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Monday, December 3rd, 2007
10:03 pm - The ASUS Eee PC
The ASUS Eee PC is a 7-inch laptop that weighs 0.92 kilograms. It costs $499 AUD and is exclusive to Myer for the next 2 weeks. It's currently sold out in most (probably all) Myer stores (went on sale on 1 December), but there's more coming. It also has a built-in webcam.

Lindee got one too. The day she got it, she bumped into one of her friends and showed it to her for a couple of minutes. Minutes later, her friend also owned one. People do also tend to stare and/or ask you about this laptop. When you tell them that it costs $500, they may think that you intended to say $5000.

Do I sound like a happy customer? It might be because I've never been happier with a product. It's not perfect. It is possibly a little too small and the keyboard takes some getting used to, but for the price it is so much better than anyone would ever expect.

Now I'm ready to part with my PDA phone, but I may miss the easy access to a decent calendar a little bit.

Here's a SMH review.


Monday, January 29th, 2007
2:14 am - 7:13pm, 19 November 2006
hospital room

(5 comment.comments | Comment!)

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
4:11 pm
I'm alive.

(9 comment.comments | Comment!)

Saturday, November 18th, 2006
9:42 pm
I have the best friends anyone could ever wish for. So even though I probably will see them again after tomorrow, the possibility of not seeing them again scares the hell out of me.


Saturday, September 30th, 2006
12:19 am - Google Talk
Google Talk has previously only been available to GMail users. Now anyone can sign up and use it without needing a GMail account!

What's so good about it?
  • If you access it from GMail, you don't need to install any software to chat. It works in your web browser.
  • You can call people if you have a mic.
  • You can leave people "voice mail", which emails them an MP3 of your message.
  • You can use any software you want to access it, not just the official client.
  • You'd probably be surprised at how many people you know are already using it.
My ID is: jamesfoster (at) gmail (dot com)

(1 comment.comments | Comment!)

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
6:30 pm
It's strange how quickly priorities can change. Yesterday I was worried about my group's progress on our software development project at uni, but today my primary concern is something else, and I'm dropping uni for this semester.

Since I was born, I've had a heart condition called aortic stenosis. It's never had much of an impact on my life other than forcing me into giving up rugby and yearly check-ups, although in the past year or so those yearly check-ups became bi-yearly after my condition worsened slightly. I haven't had any symptoms, but I had an MRI of my heart done a couple of weeks ago, and today I met my surgeon for the first time. I had previously thought that I had one to three years until the surgery, but I guess the MRI results showed that it needs to be done in approximately a month.

In a way, I'm kind of glad that I'm finally going to get this operation over and done with. I've known that it was eventually coming for years, and I think I've always been worrying about it a bit. It takes 6 - 7 hours and the mortality rate is about 5%, but people are usually about 60 when they need to be operated on. My chances of survival are probably a bit better than the average.

The funny thing about this? The replacement mechanical valve (in most people) makes a faint ticking noise only audible in quiet rooms. I look forward to lots of amusing scenarios where people wonder where that ticking noise is coming from...

(13 comment.comments | Comment!)

Saturday, July 15th, 2006
12:07 am
I woke up nice and early (9.30am!) this morning to go geocaching in the city with Adrian.

We headed off to one behind Jordan's near Darling Harbour first, but couldn't find it. We also tried two in Hyde park and couldn't find them, either. We had lunch at Bill & Toni's and then stuffed ourselves full of chocolate at the Lindt Cafe, afterwards. I had the waffle and a milk hot chocolate (comes with separate melted chocolate and hot milk, which you combine into hot choc!). It was yummy.


After lunch our luck improved. We found one hidden across the road from Hyde Park. It was under the end of a bridge:


We also found one that was hidden in a tree. The tree had tonnes of little holes in it, so it actually took us 5 - 10 minutes to find, even after we had found the right tree!

... Adrian is HOT:

Hard Candy
After all this, I had a (small!) sushi dinner with Lindee, and we saw Hard Candy. I didn't really know much about the movie before seeing it, but somehow Lindee talked me into it. It turned out to be an EXCELLENT movie, and probably the best low-budget movie I've seen! The less you know about the movie beforehand, the better it will be. Just know that it's full of suspense and also manages humour unsually often for the type of movie that it is. Highly recommended!

