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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs posted in 2004

Thursday, December 30, 2004


# Posted by Joel Dixon at 30/12/2004 11:06:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 11/08/2008 20:26:41

My girlfriend and I went to see Saw on the weekend - and I was quite impressed. The writers are two Melbourne boys - James Wan, also the Director and Leigh Whannell who also plays the part of Adam. Apparently they wrote the film so that James would have something to direct, and Leigh would have something to act in. I must say though - I wasn't entirely convinced by Leigh's acting abilities towards the beginning of the film.

I'm don't really enjoy scary movies just for the sake of being scary - but psychological thrillers that make me think are very enjoyable. Saw tells the story of two people trapped in a bathroom by a serial killer known as "Jigsaw". I won't give away any of the story - but the ending "twist" is one of the best, and least unexpected, that I've seen for a quite a while.

I found the fact that the story is being told from the potential victims perspective rather than a detective is refreshing, and makes you wonder what you would do in a similar situation. The story also tells of some of the Jigsaw's previous victims, which were all very interesting, and could have done with more emphasis.

The film ended extremely well in my opinion - which is why I'm a little worried about the sequel they've planned - Saw: Hacksaw. Apparently James and Leigh will still be involved - so I hope it does well.

Overall - I'd give it 4 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Not the kind of puzzle I enjoy

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 22/12/2004 22:58:00

The system admin on my floor went on leave again, leaving me in charge (only if something goes wrong). So sure enough - the admin gets on a plane Saturday night - and the whole server room goes down Sunday evening.

Our IT Support installed a new UPS for the room but it looks like they overloaded it - and down she went. So now I've got to figure out exactly where each piece of equipment plugs in - so I can only transfer the important parts of the load across to the UPS. Shouldn't be too difficult...

Cords on the floor

Except that it's a complete mess of cords that was haphazardly added to over the last 5 or so years. We have 5 racks of equipment - and 3 of them all trace back to the one powerboard plugged into the one extension cord. Trip over that cord - and lose three racks of network / servers.

Power boards

The rack from the side

So tomorrow I'm going to trace each power cord to the outlets - and try to get some of them organised. When there's 7 white extension cords all going down the back of a wall together - it gets a little difficult!

* Whinge *

The last time the admin went on leave was about two years ago. Sure enough - the day after that flight left - the server room went down. Back then I had no idea what I was doing - I guess I don't have much more of an idea now!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

You've Got Mail?

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 21/12/2004 18:31:00

Gmail have just given me 10 invites to hand out - and I've already used 20 inviting my friends.

I've actually given up my ISP mail in favour for Gmail - it's so well implemented.

Want an invite?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Free Phones for Me?

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 20/12/2004 23:30:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 24/08/2018 02:40:42

There's an Australian competition running at the moment with the chance to become a Nokia phone reviewer for a year. You get 6 Nokia phones to review for a website - and you get to keep the phones after each review.

They want a "creative and original" review of your current phone in 50 words or less - to determine who should win.

I figured I might as well give it a shot - but 50 words is so small. If I were to review a phone, it'd take a lot more words than 50. So I've decided to go for more of a brief summary of my current phone - the Nokia 6320. The site that's running the competition seems more teen-based - so I've tried to make my reviews suited to that audience.

I've got four initial drafts - but I can't decide which one I want to use:


The Nokia 6230 will suit your lifestyle. The MP3 player provides you with unique ringtones, downloadable Java Games and FM Radio provide entertainment and it has the elegant good looks, calendar & wallet of a professional business phone. The integrated camera just tops it all off - my favourite toy!


The Nokia 6230
MP3 Ringtones? Check!
Video Player and Recorder? Action - I mean, Check!
Stylish Good Looks? Chic!
Bluetooth connectivity? Roger that!
Java Games? Checkmate.
Could you possibly need more? I still haven't!


My Nokia 6230 made a great fishing trip, although I don't know if my Jaws Theme ringtone helped. The Java Games entertained when the fish weren't biting, but when I finally caught one - the integrated camera proved that it was this big! Guess what I've set as my wallpaper?


Whats the mark of a good phone?
It looks like a classy business phone - yet its got an MP3 player and integrated camera to keep me entertained.
It has more features than any phone I've had before - yet its easy enough for my mother to use.
Its my Nokia 6230.


Sunday, December 19, 2004

The biggest Countdown Ever?

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 19/12/2004 20:45:00

The radio station I listen to over here - Triple M - are having "The essential 2005 Countdown". A little extreme don't you think?

They've been gathering votes for about a week now - and the countdown will run from Boxing Day to Australia Day (26th January). They're saying that it's "something that has never been done before" - but I slightly doubt that. I'm sure somewhere - probably India - a countdown has been a little bigger than 2000 songs.

One thing that I've noticed about Lists and Countdowns that are voted on by the public is that they tend to contain more of the newer material, and forget some of the better old stuff. For example - when MTV ran a "25 Greatest Video Stars of All Time" that was voted by the fans, Michael Jackson (arguably the best creator of music videos along with Madonna) polled poorly (9th off memory) - I think No Doubt even beat him. I guess the songs that are released lately will be on everyone's mind already.

The station has even played nothing but older songs for the last week - and have been playing interviews of people voting for their favourites - which all happen to be released in the 80s to early 90s.

