May 30th, 2010

So it has been over 2 years since the “iPhone Unboxing” that I did. The phone has been absolutely awesome and it is no surprise to me that Apple’s Market Cap has overtaken Microsoft’s. Microsoft have tried very hard to play catch up with Apple and now Google but have failed pretty badly. Their Zune copy of the iPod isn’t that great and two years after purchasing the 1st generation iPhone, walking around the Telstra store a couple of months ago there wasn’t a single phone anywhere near it (two years later). Google appear to be making some inroads with their Android operating system which is very exciting but their hardware partners are still letting them down.

So yesterday we went to Bondi Junction to see a movie and I picked up a 3G iPad, I consider it a fine investment considering I have not put down my iPhone at all since purchasing it.

New iPad and 1st Gen iPhone

The iPad is awesome and will probably replace the iPhone for web browsing and checking email and will be great for trips away. The onscreen keyboard is great and I’ve already started to use multiple fingers at once when typing which is much more productive. The iPad works with all the old iPhone applications, although to be honest they are a bit rubbish as they only appear in a small window which you can resize to 200% but you loose all the quality of the application, although slowly but surely all the apps are starting to be ported over.

Hopefully iPhone/iPad applications will be officially be able to develop on them using Visual Studio (rumoured for the WWDC event next week) and then things will really get exciting!

May 24th, 2010

So after 6 years of watching what is probably my favourite television series of all time, it came to an end tonight. After starting watching the series almost five years ago it has been a long and fun ride. Thinking back over some of the episodes and seeing how slow some of them were compared to how fast the final few episodes played out. I had dreams about the black smoke and wondered what the numbers meant for ages and how to get in the hatch etc… I remember it really opening up when Desmond traveled through time in The Constant and what Lost fan can forget The 23rd Psalm one of the best episodes of them all.

Like everything good it had to come to an end and I’m happy with the final episode. Of course there are loads of unanswered questions but that I think is more fun then answering everything, if there’s not another good TV show to match this one, at least we can spend the rest of time discussing what we think happened on and off the Island.

As for the Lost finale, Justin and Tasleema organised a fantastic finale with props, boarding passes and weapons –

Inflight menu, safety brochure and of course a weapon

And here are some of the Losties, Simone a member of Dharma, Pregnant Roxy as Claire, Justin as Jack Shepherd, Tasleema as Ana Lucia Cortez and Stu as Dharma –

The LOST Final

A great night and sad that LOST is all over!

May 15th, 2010

So the other day I was researching if it was possible to view live feeds of aircraft flying around the world. It turns out it is possible to track aircraft with ADS-B with some fairly expensive equipment called an SBS-1, which costs about $800. However, on researching some of the software that is available for it, other SBS-1 users can share the data they receive and allow other users to view the information! So I registered the software, called Plane Plotter and plane spotting here we come!

Here’s a video of arrivals to Sydney over a 15 minute period which I recorded, note that 50% of aircraft aren’t shown because they do not have the equipment on board for them to be visible.

And to make sure I’ve not been fooled, here’s Air Austral (the plane to the left in the red area – which denotes anything I can actually see by looking out the window) flying over Manly from Noumea on the way to Reunion registration F-OMAY.

So if you’ve ever bored, get Plane Plotter and get spotting!

May 3rd, 2010

A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Marcus’ 30th birthday with a difference. We went off to Bundanoon (where Matt and Mel got married) and stayed at a lodge which did a special murder mystery weekend.

Three guesses for who got murdered

The evening was spread out with a couple of murders and the help of a paid actor to keep things running along. It was very surreal we were all dressed up like 1930ies and dancing to the music of the era and pretending to be people who we weren’t. I was the local bookie and I had a little helper go around with me to collect all the debts, “ted the enforcer” was his name and he was very good at it.

Lozza with Ted the Enforcer

In the end we all get drunk and Marcus ended up with his shirt off which is a good gauge of a successful 30th party.

Simone, Stu, Bobby, Amy, Iain, Ian and Gayle

The next day we went for a scenic walk around Bundanoon with Mike, Rach and Mia who were also up but camping nearby which was very nice. That evening we got take-away (which we had to go and get as the lady reminded us we were in the country now) and ate it at the place and played a few rounds of poker and did some puzzles which is about right for people in their thirties I would imagine. Most people were nursing hang overs, especially Amy and Alex who couldn’t even eat their breakfasts!

A great time!!