A random picture of me (with brand new short hair!) in World Square, reading an mX with a pretty hot Angelina Jolie on the front:

(4 comment.comments | Comment!)

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006
7:32 am
(hope she doesn't read this from the airport!)

So, Lindee is currently on her way home from Taiwan, and I have the extreme pleasure of waking up at 4am tomorrow to be at the airport by 6am to pick her up and take her to somewhere where there is breakfast. Lucky, lucky, lucky me!

Anyway, the other day she was telling me how I should get her some flowers for when I pick her up at the airport and my response, of course, was  something along the lines of "Hahaha! No, I don't think so..."

I lied. I was planning on getting her some flowers today, but then I forgot and only remembered again at 4:45pm. Doh! So I went into my garden looking for some flowers just now and found four different types. They're currently sitting in some water in a glass on my desk, with string tying them together.

The very best flowers my garden has to offer!

Here's where you come in... do I chop off the leaves? I've already chopped a lot of them off, but I'm undecided on the ones that are remaining. They detract from the flowers a bit, but it might look a bit bare without them.

Post a comment to vote! Should the leaves get the CHOP, or should they be allowed to STAY? Think of this as a (slightly) less retarded version of Big Brother. You have about 10 hours or so to think about this important decision...

(18 comment.comments | Comment!)

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006
11:44 pm
An announcement from Tux and Teddy...

Tuxy and Teddy

An Olympus FE-115. It's the cheapest ($188) one that matched my criteria (connects as a USB mass storage device, runs on AA batteries, takes photos of a reasonable resolution and isn't a no-name brand), but it seems cheap digital cameras are good enough, these days. Photos are a bit grainy at high resolutions, but it takes 2560x1920 photos, so that's acceptable.

That's not all I got today! I also wanted a smallish shelf to sit on top of my desk (which is a complete mess at the moment) so I figured I'd go to Myer, Kmart, BigW or something. I checked the centre directory and noticed there was a Reject Shop, though. I figured they might have what I wanted. Lucky me - I scored a nice, wooden desk shelf with four compartments for $15. The Reject Shop is awesome. I must remember to always check there whenever I need anything like this.

(2 comment.comments | Comment!)

1:40 am
Bye Lindee!
Lindee is leaving for Taiwan in a few hours. She's going there for work-related stuff, to use some equipment or something. She's coming back in a few weeks, though. Have a nice time, Lindee!

No more night shifts
I'm now unemployed. Finally, I get to sleep on weekends rather than catching the 12am train to Central and spending the entire night wishing for a warm, cosy bed. I'll miss the good pay, but I think I'd rather work longer hours than work night shifts.

New laptop
I ordered a Dell Inspiron 710m last week. I've had my eye on it (and the Toshiba Libretto) for a while, and noticed that it was reasonably cheap at the moment, so I got it for $1550 along with some upgrades, thanks to my brother's UTS student discount. It's Dell's 2nd smallest/lightest laptop.

(2 comment.comments | Comment!)

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
9:55 pm
What do brains, snails, kangaroos and rabbits all have in common?
They were all tonight's dinner! I had brains, snails, kangaroo, and rabbit, at a French restaurant that I can't remember the name of. Anyway, that's probably the most unusual dinner I've ever had.

It was yummy.


Saturday, May 13th, 2006
12:05 am
Harbour Bridge, rotoscoped

I've decided to bring my journal back to life. I should probably write about my trip to Europe and post some pictures of it, sometime. As soon as I get them off Lindee's camera, that is. I need to get a new digital camera. 

Tonight's dinner
I had dinner tonight with Alan and Lindee at Zachary's Gourmet Pizza Bar in Kings Cross. We didn't make a booking, and it turned out that we were lucky to get a table. The pizzas were great. I especially liked one (Posh) that had camembert cheese and avocado on it. Me and Lindee are going back on a Thursday evening, when they have "all you can eat" for just $15.50. It's probably the pizza place best pizza in Sydney. It was even better than my local place, Pizza Cutters, which is supposed to be one of the best in Australia. 

