blog­ging

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Just test­ing Word­book. If all is well, this blog post should appear on my Face­book pro­file!

03 Oct 2008 | No comments

On a blog, asides are short posts (like this one), designed to allow you to write in a more flu­id and dynam­ic man­ner; as the linked art­icle says, “The format of a web­log dic­tates its writ­ing.” I’ve been look­ing for a place to stick up ran­dom thoughts or two, or an inter­est­ing link, and my new tem­plate just hap­pens to allow for asides — per­fect!

16 Aug 2008 | 1 comment

The metal­lic screeches of train wheels as a tin can enters the ever-pop­u­lar Air­port Line tun­nel. The smell of salt as you lean over the peel­ing rail­ings of a Sydney Ferry. A smat­ter­ing of the day’s rub­bish swirl­ing out­side closed shop-fronts early in the even­ing.

We enjoy the daily Sydney grind. We hope you do too.

http://​sydney​grind​.nointrigue​.com/

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Blogging

It would be amiss of me not to post at least once dur­ing the month of Decem­ber, but post­ing on the last day of 2007, that’s what I’ve almost done.

It’s reti­cent of me not to have pos­ted reg­u­larly recently, as I prom­ised to do earli­er on. How­ever, blog­ging is some­thing that requires momentum — for me at least, once I start writ­ing, I can’t stop, but it’s get­ting star­ted that’s the prob­lem. Maybe that’s why my law assign­ments always get writ­ten so late. I lost momentum in the lead-up to hon­ours thes­is sub­mis­sion and then the inab­il­ity of the older ver­sion of Opera to cooper­ate with Word­Press while I was in Hong Kong was a bit of a showstop­per. But maybe I’m just mak­ing up excuses.

Writ­ing reg­u­larly is a good thing to do: I think, like muscles, writ­ing abil­ity gets lost if you don’t use it. Joel Spol­sky, a prom­in­ent soft­ware developer and writer who any­one inter­ested in the busi­ness of soft­ware should read, men­tioned in his blog that one of the best courses he ever took at uni­ver­sity was one that involved copi­ous amounts of writ­ing: “Being able to write clearly on tech­nic­al top­ics is the dif­fer­ence between being a grunt indi­vidu­al con­trib­ut­or pro­gram­mer and being a lead­er”.

I’ll try and regain some momentum in the imme­di­ate future, and I hope that I’ll regain your trust as read­ers.*

* The less I write, the less people read my blog (as meas­ured by the stat­ist­ics I get). Makes sense doesn’t it?

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I haven’t blogged for over an entire month, and I’ve been want­ing to blog, because I love blog­ging but things in RL have con­spired to take me away from here. I have a whole list of things I want to blog about, and I have a few posts queued up wait­ing to be fin­ished, but I think they’ll have to wait until after everything is done for this semester.

Thes­is.

What an awful concept. They’re hard to write.

[ramble]
If I were a world dic­tat­or, I’d change the onus from writers to read­ers for con­struct­ing coher­ent argu­ments and struc­tur­ing prose. 🙂 We’re already doing you the favour of find­ing all the mater­i­al to talk about — why should we also both­er to present it nicely?
[/​ramble]

Sigh. Well, it’s been an inter­est­ing year, and I have no regrets tak­ing a year off law to do hon­ours. I’ll blog more about that later, when I have the pleas­ure of reflect­ing back in a stress-free envir­on­ment.

Sign­ing off for prob­ably anoth­er couple of weeks…

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I’m sur­prised I didn’t know about this till recently, but Google Blog Search is some­thing that no blog­ger should ignore. (Here are some oth­er, albeit some­what old, first impres­sions.) Appar­ently, Google believes in blogs — “Google is a strong believ­er in the self-pub­lish­ing phe­nomen­on rep­res­en­ted by blog­ging…” — and extends their search prowess to the world of blogs. It looks and feels just like the stand­ard Google search, but one must ask the ques­tion: why both­er search­ing blogs? After all, aren’t blogs (like this one), just filled with the imma­ture rants of wan­nabe writers who just wouldn’t cut it in the real world of journ­al­ism?

No, I don’t believe it’s true in gen­er­al. Sure, the qual­ity of blogs does vary quite a bit — but they all serve some kind of a pur­pose. Wheth­er it’s a pro­fes­sion­al blog­ger con­trib­ut­ing in his or her field of expert­ise, or a uni­ver­sity stu­dent writ­ing about life, the uni­verse and crap like that, it’s all because they have some­thing to say. The abil­ity to link between blogs and com­ment on blogs cre­ates a kind of dynam­ic that encour­ages people to think — instead of merely being pass­ive con­sumers. That is a great thing to see. I sup­pose Andrew Keen wouldn’t agree, but just because he’s pub­lished in dead tree form doesn’t amount to much: see the Wiki­pe­dia Sign­post review. By being able to search exclus­ively in blogs, you too can par­ti­cip­ate in this part of the Inter­net — par­ti­cip­ate in free speech. You can find out things that tra­di­tion­al media will not cov­er — how-to’s in obscure top­ics, polit­ic­al rants that match your per­sua­sion. The res­ults you get are pretty good — see this descrip­tion of how it all works. Yes, Google’s thor­ough.

