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Macs, Movies, Games, Books, etc. The Rants of a Mad Man.

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news.com.au’s epic fail – How doth thou be so lame?

July 31st, 2010 by Raj

On today’s landing page for self-proclaimed “News website of the year”, news.com.au, you will find the above pictured link to a piece detailing what was an inexcusably massive cock-up on Apple’s behalf in relation to the release of the iPhone 4 in New Zealand.

What’s ironic is that in order to sell the story the website has decided to accompany it with a photo of Jermaine Clement, one half of the New Zealand comedy duo “Flight of the Conchords“, when in fact it has absolutely nothing to do with him nor does it mention Clement once.

It would seem that news.com.au has now, if not already, solidified its position as the online version of A Current Affair in my books. Congratulations.

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Dyson release new bladeless fans; rich folk open their wallets

July 1st, 2010 by Raj

Dyson, purveyors of such fine products as the bag-less vacuum cleaner and non-contact hand driers, have this week launched an updated line of the geek wet dream that is the bladeless Air Multipler™ fan.

Now available in “Pedestal” (essentially the older version stuck on a large stick) and “Tower” models the new line provides further options to blow air around your desired space in a rather expensive fashion. The new models are whilst not yet available will be priced at a mere A$599 a piece.

Since the original’s release last year I’ve encountered but one of these in the wild (beyond appliance store confides) in my optometrists’ examination room. Sitting in the corner is whirs away and it does indeed circulate air among a small area in a very “cool” looking fashion but I can’t help but think that at this stage it’s nothing more than an expensive toy see Dyson execs sleeping on a bed of shredded $100 notes.

Should you be inclined to dump half a grand on a fan in favour of your perfectly fine reverse cycle air conditioning, give me a call; I’ll go buy you a $20 fan from Kmart and quite happily take the difference off your hands.

Buy your Dyson Air Multiplier™ Bladeless fan here: http://www.dyson.com.au/store/fans.asp

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Halo helmet fallout: No more special editions for me

April 24th, 2010 by Raj

Once bitten, twice shy” the saying goes, and no truer a saying when it comes to my experience with buying “Special” or “Deluxe” edition video games.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t pass up a good (or bad for that matter) bargain. I’m a constant sucker for any “2 for” that’s within five metres of a service station counter and god help me if Threadless ever have a sale but after the Halo 3 Legendary bundle I think I’m done when it comes to video game “extras” – at a premium price of course.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about the game, Halo 3, came out a few years back bundled inside the helmet of it’s main character (seen above). It came with a bunch of extra disks with documentary content (which I’ve never watched) and a giant fuck-off helmet that stands out like dogs balls amongst your game/dvd collection, that, if you’d ever expect to have sex again you’ll do the courtesy of never displaying.

It’s easy to look back now and see what it was such an idiotic “must-have” but at the time there was nothing cooler to many a geek and Halo fan-boy than owning a miniature of Master Chief’s helmet. Perhaps it was the possibility that it may be large enough to put on a small child and take photos for “teh internets” but even that was a pipe-dream that was to never come to fruition and instead we were stuck with a deluge of people sticking them on top of their cats. Case in point below:

The point is as excited and geek-drooly some people get all they do is play the game, which if they’d bought for probably two thirds of the price or even half in some cases they’d be much better off financially and wouldn’t have a pile of female-repelant scattered around their home. Hence the new Halo Reach “Legendary” Edition recently announced will most unlikely be making its way on to my shopping list, nor did the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 night vision goggles Prestige Edition, or Grand Theft Auto 4’s lockbox/theif bag/number plate Special edition.

Rant all said and done these deluxe versions are only going to get bigger and more ridiculous with thousands around the world shelling out their hard-earnds to buy them. And good luck to you all, I’m just saying the next time you get the urge to shell out for useless paraphernalia go and find where you’ve hidden your Halo 3 Master Chief helmet away, dust it off or take the nachos out of it, take a good long hard look at your warped orange reflection and ask yourself “Why?“.

