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This is the markings of the passage of my life. Full of useless info, poignant moments, and crazed nothingness!

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Thursday
Mar292012

Relaunch Incoming...

2 years since my last post. Ugh.

So after all this time, what will I be doing?

Well, for the immediate future, I'll be relaunching the site's design in just under a month, to be utilised for a very specific purpose!
More info to come, maybe. Or maybe once it's done I'll just flick a switch and change it all :P

 

So stay tuned! 

Thursday
Jul292010

At the Optus iPhone Launch 

I'm here at the Optus launch for the iPhone 4, on George St in the city.

The countdown is at around 3 hours, but being about 137th in line means I won't see the front counter until 4 hours. Sadface :(

So far, it's been cold, and the line has filled out behind us, sitting at about 200-300 people. We are sitting on the opposite side of the block as the store itself, the line having wrapped around the side already!

I of course, did not bring a frigging chair. Sigh.

The optus staff are slowly meandering through and around us, asking questions or offering competitions to win inane plastic stools, or other weird stuff. Oh, and some of the staff are wearing monkey costumes, while others are dressed as bananas. Keeps with the Optus theme I guess!

Also, the salespeople have started working the line too, handing out freebies, like "bandaids" for the iPhone 4 antenna, to prevent the death grip issue. And of course, if they see an opening, they start the sales spiel. The one I got looks pretty cool, but probably won't use it, prefering to use the Apple bumper.

All in all, it's cold, I'm standing up, and we can't hear the stuff they are shouting about up the front. But at the end of the night, I shall have a brand spankin' new iPhone!

Follow me on Twitter to get the latest update from the line! www.twitter.com/Nargath

Thursday
Jul222010

Review: Dropbox

A short and sweet one today, this time outlining my favourite online storage app: Dropbox!

 

Name: Dropbox

Developer: Dropbox

Tour of Product: https://www.dropbox.com/tour

Cost: Free (2GB), $10USD a month (50GB), $20USD a month (100GB)

Home Page

 

This has become my go-to app in the past 6 months. This app basically gives you storage in Dropbox’s “cloud” (industry term for storage via servers on the Internet, not locally on your computer).
But also as an aside to that, when you install the Dropbox client on a computer, you can then have it download your Dropbox contents to that computer, and any change you make will be then uploaded back to the Dropbox storage cloud, and replicated to any other Dropbox install you have!

For example, say you have a folder on Dropbox, called Pics. If you add a picture under the Pics folder, every Dropbox install will then download that picture the next time that computer gets Internet access.

There are also apps for both iPhones and Android smartphones, giving you truly mobile access to your data where-ever you go.

The speed in which files are available, both when you are accessing the files, and when the clients are updating their local filelists, is quite fast, considering just how popular this app has become in the past year.

Also, they offer 30 days worth of data retention. This means that every time you make a change to a file in Dropbox, you can access that change for 30 days. Think of it as a big undo option for your files.

And the uses for Dropbox are myriad. These two Lifehacker articles (here and here) and the Tips and Tricks Dropbox wiki page demonstrate some of the other possibilities, from syncing passwords, to having your music with you everywhere, to even remotely starting torrents!

My use of it is fairly pedestrian however. I just use it as a decentralized storage for my various D&D creations and notes, as well as things like budgets, my CV, and for photos I want to share when I’m out and about.

This program is very highly recommended. The free version gives you 2GB of online storage, while there is $10USD and $20USD a month options, giving you 50GB and 200GB respectively.
I use it all the time, and every single one of my machines is synced, and utilized nearly daily. It is incredibly useful to have your data just there with you, no matter where you go!

 

Let me know how you use Dropbox in the comments below!

Friday
Jul162010

Review: Fruit Ninja (iPhone)

This is the first in what I hope are a series of reviews of games, apps, movies and general stuff that I use and see.

First cab off the rank is a review for the iPhone App, Fruit Ninja!

Name: Fruit Ninja

Developer: Halfbrick Studios

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6hUTC1Edyo

Cost: $1.19 AUD

iTunes Link

This game is very simplistic in it’s approach and gameplay. You play a ninja, and you must slice as much fruit as possible as it arcs across the screen. Doing so gets you points for each piece of fruit sliced. That’s it, honestly. The fruit is randomly lobbed from the bottom of the screen, and you must slice it before it falls back off the screen again.

 

Of course, there is a little more to it than that. It also has a combo system, meaning that as you slice more fruit in one swipe, you get bonus points. There are also critical, but as of the time of writing, I have not worked out what triggers them. and, just for the sake of livening up the gameplay, there are two ways for a game to come to an end: bombs, and losing three lives.

Losing lives occurs when you allow a piece of fruit to fall off the screen unsliced. Drop 3 pieces of unsliced fruit, and it’s game over. The bombs are even more tricky, as they are lobbed up in a similar fashion as fruit, and are even mixed in together. Slicing a bomb means game over, straight away.

 

The quality of graphics in this game are very well done. Everything is bright and colourful, with very cool splatter marks spraying on the back wall as you slice through a variety of fruit. The gameplay is very simplistic, but ramps up very quickly, as you soon start to get waves with irregularly timed fruit lobs, mixed with bombs, making things quite difficult to navigate.

 

There is another mode called Zen Mode, which eliminates the bombs and the lives, but gives you a 90 second countdown, with the goal of getting the highest score possible. There are also a few extras available, like different coloured blades and background. These are unlocked when you achieve certain milestones in the game.
More modes and extras seem planned by halfbrick, as there is a few “Coming Soon” spots in the menus.

Fruit Ninja uses the OpenFeint gaming platform, meaning there is achievements available, plus online leaderboards. Basically, it is an iPhone version of the Xbox Live interface.

 

My thoughts:

This game is incredibly simple. Fruit gets lobbed, you slice the fruit, or game over. And don’t hit the bombs, or you die. And while that may seem very limited and not something to draw you back, there is just something inherently appealing and fun about continually slicing fruit, making a mess, and trying to get as big a combo as possible. Simple seems to be the way to go for iPhone games, as I never really play games on it for hours on end. It’s more of a gaming device for in between meetings, or during a lunch break, on the train, or just before bed. And so a simplistic concept, but with fantastic art and appealing visuals really hits the spot for sucking you in.

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday
Jul072010

Start of a long road ahead...

Wow, three posts in as many days! Going for a record!

I have been approached by a friend of mine to pick up soccer again next season (in about 9 months). But before I can do that, I REALLY need to get back in to shape.

This friend has been encouraging me to get back on the fitness wagon, and I've decided I will, and will restart my attempt at the Couch to 5K program!

 Basically, this program, over the course of 9 weeks (3 sessions a week), will take you from not running at all, to running 5km in one go! The training is all interval based. For example, the first week is run for 60 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds. Those intervals of walking become less and less as the weeksgo on, as your fitness and running ability increases.
I've already attempted this once before, but got derailed after the 1st week. But, I am determined to give this a red hot go, along with a few other programs I'm looking in to.

 And that's where this blog comes in to play. I will be providing a weekly commentary of how my running is progressing, and tips, tricks and useful tidbits of information I find along the way.

 To kick off this fitness-share, I have compiled a list of songs that I feel will definitely help me as I'm pounding the pavement, as seen here. The format is a little wonky as I get used to coding again, but the list clocks in at 80 songs, and feature some typical, and not so typical choices for me! Get it from the link in this article, or just to the right under Navigation.

 So jump in to the comments, let me know if you have any other choices for songs that I should add to the list, or even just add your 2 cents in on the C25K program!