Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dell Axim X51v - Mobile Blogging

Dell Axim X51v - Mobile Blogging
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Having joined the excellent CafeNet I can now read my favourite blogs (like the above) as I wait for that perfect cup of coffee. Most of Lambton Quay (can you believe that is on Wikipedia?) is now covered and there are no shortage of good cafes. It is as easy as turning on your PDA, turning on the wireless feature and away you go. The experience is crap unless you are using Opera as your browser - IE Mobile just doesn't cut it. With a bluetooth wireless keyboard, you can even write your latest blog entry in relative comfort.

I expected this all to be a bit complicated and I admit I had some issues with installing the keyboard (which I expected to just turn on) but all in all, it was a positive experience and I am fully connected when out and about. I don't know why that is important as if I want to know something, I'll use my phone and call Mrs R but hey, maybe one day, I'll just have to get that important e-mail and simply cannot wait the 10 minutes it would take me to get home.......

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mine, all mine

Mine, all mine
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Is this the one?

Is she what I am looking for?

Does she offer me everlasting comfort?

Picture her in chocolate leather.

Should I?

Would you?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

The only good spider is a dead one. This big beastie lived in my house 'til I skewered him. He wasn't very big so I enhanced him a wee bit in PhotoShop......

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hand in Mouth

"How are you today?", said the man in the mask.

"Awwwll Rwghhtrtsh", said I.

"Good. Does that hurt?", he asked.

"Flwgking Jyesesus Awlgbbrty", I said.

"How about that?", he interrogated.

"Yawlll Mumwas aee Whreoree", I cried.

"I'm going to scan you with a laser to check for any small holes.", he explained.

"Yuip gredi ownen wid itsh nwum ntsus", I said.

At this point I am laying with my legs about a foot higher than my head whilst a young fella has his hands in my mouth with a long pencil like thing that makes a melodic chime every few seconds. I was just expecting an examination and a clean-up of my teeth but I trust the man who is holding my tongue. I have no choice really.

When he's finished after about 15 minutes he sits me up and explains that he has scanned my teeth with a laser to look for microscopic holes that might contain bacteria that will cause holes. "Oh, really?", I said thinking what about just a clean up but assuming that this bit is coming next.

He explains that two of my teeth are a bit worn down from over zealous brushing and will need some repair work to protect the dentine. "Fine.", I say thinking at least it ain't a filling. He goes on with an explanation that there are 6 teeth where the bacteria have invaded the enamel that could form holes that will need to be filled. "Oh" say I thinking Bollocks.

But he goes on. There is (apparently) a new procedure that will kill the bacteria and so prevent the holes from ever forming; it is called HealOzone and is very effective. As it is new, it is a bit costly but is better than having fillings as it is pain free.

I leave after 25 minutes and $45 worse off and having made an appointment for a weeks time for a whole hour to treat 6 teeth with HealOzone and have 2 protective covers for the sensitive teeth, oh, and a clean-up. The estimate is way over $1,000.

As the day passes I start to wonder about this new super treatment. Knowing a bit about teeth (having achieved 'O levels and 'A levels in Biology many many years ago) I understood that once enamel was damaged, it had to be filled as it didn't just grow back. I also started to wonder what killing the bacteria would do because the thing about bacteria is they multiply and unless you have your entire mouth sterilised and never open your chops again, won't it just jump off another tooth and back to where it was?

And so the power of the interweb comes to use. I check out HealOzone. I try many searches for "HealOzone Scam, Fraud, issues, problems" but find nothing much except a few very interesting articles from dentists which are basically PR for the company concerned. I do find one very interesting article titled "
British Experts Question Value of HealOzone Treatment".

It also appears that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK have not recommended the use of HealOzone
unless it is part of a clinical trial. When you read the report it sounds like the treatment is useful for serious cases but ordinary brushing and mouth washes are as effective. It also highlights that bacteria would repopulate the area treated and be "well-established" about 2 weeks after treatment. It is well worth the read if you are thinking or have been convinced that this is the treatment for you. They are pretty damning on the evidence in favour of the product, which was supplied of course by the manufacturer and the key statement that "On the basis of the current evidence, the place of HealOzone in the treatment or management of dental caries is not proven. "

I don't know about you but at over $100 a tooth, I want something that absolutely guarantees that my teeth will be around long after I'm dead and buried. For $100 a tooth, I want future generations to dig up my grave and find a perfectly happy smile. I noticed that the UK prices were about £20-£25 which ain't no where near $100 boys and girls.

Since the only way to make a stand these days is to vote with your feet, I have cancelled my appointment and will change dentists. My next visit to a dentist will be a nice clean-up with no flashing lights and beepy toys; can anyone recommend a good dentist in the CBD who are not the "gentle" kind........?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Diffusion of Innovation

It is always odd to be labelled. You think you are an individual and you might have some quirks that you think are yours and your alone but the internet soon puts you straight. The power of Google is a good example. The fact that you are able to find what you are after is because so many other "individuals" have searched for exactly the same thing using exactly the same search string that you used. Ignoring the searches for the obvious (i.e. Britney and Hooters smelly feet) even the most obscure search usually turns up a hit because someone else wanted to know about "internal workings of the lower intestine related to acupuncture". We are all sheep really.

