History says there was an explosion here. Who am I to argue with history?

Whew. So, week one of writing in the day and (here’s the tricky part) sleeping at night done with. Well, I say sleeping at night — with three kids, that’s never a given. But it beats burning the midnight oil, keeping on working. Anyway, here’s three short games reviews live at CNET.com.au, co-written between me (doing the words and some of the playing), and my daughter Zoe:

Crazy Pig: “Crazy Pig might initially appeal to Nintendogs fans who wanted more bacon and fewer fleas, but its limitations soon become very clear.”

Real Adventures: Wild Horses: “Even Wild Horses couldn’t drag us back to playing Real Adventures: Wild Horses…”

Read Adventures: Pet Vet:  “What happens when you let Vets write videogames? Real Adventures: Pet Vet is what happens, a starkly realistic – and thus sometimes tedious – medical adventure game…”

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea is asleep, and the rivers dream.

PC Authority. Now with added Alex goodnessIt’s been six years since I’ve had anything published in the print edition of PC Authority Magazine — a review of Adobe GoLive 6, for those that care. Yeah, I knew you cared. Anyway, this month’s cover story includes two pages by yours truly on the perils of PayPal; not, as it might sound, a musical featuring the lives of young suburban women (although I’m sure there’s an idea there…), but instead a feature on eBay’s popular/infamous escrow service. The scan to the right might be a bit wobbly, by the way, but that’s because my contributor copy got utterly drowned in a torrential downpour yesterday. So, not only is this month’s copy a cracking good read; I can also attest that it’s highly absorbent to boot.

Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable power! Unlimited rice pudding! Et cetera! Et cetera!


I’m doing an astonishing amount of writing about all things Apple these days; compared to twelve months ago, a virtual flood. Not that I’m complaining, you understand — they’re an interesting company on all sorts of levels, from the innate secrecy to the boilerplate “Apple does not comment on….” responses to the cool industrial design.

This month’s issue of Australian Macworld gives you — yes, you! (and not me) — the chance to win a Macbook Air, and, as luck would have it, that’s part of the topic of my back page opinion column within the magazine as well. Other topics you’ll find within that page include the intense cold of Canadian winters, whether hairy editors hold grudges, Pong, and above all, the really stupid things you can do to Apple equipment — but probably shouldn’t.

I’m not interested in the beliefs of primitives — only in what they taste like.

The reviews are coming thick and fast. Mostly fast, although I am sometimes accused of being somewhat thick. Anyway, on with the show, courtesy of CNET.com.au:

Toshiba Satellite A200: “This is a near desktop replacement machine, or portable for people with really strong arms…”

If I knew everything that was about to happen, where would the fun be?

Part of the fun and games of this whole freelancing 2.0 push is in trying on new journalistic “hats”. As is the case today, with a news article — I’m not noted for my news writing per se — at PC Authority:

Been conned with a stolen credit card on eBay? “Aussie sellers to get some protection in March from PayPal – find out how it will work here.”

Why is a mouse when it spins?

Another review of mine has just gone live at CNET.com.au. Hurry! Hurry!

No, it’s not going anywhere. I just felt that some false urgency was due.

Toshiba Satellite M200: “Who wouldn’t love an easy to remember name like the PSMC3A-04P008? Sure, it sounds like an all-in Star Wars android orgy, and rolls off the tongue as easily as a rusty razor blade, but we digress…”

You could augment an earwig to the point where it understood nuclear physics, but it would still be a very stupid thing to do…

A busy and harried day today, with only time for a quick update; a blog of mine on matters Apple at PC Authority:

Should updates be easy? There’s an area beyond using plain speech where Apple’s update strategy leaves Windows Update coughing up blood…”

Arrr…. bring me another buxom wench…

And we’re off to a flying start with the ol’ freelance 2.0, with the Weekend Edition of the Australian Macworld Podcast going live today:

Episode 10: The Pirate Edition
MJCP talks to Dan Warne and Alex Kidman about things you shouldn’t do, such as circumventing restrictions on the iTunes Store, running OS X on non-Apple hardware and getting around region coding. Dan explains why installing Linux is like stealing OS X and Alex hums “Girl From Ipanema”. Now you’re intrigued, aren’t you?

iTunes users can also subscribe to the Podcast — just search for “Australian Macworld” — and as an added bonus, if you do, I promise never to hum on a podcast again. But it seemed oddly appropriate at the time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some (ahem) “Pirate Booty” to investigate…

Change, my dear. And it seems, not a moment too soon…

Ah, a trusty old Doctor Who Quote. Always good, and in this case, quite relevant.
Today is a pretty significant day, on a number of levels. I’m undergoing a significant working change; pretty much the most significant change I’ve undergone in the last three years, since going Freelance “full time”. Except that in my case, “Full Time” actually involved working two jobs — raising kids during the day (and many working parents would correctly argue that’s more like 3-5 jobs in and of itself) and then working most evenings and weekends on my journalistic pursuits. A tricky and tiring job, to be sure, and one that made it very difficult for me to attend daytime events, return phonecalls quickly or sleep much. Ah, sleep, how I miss you.

