Sunday, 31 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Unexpectedly Busy

Towards the end of this week I got a bit snowed under. You'll see what I mean.
Sunday was the second day at the Gold Coast Indy and we spent most of our time outside a Red Rooster that had adjusted their prices specially for the event. After the final race we walked along a length of the track and got stuck for a while in a crowd of drunk males, which is never a good place to be. We moved on before the growing crowd got too big to let us out.
Monday started with a blind beaurocracy demand: I work in an engineering firm, and thus I must have a Construction Site Safety Card for all my site visits. I write software. I am rarely, if ever, more than ten metres from my desk on business. Nevertheless, I must be trained. Four hours later, I am certified safe to visit construction sites and I return to my desk.
Tuesday was the day that I realised how busy the rest of my week was going to be. I had yet to do my taxes for this year, in addition to tutoring on Wednesday, leading a self-prepared bible study on Thursday and running the youth program on Friday. None of it was even started yet. I had to make a schedule to make sure I fit everything in, which is always (in my life) a sign that I am stressed and too busy.
Wednesday was definitely the first day of Summer: hot and humid in true Brisbane style. It'd be nice to have air conditioning. Tutoring went fine. I just hope I'm articulate enough to get Tim really ready for his exam.
On Thursday I finished off the second revision of my subscription list software module just in time to figure out a third design that would be more powerful and simpler. Sigh. I also had to fix some regularly-scheduled FTP tasks that had been failing. We blamed the remote server administrators, they blamed us until we proved that their servers were shutting down our connections.
Friday I ran the youth group program and, as is usual when I plan things, it could have gone more smoothly. The other leaders have grown used to picking up a little organisational slack from me which is good in a way, but it won't make me grow. I also blame the fact that I had little time in my schedule to plan it well.
On Saturday I saw Anchorman (review tomorrow) and also bought Myst IV: Revelation to add to the growing list of games I am currently playing. So far I am suitably impressed by it, though I need to move my relatively noisy computer further away to get the full atmospheric sound experience. I also checked out the City of Heroes Hallowe'en event, which involved trick-or-treating and a giant pumpkin-headed monster. It was pretty cool, but that monster was enormous and I couldn't kill it with the team I had.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Gotta go quickly now.
PPS - Seeya.

Friday, 29 October 2004

A learning experience

I've learned some things about flour:
  1. It's pretty cheap
  2. You don't need much of it to cover a large group of kids in gooey gunk
  3. Once you've done that, it's hard to clean it off again
This is the game we play. It's called "Scumbags" and mostly involves throwing water balloons and messy foods. It can be either fun or horrifying, depending on your attitude.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We had one girl who covered both the fun and horrified sides.
PPS - This is what you miss out on if you don't work with kids.

Wiki is The Way

An article I saw linked from Slashdot, "Championing a Wiki World", sparked a thought. Our company has long struggled with a very poor intranet based on Lotus Notes that must be costing hundreds of hours of lost productivity per employee per year. That really adds up. If we set up Wiki servers, we might be able to provide, say, 80% of the functionality better and faster. On the other hand, I don't know how well such a system would handle the database applications we run, nor how well they would encourage collaboration.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I suppose this is a half-formed thought.
PPS - Or half-baked.

Just a thought

I bet that big black egg Darth Vader sits in is his toilet.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That might explain the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
PPS - And the air freshener.

Thursday, 28 October 2004


I've occasionally considered building a new PC into a used Pepsi Max 24-can box. The pros and cons, as they run through my head, tend to be as follows:
Pro: It would be easy to carry, because it comes with a handle.
Con: I rarely have to carry a PC anywhere.
Pro: It embodies caffeine, the lifeblood of programmers like me.
Con: It's cardboard, providing very little structural integrity. Also the internal mounting for anything not directly on the floor of the box would be tricky.
Pro: It would be a fun project and give me an excuse to work with a Mini-ITX motherboard.
Con: I don't actually need a new PC.
Pro: Plenty of space inside the box.
Con: Probably too much space. I could get two optical drives and four hard disks in there with no worries.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If anyone asks me to build a system for them, I might give it a go.
PPS - Nobody has ever asked me to build a system for them.

