Feb 15

Thankfully, this isn’t a post about the abomination of a movie, All Quiet On The Western Front. I will gladly tip my hat to it for the title, though, and offer this advice: unless you’re a war-movie/history fanatic, stay away!

Phew. Now that that’s out of the way, we can get into some real business…

Right, so Calvin has, in the past, had some pretty wacky forums. For those of you that don’t know, forums are a place for people to share thoughts and ideas via posts, in things called threads, under headings of topics. (I’m using MacTalk Forums as my primary linkage for this post – they certainly don’t mind the extra attention, and it’s the only active forum I participate in these days… Whirlpool is better known for their alternate name, “Whingepool”, and OverClockers AUstralia have a funny registration system, and I just haven’t bothered. *sigh*)

Firstly, the one that started it all was the one and only, Calvin Spam. Started as somewhat of a joke by some geeky year 8’s at the time, (If you graduated Calvin in 2008, you would have been in year 7), it spread quickly due to the nature of the content that was on there. No porn or anything bad like that, just slightly dubious polls like “Do you prefer legs or breasts? And I’m not talking about chicken.” For some year 7s, it was all too much and the IT crowd from our grade were quickly sucked in…
Calvin Spam was open for all at Calvin to join – no exceptions. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best option considering the material that was posted there – but hey, I wasn’t the administrator of that particular forum.
From there, it was all downhill. Calvin Spam used to exist at calvinspam.tk – the island of tukelau is renowned for their free domain name service. Efforts to find this forum by our most experienced Google-users have proved unfruitful – for all we know, it could have been a website hosted at home…
Calvin Spam came and went, however. Due to the aforementioned nature of the content, it was quickly shut down.

Years passed. The same Year 7s when the original Calvin Spam were around were now in year 8, and their 1337 (leet, or elite) skills had greatly increased. It was definitely time for another forum, and thus, BWSonline was born. Originally standing for Blair, Weed and Smarty, it was formed by the then-IT contingent of the class of 2008.
Sporting a custom phpBB theme, in terms of popularity, BWS was quite exclusive – only a small, select group of students even knew it existed, and then, only several students were active participants in the discussions that happened there – everything ranging from the geekiest of geek-speak, to computer recommendations, the multiple *-FESK saga, epic posts by yours truly, huge Mac/PC flame wars, and more.
In terms of longevity, though – BWS lasted for quite a while. It wasn’t until one of the original creators fled the country to go to Indonesia that it well and truly died.
It still exists on the internet to this day – at the original address – bwsonline.awardspace.com. The orignal creators are massively thankful for awardspace for their free hosting, I’m sure. One of these days, I’ll make a copy of bwsonline and stick it on freshbytes – when I get around to it. Procrastination for the win.

BWSonline was the precursor to a couple of things… one of which was calvinspamII. By this time, the class of 2008 was in year 10, and calvinspamII, designed as the second iteration of the great Calvin Spam, was created by yours truly in an attempt to revive the forum fever at Calvin. By this time, BWS was dying a slow death – the number of posts per day were slowly dwindling, as was the number of active users.
By all accounts, calvinspamII was seen as a competitor to the exclusive BWSonline – like the original Calvin Spam, calvinspamII was open to pretty much everyone, although only full privileges were granted to registered members. Guests could only read parts of the forum – and the more controversial sections were sealed from prying eyes.
Also like the original Calvin Spam, calvinspamII was based of the free phpBB forum software, and if memory serves me correctly, was served by whoever was the first result in Google after I searched “free phpbb hosting”… Oh, the shame! One click was all it took to take down the infamous BWSonline, and within weeks, usage soared – in terms of popularity, calvinspamII eclipsed both the original Calvin Spam and BWSonline in a matter of weeks, thanks largely in part to threads with such names as “BLING & KV”, “Pick Up Lines”, and “BAG OUT ALL GINGERS HERE” – as well as the diverse range of other topics – school, subjects, sports, movies, music – calvinspamII had it all.
Thanks once again to the island of toukelau – their free domain name service made calvinspamii.tk far easier to type than calvinspamii.s1.bizhat.com – which now does not exist.
Unfortunately, by the time we reached metric forum fever had died at Calvin again – it was clear that the users had had enough. Even more unfortunately was the fact that I didn’t get a backup of the calvinspamII database for posterity – I would have loved to read that epic “BLING & KV” thread again… :P

Finally, finally, finally, came the Freshbytes Forum. It has been more than quiet over there – due in part to a lack of plugging. I haven’t been telling people about it enough. It’s not entirely my fault, though – I think that general forums have had their day. Unless you have a very specific target audience that are the kind of people that like to discuss their interests online, then you’re so outta luck if you think you’re going to make it big with a forum. Sure, when I was at school calvinspamII worked because in Computing, I would plug calvinspamII away, and people would log on, post some random images of ginger kids, and when Computing was over, they would log off again. No one bothers to go online and actually discuss stuff on calvinspamII when they’re not at school, and yeah – that’s pretty much how it died…

So, where to from here? I’ll leave Freshbytes Forum open over at forums.freshbytes.com.au in case you have a burning desire to discuss something, but you have no idea where to say it? Make a thread over at Freshbytes Forum, and give the link out to everyone you know.

