The joint was jumpin’ and the place began to swing…

Another frantically busy day wraps up, although nothing that quite matches yesterday’s 400-words-per-hour effort. Sure, that doesn’t sound that impressive in and of itself — but consider that in the context of being the average number of words I wrote yesterday over a fifteen hour span. I hate work days like that.

Strangely, you won’t see too many of those words very quickly, so I’d better have something else to distract you with. If only, say, the CEO of the biggest telecommunications player in the country was stepping down. That’d at least be the start of a satire story — wouldn’t it? Yes, yes it would, as evidenced by this story at

Bluescreen: Top Five Sol Replacements: “Hooray! It’s official — Telstra boss Sol Trujillo is quitting. Who will replace him? Bluescreen ponders the top five candidates who won’t get the job.”

I’ve lived long enough to learn the closer you get to the fire the more you get burned…

Three bites of the virtual Alex Apple today — and only one of them is related to a certain well known fruit-themed company. Wonders may never cease.

First up, at PC Authority:

Mac Authority: Time To Go On Safari? “Apple’s announcement of Safari 4.0 Beta has Alex Kidman pondering. Is it time to switch browsers again?”

And then at

Altec Lansing FX2020 Expressionist Classic Speakers: “These speakers are all about style over substance. If that’s what you’re after, fine, but don’t expect great audio fidelity along the way.”

And then, for the really hardcore Alex fans, there’s video of me being extremely cross (it’s the one labelled “keynote debate”) at the end of a debate held at the Kickstart ’09 conference over the weekend. I’m on last thing, at around the 58 minute mark (and you’ll have to wait a while for the stream to pick all of it up if you do want to jump forward, although it’s interesting stuff in its own right). On the plus side, I’m wearing a shirt that can only be described as Incredible.

Am I at a tech conference, or a swimsuit model conference?

And  yes, that is a valid question to ask right now. Although it’s not, to the best of my knowledge, a lyric, which is my usual modus operandi when it comes to picking subject lines. If it makes you any happier, you can pretend that the subject is “Don’t you miss the feeling music gave you back in the day?”

Anyway, I’m up at the MediaConnect Kickstart09 conference in Queensland, catching up with industry people (and those beloved people, comissioning editors), and doing the odd bit of writing, like this piece now live at

Kogan promises a Linux Netbook by the end of March: “The outspoken Aussie tech maverick speaks out on Netbooks, general marketing and eBay.”

The swimsuit models? They’re having their own conference, and, as I discovered, will look at you oddly if you mistakenly wander into the wrong media room. I maintain it’s an easy mistake to make — there’s less tech, it’s true, but about the same amount of silicon at each conference.

I’m alive, I’m alive, can you hear me world — I’m ALIVE!

Well, sorta. I should be able to eke out a few working hours out of today before lying down again. The antibiotics are taking, however, which is a big plus, and I don’t entirely feel like falling over. Much.

Speaking of much, I’ve got an absolutely enormous backlog of work to be getting on with, and editors breathing fire down my neck to get it done. I’ve told them they shouldn’t drink metho and smoke, but do they listen? They do not.

In the meantime, you can amuse/educate yourself with my latest review (I do still write them, y’know) at

Edimax nMax AR-7265Wn Wireless 802.11n ADSL2/2+ modem router: Edimax’s 802.11n router combines a perfect storm of poor throughput and unfriendly set-up routines to make a modem/router that’s incredibly easy to pass by.”

How could you just leave me standing alone in a world that’s so cold?

Astonishingly, while it’s a Prince lyric, I’m not listening to a Prince version of the song right now. So now you’ve learned something. A No-Prize to the first person to name the artist I am listening to…

Learn something else with this quick news piece at PC Authority:

Nintendo DSi to launch in Australia on April 2nd: “It’s not often that we get consumer technology before the US, but in the case of Nintendo’s upcoming update to the phenomenally successful Nintendo DS handheld games system, it’s happening.”

You got the time, baby, I got the ride…

Given that’s a Prince lyric laid over a heavy guitar riff, it pretty much does mean exactly what you think it does without being incredibly explicit. For once. It is always possible that he’s running one of those little diesel trains that ferry kids around amusement parks — which is in itself a terrific mental image — but somehow I doubt it.

What of my own rides? Well, today I’m kicking off with two. First up, at

Wanna design your own netbook? “Kogan plans for Netbook include community consultation.”

And then a reworking of a recent Mac column for the print version of PC Authority, now online:

Mac Authority: Where art thou Mac alternatives? “Alex Kidman gets a feel for life on the road during his quest to find the ultimate in portable Mac alternatives.”

Sick as a dog…

That’s what I’ve been for the past four days. Actually, why is it sick as a dog? I mean, what kind of dog, and what illness? Based on my own recent experiences, it may as well be sick as a cat, although my own illness didn’t come about due to ingesting elastic. Let’s just say, in the best after-school-special fashion, kids, that if a strange man in a car offers you an excruciatingly painful bladder infection, just say no.

You probably didn’t need to know that, did you? Well, to get your mind off that very unpleasant mental image (and let’s face it, it was near-infinitely less pleasant for me than it was you), there’s this story that went live late last week — right about the time my health was tumbling — at PC Authority:

Top 5 ways Xbox and Halo Wars can win over PC gamers: “Microsoft’s bold claim with Halo Wars is that it’ll finally cure the curse of the console RTS – namely that it won’t have controls that suck compared to a PC’s keyboard and mouse combo.”

I woke up this morning… then I went right back to bed.

Sadly, while it’s a fine song lyric, it’s not true. My brain woke up at 4am, and it’s been churning ever since.

That might not be good for my sleep patterns, but at least I do churn through the backlog of work that way. Like the latest Bluescreen column, live now at

Internet Filters For Idiots: “Late last night, APC was approached by the Rudd Government’s department-of-leaking-stuff-to-the-opposition with secret details of the net filtering plan.”