Category: Blog

End of the “Free Lunch”?

I read somewhere not long ago, that “people no longer expect things to be free on the Internet, and don’t mind paying for things anymore”.

At the time I thought “pffft. Gimme it for free or I’ll go elsewhere…” but I just realised that I have come around to this way of thinking. I no longer have any qualms about paying for software off of the net. I no longer expect all sites to have 100% free content. Instead, I find myself looking for the “pay here” button, or buying the full version in a shop. Heck, I even bought a legit copy of Windows XP Upgrade the other day. 6 months ago, I would’ve downloaded it off of Kazaa.

Obviously, I like getting freebies as much as the next person – as long as they are “worth it”, if you will. More and more, freebies aren’t worth the bother of downloading. The 2 notable exceptions that I use, are Mozilla and Open Office, but these are the exceptions.

The only thing I refuse to pay for however, is a web script (PHP/ASP/whatever). Probably because I’m a web designer, and with a bit of reading and learning, I could do whatever the paid for script does, with one of my own scripts.

But why the change? Why aren’t people demanding their “free lunch” anymore? Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Or is it just me?

First Ever Smiley Found!

A piece of internet history has been discovered – the first known use of a smiley (emoticon) has been found.

taken from The Register:

The original smiley, or emoticon, invented in 1982 by Scott Fahlman but subsequently lost, has been retrieved through the efforts of Microsoft researcher Mike Jones and facilities staff at Carnegie Mellon University. And isn’t it a blessing to find Microsoft Research staff keeping themselves profitably occupied like this, when they could be posing a threat to world freedom instead?

Jones describes the process of unearthing the smiley here. Fahlman hadn’t kept a copy of his original post, and had assumed it had been lost. But he was able to help narrow down the likely dates, and extensive CMU trawls through old backup tapes finally nailed the posting down to 19th September 1982, so we’re just in time for the 20th anniversary next Thursday.. It has now been restored in all its glory here, and the full thread from whence it came can be viewed here.

Note that Fahlman’s post didn’t come out of the blue – the CMU people had been working hard on a mechanism for signifying jokes for some time, and among the rejected proposals were & and #. Nor did :-) win immediate and universal acceptance. On the 20th a poster identified only as Not Sharon Burks mounted a fight-back on behalf of the “gandalf vax” and its favoured emoticon. But ultimately, Fahlman triumphed, and the research team could go back to discussing Star Trek.

use the link below to view the first ever use of a smiley http://research.microsoft.com/~mbj/Smiley/Smiley.html

New Flatmate

I really am good to you people – two updates in two days!

My new flatmate started moving in today. Well, yesterday in fact. He moved some of his stuff in while I was at work. The rest’ll probably come today. Anyway, the whole thing has given me a chance to guage what type of person he is (I’ve never met him, but he’s a friend of my other flatmate Sol) – he left his CD’s at the flat yesterday. The analysis however, is not good… It would appear that my new flatmate could well be the lowest form of life: a Ned. I reach this conclusion through the sheer number of indie dross in his CD collection. He’s got nearly as many CD’s as me by the look of things, but all of them seem to be either by people like Ocean Colour Scene, Oasis, Blur, etc, or those indie compilations such as Shine.

Lets hope my stereo can go louder! ;-)

Of course, the “vintage” adidas trainers left behind also had something to do with this conclusion…

Could it all coincidence? Could the guy actually be a well adjusted, normal person? Hopefully.

But see if I find a Burberry shirt…

Pantellica/Black Atom, Gigs, and the Radio Show

I’m in quite a good mood today (0_0) despite having to get up horrendously early (well, 8:30am) to get to work…

Gawd, from next week, I’ve got to do it every week day for the rest of my working life. Oh dear.

Anyway… Yeah, my weekend was rather spiffy.

First up was a gig at Lava – Black Atom, supporting Pantellica who are a Pantera/Metallica tribute band from London. Atom were ace. They got a fantastic reception, had a brilliant sound, and were generally very ace. Pantellica… hmmm. The musicianship was all there. Shame the singer wasn’t that great a metal singer. He wasn’t a bad singer by any means, he just didn’t suit metal. Especially not Metallica or Pantera. But ach well, it was fun anyway. Couldn’t help but feel a little peeved that a tribute band get to play for 1 1/2 hours, while decent “proper” bands get 45 minutes or so, and the local bands get even less time.

Saturday was a blast. It was another gig, this time at Dr Drakes, featuring Hot Mangu & Black Atom (again). Also making some noise, was yours truely, making my DJ debut (well, if you don’t count the AUBL radio show…). There was also the Elizium goth night afterwards. Despite a little confusion between me and the Elizium guys as to who was playing when, everything went pretty smoothly. I had great fun. Played a bit of everything, from Metallica/Iron Maiden etc, to A/Green Day etc. Played a few local things too – Quik, Sirius, Contra and We Become Less.

Sunday night was the radio show (AUBL on MeFM – 105.8fm 8 till 10 Sundays, 7-9 Wednesdays. Plug plug). We had Contra live in session, which was great, cos Contra are ace. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a sound engineer for this show, so I ended up doing most of the “production”, trying to get the levels right and stuff. It was all an ace laugh anyway, and the show went pretty well really. Only 3 more shows left I think… oh well, it’s been fun.

Anyway, suppose I’d better go and get some work done…

Earliest Recoverable Blog Post

So what have I been up to? The usual really. Been to some absolutely fantastic gigs. Got some photo’s of some of them too. I’ll put them up soon(ish).

Other than that, it’s been exam time. Fun…

Also been working a little. Start full-time work on the 3rd of June :-)  “LOOOOAAAAAAADSA MONEY!”

Other than the above, I’ve just basically been going out, having a laugh, etc. I’m waiting on the new Star Wars film to come out. It’s gonna be ace!

Also been buying lots of Transformers related stuff recently. Getting back to my youth kinda thing really…