Dec 22

How exactly do you connect with Facebook Connect? Read on to find out!

So, you might have seen the huge “Login using Facebook” button on the sidebar. It’s right below the freshbytes logo, and when you click it, it logs you into this site with your Facebook profile. Don’t worry, I don’t automatically download all of your profile pics or anything freaky like that, nor can I change any of your settings, view anything you don’t want me to view, or invade your privacy in any way, it’s just an easier way for you to comment without having a login for freshbytes.

Facebook Connect Button

Simply put, if you have facebook, you can now post comments on this site without logging into this site.

In the interests of full disclosure, any comments you post to Facebook freshbytes will now be posted to your Facebook wall if you choose to login via the Facebook Connect button, as seen below:

Martin Wall

In my original testing of this new WordPress Plugin, I found it irritating that the profile page borked the layout of the site. However, this has now been fixed, and the profile page now shows in the correct location.

Yet the only annoying thing that remains is the fact that if you choose to logout of freshbytes (when you’re logged in via facebook connect) is that you also get logged out of facebook. It’s something I want to try and fix, as it’s completely not cool, but as of this moment, I really can’t be bothered diving into the code to get that done. If I have to deal with it, so do you. :D

At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you whether you use this plugin or not. Use it, don’t use it, hey, I don’t care.

It would be awesome if I could get some more people in the “Last Visitors” column, though.

Right, so I suppose you lot want some links, then…

Sociable! – The Social Media Blog » Facebook Connect Wordpress Plugin

Facebook Developers | Resources

Facebook Developers | Facebook Developers News

So that’s about it, then. Comments below.

UPDATE: Thanks for the proofread, Martin! Much appreciated.

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

Dec 21

Bitter Disappointment should have been the title of this post, but since I used it up last week, I”m going for the more-neutral “TCE Results 2008″.

When the results arrived in the mail, I wasn’t planning on open them. I was far too scared to.

Anyway, I did, and the results were horrible! I was really, really not happy with my results.

With a TER of 88.9, I was 1.1 off what I needed. One point one!

After looking over the report, I realised that I had completely stuffed up my exams. Computer Science, in particular, was fairly horrible – I went from an EA (one B internally) to a maximum CA.

Thankfully, Maths Applied was just as expected. No nasty surprises here, and Physics was also better than expected (max CA).

Chemistry was just horrible as well – I managed to score a max SA. Yay! </sarcasm>

So, where to from here?

Well, my options are:

  • Repeat Year 12 (by doing Year 13). Obviously, this would suck the most. I love Calvin and all, (don’t get me wrong, Calvin is awesome) but really – I don’t want to be there for another year, especially if no-one else I know is there. The fact that none of my friends are there would help keep away distractions, however – but it would still suck immensely.
  • Do something else. This option also sucks. I hate engineering with a passion, and even though UTAS offered me a place, I’ll be dammed if I’m going to take it. No way.
  • Wait and see. Now this option I like. I won’t recieve offers from the mainland uni’s until early 2009 anyway, (round two offers for Adelaide and Victoria are the 5th of Feb 09), so I’ll just have to enjoy what time I have left.
  • Do something funky to get into the course I want. I haven’t fully explored this option yet, but apparently I can do a normal degree (science or something) at my Uni of choice for a year, and then transfer into the course I want in 2010. This would mean that I can essentially “waste” a year, and it would provide me with an oppurtunity to have a pseudo gap year, but really – dentistry is a five year course anyway! I don’t want to be like Dean, who managed to turn a three year course into a nine (?) year one!!

So yeah, at the moment I’m playing the waiting game – stuck in a sort of Facebook Limbo.

That’s enough about me, though. I’d love to hear how you went in TCE results 2008, so if you want the rest of the world to know as well, shout out in comments!

Points don’t matter. TER does, and that’s really all I care about!

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

Dec 14

So I, along with 43 of my classmates, graduated last thursday.

Truth be told – it was a real anti-climax. Wow, I’ve graduated.

However – five things have come of this.

Firstly, I managed to pick up three awards. Stewardship in Physics, Excellence in Computer Science, and Excellence in Maths Applied. Now really – 5 minutes prior to the awards, I was having massive panic attacks if I didn’t win any awards – I would have been bitterly disappointed if I didn’t get any. However, as the time drew nearer, I figured that it didn’t matter if I didn’t get any awards, because, well, they’re just not as important as friendships and so on.
As it turns out, I managed to snag three awards. Afterwards – Chris J (the co-founder of this site), congratulated me on the Computer Science award, saying that I “fully deserve it”. Now, had our roles been reversed, I don’t know that I would have done the same thing. Sound familiar? Again, my moral compass points in a different direction to those around me. I’m not a hugely BAD person – just one who is a little selfish.