For blog­gers, it is import­ant that you are indexed by search engines, even if you are a small time blog­ger like me. What’s the point of writ­ing pub­licly if you don’t actu­ally intend on any­one read­ing it? I had known of Tech­nor­ati before this, but Tech­nor­ati has many irrit­a­tions that oth­er blog­gers have covered and I won’t cov­er here; any­way, Google’s over­taken it. To ping Google Blog Search, just add http://​blog​search​.google​.com/​p​i​n​g​/​R​PC2 to your list of serv­ers to ping.

In oth­er news, Google Maps fea­tures con­tent for the 2007 fed­er­al elec­tion. Click on the “My Maps” tab and it’s under the “Fea­tured con­tent” part. Over­lay the party col­ours onto the map of Aus­tralia, and you’d be sur­prised about the land area that the Liberals/​Nationals rep­res­ent!

On a final note, Google Blog Search and these spe­cial maps rather emblem­at­ic of the prob­lem that Google has so many fant­ast­ic ser­vices writ­ten by so many fant­ast­ic engin­eers that just aren’t see­ing much of the light of day because… there are just so many of them.

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I’ve been mean­ing to blog more reg­u­larly, but I’ve just been too busy to write stuff up for your enjoy­ment. Sorry, I lie. I’ve just been too lazy, and there’s just so much going on in my head recently, it’s hard to con­cen­trate on writ­ing a coher­ent piece of prose.

Aiya, UNSW Law Revue 2007 (entitled Poll Fic­tion) was a load of shit. A com­plete waste of a Thursday, the leaden act­ing, lame jokes that lacked even the concept of a punch-line and the bright spot­lights that seemed intent on burn­ing my ret­inas out made the night a mem­or­able event for all the wrong reas­ons. I won’t be going back any time soon la~ Fine, there were some enjoy­able skits, but the drive home (thanks Tommy!) was a more inter­est­ing exper­i­ence than the revue itself. Yeah, what he said. Daniel and I were you­tube-ing before head­ing off, and we noticed a video (now deleted? can’t find it now) from someone at Usyd blast­ing the UNSW revue for mak­ing fun of our quad and hav­ing the UNSW Galactica joke — well, there wasn’t a Usyd quad in sight, but the Galactica got a men­tion. With the Galactica joke, I think it’s more likely that there’s a mole on the UNSW team that allowed Usyd to score a hit against UNSW before their revue even star­ted.

Over the week­end, I went to Malay­sia Fest 2007 (pho­tos) and got myself a dose of Malay­si­an cul­ture. I can see why it’s true that Malay­si­ans are said to live to eat… the food, hav­ing Malay, Chinese and Indi­an influ­ences, was quite inter­est­ing and tasty =) Of course, it helped that I had a guide who lives to eat, so Ru Jih, if you actu­ally read this, many thanks for a great day out, wouldn’t have been the same without you 😛 … hope it didn’t make you too home­sick~

The oth­er thing that’s happened recently is, of course, the lun­ar eclipse. Con­clu­sion: I need a tri­pod. These black rect­angles are awful — you really can’t do a shut­ter speed longer than 1/​60s if you’re hold­ing the cam­era with your hand, and when the moon’s that dim, you’d need at least a few seconds of expos­ure. Still, it was a very beau­ti­ful thing to watch, and lit­er­ally out of this world.

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After real­ising that I’ve been tag­ging most of my entries as “Gen­er­al”, I thought I’d go and fix up the cat­egor­ies on this blog. After look­ing at what I’ve been writ­ing about for the last 6 months, I came up with a num­ber of new cat­egor­ies, and I’ve made an attempt to rec­at­egor­ise everything writ­ten so far into the new cat­egor­ies. None of the old cat­egor­ies have been deleted, so your RSS feeds should still work (you can get a feed for a par­tic­u­lar cat­egory by append­ing /feed to the URL).

Speak­ing of RSS feeds, if you haven’t sub­scribed to my blog via RSS, it’s easy — just click the Entries RSS link on the left side­bar.

Also, I’ve decided to license to license my blog under a Cre­at­ive Com­mons license. Shar­ing is caring.

Onwards!

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I’m back!

I haven’t blogged for quite some time, and for those of you who wished that you’d nev­er see anoth­er hor­rid Enoch lit­er­ary com­pos­i­tion pop up on your RSS read­er (you have put my blog on your RSS feed list right?), tough luck. I’m in my liv­ing room at the moment and the only thing stop­ping me from freez­ing is a cup of hot and steam­ing instant asparagus soup, and I’m just going to go and write. That’s right, I’m just going to get star­ted on my back­log of things that I’ve been put­ting off by just mak­ing myself write.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been bludging my time away suf­fer­ing under post-exam trau­mat­ic stress syn­drome (PETSS), which is the one of the most ter­rible dis­eases known to man­kind, or at least to uni­ver­sity stu­dents. I’d like to think it was jus­ti­fied, and here is a quick sum­mary of the past semester to prove my point:

Semester 1, 2007

Argh.

In actu­al fact, I’ve been put­ting off writ­ing because I’ve been want­ing to reform the cat­egor­ies and the things that I write about (the three cat­egor­ies aren’t work­ing very well), among oth­er changes I want to do to my site. but I couldn’t be bothered doing that until I bothered log­ging on to my blog. And I couldn’t be bothered log­ging on because I knew I’d have to go and do the dif­fi­cult task of reor­gan­ising things. This is known as a dead­lock. Thank­fully, I’m not your aver­age office Tur­ing machine.

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I don’t know if anyone’s read­ing this, but I sure am going to pre­tend there are oth­er­wise I’ll just stop writ­ing. Onwards!

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