(Public Transport)

Sydney Buses TravelTen multiple dipping chart

It’s no secret that public transport in Sydney is not as straightforward as it could be, and one of the particularly complex areas is our various ticketing systems.

Did you know that on Sydney Buses services, you can either validate a TravelTen multiple times or validate a combination of multiple TravelTens to legitimately pay for a longer-distance fare?

There used to be a chart produced by Sydney Buses that showed you these combinations (circa 2000), but aside from occasionally seeing one taped to the driver’s console on some buses, they appear all but extinct. So I decided to make a modernised version:

Sydney Buses TravelTen multiple dipping chart
Sydney Buses TravelTen multiple dipping chart (enlarge)

My version includes some numbers about how much you’d save (or spend extra) when compared to buying single tickets when using each TravelTen combination. Note that to always be able to make journeys of any length using TravelTens only, but without ever paying more than a cash fare, you need at least one blue, brown and red TravelTen. (Not a bad idea given the growing number of pre-pay only routes and bus stops.)

I know this chart can be improved (particularly adding labels for the colours to improve accessibility), so maybe one day there will be a version 2. Any feedback is of course welcome! :D

Add comment 11 years, 1 month ago

(Arts and Culture)

How Much is the Braid Soundtrack Worth?

I loved Braid, the Xbox Live Arcade game, and the amazingly fitting music was a large part of the charm. So when I heard that music from Braid was available as an official soundtrack… oh, how excitement! Clear impulse buy. ;)

But how much is it worth?

It turns out that all the music featured in the Braid soundtrack was licensed from Magnatune, an indie label focused on “we are not evil” online DRM-free distribution. You can choose how much you want to pay, between USD $5–18, for each one-off album download. (They also offer subscription options.)

Magnatune Albums: Choose a Price (Flickr screenshot by Cryptarcadian)

I like how it tells you what a typical amount is! Apparently that’s $8, with $12 being considered generous, and $15 being “VERY generous”. I don’t know why, but I expected people would pay more. After all, half the proceeds goes directly to the artists, right?

I was originally thinking maybe $10, but maybe $15? Now I’m rather inclined to pay more. Oh how easily I can be suckered into paying more. How can I resist, when it’s something I’m supposed to feel good about? :D

Add comment 11 years, 7 months ago


Mirror’s Edge: First Impressions

First impression: ZOMG, it’s MIRROR’S EDGE!!!! I’ve been waiting for this game for such a long time (my most anticipated title since Halo 3), so when I heard today that the street date (originally meant to be Thursday) had been broken… :D :lol:

Anyway, here are some quick first thoughts/ramblings:

I’ve just played through the tutorial, prologue and chapter 1. If the length of chapter 1 is anything to go by, it does seem like it’ll be a short game!

Having said that, I like what I’ve seen so far. Sometimes I feel like stopping and looking around, but of course you never get the opportunity to do that given there are ‘blues’ on your tail all the time! I really, really like the art direction, and the game really looks great! So yeah, I just hope the game keeps going for long enough…

The time trial modes are great though! They’re very in depth and give you precise breakdowns of how you performed in each section of the course. You can always compare this against your best run, your friends’ best run or the world’s best. Not to mention ghosts you can follow and specific ratings based on skill as well as time. I can see the time trial modes adding a lot of replayability… at least, for people like me who are obsessed with beating high scores, times, getting achievements, etc. ;)

The achievements seem pretty easy to get… I’ve got 100 GS so far and I’ve only played it for a tiny bit! Also, keep in mind there’s a “Test of Faith” achievement which is “Complete the game without shooting an enemy”. So decide whether you want to try and get it before you pick up a gun. :D

A final heads-up… don’t be tempted to open a blade and check on your achievements when you acquire them. The game does not pause during cut scenes between missions and you’ll miss them if you have the Xbox interface open. As far as I can tell, you can also not watch them again without restarting the whole game because when you load into a chapter, you start immediately after that cut scene.

Alright, back to it… another report later.

Add comment 12 years ago

(Living it Up)

I Finally Have a Pair of Cons!

Seriously, I thought this was significant enough to warrant a blog post. ;)

Sure, maybe it would actually have been cool if I got a pair maybe a decade ago, but I guess it took me this long to find a pair that I liked that happened to be on sale!

1HUND(RED) Artist #58 Steve Monti
100 People, Hi, Canvas/Leather

It’s actually one of the (PRODUCT) RED ones, so supposedly some small part of the proceeds (hugely disproportionate to the marketing spend of course) is donated to the fight against AIDS. I guess Bono would be proud?

I actually have owned a single Converse shoe prior to this. Well, sort of… it was a kind of miniature one that was actually a pencil case. I remember in maths one year, I got yelled at by the teacher to get that shoe off my desk, until she came over and discovered that it was actually a pencil case. How hilarity! :lol:

2 comments 12 years ago

(The Intarweb)

Do We Need an Alternative to BillMonk?

It looks like BillMonk, which I rely heavily on, is slowly dying of neglect.

BillMonk’s Facebook application hasn’t worked for months now (check out the complaints!) and adding things to your Library by searching Amazon now never returns any results. The developers are nowhere to be seen.

BillMonk is full-featured, yet simple to use and was (as far as I know) the original ’social money’ application. Back then the developers were great, responding to feedback and fixing bugs. What a shame it all seems to have downhill since they were bought out by Obopay!

So what’s plan B?

Continue Reading 9 comments 12 years, 2 months ago

(Go Go Gadget)

Microsoft Marketing: Some of it Rocks!

You know, not all the marketing out there for Microsoft products sucks. Take a look at these awesome little animated interstitial pieces for the Zune produced by the studio Nervo!

Zune Liquid (Flickr photo by Nervo.tv)

Watch the Zune animations at the Nervo.tv site (seriously, have a look!)
View the full Zune Package photo set on Flickr

How amazingly cool are they?! Now where are Microsoft actually going to use them?

And what about this one by the Wexley School for Girls agency to promote the web slices feature of Internet Explorer 8? (I’m not sure about web slices, but you have to admit, it’s a brilliant viral piece to send around!)

Precautionary End-User Irresponsible Internet Slicing Emergency Accident Kit

Precautionary End-User Irresponsible Internet Slicing Emergency Accident Kit (Flickr photo by Long Zheng)

So why is it so hard for Microsoft to get some decent ads made about Windows Vista?! :cry:

1 comment 12 years, 2 months ago

(Arts and Culture)

Sneaky Sound System: TOO DAMN AWESOME!!

Lucy and I went to see Sneaky Sound System at the Enmore on Friday night, where they were playing on their 2 album tour.

Sneaky Sound System front trio

“TOO DAMN AWESOME!” barely does them justice… they are such a great act in the flesh, and boy do Miss Connie and Black Angus know just how to perform for the crowd!

Continue Reading 1 comment 12 years, 2 months ago

(The Intarweb)

Woolworths Everyday Dumb Error Messages

I tried to register my Woolworths Everyday Rewards card today and encountered this error…

Screenshot of Everyday Rewards website showing the error message text "Password must contain alphabets."

What?! But I only know of the English A-Z alphabet… how am I supposed to include multiple alphabets in my password?

Oh wait… did you mean letters of the alphabet? ;)

Hilarity: 1
Thoughtful Design: 0

The observant among you will also note that the explanatory text originally on the form informs you that passwords must contain at least one digit, but makes no reference to any requirement for letters — poorly thought out indeed. Not to mention, since the password can only be 6-8 characters long, I don’t know how I’d fit 26+ characters even if I wanted to!

(Besides, all this thing protects is the ability to check how many fuel discount vouchers I have… why the need for such a strong password anyway?)

Add comment 12 years, 5 months ago

(Arts and Culture)

Battle of the Choirs — I Might Actually Care!

Wow… for the first time in years, I might actually have found a TV show I care enough about to watch at broadcast time! And not just any TV show either, but a talent quest reality show to boot — Seven’s Battle of the Choirs.

I think the difference here is that all the participants are actually quite likeable, if sometimes for different reasons. There’s energy and passion that goes beyond personal ambition from the choirs, and I think the conflict between the judges is usually about genuine differences in their assessments of the the choirs’ performances (rather than disagreements that, in other shows, have seemed gimmicky or manufactured).

Having said that though, my sister remembers Torbay from Australian Girls Choir and we do think that there is still a healthy dose of exaggeration for the sake of TV going on here! ;) Besides, it seemed like in the end he actually wanted (spoiler alerthover over text to reveal) the Sunbury Divas to make it though tonight?! When did he change his mind?

Lastly, I don’t even mind Kochie here, so the show must be alright! :D

Add comment 12 years, 5 months ago

(Go Go Gadget)

The New Apple Store in Sydney Sure is Crowded

That Apple logo is bright!

So I’m sitting in the Maccas next door on Goerge St to the new Apple Store here in Sydney that’s just opened… isn’t it ironic? I’ve been here way before the likes of Adam, Johnny and Houmer… and I’m the one missing the Maclot gene. ;)

Notice the Apple umbrellas that were handed out

Anyway, the line when I last saw it started around the block, halfway down Clarence St (the street behind Georget St). But at least Apple umbrellas were being given out to the faithful waiting in the rain!

And I think those white rectangular boxes they’re giving out contain a T-shirt and some propaganda… now I just have to wait till the others get here to head over and see if there are any left!

Add comment 12 years, 5 months ago

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About Stephen Mok

Originally from Hong Kong, China, Stephen Ka Chung Mok, 23, is a recent Digital Media graduate now living in Sydney, Australia. He studied at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts and remains a Director on the Board of the student organisation Arc @ UNSW. He is currently working as a web user interface developer at Fairfax Digital and experiments with photography and digital video when the mood strikes. (Contact him)

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