Secondly – friends like Chris J are awesome. I’m hugely glad to have friends like him – they’ll criticise you for pretty much anything, bag the crap out of you for no apparent reason, but at the end of the day – they’re good guys, and that’s all that matters.

Thirdly – it’s almost surreal to think that I won’t see any of those people again. Sure, we’ll facebook each other (facebook rulez, btw – sure, it maykes ppl talk lyke dis), but apart from that – very little face time, as I like to call it.

Fourthly – it’s awesome to think that we’re such a tightly knit group. Together, we’ve experience such delights as Adam vd B, Steven W, Rob M, and a whole heap of other people as well. Calvin 2008 was the only year group to have Miss v R as a teacher in 3rd grade, and really – that was awesome. At the graduation ceremony, we could all peg who was going to get what award, especially for the Art awards, all rounder awards, Long Tan awards, and so on. It’s this kind of close-knit group that will keep most of our friendships intact, even as we drift away from each other physically.

If I see you in the street, I’ll try and say hello, or at least tip my head in your direction, give you a smile, or whatever I do. If I don’t, leave nasty comments on my Facebook Wall, and I’ll endeavour to do better next time.

I think that’s about it. If you’ve got anything decent to say, stick it in the comments, please.

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

Dec 07

So, this morning I went to a particular church in Launceston. It was different, to say the least.

Before I go into it, I’d like to explain what church actually is…

To me, church is a place of worship. You go there, once a week or more, to worship God. It doesn’t matter how you do it – praise, prayer, reading – it’s just important that you do.

Now I have nothing against church, don’t get me wrong. Church is an excellent way to get back in step with God.

However – the church that I went to in Launceston was a little different to what I am used to. Martin did actually warn me that it was a little more traditional than your average church, and yeah – it was quite traditional indeed.

Usually, the churches I go to have songs that the congregation are expected to sing (loudly, and badly), as do most churches. However – most churches I go to don’t sing those songs acapella. The church that I went to in Launnie, however, did.

It was a really different experience for me – sure, in our congregation we have sung select verses acapella, but really – three whole songs? And the praise itself weren’t even songs – they were psalms. Maybe that’s how we as a people were supposed to do it, but anyway… Maybe it’s because they have an American pastor. All that funky choir stuff and all that.

Right – the message (sermon, talk, word, whatever you prefer) was also good. However – again, there were major differences. It’s definitely possible that I wasn’t listening properly (considering the lack of sleep), but it seemed like there was no real points made in the message, and it was more of a meander through the reading than anything else.

When points were made, little anecdotes were rarely made. I will say that there was at least one decent anecdote that I could actually apply to the real world (“Paul didn’t tell the people that they needed the latest CDs, the latest computers, but that they needed prayer” – or something along those lines), but apart from that – nothing. Emphasis on certain key points would have proved beneficial, in this writer’s opinion anyway. At the end of the service, I didn’t feel like I could really take anything away from it and apply it to my daily life. I’m not saying I want more “lukewarm Christian” speeches – but the sermon could have been better, to say the least.

I feel bad about writing such negative thoughts about that church – which included thinking “The 19th century called, they want their church service back”. Sooo harsh.

After the service, the people came up to us and talked about stuff – which was nice. They certainly seemed to be nice people, but they were mostly retirees. Again – I have no issue with retirees, it’s just that most of the congregations I go to are new families or young couples. I was the 4th or 5th youngest person there, for sure.

Anyway – it looks like my definition of church needs a little work. I know what I like in a church, though, and it was definitely not what I experienced this morning in Launceston. Still, thanks for the experience, Martin.

Now I’ll just go back to my Hillsong/Planetshakers-inspired generation of church. I’m fine with the odd classic hymn, but psalms? They freak me out, especially when sung acapella. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I don’t have such a great singing voice.

Anyway, I might put more up here later in the week about our trip to Devonport – but for now, it’s comments below for you.

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

Nov 30

There are just some things that go together to make a rough morning.

I had a rough morning the other day, and it wasn’t very nice. Rough mornings, by definition, aren’t usually very nice, but this was really not very nice.

So it went a little like this:

Finding clothes to wear is a chore for me. Usually, they’re in the wash, or have just been hung out to dry – at the precise moment that I decide I’m going to wear them. On that rough morning, it turned out that my OTHER set of work clothes were just hung out to dry – and this was after I had been wearing my other set for the past few days. ARGH!

Socks – these too are an issue. Is it too much to expect that you have at least one pair of matching black socks at any one time? I managed to have at least one pair when I was at school! What happened to those?!

