Archive for October 2005

MTR to Run Advertising Trains

Ever see vehicles driving around the city carrying nothing but billboards? If you have, I bet you’ve thought that these pieces of moving spam are but a total waste of space and energy, since all they accomplish is act as an eyesore.

Well the MTR metro in Hong Kong is going to take it one step further. In between timetabled passenger train services they’re going to be running advertising trains through the network! :shock:

artist's impression of a 'Spectacular Mobile Showcase' as seen from a station platform
Artist’s impression of a ‘Spectacular Mobile Showcase’ (source: MTR)

Continue Reading 1 comment 14 years, 10 months ago


Last weekend, Lucy and I paid a visit to Garfish at Kirribilli, a quiet, little restaurant on the eastern side of the Harbour Bridge near Bradfield Park (the park under the Harbour Bridge’s northern approach) and Milsons Point station. We’d spotted the place on an earlier visit to the area and vowed to return.

Garfish’s side street seemed unusually quiet to us, a contrast to the busier joints further down the street towards Bradfield Park. But being Saturday night we weren’t surprised to have to wait for a table. (We ended up waiting about half an hour.) Luckily, Garfish didn’t disappoint.

Dish of grilled garfish with lemon and thyme risotto
Grilled garfish with lemon and thyme risotto

Continue Reading 6 comments 14 years, 10 months ago

New M2 E-toll Gantries: Photos

Alright, folks… I finally managed to snap some dodgy shots of the new overhead gantries at the M2 Motorway toll booths!

westbound view showing the new overhead e-toll gantries
Westbound view immediately after the toll plaza (enlarge)

Continue Reading Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

Banana vs. Mosquito

OK, so you know how when you’re a kid you always played with bananas as toy guns? Uh… no? Well I did anyway! I’m very proud to report that I just killed a mosquito with a banana!

A few minutes ago, I spotted a mosquito perched on a cupboard in the kitchen. Naturally (for me anyway), I thought I’d reach over to the fruit plate and pick up a big banana to whack the mosquito! After all, I thought a tissue or something isn’t anywhere near as solid as a good banana (as long as the banana isn’t over-ripe), and so the mosquito could have escaped!

So I took a swing, and… missed! You know, it’s actually quite hard since bananas are kind of narrow. Anyhow I quickly moved to hit it again, and although it had just took flight to attempt an escape, one deftly-executed, wonderfully satisfying thwack! later, the mosquito was officially smooshed and the banana was not. Yay!

Don’t worry, I rinsed the end of the banana under the tap and dried it (as you do) to make sure it was clean again. :D

Banana, 225 mm long
The almighty lethal banana, 22.5 cm long. Naughty mosquitoes, just you wait!

4 comments 14 years, 11 months ago

At Last: an Australian iTunes Music Store!

It didn’t happen in January and it failed to materialise even when Russell Crowe said it would (in April), but today Apple finally launched the Australian version of the iTunes Music Store.

I bet my friend Jo will be happy about this! She’s been very excited about this… even going as far as to suggest that the iPod nano, Motorola ROKR, and iTunes 6 have all been signs we were about to get our own iTMS. Well, somehow I don’t think Australia is that important — I’m sure these releases would’ve happened even if our entire continent suddenly got sucked up by a giant sea monster a few months ago. But hey, I’m excited too!

I’m far from an Apple fanboy and I’m still a poor student, but I do own an iPod Photo and listen to a good deal of music. So it was with great anticipation tonight that I launched iTunes, browsed to the new Australian iTMS and setting up my my Apple ID as in iTMS account. Sadly, this is where the joy ended.

Continue Reading Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

New M2 E-toll Gantries Erected

Here’s a quick update on how the construction of E-toll only lanes at the M2 Motorway toll plaza is progressing. [For other entries in this series, try browsing all posts tagged with both M2 Motorway and electronic tolling.]

Tonight, I saw for the first time that a pair of overhead gantries had been erected on the western side of the toll plaza for citybound traffic. They span two lanes and look quite similar to the gantries being used on the Westlink M7. I would guess they were put up last night (Friday night), as they weren’t there when I passed through yesterday afternoon. I don’t know if the tag readers have been installed on the gantry, but our tag didn’t activate until we reached the existing toll plaza.

