I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

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Archive for February, 2007


Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Note to self: always make sure that you know the names of the people you’re addressing a card to, lest you end up in the situation of the giver of the card seen below…


Things That Annoy Me About Uni, 2007 Volume, Part 1

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

In this, the first of what’s likely to be an ongoing series, the author discusses things that grate at university…

Please be advised that due to low enrolments, the Tuesday 1530-1730 lab for FAV2203 Scriptwriting: Television Drama has been cancelled. You have been moved to the tutorial on Tuesday 930-1130.

Yes, because there’s absolutely no chance that having only one tutorial time1 will cause students studying two majors to have a massive conflict with other units that they absolutely, positively have to get done.

So much for my plan to do a three unit semester in the second half of the year so I could give due care and attention to my various final projects while still having a vague hope of sleeping a few hours a night.

Oh, and a special thank you to whoever made this decision at lunchtime the Friday before classes start. Great work. Really.

1 Seriously, who has one tutorial time nowadays? Surely it makes sense to have two tutorials just so that this doesn’t happen, regardless of enrolment levels.


Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I feel slightly lost without my work e-mail account. This is strange.

OK, I’m more missing the comics feed in Klutz, but the point stands.

Farewell from the World of Tomorrow!

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Last day at the office, so I guess I won’t be seeing my desk again in its natural, paper-covered state. Behold!

My desk, such as it is

Also, bought a new mobile phone, which took the above picture and then (after a bit of jiggery) even managed to transfer it to my laptop via Bluetooth. Sweet.

Burning Bridges

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

I have nineteen and a bit hours remaining at my current job before I finish up and spend the year as a full-time university student. (And, hopefully, a more regular blogger.) I’m now in the funny twilight zone where I don’t really have a hell of a lot more left to do besides a couple of small pieces of training and packing up my desk, yet I still have to be here for a couple more days.

It’s going to be a bit odd being back at university without actually having a job to worry about at the same time. It’s a calculated gamble to make sure that I do reasonably well and graduate this year, but I don’t yet know if it will actually be a positive or a negative when it comes to focusing — perhaps I need something else to switch to when I don’t want to concentrate on uni. Alternately, I may just be freaking out about tossing in paid employment for the first time in a long time.

Better get back to work, I guess. Ah, xkcd archives.

Dirty Water

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Seen on a Mt. Franklin water vending machine in Northbridge that had its sign torn, showing the programming instructions behind. Apparently Coca-Cola really is the source of all evil — or at least that nasty pornography.

Pr0n sales?

Thanks to Ian, who had his camera with him and took the shot.

These are the Big Days of our Lives

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

There’s a lot of people out there wearing black T-shirts… and I don’t see any one of you being beaten up!

– Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance

Give it a couple of hours.

– The instant response from most people listening at the pavillion

Ah, the Big Day Out. Den of iniquity, music, and this year, emo kids galore out to listen to My Chemical Romance and be the subject of derision from most of the other patrons. Much as the Big Day Out of 2004 was seemingly defined by its visible minority of metalheads out to see Metallica, this year’s Big Day Out was defined by the increasing proportion of emo in attendance.

Still, the Big Day Out was not only big but a good day out, as per usual. The weather today was outstanding, the throng seemed generally friendly (occasional cracks about… er, cracking emo kids notwithstanding), and a good time was had by all. By all, I mean me. I can’t really comment for anyone else, in fairness.

Quick thoughts on each band I saw before I go to bed:

Spazzys: Really, really ordinary. I caught the latter part of their set while moseying around the main stage, and it did little to suggest that they’re anything other than a second-rate Ramones tribute girlband.

The Butterfly Effect: About what I expected. Wholehearted, passionate, with a crunching sound that occasionally verged on being vaguely melodic.

Birds of Tokyo: Went to this one not quite knowing what was going to happen, since I’d only heard Off Kilter. As it turned out, they were a very solid live outfit who got the Essential stage hopping. There’s maybe a bit of a sameness about a few of their songs, but it would be easy to argue that it’s simply their sound. Quite impressive.

