Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
The Walkman and its offspring, such as the iPod, completely changed the way we experience music [and] the way we interact (or don't interact) with each other... transform[ing] millions of us into isolated walking zombies... Three decades later, we find ourselves seeking social connections through the very devices that isolated us in the first place.i do. read the whole article here.
now my music player comes loaded with the tools I need to claw my way back to a state of social interaction that is a virtual replication of life before I took my first walk with a Walkman.
Still I wonder if we wouldn't be better off occasionally removing the headphones, turning off the smart phones and returning to an age when we gathered around some over-sized speakers and social networking actually meant being together.
Don’t you sort of like the sound of that?
Thursday, October 28, 2010
For one, after all this delay with Telstra customising the ROM to fit in their software (some of which has its uses, others of which are just bloatware), and testing by them then testing by Google, they still can't get it right! I don't know whose fault it is, but it was with a sense of "I'm surprised but then again I'm not really" that I read of the many problems people had in getting the update to work, particularly those running Windows 7 - see comments at Gizmodo, Ausdroid including a followup post, and Whirlpool. I'm glad I didn't try the upgrade at close to midnight on the 26th - it probably would have been a long/sleepless night of frustration.
[BTW, I just read that the update is now available OTA... though that too may not be working properly... yet?]
I installed the update a day later using a WinXP machine. It went pretty smoothly and was done within 10 minutes. However there are some things (that I've identified so far) that didn't go as smoothly:
- Inescapable blank screen after first run of setup wizard
After the update completed successfully, the phone restarted and I went through the setup wizard. At the end of this the screen went blank/black. The only thing it seemed to respond to was the power button (to enter standby/wakeup) - and the only way I could tell something was happening was that the hardware buttons would light up / turn off. After a few minutes of this impasse I removed the battery, reinserted and powered on the phone. Things seemed to go ok from there.
- Automatic data backup failed to restore
I had automatic backups enabled, and according to the user manual, "after you do a factory reset or update your phone, you will be asked if you want to restore the backed up data after you turn on your phone." This did not happen, ie I saw no such "Restore my data and settings" dialog box. This might be related to the blank screen issue, but that's purely conjecture. Whatever the case, there seems to be no way to manually invoke the restore process, which is a pretty big fail in my books. Fortunately (and thanks to the various comments I had read up on), I installed MyBackup from the Android Market to do a backup of applications and data before attempting the update. This was not without its own issues, but for the most part it worked well and was much much better than nothing!
- Lengthy restore times using MyBackup
Backing up with MyBakup was a lot faster than restoring - we're talking minutes vs. hours here. The whole restore process took about 2 hours; contacts and calendar data took particularly long to restore. In hindsight (see below points), I probably should have skipped these two and relied on OTA syncing instead. On the plus side reinstalling apps was fairly quick and easy (though this probably could have been achieved using AppBrain as well, and not everything was included in the backup/restore - see ShapeWriter keyboard below).
- Calendar backup/restore anomaly
I have/had 3 calendars visible, my google calendar, wife's google calendar, and PC sync calendar. The MyBackup process appears to have saved/restored everything under my google calendar, so now my google calendar has a lot more entries and I'm showing a lot more duplication. I'll probably go through them and clean it up sometime when I feel sufficiently motivated. Oh and it's made my Outlook to/from Google calendar sync pretty screwed. It tells me there are some 2-300 entries to delete, and I'm not sure I want to do that big a batch at once.
- Contacts backup/restore anomaly
As with the calendar issue, it looks like MyBackup has saved/restored all my contacts (phone, google, and facebook) under my google contacts. Again, plenty of duplication to sort through. My contacts were already in a bit of a mess from when I first wrestled with the immature process of syncing contacts using HTC Sync, so I guess this hasn't really made it that much worse in comparison...
- Strange Google Calendar behaviour
I received an email this morning from myself for a calendar event from a few months ago. It was an event someone else created, and invited me to. My manager received an email this morninng from me for another calendar event from a few months ago, for an event that I forwarded from work to myself as a reminder (as I would be on leave the few weeks immediately prior to this event). I have no idea whether any other strange emails have gone out... This is probably the most unexpected side effect and I'm yet to figure out how this got triggered.
