An Hour without Power

Well, on Sunday morning at about 9:30, the power failed. At first I thought, this is odd, a power outage in the morning! However as the hour went on, this was not an ordinary power outage.

I was cooking breakfast for my parents and I, as I usually do. Suddenly, the kettle stopped working. I stopped and saw that everything else wasn’t working. It has looked like a fuse tripped, so I went outside and checked. The fuse was still on and the safety switch didn’t trip. Ok, so its not only us, it’s the whole street. The power’s out! Now I was only cooking breakfast, but that was difficult now. No power, no stove, no kettle, no fridge, and eventually, no breakfast. Luckily, Dad has a contingency plan, use the barbecue, and so we did.

For about half an hour, Dad cooked on the barbeque. Breakfast was almost ready until, yes, the power was restored. This was when the penny dropped. Our alarm system sounded, and it had ‘forgotten’ the code. Minutes went by, the alarm sounding randomly. Dad eventually turned the alarm off at the wall switch. Even then it still bugged us. There was a battery inside the control box. We took it out and the alarms fell quiet. That was the end.

When we have (rare) power outages, it is hard to imagine life without electricity.

Jazz Under the Quarter Moon (Cloudy Skies)

On Wednesday, I went to Sydney Observatory’s “Jazz Under the Quarter Moon Cloudy Skies”. The clouds rolled in very quickly in the afternoon, so there was nothing to see. There were a couple of demos and shows in place of the moon viewing, but the jazz music was amazing.

A trio called “Music with Panache” played for the night. It was made up of saxaphone, bass and guitar. They were improvising many popular tunes and standards.

Tom and his sister and my Dad were also there. We enjoyed the night really much.

I’ve posted photos on my flickr of the event. Tom also took some pics too. I will post a link when he uploads them.

Keynote Verdict

Well, I was up at 4am AEST this morning to follow the liveblogs of Steve Jobs’ Keynote at Macworld. There was a lot of anticipation for many of the rumours to come true. And one did.

There were (as I counted) six new things that were released today. They are:

  1. Time Capsule: A networked storage device and wireless router in one
  2. iPhone Software 1.1.3
  3. iPod Touch update (that costs US$20)
  4. Movie Rentals (Rumour come true) (US only (as usual))
  5. Apple TV Take 2 (New UI)
  6. MacBook Air (Rumour come true!)

This offering of products and software is very good. It brings features that are long overdue and new ones too. Time Machine over the network with Time Capsule is a useful feature. Movie Rentals are long overdue. I (and many other people) weren’t too happy with the $20 software upgrade for the iPod Touch. It should be free. Heck, could you copy the apps over via SSH from the iPhone? The MacBook Air (MBA) is a welcome change and also shows Apple entering another sector of the notebook market.

Gee. I can’t think of anymore to write about. If I have more, I will write more.

The meaning of XO(XO)

Today, I got another reply to my “Who’s in Sydney???” email. I sent this email out to all the people I know have email addresses to. I mentioned it in my last post! Anyway, this particular person (sorry, no names!) ended the email with ” x x x”. It got me thinking, what does it really mean?

XOXO is common use for the phrase, Hugs and Kisses. Wikipedia also notes, that the origins and meanings of X and O are highly debatable, stating many meanings for the letters. It says that X symbolizes the lips of the kissers, but also the crossed arms of the huggers. O can be seen as the four arms of the hug and the puckered lips of a kiss. The Wikipedia article also goes on to give religious origins of XOXO.

After reading and interpreting the article for some time, I gave up, left the meaning open to interpretation and then read about XO Sauce.

Email. Does anyone read theirs?

So, yesterday, I sent out an email to people who were in my address book asking whether they were in Sydney. As of the time of writing, only three people out of about 10 replied. It got me thinking, who reads their email?

As of lately, I’ve turned into an email junkie. I keep Outlook open all day, and I check very very often. I find that those people with desktop mail apps (Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird etc…) check often. Those who don’t use them check several times a week. The majority of my friends don’t check often.

I sometimes think that email is dead among teenagers (like me). They like to use their cell phones, talking and texting, not much computer. This is ironic though, as they also like to be on social networks (like Myspace). This leaves me thinking (again), What is the best way to communicate?

Is it email, IM, SMS, talking on cell phones/telephones? Tell me.

Tech Trade Shows

Well, over the next two weeks we will see loads of new tech stuff on the internets. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is on Jan 7th to 10th (effectively 8th to 11th for me down under). This is where everyone shows off their new stuff. Already the biggest news is that Warner Bros. Studios is siding with Blu-ray for their movie distribution . To make things even more interesting, the HD DVD group is canceling their press conference. (Engadget link). We should see lots of new things come out of this show. For coverage, go to:

But perhaps the show I am most anticipating is the Macworld Conference and Expo. This is like CES, but Apple only stuff. All eyes will be on Steve Jobs’ Keynote on the 15th January (16th down under). Many rumors have circulated talking about what may be released. I will be following along on several live coverages on the keynote at 4am on the 16th (Sydney time).

It is a pity that CES is not open to the public and that both shows are in America.

New Years Resolutions

After reading Veronica Belmont’s NYR’s, I thought about how many people have it as part of their new year celebrations. For many it is something they strive to do; they put all their effort into it. For me, it’s different.

I have abstained from NYR’s because I feared that I would never get around to them. I was always so busy with school and other stuff, that I thought it was unnecessary to make them. But this year, since I have put so many things on my to-do-list (some to-dos were mammoth tasks), I drew up my NYR’s.

Here they are.

1. Blog/write more. Since I have this blog and many others, I want to keep a good habit of writing and a record of what I’ve done. It gives me something to do when I have nothing to do. At least once a week is good enough; I also have school and my HSC to think about! I would write about what’s happening as well other stuff like news and movie reviews.

2. Earn/save more money. Well, I already have a job and I may want a better one. I like buying stuff online, but I feel I need to save up some money. It also involves getting out of the “impulse buying” habit. I work at a computer store, but this year, I am hoping to apply for a job at the Apple Store in Sydney.

3. Build my social profile. My social life has declined over the past few years, with two years ago being the worst. I was reduced to being alone for most of the time. This year the situation has improved, but it can be better. Now that I am on several social networks (see the links on this site), I plan to use them more often. Also talking to people is a must.

4. Get out more. This means going out with friends to places, as well as nice activities like indoor rock climbing (IRC). I always saw myself as a recluse and this impacts on anyones social life. Getting out more also improves physical health. This isn’t an extreme statement, just a “I want to feel good” statement.

5. As always, do well at school. School is an important part of life. It sets you up for the rest of it. At this stage of high school (near the end), it is important that I do well. I am willing to give up important things to study for exams.

Well, that’s it. I think. There is the to-do-list to write up as well (ugh). Tell me about your NYR’s.

New Years Eve

It’s New Years Eve today. The last day of 2007. I must say, there have been many good things about this year. But it is all over, and 2008 is tomorrow. What is in store?

I am having a quiet NYE with my parents this year. I’m not going out to see the fireworks in the city! Besides, many of my friends have gone away this holiday, and so it has become very quiet in town and on the internets.

What are you doing this NYE?

The Golden Compass

Well, as those of you who have seen my Twitter post, I went to see “The Golden Compass” on Boxing Day. As promised, a review will be up soon.

My Twitter

Hi, this is me

Hello.

I am Ben. This is my blog. I have wanted to start one for ages, but never got around to it. This is a place where I will write about what is on my mind. I also will write about things in other places, so go to hohohob.com and look around the other links.

Write soon!