If only I had this blog post three years ago how much crap I would not now own!! HAHAHAHA.

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What not to wear and where not to wear it

March 30th, 2010 by Raj

Don’t wear this @ AusPost

Yellow is not a good idea @ Ikea

Mistaken identity is not a concept that I’m unfamiliar with, from my school boy days of tireless “Mr Bean” taunts to my travels across the globe with an uncanny ability to be asked for directions in every city I visit it just seems to be one of those things I’ve become accustomed to. Today’s effort was without a doubt the most ludicrous to date, so much so that I just felt the need to share.

I had a few packages that required mailing, nothing particularly exciting there, in fact going to any post office within Melbourne’s CBD is like stepping in to a void where queues to tellers seem to grow longer rather than shorter and god forbid you visit one during your lunch hour because you’re bound to return to the office well beyond the hour you had to take in the first place! I’d done the right thing today, getting down to a new-to-me building as my working quarters has just relocated. It was much larger than my previous local, tellers at both ends of what seemed like an endless plateau of packaging wonders born down by eye piercing fluorescent light.

Collecting my required boxing materials I proceeded to one of the free “addressing areas” or as the casual observer may put it, “big black desk with pens on it” in the middle of the imaginary that is the Elizabeth St GPO. Two packages in to my five and an elderly gent beckons my attention wavering a scrawled shred of paper and looking clearly confused about where he was perhaps mistaking the brightness of lights for St. Peters gates.

“Excuse me, is this Bourke St?”
“No, this is Elizabeth St.” I replied.
“I’m trying to get to Little Collins St” he continued on, “Isn’t that it crossing over there?”

I felt sorry for the poor old guy he was practically entering cardiac arrest with confusion and being that this was, for once, the actual city I lived in where I was being asked for directions I didn’t mind helping him out.

“If you go back down this main street you’ll first cross Bourke Street and then the next one is Little Collins.” I explained.
Now as simple and clear as these instructions were there was a further five minute discussion detailing this sentence in perfect and repeated clarity until at some point the stars aligned themselves with Jupiter and a sense of calm broke out over his face with a sudden realisation that he didn’t have that far to go.

Satisfied with my good deed for the day I returned to my prior position behind the table picking up my pen to continue arduously inking addresses to cardboard, quickly flushing the warm glow that adorned me mere nano-seconds earlier.

“Excuse me, I just want to send…”

Looking up halfway through the postcode for Toowoomba (4350 by the way) across the black laminated surface of my desk stood not one, not two, but three complete strangers who had taken it upon themselves to queue for my rather inadequate postal services.

“I’m sorry, I…”
“I just want to send this to Sydney” she cut in, thrusting a yellowed envelope beneath my face.
“I’m sorry I don’t work here, I’m just trying to address some packages” I finally managed to say.
“Oh… I thought you did.” (well that’s kind of obvious really now isn’t it) “It’s that red shirt you’re wearing” she stated before trouncing off in disgust.
“You mean the red shirt with the giant logo looking like Colonel Sanders from KFC on it?” I thought to myself before looking up at the remaining pseudo queue with a comical shrugged look to which was returned, and I kid you not, a roll of the eyes and an audible “tsk”! I’m sorry Sir, the next time I’m trying to mail something I’ll be sure to make sure I’ve completed Australia Post’s induction course and can tend your enquiry in a more satisfactory manner next time. Moron.

I can’t blame them though, it’s like Christmas walking in to a post office and seeing no one in the queue I would’ve dove in like them too more than likely! The point is it was the shirt that did it, wearing a colour that was in some way reminiscent of the establishment’s uniform and that I should’ve been more aware of that as it’s not the first time I’ve had it happen, Ikea being the other major offender. Blue jeans and a yellow shirt in Ikea is either a recipe for constant annoyance or utter mayhem depending on your psychological stance. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been asked for directions/building advice/to lift something/measurements/and alike in Ikea, one day I think I’ll jump behind a register and start scanning things while yelling “beep” and proclaiming the line to be “cash only”.