- Lost ShapeWriter keyboard
Would have been a lot more annoying if I didn't find a copy of the apk online - the app has been off the Android market since June 2010 and I couldn't recall how I installed it the first time round in July. May well have been via this link, from which I did the reinstall (v3.0.9). I should probably keep my own local backup copy...
- Lost Credit Usage configuration
Not a huge issue - rekey data from memory / check against rates stored on wife's phone/app. There doesn't seem to be a way to backup/save the configuration to a file, so the next time I'll just have to write the info down or rekey from memory.
- Lost Timeriffic configuration
Minor annoyance. There doesn't seem to be a way to backup/save the configuration to a file, so the next time I'll just have to write the info down or rekey from memory.
- Lost mobile data usage information
Mildly annoying but not a huge issue - I know that I'm way under my quota this month and only have a few days before a new month begins.
- Lost Dolphin HD bookmarks
I thought these were saved to SD, but it seems that I didn't actually set this up (had the add-on installed, but not configured). Something to play with later.
- Photo numbering reset
Photos taken by the camera are restarting at IMAG0001 for the filename, rather than picking up where the last one left off. There should be a config file that you can change to fix this, but I can't find it. Not a big problem as the photo gallery displays photos in time/date order, however I also discovered that all the pictures I took on 27/10 before the update are appearing with datestamps in the future! One has today's date (and a future time), the rest tomorrow's date... weird.
- Lost UPM data
UPM data doesn't get backed up by MyBackup. I restored off an old backup I had on SD, and so now need to try to remember what I've changed in the last few months since that first and only manual backup... and I'll look at setting up a remote sync for the data to eliminate this problem in the future.
- Don't trust Google/Telstra/HTC/software developers for things to work the way they should / you expect.
- Don't be a pioneer - let others try the updates first and learn from their mistakes/experiences!
- Don't rely on Android's built in backup feature to restore correctly (or at all??)
- Don't use MyBackup to restore contacts or calendar items. It would (probably) be better to resync with Google/Facebook/PC.
Changes/improvements in Froyo
- Apps to SD - yay! This is the main feature I was waiting for. Now I can free up some space on the phone / install Angry Birds :p Having said that I'm running out of space on my 8GB SD, what with my MP3 collection and various GPS related maps... but that's a problem for another day.
- Additional options for screen unlock (password / PIN, in addition to existing pattern)
- Screen lock delay option means AutoLock app is redundant (notwithstanding that AutoLock doesn't appear to work for Froyo users in any case).
- Another consequence of the changed security settings is that the Curvefish LockPattern OnOff widget no longer works / just acts as a shortcut to the security settings screen. On second thought this might not have worked for a while... in any case a similar shortcut is available via QuickSettings, so LockPattern is redundant.
- HTC App Sharing widget - I don't think this is necessarily part of Froyo but it's new to me, and seems a handy way to share applications with friends.
- HTC Flashlight app - again not sure if it's a Froyo thing, but offers a bit more versatility compared to, and hence has replaced, the LED light widget.
- Wifi hotspot - saw this on a friend's imported Desire last month - looks handy.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
a couple of representatives from Integral Energy visited my home, giving the impression that:
- they were visiting homes in the area in response to complaints by residents about recent increases in their electricity bills
- they are from a company owned by the NSW government, and will move homes back to the standard regulated electricity rate (and offer a 7% discount in addition)
- they are in my particular townhouse complex at the request of the resident manager (and quoted the manager's name)
what irks me about this encounter was the way in which they presented themselves/the reason for their visit (totally misleading), and in particular some other quite misleading statements they made:
- Integral Energy is a government owned entity, and as such cannot charge above the regulated rates. other privately owned electricity retailers can charge whatever they like. (giving the impression that you can only get the regulated rate with Integral / if you go with anyone else, you'll be paying more)
FACT: The regulated, or notified price, "is available to all small electricity customers in Queensland no matter who their retailer is, or where they live." (http://www.thepowertochoose.qld.gov.au/billing/electricity/pricing.cfm). My understanding is that all retailers must make available to you a plan/option for the regulated price (a standard retail contract - see also http://www.dme.qld.gov.au/Energy/notified_prices.cfm). They might not advertise or promote that fact, because they want you to take up one of their retail offers / market contracts, which may be at a price above the regulated price, with the additional cost typically offset by one or more bonuses or rewards.
