E3 in Perth?

Following an incidental mention on the PIGMI mailing list, I found out that (apparantly) “GO3 is the future of electronic entertainment in Australia”. At least that’s what the GO3 Electroncs Entertainment Expo 2007 website says.

Here’s another blurb from the website:

This exciting three-day Expo will be hosted in Perth’s premier convention venue – the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. GO3 will create an outstanding opportunity for the electronic entertainment and games industry to showcase the latest in gaming, hobbies and electronic entertainment to people with a passion for state-of-the-art, interactive leisure pursuits.

Sounds cool. Look forward to it. Nice to see the WALAN graphic down the bottom. I remember when it was UWALAN and the logo was much geekier.

Heirrison Island

Heirrison Island (google maps page here) is a small island between Perth and Victoria Park.

I’ve only really thought of it as the middle part of The Causeway, two bridges that combine with a major road over Heirisson Island to connect the north and south shores of the Swan River. I’ll drive over it around once a week to visit people who live south of the river, but I’ve never really stopped to have a look around.

Late yesterday, Heidi and I decided to ride our bikes around Heirisson Island. There is a dual use (bicycles and pedestrians) dirt path and we’ve been trying to explore new areas (instead of riding the same route around the Swan River each time we take the bikes out). We were surprised to find that half of the island is fenced in, and more suprised to see a sign mentioning kangaroos.

We continued through the two metal gates (which reminded me of an air-lock) and soon came across the park ranger in a 4WD. He asked if we had seen the kangaroos and mentioned that three of them were up ahead near the Yagan statue. We saw the kangaroos, but didn’t approach them (in accordance with the sign we read on the way in).

Later on, we saw another three kangaroos and the ranger was stopping by to feed them. He waved us over and gave us some kangaroo feed, saying that if you keep your hand flat they will eat right out of it. He mentioned that there are six kangaroos (all female) provided by CALM.

I was a little dissapointed that I didn’t have my camera, but I’ll take some photos next time. It’s great that there is something like this so close to the city!

Game Boy micro for $49AU!

All colours of the Game Boy micro are on sale for $49AU at David Jones. I highly recommend the Game Boy micro if you don’t already have a Game Boy Advance SP or Nintendo DS. (Hey, I was even recommending it when it was $98AU!). Combined with either Wario Ware or Chu Chu Rocket, this is a fantastic portable gaming device.

All PC and console games are also on sale for 15% off. I’ve found that David Jones is a good place to find games that are either very niche or very popular. It seems that they just order one or two of everything that comes out and then they sit on the shelves forever because no-one really goes to David Jones to buy games. I’ve bought the moderately rare Rez and Space Channel 5 Part 2 there before.

Update: I also got Big Brain Academy for $42.45AU. It’s similar to Brain Training, but much more “visual” (like the logic puzzles in IQ tests).

Nintendo DS mini-reviews

I’ve bought a number of DS games over the last few months and decided to share my thoughts on them here. The games are New Super Mario Bros., Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?, Metroid Prime: Hunters, and Tetris DS.

Here’s a photo mosiac of the game cases:

All the these games are well worth your time. Here are some quick thoughts:

  • New Super Mario Bros. doesn’t really offer much new compared to the other 2D Mario games, but is enjoyable none-the-less.
  • Brain Training stands out as something different and definitely has much broader appeal compared to the other titles.
  • Metroid Prime Hunters is far better than the brief demo that came with first generation Nintendo DS units, but still has control issues and feels limited at times.
  • Tetris DS is fairly bland offline, but really shines when playing online against human competitors.

More detailed thoughts on each game after the jump. Continue reading “Nintendo DS mini-reviews”

Random notes on the new server

This is a fairly random splattering of notes mostly for my own future reference.

Simple single-site hosting works fine with just an IP address, but I wanted (name-based) multiple-site virtual hosting. I modifed /etc/hosts to provide temporary local faux domain name resolution. This just allows me to play around with various domain names before registering them or setting up DNS.

Now for the actual virtual hosting. Virtual hosts are added by creating files in /etc/apache2/sites-available and then invoking a2ensite from the terminal. This and pretty much everything I need to do with the server is explained in the Ubuntu Server Documentation (and the TracOnUbuntu page).

New server

Tone and I spent a bit of today setting up a new server for some contract work we have lined up for the second half of this year. It’s a fairly old machine (cat /proc/cpuinfo reveals a Pentium 2 300, and cat /proc/meminfo reveals 160 megs of RAM), but it should do the job. We decided to use Ubuntu Server with LAMP and after a few hiccups, everything seems to be working.

I’ve installed WordPress from the source tarball rather than the Ubuntu package. Partly because the latest tarball is version 2.0.3 compared to Ubuntu’s 2.0.2, but mostly because of general negative feedback regarding the WordPress Ubuntu package on various forums. The detailed installation instructions on the WordPress homepage are fairly straight-forward. I used pwgen -s to generate some of the required passwords for MySQL and such.

I still need to setup the domain name, virtual hosting (for seperate client and team areas), and access control. I’d look into that tomorrow and post again.