Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for March 2006

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 Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
Mar 06

Apple’s 30th

Apple’s 30th anniversary is today. I wonder if they’re going to be releasing anything new. Ever since I figured out that the bus ride back from work is almost exactly 40 minutes, ie the length of a television episode, I’ve been thinking of getting a video iPod. However, the main thing that’s been making me hold off is that there have been rumours of a new large-screen video iPod with Bluetooth capability. Unfortunately, given that the usual rumour mills have been devoid of any mention of this recently, it doesn’t look like it’ll be here soon, let alone for Apple’s 30th birthday.

Mar 06
Mar 06
Mar 06

Australian content on TV is not so Australian?

My friend Jonathan did a story broadcast on ABC Radio (fast forward to about midway in) about “a couple of Home and Away writers who got frustrated at the unrepresentative nature of their show and other Aus TV – ie all blond Anglos, so they are launching their own new TV series written by Sydney young people called Represent. The official launch is next week”.

Interestingly, Australian laws require television broadcasters to show a minimum quota of “Australian content”. The Government’s reasoning behind this is the preservation of “Australian culture” against incursions by foreign shows/culture, but I’ve never found Australian drama or TV in general very representative of Australia at all. If you look at the racial makeup of Australia, it’s not reflected on TV. But from the sounds of the story, it’s more about making Australia a tourist attraction (ie all foreign viewers want to see are blond surfies on beaches). US TV seems to do a slightly better job in this respect. “Represent” should be an interesting show, although of course if it gets picked up by a station, it will launching on a national broadcaster (ABC or SBS) and not a commercial one.

  8:32pm (GMT +11.00)  •  Culture  •  Tweet This  •  Comments (1)  • 
Mar 06
Mar 06
Mar 06

A quick word

I have a new flatmate! Robin moved in today. First College exam is on Thursday, yuck. That’s all for now.

  10:55pm (GMT +11.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
Mar 06
Mar 06

Ultra-mobile PCs

Here’s a video sneak peak of the new “UMPC” class of computers. UMP stands for Ultra mobile PC, a device in between a PDA and a sub-notebook in size (7″ screen), with the characteristics of a tablet PC. There’s a good promo video showing its potential. Microsoft’s Origami Project is a software platform for UMPCs. If they make this thing widely interoperable with cars (through bluetooth or similar – like how you can currently wirelessly link up a mobile phone to certain vehicles), it might even be able to act as a portable, wireless media centre (imagine being able to seamlessly link up with any car’s hi-fi system, or anyone’s home theatre) with remote control functionality as well. Hmm, the possibilities. (They just need Apple’s design team to give it an aesthetic makeover, because it doesn’t look that flash.)

  8:21pm (GMT +11.00)  •  Computing  •  Tweet This  •  Comments (1)  • 
Mar 06
Mar 06

Post statistics and graphs

I finally got around to running some analysis on HY’s posts. The graphs that came out of it are pretty interesting. Click on the graphs to enlarge them, then you can actually see what I’m talking about below.

Click graph to enlarge

First, the left y-axis is mislabelled – it should be “Hundreds of words”, not thousands. Let’s start with the purple, green and grey lines. You’ll notice here that my rate of posting was most active in 2000 and it has been slowly declining since then. However, if you look at the purple line, the number of words typed over time have been mostly consistent, indicating a rise in the number of words per post (and confirmed by the blue 8 period moving average line). I put in a grey linear trendline for the purple line, showing a fairly even number of words posted, although it looks like it is starting to fall behind again.

I’m not really sure why I’ve become more verbose. One reason is probably that when I put the quicklink system in, that replaced the need to put one post per link. I also think that the past year has been characterised by large trip reports which have helped to keep the word count rolling. But anyway, at this rate, I’ll really be straining a lot to reach half a million words by Hear Ye’s 10 anniversary.

Click graph to enlarge

This graph shows which parts of the day I’m most likely to post. You can see the clear drop during 4.00am – 9.00am (sleeptime), 12.30pm – 2.30pm (lunchtime) and 7.00pm – 9.00pm (dinnertime). There’s a fairly consistent posting period throughout the afternoon, but posting is post likely to be a late night thing for me.

Where the red line is higher than the green line, the posts made tend to be shorter in length. One interesting feature is the 11.00pm – 1.00am period. Seems that I tend to have more to say just after midnight (reflective time, perhaps?).

Click graph to enlarge

This is definitely the most interesting graph. Each red dot represents a post, so theoretically there should be almost 4000 dots on the graph. This graph shows when posts were made throughout the last 8 years.

I did a bit of post-production editing on this graph to highlight some interesting features that I saw. Straight away you can see a dark band through the wee hours of the morning, and I’m a little surprised to see that I’ve never made a post at 7.00am. Incidentally, you now know what time of day I’m at my worst. The biggest clumps of dots fall in early 2000, and late 2001 through to mid-2002. In January 2000, I started a full time work placement at an IT company. They didn’t give me a lot of work to do, and left me to my own devices for the most part. There’s a huge spurt of posts in March 2000, where I redesigned the site (I think mostly on company time, since there was so little work for me to do!). The exact same thing happed in late 2001. The most dense cluster is there. Incidentally, it’s also about the time September 11 happened, so the net was awash with chatter. It’s funny that most of the posts at EDS were in the morning – seems like I’d get into work and have something to say.

Ironically, the three full-time work placements on the graph coincide with the heaviest posting periods. When I went back to uni, even though I had more spare time, I wasn’t using it to post. In fact, when I moved into an apartment near uni in early 2001, there is a very quiet period for the web site. In comparison, the clerkship period (where I worked 3 days a week) around the start of 2005 shows a gap of posting during work hours. That’s pretty much the contrast in how busy I was kept in those different jobs. Now that I think about it, it would be interesting to filter out weekdays and weekends and see those posting patterns.

Each site redesign usually made it easier for me to update the site. In 1998-1999, updates were done by editing static HTML and manually FTPing the file. In early 2000, I switched to a batch FTP updater. I finally implemented a database backend in late 2001 and you can immediately see how much that facilitated posting – but funnily the effect was only temporary. In January 2004, I redid the backend, but they were mainly feature adds and tidying things up – the method of posting was still the same. Nonetheless, there’s a brief spike in posts (must have been the novelty value of having a revamped backend). Finally, in mid-2005 I redesigned the site, but there is no typical spike in posting frequency because I left the country almost straight afterwards. Questions?

  9:50pm (GMT +11.00)  •  Site News  •  Tweet This  •  Comments (5)  • 
Mar 06
Mar 06

Deep-fried Mars Bars

Was down at Bondi last night and finally had a chance to try the Deep Fried Mars Bars that the seafood shops there sell. Despite various incredulous stares at the concoction from unbelieving friends who refused to have anything to do with it, it was gooood stuff. Looks a little fecal, but tastes bloody good. Basically it’s a semi-boiled Mars Bar encased in a half-inch thick case of batter. I think they might fry it in the same oil they use for fish and chips, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. $3.30, along Bondi Beach.

Now banned across the world

A recent mail:

Hi Stu,

I was just in the airport lounge in London, and wanted to check your site to see what’s going on in the world… but look at what happened!

See you soon mate,


Oh no! Not again!

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