Must Apologise

Ok I’ve been using my iPhone for a few days now and I really like it. But I must make my apologies to a whole bunch of app writers and many users. When I had only my iPad I always wondered why you wanted a Bank app or a Weather app, or a Facebook app etc. It was just as easy to browse on the iPad directly to the website of the bank, weather etc etc. My position was “Why do people need these apps that duplicate websites”

Ok now I understand. I tried the same trick on the iPhone little screen. Apps for some of these sites are far easier than trying to zoom and scroll around the webpage!

Big WoW patch coming today by the look of it. I don’t think I had pre downloaded it as I don’t launch from the WoW Launcher, but the iMac will have all day to do it. I just hope its not too big as I ate up a big portion of my monthly quota with the SWTOR beta.

Speaking of the SWTOR beta I’m going to have to seriously consider dual booting the iMac in order to get any Windows access time to play.

Riding to Canberra Thursday morning. Happily the forecast has improved from Rain both days to drizzle tomorrow morning and even sunny on Friday in Canberra (my return day).

Sad Face

Well to start on a happy note, SIM didn’t arrive in the mail, but I managed to get to a 3 store unexpectedly and get a SIM. After about 24hours I finally have my phone working as a phone, so that’s all good. Have had a little bit of a play with the new stuff (which is a lot compared to my old Nokia) and so far pretty happy. Not really finding Siri all that great though.

Now, bad news. SW:TOR is having a huge Beta Testing weekend, mostly so they can test server capacities etc. So pretty much everyone registered has an invite, either starting this morning or tomorrow. I scored an invite to the first group, spent 40% of my download quota installing it and was up early 5am to get into it.

But my PC has recently been suffering random shutdowns. I have been trying to get some info and some real symptoms without much luck. So every five mins or so while trying to play, shutdown. And it’s not a nice, quit programs and log out shutdown, its a hard, all of a sudden there’s nothing there total power down. I was already suspicious of the power supply and now I’m definitely going to start my investigations there.

But I can’t play.

Impressions from 10mins of loading screens etc… Great cutscences, in some ways the interface style reminds me of the old SW games, like Tie Fighter and Dark Trooper. So it seems a bit old fashioned. Graphics level seems about Mass Effect 1 level, at least on high with my old card. But I don’t so much mean the detail as the style of the graphics. Controls are very similar to WoW, but I don’t mind that. Familiar territory.

But if every quest is a conversation like that I am impressed at the amount of audio that must be in this game…. and sad as that will limit it’s playability for me when kiddies sleeping. Must investigate if there is a subtitles option.

So sad face at the moment.

UPDATE (1230) Bought a new power supply and opened the case up to get to work. Found the CPU fan was pretty loose, so that’s now my chief suspect. Reseated that and gave the whole case and all the fans a good clean out. Connected it all back up and I’ll keep an eye on it. New PS still unopened ready to return to the shop.

Of course, now little miss 4 is on the PC so I still can’t play!

My iPhone Saga and SWTOR

I preordered an iPhone4S about 3 days before they were released here. For me it is a big upgrade from a 4 year old Nokia running an old version of Symbian. Not really interested in Siri, more interested in the camera, the 64GB storage and not having to buy a whole bunch of apps again (iPad and another iPhone already in house here)

As of last week I was still waiting for it, so gave up and cancelled the pre order and went to the shop to get one. 15mins later walked out of the shop with one, now I just needed a SIM.

I approached Vodafone and tried to get a SIM (switch to them from 3) but my cancellation from yesterday was still pending. Next day same story. Monday same story. But that guy said he’d fixed it, but I am not able to get to a store until Thursday at the earliest and more like Saturday.

So I rang 3 – they’re going to mail me a new SIM. Should be here tomorrow :) I also changed plan so that I’m paying less per month with triple the included calls and about 5 times the data. No contract, no commitments. Sounds a little too good to be true.

I’ll keep you all posted.

Now, subject two. STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC. I have been interested in this for much of the year. I signed up for Beta testing and have even pre ordered a collectors edition from the US. A group of us from work have all organised a group of Sith and Republic guilds already.

Actually got an invite (I think everyone has) for this weekend. While its a massive 25G download, I am interested to see if I can work it on my old PC.

I’m also in two minds what to do about where to play it. Its Windoze only, no OSX version, so I can either play it on the PC (i7 850, 8GB RAM and 9500GT card) or bootcamp this mac and run it here (27” i5 12GB RAM and a better card at least 2 years newer than the 9500). That would mean getting a second Win7 64b copy of course.

I’ll download it and see what happens. Of course I might not like it… then I guess I’ll have a collector ed up for sale?

And what about WoW??

Ain’t no time to play….

First up… 15 days isn’t really working for me. Some nights these days I don’t even make the computer at all…. can’t get past all the other people using them. Miss 4 has spent more time playing WoW than I have. And yes I know I skipped Day 8, but I’ll catch up to it. Just don’t have a screenie for it.