- my existing retailer's discount is calculated as a percentage off their inflated rates. Integral Energy is offering 7% off the regulated rate so it is the cheapest rate available.
FACT: The current regulated rate is 19.41c/kWh (not including GST). Integral is offering 18.05c/kWh as their 7% off discounted rate, which is 19.85c including GST. the 8% discounted rate i'm currently getting is 19.65c including GST - this is about 1% cheaper than Integral's rate.
- a Queensland Government website about the power to choose the power you use
- a Comparator developed by the Queensland Competition Authority to help customers compare the prices of electricity and gas contracts generally available from licensed energy retailers in Queensland.
- GoSwitch - a comparison service for gas and electricity
- SwithSelect - another comparison website for (among other things) utilities
and if you really want to know, here's a copy of the Integral Energy Price Fact Sheet for
"Negotiated Retail Contracts – Residential Customers
FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES ONLY"
i must admit their offer is actually pretty good from a pricing point of view, but their sales tactics are pretty underhanded. and there's a reason i didn't choose them when i was searching for a new retailer - i already found a better deal!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
the caller then said he was calling from copyright agency, and asked whether I knew a Fran Beisler. i said no the name does not ring a bell. the caller said i should check the information on onlinebooks.com.au cos that's where he got my number. i said thanks.
end of call.
i then went to look at onlinebooks.com.au - it's a website for buying and selling second hand text books, and indeed found a listing with my number! who is this silly Fran Beisler woman who doesn't know her own number and instead gave out my number… but hang on, this is actually my ad that i put up 3 years ago! so who is Fran Beisler? the author of the book…duh!
did a bit more digging to see who or what this copyright agency is. appears to be Copyright Agency Limited www.copyright.com.au (http://www.resaleroyalty.org.au also belongs to CAL), and it seems like the caller is trying to get in touch with people who have royalties owing to them… sounds a bit strange to me...
anyway here's some info i found about them...
- Tweet message http://webcache.
googleusercontent.com/search? q=cache:aJRVuJtWAHcJ:news. priorsmart.com/intellectual- property-rights-tnJu9/+9394+ 7696&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au
- Comment on 24/09/2010 from another person who received a similar call http://whocallsme.com/Phone-
- Message left on a website on 08/06/2010 http://webcache.
googleusercontent.com/search? q=cache:-aXuWGSfd-AJ:www. streetsweeper.net.au/crew/+ 9394+7696&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk& gl=au
- Message left on a website on 10/06/2010 http://webcache.
googleusercontent.com/search? q=cache:J-2XbW-ZgwgJ:ozline. com/entry/about-2/+9394+7696& cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au
- Article from 18/02/2010 http://www.theaustralian.com.
au/news/arts/copyright-staff- get-more-than-they-give-to- authors-and-artists/story- e6frg8n6-1225831556653
- A response (along with editorial comment) from 10/03/2010 http://www.theaustralian.com.
au/higher-education/opinion- analysis/licensing-body- copyright-agency-limited-has- lasting-value/story-e6frgcko- 1225838858623
Sunday, September 26, 2010
with a simply clever logo design that matches the event slogan of "unlock your city", i was keen to get on board and support this event which is made possible by its various sponsors and partners, and of course a team of volunteers. it's probably too late to sign up to be a volunteer for this year, but hopefully there's always next year and many more to come!