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

Tuesday, 26 October 2004


This article, linked from Slashdot, reminds me of David Brin's Earth. In that book, among other things, video cameras are everywhere and are in the hands of citizens. Most of the video vigilantes are elderly folk with nothing better to do. If I recall correctly, a pair of TruVu goggles retails for under $10. That book, plus my previous experiences and subsequent thinking, placed in my head the idea that a camera is more powerful and dangerous than a gun. That, I guess, is the modern meaning of the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword".

Whatever you think about it, cameras are getting cheaper, smaller and more popular. It's easy to imagine that they'll be everywhere soon enough. This probably leaves you in one of two positions: screaming about privacy or adapting. Fight it or embrace it. The new thought today is this: I wonder if our great-grandchildren will have a lowered sense of privacy? Will the invading camera hordes desensitise them to the fear of being watched? Will their walls come down because everyone lives in glass houses? I don't know if there's a balance that way. It's possible there's some kind of equilibrium we could reach down that end of the scale, but from our point of view there is still some information that belongs only to me. Such a total breakdown of privacy would also mean a breakdown of identity and individuality.

I don't know where it ends. I don't know if it even starts, or if we swing back the other way eventually into a world full of big black curtains where pieces of me don't know what the other pieces are doing.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - In any case, the cameras are coming.
PPS - Only the most totalitarian governments will be able to regulate and control them.

We don't need no stinkin' levers!

Heard on the radio this morning from billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch:
Give me a place to stand and I'll move the world.
Call me crazy if you like, but since the un-mangled quote was all about levers, omitting them pretty much constitutes a full violation of the metaphor code. Red card. You're outta here.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Perhaps he needs a more realistic perspective on his power.
PPS - Or a lesson in the simple machines.

Monday, 25 October 2004

A note to telemarketers

Although your script may tell you to say "there is no catch", if it goes on to describe some responsibility I will have or something else I have to accept, that's a catch. You can save us both the embarrassment if you just admit it. Unless our conversation goes something like this, I'm not interested:
You: "We want to give you something for FREE!"
Me: "What's the catch?"
You: "There is no catch!"
Me: (waits in silence to hear the catch)
You: "Are you still there?"
Me: "So there's seriously no catch?"
You: "That's right!"
Me: (waits in silence just a bit longer)
You: (reverting to the previous script line) "Are you still there?"
Me: "Yes. I will take your stuff for free with no obligations or catches."
You: "Great!"

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I've just got to stop answering my phone when it says "Private Number calling".
PPS - If only I didn't have friends with private numbers...


This weekend was my first trackside experience of the Gold Coast/Lexmark Indy 300. From what I can tell, people go to Indy for any of three reasons:
  1. To drink copious amounts of alcohol
  2. To yell at [Ford/Holden] supporters because, clearly, [Holden/Ford] is better
  3. To encourage women in the nearby apartments to take their tops off

Apparently there was also some car racing going on. I could write for ages about the stupidity of any of the three points above, but I've got better things to do with my time.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I am rarely impressed by big noises and shiny things.
PPS - I doubt I'll be back next year.

Sunday, 24 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Late Late Edition

Having been at the Gold Coast Indy this weekend, I was away from an internet connection, so this Sunday Mok post comes to you from the office on Monday morning.
The Saturday night housewarming party left me with relatively little sleep to get through Sunday, but I made it through fine in the end. I had my first actual Java tutoring session that afternoon, and was just a bit disappointed in my own teaching abilities. I get programming, I just can't tell you much about it or how to do it.
On Monday I felt like I'd worked a bit too slowly, because of certain aspects of the approvals system I have to design. It's tricky to get just right, and I wanted to clear my head. I played City of Heroes to that end, and got myself into notable debt with my second character, Bane Mage.
Tuesday I had to refine the data model I'd been using for alert subscriptions in Professional 2, our big project, because my previous model didn't allow users to subscribe to all alerts of a certain type, which may be necessary. I also got unstuck in KOTOR, which made me happy and will suck up even more of my precious time.
Wednesday at work I spent most of the day working on a basic user interface to hand off to someone else to make better and I got a bit bogged down. I should have just cut it loose and given it to Brad. He's good at that type of thing.
On Thursday I spent way too much time looking for a relatively good solution to the "timetabling problem" because it would indirectly help me with part of the approvals system. I also spent about ninety minutes with three girls from my high school days: Audrey, Liz and Lynette. I turn into a motormouth around Liz - always have. It's fascinating to see from the inside.
On Friday I cut my losses on the timetable problem and opted for a solution that will very slightly complicate the user interface, but only just. We ran our fundraising trivia night at the church which probably ended up costing us money instead. Anyway, it was fun. Then, immediately after that, I went to a farewell party for Glenys who should be on a plane back to drab, grey England by the time I post this. Why she doesn't want to stay in the best city in the best state of the best country on Earth is quite beyond me. She must like rain and fog. ;) Luv ya, G. See you again in 12 months.
Saturday was the first day of the Indy, and I did know before I went that trackside was probably one of the less rewarding ways to experience motor sports. I was right. I still had lots of fun and I have to say thanks for the free ticket. I think that, if I go next year, I'd rather have an apartment with a higher view and a shorter distance to travel, like nowhere.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - More about Indy in Monday's post.
PPS - That, I suppose, is right now.

