Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Internet cold turkey

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I’ve recently just come back from 5 weeks holidaying in South America. I left with the intention of going totally internet cold turkey for this period of time. I wasn’t going to actively seek out the hotels computers or an internet cafe to check my emails, update twitter or facebook, or even upload any holiday photos to Flickr. I wanted to spend my time enjoying where I was going & leaving the world behind for a bit.

That really didn’t last long. Unlike Australia, I discovered that everywhere I went was bathed in free wi-fi networks. Most of the hotels I stayed in had free wi-fi, if it wasn’t in the rooms, it was in the lobby & dining areas. Cafes, ice cream stores, bookshops and even many town squares had free wi-fi. This was common throughout big cities like Buenos Aires and Lima, and not quite as common, but still there in smaller towns like Cusco, Puno, Potosi and Sucre (in Peru and Bolivia).  It was these smaller towns that really surprised me. They may not have had paved roads, but they had good internet connections.

Free wi-fiWi-fi zone

Despite being nearly connected the whole time I was away, I purposefully avoided checking things too much. I took an iPod touch with me, which was the perfect traveling companion. When I felt like it I could check email and update twitter and that was about all I did. The news at home was irrelevant, I was in some magnificent countryside and I wanted to experience that, not a computer screen.

While I was away, the world kept ticking along, I was just oblivious to most of it and it really didn’t matter. I didn’t miss anything too urgent and I felt healthier by the end of it.

A few important things did happen while I was away. The Powerhouse Museum nominated my Then & Now mashup for a “Best of web” award at the Museums and the Web conference – thank you. I was also asked by the State Library of New South Wales to present at their reference@the metcalfe seminar for NSW public libraries in May. 

I’m now firmly back into my regular routine of being connected with the world as much as possible. Is it better? It’s different and I now find I can switch off a little easier than I could a couple of months ago.

A Frasier moment

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

This morning I lined up to get a couple of tickets to the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming performance of Vivalidi’s Four Seasons.  What I didn’t know was that this morning tickets went on sale for the rugby league grand final.  You could image the dirty looks I got from the people in the line when I got to the front of the line and asked for classical concert tickets instead of the highly prized limited tickets!

I’m sure I’ll get just as much enjoyment out of my once in a lifetime concert as they will out of their once in a lifetime football game. 

Have I turned into Frasier Crane?

Web Directions south wrap up

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Web Directions South is over for another year and what a fantastic event it was.At Web Essentials last year, I thought the focus was on standards and accesibility. This year, talk of standards took a bit of a back seat. This is an incredible leap forward in the last 12 months. I guess at a conference like this, it is now preaching to the converted. We as developers are using standards & educating our clients and collegues to the benefits of standards based design.This year, there was still an emphasis on accesibilty, but the big push was on user experience, whether this be through the visual design, information architecture or user testing. Nearly every speaker spoke about the importance of user testing.The main web directions site has great summary of the speakers – I was too busy soaking it up to take copious amounts of notes.

Web Directions

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

On Tuesday I’m heading off to Sydney for Web Directions. I can’t wait. If it’s anything like Web Essentials was last year I’m in for a great 4 days. I’ve managed to score a place on the workshops that are being held in the two days leading up to the conferece. On Tuesday I’m doing the workshop with Dan Saffer – Designing for Interaction and on Wednesday I’m doing the Derek Featherstone workshop on accessibility. I remember Dereks talk last year so I’m really looking forward to his workshop & learning from such a switched on guy. I’ve only recently found out about Dan & from what I’ve read it seems like I’ll come away with my brain overflowing with new ideas.

A few changes so it’s still not there

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

So it’s been a while since the last post, and the site is still not finished. I kind of got a bit done on it while I was sitting up late watching the Tour de France and the World Cup, but since then it’s all stalled a little. The IA still doesn’t exist, the layout isn’t finalised & it looks awful in IE6. There have been a few other things going on in my life that I’ve been concentrating on.The big thing is I’ve got a new job. After 7 years of working at the Australian War Memorial I’ve moved to the National Library of Australia. I’ll write a little more about this in another article.I’ve also been doing a bit of travelling. I’ve recently spent 2 1/2 weeks in Indonesia. I’m working my way through the 5Gb of photos that I took. As I narrow them down I’ll pop them up on Flickr.