the concept is based on similar open houses held in london, new york, dublin, and borrows heavily from the resources of past melbourne open houses. for 2010, brisbane open house will have 20 buildings available for viewing/touring, and are anticipating about 10,000 combined visits during the day. see the event listing for a full list of buildings, where you can download fact sheets of each building. also available is a map and program for the day, so you can plan your visits. unfortunately some of the buildings are only open for pre-booked tours, and all these tours are full. but this still leaves 17 other places for you visit. so come along, bring some friends/family and support the brisbane open house objectives, which are to:
- foster an appreciation and understanding of the value of architectural, urban design and design excellence
- increase engagement between the city of brisbane and its residents and visitors through promoting the contemporary and historical architectural attractions of the city
- create a sustainable annual event similar to that of london, new york and melbourne open houses
- increase awareness of all aspects of the built environment - not only the architecture but also the urban spaces that occur between our buildings
- promote public awareness of good design and environmentally sustainable design in the subtropical city of brisbane
- series - up to 5 images of one building
ps. i'll be on volunteer duty at the first church of christ, scientist in the morning if you want to pop by and say hello :)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
anyways, back to the point of this entry. i wondered if there was a list somewhere that would show me which parks in brisbane have basketball facilities. after a bit of searching, i found it on the brisbane city council website. well technically it's a listing of parks by suburb, which you can scroll through / search for "basketball", or any other facility you'd like to locate (eg bbqs, playgrounds, water, toilets, rebound walls, shelter etc). access it here: http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/parks-and-venues/parks/parks-by-suburb/index.htm. some facilities get their own listing, such as skate parks.
i was quite surprised to find that there are 3 parks within 15 minutes walk of my home with basketball facilities (including the one i already knew about, which was pretty busy the last/only time i visited). i happened to be driving near enough the other two this afternoon to swing by and scope them out, so now i'm all prepared to do some shooting. just as soon as i get a ball. until then, there's always basketball on the wii sports resort :)
Sunday, August 29, 2010
i have no idea why the movie is titled the way it is. i suspect that one interpretation is that in this atypical family, the kids are all right and the parents are not. certainly the two kids fairly normal, especially compared to the friends they are often seen hanging out with. the elder kid is an academic high achiever, and the other an athletic all-rounder. mum 1 is an overcontrolling doctor, mum 2 a much more free spirit type person who doesn't have quite an impressive nor definitive answer to the question of "so what do you do?". and donor-dad? a college drop out who eschews academic learning for doing, now restauranteur and locavore, and never married never divorced but seems to have a way with women.
in the end, i'm left wondering what the message of the movie is, or whether the 'father' is meant to be liked or not. the movie was a hit at this year's sundance film festival, which shouldn't necessarily be relied upon to raise your expectations too much unless you are into independent films, of which this is one, and the festival is many. i suppose that the number of known actors involved in this film gives it some weight, but it just doesn't hit any spots with this viewer. there are some truisms about the 'hard slog' that is marriage (though my kind of marriage involves a man and a woman), and how sometimes you tend to hurt most the one to whom you are closest. but i can learn / hear that type of sage advice and reflection elsewhere. definitely not worth the price of admission, though possibly worthy of a DVD rental if you're in the right mood. or just skip it altogether and watch / do something else. i don't think your life will be any poorer for it.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
- seen the trailer, which didn't particularly appeal to me - if i didn't already hold free tickets for the movie, i don't think i would have put this movie on my to see list.
- heard that the movie is the highest grossing new zealand movie of all time. this made me somewhat curious to see the movie and find out for myself how good is really is.
- seen increasing numbers of free tickets being given away/offered, which made me suspect that the movie is not really that good, but maybe had potential, so the marketing/promotions people are doing the hard sell to get many previewers to see the movie and get some word of mouth type advertising happening.
- it's kinda quirky - i'm not really sure what it was trying to be, as there were some funny bits though i wouldn't describe the movie as a comedy, and there were some fantastical elements which jarred a bit with what could have been a drama, which is another word i don't think quite fits in describing the movie.
- i don't know what the point of the movie/story was, or why it was worth telling.
- i definitely wouldn't have been happy paying money to see this, and can only conclude that i am very unlike the typical new zealand moviegoer.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
- monday afternoon i learnt that a friend who had recently arrived from overseas was experiencing some problems with the rental accommodation he had just moved into. this eventuated in us helping him move out of the place that evening, and into our cluttered 'spare' room that didn't quite have a lot of room. a long day and late night.
- tuesday was the usual bible study group meeting at home, which we were tempted to call off when only one person was confirmed coming, but in the end 3 turned up.
- wednesday was... i can't remember.