Friday, 22 October 2004

Seriously, I don't get it

Having indirectly dealt with managers for a while now, I have to say that I don't understand them and they don't understand software. They want us to build something and won't (or just can't) tell us what they want or need. When we give them what we managed to build based on our limited telepathic skills, they tell us what's wrong with it and we proceed to fix it. This takes forever. We tell them this. We ask for proper requirements before we start, and tell them that everything will be out much faster if we do it this way. We tell them it will be cheaper this way. Somehow they're happy with the slow, painful, frustrating way, and try to squeeze the quick schedule out of it.

My primary error is, apparently, assuming that they're thinkers. If they were thinking clearly and had some kind of rationale for their decisions, I imagine it would be similar to this: "If we see it quickly, but it's wrong, we can fix it, and software is so easy to fix and change that everything should be out about a week after we first see anything". We projected a project time of twelve to eighteen months. It's now been two years, and they're still acting the same way, only more panicked and more eager to see the wrong software quickly.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - They're just not learning.
PPS - That's the one thing that can really frustrate me about people.

Danger Duck

Crossing the road without fear or reason, Danger Duck has her three ducklings behind her: Fearless, Gutsy and Brave. I saw these four ducks crossing a major road this morning, during peak-hour traffic. It's a little unusual to see ducks around in the 'burbs, so I don't know where they came from, exactly. I guess they were in one of the creeks ... the nearest one being many hundreds of metres away. Given the choice, I'm sure Danger Duck would have flown to her eventual destination (wherever that was) but with her still-flightless offspring in tow, she obviously had no choice but to brave the morning traffic. I guess they just couldn't wait to ... do whatever they were going to do.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Expect the Sunday Mok to be late this week.
PPS - I'll be at the Gold Coast Indy all weekend.

Thursday, 21 October 2004

Can you tell me how to get?

I remember very little of my Sesame Street viewing from my childhood, but this lesson about the letter "q" has stuck with me somehow:

"How'd you do that?"
"Do what?"
"How'd you get that funny-lookin' thing to hang up in the air like that?"
"...You're a funny-lookin' thing."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If memories like this are what I got from my childhood, it's no wonder I'm so odd.
PPS - Thankyou and goodnight.

The Rules

I have three rules of life, though I rarely manage to keep them all.
1. Don't Panic. Straight from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it's a brilliant first rule in every situation. If you panic, you rush and you make mistakes. If you're lucky, you can undo them later.
2. Keep Clear. The Fifth Element gave me this one. Life gets full of distractions. If you pay attention to everything, you end up missing everything else, so you'd better prioritise correctly.
3. Don't Fall. This one's my own, and is probably the most pessimistic of the three. I break it often, and for long periods at a time.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm breaking it right now.
PPS - Generally speaking, though, they're good rules.

Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Server Down

Our primary shared server is down right now. Basically this means that none of us (a team of eight) can do any work until the helpdesk guys get off their butts and fix it. So, for now, I'm in "freeform research" mode (read: random websurfing).

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The best part is that I still get paid.
PPS - Now if only I could figure out how to do this on purpose...