Right. So as the clothing dilemma was being fixed, I found that there was nothing to pack for lunch. As you may know, I pack lunch to save money, and that just wasn’t possible this morning. My dad had to cook some bacon and eggs stuff for me to take, which I appreciated immensely. Thanks, Dad! In reality, though, I don’t think it’s too much to expect that the pantry is well stocked with food at all times.

Anyway, so after fixing my lunch, I then had to figure out how to catch a bus from Hobart into Kingston so that I would make it in time for youth, which starts at six. Work ends at 5:30, and it takes about an hour (allowing for detours, etc) for a bus from town to get into Kingston. See my issue? IF ONLY the bus timetables were readable by people who didn’t have PHD’s in at least 6 different fields. I mean, is it really too much to expect that a bus timetable is laid out in such a way as to even an idiot (like me, who’s having a rough morning) can understand? Or maybe the Metro website just needs a better design… I know that there are buses leaving from Franklin Square Stop P in town to get to Blackmans Bay/Kingston roughly every hour, but NO! Not according to the Metro website, anyway.

It’s also no consolation that the bus situation on weekends is even worse. Seriously.

So as I was getting ready for work, I had to brush my teeth, as you do every other morning. There was just one problem: toothpaste, or lack thereof. I mean, toothpaste, for crying out loud! How can you not have toothpaste! Is it too much to expect some toothpaste in your whole house for you to brush your teeth with?!

So even though my eggs were cooked sunny-side up, I didn’t feel too sunny that morning. It wasn’t a very nice feeling.

After finding some clothes, packing my lunch, and brushing my teeth as best I could without toothpaste, I managed to get to work. I’m proud to say that whatever happened at home didn’t affect my work at all – I was a genius as always. :D

I also managed to catch a bus from town into Kingston after work finished. The bus left town, and arrived in Kingston about 6-ish. Which was fine, because I had already changed and everything. So my mum picked me up, dropped me off at SCC, and it was there that I learnt to dance with a man, (cheers, Nathan), and dance the “strip the willow” dance. Bush dancing was exactly what I needed after a rough morning – however, I can think of one other thing that would have made it even better.

So I guess the moral of the story is to: a) do your own laundry, b) buy your own food, c) rely on luck for catching the right bus.

Comments below.

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

Nov 23

So, I’m done.

No more school, ever.

We’re going to be continuing with the “I don’t want to leave school” theme, ‘cos after reading some comments on previous “I don’t want to leave” posts, I found I have some more things to say…(a rare occurence, indeed).

So if you’re too lazy to click the links, Jawapro said:

What’s really odd is coming back to your old school after a few years have passed. There’s a few faces you remember (who were much younger when you were at school) but it’s just not the same.

5 or 6 years later – and so much has changed that it’s hard to imagine. Teachers have moved on – classes have changed buildings (so has one of my old schools) – and only the very youngest people you knew are still around as students. It’s quite moving – and slightly depressing. That place you remember as being the best part of your life (if it was) no longer exists, and never will again.

I’m not sure if this is true, but really. I’d hate to see Calvin turn into some unrecognisable place, just another blot on the kingston landscape.

Now that school’s over (for college students, as well as year 10s), I have a lot of time to do a couple of things that need to be done.

I have made a facebook account. You can search for me, I’m Benny Ling, obviously. Add me as a friend, invite me to join a cool group, whatever.

I’ve heard that Social Networking is the best thing since sliced bread… I’ve also heard that it’s highly overrated.

I won’t make my decision until I’ve experienced more of facebook, though. It’s currently very cool, and a HUGE step in terms of interacting with friends. All sorts of friends.

I’m yet to figure out any sort of “facebook code of conduct”, which contain rules on who you can become friends with, what sorts of groups you can join, etc. Actually – I just saw this on Digg: Facebook Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts. Nice! Perfect timing. After looking over the list, I realise that it’s more or less common sense anyway – the only things I didn’t know where about business friends… Pfft.

Initial impressions of facebook include: hard to get used to. Complex interface makes simple tasks more complicated than they have to be. Far too many configurable options. A hell of a lot of Ajax and Javascript powers those pages. After a full day of facebooking, still unsure about certain features. Still unsure about the chat system. Ram usage high, or that could just be me. Facebook app on iPhone is awesome. Don’t understand how people would use both Twitter + facebook at the same time – seems like an overkill of social networking, if you ask me…

Oh well. The night is still young.

A quick shout out to Joe W – congrats on your 18th. Hope you didn’t get too smashed.

Radi8 news: apparently, my non-attendance has been marked. Apologies – I was working.

Our Year 12 Leavers Dinner is tomorrow night. Should be good. Afterparty? Meh. Pics to come (either on facebook or here, haven’t quite decided yet). Also need a camera.

I think that’s it. Comments below.

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