So make the Bad Horse gleeful, or he’ll make you his mare…

I never should have purchased that soundtrack. Now it’s stuck in my head, and I keep pondering whether it’d be a bad idea to have the Bad Horse theme as my ringtone. Or an awesome one.

In the meantime, I’ve been chasing work in all sorts of interesting new nooks and crannies. Does anyone ever just look in a single cranny? I doubt it. Regardless, I’ll have a few new projects to announce and shamelessly promote shortly. And I need to make some time to update my list of writing clients. While I work on that, why not read my latest Mac blog, live now at the aptly named MacTheBlog.com?

Mac The Blog: The Old Or The New?: “In any case, it’s been a workhorse, but like many heavily-used farming equines, the old grey MacBook ain’t what she used to be…”

I’ll be the sunset in your sky, I’ll be the soft winds you feel passing by…

A new working week, and a lot to do, including sending myself deaf with iPod Docks. Docks with clocks. Docks with clocks that rock socks. Docks with clocks that rock socks and look like blocks. But Docks with clocks that rock socks and look like blocks but don’t go tock. In fact, a flock of Docks with clocks that rock socks and look like blocks but don’t go tock.

And if you just followed me here via Facebook or Twitter, yeah, I did just quote myself being obsessed with Dr Seuss. Sorry about that. Although you did get the longer-than-140 characters version, so everybody wins!

Meanwhile, a couple more reviews of mine have gone live at CNET.com.au.

Panasonic DMR-XW450: “Panasonic’s upmarket DVD recorder has oodles of functionality, but it’s hidden behind a somewhat obtuse remote control.”

Kodak Zx1: “If the early models of Motorola’s RAZR and Nokia’s mobile phone handsets were to engage in some kind of illicit affair, and somehow work out the differences between their competing interfaces, the mutant child that they’d come up with would look a lot like Kodak’s Zx1 pocket video camera…”

Why I should never challenge my wife to anything…

Largely because she’s awesome.

Last Saturday, she finished off a hand-knitted Dalek, which was pretty awesome all of itself. For those that care, our youngest now insists on taking it to bed with him. I’m sure he’ll grow up to be a fine, well adjusted young man. Or ruler of the universe. Either one is fine by me.

In cheeky fashion, I quipped at her that “Daleks are dead easy. Bet you can’t do Davros!”

So what did she do? Answers after the jump…

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The wonderful wizard of Um

I came up a theory this morning about my continued use of “Um” as an interjection to allow my brain to catch up when I’m talking. It’s been suggested to me that talking too fast is something of a Kidman trait, and that’s probably true, but as I get older, my brain’s getting slower, which means I need more pauses to catch up. Hence “Um”.

Anyway, for whatever reason, this morning I decided that Um has became a fully fledged nation intent on invading my speech patterns, which led to this rather extraordinary utterance mid-sentence:

“Well, I’m not sure that she, um, should.. um.. Damn! The Um people are invading my speech patterns again! They must be um.. stopped.. Now they’re invading my Um thoughts! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!”

This did have the effect of reducing my beautiful wife to giggles (and she’s very cute when she smiles) but now I find myself looking out for Ums whenever I talk. Today at least I’m working by myself so speech should be at a minimum. Still, if you want further Um-proof, you can check out the freshly minted MacThePodcast — Episode 10, live now on iTunes. You can click here to subscribe, or if that doesn’t suit you, it should hopefully be live soon on the MacThePodcast page:

MacThePodcast: Episode 10: Intel: “MJCP and Alex Kidman talk with Philip Cronin, General Manager Australia/New Zealand for Intel. Intel has gone from being the enemy of all Mac users to the heart of our computers. We discuss how that transformation has taken place and what clues it gives for the future”

And clearly, I go “Um” a bit. See if you can count how many times.

Disturbing (featuring Hippos)

That’d make a great album title, now that I think of it.

Some recent twittering reminded me that the Hippos section of the site hasn’t been updated in a while. Trusting to Google news to ferret out the latest in Hippopotamidae related facts, I headed there, ready for the usual mix of “cute” Hippo stories and “Zoo Keeper eaten alive by Hippo” stories. They’re cute, sure, but they’re also not exactly safe creatures to cuddle, either.

Except that, right now, if you enter the term “Hippo” into Google news, the first result you get has the headline

“Sexy little city Canberra comes of age”.

WHAT?

I don’t even want to click on that link. Instead, to calm my nerves, here’s a randomly chosen picture of a Hippo grabbed from Google Image Search instead:

(image originally on this site. Looks nice. Go there.)

Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box…

It’s been a bit quiet around this blog for a little while — a necessary side-effect while I take on board some rather drastic changes to the way I work, who I work for and what I do. Interesting times, and all that.

In the meantime, though, it hasn’t stopped already written material appearing, both in print and online.

Online, first, at CNET.com.au, you’ll find these two reviews:

Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T: “Since when did vendor battery claims actually represent the truth?”

Belkin Powerline AV Networking Adapters: “Belkin’s take on power line networking benefits from a streamlined design compared to many Ethernet over power products, but still doesn’t deliver on the hype.”

Then in the print world, I’m all over the place. That’s not a reflection of my mental state, and more a reflection of the widespread use of my words across the consumer tech magazine marketplace right now.

ngjul

In the July issue, which will also now be the penultimate issue of Australian Netguide, you’ll find my reviews of GPS devices from TomTom, Navman, Mio, Uniden, Nokia and Garmin, as well as standalone reviews of Roxio Easy VHS to DVD, Quicken QBi 2009, Genius BT-03i Touch Wireless Headset, AOC Verfino V22 Monitor, Asus SDRW-08D1S-U External DVD-RW Drive, Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG10EXBK HD Dual Camera, Canon Digital Ixus 95 IS, Kogan Agora Pro Netbook and Nintendo DSi, as well as games reviews of Wheelman, Stormrise, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Singstar: Queen with Wireless Mics and the Broadband Buyer’s Guide.PCUJuly2009

The July issue of PC User magazine features a comprehensive guide to iPod-compatible earbuds, featuring brands such as Ultimate Ears, Altec Lansing, Panasonic, Philips, Genius, Sony and Sennheiser. My regular gig reviewing mobiles kicks into gear with reviews of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Blackberry Curve 8900, as well as gadget reviews of the Nintendo DSi, Genius Trio Racer FF and Altec Lansing Orbit-M speaker.

Meanwhile, in PC Authority’s July issuepcajul, you’ll find my words — and even a small picture of my face, back when I had a goatee — plastered across the Apple pages. This month’s column deals with essential Mac OS X Leopard Tweaks, and how I apply them. Some obvious, some not. And in games, EA’s The Godfather II gets involved in a bizarre comparison between itself, Grand Theft Auto and Peggle Nights. It all makes sense. Trust me.

What’s this strange relationship that we hold on to?

Today’s writing efforts are in a format I don’t do a lot of work in (although if any editors are watching, I’m more than happy to), namely feature-length guides. In this case, a guide to online consumer security for CNET.com.au:

Online Transaction Security: Tips For Staying Safe: “Any time that much money is changing hands on a regular basis, there will be sharks circling trying to snap off a chunk of cash…”

A new low in EULAs

I’m somewhat gobsmacked by this end-user license agreement that just came up. This is 100% unedited, exactly what’s come up on screen. Would you agree to it?

Should I Agree to this?

I mean, really.

That’s just one of the hurdles in the life of a busy product reviewer, but it’s not all bizarre EULAs and pain. Sometimes, I get to play with fun stuff, like this:

HTC Magic: “HTC’s Magic fixes almost all of the complaints we had against its predecessor, the Dream, with better hardware, a refined operating system and a smoother overall feel.”