Back in the KOTOR groove

Last night I picked up my copy of Knights of the Old Republic for the first time in about a month. I stopped playing when I ran into a battle I just couldn't seem to win, but last night I powered through it with no worries. So that's the whole game opened up again when I thought it was destined to just rot on my shelf alongside the other games I failed to beat.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Usually when I drop a game it's because it stops being fun.
PPS - This can happen very suddenly.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

They were communists, you know

Smurf theme ... in my head ... someone please make it STOP!

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I honestly don't know how this happens sometimes.
PPS - "La, la, la-la la-la!"

A new economic television model

I'd be happy to pay to download individual episodes of television series in the same way that the iTunes store charges per song download. I'd even accept Digital Resource Strangling Management on those episodes. I'm sick of having the media I watch limited by (a) time, (b) geography and (c) demographic research that indicates my tastes are unpopular when the data network eliminates all of these as problems. Throw in an economic model where I pay rather than advertisers and I'm set.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We're moving too slowly and missing opportunities.
PPS - If the media moguls pulled their thumbs out, we could have this today.

Monday, 18 October 2004

Zombies. Again.

A conversation from the office just now:
"We didn't see many one-legged zombies in Dawn of the Dead, did we?"
"Do you think they have good health plans?"
"I don't think zombies really have the time to unionise."
"It's probably for the best. All the meeting agenda items would be 'Brains'."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - All our office conversation seems to be about zombies or Star Wars.
PPS - And occasionally about work. But not often.

Voltron vs Power Rangers

I have a feeling I might pay to see that...

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Or Voltron vs Captain Planet.
PPS - Hey! Why not make both?

Raining like a big wet thing

It started raining yesterday and it's still going. Brisbane's been relatively dry recently, so the rain is welcomed of course. It's just that, as a person who (occasionally) ventures outdoors, I'd rather it only rained when I didn't have to go anywhere.

Submitted for your approval:

Proposed Rain Outage Schedule
09:00 - 10:10
11:30 - 12:00
07:00 - 08:30
17:30 - 18:30
09:00 - 23:00

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I don't think anyone will take much notice, though.
PPS - I can always dream.

Sunday, 17 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Preoccupied

I had a really good title for this post a few hours ago, and now I can't remember it. I guess that means you're stuck with the dodgy one.
On Sunday I played City of Heroes in the afternoon, then we had a worship workshop before the evening church service. I didn't quite get a chance to see all my friends that night.
On Monday I was angry. I'd been told, indirectly, by an acquaintance that she'd rather not see me. Either that or she was trying to avoid making me go out of my way to pay back some cash. Somehow I doubt it was the second option. I started missing some sleep.
On Tuesday at work I kept designing the alert sending module for our accounting package. It turns out to be quite tangled with the rest of the system which is something I would rather avoid in the design if I can. I've found myself just stopping and spacing out for a minute, staring at nothing. It's weird.
Wednesday I consulted with a co-worker about the alert module and how it might mesh better with everything else. We didn't make very solid progress. I also helped with some debugging. For the second time running I missed tutoring in the evening - Tim sent me an urgent email about it at 7pm that I didn't get until 11pm. He expected me to come to his place and I expected him to come here. We rescheduled to Sunday afternoon. I looked for clock radios with digital tuners and found that they're typically priced upwards of $90, so I didn't get one.
By Thursday I'd been sleeping in later than usual, not shaving in the morning and dozing on the busses, both into work in the morning and home in the evening. I need a little more sleep regularly. The time when I get to rest always seems just a little further off in the distance.
On Friday I was looking for the right way to grieve for a relationship. I can usually find some kind of symbolic gesture that gives me a sense of closure, but this time I'm having more trouble actually acquiring the right props for this action. I had pizza for lunch and a huge plate of pasta for dinner, and I felt rotten afterwards - really sick. I definitely don't need to eat this much.
On Saturday I played City of Heroes again, then went shopping and to two parties: a birthday dinner at Sizzler (all you can eat - just what I need) and a housewarming. I stayed longer at the housewarming than most other people did, and walked home around 1am.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Although I say I need more sleep and less food, I'll probably continue eating and partying.
PPS - I know it's not entirely healthy.

