Sep 28

Haha, very funny.

No really, very funny.

How is it so hard to believe that I have an 3G iPhone? Well, it’s not so hard – you just have to think about it.

However, there is a couple of funny stories about my when I tried to acquire my iPhone 3G – but that story is far too epic to post here so I might leave it for now.

So, why Telstra? Their coverage is indeed, second to none. I went with Telstra as I knew I was always going to have coverage (unless I ventured into the 2% of Australia that isn’t covered by their excellent NextG network), and unlike some Optus users, I wasn’t going to have massive headaches with 3G/GSM coverage in capital cities, for instance.

Sure, I’m in total agreement of the fact that I do pay a little more than I would if I went with Optus or any other carrier – but seriously, in Tasmania it’s probably worth it. How much more I do pay isn’t as much as people think it is. No, I don’t have to sell my firstborn son/kidneys/any body parts to pay for my iPhone.

However, if you take a look at Google, you’ll find that there are multitudes of forum-ites (forum-goers?) who are complaining that the government shouldn’t have sold Telstra off as a whole company as it did – as now that non-government owned Telstra has complete monopoly of the telecommunications network in Australia, leading to the fact that shiping data from Melbourne to Hobart costs SIX TIMES more than it does than from Melbourne to the US. I blame Telstra.

The iPhone itself is awesome. Sure, over time the novelty will wear off, but for the moment, it’s by far the best phone I’ve ever owned. The App Store totally makes it so much better.

Worst things about it so far are battery life – I’m a light user and I find I have to charge the battery every couple of days. With my old phone I could go a full week without charge.
No Bluetooth file transfers from phone-to-phone, or from computer-to-phone, or vice versa. Which sucks. It has bluetooth, but it’s crippled – apparently, it lacks the OBEX protocol which phones require for file transfers.

To borrow a phrase from Now We Are Talking (ironically, the Telstra telecommunications blog), “iPhone, therefore I am.”

If you visit freshbytes and it isn’t here, I’ve probably got some sort of C&D from Telstra themselves for ripping off their blog post title. Oops.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , ,

Sep 21

Sheesh. If only I had a honey :(

Look, it’s the opening line and I’ve already digressed! That has pretty much set the mood for the rest of this post…

So, if you’re asking where the games are, the answer is, gone. I’ve removed the games. Not such a popular move I know, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find them on the internet, if you know what I’m saying…. Just gotta click!

If you’re looking for the snow and wondering where our snow day had gone like I was, I’m happy to announce that I found it. I’ve found the snow!

Most of the snow is currently located on the slopes of Mount Field, in Mount Field National Park. I went up there from the last Thursday and Friday of the holidays with the Radi8 Youth Group, and it was cool. Actually, scratch that, it was ice cold – Top Gear references for the win. This was the day after I bought my iPhone – more on that later.

For now, though, just read the report on the snow below.

So Thursday morning found myself and some 25 other people arriving bright and early at the Radi8 headquarters. From there, we packed the trailer full of our gear, and then it was just a small matter of fitting everyone in some form of transport.

Naturally, yours truly missed out on the “good seats” in the Patrol with all the guys (well, the guys that I was friends with), so I had to bus it up with the ladies. Of course, this might sound glamerous/lucky for me, but it was far from it. Screaming Year 7 girls isn’t anyone’s idea of fun – and it certinaly isn’t mine. My only solace was the awesome music, leading to my purchase of Break Me Down by Christian City Church, from their album For Your Glory (iTMS links).

I hid behind my sunnies until we arrived at New Norfolk. Here, I stocked up on supplies and the like, consisting of two packets of Starburst and a morning tea of an egg and bacon pita with BBQ sauce from Banjo’s. Mmm…

We eventually arrived at the Mount Field huts, where we the unpacked our gear, and so on. Frugus was the order of the day, being the name of the hut that Stephen M stayed in. Lunch then consisted of simple buns with various fillings. It was nice, the but real highlight was what came next: the snow.

We all got dressed for the snow. Some had ski-pants, others still had jeans and (Dunlop) Volley’s. We drove to the car park, and began our ascent up the mountain. Onwards and upwards was the motto of the day as we struggled though a clear feet of snow. Powder snow is really, really cool – you think you’re stepping onto snow that will hold your weight up, but it doesn’t and you get your foot stuck. Dangerous, but fun.

On the first day we hiked all the way up to the base of the ski slopes – a long arduous journey that involved a lost camera, an inner tube, 4 toboggans, a body board, and the mother of all toboggans. At the base, we made camp around some rocks, and while some others journeyed further up, a couple of us stayed behind to make tunnels in the snow, freeze our fingers off, and have an awesome time doing so!

When we were all freezing/had our fill of snow, we journeyed back down – whilst it was still difficult going down (we could fall on our faces at any time) it was far easier than coming up. It was then back to the camp to dry off and down some hot chocolate, and dinner was prepared. After a scrumptious dinner of burritos, we enjoyed a small chapel service by candle light.