- thursday saw us start work early and finish early, in order to do an afternoon tea catch up with another overseas friend who was in town only briefly. i was so tired by this evening that when i went out after dinner to run some errands, i drove past my usual petrol station before realising i was supposed to turn in to pump petrol...
- friday was the combined family steamboat dinner for mine and dad's birthdays. i was fully ready to vegetate by the time people left, and thankfully wifey had already volunteered to clean/wash up.
- saturday morning, after a fairly good sleep, saw us meet with a few other couples as a followup to a marriage conference we all attended 2 years ago. this was followed by yum cha lunch at a new (for me) restaurant nearby, before we parted ways and retired home to chill for a few hours and then head out again for a dinner with some other friends.
- sunday morning saw another opportunity to catch up on sleep, eat a late lunch in the midst of preparing food for the church dinner that night, and then church and dinner itself.
Monday, July 26, 2010
- Sushi Station, 105 Vulture St West End, 07 3844 9688
Their $22 weekend (Fri-Sun) lineup includes seafood items. From memory, the weekday lineup (sans seafood) is $20.
googling a little further, i found a few other options that i hadn't previously known of (or maybe had come across but just forgot about).
- Lychee Village (Chinese-Malaysian restaurant), 7-9 Allamanda Drive Daisy Hill, 07 3808 3899 or 3299 2333
Superfeast Gold $20 Sun-Thu/$22 Fri-Sat etc
Super value $19.90
- Sunny Breeze (Japanese restaurant), Shop 24 Sunny Park Shopping Centre Sunnybank, 07 3344 6133 or 07 3344 6144
this restaurant was previously known as Oshin. i've probably only ever been to it once (if ever), and have always had the impression that this was a pricier place. having said that, their buffets don't sound too bad in comparison to the others on this page.
Wednesday dinner sushi buffet $25
Sunday lunch or dinner shabu-shabu/sukiyaki buffet $25
- Tibetan Kitchen, 1/59 Hardgrave Road West End, 07 3844 7355
"for tables of six or more all-you-can-eat banquets are available" - there's no further info on their website about this, but i asked by phone and was told it is a $24 per head menu featuring a selection of entrees, breads and mains (the most popular ones) from their menu
Saturday, March 20, 2010
MY FREEBIES COST OTHERS MONEYi'm not trying to suggest that party plan or similar things are intrinsically bad, but the motivation that drives one to host such parties is certainly something worth careful thought.
It's a sad fact that I've been making my friends spend money, all for my personal gain. For years I invited my friends and family to my party plan nights. There were always great incentives - free products, special hostess gifts and discounts - the rewards were wonderful. It took a while for me to realise though, that my rewards were costing my friends and family money. Essentially, I brought them to my home with the very aim of spending money. Most likely it was on products they didn't need or hadn't thought about before, yet they left sometimes spending hundreds of dollars. Some only bought one low-cost item, probably more out of courtesy, not because they truly needed it.
When I thought about it, it's the same as taking my friends into one shop and expecting them to buy as much stuff as possible there, regardless of whether they needed it or not. How could I do that to my friends and family?
I have changed my ways now and don't host party plan nights any more. If I need something, I shop around for the cheapest price. I'm spending only what I have to (not more because I was offered incentives), I have more money left in my bank and best of all, my friends aren't forced into spending money on things they don't want.
Friday, March 19, 2010
- simon, swimming coach and former champion swimmer, who is finalising his divorce from
- marion, simon's ex-wife, social activist
- bilal, a 17-year old refugee from iraq who ends up in the french town (calais) where simon and marion live, and trying to make his way to england to be reunited with his girl.
Empanelling is the way jurors are chosen to serve on a particular trial.
The selection of jurors is a multi-step random process. It is impossible to tell which jury you will be on...The empanelling process is as follows:
This procedure will be repeated with the names of those remaining until a complete jury is formed.
- Cards showing the name, town/suburb and occupation of each juror are placed in a rotating box to mix them.
- The judge’s associate will remove the cards one by one and call the juror’s number and name.
- If you are called, walk to the bailiff to swear an oath or to affirm to fulfil your duty as a juror
- If you wish to affirm, or have a specific religious oath, alert the bailiff before entering the court.