My Chemical Romance: I watched the show mostly to watch the crowd, but there was an element of curiosity about the band, too. They’re reportedly having Muse support them for at least one gig in the US later in the year, which should be interesting, because on the evidence of today’s performances they’re going to get severely upstaged. Leaving aside their fandom, they seem to be a reasonable but unspectacular live band — Something for Kate with better outfits, if you will. Not boring, but nothing to grab you by the throat (or hips), either.

Eskimo Joe: Local bands playing big shows tend to put on a good show, and the boys from Eskimo Joe were no exception. I was a long way from the stage, but they sounded great.

The Killers: For the first third of their set, I was attempting to get into the D barricade (Note to BDO organisers: This really didn’t work this year. While the numbers inside the barricade were OK, the crush trying to get in was really, really bad — as the organisers seemed to realise very belatedly when Jet were stopped for several minutes.) and couldn’t hear it well enough to have an opinion. Once in there, I had a great time. I’ve heard variable reports about The Killers as a live band, but they really produced a good set. No question in my mind that the songs from Hot Fuss work better than those from Sam’s Town, though — which pretty much lines up with my opinions of the albums.

Jet: I was trying to get into a reasonable position for Muse when they played, so I can’t say much else than that the performance was not terrible, but also not particularly memorable, from where I was. Having to stop for the aforementioned D barricade entry crush didn’t help.

Muse: Outstanding. I’m never going to be an impartial observer at a Muse performance, but comparing the dynamism and musicianship of this performance to, say, My Chemical Romance left no doubt as to who the real stars of the day were. Still, I have to say that next time I see them I think I’ll try to be somewhere other than a mosh pit, just to get a different experience. The only disappointment was that they didn’t manage to slip a song in from Showbiz — I’d have loved to have heard the crowd’s reaction to Muscle Museum, in particular. (Another note to BDO organisers: Your security guys were generally really good, but they should have been hitting us with water a lot earlier than they did while Muse were playing.)

Violent Femmes: Unfortunately, I decided to leave just over halfway through the set to ensure that I was home by midnight, but I really enjoyed what I heard. A real change of pace compared to everything else I heard during the day — I just can’t imagine any other band at the Big Day Out saying and now we’re going to play some bluegrass and actually mean it.

So, that’s that. As usual, the public transport system coped admirably with the numbers (well, it does have to deal with the Royal Show), so two thumbs up to Transperth. And two thumbs up to the organisers, who apart from the fairly questionable handling of the D barricade entry, did an excellent job once again.

Now, time for bed and to rest those strained dance muscles.

The Muse-Bone’s Connected to the Radiohead-Bone…

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

For some reason I still can’t quite fathom, people have been interested in my Hackfest entry at LCA. Specifically, the entry I put in for the Audioscrobbler question, which asked us to create a program that could interface with the Audioscrobber related artists API. I decided to write a buzzword compliant Web page. So, I’ve uploaded it to http://www.adamharvey.name/hackfest/ for your viewing pleasure. You’ll need a browser with decent XHTML and SVG support. Firefox 2 seems to handle it nicely.

It uses PHP 5 for the little bit of backend processing it requires, but most of the heavy lifting is in Javascript. The only other dependency is the HTML_AJAX PEAR package — I developed against a test release of 0.5.1, but 0.5.0 should work as well.

The files I actually wrote (be warned, they’re messy and undocumented):

  • index.php: The entry point for the user. It’s only in PHP so I can control the Content-Type header.
  • server.php: The AJAX server which pulls in the Audioscrobber related artists information.
  • audio.js: The Javascript that does the heavy lifting of getting the related artists information and spitting out SVG via the DOM to render it.

You can consider these files to be licensed under either the GPL (which was a condition of entering Hackfest) or the MIT License. HTML_AJAX is licensed under the LGPL.