Sunday, 28 June 2009


Tonight I was in IMAX theater for the first time. The screen is really impressive. They say this is the 3rd largest screen in the world. It is 6-stories high. No matter where one sits, the screen takes up the whole viewable area. The picture is relatively sharp and definitely better than the regular cinema. The movie I watched is Transformers 2. Two hours of action. The image was a bit blurry when there is too much motion on the screen.
A very good thing is when the whole screen moves and rotates, there is a feeling of sickness. At certain points I felt like flying and thought, if the scene continues, I'd be close to throwing up.
All in all a nice experience. I'd like to see a 3D movie in this theater.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Freelance Web 2.0 Development

I have found myself an extremely interesting task to do in my spare time. I am doing a demo site with jQuery and latest functionality available for web development. The demo functionality involves creation of a card/poster that contains graphics (image) and text. It has to be user-editable on the client side. Full functionality includes ability to rotate the picture, zoom in and out, pan. Text can be edited and formatted with the formatting toolbar. Boxes that contain the image and text can be moved and resized on the canvas (card), within its dimensions.

Once the design is finished, the contents are stored on the server and later can be retrieved. The finished card can be converted to an image. This allows resizing into a thumbnail. The card can be rendered into PDF, as well, in the desired size.

This is extremely interesting to solve as the current web technologies are mature enough for such a functionality. Amazingly enough, there is not much server-side functionality. All these functions could be simulated on the server but the beauty is that they can now be created on the client side. Of course, storing and retrieving data, and converting to image or PDF is still done on the server side. It is a challenge to tie all these pieces together into a functional whole. I have spent some time in the previous week researching the functionality, focusing only on jQuery and its plugins. It seems that all of the above listed functionality is there and I just need to put it all together. The hardest challenge of all is to find the time to all this. But the satisfaction is guaranteed. I feel the enthusiasm of my early development days. :)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Yamaha Motorcycle Comparison

I start to really miss the motorcycle rides so I am looking at what motorcycle should I target in the future. Yamaha Motors web site has a great feature for model comparison. As I am currently looking into either TDM 900 or XJ 6, the comparison for these two Yamaha models can be seen at the following link:

Monday, 8 June 2009

My First eBay Experience

The bike is sold! This is my first eBay experience both as a buyer and as a seller. The bicycle I bought on eBay after mine was stolen was too small for me. So I decided to see how the whole eBay thing worked and listed it for an auction at the same price I paid for it. The price appeared to be too high as noone bid on it for a couple of weeks. Today a buyer came, liked the bike (it is aluminium mountain bike with double suspension – very, very soft to ride), and took it. So, this unexpected expense is now partially covered, I have another bicycle to ride (I bought another one on eBay and the size is good this time) and I do not have a bicycle sitting in the garage - the things are back to normal. Plus I have had my first experience both as a buyer and as a seller on eBay. In total, on this occasion, I purchased two bicycles and a set of lights and then sold the first bike.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Australia – Racist?

For some reason, this morning, a thought was hovering around in my mind about the statement given by a former Telstra director Sol Trujillo. Apparently he recently called Australia backwards and racist and the statement echoed around in the local news for some time. It was only a short time after he departed, leaving the position of the CEO at Australian largest telecommunications provider.

However, the reason this was hovering in my mind was that there is clearly something wrong with his statement. It just didn’t ring true. I was trying to find a reason why he might have said that and justify his position but I simply could not find any arguments. Australia is the most multicultural and multinational country I have seen. There are myriads of different names and races on the Melbourne streets that I feel weird when I go to Europe to visit my friends and family. Europe, in comparison, would be more likely to fit to the above description, if at all. Of all the people I know here, way less than half are Australians. Yet, they all are. Depending on your definition of being Australian.

In this train of thought I can’t help but to mention the recent protest rally and meeting organized by Indian students here in Melbourne. They also claimed something similar to what Mr. Trujillo said. I see no justification to that. The opposite is quite obvious just by looking at the scenes from the meeting. If thousands of Indians gather in the heart of Melbourne and block the traffic, doing something similar what hundreds of Indian taxi drivers did recently, than it is really hard to call this country racist. Walking around the city, one can hardly find a non-Indian taxi driver or a 7-11 shop keeper. The sheer number of different nations makes it very likely that all of them equally likely to suffer from crime and violence. From the statements at the protest meeting I guess ‘racist’ would mean discrimination of “whites” against “colored”? As I wrote earlier, there are myriads of different races and faces in the city that, if Australia is racist, it is hard to say racist by whom or against whom.

If racist means having too many different races around then, by all means, Australia is a very racist country.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Day D

Today, finally, the big announcement is expected at work. We have been waiting to hear this for more than a year now. The company has been for sale for quite some time. We expected to hear the official announcement a few days ago but nothing happened. The last news was on 2009-05-14, when Paddy Powell bought 20% of the company shares.

Today the company shares entered a trading halt on the stock exchange. The announcement is expected at 4PM. Working for a gaming company makes these situations all the more interesting. What will happen? What are the odds? Will we have a job tomorrow? What would the new owner do? What are the options?
Makes me thing in a whole new way than before.

On the other hand, I have achieved my desired asset allocation. I’ve invested my savings here in Australia and I think I can finally say that I have reached my most important target so far – financial independence. At least I can believe now that I should be able to afford a roof over my head and food. The important minimum. From now on it’s all a game. :)