- At any time before the bailiff begins to recite the oath or affirmation, the prosecutor may call out "stand by", or the defence counsel may call out "challenge".
- If this happens, you must return to the back of the court and another name will be called.
- If you are not "stood by" or "challenged" you will be sworn in as a juror and directed to your place in the jury box.
If you are “stood by” or “challenged” it is no reflection on your character or ability.
If you are not chosen to serve on a jury during your first empanelling process, you may need to go through the process again if another jury is required.
Although I appreciate that many people find Twitter to be valuable, I find it a truly awful way to exchange thoughts and ideas. It creates a mentally stunted world in which the most complicated thought you can think is one sentence long. It’s a cacophony of people shouting their thoughts into the abyss without listening to what anyone else is saying. Logging on gives you a page full of little hand grenades: impossible-to-understand, context-free sentences that take five minutes of research to unravel and which then turn out to be stupid, irrelevant, or pertaining to the television series Battlestar Galactica. I would write an essay describing why Twitter gives me a headache and makes me fear for the future of humanity, but it doesn’t deserve more than 140 characters of explanation, and I’ve already spent 820.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Not much signage at the courts, walked in abt 8:35 to see queue for security screening. Guessed this was line for jurors based on notices (summons) others were holding. After screen, faced lifts - no idea where to go. Hoped someone else did. First stop happened to be floor 3, doors opened and saw sign for "jurors assembly area" - guess this is the right place!
anyway, a bit of background to begin with, taken from the queensland courts website:
Juries are an integral part of our legal system and are used in most criminal cases and some civil cases in both the Supreme and District Courts in Queensland.
Jurors are ordinary citizens aged between 18 and 70 years who:
They do not have to decide on questions of law, or what sentence a guilty person should receive.
- come from all walks of life.
- may not have any legal knowledge.
Juries listen to the evidence in court cases and decide whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty (or, in civil cases, who is at fault).
A jury is usually made up of 12 men and women selected at random.
The process for jury selection is as follows:
Saturday, March 06, 2010
am currently working my way through the entire flickr photostream, which is still a work in progress (one photo a day for a year, started april 2009)
even if you are not a star wars fan, or don't know what a stormtrooper is, you'll probably enjoy at least some of these shots :)
ps. you need to see them with original titles/captions for full effect.
Monday, February 15, 2010
so the introduction of google buzz just seems to be extra digital noise i don't need. not that i've really used it, but i found this comic about the ability to fix typos a bit amusing: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/02/the-fatal-flaw-with-google-buzzs-edit-button/
and i found this account highly disturbing: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/02/fck-you-google/. even though they've made some changes, i reckon i've seen enough to un-buzz my life.
see also http://www.news.com.au/technology/google-buzz-reveals-who-youve-been-talking-to/comments-e6frfro0-1225830480595
Friday, February 12, 2010
i came across a video clip of ukraine's kseniya simonova via alaysia, and have to say had a similar reaction: wow. using sand over a light box, her constantly changing images "moved audiences to tears as she won Ukraine’s Got Talent". i'm not familiar enough with the context of ukraine's history, but felt sufficiently touched by the images in any case to want to record this on my blog. hope you enjoy (if that can be an appropriate term for) it:
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
- a widescreen format for improved viewing, not the puny screens you might get in some other airlines (that is, if you get a personal screen at all...). The 10.6" screen is bigger than the one on my netbook!
- touchscreen control - this was a bit hit and miss because I had some trouble touching the smaller buttons/icons, and I couldn't find anyway to calibrate the touch alignment (not that I looked very hard). Of course you can still use the more traditional control pad, which features a little joystick type thing to move the cursor.
- over 1200 channels of movies, tv, music and games. There would have been a good 100+ new and recent release movies.
- the ability to be used pretty much at all times during the flight, including take off and landing. My previous experiences with other airlines saw them turn their system on after take off, and turn it off before landing. Of course, during announcements and safety briefings etc the system is paused.
- you can also do stuff like plug in your USB device to view photos, PDFs, play music(?) etc, though I didn't try any of these out myself.
- oh and there are two cameras on the plane that show the downwards view and the forward view, which I found quite novel. At least that way you can feel more connected to your surroundings.
