HTML Tags for the memories

While Glutbook was waiting for it’s death knell to be pronounced upon it, I was using my windows desktop machine to re-launch my cousin Michelle’s popular website, Bunny Abandonware. We had worked on the site together before returning from vacation, redesigning the look and building it on a new back end (specifically, Word Press). Migration of the content was always going to be the hard part, but we put a Saturday and most of a Sunday aside to blitz the design, get the content in and migrated, and most of the hard work was done. A little more migration done by Michelle that week and it was ready for me to launch it.

So we did. And let me tell you, I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s nothing revolutionary or taxing, but it was heaps of fun to redesign and make the templates as we went, with Michelle right there working with me.

This comment from The Abandonware Blog about Bunny Abandonware 4.0 really made me feel good:

Finally some nice scene news! Bunny from Bunny Abandonware has been mentioning is for quiet some time now but finally managed to get the new version of her website online and I must say (again) that it kicks ass! The unique colors used by only one abandonware site, the wonderfull [sic] navigation, the nice kinda web 2.0 style with all the gradients and big buttons ‘n stuff… damned pretty.

LOL, I did some Web 2.0 :rolleyes: 😉 But I’m taking it all as a compliment. I believe that what Michelle does with her abandonware hobby is crucial for the survival, not just of the games, but of the memories. Abandonware, while legally dubious, is less a case of stealing and more the case of paying tribute. I keep telling Michelle she’s not just another retro gamer; she’s an archivist — the curator of her own museum. A museum where the exhibits remind her visitors of the way video games used to be, and where not only games, but ourselves as people have come since then, for better or for worse.

I think the best Christmas present I gave myself was when for Christmas I gave my brother a huge pack of water balloons . I had moved out of home to Wellington and I had come to realise that I missed him. We had fun in that back yard that one day, running around with the sole purpose of cooling off and having a blast. But I did it with the motive of having that memory to look back on — a careless, happier day in my history. It worked, and it’s one of the most cherished memories I have. It didn’t cost a lot.

Memories are worth gold, but the most valuable memories are the ones that cost the least.

Tag, I’m it.

Gee, thanks Tim. You know, with all the big names who’ve been part of this meme, I never reckoned that I’d get tagged. I suck at tag. In fact, that’s the first of five things you never knew about me:

  1. I sucked at tag. Primary school was pretty hellish for me — I was unfit, I had no friends, and I could never catch anyone. It’s a part of my life that I like to forget. Because I had no-one who liked me or understood me (my parents admit to not really understanding me and my interests when I was young) I turned to reading books and learning. If I had to pick someone who I think understood me when I was young, I’d probably have to say my grandmother on my mother’s side, Lois, who unfortunately passed away while I was at Intermediate, or just starting, I can’t remember. She would buy books for me all the time, and it was her who I credit for getting me into computers and specifically programming. An Osbourne book on Basic for various computers like the Commodore 64 and the TRS-80, and the really simple game listings within it. I would spend hours staring at that code, trying to figure out what the game would do. I wouldn’t get any kind of computer until after she passed away, and then it was a 286 and no-one told me where GW-Basic was.

    Gosh, there’s a bit there. Does that count as only one?

  2. I love computer games, but in reality, I’m not a hardcore gamer. I like the games that I can pick up, play for 15 minutes, and then put to one side. To this end, I rarely finish a game. A mild case of ADD? It’s certainly not AD&D 😉 I can count on one hand the games I’ve clocked without cheats:
    • Half-Life (PC)
    • Half-Life 2 (PC)
    • Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (PC) (but that barely counts)
    • Phoenix Wright (Nintendo DS) (but it’s mostly trial-and-error. Heh, trial, law game)
    • Doukutsu Monogatari (aka Cave Story) (PC)

    Yet recently I’ve bought so many DS and GBA games for my Nintendo DS Lite, and haven’t clocked any others

  3. I’m not allergic to anything, but I have had cancer. I have a giant scar on my back from where they removed a melanoma (skin cancer). Luckily it came back from the labs that it hadn’t spread, but I can’t give blood anymore. If they’d let me, I’d go every six months. So if you’re reading this, and you are able to give blood, you should go do it — it helps so many people out there, and only inconveniences you for a few hours; heck, most workplaces will let you go give blood on work time!
  4. When I want to chill out, the forest is my chill out space. I love to just go somewhere and listen, relax. Rivers are also very awesome. I was baby sitting a couple of my mum’s friend’s kids for the weekend one time in the middle of summer, and they had some really large inner tubes, so we took them out on the river out the back of their house, and had a ball and we all got so tired, we walked back, packed stuff away, and we all fell asleep in the lounge where we were sitting, totally unexpectedly. It was probably the quietest they ever were!
  5. I like chiptunes. Music made on old retro hardware that sounds like it could have come out of an old GameBoy or C64. I especially like the stuff that comes out of 8bitpeoples
  6. Bonus Fact: I don’t like peas. But that said, they are tolerable when mixed with other vegetables. But by themselves, blargh.

Bob Brown (Confessions of a Guru), Hamish MacEwan (self titled), Hillary (Kiwirose in Canada), Dan Milward (Mind of Mufasa) (fix your feeds, they’re broken), and Unbounded (self-titled), even though Unbounded is the kind of guy who would abhor this kinda meme; TAG – You’re it!

