Paddling along…

That’s paddling in the sense that it’s very wet right now, but also because, once again, I’m writing about a certain fruit company.

First of all, there’s a blog I wrote for MacTheBlog last week that I completely failed to notice had already gone up. A tale of truckers, edges and app store approval processes:

What does it take to get an App approved? “The modern gold rush, it seems, is in App development. Everyone’s jumping on the App Store bandwagon, and it seems I can’t go a week without one company or another launching a new app store for a given device.”

Sticking with MacTheBlog, there’s the reason why I got up at 4:30am last Friday morning, namely an Apple store opening. No, I’m not that insane just for the fun of it. When I’m getting paid, though, things change, as you’ll discover in this videoblog:

A long day’s journey into Bondi (Junction): “Our own Alex Kidman braved the cold, dark, wee small hours of the morning to get to the Store, watch the opening, and of course buy an iPad. His journey is chronicled in this video.”

Pac-Man underwear, nice warm jumpers and mining tycoons…

Never let it be said that I don’t have some variety in what I write.

Well, OK, two of today’s articles might just have something to do with Apple. But the other one doesn’t limit itself to just one kind of fruit.

First up, at Hydrapinion, my stint standing in for Stephen Withers comes to an end with a column about Apple store locations:

Hydrapinion: Who chooses Apple store locations? “You’re probably aware that the iPad goes on sale in Australia on Friday. “On Sale” being a somewhat relative term.”

And then at PC Authority a quick guide on the best way to score an iPad tomorrow if you don’t already have one. In a case of dogfooding my own advice, I’ll be following some of the steps in this one myself — except for the camping out overnight bit.

‘Twas the night before Christmas…countdown begins for Apple iPad die-hards: “If you’re a die-hard Apple fan, it may as well be Christmas eve, with the iPad less than 24 hours from “official” on-sale date in Australia. If you’re one of them, here’s what awaits you.”

And now, as Mr Cleese used to be fond of saying, something completely different. Something that focuses on underwear, bins, pasta, cartoons and ultra-cheesy 80s teen comedies. Yup, that could only describe Pac-Man.

Vintage Tech: Looking back at the Pac-Man phenomenon: “We suspect you could grab every page that Google’s ever indexed, and you still wouldn’t match the mountain of Pac-Man merchandise over the last thirty years.”

How many boxes can you stack under your TV?

A relevant question, given the focus of today’s articles. First of all, at Geekspeak, some thoughts on Google TV:

Do you want more TV advertising, even if it’s Google? “Bringing more ads to TV, though? That’s an interesting prospect, given one of the first things that most buyers of personal video recorders do is work out the best way to enable ad-skipping…”

Then at I’ve reviewed not one, but two PVR products:

Sony RDR-HDC300: “Sony’s latest PVR is functional, but the lack of a dual-tuner really hurts.”

Kogan Freeview HD Digital Set-Top Box: “Kogan’s cheap Freeview-compatible set-top box bucks the trend of crippled Freeview PVRs, but it’s not an easy product to get along with.”


It’s been brought to my attention that I’m not posting enough Hippo-related articles on this blog. Probably not enough parenting ones either, but the Hippo fans are speaking up more vociferously. So what bits of interesting Hippo news can I dredge up?

Gambia promises quick resolution of hippo assault doesn’t sound nice, but it does have a great Hippo picture — it’s the one to the right here.

Then things get weird, with, well… this:

Hippo killed in S.Africa apartment complex.

I’m guessing it couldn’t pay the rent. It seems unlikely that anyone sane would engage a Hippo in an argument over excessive noise at parties or somesuch.

Hang on, though. How did it get into the lift?

Sadly, Google news — the resource of choice when I’m too lazy to do any indepth research on Hippos — runs a little dry after that. I’m not quite willing to click on a link ostensibly about Hippos entitled “Burgers For Memorial Day”. I’m not sure I’d like what I’d find.

