Okay, what’s the procedure for the approach of a humpback bridge?

And again, if you know the answer to that one, you’re as old as I am. I certainly feel old today.

Which is a clumsy segue into a story about another old man, this time at APCMag.com:

Read Bill Gates’ scathing email about “unusable” Windows: “The Ex-MS supremo found Windows “unusable”. But which version?”

Where did he get the twine? What was going through his mind? Did it just seem like a good idea at the time?

A quick news piece to finish out the day at PC Authority:

Three admits it won’t have launch iPhone: “Three today broke its silence on the 3G iPhone, by lifting its veil on its iPhone plans, or lack thereof…”

Who’s been gobbing in my lentils?

There are times (and this is one of them) when I really, really don’t feel like writing much.

All too often, these seem to coincide with my deadlines. And this is one of them.

But I have no choice, so I continue onwards, scribing ever more words. And now’s your chance to read some of them:

For several years now, I’ve been in charge of the standalone reviews (and an awful lot of the comparative feature reviews) at Netguide Magazine, so it would seem wrong not to point out that the July issue is on store and selected Supermarket shelves now. Go forth, buy a copy (and don’t forget the milk while you’re there) and you’ll be able to enjoy my words of wisdom on personal video recorders, as well as standalone reviews of the LG Flatron L226 22″ monitor, Jamo i300, ABC Playback Beta, Adobe Media Player, CompareOffice, Lexar UDMA Card Reader, Canon Digital IXUS 80IS, Belkin TuneCast Audio With Clearscan, 3 Mobile Broadband, Crazy Pig, Real Adventures: Pet Vet, Real Adventures: Wild Horses, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty, God Of War: Chains Of Olympus and PAIN.

In the online sphere, you can also find more of my opinion at my Australian Macworld Blog:

Having a Fable-ous time: “Sometimes, it’s better to play with yourself. No, wait, that’s not quite right. I’ve been spending some time recently on an iMac playing two fairly significant fantasy action games…”

Hmm. That’s a lot of words from someone suffering from an inability to write…

Five minutes before the most important party of my life and the house is destroyed by a giant sandwich…

Yeah, I’m on a “quote The Young Ones” kick again. You might as well get settled in and used to it.

While you’re settled in, you can also read my latest Bluescreen column at APCMag.com:

Microsoft to open stylish “MS Store”: “Glass staircase replaced by Glass Ballmer, giving you the opportunity to stamp on Steve’s… oh never mind…”

My name is Alexei Yuri Gagarin Siege of Stalingrad Glorious Five-Year Plan Sputnik Pravda Moscow Dynamo Back Four Balowski.

“Me Dad was a bit of a Communist, know what I mean?”

Look, that quote has nothing to to do with my most recent paid writing work. But something has to bring a smile to my face right now, and that did. So there.

Anyway, I completely missed this story, written last week for PC Authority:

Dell’s Windows XP Downgrade Plan: “With the cut-off for XP sales fast approaching, what do you do if you’re opposed to switching to Vista?”

And I noticed it today, after this one went to print. Erm. Pixel. There still isn’t a good, catchy term for Web publishing, is there?

Apple Store: The Grumpy Report: “Yes, it’s very nice and shiny, but get out of my damn way…”

Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.

I wish I’d written that gag, as opposed to appropriating it from the big bad Internet. Presumably somebody wrote it, but the source I nabbed it from didn’t mention it.

Another thing I didn’t write — but did contribute to — was this week’s Australian Macworld Weekend Edition Podcast.

Episode 27 — Are you ready for the Apple Store? “MJCP talks to Martin Levins and Alex Kidman about the opening of the Sydney Apple Store, plus an interview with Ron Johnson, Apple’s Vice-President in charge of Retail, who was visiting to open the Store.”

The one in which Alex breaks his “no working on the weekends” rule…

Because sometimes, in the normal course of your weekend, you come across a story that’s worth writing right now. Like this one (although, it should be noted, I didn’t write the headline or standfirst; my originals were a touch lighter):

eBay forces users onto PayPal-only auctions early … by mistake “eBay is requiring customers to accept only PayPal for electronic payment, even though it pledged to the competition regulator it would delay the decision until mid-July.”

The art of being a proud Geek dad…

I love my kids.

That shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody who knows me, but I bring it up now because of one very particular incident today.

My oldest son, James, attends Pre-school, and they’re doing “letter days”, where they go over the alphabet, and the kids bring in an object that corresponds to that day’s letter. So for A you might bring in an Apple, for B a Ball, and so on. For C, James brought in a picture of one of our cats that I printed off for him.

Today’s letter was “D”, and James was terribly insistent and specific as to what he wanted to bring in with him. Not for him the common Dog, Dora The Explorer, Dragon or picture of Damietta*. No indeed.

James insisted that he be allowed to take in a Dalek.

As a geek dad, I couldn’t be more proud.

* An Egyptian Port. See, this blog can be educational, too!


It’s been unusually quiet around here. Almost as though nothing was happening…

But that of course hasn’t been the case. I’ve been flat out over the past couple of days, both covering for Di while she had her first exams in deleted years, giving presentations to PR types about what it’s like being a freelance journalist, somehow getting officially older, getting a sneak peek at the Apple store prior to its opening (although poor health and other commitments meant I couldn’t make it to the official opening), and, naturally enough, writing enough down to keep the family alive. At least, I think they’re alive. I certainly don’t feel very alive right now.

While I recover*, why not read this news story, live right now at PC Authority?

Atom Eee to hit by the end of the month: “And guess what? There’s ONE price for Linux or Windows XP, and price drops for existing models.”

* And by “recover”, I sadly mean “get right back to work” — one of the perils of taking a couple of days off to cover for Di is a huge backlog of deadlines to attend to….

Getting funky like a monkey…

Why do Monkeys have the monopoly on funk? Why not funky like a hippo? They’ve got the hips for it, after all…

Anyway, speaking of “Da Funk”, I’ve got references to the Prince of Funk in my latest news story, live today at APCMag.com. Along with some very nasty jokes that only fans of said Prince will get (along with my brother, who would have written the same thing, I suspect.)

Azureus is dead, long live Vuze? “Azureus has gone the same way as Napster and Kazaa… though this time the RIAA wasn’t involved; Azureus’ makers pulled the plug themselves…”