And unlike when I tried to quit, this time I’m just not really missing it. Maybe I’m getting bored with it? If I had time to play more seriously there is a lot I want to do. But I can’t even see much point in gearing Dasal up for Heroics (5man). That’s why I am levelling Mabango. So logged in this morning – no one else online – logged off. Meh.

Or maybe I’m just waiting for SW:TOR. That releases in a month. Think I’ll only be able to commit to one MMO.

In other news, went on a group ride out to Bowral. Was alright, but I don’t like riding when I feel pressured to go faster than my own pace. I think the bike is become my “me” time (urgh don’t like that cliche very much) so sharing the time isn’t really satisfactory as group rides are a lot of waiting about for people to come, to get ready to catch up etc etc. We’ll see how I feel after a solo ride as I’ll be riding to Canberra and back the week after next for work.

“Aint No Time To Play” by Guru.

Briars at Bowral

A PortraitSo, time for another ride. Another start at work with the crowd. I’ve missed a few rides, but many of the usual suspects were in attendance. Again a wide range of folks, brought together by our shared love of bikes, rides and service to our nation. A wide range of folks means a wide range of bikes – the learners, the trailies, several cruisers, a couple of sports, and of course the sports tourers (me). 14 in all, so a big turnout.
We hit the road almost directly south from Penrith towards Campbelltown. A wind through some back roads bought us to a gear shop that the guy organising had checked out. Some good gear at cheap prices. If I had known we were going shopping I would have brought my topbox and more cash. I will be back as I’m in the market for a new jacket. Here’s a shot of the carpark….

A classic GSXR750

A classic GSXR750

We rolled on southwest from there, heading up through Camden towards Picton. A couple of wrong turns (though nice roads) led us astray for a while. It was revealed at the sign that read “No Through Road”
Oops, Dead End

Oops, Dead End

 

But we eventually hit Picton, we thought to stop for lunch or at least a coffee, but the front runners had other ideas. A hungry mob of riders followed along.
Mighty ZZR250 roll by

Mighty ZZR250 roll by

 

We left Picton and eventually hit the Hume. There aren’t a lot of options here unless you head far south, so a few kilometres of flat top ensued. Never the most fun and the learners with 80kmph limits and little 250s weren’t impressed. We left the freeway at Mittagong and followed the old Hume through to Bowral. About the time I was about to head somewhere to eat on my own and damn the rest the front end of the mob turned into the carpark.
Briars Hotel & Pub, Bowral

Briars Hotel & Pub, Bowral

 

Lunch!
Briar’s Hotel – LUNCH. a starving mob descended upon the hapless bistro. They ran out of cutlery, there were missing table numbers and it was a madhouse.

Actually the place was pretty busy before we arrived. The food was nice but a little expensive that your usual pub bistro. They did let us line all our bikes up out the front and one of the waitresses even came out to take our picture (I’ll add that one when I get it off my mate’s camera)

Some of our bunch

Some of our bunch

Out the front were a couple of the Bash cars. These cars join big convoys of similarly extraordinary cars raising money for the outback.
Thunderbird 2

Thunderbird 2

Thunderbird 4

Parked outside the pub

Parked outside the pub

After lunch we headed home, following much the same route. Until Picton. Here we took a road directly north that I hadn’t used before that lead us up towards Warrigamba. The party spilt and I headed with the group heading home. This lead me onto a couple more stretches of excellent roads so it wasn’t like our fun had immediately finished.

With the long days here now rides can stretch past dinner time in good light. But with Mrs probably run off her feet by our two little princesses I figured I had probably better head home to relieve her :) And stay in the good books of course so she lets me out again :)

(Almost) a day at the Races

I needed to complete some photo work for my course, and the final round of the Australian Superbikes was about 10 mins from my house, so bright and early on Sunday I headed for the track.

Sunrise over the last turn at EC

Sunrise over the last turn at Eastern Creek Raceway

I was about halfway there when I realised exactly how bright and how early it was…. about 0630. I started to wonder if the track would even be unlocked when I got there. As it was I did get in, about the same time that the first mechanics arrived to start work.


The bike parking (at 0700, racing starts at about 1100)

The bike parking (at 0700, racing starts at about 1100)

As you can see it was a bit of a ghost town.

Even though it’s Australia’s premier category they have open pits, so included in the entry is the ability to hang about in the pits all day. And as I was about the only spectator and the only photographer about at the time, most of the garages were really friendly and let me get up close and personal with the bikes. A fascinating range of machines and budgets were on display.

Team Yamaha

Team Yamaha

Team Yamaha

Some Ducati's sharing a garage with a BMW

Some Ducati’s sharing a garage with a BMW

GSXR

Ducati 1098 (or 1198 I suppose)

Ducati 1098 (or 1198 I suppose)

Rolling out for the last free practice

I hung around until the start of the final practice, but then had to leave to get home before the Mrs left for work. I sure hope the crowds picked up a little!