The moral of the story boys and girls is that all of this was clearly my fault for choosing to wear the wrong thing in the wrong place, god forbid humanity to be aware of their surroundings. I will endeavour to ensure my clothing better contrasting those places of chance social interaction to not confuse you world. My bad.

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The Apple iPad: 3 x 5 Points of Opinion

January 28th, 2010 by Raj

In case you’re one of the 6 people in the world that didn’t already know Apple today released a longly anticipated product, the iPad. Many have cheered, others have cried and then there’s those like me who write an opinion piece on it for an Australian Mac website MacTalk.

If you’re interested in learning more about it then may I suggest you check out the full article here:

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`Tis the season for group text messages

December 30th, 2008 by Raj

A big, “ho, ho, ho”, Yuletide returns and all that jazz to my internet peeps. I thought, whilst in between these two large holiday events, it might be poignant to detail one of the more stupid traits I find humans displaying over the holidays; The group SMS (or text message for you non-Australian types).

Now I’m all for spreading a little cheer amongst friends, I’m almost certain the first off the blocks to text a friend a happy birthday for example, but that’s a very different scenario to writing one message and then sending it to the four ba-jillion people in your phone’s address book all at once. I understand that you want to spread a little Christmas/New Years cheer but what’s the point?

You’d think the cost alone would be enough to turn most people off. If I was to send a message to everyone in my phone book this coming Wednesday night, not only will half of them not be sent due to the network being jammed worse than a constipated 90 year old, but it will cost me around AUD$35. Well actually it’d cost me nothing because I’m on an unlimited SMS plan but that’s hardly the point now is it! The overseas people would in my address book would be at least $10 worth.

What pisses me off the most is when you people that feel their need to impose their cheer into your perfectly happy world see you a couple of days later and say “You didn’t reply to my [group sms event] message the other night/day”. Well no, I didn’t, I couldn’t be bothered replying to yours or any others of the “generics” that beep, beeped their way into my phone all through the night and the next morning while I was trying to sleep! Now, now, don’t start crying, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s just because I think you’re simple and have deeply rooted emotional issues that relate back to your childhood spawning your annoyingly constant need to feel loved.

Hmmm… OK, I can see that so far I’ve probably pissed off a few people that may glance at my blog every now and then so now let me back peddle just a little so as not to offend every last one of you. On Christmas day (and New Years Eve) I will send out text messages *BUT* they are not generic! If you’re going to send out SMS’s personalize them, have them actually say something beyond “Happy New Year!” and send them to those whom you are close to and actually care about. All I ask is that you “think before you text”, it’s not just drunk texting that can hurt people…

BA-HUM-BUG Bitches!

(yes I know, I’m a sarcastic prick at times)

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I really didn’t need to hear that!

April 9th, 2008 by Raj

Everyone listen, I\'m having a conversation!

I’m a public transport user, it’s not something I’m particular proud of, nor ashamed for that matter; after all it’s saving the environment blah, blah, insert tree-hugging-soliloquy-here. The point is, and trust me I am getting to one, is that by being a public transport user you’re privy to some of the world’s more annoying and unhygienic (that’s another story all together) traits.

Lets ignore the fact that talking on your mobile phone whilst in a crowded public place is down right rude, obnoxious and always results in the person talking in excess of ten times the volume of a 747 engine less than a metre from your ear drum for just a second and examine the latest fashion of annoyance by utilizing your phone’s whizz bang speaker phone functionality.

Most phone’s these days have the ability to use them in a “hands-free” mode where the caller’s voice is pumped out for all to hear and the phone’s microphone is turned up a notch to capture your own voice the general idea being that the phone is not right next to your mouth. Makes perfect sense really, the functionality was ideally created so that you could use your phone in your car (legally) even though that too is now counted as illegal in South Australia, requiring your car to be equipped with a completely separate hands free device. What completely bemuses me, and this is where we get to this post actually meaning something, is why people feel the need to use their “speaker phone” in public places? Why would I or anyone else within a hundred feet feel the need to hear both ends of your conversation let alone just your side?!! If you absolutely *have* to take the call turn off the speaker you f@#king moron!