But today, that all changes. My wife has decided to pursue a university degree (in early childhood studies) and leave full-time employment for the time being. She’s studying externally, and taking over the running of the household while I assume responsibility for bringing home the bacon. (Note to editors: I’m not interested in being paid in porcine products. It’s just a figure of speech). One strange aside to this: For the first time since I met my wife, I’ll be earning more than she does. Well, hopefully, anyway.

So, what does this mean on a professional level for me?

For PR/Marketing/Company People: If you’ve got me tagged as “never attends events”, remove that tag right now. I’m potentially free to attend anything, or travel (where appropriate) with enough notice. Doesn’t mean I’ll turn up at the opening of an envelope, as there still has to be a good, saleable story there — but I’m far more available than I used to be. Drop me an email if you’re not sure what story beats I generally cover, although as a rule of thumb, “everything” has a nice ring to it.

For Editors: Giz us some work. I have much more working time than I previously did, I probably can slot in your story, and as anyone who’s ever worked with me can attest, I work swiftly and with a high degree of accuracy at the same time. In short, imagine me as a guy with a sign round his neck saying “Will write for food”. Although I’d prefer cash; it’s far more negotiable.

It’s almost entirely coincidental, but almost to the day, ten years ago, I started my journalism career. Anyone got a fancy celebration cake handy?

(Curses. This was meant to be post #500, but for some reason it’s #502…)

The first thing I do when I get into town is buy a .22 and cut the whole thing down… (updated!)

(Updated later in the day, because post #500 has some big news in it. But you’ll have to wait for that, folks. Updated stuff for today is at the bottom of the page)

Well, maybe not. Bank Robbery seems like a dangerous profession, and I look bad in tights. Don’t ask me how I know. I think I’ll just stick to the writing, if it’s all the same to you. In a lucky coincidence, (hey! Nice Segue… until you ruined it with these comments…) there’s a lot of my writing out there at the moment for the great unwashed public’s delectation.

First, in the online sphere, CNET.com.au has a review of mine up:

Samsung DVD-HR755: “Likewise, recording with the HR755 was essentially painless, up to a point. That point is one of quality, and will depend on what you’re used to…”

And joining the online crew drinking the high-quality Alex Kool-Aid* is PC Authority:

WiMAX 101: Is This The Future Of Broadband? “It’s touted as the future of wireless broadband, and more significantly for Australian users, the technology that may help to bridge the gap between rural and urban broadband speeds…”PC User

But the print world is also awash with Alex-tinged goodness. The March 2008 issue of PC User features my reviews of the PocketSurfer 2, Navman S90i and Netgear SPH200D. Of course, there’s lots of other stuff in there as well, but the true collector of Kidman-penned verbage won’t care about that. What do you mean, there are no collectors of Kidman-penned verbage? That’s a shame…

Netguide March 08 The March 2008 issue of Australian Netguide is an even richer trove of collectible Kidmanisms. Inside its perfectly formed pages, you’ll find my reviews of the Sandisk SDHC 4GB Memory Card, NAV 11 for Mac, Microsoft Mobile Memory Mouse, BookMooch.com, PocketSurfer 2, K9 Web Protection, Altec Lansing BXR1121 Speakers, PSP Studio, i-Studio, Ringtone Studio, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Supreme Commander: Gold Edition, Smackdown Vs Raw 2008, Mass Effect, Sony Vaio CR25G/N, Sony Vaio NR17G, GoBook VR-2, Toshiba Satellite A200, Toshiba Satellite X200, Dell Inspiron 1520, Asus eee PC, Asus R2Hv, HP Pavillion dv2633TX , HP Pavillion tx1219AU , Apple Macbook, Apple Macbook Pro, Acer Aspire 4920, Lenovo Thinkpad R61 and finally, the Fujitsu Lifebook T2010.

Phew. When exactly did I sleep last month?Home Entertainment Magazine

The answer was clearly never, as my contributor copy of Home Entertainment Magazine’s also just arrived. Within its Blasina-oozing pages, you’ll find everything you ever needed to know about buying a notebook PC, penned by yours truly. Oh, and lots of photos of women.. erm… “stroking” notebooks. Don’t ask me why — I just write the words, not design the layout…