Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tech Part 2

Lets start with games.............

I love playing computer games, I was a fairly decent Call of Duty 4 player online. Yes I may have been in a clan and for a time had top player on several maps. Despite cooking the video card on my dell twice it did the job but I always knew it was my weak point.

Then we sold our house and moved, then moved again, days got longer I was getting home later, I had to wipe and reload the OS on my dell and I just didn't re-install COD4. The new version Modern warfare 2 came out then COD Black Ops and knowing my laptop wasn't up to the challenge I resisted.

Knowing I was due for a laptop refresh this year I started looking into alienware laptops but was very hot and cold with them as they probably are enough to scrape by in terms of a gaming machine but the size and noise of cramming better video cards and extra cooling made for a highly un-portable laptop. In considering the alienware gear I think I was focusing more on wanting to be able to game and less on having something portable to use on my commute.

I then started to to sway towards the Macbook Air as my portable then compliment it with a simple server/desktop at home for our families storage needs. The new MBA came out and despite having several decent plays I couldn't see the wafer thin notebook as something I could use on my lap every day, it was just too small.

I'd been keen for a tablet for sometime, since here actually.... but my satisfaction with my Android phone faded somewhat when I updated to froyo. I found some of the features I loved like swype text bombed on the new version. I pretty much didn't want to consider any androids tablets running 2.X until early this year when the Motorolla Xoom came out sporting honeycomb, the Android tablet specific OS. I still um'ed and ahh'ed swaying between Ipad and the Xoom but waited for more honeycomb offerings from the other tablet manufacturers to enter the ring.

I found the Xoom more to be an ipad copy than a competitor. I still really liked the Android OS then as more makes got thrown into the mix the Acer caught my eye. In a nutshell it does everything the iPad or Xoom can do with a few added bonuses. Firstly, a microsd slot like that with my galaxy makes it so much easier to load content on/off your device and its expandable storage. Secondly a standard USB port, this is an awesome idea because while tablets a supposed to be alternatives to pcs the more "useable" and specifically connectable they are the more things you can do with them. In the case of a USB port it could be to bang in a keyboard and whack out a long winded opinion piece like this or simply transfer some data from your main machine via USB key (I have a really small 16gb key that barely sticks out when inserted and is perfect for this sort of use, so 32gb on board, add my 16gb microsd card and my 16gb key and bingo I have the same storage as the top spec ipad with the added bonus of swap-ability.

I guess you can't find something that ticks every box and the downside to acer is its a little more bulky but for the added features I was still keen. The other issue is that they are relatively new (June/Julyish release for the 3g model??) meaning choices for cases are currently a little thin (there are 3). Lucky I have big hands so bulk is no worry actually it easier to handle and there will bemore cases sooner or later.

So thursday I pulled the trigger and picked up an Acer Iconia a501 32gb. DSE had a decent price & were happy to throw in the Acer case, 2 screen protectors so I up'd the warranty from 1 to 3 years then stopped into Telstra store & had them load a sim card for mobile broadband, plugged it in and away I went. Review to come

This left me with a decision to make in terms of desktops where my options are limitless. Dollar value for reasonably high end gaming desktop + android tablet comes in slightly more than the 14inch alienware or the macbook air. I'm currently decided (unless I change my mind which tend to do) on i7 with enough ram, a few 1tb hard drives, video support for eyefinity (linking monitors as one large one batcave style as opposed to extending your desktop over multiple screens and gaming on one screen). All this in a case with ample slots for optical & hard drives that keeps and looks cool so stay tuned.

Until Next Time...........

Friday, July 29, 2011


So i'm typing this update from new android tablet.....

I spent many hours over the past few weeks trying to come up with a tech solution to my changing every day needs. The key driver was it was time to upgrade my pc which turned 3 in march this year. I initially considered getting a desktop and an ipad but as I looked more and more into the ipad it didn't suit my portability needs.

I then began to sway towards a macbook mainly because i was really over the windows experience and could see a need being met by the decent battery life on offer.

I waited for the new Macbook Airs to come out and still wasn't entirely grabbed by them then started looking at a alternate laptops before deciding on desktop/android tablet combo.

oops looks like i posted prematurely stay tuned.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Photo Fun (minus Photos)

As my last post mention 3 of our billy lids were roped into a bit of a photo shoot for a safety campaign for boating safety and life jackets leading up to fathers day. Here is a basica run down of the day.....

The day actually started the night before, I'd been asked to bring some PJ's for the children to wear for some of the photos and although all of them have numerous sets of winter PJ's the tops are rarely in the same place as the bottom. I made sure I had all their PJ's and clothes out and ready for them to put on the next morning, I also included two extra sets of pants & a spare pair of chucks for miss P who still has the occasional accident. I also loaded up my laptop with a dozen or so movies and a few seasons of horrible histories (great show check it out) and some snacks for during the day. After dinner I also took the opportunity to give them all a decent bath have some fun washing hair and getting knots out. (T hates having his hair combed).

I was up at 6 and had the three super models up soon after that and quickly organised their breakfasts and jumped in the shower. We were all dressed and out the door by about 7:30

As we were getting the train into work then driving out to the location in a company car I knew I had to bring miss P's booster seat. In hindsight I should have just driven to work or directly to the shoot but taking a train trip was interesting. I've never actually taken any of my children on public transport, we drive everywhere, its easier. I was thankful that we hop on at the end (or the beginning depending how you look at it) of the line so we were able to get a 4 pod spot to sit and squeeze in my bag and the car seat.

The Ride in was hilarious, C & P were asking so many questions about what was happening what the train was doing, whats that display etc etc. There was more than a few smiles for fellow commuters and all in all they were pretty good. I've had the pleasure of being on a crowded morning peak train with someone trying to control their wayward todler and in comparison mine were angels.