I might add that this isn’t limited to public transport by any means, lately I’ve seen it around every shady corner I turn. It makes no sense, these people hold the phone less than two inches from their mouths to ensure the person on the other end hears them properly so why not exert yourself that little extra and put the bloody thing next to your ear and save the world from your rather boring life. (OK, so that’s harsh, but someone has to make a stand here!)

The only thing more dumb (although slightly less annoying to everyone around you) is seeing people with the older style handsfree kits (you know, the ones that use a cord to attach to your phone and have a microphone about 3/4 of the way up that then leads on to an earpiece) and they have their phone in one hand whilst the other one has the microphone portion of the cord held up to their mouths because the thing cost $5 out of a discount bin and has the listening reach of an 93 year old woman that was born deaf! Unplug the stupid handsfree kit and put the phone up to your head, you’re just as likely to get testicular cancer as you are brain! Grrr!!

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It’s time for a change

March 25th, 2008 by Raj

Canada Map

For those of you who are unaware of my plans for this year already I thought I’d announce them to the world via me-good-old-blog. You see in just on two months from now I will no longer be gracing the fair shores of England’s penal colony, Van Diemen’s Land; no, I will be relocating to the whiter pastures of the Great White North… Canada. Yes that’s right kids, this little half Indian duck is packing up his bat and ball and fleeing the country in a way completely unlike that of Christopher Skase.

Some of you may posses highly tuned comprehensive skills and remember that I was actually in Canada not too long ago, less than six months to be exact, when I spent less than a week taking in the delights of Toronto. Whilst I did enjoy myself immensely whilst there I can’t say that the city alone is reason enough to drag me half way around the world. There are many factors that have influenced my decision to take this rather unusual plunge on my behalf.

I think it would be easier to describe the decision process in reverse. You see for me I’d always wanted to go overseas and work for a while, it’s just one of things I’ve always wanted to do at least once, but it was always too easy to find reasons that I *couldn’t* go rather than why I should. Perhaps it has something to with my largely pessimistic nature and love of a relatively easy lifestyle that I currently occupy? Perhaps it’s just because I’m a lazy fuck and finding hurdles is easy than jumping then, trust me I should know I snapped a groin muscle jumping them when I was a teenager! Ouch! I’ve always had no trouble finding these excuses, my Diabetes is always a great card to play, I’ve got a good job here, I’m heart broken and an emotional wreck that thrives on the lifestyle not unlike that of a hermit’s? You see it’s all just too natural to come up with these things. So instead of writing down a list of reasons as to why I shouldn’t go I wrote a list of why I should. I didn’t get very far, in fact I only wrote one and doing that took ten minutes of time that I could’ve been using to watch The Biggest Loser or something else of lesser value (if that’s possible).

“Why not?”. Is what I wrote, I know it’s kind of cheating writing a question to answer your original question, and trust me when you’re answering yourself by asking yourself something else things can get mighty confusing, but you know what I couldn’t have written a more honest answer had I listed a million things. I’m young (well I’m under 30), I’ve got nothing really tying me down to Melbourne, I’m good at what I do and should be able to find work easily and well, you only live once, do what you’ve dreamed of!

I chose Canada over other destinations (ie. England) because I loved it there, the people were great, the city was alive and I had the best time of my trip last year when I was there. Add to that the fact that I’ve got some distant relatives, should I get really desperate, and a couple of close mates who’re already occupying the country Aussie style that will undoubtably help me out. All that and frankly London (and the rest of the UK) just didn’t do it for me and there’s nowhere else that’s so easy to get a working visa for.

Of course whilst I’m away I’ll be keeping you all abreast of my adventures and updating this blog with the usual paraphernalia that you’ve all become accustomed to and adore (come on I know you do! hehe). Keep an eye out because I’ll be selling pretty much everything I own to pay for the whole damn trip and prove to the customs dude that I’m worth having in the country (You need to show C$4000 in your account before they let you in!) and I’ll be making everything available online to you all.

