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://sydneygrind.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://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2 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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