I ended up watching 3 movies:
- District 9 which I thought had a decent plot, with an ending that leaves the story wide open for a sequel which I fully expect to be called District 10 (for more reasons than one).
- Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen which was a bit of a waste of time. I started to fall asleep during this movie (by which time I was at least 6+ hours past my typical bedtime). So I paused it, took a nap, and continued watching when I woke up.
- Michael Jackson's This is It I'm not a huge fan of MJ - I like some of his music and fully acknowledge that he was one skilled and talented individual - and missed most of the media storm that accompanied his passing because I was in China on an IT support short term missions trip at the time (maybe one day I'll get around to blogging my half finished offline entries from that trip), so felt kinda distant from it all. While I'm generally happy to hear his songs, I'm glad I didn't pay to watch this at the cinemas during its limited release.
Anyways, back to the flight itself. Some other miscellaneous thoughts:
- The cabin crew speak a LOT of languages... I didn't keep count, but I think the announcement listed close to 10, if not more.
- I'm not sure if the plane we were on had just been turned around from another flight, but the seatback pockets weren't thoroughly cleaned/restocked. Minor quibble, but the pedantic me notices these little details.
- There is good foot room in the seats to stretch out. The space taken up by the equipment for the entertainment units is not as bulky as other airlines I've flown with.
- Speaking of the seats, they recline better than other airlines I've been on too. Both the upright and the seat pan (not sure if that's the correct term... the horizontal bit you actually sit on) move when you recline, instead of just the seat back. Looks like the plane I was on had their new generation of ergonomically designed Economy Class seating. Yay me :)
- Even the fold down trays were a better design - these planes had a double fold, so it takes up less vertical room when folded up. Not sure if it's related, but I guess this means more space for the screen :)
- Along with the headphones, you get a set of stickers that you can place on your seat to indicate one of the following if you want to sleep:
- wake me for meals
- wake me for duty free shopping (though I just realised I didn't see any of this at all... maybe it was while I slept, but that would have been an odd time to have it)
- do not disturb
Overall I think it was a definitely value for money flight - compared with the likes of Singapore Airlines or Qantas (both of which I've flown for this route), you are getting more bang for less buck, and that's a win in my books! I'll definitely consider flying Emirates again, assuming the travel budget doesn't consign me to only the budget airlines.
21 January 2010 1:45 AM
Location: Emirates Lounge, Brisbane International Airport
Waiting to board our flight to Singapore, which doesn’t leave for another hour. The airport was very quiet when we arrived just before midnight - no other flights were scheduled to depart before ours, and then there’s nothing until 6-something. Or is that 8-something? I can’t read the departures information screen from here.
Packing was a journey itself. My plan was to pack most of our things on Monday and Tuesday night, leaving Wednesday night relatively relaxed. That was until the addition of a tray of mangos Wednesday morning, followed by another tray in the afternoon, and then another bagful, plus some passionfruit. So now I was staring at about 70kg of stuff… good thing Emirates has a standard allowance of 30kg per passenger! In the end I repacked about half of what had already gone into the suitcases, shifting some 10kg into hand carry luggage. So that left us with a ~32kg suitcase, a ~22kg suitcase, 2 hand carry bags of about 6 and 7kg respectively, a backpack (mostly containing the netbook), a handbag (wifey’s), and a suit bag. Edit: pic on left taken at our destination. I take some comfort in that the bulk of what we’re carrying is for other people (ie gifts), rather than ourselves.
There’s a free wireless access point here in the lounge, provided by Emirates for its passengers. But I have no idea where you’re supposed to get the password from. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but in the meantime I can only conclude that the free wifi is an enticing, but ultimately useless service.
edit: I think this might be a service only for (ie passwords are supplied to) first and business class passengers...
We’ll be boarding soon. The flight’s not very full. Seating on the plane is in a 3-4-3 configuration. We’re booked into one side of the middle ‘4’ section, but I hope there’s room around us to be able to split up and spread out across a bank of 4 seats for some sleep. I don’t think I can handle an all-nighter, even though I’ll be battling to extract maximum value from the onboard video on demand. It had better be VOD…