In closing, it’s going to be a great adventure, I can’t wait and I’m absolutely scared shitless.

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Why I don’t want a Guitar Hero 4 (kinda)

February 20th, 2008 by Raj

I *love* Guitar Hero (or as I like to call it “The Heterosexual Man’s Singstar” *). To this date there hasn’t been a game, on any platform, that I’ve returned to as many times as I have with Guitar Hero. It really doesn’t matter how much of an idiot you might look like thumping away at a tiny plastic guitar that’s more likely to have been manufactured by Fisher-Price than Fender because for those few precious moments I am The-Rock-God and you will bow to my power of awesome-ness!

So with all that praise and admiration for myself Guitar Hero why wouldn’t I want the next imminent edition of this fantastic saga? Well you see, like many things in the world, I have a little problem with the Guitar Hero franchise. Personally I feel, as a game, there’s not a lot more that you can really add on in terms of gameplay. You plug in your guitar, you watch pretty coloured balls of light float down the screen and you do your best to co-ordinate your fingers pressing the same coloured buttons on your plastic axe, that’s pretty much the description on the box word for word. No really, it is… I’m sure that’s what it said.

GH Jumping

The point is there isn’t much else to change or do; before you know it the developers try and lure you with fanciful ideas like having “battles” (ask any Guitar Hero fan boy about that and you’ll quickly find a unison feeling of hatred) and see the game incorporate tangents off a core functionality that works and is what people want. Sure, all the little additions haven’t been complete waste of time, and with the advent of “Rock Band” it wont be long before Guitar Hero will no doubt join the multi-faceted instrument world of its new competitor, but again it’s pretty much the same coloured blobs and timing.

If that’s the case then the only real desire for me purchase any new iteration of Guitar Hero is purely to gain access to a new range of new tracks that I can jump around the lounge room to, staring in my own personal sold out concert for one. In this my friends is where my problem ensues… Each Guitar Hero disc contains a range of songs, some you like more than others and some you only play once to get past them to finish the game and gain those precious Gamerscore points (you gamer-whore you!). What I’ve come to quickly learn is that there’s tracks on GHII that I really enjoy playing, Freebird for example, and occasionally I want to jam out it but the GHIII disc is in my xBox’s drive and now I’ve got to stand up and switch discs and re-load the game, blah, blah. OK, so doing it once isn’t too bad, but now I want to play 3’s & 7’s so it’s a disc switch again… and again… and again… and… well I’m sure you get my point.

It’s pretty annoying, I mean I can understand that a disc is a disc and that’s what’s stored on the thing, but when you buy tracks for GHII online which are stored on your console’s drive why can’t they be read by GHIII too? Have the guys at Red Octane changed the track’s code/format that much after their bust up with Harmonix? Come on people, a little thing called “backwards compatibility” springs to mind (even if I could care less about it on a console, that’s another story kids).

GH Dorks

This is my big solution to make the new Guitar Hero 4 worth while as a purchase for little-old-me. Give me a disc, hell I’ll even pay double and take another plastic guitar too, for a game that works just as well and as fun as the others before it with a whole bunch of new tracks and low and behold it can read (at the bare minimum) all of my paid for downloaded tracks from GHII & GHIII. Now that would be great, but to make it awesome give me the ability to pop in my previous copies of Guitar Hero and copy those tracks to my drive and play them in GHIV too! Yeah!! That idea kicks royal arse! Sure there’d need to be some security, copyright bullshit so you can’t just have your mate pop around with their old disc and leech the tracks, I get that, but figure that shit out dudes, I’m the ideas man!

So there you have it, my idea for selling a ba-jillion copies of GHIV and perhaps even providing a reason to back-sell a crap load of old stock out there. I’m sure it’ll probably never happen though, and you know what, I’m pretty sure, come the later half of the year when the new version does come out, I’ll be one of the millions of consumers out there that add that game to my shelf right next to it’s older sisters regardless of my dreams coming true or not.