We arrived in the office about 9:30, I quickly got the children settled into a nearby desk to mine, put out some pens and pencils and paper and played catch up on my mornings emails. Some coworkers quickly made themselves available giving the children extra crafty stuff and coloured paper. We had to kill about 90 minutes so Miss P & Mr C made quick work of our office fruit platters before Pauline (The comms person running the photo shoot) arrived.

Not only had she brought in a multitude of toys and activities for the kids to entertain themselves with she also bought PJ's for them to wear for the shoot.

They played some golf and some chess for a while before Pauline suggested I take them out for some lunch so they were fed and ready for us to depart.

By around 12 the children were all fed and we were ready to leave. The shoot was in Macleod which is about 40 minute drive from the CBD and as I knew were we were going drove while Pauline entertained the children. I should add that Pauline is an actor outside of work and also does voice overs. Needless to say she entertained the children with a myriad of voices whilst explaining what they would need to do for the photos. She also had them practice their "Christmas smiles" and had each of them make up alter egos. T chose a skateboarding crime fighter while C went for secret agent and miss P opted for a fairy.

We arrived at the location and gave the 3 stars a run around at a nearby playground to run off some energy, we then progressed to the first of two locations. Numerous shots were taken of the 3 children with their "Fake Mum" & "Fake Dad" on a couch at a country club where there was ample space and lighting. They were all sitting down looking on as "fake Dad" opened a wrapped life jacket. I helped with the lighting and laughed my ass off at the facial expression they were pulling not to mention the trouble C was causing by giving thumbs up everytime a shot was taken. I also got the chance to have a few shots taken with just the 3 children and I so I look forward to see how they turn out.

With sufficient shots in tow we then progressed to site 2, a townhouse where the cast changed wardrobe to PJ's and had a mixture of shots some just dad, some with 2 children with fake mum & dad, some with 2 children and a puppy some with all three children.

C was a little intimidated by the dog which was just a playful pup but big enough to jump on him and lick his face so he stayed fairly close to me when not in shots.

Buy about 3pm it was all over, the cast changed back into their casual gear and we headed for the station to hop a train home.

We arrived at the end of our train line, loaded up the car and headed home, within minutes miss P was asleep (she actually fell asleep halfway through eating an ice cream cone). C followed within about 10 minutes and within about the same time T was also off in the land of nod. They slept the whole way home but soon woke with excitement as they told the other children what had transpired throughout the day.

I cant wait to see the shots, there was a big mixture and I'm told some will go on posters at outdoor shops, some may end up in magazines or papers and I should be able to get copies of them all. I had an absolute ball watching from the sidelines, it was tiring and I certainly slept well that night.

I didn't get to snap too many shots unfortunately, so you will just have to wait and see (like me) what ends up being used.

Until Next time.......

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homeschooling Wins Again

One of the lovely people from the communications team @ work were looking for some models to participate in a photoshoot for an add campaign leading up to fathers day.

The combination of having children available during the school term (school went back today I'd guess judging by the traffic) and having an assortment to choose from made them quite desirable. A few quick scans through some of my photo posts on this blog and bang! Miss P, Mr C & Mr T had themselves a modelling gig.

Its shooting tommorow so i'll take them into work with me. We'll head out around lunch to a secret location where I can watch on as they pose with their actor mum & dad (You'd never get me in anything like this thats for sure).

I wont go into too many of the details just that its very exciting to:
A) Bring some of my children to work with me
B) Take them on their first train ride
C) Hopefully see images of them make print somewhere someday

I hope I can grab a few snaps during the process.

Until Next Time.......

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whats in a Name

This post will be somewhat cryptic for those who do not know me because I only divulge my name in my posts. As you know I call the children by their initials and MB by one of her many nicknames (I prefer "Chesty La Rue" or "Busty StClair" but she hates them.) So needless to say I thought i'd put some thoughts down on names chosen and the struggles faced with naming bundle #7.

Mr B was a last minute change, we had always had our hearts set on "Riley" but changed our minds when we saw him for the first time.

Mr T's name stood for the third which had significant meaning because MB's pregnancy with T had immediately followed a miscarriage.

Miss L was a result of us both writing down our top 5 names and picking out the one we both liked the most.

Mr C was wholly and solely my choice. We didn't have a name for a boy or girl through MB's pregnancy and for me personally it was the name I had felt a strong connection to for quite sometime. I shared it with MB earlier in the pregnancy and she brushed it off.

Miss P was also a result of the lists we summed up for miss L.

With Miss H I was vetoed on all female names because MB had her heart set on H and although I was pretty against it based on its length and complexity I did warm to it in an abbreviated form hence why I never call miss H by her full name.

With Baby number seven its almost like when MB was pregnant with Mr C, we don't have any standouts. Given MB picked the name for the last bubs I'm very keen to have my say for this one. The issue for us is that we like names that are less common but not necessarily different or dare I say it weird. Another caveat (not mine) is that the names shouldn't hold any significant religious meaning or share any initials with any other child. It is also necessary that the second name is that of a grand or great-grandparent. So.....


Names starting with B,T,L,C,P or H are out & although I liked the idea of "danger" for a middle name that seems to be popular now and isn't shared with any grand parents so its out also.

We were liking a particular boys name starting with J and it pairs nicely with MB's Grandfather as a second name but in recent years and over the past 2 births of girls i've slightly gone off on it (though only a little).

I've also starting liking an older name (boy) starting with W but cant really pair it with a second name yet. In terms of girls names I really don't have any potentials so girls names have been the subject of my web searches of late.

Although you wont get to read what the final name choice is on these here pages please know its under intense scrutiny.

That is all bugger off.