Resigned from my job (no more night shifts!) - looking for a new job in a coffee shop!
I've resigned from Media Monitors, effective from the end of the month. No more night shifts. Never again. Instead, I think I'll take a massive pay cut and start working in a coffee shop. I like the idea of working in a Gloria Jeans, making people happy by giving them their coffee fix. 

Diploma in Education
My current plan is to do a Diploma in Education next year at Macquarie uni and become a teacher. I never really considered becoming a teacher, but all of a sudden it seems like a great idea. Reasonable pay, plenty of holidays, great hours, work that doesn't involve sitting at a desk bored out of my mind, and some potential to have a good effect on the world. 

Free Software, and a BBC documentary about it
I've also decided to work on Free Software in my spare time. For anyone who has cable, there's a great documentary about Free Software showing on BBC World at the moment called Code Breakers. It's about how Free Software is being adopted in developing countries where people cannot afford Microsoft software and touches on related topics, like the $100 laptop. The really cool part? Once Code Breakers has screened 10 times on BBC World, it will be available copyright-free. I'll post a download link to it when that happens.

Time to work!
I'm writing this entry from work, on what I think is my 6th last shift. I got here a few hours early, but it's almost time for the morning to commence...

(7 comment.comments | Comment!)

Monday, March 27th, 2006
10:25 am
Main Quad
Me and Lindee
(any deformities are my fault...)

Me and Lindee, less deformed...
(Hooray for less deformities!)

(10 comment.comments | Comment!)

Monday, December 12th, 2005
9:08 pm
Although I rarely update this journal, I regularly read my "friends" page and check it quite frequently when bored. I want to start killing my internet addiction so that I can be more productive. To help with this, I'm getting rid of my "friends page" by removing all "livejournal friends". I'm not sure whether or not I'll keep this journal. On the one hand, I might update more regularly, or I might just delete the journal.

Sorry for the lack of reading material. Ciao.

(4 comment.comments | Comment!)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
9:15 pm
I'm leaving for Europe in about 20 hours, so... bye!

I'll be back mid-January.

Contacting me:
Gmail address is: jamesfoster
Mobile number is: +46 733 287 951

Have a nice holiday/festivus.

(5 comment.comments | Comment!)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005
7:27 pm
Mifepristone, an abortion drug that provides safer abortions and is banned in Australia but available almost everywhere else, should be unbanned for these reasons.

(2 comment.comments | Comment!)

Sunday, November 6th, 2005
4:01 pm - Umm.. err.. hi, and STUFF!
In less than a month, I'll have visited several countries that I haven't been to before. In fact, I'll be in a hemisphere of the Earth that I haven't even been to before! It's a bit crazy.

I haven't really set in concrete any trips around Europe yet, but I'll be booking a week-long skiing trip in Austria, on Monday. This whole trip is a bit crazy, a bit fast-paced, and a bit TOTALLY EXCITING!

... and then after I get back in January, the fun doesn't just keel over and stop. No, today I booked tickets to this, this, and this.

Right now I've been awake for about 24 hours. I went to a 21st in Avalon last night, then went to work, and now I'm listening to The Graveyard Shift (Triple J) with Dave Callan, which is on in the day time for a change. I'm hopefully seeing him do stand-up tomorrow, but am not sure about it because there's another Australian stand-up comedian named Dave Callan. We'll see.

So, how are you?

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2005
10:30 am
I went to a friend from high school's 21st, last night. It was quite fun. I guess I got a bit caught up in the festivity of it, and ended up being calling in to The Graveyard Shift with Dave Callan on Triple J and being the last caller on the program. (my first time on radio)
It was pretty amusing. Took about 30 - 45 minutes to get on. Might call again, next week.

(4 comment.comments | Comment!)

Saturday, September 24th, 2005
8:42 am - Psycho train stalker
Most people perceive trains at night to be dangerous, but I've never had a problem on them (except for annoyingly loud teenagers who've had a few drinks). I think that maybe the early morning ones are a fair bit worse. I was coming home from work today, sitting at Central station, waiting for my train. I notice that this guy in a blue jersey is looking at me. Not just one look, but constantly looking.

