The Full Monty: Episode One. I Haz A Bukkit.

Can I be beaten by a thirty year old platform game? Not likely!

(also featuring moles, miners, squirrels, vivisection, bukkits and more)


Continue reading “The Full Monty: Episode One. I Haz A Bukkit.”

You Start Me Up

At last — something that I’m pretty confident that I’d be better at than Mick Jagger:

In fact, I’ll go one better than that. I’m sure I’m better at Pinball than Mick Jagger. Utterly confident.

And that calls for the laying down of bets. On the  highly, hugely impossible likelihood that one of Jagger’s media monitoring representatives is reading this, I’m laying down the challenge, Micky-boy.

You vs Me.

Mano a Mano.

Three silver balls, highest score wins. You bring the machine (you’ve clearly already got one,after all).

Unless, that is, sad to say, that after all this time, the truth is that you simply don’t have the Stones?

All Things M: Mega, Meandering And Ms Tate…

This week’s Hydrapinion covers my personal thoughts on the fact that my iOS devices are watching me right now, by way of Catherine Tate and a dated catchphrase reference:

Apple’s iPhone Snooping: Am I Bovvered? “Does codswallop come in smaller portions than loads?”

Then at, a colour LED printer that’s not exactly fast:

Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP205: “Fuji Xerox’s colour laser is relatively quiet and delivers good quality prints, but not in any kind of hurry.”

And a modem that might not quite qualify as Mega, but it’s certainly an improvement:

Vodafone Mega Modem: “Vodafone’s new modem isn’t entirely mega, but it did show us the promise of better speeds than we’re used to seeing out of the carrier.”

Elite WiFi And Expensive Mini Systems

When I think of Elite, I tend to think of… well… Elite.

When Telstra thinks of Elite, it thinks of something slightly different, as I’ve covered today for

Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi: “Telstra’s Elite Wi-Fi modem improves on the original in almost every way, but data costs are still a problem.”

Meanwhile, still at, that old problem of Australians paying way over the odds for gadgets rears its ugly head, courtesy of Yamaha:

Yamaha MCR-040: “Why are we being slapped with an additional near AU$200 on the asking price simply for being Australian?”

Books and other retro items

This week’s Hydrapinion delves into the tricky question of what to do with redundant technology that still works, by way of a lucky find:

Old portable tech. It’s kitschy and fun in the short term, but what do you do with it? “I guess it’s one of the prices we pay for technological innovation, that devices that were once cutting edge and desirable can become historical jokes all too quickly…”

And I completely and absolutely forgot to mention a column I wrote for Lifehacker a couple of weeks ago on the closing down sale at Borders. Given I’ve just received an email stating they’re selling off the store fixtures, it seems apt to bring it up again:

Why Borders’ Closing Down Sale Isn’t That Exciting: “Borders is closing all but nine of its Australian stores. That means that the closing stores must be a bonanza of cheap books, right? Wrong.”

I’ve sometimes been accused of being something of a head case…

But today I went head to head with a hangar of full of Samsung products and only 30 seconds to make them interesting

(and yes, it’s yet another 30 Seconds Of Tech starting with the letter S. No, I don’t know why either)

Before dealing with more than a dozen iPad 2 cases over at

Best iPad 2 cases in Australia: “The iPad 2. It’s thin, it’s shiny, and at the time of writing, it’s in astonishingly short supply relative to demand. If you have managed to get your hands on an iPad 2, it would be wise to protect it with some sort of case. But which case is best?”

I turned into a cameraman so gradually, I barely even noticed…

A big day on the 30 Seconds Of Tech front, with three videos going up. Predictably, one of them features the letter “S” prominently.

Firstly, HTC’s Incredible S takes on the world of Fish. Can simple marine creatures best a cutting-edge smartphone?

Then LG’s launch of its newest 3D-and-application-capable TVs

And finally, 30 Seconds Of Tech goes game-centric at the launch of Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4

Letter P: Playbook and PC User

I had the chance yesterday to spend some hands-on time with a near-finished version (the hardware’s complete; the software may not be) of Blackberry’s Playbook tablet. Naturally, that leads today to a 30 Seconds Of Tech on it:



Meanwhile, in the May issue of Australian PC User, I’ve contributed a feature review on backup software as part of the overall Backup Made Easy cover feature. Sure, you might get free backup software on many external hard drives, but does that mean the paid alternatives aren’t worth considering?

Elsewhere in the issue, I’ve reviewed the Sega Dreamcast Collection, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Sony Music Unlimited, Pro2 IPP200, Billion BiPAC 7700N, HTC Desire Z, D-Link DSM-380 Boxee Box, Blackberry Bold 9780, HTC Trophy and Wintal DAB10W Digital DAB+/FM Radio. As an added enticement, I’ve given one (and only one) of those products the lowest score I’ve ever given anything in PC User. Can you guess which one it is?

Well, you don’t have to guess — just head to your nearest purveyor of magazines and buy a copy now. You know it makes sense.

Mega Flipping Out And Going Radio Gaga

Bigger, better, faster, more; it’s a constant refrain in the technology industry.

Except, of course, if you’re canning a product. This week’s Hydrapinion looks at Cisco’s decision to can the Flip:

Cisco Flips Out: “I’ve got to admit, when I read about Cisco’s decision to cull the Flip line of personal camcorders, I was a little surprised. At first, anyway.”

When you’re launching a product, it’s all go, go go, as evidenced from last week’s launch of a new line of PURE digital radios. That gets a rundown at Geekspeak:

Are you still gaga for radio? “Radio’s one of those technologies that you probably don’t think about that much at all. It’s just there.”

Finally, what better way to describe your product than to declare it ‘Mega’? Well, actually, I can think of several, but that hasn’t stopped Vodafone from using it to describe its latest USB modem, which gets the 30 Seconds Of Tech treatment:

Notebooks aplenty, media streamers, portable gaming and 90 Seconds Of Tech

My, I’ve been a busy boy this week. But enough about me. What do you think of me?

Before you answer, consider this week’s offerings, which have been keeping me up late at nights. Mostly because that’s when I’ve been able to work this week.

First up, this week’s Hydrapinion, which pits Nintendo’s glossy 3D-capable handheld against Sony Ericsson’s Crash-enabled smartphone. Except in this case, Crash is a good thing.

3DS or Xperia PLAY? “I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week playing with two different, very game centric portable devices…”

Then over at, a regular deluge of content. Firstly, a media streamer I wanted to like a whole lot more than I eventually did:

AC Ryan Playon!HD2: “The Playon!HD2 is an unusual mix of excellent format support with terrible documentation, serious stability issues and whacky GUI control choices. It’s inexpensive, but unless firmware updates can address the control and stability issues, it’s a poor choice.”

Then a tablet notebook with an exorcist-style spinning head:

Fujitsu Lifebook TH550: “The Lifebook TH550 is a well-built system with the kind of expected high price tag that Fujitsu usually applies to its PC wares. It’s a nice convertible tablet for the business market, but those on a tighter budget may wish to look elsewhere.”

Then another Tablet notebook, this one almost impossibly light:

Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1: “If your work environment would kill a regular tablet, Panasonic’s CF-C1 could be just the ticket, and a surprisingly light ticket at that. It will, however, leave your wallet feeling similarly light.”

And finally an inexpensive but unexciting laptop, just to maintain cosmic balance. Or something like that.

HP G62-400: “HP’s G62-400 isn’t a stunning laptop — it’s just a fairly priced budget model for those who want a basic laptop.”

Finally, in the world of me improving my video shooting/editing skills (and drooling over but not yet reviewing shiny new technology products), not one, not two, but three new 30 Seconds Of Tech videos