Friday, 15 October 2004

I haven't started singing it ... yet

I made the mistake of seeking out an advertisement or two for Fanta - the allegedly famous "Fantana" ads that have not graced our Australian screens as yet. Now everywhere I go I hear that sodding jingle in my head. If you're sick of having full use of your brain, go to and look.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Keep in mind that I warned you.
PPS - If you live somewhere that plays these ads, you have my sympathy.

Thursday, 14 October 2004

The PlanTM

Darth Gerard has a plan. It's a simple plan and (like many simple plans) it's genius. Like Wile E. Coyote genius, only less likely to backfire and probably involving less ACME-brand equipment. When Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is released in May next year, he plans to hire out one entire Gold Class cinema to see it. This overcomes several problems, not least of which is his aversion to standing in line. In addition, because of their liquor licence, Gold Class screens can't have a movie run past 02:00, so they have to start the screening early for the midnight show. The only way he can accomplish this feat is by hiring the cinema as a corporate event, so, basically speaking, in May 2005, Gerard Incoporated are taking their clients to the movies, even if none show up.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Without friends, the price is about equal to flying to New Zealand just to see the movie an hour earlier.
PPS - This was also considered an option, though only briefly.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Celebrity Look-Alike Zombie Sniper

Inspired by a scene in Dawn of the Dead, I have now decided on a format for the movie tie-in video game. Picture Silent Scope crossed with Where's Wally. You sit on top of a building with a horde of zombies down below. The game gives you the name of a celebrity look-alike to find in the crowd and eliminate with your sniper rifle. Your score would clearly be based on how quickly and accurately you take down the correct zombie. There would possibly be penalties for collateral damage. Then there'd be bonus stages, occasional free-for-alls, groups ("The Partridge Family!") ... the possibilities are endless.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I welcome any opportunity to annihilate the undead.
PPS - Especially from the safety of an arcade cabinet.

Why would you do that?

I have a few reasons for keeping this blog, and I thought it would be good (for me, at least) to enumerate them here.
  1. I don't talk very much, and have a need to express myself in some way.
  2. Related to the lack of speech, I find it very difficult to keep in touch with my friends. This blog makes it their fault if they don't know what's going on in my life. :P
  3. I have a deeply ingrained fear of being open and honest about how I feel, because I'm a male. The blog can confront this fear head-on.
So that's it. Consider it a charter of sorts, and base your expectations on it. Meditate on it. Become one with the blog. You will be assimilated.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That's about the second time ever that I've actually played on the Borg name.
PPS - Makes me feel a little dirty, really.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Network Convergence

This is what it's all about, in my opinion: getting our data, voice, television and radio networks all together, whether wired or wireless. I'm talking about being able to watch cable television on your phone, just because they're on the same network (if you can afford the bandwidth, that is) or calling a friend with your computer. Running a radio station with a worldwide audience from your garage and no special equipment. This is where we're headed, and I'm in favour.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm still reading the linked article.
PPS - It was just the catalyst for this rant.

Superman might not be that stupid after all

According to Seanbaby, Superman is some kind of moron who constantly forgets about his powers. I was generally in agreement until last night playing City of Heroes, when I completely forgot about my character's healing abilities and got very nearly into serious trouble beating up robots.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Having remembered the healing power, I got into a different kind of trouble involving over-confidence.
PPS - And that was when they got me.

Theory 4a

I have a theory on why a great performer like Ricki-Lee was eliminated from Australian Idol last night. This may not stand up under scrutiny, but since neither of us have the statistics to argue with me, you don't get much room to move. Sunday night's performance show was, apparently, the highest-ranking Oz Idol performance show ever. That means new viewers, some of whom would have voted. Some of those would have been making mistakes, being unfamiliar with the voting process. I cite Big Brother as an example, where we vote against contestants, as opposed to Idol where we vote for them. Given a large enough audience (tick) confused in this way (maybe) we could easily see the best performers eliminated. Also backing up my theory is the way two of the stand-out performers from Sunday were in the bottom three in terms of votes.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This has been a mob psychology lecture from M-o-B Productions.
PPS - Perhaps we need some kind of RFC standard for reality TV voting procedures.