It was then time for the most extreme Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament. Yours truly got out really early due to a couple of failed bluffs – All In doesn’t have the same effect in real life that it does have in the Texas Hold ‘Em game on iPhone/iPod Touch – when you go All In on that, usually the other people are scared off and fold…

Redemption arrived in the form of a second life – someone dropped out, and asked me to take over for them. This time I wasn’t so callous with my money – I managed to win a couple of pots. However, the inevitable happened (got beaten with an open ended straight, WTF!) and I came around 5th. Nathan dH managed to take out the cup – snagging an ace-high four-of-a-kind along the way.

Bed ensued at 10:30. I think everyone slept far better than they thought they would.

Early the next morning, we had breakfast and then proceeded to pack our bags. We had to be out of the campsite at 10, so we hurried off to the ski carpark for more snow fun. This time, I didn’t journey up, but those that did were rewarded with snow. Instead, I stayed at the lodge and played poker with a couple of other guys – this time, I was doing really well – but I eventually dropped out to play Catch Phrase! with some other guys who had dropped out of poker beforehand.

It was then time for a creamy chicken soup lunch, with bread rolls and various fillings again. Tomato soup was also on offer, but chicken seemed more enticing. After we had packed up, it was time to leave the snow.

We arrived at the Russell Falls/Mount Field National Park info centre – and we walked to Russell Falls. A quick snack in the park followed, and by that time people were wanting to go home. So we did.

The girls were even more rowdy on the way back, requesting the infamous Do Wah Diddy song by Manfred Mann. While it is quite a good song, I couldn’t find it on Katrina’s iPod. The girls then had to wait until we hit New Norfolk for Dean’s iPod – and when it was finally playing, they didn’t even sing along!! The nerve! After that I ended, I managed to choose For Your Glory and stick it on repeat all the way back…

None too soon, we hit Hungry Jack’s Hobart – I had a double Stacker. It was sort of like a double cheeseburger, but nicer. That was dinner.

Finally, we arrived back at Radi8 HQ – a massive amount of R&R awaited us once we got home.

Apart from the aforementioned Winter Camp, school holidays have been great. Now it’s time to knuckle down for the last 31 days of school – the last days of school for me, ever.

I’ll finish with a joke -

Roses are red;
Violets are blue,
In Soviet Russia,
Poems read you!

Apologies if you didn’t get that. Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 14

C’mon, we want SNOW already!

Look, I know this post is far overdue, but it must have somehow fallen to the bottom of the freshbytes blog pile…

Anyhow, it’s here now. We got some snow when we didn’t want it (driving to Mount Nelson with lots of snow is fairly good fun, though) and even though it did snow on a couple of nights, it didn’t settle and that’s why this post is here. It should have been here a long time ago, but, to quote Ned Kelly, “Such is life.”

I’m not too sure how my holiday plans are stacking up to what I thought they would be – the first week has been fully hectic, y’all, and the second week is only going to be more so.

I’ve been to one eighteenth (cheers Christo), worked three week days, and lazed around for the rest.

This week, I’m working one day, watching a movie the next. Some sort of a LAN with the NoSpoon fellas is also coming up after the movie. After that, it’s a toss up between Calvin Magazine 08 duties and a Radi8 Winter Camp. Currently undecided which one I’ll go to.

On top of all this, there is a large amount of study to be done. I’ll try and get it done this week, but no promises :p

I’ll try and grab some more pics of the NoSpoon crew at Chris’ – if you haven’t already seen the pics, head on over to the NoSpoon page.

Speaking of which, Apple news includes iTunes 8, iPhone/iPod Touch OS 2.1, new iPod Nanos, new iPod Touch refreshes, etc. I’m sure you can find out the info from a quick Google.

It’s almost surprising I’ve done little gaming these holidays, but I’m sure that’ll change at the NoSpoon LAN. I know some others of us have been trying to clock up those Commander Keen hours :P

I should be getting my iPhone soon, expect photos somewhere.

Anyways, if there’s anything I’ve missed, shout out in comments. Good news is a little thin on the ground.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 07

I know this person that is fairly weird. Let’s call her Sally*, cos I don’t actually know any Sallys. Now Sally isn’t a friend of mine, nor an acquaintance, but Sally is fairly weird. By fairly weird, I don’t mean socially awkward or anything, oh no. Sally socialises fine with her peers – irrespective of gender. However, Sally does have a quality that sets her apart from others – I’ll explain in a little bit.

I think it started when I showed Sally a clip off YouTube a couple of months ago – now the clip wasn’t bad in any way, but it did contain some coarse language, and while I thought the clip was uproariously funny, Sally did not. (If you cannot be bothered reading on, go and watch the clip here. Enjoy!)

