I'm doing pretty well after my surgery. Mum was surprised by how quickly I bounced back. Occasional light pain and nausea has been developing over the last few days, but honestly, I probably only have myself to blame for the latter. I'm meant to rest and not exert myself at all. Mum and I took a few trips into the countryside outside Melbourne, and most of the time that just meant driving and briefly hopping out at places, but yesterday, we stopped at Organ Pipes National Park and walked the trails to see the various rock formations. Seemed fine for most of the time, until the steep walk back to the car left me rather exhausted. Nausea followed for much of the afternoon. Still, it was worth it. The rock formations there are pretty cool, and it's not as if I could get out there by myself, given it's not accessible by public transport - despite the fact planes shoot overhead from Tullamarine Airport and train whistles are audible. I'll upload my photos to Scrapbook sometime in the coming few days. Tried my best within the limitations of my camera, but god, I need a better one. I just don't know quite what I want!
Perhaps the most exciting news of the week is that I got an early Christmas present - namely a Macbook Pro. Bought it on Monday but it had problems communicating with my old modem. Funnily enough, so does my iMac; I've been exclusively using my PC since March, under the belief that my iMac's ethernet port had failed. I had never got around to purchasing a USB-to-ethernet converter, since I didn't want to spend $40 on something I could not return if it didn't work, and it turns out it was money well not spent. My old modem had, in fact, packed it in. I bought a new modem earlier today, and it talks quite happily to both of the Macs and the PC. I'm delighted.
Now I'm just trying to decide how I want to set up things. My desk right now looks kind of hilarious, with three computers for just one guy. The Macbook will become my primary computer, naturally, but I am yet to decide quite what tasks I will give to the other two. When I am researching, I have found two computers to be a serious boon. It works in nicely with the awkward way I work, with my research conducted on one computer while all of my writing is done on the other. I will probably delegate that secondary task to the iMac, as the PC has been on its last legs for over two years now. It really never should have made it to Melbourne, and it is testament to my refusal to give up on anything - not to mention my utter stinginess - that I have continued to make the fucker work. Once I have everything I want and value transferred off it onto the Macbook, I'll probably shut it down and push it into a corner, only to be restarted in times of need (for example, only it will work with my old modem, which I honestly prefer over my new modem - and funnily enough, I still prefer my original modem over both, but it got fried in a storm and no longer works). In any case, the Macbook will use my PC's current screen when I am at home! I should add that the "current screen" is new itself; Mum brought down a 17" flatscreen to replace my chunky old 16" one. Now, I should say here I am not giving up on Windows. I like XP quite a lot, perhaps more than OS X (though I'm sure part of that may just be an adjustment phase), and a couple of programs I'm fond of only run in XP. For instance, my AIM 5.9 with DeadAIM only runs on Windows. I find every other IM utterly pales in comparison - I can't stand bells and whistles on IMs, yet it seems every new edition has more and more.
In fact, in general I can't stand bells and whistles. I've started using last.fm again after a good number of months of not scrobbling anything, and it has even more bells and whistles than before. I remember when I first joined, it was Audioscrobbler and had a very clean, basic layout. Since then, it has become overblown and hideous. In fact, let's talk about the site we are on right now, LiveJournal. Have you seen the LJ homepage lately? It's embarrassing. Again, I remember when I joined, it was a very clean and basic website. Now it's overblown with bullshit that tries to catch the eye of braindead 15 year olds with no attention span. I can't stand this tendency in web design towards flashy crap to grab the attention of idiots who can't grasp the value of actual content, and this desire to load down websites with every goddamned flavour-of-the-month feature under the sun. One of my favourite Kiwi railway websites, Valley Signals, has a statement on the front page by the site author that he has "a theory that the amount of information on a page is inversely proportional to the number of bells and whistles". I wholeheartedly support this theory. Hence you will notice U2gigs.com has a very clean, simple presentation that emphasises the fucking content. Now, admittedly, I am not the coder; Matthias is. I just maintain the setlists. But I would certainly make my opposition known to any wanky, flashy, nasty bells and whistles. I can't say I expect he would wish to add any, though! We could make the website some mad interactive destination for U2 fans, but does anybody really want that from a setlist database? No, you're on the site because you want information about what U2 have played live, and that is exactly what the site gives you - in fucking droves, if I may say so myself. I pride myself on keeping U2gigs the most comprehensive, excessively detailed site on the web. If anybody wants an all-singing, all-dancing setlist website that puts style over substance, they can go and bloody make it themselves!
Well, I can't say I expected to go on that rant in this entry. In any case, that's quite enough for one night. Have a good one, folks!