Monday, 11 October 2004

The Senate paper was a metre long

As I mentioned yesterday, I handed out "How To Vote" cards outside a polling booth during Saturday's federal election here in Oz. I didn't much want to, so I was looking forward to bumping into some of my friends just so I could say things like "Vote Quimby", "The other candidates eat babies" or "Voting against candidate X makes baby Jesus cry". Alas, most people my age are still in bed on Saturday mornings, so I only got to be as creative as "Vote 1 Candidate X".

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I've got to learn to say "no" sometimes.
PPS - This is definitely not the start of my involvement in politics.

Sunday, 10 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - The Interminable Dilemma

Should I stay or should I go? Should I walk or wait? I've been sitting on a bit of a knife-edge this week, and it's just a little bit uncomfortable.
Sunday I noted that I'd been running into a parade of ex-girlfriend-equivalents completely by accident and at random. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it all. I also spent a large amount of time thinking about someone else entirely.
On Monday at work, I made slow progress which should have been faster. I just can't concentrate recently, and I'd like some time off to clear my head a bit.
Tuesday was very similar at work to Monday. On Tuesday night I started a new Sims 2 family, since I'd been finding it hard to get into the pre-built families.
Wednesday I was ready to burst. I know now that I just wanted to tell someone - anyone - how I feel. The untargeted venting I'd done previously was slightly less therapeutic than it would have been had I posted those thoughts here.
Thursday morning I did post a bit of venting here, and almost immediately felt better. I was out for about 15.5 hours counting work, dinner and Shaun of the Dead.
On Friday our whole source code database died and needed to be restored from a two-day-old backup. Since that took all morning, I studied for my MCSD exams. The youth group program in the evening was a chalk chase that worked pretty well.
On Saturday morning I handed out "How To Vote" cards at the local polling booth. These particular cards urged people to vote for a minor party with which I am not involved at all. I'm not involved in any political party, in fact. I'll write more about that tomorrow.
So that's it, I guess.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I felt better after Thursday, but I'm still a bit angsty.
PPS - And nervous. And restless.

Friday, 8 October 2004

The price of a fresh apple. On Mars.

A fellow fan tipped me off about a sale at JB HiFi today: Buffy and Angel box sets for $20 each, down from approximately $80. Since my vampire television DVD collection at home was a bit wanting, I snapped them up. For $293.72 in total. Eep.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Of course, at the original prices, we'd be talking over $1000.
PPS - And I did plan to buy them anyway.

Shaun of the Dead

Last night I caught "Shaun of the Dead" with a couple of friends. The trailer had led me to expect a light-hearted poke at zombie movies and, for the most part, that's what I got. It's the ending where it all falls to pieces. It felt like the writers just ran out of jokes before then, and I didn't get much from the movie after that. The relatively light postscript does little to alleviate the situation.

2/5 - They tricked me, but I laughed

Mokalus of Borg

PS - There's nothing like a good ending.
PPS - I'd say wait for this one to rent on DVD.

Thursday, 7 October 2004

Oh, the pain of it all!

I told a friend a few weeks ago that I thought I'd be going through an angsty period this Spring/Summer, and now it's started. Of course, it's because of a girl. It usually is. I can't concentrate on anything for long, and that's starting to be a problem at work. I've put her up on such a high pedestal that now I can't get up there, and it's driving me nuts. She's given me no signals in return, so I'm sure this is all just a pipe dream. Still, it's a nice dream.

In the end, I'll just have to go and find out how she feels, one way or the other, because I need to get my mind back. For her sake, I won't give her name.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Current mood: morose.
PPS - Sorry about all that.

Wednesday, 6 October 2004

The Long Tail

I really never thought I'd say it, but I love economics. Actually, let me be more specific: I love the effect of the web on economics. Combine the elimination of distance with cheap virtual shelf space and suddenly the niche markets get their say. Not only that, but because there are so many of them, they build up to a powerful combined force that is greater than traditional physical markets. As long as advertisers and distributors get their heads around this idea, the media of the 21st century can be a very different place.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The web changes everything.
PPS - We still need to feed the world, though. Let's do that, too.

Successful Terminology Infusion

There is a relatively standard term for a task-based personalised page on a website: a "dashboard". We have started to develop pages like these for our current project, and my co-workers were curiously unaware of the term. Now, thanks to a few well-timed comments, I have successfully brought the term "dashboard" into popular local use.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Victory is mine!
PPS - Today I own their vocabularies, tomorrow I own their minds.