So now I'm all nervous about my vote. I feel like John Cusack in High Fidelity when he had to pick his top 5 favourite albums of all time. I don't want to rush my decision - because I know I'm going to leave out some songs that should be in the list. Here's a quick draft off the top of my head (alphabetically from the CDs in front of me):

Ben Folds Five - Brick
Black Eyed Peas - Where Is The Love?
Blink 182 - I Miss You
Blur - Girls and Boys
Bomb Funk MC - Freestyler
Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine
Butthole Surfers - Pepper
Cake - The Distance
Daft Punk - One More Time
Eskimo Joe - From The Sea
Everclear - Santa Monica
Fatboy Slim - Praise You
Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice (mainly for the film clip!)
Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly
Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
Grinspoon - Chemical Heart
Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
Guns N' Roses - Paradise City
Junior Senior - Move You Feet
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Metallica - One
Metallica - Until it Sleeps
Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
Moby - Run On
No Doubt - Just a Girl
Outkast - Ms. Jackson
Outkast - Hey Ya!
Pearl Jam - Even Flow
Pearl Jam - Alive
Radiohead - Karma Police
Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name
Regurgitator - Everyday Formula
The Offspring - Come out and Play
The Offspring - Gone Away
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Breaking the Girl
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Under the Bridge
U2 - Vertigo

(I know there's probably heaps I'm missing - but these are all that came to mind. Any suggestions?)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Ocean's Twelve

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 18/12/2004 19:48:00

As the title suggests - I went to see Ocean's Twelve last night - and I must say I was quite disappointed. I actually didn't see the remake of Ocean's Eleven when it came out at the cinemas, I thought it had made money based on its' star power. Turns out I should have seen the first one at the movies - and left this one to DVD.

IMO, the best part of the first movie was the carefully organised and well thought out heist. The sequel replaced this with a slow moving story with eighteen "surprise" plot twists. The script wasn't written as the Ocean's Eleven sequel and it shows - as there were too many players for the story. And when the director decides to do an oddly anged zoom in on each of the characters - it got old after about 3.

A welcomed addition is Vincent Cassel as an arrogant French master thief, and the soundtrack is really quite good. I was laughing through some of it - but I was mostly waiting for it to hurry up.

Overall - 2.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bad NFL!

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 15/12/2004 13:58:00

The NFL have signed a 5 Year exclusive deal with EA for the NFL's player names, teams and stadiums - Gamespot Article.

My initial reaction was to hate EA a little more (after the articles about the way they treat their development staff) - but this is really the fault of the NFL and NFLPA. Sure - they may be getting a little (lot) extra money in the short term, but it's really going to screw up the popular football game franchises.

EA must have spent a packet on this. For it to be profitable for the NFL - they must have paid more than the collective licensing agreements from each of the other companies.

I would be worried that the same thing might happen to my sport of choice (hockey) - but I've already got bigger things to worry about with that one!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Team America: World Police

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 09/12/2004 11:09:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 13/03/2018 00:14:22

I saw my first movie in about 6 months last night - Team America: World Police. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame, this movie is essentially The Thunderbirds meets The Sum of All Fears, with all of the humor of a South Park episode.

I had heard a little bit about the movie beforehand, but most of it had been negative so I wasn't expecting too much. I really only went along to see some friends from High School. I must say though, I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw - I couldn't stop laughing. Anyone who feels that South Park is a little too rude probably won't like this movie - but I find that adding ridiculously over the top vulgarities can assist spoof movies such as this. An example is the film's romantic scene - probably the funniest sex scene I've ever witnessed. Apparently they kept adding to this scene until the movie reached the R rating they were hoping for.

While the main plot of the film appears to be taking a dig at George Dub-ya's War on Terror, the rest of the film's political messages appear balanced. Just as they do in South Park, Parker and Stone manage to make fun of both sides of the argument - and ensure everyone looks like a dick. The plot is similar to a lot of action movies (the world is in trouble, a team try to save it) - but the main draw is the laughs.

Another pleasant surprise from the movie was the musical numbers. As they did with South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the movie was littered with songs - and I didn't mind listening to them. Normally I hate movies where the main characters sing (especially Bollywood films) - but when they're actually singing something that I find amusing it's fine.

While I probably won't buy this on DVD (it's value to me was better as a shock film - probably won't work as well in subsequent views) - I'd give it a 4 out of 5.

Team America: World Police Movie Poster

Monday, December 06, 2004

The post about nothing

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 06/12/2004 23:43:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 15/01/2017 21:09:24

I received my Seinfeld Limited Edition DVD Gift Set today - which is quite satisfying for me! The DVDs for seasons 1-3 have been out over here (Australia) for about a month now - but I had to wait for my copy to be sent over from the US. I personally think it was worth the wait (the special gift set is unavailable in Australia).

Here's what was included:
  • The Season 1-3 DVDs - not much to say really.

  • Seinfeld DVDs
  • A "Limited-edition original script with handwritten notes from Larry David" - kind of small, and the handwritten notes aren't very legible after the photocopy job they did.

  • Seinfeld Script

    Seinfeld Script Note
  • Monk's Diner salt & pepper shakers - pretty cool, albeit smaller than I had thought they would be.

  • Seinfeld Salt and Pepper

  • Collectible playing cards - poor quality cards, bit of eye candy really.

  • Seinfeld playing cards

All in all - I'm very happy with my purchase. I would have spent the same amount if I were just buying the DVDs - so the added extras are only really an ... erm ... added extra?

Frist Post?

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 06/12/2004 16:11:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 24/03/2008 01:17:32

I knew I would eventually have a Blog, I had just figured that I would have written it myself. I've signed up to Google Blog simply to comment on another Blog I find interesting - Paddy's Ramblings.

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