening to that sound, they’ll be mimicking it on your skull. There’s a list of more juggling programs and learn-to-juggle applications situated here.

7
Dec 99
Tue

Communal Crier

New
• Tritone

Why I Keep Whinging About Bandwidth

I’ve heard somewhere that Australia is one of the most heavily fibre optically wired countries in the world. The problem is, very little of this bandwidth is available to home consumers – both practically, and physically. Broadband cable services are limited to certain metropolitan areas, and even then, Telstra’s monopoly means the costs ($65 for 100 MB and 35c/MB over that) are exorbitant. Even when Optus introduces flat rate cable, their service is restricted to cabled areas – about 1 million people in a country with 18 million. Satellite is a broadband alternative for those not in cabled areas, but this still requires a modem dialup – a modem dialup which is most likely a timed STD call if you’re not in a suburb that’s deemed ‘big’ enough to have fibre optics running alongside the copper telephone wires. ADSL and DSL have been pretty much mythical, and what DSL services that do exist are clearly business orientated (over $1000 a month). How long do trials take?

Furthermore, I have a 56K modem, but I can only achieve 36K download speeds. This is “due to the quality of the phone lines, we cannot use 56k on the regional areas, until the service that we use to those areas is upgraded to a Digital Service.” Even the plain copper phone lines are old.

Articles like this keep enticing us with the raw power of huge bandwidth pipelines, but until the consumer has access to them at a reasonable price, it really has little impact on us. What’s more, it seems that Telstra/Optus halted their cable rollout. Why??

When you have this kind of infrastructure, it’s no wonder why Silicon Valley, and the US in general attracts so many IT people – that and the greater availability of venture capital over there. Much web site hosting is done across the Pacific (this site, for instance), simply because not only is it cheaper, but bandwidth is plentiful and accessible. You only have to look at Napster and view the flock of cable, DSL and T1 users to see how widespread it is in the US (and of course those “14.4K users” who miraculously achieve 100kb/sec download speeds). Why is Australia so slow? Is it because the telecommunications industry has been regulated until recently?

The article linked above says it will be a decade before fibre comes to the home, but by the time it comes to Australia, it’s more likely that this generation will be grandparents, and we’ll be telling them “when I was your age, they measured download speed in kBps!” Anyway, when in doubt, just blame Telstra.

Ouch

This is a rather unpleasant accidental thing to have happen to you…

Wondering…

Does anybody out there know what happened to the Kali-based OzLeagues? OzWL? OzDRL? Anyone reading this site that used to be a member of any of them? I went hunting for them the other day and they seem to have vanished off the face of the earth. Mail me.

Communal Crier

Urgrue’s site is what can be described as “true minimalist e/n”. No bells and whistles, just text. (Found through referrer logs – there’s no other way I’d have found it). You’ll have to click on “here’s what I say” in the left frame.

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How not to write a letter to Santa

Send this poem to Santa and no doubt he will shit down your chimney. No chimney? He can still do it through the keyhole.

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Life Skills

So, you’ve joined a company and they’re having a welcoming lunch at a Chinese restaurant but you don’t know how to use chopsticks. Or, you’ve got to wrap a gift in a hurry but have no idea how to do it properly. What does today’s geek do? Look up the net of course. Here’s the site for all those life skills you should’ve learnt if you weren’t on the net so damn much (but will now learn because you are on the net so much :). They’ll even tell you how to write a letter to Santa. It’s: eHow.com (what an original name huh.)

1. Ask your parents, or an older brother or sister, to give you a pen and some writing paper.
2. Think hard about what you’d really love to find under your tree on Christmas morning.
3. Begin your letter “Dear Santa” (This is called a salutation).
(Continued)

6
Dec 99
Mon

Communal Crier

New
• Slightly North of Tomorrow

Moved (temporarily)
• Rebelonet

Gamespot Game Quiz

Test your knowledge… hey it has a screenshot of dopewar’s “predecessor”!

Weather

It’s started getting warm. And that’s not good for computers. Heat = more frequent computer crashes. Especially for an overclocked cpu with no extra cooling. Well better the computer gets hot than me freeze my balls off in the Northern hemisphere. Think I better turn on the aircon.

Ultima Ascension

I held the box today. But of course I’m still trying to obtain the Dragon Edition. $35 shipping for a $55 game from Electronics Boutique USA? I don’t think so! No one seems to have heard of it in Aus tho…

Diversion

Connect 4!

Fight Club

Can someone explain to me what this movie was about? My feeble intellect couldn’t grasp all of the things film was trying to get at :). What I understood, though, I enjoyed.

Crash!

NASA’s Mars Polar Lander appears to be uncontactable now. Another fault regarding Mars-bound craft? (the last was the Climate Orbiter which was “lost”). I wonder if SGI is regretting their attempts to up-play the importance of their role in the Polar Lander mission. Even though SGI computers probably weren’t controlling the navigation stuff, it still seems to give them bad publicity :).

5
Dec 99
Sun

Communal Crier

New
• 5 Unruly Janitors

Ooooh

I was just finishing off Baldur’s Gate (I never got around to finishing it, but seeing it’s holidays, I thought it’s now or never) and I came across this. Which is, of course, a reference to Neverwinter Nights. It actually makes sense now :).

Davis Cup

Has been won by Australia. Kick ass.

Semi-Auto > Pump Action

The bruises on my chest from when a guy with a semi-auto cornered me in paintball (during the final free for all game) last Monday are still there.

30 Second Movie Reviews

The World is Not Enough, the new Bond flick was typical Bond… good entertainment, although this one was not the best of them. I think everyone reckons the person cast for ‘R’ (the new Q :) was as good as it gets.

Mickey Blue Eyes. I went into this film not knowing what it was about. Nice and enjoyable. Worth the ticket price though? Some absolutely hillarious scenes… “Ged oudda ere! Arhole…”

Communal Crier

Moved
• Brain Damage

And what did I tell you? Ramblings will be back soon.

For The Voyeur In Us All

Remember when Sony released its camcorder with night vision? The one that, in certain lighting conditions, also allowed it to see through clothes? Too bad they modified it and disabled this “feature”. Well a Japanese company makes a filter which bypasses this. Remember The World Is Not Enough, with James Bond and his X-Ray glasses? :). Actually it’s not really x-ray, it’s infra-red.

If that’s not enough, here’s a site with all sorts of spy-type devices. Scary. Funny how this site’s x-ray camera section advertises only the ability to see-through clothes :). It doesn’t pretend to have any other functions heh.

Breaking Out The New Stuff

Wow. Net free for a whole week. Well, actually the truth is I was in rehab for internet addiction, so I couldn’t really use a mouse while I was in that strait jacket :). Thus, apologies for the distinct lack of updating.

Nonetheless, I haven’t been completely lazy. At long last I’ve moved the whole site to it’s own subdomain and done a redesign of sorts. Please let me know of any bad links or anything that’s broken. Most changes have been behind the scenes work with dynamic stuff (you no longer have to view the giant e/n listing if you don’t want to!). With this “version” of Hear Ye!, I’ve dropped Netscape 3 support, but to compensate, I’ve jumped on the themes bandwagon and offered a text-only version of the site (as well as a tongue-in-cheek weblog layout). Constructive criticism or any other mail would be appreciated. Plugs would be even more appreciated :).

I’ve begun labelling some pages with copyright notices dated for the year 2000. How cool does that look? There’s something about 2000 that makes anything it’s stuck on look futuristic (except when it’s paired with “non-compliant”).



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