For now, though – the message is loud and clear:

All quiet on the forum front.

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

Oct 26

Study Camp 2008

Blog, Misc, School Comments Off

Well, the inagural Study Camp for 2008 has been and gone.

Sure, the study sessions could have been longer and more frequent, but it was fine. Really, it was.

Sure, there were 6 laptops there (and one most excellent Linksys WRT-54GL router w/DD-WRT), and Mr Lineage is more than correct in saying that they were just going to be a distraction from study – which they were. I’m glad I didn’t take mine.

Because of the Study Camp, I don’t have any pre-prepared content for y’all to enjoy this weekend, so I’ll just whip something up now…

On my last post, there was a comment from turkeybrain about how he doesn’t think that anyone else reads this stuff.

Now, he may have gotten that from the fact that y’all don’t post any comments, man! I mean, really! Go ahead. make a comment – for what it’s worth, they’re free and you can say whatever you like – internet anonymity is awesome for that kind of stuff. Of course, I’ll know who you are (depending on your screen name and whatnot), but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of posting on freshbytes…

Anyway, I can safely say that there are actually people who read this stuff – even if you don’t know about it. Just because there is a definite lack of comments doesn’t meant that this place is a ghost town, turkeybrain.

I fully understand that not everyone is into the whole “ooh, Internet!” thing. While I certainly am, there are those of you who clearly aren’t with the exception of the odd MSN/MySpace/FaceBook session. I get that, I do.

Another thing I understand is how geeky it is to have your own website, let alone two. That’s a topic for another time, though.

Anyways, I hope you’ll leave a comment on this post – if you haven’t left a comment, ever, why not post one on the Freshbytes Wall? It’ll show up on every page – it’s the little block on the upper right hand corner of every page. Hit the button to get started.

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while now, so here it is…

Ever since McDonalds bought out the new burger packaging that has the funky info on the inside, I’ve been wanting to know what the value of M is. You know the one that tells you how much beef McDonalds bought, how many Mmmmm’s that equates to, etc.

Well, Lumus from the MacTalk Forums managed to work out the value of M – as according to McDonalds. Unfortunately, his working was out by a factor of 16, but hey – his post on his MobileMe shows just how easy it is to create a quick website using Apple gear.

You can read his post here. (Original credit MacTalk Forums)

One last thing – there are 5 days of school left. Forever…

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

Aug 11

Yeah, another community service message. I found this while trawling the internet – actually, it was from one of my all time favourite websites, MacTalk Australia.

From member Andreww says:

As a friend once said, “Assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME”

So anyway, that got me thinking – that is so true! If you make assumptions about anything at all – you’re potentially making a huge mistake, and I’m talking EPIC sized here.

Of course, the main thing to bear in mind when you are making an assumption is that it shouldn’t be confused with judging others. If you judge others in the ten or so seconds that you’ve known them for, you’ll probably dislike them for whatever reason, all before you’ve even spoken to them! It’s this kind of predetermined, on-the-fly stereotyping that makes us act harshly towards people in the street, just because of how they look, act, smell (ewww…) or their attitude.

I’m sorry, but that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

On the brighter side, I know it is sometimes hard to let go of all your assumptions and start fresh with something, but it can be one of the best choices you can ever make. You’ll get the experience new things, and hey, if it still sucks, you can drop it and not touch it with a 10m pole ever again, or you can leave it and come back to it later down the track. The choice is yours.

However, what would happen if you had already stigmatised whatever you were dealing with? Those preconceived ideas and misconceptions would then affect your experience of the whole affair – leading to some sort of mess in one form or another. I’m sure none of you would want that, right?


For a real word example of what I am talking about above, read on. Me assuming that Chris was going to post something (anything!) on the weekend was close to insanity – I now know that I’ll always have to have a backup post whenever it’s his turn to post. Now it’s made an ass out of both him and I, I think I”ll just let you read on…

Well anyway, lately I’ve been feeling that my posts are a little lacklustre – not up to the usual standard. I do heartily apologise if this is the case, but it feels like I’ve been banging out posts with no forethought, no direction, no purpose. Obviously, it isn’t working that well for me, so I rekon I’ll go back to the old way of doing things – carefully planned out thoughts, like crafting an essay. Or something…

There is, however, someone you can blame for today’s late post; Chris. I, once again, have had to cover for him (not that I wasn’t going to anyway) but it would be nice if he occasionally posted something decent.

Comments below!

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