* Before you start sending the flame emails let me just clarify that in by saying that it doesn’t mean homosexual people wouldn’t enjoy Guitar Hero just the same as heterosexual people. I just don’t do Singstar… regardless of how drunk I get. lol.

Filed under Rant, Tech having 3 Comments »

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Who are you?

January 9th, 2008 by Raj


Quite often I find myself walking down the street at any particular random time of the day in any just as random city approached by complete strangers who want to know if I’m the guy behind this website. More often than not almost immediately after I’m approached I also get to meet the warm embrace of their open palm or on particularly lucky occasions I have a more hard, clenched fist approach to the upper bridge of my nose further perpetuating my never ending quest to join the crooked likes of Hollywood greats such as Adrien Brody or Owen Wilson. You see, just in case you hadn’t figured it out already, these “fans” are in fact random persons who have no knowledge of myself and are probably wondering just who is this weirdo and why on earth should I know him?

Whilst the previous scenario may be entirely fictional it does provide a rather convenient segue into this particular post’s topic of who actually reads this blog? Someone must, there’s a few hundred hits every week and judging by the wonderful world of web statistics you’re pulled in from all corners of this big round ball I like to call “Earth”. So what I thought would be an interesting social experiment that I’m sure a tiny, tiny majority of you may partake in would be to ask you, the reader, to comment at the bottom of this article and tell me a little about yourself. I mean it’s only fair, you know all about me and my petulant ways why not tell me a little somethin’, somethin’ (to borrow a phrase from the kids these days) about your bad self!

“But Raj, what is it that you want to know about me?” I hear you painstakingly asking yourself. It’s OK my child, don’t fret I will help you out by providing some wonderfully well rounded and scientifically deduced questions below this very paragraph of all places! All you need to do is copy and paste them into the comments field and fill in the blanks! Ready?? Here we go…

The Questions about your “bad self”

  • What is your name?
  • Where are you from? (ie. City/Country)
  • Do you know Raj in the real world and not just in a stalking online fashion type of way?
  • Two part question… Do you come here often? Can I buy you a drink? Hang on; 2nd part applies to females only.
  • Why is it that you’re reading this? Work that boring?
  • What would you like me to write about more/less?
  • How many roads must a man walk down before he can call himself a man?
  • Tell me something interesting, anything… quickly, first thing that just zipped through your head!

There you go, they’re not hard at all are they?! To prove it I’m going to answer them myself to show you exactly what I’m expecting from you…. oh and if you’re wondering how to get to the comments section you need to click on the article’s title to take you to the right page.

What’s your name?
Raj, that’s pretty fucking obvious now isn’t it. Fucking moron.

Where are you from?
Well when a Mummy and a Daddy really, really love each other….

Do you know Raj in the real world and not just in a stalking online fashion type of way?
Well considering I’m writing about myself I’m hoping that I know me in real life. But then you might ask yourself, does anyone truly know themselves without true inner peace and enlightenment? Hmmmm…..

Do you come here often?
Well yeah, every time I write something I do. Kinda have to if I want anyone to read the bloody thing.
Can I buy you a drink?
Yeah OK, thanks. Oh hang on I’m a guy, yeah but I’m dead sexy and who’s going to love you if you don’t love yourself first right?

Why is it that you’re reading this? Work that boring?
Truth is I don’t actually read it; or rather I don’t re-read what I right. Mostly it’s because I know there’s mistakes in there and frankly I think someone should pay for me to have an editor that does that crap for me.

What would you like me to write about more/less?
That’s a toughie. I really don’t know, or should I say “I don’t quite know”. hehe

How many roads must a man walk down before he can call himself a man?

Tell me something interesting, anything… quickly, first thing that just zipped through your head!
Well the first thing to “zip” through my head was the question again but that doesn’t make for interesting reading at all now does it? The second thing however was the thought of just how many people are going to fucked doing this questionnaire because even I’m worn out and I’m supposed to be the writer here!

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