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Teeny-boppers incite anger. Film at 11.

It's probably just me, but I'm getting juuuuust a little tired of Anthony on Australian Idol. I'm not saying he can't sing, because he obviously can, and I'm not saying that he won't win, because it seems that he could. What I'm saying is that I'm absolutely sick of seeing footage of young girls saying he's their favourite singer because he's good-looking.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's probably their fault his performances do nothing for me.
PPS - At least the show's editors could keep those comments to a minimum.

Monday, 4 October 2004

There's no 'T' in 'Wimbledon'

The actor's perspective on Wimbledon:
I don't like Sam Neill's American accent attempt - it just grates on me, I guess. Since his part in the movie is relatively minor, I can let it go. I saw Kirsten Dunst drink from an empty cup at one point. I shouldn't have been able to notice something like that. The stand-out performance would have to be Paul Bettany, which figures, since he plays the main character. As for the movie, it's a standard love story amidst a standard underdog sports story and it somehow manages to deliver well on both counts. I'm glad I saw it.

5/5 - Surprising

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think I got the opening gag before some others did.
PPS - At least, I laughed before they did.

Sunday, 3 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Easier Times

This week was, overall, less hectic than the previous one, simply because my extra activities returned to their normal level.
Most of Sunday afternoon was spent rehearsing our Esther drama for the church service in the evening. It was only the second time the entire cast had been together for rehearsals, so we had to work hard. I was only confident with my lines once the actual performance got going and I still missed a cue that Tavia made up for.
On Monday at work, Our Fearless Leader held a long "staff briefing" indoctrination session where the entire office staff heard all about how great our company is and how much money we've made for other people. I fell asleep. I did, however, uncover a roadblock in the promotions policy:
  • I am a software engineer
  • Our company will only promote an engineer above level 4 after they are a certified IEAust member
  • IEAust does not recognise software engineering degrees, so I cannot become certified
This probably won't be a big problem for another couple of years.
Tuesday I spent most of my time at work upgrading my component of our software framework. It has to handle some extra database information now, and the change took more than one day, even though it was reasonably simple. It was shallow, but wide-reaching.
Wednesday I bought The Sims 2 and played City of Heroes. I was supposed to tutor Tim to help with his Java programming, but he never showed up and I couldn't find him via phone.
Thursday, besides the lightsabre, I saw Alien vs Predator and quite liked it. I started playing Sims 2, and found it a bit challenging to get into, like the original. I think that's because it's new and more involved, plus I haven't played the original game in ages.
For most of Friday I was working on a way to automatically alert job leaders about missing data in the database when they need to enter it. The problem with missing data, however, is that it isn't there, so locating it can be a problem. Coupled with the complicated data structures we're using, it's quite slow going.
Saturday I saw Wimbledon which was not on my list, but I did enjoy it. Before the movie I bumped into three people I know: Kym, Kathryn from high school and Peter from QUT. I also did a bit more venting, so this morning I feel pretty good.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think my venting writing is too rambling to post here.
PPS - Wimbledon review tomorrow.

Friday, 1 October 2004

That's $5000 an hour

A co-worker (not Darth Gerard) has come into work rather happy this morning. Last night he won $10000 in a Ground Control II Tournament. There were supposed to be seven rounds, but most of his were forfeits or byes. His total game time for the entire tournament was two hours over a few weeks, comprising three matches. Understandably, he has lots of friends now. I'll be happy if he just brings in a cake on Monday. I like cake.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The final game took only eleven minutes.
PPS - The second-place contestant received a laptop computer.

AvP: Action vs Plot

I caught Alien vs Predator last night when I usually would have been busy. As a movie with a plot, AvP is pretty bad. As pure action, it's pretty good. Go expecting action and you should be satisfied.

I thought, however, that this movie could have redefined action sci-fi if only the high production values had been maintained throughout. That is, the CGI alien shots were top-notch, in my opinion, but the fights were perhaps poorly choreographed, so the editors and director had to get in close and make the scenes overly dark. Alien vs Predator had enormous potential and has turned out to be "merely" a good action flick.

4/5 - One point off for unfulfilled potential.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I did like it.
PPS - I just won't be buying the DVD.