When I next pass through there during the day on a bus (or if I’m in the car but not driving), I’ll try and take some photos.

In other news, for the past week or two there have been three E-toll only booths in operation during peak hour in a tidal flow manner, an increase from the maximum of two we have had over the years.

Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

Usability Problems in Antibiotics?

My doctor prescribed me some antibiotics, Diclocil (Dicloxacillin 500 mg), for an infection I have and I’ve been trying hard to take them as instructed.. except it’s impossible. The instructions are to:

  • Take one capsule every six hours
  • Take on an empty stomach (at least one hour before meals or two hours after)
  • Take at bedtime

In case it’s not already painfully obvious, these restrictions make the instructions hard to follow for anyone who wants to try and live life on a sane schedule.

Recall that there are 24 hours in a day. So if you are to take them six hours apart, you need to do it exactly six hours apart, four times a day. Unfortunately, we also need to take them on an empty stomach, but we generally have three meals a day. In addition, humans tend to sleep for roughly eight hours a night and usually have breakfast when they wake up.

Seriously, who the hell came up with this? Talk about products designed without considering the whole human condition!

Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

My Tablet PC is a Very Sad Panda

So I’m restarting my Tablet PC and I find Windows seems to be stuck at “Windows is shutting down…” Naturally, after waiting for a few minutes I just flick the power switch and turn it off.

Lo and behold, I power it back up and get this:

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

Uh oh. Let’s try restarting?

Uh oh. Windows still refuses to boot.

Continue Reading Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

The Attention-Seeker: My Tablet PC

HP Compaq TC1100 Tablet PC

I went to see the doctor yesterday and while I was waiting in the reception area, I got out my Tablet PC (a HP Compaq TC1100) and tried to get some work done. When it was finally was my turn, I moved to put my Tablet away… except my doctor cried out as we he walked past “No, no! Don’t put that away, I want to see it!”

So the first five minutes of my consultation was spent explaining to him what it was — a laptop, except that you can write on it (and convert it to handwriting if necessary) — and even got him to do a quick doodle. He was instantly attracted to it and explained that he needs to fill in a lot of forms and such, but also that he needs to bring large databases of material with him. As such, he was quite concerned how large the hard drive was… until I told him it was 60 GB, to which he replied “you could store the whole world on there!” (Well not quite, I’m running out of room on my Tablet!)

Continue Reading Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

No VSU in 2006 After All?

An article in Melbourne’s The Age today suggests that no form of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) may be implemented in time for 2006 — a significant development this late in the game.

Dr Nelson confirmed to The Age that he did not expect the legislation to even reach the Senate before December, saying the Government’s industrial laws would take priority.

And Dr Nelson said even if the legislation was passed this year, he was considering delaying the introduction of the changes until 2007.

“I’m concerned that the crowded legislative agenda that we have, may make it difficult for universities to actually implement it barely a month after its passage through Parliament,” he said.

I don’t know whether to celebrate or throw my hands up in despair. Forget whether VSU will kill us or not, long before that happens the uncertainty itself is going to get to us!

Opposition education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said Dr Nelson had been “plainly” unable to get the support of his coalition colleagues in the Senate. “The Education Minister’s delaying tactics have left staff, students and their families at Victorian universities in limbo, not knowing if their jobs and the services they rely on will exist next year,” she said.

Damn right, and it’s obviously not just Victorian universities. At COFA SA, our staff have been left in limbo for the better part of year too. With no idea if their jobs will remain if VSU is implemented but with no idea when we’ll know if VSU will be implemented, you can’t blame any of them for being so incredibly stressed. It’s been impossible for any of us to plan ahead in very meaningful ways and it’s been terrible for morale across the organisation.

If VSU isn’t implemented in time for next year, do we restructure our organisation now anyway and try to save as much money as possible (not knowing what we’re actually planning for)? Do we stick to the status quo for as long as possible? Oh who knows. If the government is trying to screw over student organisations by attrition, I daresay they’re almost succeeding.

Uni student fees plan in disarray

Add comment 14 years, 11 months ago

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