Todays label for me is "Early Adopter" but bordering on "Early Majority". I would label Alan "Innovator" as he is always on the edge of new stuff and has access to more data that Orac. I am referring to the Everett M. Rogers "Diffusion of Innovations" model with these labels. He said that you could divided consumers into 5 groups and it is never nice to be a "laggard" in anyone's book!

Being an early adopter does tend to cost you dollars. Being an innovator is somewhat better as you are usually able to obtain what you need pretty cheaply as you just "know" where/how to get it before the poor early adopters get a sniff. In fact, the innovators can usually buy up the stuff and sell it on for a profit on TradeMe I would guess!

I bought a Plasma TV about 3 1/2 years back. This was in the days that they were a new item and the price tag was equivalent to a car. We were newly arrived from the UK and hadn't yet suffered at the hands of a certain guy and a dodgy real estate deal. At the time, a plasma display was just that, a display. It had no TV tuner, no Picture in Picture, no Teletext, no speakers, no stand - everything was an extra. Nonetheless, we bought it and it has been marvellous but only because of all the accessories that we have.

To avoid the spaghetti of cables in the back, and there would be at least 8 big cables, we have everything routed via an A/V system and have a wireless remote controller extender and 2 wireless a/v senders and receivers. This means that we can broadcast the signal from Sky TV to the other TVs in the house and, more usefully, from the PC to the plasma display. This is great for watching all those US TV shows sucked from BitTorrent in glorious detail and via a great sound system rather than the dinky PC speakers.

The advice to anyone looking to buy a plasma tv today is go for it. The technology is proven now and much more efficient than 3 years ago. These days you will get built in speakers, at least one TV tuner and increasingly 2 and clever little PiP functions and Teletext, none of which I have. Also, the unit life is longer which is not something that I had considered when we bought ours.

The alternative is LCD. There is very little to choose between a high end LCD and a decent plasma but there are many many different qualities in between. Our plasma is a Panasonic with a contrast ration of 3000:1 - this is important to ensure that you get good blacks. There is nothing worse than watching a movie with hazy greys when what you want is black. Also, you need a good resolution and fast refresh rate to avoid the jaggedy edges during an action scene. Both of these are better than 3 years ago but I do notice a bit of pixel lag particularly with explosions with lots of orange and red. It is not too obvious but it is there. Fortunately we have a composite video input for DVD which is rock steady.

The great thing about plasma is the very wide viewing angle and brightness. The picture is fine even in full sunlight and to the side of the screen. The newer LCDs do have a wide viewing angle but some of the cheaper models are very limiting. Nonetheless, LCDs are supposed to last a heck of a long time and are much lighter than the massive glass panels used in plasmas. If you're going to hang it on a wall, you need freakin' big screws for a plasma.

To sum it all up, there isn't anything to choose between them and it really depends on where you are going to put it. Plasmas do come in bigger sizes and our 37" is about right although I think LCDs overlap at their top size now. The plasma is also bloody hot to touch at the back whereas the LCDs don't generate as much heat. If it is going in a front room and is the main TV, I'd opt for a plasma any day as it can sit undisturbed. If you plan to hang it on a wall or move it around or use it in a kitchen/family room, then go for a decent brand LCD with a good viewing angle with lots of bells and whistles; they even come with radios these days.

Me? I'm waiting for the next "big thing" in picture viewing. Maybe an ultra slim photon-foldable image system with built in coffee grinder....either way, I just know I'll be behind Alan who will have one installed and working a good 6 months before me that he would have got from a mate in China who works for Sony for $4.68 and a pair of old socks....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

You can't make me

I've been outside this morning with the girls and now I'm home. I'm not going out again and you can't make me. I'm having sausages and baked beans for lunch and I have a glass of Rongopai Reserve Merlot '03 in my hand and it is only 11:50am. Did I mention I ain't going outside again today? It is lovely and warm in here and the little R's are quietly watching Rolly Polly Olie (buggered if I know how to spell that). When it finishes I shall find another such thing for them to watch whilst I keep drinking my wine, eating some cashew nuts and happily downloading all sorts of stuff using the neat little bitTorrent software that Brena put me onto some time ago.

We watched episode 15 of the second series of Lost last night which was broadcast this week in the US - I downloaded it along with a few thousand others in record time when I got home from work. It was a corker and some pieces are really falling into place with some cool new characters. We are also up to episode 6 of Prison Break and happen to have episodes 7 to 13 primed and ready to go. It is by far the best US export we have seen. Ever. It has really gripped us and it is real hard not to watch more than one at a time as the art of the "cliff-hanger" end has been captured beautifully. We were on the edge of the sofa on Thursday night and it was a real struggle to choose to watch Lost or Prison Break last night. We no longer watch TV, except for the news, and I feel kind of bad missing all those adverts for stuff I don't need. Never mind.

By the way, I am not going outside anymore today, in case you didn't know. The wine is making me a bit sleepy and it must be time for a DVD movie to be stuck on.......