Thinking this was a bit strange, I try to avoid getting onto the same carriage as him, but he goes for the same door as me. Then I wait to get on, and try to let him on first so that I can pick a different level. He ends up sitting diagonally opposite me, and now he's not just looking... he's staring. I try staring back, but he doesn't seem to care. I try staring at the empty seat in front of me for a while, but that doesn't work either. In fact, this prompted him to move into that seat in front of me! At no point during any of this ordeal did he stop staring for any non-trivial length of time, and at no point did he smile or try to say anything to me. I felt extremely uncomfortable.

He looked a bit older than me, was a bit taller, and would probably have been stronger than me, too. There's a few other people in the carriage, but I knew they'd all get off before the train got to my stop, so I decided I had to change carriages. The train got to Wynyard, and I walked upstairs (to him, it would've looked like I had gotten off, except that I didn't walk past his window), and moved myself a couple of carriages away from this freak. I didn't see him get off, but I had gotten as far as St Leonards without seeing him, so I was pretty relieved.

Not long after leaving St Leonards, I hear someone coming through from another carriage, and they go walking through downstairs. My instincts tell me it's him, and that I should duck down in my seat incase he checks upstairs. My more rational side tells me not to be silly, and that even if it is him, he probably wouldn't check upstairs. I don't listen to my instincts, and instead, I stupidly turn around to see if anyone is coming upstairs. He sees me, and sits down a few seats behind me, that fucker. I make sure I'm turned around just enough so that I don't need to notice his stare, but will see him if he tries to get into the seat directly behind me. As if not satisfied by this, he moves into the seat next to me.

At this point, I'm more scared than I was before. Not just because he came looking for me, but also because he knows that I tried to evade him earlier. I've shown a weakness, and have unwillingly revealed that I'm a bit worried about him. He's also got me in a position where, if I tried to get out, he could spring up and attack me. I keep an eye near him, but don't want to look at him. Ideally, I want to pretend he's not there, while making sure he can't attack me. One advantage I have is that this carriage is a lot more full than the other one was.

The train is arriving at Chatswood. Perhaps I could just get off at Chatswood and wait for the next train. I'm also thinking that the guard's compartment can't be too much further down, and that maybe I should go and talk to the guard as soon as the doors open. I'd just about convinced myself to do this the second the train stopped, but then he got up and went to the door. He stands at the door, staring up at me through a gap.

The doors open, and he's still just standing there, staring. I'm hoping he gets off, but it looks like he has no intention to. It seems as though he was just standing there so that if I tried to make a run for the doors, he would get off, as well. The guard announces "stand clear, doors closing", and he hasn't budged. At this distance, I'm able to stare back at him without feeling so uncomfortable that I have to turn away, so I do... I'm not sure why. Just to show him I'm not too happy, I guess. At the last second, he jumps off the train. I wait for the doors to close, and check that he's outside. He is! Finally! Lucky I didn't get off at Chatswood.

Then comes the strangest part of all. He walks over to the other side of the platform and gets onto a train going in the opposite direction. Did he not only stalk me around the train, but also stalk me all the way to Chatswood? Did he have something planned, but since the carriage I had ended up in was so packed, given up? What was he doing? Did he want to mug me? There were plenty of other people he could've mugged once I had disappeared. Was it something sexual or sadistic? I have no idea, and as long as I never see him again, I don't care, but that brings me to my new concern...

Where did he start following me from? I only noticed him on my platform at Central, but it's possible that he saw me walking from work to the station, or even saw me leaving my work building. Even if he didn't see me before the platform, will he be there tomorrow, or on any of the next 8 days, since I'm working all of them? I really don't want to run into him again, because he clearly had something wrong with him, and I have no idea about what he might do. I'm considering altering my route somehow for tomorrow, or trying to get to the station at a different time. I don't want to risk running into this psycho again. Any suggestions?

(12 comment.comments | Comment!)

Monday, September 19th, 2005
1:25 pm
I heard this on TripleJ (The Graveyard Shift, with Dave Callan) last night, and thought it was pretty good, so I googled for it:

George Bush - "Imagine" / "Walk on the wild side" remix


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