Archive for August, 2008

Game: Frets on Fire (FoF)

Posted in Games, General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, 29 August 2008 by Deems

I’m not the biggest game enthusiast but when a colleague of mine showed this to me, I was instantly hooked. If you’ve got a PS3/XBox you’ve probably played/seen/heard of Guitar Hero, well this is a free version for your PC (Windows/Mac/Linux compatible).

You can download the version of your choice from the official website.

 It turns your keyboard into a guitar and you can play various levels of the 3 tracks they’ve included with the game. There’s even a song editor built in so that you can make your own songs if you like.

It also supports importing of downloaded songs, and even importing Guitar Hero songs. If you do a quick search on YouTube you’ll even find videos of people that have created a guitar by modifying a keyboard completely.

It takes a little getting used to in the beginning (and the tutorial is very funny) but if you’ve played guitar before you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. You use the five function keys (F1-F5) for pressing down the strings and the Enter key as the pick. I played it for the first time last night and was hooked that I played (without realising) for about 2 hours after everyone had gone to bed!

Go ahead, try it out and shred some frets!


User Interface Experiment

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 by Deems

Although almost 3 years old, some people (including myself) have not seen this project yet. They’ve created an experimental user interface (UI) whereby you can navigate the entire site without the need to click on anything (great for projects where your manager or client says they want the customer to reach everything on the website with as few clicks as possible). Try it out for yourself and see if you can resist the urge to click!

Poll: 5 day or 4 day work week

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 by Deems

Have you ever considered the possibility? And if so, which would you opt for? The normal 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to comprise your 40-hour work week with 2 days break inbetween or would you rather work an extra 2 hours each day for a 4 day week with a more balanced 3 day weekend?

 With the longer summers we have and mostly good weather I’d opt for the 4 day week. Less travelling into the city, means less congestion and less pollution and would save you money. Or would you make up the difference spending it on your day off?


Wouldn’t people just be more productive with those extra few hours to finish off tasks in the day, and be more refreshed on Monday morning after a 3 day break?

Kids: Melissa’s first dance competition

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , , , on Monday, 25 August 2008 by Deems

We’re very proud of Melissa (6) who completed her first dance competition at the Dance Domain studio, in Montague Gardens, on Saturday night. Even though she danced at the same time as other students older than her and in a higher level, she was graded according to her level and age-group.

Melissa performed the following Latin/Ballroom dances (Bronze Level 1) with her instructor, Andre:

  • Jazz
  • Tango
  • Box Rumba
  • Foxtrot
  • Boogie
  • Cha-Cha
  • Loop-Dans (Walk-dance)

Since there were a lot of students the results could take up to 3 weeks before we get them. But in the meantime, why don’t you take a look at how she danced by using the video link below.

[Update – 7 September 2008: Results]

Records: World’s Largest Swimming Pool

Posted in General with tags , , on Friday, 22 August 2008 by Deems
San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile

San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile

Yes, it’s true, this is not a Photoshopping illusion. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the above body of water is a made made swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar in Chile.

It is 1,013 m (3,324 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (19.77 acre), it was completed in December 2006. The lagoon, cost an estimated $US1.5 billion to build, covers an area of eight hectares and the 2.5 million litres of water needed to fill it is drawn from the Pacific Ocean. It costs over $US2 million a year to maintain and uses a computer-controlled filtering system that sucks sea water in one end, filters it, and then blows it out the other end. Since the pool is so huge resort guests make use of kayaks and small boats to move around.


 I’m just glad I don’t have to be the one to maintain it!

Blog One Month Old Today

Posted in General with tags , on Friday, 22 August 2008 by Deems

Wow – over 650 page views in my first month making an average of 21 views per day! I never thought I’d get traffic, let alone this much for a blog with random ramblings. Guess the blogosphere is a great place, anything can happen. What was the hottest topic so far? HP Printer Cartridges Expiring with 122 views.

Thanks to all my friends and readers. I’ll try and keep it up, if not improve 🙂

Video: Top 10 YouTube Hacks

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 by Deems

Earlier this month I talked about how to download YouTube videos to your desktop as well as a few video/audio tools for video and audio extraction of YouTube videos.

LifeHacker has put together a Top 10 page with lots of useful goodies, FireFox extensions, to bypassing location-based restrictions some YouTube videos have and more.