20 December, 2006

Last week we went out for our Christmas work party to the very good Cobar bar and restaurant. The week preceding had been a series of piratically-themed challenges (walking the plank, finding pieces of a treasure map, calling female work collegues “buxom wenches” and so on), culminating in a frenzied dig on a beach searching for boxes of treasure (that’s real treasure: hundreds of dollars worth of vouchers, booze tokens, and er..beads). ‘Twas most humorous when one team couldn’t find their box, and neither could anyone else, including the organisers who buried it, resulting in a fairly large square meterage of sand being excavated with ridiculous toy spades.

The whole week was called Pirates of the Cobarrean. (Get it?)

We got dressed up on the actual day of the party. Now, some people can carry off a pirate costume with a certain panache, such as random models from the internet:


Slightly alcoholically befuddled workmates who insist on wearing patches on both eyes – now that’s a different story…


Free Mac App Every Day in December

7 December, 2006

Every day during December, the MacAppaDay site is offering an item of Mac software that’s normally non-free, for free. Go along, join up, and download. The only catches are:

  • There are only 5000 copies of each item of software, and they do run out
  • Most of the software will not be free to upgrade in the future, unlike if you had actually purchased the software.

Those aside, so far the software has been useful or at least interesting: Shoebox (a photo organising app that you use in conjunction with or instead of iPhoto); YummyFTP (a very fully featured FTP client); ShadowClipBoard (a nice multiple clipboard utility), Cookie Assassin (for a tidy way to manage your browser cookies),  and a couple of others that I can’t seem to recall right now. I started slow and missed out on the first couple of days, but have been grabbing them since. Even if you don’t need it now, why not get a free piece of decent software? 

Each day’s new item conveniently goes up at about 9pm, so get going!

Richard Dawkins in a “You Ask The Questions” Interview in the Independent

6 December, 2006

He has an answer to everything this clever Mr Dawkins. I liked both this question and Dawkin’s answer: 

Should men submit to their selfish genes, dump their wives and go for younger, blonder models? CAROLYN SANCHEZ, Manchester
No. We gave up submitting to our selfish genes long ago, when we took up clothes, contraceptives, sonnets, cubism, astronomy, snooker, bungee-jumping and other things that our selfish genes would at best consider a waste of time. Scientific facts about the world do not translate into moral ” shoulds”

Prices Drops on Macs in NZ

6 December, 2006

As an update to the story of Apple finally deciding on a presence in NZ, apparently all resellers prices are dropping becuase of that. From Totallymac:

All NZ Reseller pricing is changing today as well, to be in line with the NZ Apple store.
All products will ship to end users directly from Australia.

And sure enough, Totallymac’s price for the iMac is now $2699, the same as the Apple store. Excellent.

Good news for New Zealand Mac Users.

6 December, 2006

It’s day of big news for NZ Mac fans.


First, Apple now has a New Zealand online store. Just like the US’s one. Not a store run through Renaissance, not some poxy iPod reseller, but a real NZ online Apple store. Free shipping, free iPod engraving, and prices that are a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the others also add to the joy. For an example, a 20 inch iMac is $2699, while at the very good TotallyMac.com, they’re $2955. I don’t know any of the politics behind this new store, but Renaissance must be pretty damn annoyed at all the work they put into their online Apple store that only opened a few months or a year ago, that has just gone to waste.

At as right now, not everything is working, the podcasts link is broken, for instance, but I’m overlooking any little bugs like that…

There’s currently a giveaway draw going on for the next few days: there’s a MacBook and some iPods up for grabs every day until December 10th, so go along and give them your email address for some Mac-lovin’

The second news is that after years of rumours, there is now an iTunes New Zealand store. Yes, New Zealanders can finally put some legal music on our iPods! Songs are $1.79 each, which is only a small rip-off compared to US prices, as opposed to the huge rip-off we’re all used to. And it’s cheaper than the UK store, where, at 79p each, songs would work out to over $2 each.I’m looking forward to browsing around, and actually being able to buy music online.

Realistically however, I know I’ll end up buying very little because:

  •  a) I already have my music “Back catalogue” of all those CDs, tapes, and records I’ve bought over the years, and
  •  b) BitTorrent. 😉