I might not be new, but perhaps I’m cool…

The June issue of PC User Magazine is out now, suspiciously close to an actual on-sale-in-June time frame. Just when I think that magazine cover dates don’t make sense, they start doing so! It’s doing my head in.

Anyway, aside from a review of the Belkin HomeBase for TestBench, the majority of my writing in this month’s issue is in the “Cool & New” section. It’s also the majority of the Cool & New section, with reviews of the HTC Desire, Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700, Uniden Wireless Power Starter Kit, Edifier Esiena IF360, Blackberry Storm 9250 and Navigon 1400.

At my age, I’m arguably not all that new, so by a process of deduction, that must mean I’m cool — right?


Damn. Thought I could get away with that one.

Meanwhile, in the Web world, I’ve been going slightly insane testing PVRs for

LG HR599D: “LG’s HR599D is a grab bag of Blu-ray, DLNA media player and dual-tuner PVR. Combination units can go either way. Sometimes you get a superb mix of ingredients well presented that combine to enhance each component’s strengths. All too often, however, you get a lucky dip of bubble and squeak that attempts to cover over its flaws by bamboozling you with how much it can do…”

How much is that e-doggie in the window?

The one with the plasticky tail?

How much is that e-doggie in the window?

Oh. That doggie’s no longer for sale.

But it is the topic of this week’s vintage tech, featuring a special guest appearance by one of my cats. Really. Sometimes it’s well worth keeping really old, really grainy webcam shots.

Vintage Tech: Looking back at the AIBO: “The future, we’re still being told, is robotic. So what happened to Sony’s stab at a robot hound, the AIBO?”

Pontificating On Pomegranates

No, wait, Alluding to Apples. Predictable, really.

Earlier in the week I forgot to plug my latest column at MacTheMag, which looks at the wild and wacky world of printing:

MacTheBlog: The Perils Of Printing: “Perhaps somebody at HP has a sense of humour.”

And today, the Apple-led pondering continues as part of my guest run at Hydrapinion:

Hydrapinion: Are Macs hot enough for Steam? “The potential for Steam to allow developers access to the wallets of Mac games buyers is immense…”

LogMeIn, USB 3… and yet more iPad.

I’m sensing a recurring theme here. At least today’s stories are cut with a little Android and a whole lot of storage.

First up at, a hands-on first look at LogMeIn for iPad and Android:

LogMeIn For iPad and Android: hands on: “We got a look at where LogMeIn is heading in a mobile sense with a hands-on demonstration for iPad and Android platforms…”

And then at Geeks2U, another Geekspeak blog is live:

USB 3 has plenty of promise, but when will it deliver? “There’s a problem, though. USB 3.0 requires two things to actively work…”

Yet another (another! another!) iPad story

Yep, the Tablet that just won’t die — I’ve tested one and the battery life really is exemplary — gets another run, this time as part of my regular Blog at Geeks2U:

Geekspeak: iPad Vs Kindle: “On the surface, Apple’s soon to be released iPad and Amazon’s already available Kindle appear to service the same market: eBook readers.”

Speakers, printers, laptops and… Bob.

I’ve got to resist the temptation to drop a Blackadder quote in here. Somehow.

This week’s Vintage Tech column at PC Authority covers one of Microsoft’s least successful products:

Vintage Tech: Looking back at Microsoft Bob: “Managed by Bill Gates’ wife, intended to make Windows simple enough for anybody. So why aren’t we all Bobbing along now?”

Meanwhile I’m covering all sorts of product bases at with laptops, printers and speaker reviews:

Dell Studio XPS 1647: “The inclusion of Core i5/Corei7 processors to Dell’s Studio XPS line adds performance where it matters, but battery life is still a concern.”

HP Officejet Pro 8000 (A809): “The Officejet Pro 8000 does indeed jet along nicely in draft mode printing, but best quality is another story altogether.”

Divoom Revo-3: “Think of a line of inexpensive but unexciting PC speakers. Congratulations, you just envisaged the Revo-3.”