Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Live Music Events - What I Care to Share

I've decided that I will share with my followers in a series of blog entries my own personal experiences of live music performances.

This post is just to let you know and a bit of background on the matter.

In 2008 I attended my first major event...The Big Day Out Festival in Melbourne Australia. To those that aren't familiar with this festival it's, I believe , Australia's most famous, largest and one of the longest run music festivals. As the name suggests the festival goes pretty much for a full day. From memory you can get in at around 11am and depending who's playing and what's happening the last act has been known to finish at midnight....A BIG day out indeed.

Since then I have been to a number of other events and festivals including V Festival, Soundwave Festival, Trackside, Stonefest and Coaster.

Some acts I have seen live and will talk about in future posts include:

- Rage Against the Machine
- Rammstein
- Iggy and the Stooges
- Muse
- Andrew W.K.
- The Smashing Pumpkins
- Queens of the Stone Age
- The Prodigy
- Pendulum
- Dizzee Rascal
- Karnivool (Aussie Band - Do check them out if you haven't already)
- Anti-Flag
- Bullet for my Valentine
- The Ting Tings
- Dead Letter Circus

...and more.

As you can probably tell I have a wide ranging appreciation of music, so keep your eyes on this blog for original stories, photos, perhaps a video or two of artists you love that YOU WON'T SEE ANYWHERE ELSE!

Lily Allen Ticket 2009 - Ticket #888 (Jackpot!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"You are currently using 404 MB (5 %) of your 7571 MB"

...Is what my Gmail account is telling me.

I love my Gmail account which I have had since February 3rd, 2006. Back in the days when it was still a beta release. I remember it used to be something like 4gig of storage (and continuing to grow!) and you needed to be invited. I remember inviting people...people from the internet that requested an invite from an online forum I used, which explains people that I don't know appearing as contacts when I do things like "invite friends from email".

I have never really deleted anything from the account, why bother? 5+ years on and I have 7.5gig of storage and using 5% of it - I just keep it all.

On time at university I was at the computer lab screwing around checking emails when I had work to do. There was a girl that was obviously attracted to my devil may care attitude towards structured work and saw what I was doing and asked why I had so many emails. At the time Gmail was kind of unknown so I explained the storage was so big I didn't have to bother deleting anything. She was one of those "kooky and fun" girls and so she took the reins of the PC and started deleting random crap from my inbox and monitored my reaction to this...which was to just watch her and ask "couldn't you be doing something more with your time?". I don't think this went down well and I don't remember what happened not my kind.

Anyyyyhow, I obviously never get big email attachments, in fact not many people know my Gmail address. It's more a business account than personal.

There are 20688 emails in the inbox and I have sent 393 emails from it...thank you Facebook for alerting me of every  insignificant piece of garbage posted on your site :@

Oh and 644 "Spam" messages haunt my account on a monthly basis before they are automatically removed it seems.

Who else doesn't soil themselves over perceived privacy issues and likes Gmail?

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Folding @ Home Team

In 2007 I began donating CPU cycles to a distributed computing project run by Stanford University called 'Folding@Home'.

Approximately 3 and a half years on these are my statistics:

As you will see I have run the client on a number of machines (including the name 'Austin') and even managed to recruit some team members.

For information on the Folding @ Home distributed computing project check out

Anyone that hasn't done this before and would like to sign up you are more than welcome to join my folding team by using the team number 90130. The little certificates you can access after your first completed work unit are kind of neat.

Do any of my followers/visitors donate unused CPU cycles?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Plain Clothes Cigarette Packets

The Australian Government (herp derp nanny state) are looking towards implementing a new law on cigarette companies making plain packaging mandatory because smokers only buy cigarettes because of the fact that the packaging they come in are such works of art...the same reason obese people buy fast food...

Anyhow as a non-smoker and someone that works in public health I see this as overkill. For years the freedoms of tobacco, those marketing it and people that consume it have steadily decreased.

There are certain areas you can't smoke, there are restrictions on where you can buy tobacco products, tobacco is heavily taxed, there are fines that apply specifically to cigarette litter (this one makes sense), there were text-based warnings about the risks of smoking that became warnings with graphics, and currently cigarettes can only be sold at a designated cash register with the products kept out of sight in a draw of cabinet.

The Government says this proposed next step to make the packaging plain will "take away the glamor"

Now it seems tobacco giants are fighting for their rights to par-tay, suggesting that forcing them to put their product in plain packaging infringes on international trademark and intellectual property...and threatening the Government by saying that it may cost them in the legal system.

According to a British American Tobacco spokesperson "The government could end up wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars in legal fees trying to defend their decision, let alone the potential to pay billions to the tobacco industry for taking away our intellectual property


To wrap this up and let my readers ponder over this subject I'll just say that wouldn't  tobacco companies be just as guilty as the Government in wasting the taxpayers money by dragging the matter through the court system? Then again who wants the Government pushing them around?

On todays Internet Browsing Programs

I just came from an online forum which I occasionally lurk on and there was a thread in the technology section about IE9 - They were saying that the design was bad...hmm yeah well that is one of the criticisms people have against Internet Explorer.

I too find that the design of the new IE lends a lot from modern designs...of other internet browsers...

I don't mind, I like the simplistic, minimalistic long as all options are still available somewhere. I believe significant internet browsing software (Chrome, Firefox, Opera) are released with company expectations that it will work well for a large percentage of users without having to change a single setting...for everyone else they are free to tinker with settings, or find a browser software more "them".

I use Chrome more than other browsers, I always like the design and because it looked so simple I figured it must save resources and therefore faster - I'm not sure if this is true, but it sure does feel fast to me compared to other browsers. One thing I don't like about Chrome is that you can accidentally close all your tabs without Chrome determining if you really want to do that.

Firefox is the browser for ADD-ONS, seriously there are a wide variety of them. Think of iOS app popularity and range then think of everything that a browser could potentially do for you...and Firefox appears to have all the software designers gearing their work for use with Firefox. My criticize of Firefox? It may be predictable but it NOMS (consumes ) RAM and really makes machines work hard to cope with Firefox and its hardware demands. I've been told that Firefox works better on Linux - But I'm weary that this could be some Linux cult member trying to convert me, so I can't know for sure if that's true or not...All I know is it's a strain on my laptop, and I can imagine how an older machine would(n't) cope with excessive RAM demands.

IE is the short back and sides type that you wouldn't rely on in an emergency. It's plain and boring, whilst the look has changed, the feel hasn't especially looking under the hood under the settings and it looks exactly as it did say 10 years ago - The internet has changed, IE hasn't. Software associated with Windows has a long reputation with security, so I'd imagine IE often is a hesitation choice for those that have been burnt badly by malicious software. Other than the perceptions of some, IE is a reliable go to browser that comes with Microsoft Operating Systems.

Opera I don't know very much about but I have known of numerous satisfied Opera users.

The same with Safari, it must be good if it keeps all the iOS device operators happy.