Brisbane Day 2

Christmas today was pretty good 🙂 Mum and Neil were happy about their presents. I got Mum the Fly My Pretties album on Loop Records, along with a pedometer and a can of L&P (a soft drink only available in New Zealand), and Neil a digital wall thermometer and hygrometer. Rapt.

I had already recieved my christmas present: a return flight to Brisbane, so not much was under the tree for me. I did get this neat gel neck cooler thing — you put it in water for about 2 minutes, and it soaks up and becomes pretty solid, then you chuck it in the fridge, then you velcro it around your neck — so beautifully cold!

Today’s weather was forecast to be 38°C. Neil’s new thermometer reports 38.8°C o_O;

We went swimming at Streets Beach again today — a huge turnout for Christmas Day. Lots of beautiful women. I got a little depressed about how I didn’t have a girl to share the day with. After talking with Mum a little, I guess I lack confidence to approach the ladies.

Mum also said that she thought I’d changed; “like you’ve lost a part of yourself – I used to be able to talk to anyone”. That touched a nerve and I didn’t know what to think about myself anymore.

I don’t think I used to talk to HEAPS of people, but I guess I don’t say much anymore.

I hate making judgement calls on people.

I’ll usually only pipe up when I have something to add to a conversation, like a fact or something funny.

I really like to talk about things I know about, like computers, the internet, christianity, creative commons and copyright.

I don’t start conversations. Maybe that’s the problem. I guess I feel I don’t have anything relevent to say that will be interesting. And that’s probably a lie; I’m an interesting person. I am, right? I don’t know. If chicks find out I’m a hard-core geek, I tend to get judged and stereotyped. I don’t look like a stereotype geek, but I certainly can behave like one.

Mum said I needed to boost my confidence. She said I could look at losing some weight and I should do the things I enjoy to make me feel better about myself. I don’t care too much if I have a beergut. And I do do the things I enjoy.

I work. I love to get on a computer and punch out a website. I love to help others with their computer problems. I love to do the things I do well, and I love learning to do them better. Reading about my industry online. Attending conferences. Stuff like that.

How do I boost my confidence in something I suck at? Getting rejected hurts. I feel like I have so much to offer to some special lady. But putting myself on the line only to get burnt really hurts. I work my courage to go over and say hi, and I put effort into it over a few weeks, and then I figure out that she’s probably not interested in me. That’s a bum deal.

But I guess it’s life. The only way to build my confidence up is to take the chance and try talking to a girl.

Fried in Brisbane

So here I am in Brisbane for Christmas.

The first thing I noticed about Brisbane at this time of year is how GOD DAMN HOT the place is. I mean DAMN, this place is freaking stinking hot. I’m sitting here with my shirt unbuttoned, shoeless and sporting my three-quarter shorts, at 8pm at night!

The second thing I noticed about this place is the different bird sounds you hear. They have some pretty random bird sounds here in Australia, and some really weird birds to go along with them. The Ibis, for example.

My Mum lives in South Bank, which is a really nice place. They have the right idea too: to combat the heat, they have countless New Zealand Natural ice cream booths along the promenade along the river. And if that doesn’t do enough to cool you off, there’s a pool near the riverside which is done up like a beach, along with real sand. We popped down there around 3-4pm today and the water was really really warm — like a good bath — but it was still the coolest I’d been that whole day.

At dusk, the fruit bats come out to move around or something — Mum’s apartment is on the 3rd floor, and the bats swoop past the balcony about 10m away! It’s crazy seeing real bats flying around in an urban area!

I haven’t seen much of Brisbane yet, but it’s a really nice place. I’m here for 5 more days. Christmas Day tomorrow – so Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Loose Ends

So, before I head off to Sydney two nights from now, I figured I’d post about a few loose ends I haven’t posted much detail about.

I’m working part time at now, and tomorrow is my last day at the DRC. I love working at 3months: the attitude of the workplace is relaxed but focused; everyone is enjoying their work. I start full time this Monday (3rd Oct). They’ve already got me working on a fun but rushed PHP project. I was working three days a week at DRC, and Wednesday and Thursday at 3months.

I’m so glad I’m not working two part time daytime jobs any more — three Mondays a week is lethal to your mind. I personally believe in sticking your focus to one a project a week at work, using the natural downtime on the fringes of the weekend: use Friday to ‘swap to disk’ for the weekend, and Monday to load the week’s project back into memory. The brain isn’t too good at swapping.

3months also issued me a laptop as my main work computer. This is awesome because I’ll be able to blog from the conference, and maybe even tap into the subconciousness of the lecture attendees, AKA the conference IRC room. Oh, and maybe do some work… 🙂

My mum is off to Brisbane to live with her new squeeze. She’s flying out of Palmerston North on the 15th, so I’ll be up there to see her off. She is saving up for my brother Stuart and I to visit her for Christmas. Sydney will my first overseas experience, so I’m looking forward to following it up quickly with a visit to Brisbane.

Speaking of holidays, I’m off to see the Guru, the wonderful Guru of Bob, erm, GuruBob down in Mosgiel (near Dunedin) for New Years: Bob has offered for me to crash at his place for a few days. I’ve never been more south than Christchurch, so seeing some of Otago with a born-and-bred Dunedinite’s point of view sounds like fun 🙂 Maybe even see Bob fly his new RC Plane…

So yeah, my next post will probably be in Sydney! I’m taking my camera, and will be trying to find buildings from The Matrix on Saturday… w00ta! (is that Australian for “w00t”…? 😉 )