Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Month: January 2008


Twitter is one of those things that sounded quite interesting but didn’t really serve any purpose in my digital life. This three consecutive days stretch notwithstanding, I am aware that my posts have become somewhat erratic and your clamour for more regular updates has not gone unnoticed. Here twitter provides a compromise. In the sidebar you will now see a twitter section which allows for short and sweet updates with whatever I happen to be doing. It’s pretty self-explanatory and I will endeavour to keep that updated even when full posts are not possible. That way you can still read what I’m up to, and the eagle eyed will probably find it offers some insight as to what future posts may be about.

Google Reader has been my chosen feed reader for some time now, and they have recently added a new feature to share items with friends which show up separately in the interface. Currently I don’t really share many posts as you’ll see if you take a look at the P-2006 Shared News feed on our Feeds page. However if anyone else uses Google Reader and would like to make better use of this new feature to share interesting stuff, give me a shout.

Having been uncharacteristically positive about the iPod Touch (I wouldn’t buy one, but I would say it’s genuinely one of the best portable media players on the market), I do need to weigh in on the MacBook Air, the latest must-have for Apple fans, if only to redress the balance. It is stunningly thin, there is no question. Yet despite its high price this is the least powerful MacBook on the market. Now it’s certainly true that if you’re looking at an “ultraportable” power is presumably a lesser concern, but I would strongly question its portability in practice. You see, to make it so slim they had to remove the optical disc drive, replacing it with an external unit. So this lovely sleek machine cannot use CDs or DVDs unless you lug around an entire extra drive unit with you. For portability that surely must be a deal breaker. The end result is a laptop that resembles a size zero model: incredibly thin and there is a prettiness there, but somehow you can’t escape the fact it’s utterly useless.

January Media

Sort of a follow-up to yesterday’s post, this features the various bits and pieces I’ve come across in the last couple of weeks that are worth sharing. First up is an ingeniously innovative new use of the Nintendo Wii hardware for head tracking, with a great demonstration that ought to impress even those who are not gaming-inclined. Tycho over at Penny Arcade postponed his regular blog post to show off this video, and those who know the site also know he is never one to shut up!

The American cover for The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman’s next book, has been revealed. Of course following the standard trend this means we can expect something completely different here in the UK. His entire back catalogue was re-released in a single style with Anansi Boys a few years ago, with the Fragile Things collection continuing that design. It will be interesting to see if they follow suit with the new book or produce something divergent.

With a lot of buzz hovering around the imminent release of Cloverfield produced by Lost creator JJ Abrams, supposedly reinvigorating the monster film genre, people have apparently forgotten the film he is actually directing. The film in question is Star Trek, a prequel that looks at the roots of Kirk and Spock, and one that will make or break the future of the franchise. The cast list is impressive, including Heroes villain Zachary Quinto (Sylar) as Spock in an inspired piece of casting. Somewhat stranger are comedy actors Simon Pegg and John Cho as Scotty and Sulu respectively. A teaser trailer has now been released which, as is now expected, reveals virtually nothing beyond the exterior of the Enterprise. Hopefully some real footage will emerge before long.

Here at the flat we’ve upgraded our entire wireless network, replacing the old Netgear router with a Belkin wireless N setup. Far more robust and with massively increased bandwidth, this actually allows for smooth wireless streaming of video via the Xbox even in high definition. So yes, that means HD trailers displayed on the Bravia in the living room which looks stunning. Wall-E has actually been the most oft-played for its sheer level of detail in the junkyard sequences. Its left me very keen to get more HD content to play with and with the Blu-ray camp delivering a decisive blow at the beginning of this month at CES, seemingly ending the format war earlier than expected, it’s becoming very difficult to hold back. That is, until one looks at the prices. My wallet whimpers and I go back to looking at DVDs.

January Recap

Yes, it has been too long since the last post. Essentially there were a few minor exams at the start of term which delayed posting and by then I’d missed a proper post about the New Year and subsequently became rather lazy. So here’s a brief rundown of how January has unfolded.

New Year was spent with Kirsten’s friend Moni and her boyfriend who came over from Germany. A mixup in booking flights meant ze Germans actually only reached the house at around 11pm, too late to go out and do much. So instead we opened a bottle of vodka, watched fireworks on TV and chatted. Many, many shots later the boys woke up with hangovers and trailed after the girls as they shopped in London. Repayment was dinner at the outstanding Hakkasan so one could hardly complain. Incidentally, creator Alan Yau has recently sold on the restaurant, along with the newer Yauatcha, to a foreign investment company for $60 million. Whether this will have any effect on its success is unknown, but you might want to book now just in case…

The new term at BPP kicked off with a couple of accounting exams which swiftly supressed our post-holiday exuberance. They turned out to be not bad at all, although results will not be released for some time. I had to do the first paper sans calculator after they took issue with mine for “looking like their picture” of a programmable one. At least that made it a little more interesting…

After that things died down into a steady tedium with little to report. Most of my free time has been spent videogaming, with much of the Christmas back catalogue still remaining. Games will require their own post at some point soon so I shan’t dwell here.

Stef’s birthday was last weekend and was a fun night out in Covent Garden, despite initial trouble due to Kirsten’s lack of ID (even at 21, really?). Joe and I talked games for a bit as he is currently working for Frontier Developments on “techno thriller” The Outsider. I finally ventured into Dirty Martini which is a great cocktail bar insofar as the drinks and staff go, but the venue is far too small and hideously overcrowded which significantly detracts from the experience. Their signature drink, a dirty martini obviously, was pleasant enough but the more outrageous chocolate martini went down surprisingly well with our crowd. Personally I’d still recommend a more classic martini, best obtained by ordering their Hendricks martini and requesting olives instead of their bizarre default garnish of cucumber.

And finally since I assume our family all now know, it is safe to write that my cousin Jenna is pregnant again. If her second child is even half as cute as Karleigh you can expect plenty of photos. It is due this summer so there’s currently a possibility that I may get out to the States during my last few weeks off before work starts in September.

"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2023 Priyan Meewella

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