Now, that was all well and good until Sally decided to give me a look that said “This isn’t funny and you’re not funny either. My opinion of you just went down a million points.” So maybe it wasn’t so much a look that said all that, more of a vibe… As the situation got increasingly awkward and uncomfortable silence set in, some other person chose another YouTube clip, and everything was okay again – phew! Or so I thought…

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, and the same scenario magically happens again. There Sally is, berating someone else for their sense of humour (or lack thereof, in this case). This time, Sally was saying “That’s not funny” repeatedly to someone else, and the someone else was ignoring this person – for reasons best unknown.

Now, it wasn’t about what Sally was saying, or what she was saying it about – it was the way that she was saying it. Direct eye contact, unmoving, hard, determined – and said with a steadfast conviction, like she REALLY didn’t think it was funny.

Well, Sally’s weird. It’s not like she doesn’t have any social skills or anything; far from it. She’s great with other people her age, especially of the same gender. No, it’s because she has some kind of conviction that she has, a steadfast conviction that allows her to act the way she does without being tagged a social outcast. It’s this steadfast conviction that permits her to be “the woman that voices her mind”, in the words of Christina Aguilera :D

If you thought the above message was cool, Transformers at Radi8 last Friday was far cooler. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Transformers movie even though I’ve got a Channel BT copy of it. Let me just say that Megan Fox wasn’t there for her acting skills… ;) Transformers was followed by Die Hard 4.0 – something I had seen before. Now, if we were going to watch Die Hard 4.0, we should have seen Rogue Assassin instead – it’s a lot more violent, but it is exceptionally good!

By this time you would have realised it’s school holidays for us Taswegians – because that’s our demonym, yeah? Wikipedia is awesome.

On the Apple news front, there have been rumours of new iPod Nanos, iTunes 8, and even iPhone software 2.1 – whatever is being released, we’ll see it in three days (accounting for time differences).

The song for this week is Britney Spear’s “Radar” – iTMS link. I actually heard this song on the way back down from Launceston when I travelled up to Youth Alive. At the time, I didn’t realise who sang it – otherwise I would have gladly sung along :p

I’ll leave you with one last thought:
If you don’t have a kind of steadfast conviction like Sally does, I suggest you get it. Find it. Do whatever you have to do to acquire it, just don’t fake it!

Comments below.

* names have been changed to protect the innocent. It’s a small small world!

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sep 01

If this is a little late appearing on the net, I apologise profusely. For once, it isn’t Chris’ fault as MySQL was down as of 11:01pm AEST, so apologies in advance. If you want to know more, head over to my other site to read all about it.

So I was at Youth Alive last Saturday night – and it was awesome.

The actual event was only half the fun, though. The bus ride up and back was very close to surpassing the actual event itself…

It’s no secret that I’ve been at Calvin for a while now – along with some other select people, I’ve been at Calvin ever since Prep in 1996. That was a while ago now, and while my memories of that period are sketchy at best, I do remember the physical stuff – namely a book that my buddy in Year 6 gave me.

It was entitled “Super (my full name here, haha)” and it was some story about how I managed to save the lives of 3 people, and all that… You know, the typical stuff that 5 year olds dream about. We all want to be superheroes at the age, we’re not obsessed about computers, MSN, or our MySpace/Facebook profiles (if only I had thought of social networking back then, ha!).

What brought me back to this book was our new youth group leader – Annika. One other guy asked her whether she knew his buddy when he was in Prep, and she replied yeah, but his buddy was a grade below her. Adam and I then piped up that she must have been one of our buddies in Prep, seeing as the guy who asked was one grade below us. Well, it turns out she wasn’t one of our buddies, but she was indeed in Year 6 when we were in Prep. She then also made the comment that she put everything into that book, and hoped that her buddy (who is also in Year 12 at Calvin now) still had it.

Well, I still have my book. Last night, I managed to dig out that Superhero Benny book – of course, I wasn’t known as Benny back in those days, only by my full name – but it did remind me of days gone by.

Reading through it, you could definitely tell that it was put together by someone in Year 6, no offence. My sister also has one of these books, made for her by a friend of mine. In terms of graphical quality, hers is definitely better. That’s not to say I’m not appreciative of the effort put into the book, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s an awesome idea, and hope it still goes in in Year 6 today.

However, there are elements in mine which I didn’t think were present at that level – such as the inclusion of a certain someone who I didn’t think I was completely obsessed with, even in Prep. Just goes to show how amazing she must have been in Prep! Not to mention how amazing she still is…

I know there wasn’t much of a message this morning, but comments below if you have any.

Here’s page 7 of the book – one of these days, I’ll put up the whole thing so you can giggle away. Interestingly, page 7 is one of the pages that doesn’t mention anything about my real name, nor does it mention that certain someone. As usual, click on the image to see it full-size.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , ,