Jan 25

I’m hugely ignorant.

If there’s something that doesn’t interest me in the slightest, then I’ll probably ignore it.

This goes for pretty much anything you care to name: cars, cooking, house-related stuff, anything boring or tedious to work through. PHP and CSS are the two main ones I can think of at the moment. Oh, and Objective-C.

A good example of this is the recent purchase of a video camera for my overseas trip (Dad kinda figured we should get one, since our last video camera is ancient. Heard of Hi8? Yeah, I didn’t think so). When I was looking at the specs of the thing, I had no idea what the CMOS was, or what the difference between a CMOS and CCD was. (As an aside, I still don’t know what the difference is. If you do, feel free to explain it to me in comments). Sure, I knew what they stood for, as well as what they did, but the difference between the two escaped me.

So anyway, I ended up buying the budget Canon model. No HD here, folks – just plain, simple, which was exactly what we were after. Overall, I’m happy with my decision even though a minimal amount of reseach was undertaken.

However, being oblivious to the digital video revolution that I am, I had no idea how to use the latest version of iMovie. By all reports that I had heard it was utter garbage compared to the old version, but having never used iMovie 08 myself, I had no opinion on this. It wasn’t until I watched the August 2007 Keynote where Steve Jobs demos the new iMovie that I realised how easy it was to use and edit – making your mediocre footage into somthing prefessional-looking in a mattter of minutes. Literally.

As an aside, if you’re interested in watching the August 2007 Keynote, which isn’t available in iTunes as a podcast, hit this link for the QuickTime stream of the event – the iMovie 08 demo starts at 36:35.

Now, slashcare. /care. Just like “meh” is the universally recognised response for just about everything, /care will become the de-facto response For Everything That You Just Don’t Care AboutTM. You’ll certainly see /care a lot more on freshbytes, as well as on on my personal website (I’m purposely not including a link here).

I’m not going to make a website dedicated to it, though. If you use Google, you’ll find one.

I think that’s about it. If I’ve missed anything, leave a comment and I’ll try and get back to you!

Note: Benny is currently on holidays. This post was automagically published using WordPress’ advanced publishing features, allowing Benny to write a post, and set it to publish at a prescribed time in the future. For the record, Benny <3’s WordPress.

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

Jan 18

What a day. I’m starting to sound like Benny (apologies in advance :) ).

Wednesday, 14th of January. The ‘Acceptance session’ day for the University of Tasmania. Students-running-around-with-parents-day.

Basically, a day where you go and the Uni reps talk to a whole group of people interested in enrolling in Uni for this year. This day was specifically for the previous years’ grade 12’s (like me).  The main lecture theatre wasn’t exactly full, but there were enough people to feel ’surrounded’. Having at least 4 sessions throughout the day accounts of the apparent ‘lack’ of people. The Uni guys talked about the usual stuff, and then split us into groups based on degree areas. For example, the group whom I was a part of was one surrounding the computing department, and this included computing/info systems/game development and most likely others.

This was the spot where things got a little interesting. See, I had organised the day with my friend James to make things easier for the both of us. Now, once we were split into the computing group,James and myself were the only ones in it! SCORE! That, personally, made me more comfortable in the various wanderings around the department buildings. Dells and Macs. Meh.

The second ‘score‘ was the quick visit to the office of the degree coordinators’ office. Various thick textbooks on stuff like XML, but the one that really stood out was the textbook on UNIX! And this was after she mentioned that she teaches Computer Security!

Oh yeah, and for Benny’s sake, she has a mac laptop.

Then was the supposed final part of the session, the so-called E-tour (basically an online guide on how to enrol and do bits and pieces). After initially going into one wrong location, and then being given a location that had previously had the tours earlier (the signs pointed to it), we were finally told the final location of the tour. At this point, James decided to leave, and we were informed that the staff that directed persons to the specific areas (the guys out front) were misinformed about the location of the E-tours in the first place!

At least I (and my father) got a good tour of the Uni. I no longer feel like a ant on approach to a hay bale, if anything a human now on approach to the said hay bale.

During the session, I saw something on the computer in front of me to make me think of this day as weird in every sense of the word. Where , on the Uni site, they would usually have a picture of a student to ’sure-up’ the reality of going to Uni (or something like that), I saw a picture of a person familiar to myself and one of my good friends, Martin P. It was his (this is not confirmed, I am assuming this by previous data sent to me) sister-in-law. WOW, I couldn’t believe my eyes. And thus did the E-tour begin.

Now I thought that after this had finished, we had finished up for the day. How wrong I was. The most important meeting was about to begin.

On my way out from the computer room in which the E-tour was being conducted, who should I see at the entrance but two of the Calvin 2008 leavers, Ellen and Amber. They had a quick chat with me, and then we parted ways.  It took about 10 mins after we parted ways for me to finally realise something that was mentioned in great depth to me before I graduated from Calvin.  “You’ll miss them, You’ll miss the leavers”. The first time I actually realised this, was this day, the UTAS day. Was I really that close to the students in my grade that I’ll actually miss their presence?

That left me in a state of thought that I did not escape from for at least 2 hours afterwards. I still think about it to the present day. I must have been blind that day, ’cause I know I was the day I last saw the leavers.

And that was my day, the UTAS day, Wednesday 14th January ;-) .


written by Chris Jacques \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 12

First post in a while now…might as well consolidate!

From the last few posts Benny did. This may look really ugly to some readers, but it ties up some loose ends and allows me to start from a ‘clean slate’. From here, ‘you’ is referred to as Benny himself.

Having a rough morning“-
As for Benny’s rough morning, well, I have a special post lined up for that (sooner rather than later).

What is Church?“-
Well, the way the Catholic Church is run is different again…but not as ’strict’ in the sense that you mention. It is really hard to explain, you really have to see it to understand, as its kind of a mix of things.

Bitter Disappointment“-
Seriously, I had nothing else to say on the matter of the CS award. Sure, I was disappointed to not get it, but I think you put in more ‘time & effort’ than myself and the rest of the ‘crew’. The writing was on the wall from last year’s awards ceremony (mind you, I blame Dicky for that, but I’m not bitter about it), and you had previously mentioned your internal results which were the best of the entire class, so the writing was well and truly on the wall.
Oh yeah, thanks for the praise too :)
Hmm you are also sounding like my mum. “You’ll never see them again”. Pfft. I’ve seen most of the crew and contacted a few others in the weeks following the end of school. Mind you, many would not have predicted that ;-)

My neutral responses that night (of the awards) were due to one thing (maybe another, the more I think about it). I had something planned for the very next day, which was far more important than a bloody award on a piece of paper. The very next day (at 10:20AM), I went for my driving test. The reaction after getting that was better than any other bloody award from a “dead-and-buried” (public opinion, folks) school! (Mind you, I was in complete denial for at least 3 days after I got my P’s anyway…). I still can’t believe I managed to keep it a secret for a majority of 7 months. I should work for the NSA (but I hate America, so the point is moot).

Anyway, a better guide of the situation was that I saw my letter from UTAS come in the mail, and it got tossed to the side for a few days. I was waiting on *the* letter: my license! It finally came after a week, and I was very happy that day. I opened the UTAS letter a few days afterwards. I think this best explains the situation for the time on and after the awards night.

TCE results 2008“-
Mine weren’t great, and sure there is an element of jealousy about other scores that I heard of (and some of utter disbelief), but I got into what I wanted, and that’s all that I needed to achieve.
I could say to you the classic saying “Have Faith!”, but I myself only even believed it in the lead up to my driving test…

Merry Christmas, All!“-
Apart from the 1TB HDD, and the splash of alcohol, seafood and meat, my day was spent getting sunburnt, installing Linux kernel 2.6.28 (which was released on Christmas day) and playing cricket in the backyard. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it does mark the first time I have used a kernel the day it was released…so go figure.

TCE Results Reflections“-
That’s not arrogance, that’s over-confidence. And that is a ‘mode’ that I kept telling myself to not ‘be in’ during the SWATVAC period. I knew that could be my undoing…and to a degree, it was (for the CS exam, that is). Mind you, we basically all got the same result from CS anyway…

Happy New Year“-
Yet again, on the laptop at the count of midnight Jan 1. 2009. This time, however, it was running on AC, as the battery in my laptop has shot itself to pieces. The Gnome power manager tells me that it is running at 3% of factory capacity all the time, and the HP battery tester tells me to replace it. Bugger. Oh well, it was a Happy New Year. I question whether or not it could beat the last (for me personally).

Alcohol and a bit of HDTV via MythTV. A nice night.

The Legend of Mr Peterson“-
I hate chain mail. But some can make it amusing (like a good buddy of ours, Shaun V). Insert character names into the ‘unknown’ characters, and it makes for interesting reading!

Freshbytes Fresh update“-
And now back to square 1. Officially.

Yes, Benny is/will be away, and I’m filling the chair for a while. I hope to bring some posts about things that are different to what has been uploaded here before. More cricket and more Linux are two such things on the cards. and a special post may be on the way too…

You’ll have to stick around to find out!


written by Chris Jacques \\ tags: , ,

Jan 11

It’s official – I’m out of ideas for posts this week. I have nothing to say that needs to be said, nothing that can be said that could be. Sure, I could be using one of the “backup” posts (things I have floating around in case of emergency), but I think it’s time for a break from the usual serious posts, (last week’s post was the exception to the rule), and time for a freshbytes fresh update…

So instead, I’ll just give you a rundown of what’s happening at freshbytes over the next few weeks.

As some of you may already know, I’m heading overseas for the next couple of weeks. During this time, I’ll be handing over the reins to my very capable (when he’s bothered to be) co-founder, Chris Jacques – which means you’ll still get your weekly dose of freshbytes-love.

As an added bonus, you might even see a post or two from me while I’m away, thanks to WordPress’ excellent publishing tools which allow me to publish a pre-written post on a specific date, at a specific time. Depending on how much writing I manage to get done before I fly out on Thursday.

Hopefully, Chris will provide you with some excellent posts in the traditional freshbytes fashion – either just before the stroke of midnight, or hastily written up and posted within 30 minutes. Otherwise, he might even break the trend and have some pre-mediated posts that are completely brilliant – but we’ll see. ;)

In case you missed it, freshbytes now integrates Facebook Connect. This means that you can sign into freshbytes without having to do the usual sign-up rigamarole – instead, just hit the “Login with Facebook” button on the top left hand corner, and BAM – any comments that you post on posts will automagically be published to your Facebook wall. For more info about this feature, hit this link.

Here at freshbytes, it’s been onwards and upwards ever since our launch back in Febuary of 2008. This is largely due to you, the reader, contributor, user, visitor – and we’d love to thank you for your continued support and everything that you’ve done – wether it be reading our posts, pimping freshbytes at other website, or whatever it is that you do that helps get freshbytes out there.
As a massive thank-you, we’re doing something special for our one-year birthday party – but you’ll have to wait to find out what. Fortunately for me, our birthday arrives just after I get back from overseas – so hopefully, everything should go as planned. The stage has already been set, and the balls have been put in motion – all that’s needed now is the green light from me, and we’re good to go.

Speaking of which – I’ll have plenty to talk about when I get back. Mainland Uni’s start sending out first-round offers for places this thursday, and while I won’t be here to recieve mine, it should also arrive by email or similar. I know I didn’t do well enough in the TCE results to warrant a first-round offer, though – so I’ll be hanging out for second round offers which are released a couple of days before I get back. My parents are pushing for me to accept engineering at UTAS (in case I’m not offered anything else) – but really, engineering just isn’t my thing.

As per our Google Analytics results – it’s been a moderate increase in growth this past month, we’re up 26% in terms of visits over last month. We’ll have to wait and see until the yearly results come out, though! Should make for some interesting reading… :D

Until I see you again, it’s comments below as usual… :)

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

Jan 05

So an email landed in my inbox the other day – that, in and of itself, is not entirely unusual.

However – this particular email contained the body of a “chain email”, those brutal emails you forward to everyone in your inbox. Thankfully, this particular email landed without being forwarded one a million times to millions of different people.

Anyway – in this particular email, there was a story, and it was named The Legend of Mr Peterson.

Note that this is a HIGHLY satirical look at the life of Mr Peterson. I repeat – HIGHLY satirical. Do not continue reading if you are easily offended, or if you are Mr Peterson. :D

Otherwise, take the time to read it. It’s not entirely accurate as I have personally me the man himself, but it’s pretty good. Thumbs up to Martin W who edited it somewhat, but for the record, principal is spelt p-r-i-n-c-i-p-a-l, not p-r-i-n-c-i-p-l-e! ARGH!

Years ago, there was a principal at Calvin Christian High School.

Some say he was a beast of a man, 10 feet tall and that he could lift a truck over his head with ease.
Others say that he was a small man, the equal of Einstein, who stayed enthralled in his books, learning everything there was to know.

But to everyone, he was known as Mr Peterson.

But then, slowly and surely, Mr Peterson left his office less and less.

Students slowly forgot what their principal looked like, and started to associate Mrs Laning with the role of Head of School, when she was, in fact, just the Dean of Students.

Then, one year, Mr Peterson stopped coming out of his office entirely.

All that could be seen was the outline of a body behind the blinds. No-one stayed long enough to see if the outline moved or if it was forever still.

Rumours began that Mrs Laning and Mr Young, had killed the favoured principal, and left his body there, to rot and be still, while they themselves would have absolute power.

Or, that he was there, waiting, in a state of frozen time, for when his school would need him next.

Years went by…

Students forgot his name, and saw Mrs Laning as the head of the school, the most powerful person within it’s boundries.

One night, students from Calvin wandered onto the grounds.
As they walked home from Channel Court they heard footsteps.
Looking around, they saw no-one, so they ignored the sound and continued to walk.

The footsteps grew louder, AND LOUDER!

The students looked around, there was no-one around but them.
They were alone, but there were still footsteps, rapidly approaching, hauntingly close.
One student, a grade 7 boy, screamed and ran home, yelling “GHOST!”.

The middle of the 3, a grade 9 girl, held onto the oldest, a grade 10 boy.

The footsteps came even closer.

Anxiously, they kept walking, beads of sweat appeared on their foreheads.
Their steps became brisker.
They approached the art room, intending to exit the school from the car park behind the tech block.

But as they stepped into the carpark, the foot steps stopped.
The boy looked around, the girl hid her head in his shoulder.

He looked behind them and when he turned his head back, there he was!
Mr Peterson, wearing his glasses, smiling at them.
He opened his mouth and from his lips, a pleasant voice escaped, “Good Evening”.

The girl screamed, and ran.

The boy smiled, confused, then blinked twice, thinking it was a trick of the mind.
He looked up and Mr Peterson wasn’t there!
He looked to his left, he looked to his right but Mr Peterson was no-where in sight.

And then from behind him, the voice came, “Who are you looking for?”

The boy ran home, flying into his room and jumping under the covers of his bed and held tight to his blanket.

The next day, all three students pulled out of Calvin.
They claimed they had seen a ghost, and were to afraid to come back.

No-one knows what is in Mr Peterson’s office.
No-one is brave enough to look.
Only Mrs Laning knows the answer.

They say, that during the warmer months, you can see the ghost of Mr Peterson wandering the grounds.
But he never will shake your hand…


If you believe in the legend of Mr Peterson, pass this on.

And whatever you do, Don’t shake his hand!

Well – what do you think?

I’d credit the original author if I knew who he/she was – Martin W got it from his sister, who got it from some chain email.
If you know the original author, shout out in comments.

Otherwise – I hope you enjoyed this satirical look at the life of the man who runs Calvin.

Once again – this piece is meant as a comedy piece only, and does not, in any way, shape or form, indirectly or directly, implied or inferred, reflect the true nature of Mr Peterson and his work at Calvin Christian School.

Comments below.

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

Jan 01

From all two of us here at freshbytes, we hope you have an awesome new year.

Don’t get too drunk, though – then again, you’ve got a full day to sober up, so go for it, I say!!

Heh, anyways… 2008 has been a great first year for freshbytes. I don’t think I could be any happier with how we have gone this year. I’ll release some results of reader count, number of hits and so on in the new year if you’re interested, but really, I couldn’t be happier with how my very first website has gone. Sure, more hits would be nice, but we’re just talking about Tasmania here, you know? ;)

So, drink, have a good one, but most of all, be safe, and well see you in 2009.

Oh wait. It is 2009. I suppose that’s what you get for blogging on an iPhone… :P

Catcha round.

Freshbytes Admin,
Benny Ling & Chris Jacques.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , ,