Apple iPod Shuffle

So what can be said about Apple’s latest product that hasn’t already been said in a thousand other reviews, and hasn’t been dissected in essays and dissertations across the world? Love them or hate them, Apple have managed to create a modern religion by fusing technology with style, and setting a price point high enough that it forces people to part with their money. People will, it seems, pay almost anything for something when it looks good, and when their friends have one.

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Air Rage

On the flight back I experienced an occurrence of what is now known as ‘air rage’, although I prefer the term ‘stupid drunk person’. A man, one seat over from me, began the 11 hour flight by drinking from a bottle of Whiskey he had secreted in the front pouch. While this was initially met with the thought ‘are you kidding me?’ it did become more worrying when he’d drunk nearly half of a 1.5L bottle within a few hours.

This incident made me think about what would happen if he turned violent. My first thought was that either the flight staff, or some passengers, would restrain him. However, the man was big, and obviously a bodybuilder, so I couldn’t imagine that happening without problems.

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StatTraq admin link

Another technical posting…

I was looking for a way to obtain site statistics, and discovered the WordPress plugin StatTraq. It looked perfect in the screenshots, but unfortunately doesn’t work with WordPress 1.5. However, a nice hack is available at AdsWorth which does the trick.

By default, the plugin does not create any link to itself from the administration screen. A suggestion was made on the StatTraq forum, but again this doesn’t work for WordPress 1.5. It is very easy to adapt it though, and I’ve included the change here in case it’s useful to anyone.

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Best onions

Freshly returned from Hong Kong, I remembered this photo I took in Zhaoqing, in Guangdong province, Southern China. As far as I can tell, this may be the best example of Chinglish discovered. I should add that I did not go on an onion-smelling tour (the bus actually stopped at a mushroom farm, but that’s another issue), and the area was not known for its prize onions.

Best Onions

I managed to loose my mp3 player on arrival to HK, which caused much distress, but fortunately it was found by Lufthansa when I returned to the airport. Probably as a product of this, and the fact that gadgets are quite a bit cheaper over there, I picked up an iPod shuffle. A review may ensue.

Other than that I turned 30 and had a super time.

We’re off to see the wizard

So today I am flying to Hong Kong, via the less exotic Frankfurt. I’ve already checked-in online, which is pretty amazing really. According to the web blurb I can collect my pass 30 minutes before take-off but… I don’t think I’ll risk it just yet, and will arrive my dutiful 2 hours in advance. Despite being a computer nut, I’m still sceptical of these things actually working in the real world.

And why is it that no matter how many times I select the vegetarian option I still get ‘no meal preference’. Gah!

Thanks for that, Jackie!

Panasonic (Matshita) UJ-845

Notebooks are not usually big on upgrade potential. The parts are difficult to obtain, are generally more expensive, and people are nervous about opening up an expensive piece of equipment.

One of the few upgrades paths is the optical drive. Typically a notebook will have a CD burner, possibly with DVD reading capabilities. The latest notebooks will undoubtedly contain a DVD burner, but the great majority will be lacking this feature. Enter the Panasonic UJ-845!

Marketed as an OEM drive, the UJ-845 is unlikely to be found in retail stores. However it is easily purchased from any number of websites, and for a surprisingly reasonable cost, especially considering that is dual-layer, slot-loading, and supports DVD-RAM. That’s good going even by desktop standards.

For the purposes of this review, an Acer Travelmate 800 was used as the test notebook, replacing its standard QSI CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive.

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