Olloclip iPhone Lens Kit

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Good afternoon,

One of my Christmas presents was an Olloclip 3 in 1 camera lens kit for my iPhone 5.

The lenses you get are Macro, Wide Angle and Fish Eye, and they come with lens caps and a little micro fibre bag for storage / lens cleaning. I do like my iPhone camera so I was happy to invest in these lenses just to see what additional fun I could have. Along with the plethora of apps for shooting, editing and storing photos from my phone, it is fair to say that I am well invested into 'iPhonography' space now.

First impressions? Well, as the photo of your ever humble correspondent displayed left shows, the fish-eye is suitably distorted around the edges, but reasonably sharp in the centre considering the light.

Also, the fitting and securing of the lens to the phone could not be more simple. It seems to slide on easily, but remains on firmly.

One downside is that the 'body' of the lens obscures (partially) the flash component of the phone and redirects the light not necessarily towards where you want it to go. So perhaps not the greatest accessory for use in low light conditions.

The last image to share is a wide angle example (below) of our 'Monstera Deliciosa' plant that flourishes in it's corner of the back patio. The Olloclip wide angle lens gives a nice realistic presentation of the size and scale of 'Herman' the Monstera!

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I like the Olloclip so far, and I am sure it will be in my camera bag or my man bag going forward.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Vale: Yvonne Humphries

Sadly, I received a call from my cousin Chris this morning letting us know that his mother Yvonne Humphries, wife of the late Harry Humphries (Dad's older brother), passed away this morning. She had been very ill recently and in and out of hospital for much of this year.

My memories of Yvonne were of a solid, energetic, pragmatic and friendly woman who raised four children (two boys & two girls), loved a smoke and lived almost her entire adult life in the family home in Glenroy.

Rest in peace, Aunty Yvonne.

Our 2012 Christmas Day

Good morning,

Sometimes Christmas Day is enjoyable, sometimes it can be a bit of an endurance test, but I am pleased to report that this year Christmas Day was a very pleasant and happy occasion.

It started out with a visit to Dad's nursing home, SomerCare. I took over some prawns and a small bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the festive season with him. The prawns and cocktail sauce bought smile to his face but he grimaced when emptying his wine glass. When I enquired what was wrong he said 'It is a bit tart'. Critical of my choice of wine! So I poured the (small) remains of the bottle into my glass. A few moments later Dad picked up his glass again and looked disappointed it was empty! So I had to 're-balance' the contents of both glasses. Chatting with the nursing staff afterwards, they were all looking forward to lunching with the residents, but equally looking forward to getting together with family and friends once their shift finished. I hope that they all had a great day also.

Our lunch this year was at Libby's place in Wantirna, with Libby, her daughter Jesse and mother-in-law Margaret in attendance. We took some seafood and roast beef to add to the meal, which turned out to be a monster spread. Chilled prawns, a charcuterie plate and rocket, pear and parmesan salad to start, a main of turkey, ham, roast beef, gravies and five different vegetables. Then it was time for dessert. A 'dispute' arose regarding how much brandy to put in the brandy sauce. From the dining table I heard some commotion and the sound of an entire bottle of brandy being upended into the custard. The aroma of the plum pudding and it's sauce was very alcoholic indeed. Then macaroons and home made biscuits came out with coffee. Oh, and did I mention the fresh cherry plate? It was all pretty fabulous and the phrase 'over catered' comes to mind…

The afternoon wound up with gift sharing and opening. They ranged from traditional (hampers), to practical (a hose reel) to the 'interesting' (a 'coffee table' book about cheese but presented in the shape of a cheese round). A lot of thought and effort (and the odd suggestion) went into the gifts making them useful, helpful therefore even more greatly appreciated

A big thank you to Libby for hosting us for lunch and taking so much effort throughout the day to ensure everyone had a good time.

WIth little traffic going back to Peninsula, we arrived home quickly but still feeling not that hungry! I was then surprised with a few more gifts, courtesy of our animals… The most bizarre was a meat thermometer 'from The Cows'. What were they thinking???

A great Christmas Day indeed.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

More food...

Good afternoon,

Those of you who know me, think that all I do is sit around drinking too much and eating junk food. Close, I do like a Maccas sometimes but the older I get, the more I appreciate the food that I like, cooked the way I like it, in an environment that I feel comfortable in. That typically means fresh produce, well cooked, at home.

Therefore with some planning and a little effort one can eat really well at home, for relatively little leaving plenty of money left over for decent wine!

Take today for example. Left to my own devices, I decided to have some fish for lunch, cooked on the Weber 'Q'. OK, a decent sized snapper fillet (approx 200 grams), one roma tomato (halved) and a couple of spring onions from the vegetable garden.

A bit of olive oil spray on the hot plate, pre-heat flat out, sprinkle everything with salt, cracked pepper and some lemon & dill seasoning for the fish and bake for twelve minutes. Finish with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and hey presto, a super healthy lunch.

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Local Port Philip Bay Snapper, Yum - 2012

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Review MTC - 'Music'

Good afternoon,

Last night Robin and I attended our last Melbourne Theatre Company production for the year, 'Music', by Australian playwright, Barry Oakley.

To kick off, we enjoyed a wonderful pre-theatre dinner at Bistro Guillaume at Crown. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the river and the city beyond, it is such a gorgeous place to be and the food is cooked with pure French class and presented with style and simplicity. Yes, it is a Humphries favourite.

Strolling on the way to the Arts Centre we reflected that this year the MTC has not been kind to us. The two previous performances we attended, we failed to return after 'half time'. Not necessarily any fault of the Company or the production, just not to our tastes on the night.

Well, we needn't have worried this time. Somewhat buoyed (though locked in) that there was no intermission in the 90 minute performance, we sat down in the Fairfax Theatre to watch a most enjoyable 'four hander'.

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'Music' cast - Picture MTC 2012

Various themes of lives wasted, death, religion and adultery were mixed with a little music, malt whiskey and marijuana to deliver an evolving tale of lies and deception played out to a full house. Yes, it is true, it is tricky to fully flesh out all the characters and a forty year relationship span in 90 minutes as lamented by other critics, but I for one left well entertained and slightly confronted by the production. The cast were all fine, especially Richard Piper in the lead role as the dying 'Jack' and the minimalist set and lighting rightly focused the attention of the actors and the dialog.

And for me, a night at the theatre doesn't get much better than this. Bravo!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Winebase - Cellar Management Software

Good afternoon,

As a Christmas gift to myself now that Windows 7 is working on my new MBP-r, I purchased a new cellar management program, Winebase, from a local Melbourne developer, Almost Vertical Software.

Winebase Screenshot

Will report back after I have entered a decent number of bottles and I can speak to the usage of the application more sensibly.

Winebase Screenshot 2

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Mildura Getaway - December 2012

Good evening,

The travel bug finally caught up with us and Robin found a great special deal for accommodation in the rural Victorian city of Mildura. By rural, I mean 600+ kilometres north west of Melbourne in the top left hand corner of our fair state.

Home for the four nights was the Grand Hotel, aptly named and a testament to a prior era in this prosperous city on the Murray River.

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The Grand Hotel, Mildura - 2012

The drive to Mildura is long via either the Western Highway or the Calder Highway, and pretty boring (with respect) once you hit the wheat belt. Harvesting was just starting while we were up there.

Leaving Melbourne Monday AM, and departing Mildura Friday AM really only left three days to take in the sights and delights. The sights were frankly relatively few, but the delights were many.

The major highlight was undoubtedly the food / wine / cafe culture of the city. With a posted population of 'just' 30,000 odd, the quality and diversity of eating and drinking options was outstanding. The Grand Hotel has a relationship with Stefano di Pieri, contains his signature restaurant, and cafe/bar as well. In addition the hotel has a bistro 'Seasons' and The New Spanish Bar & Grill, under the same roof is the Mildura Brewery Company and the Pizza Cafe at the Grand. There are five dinners right there without leaving the 'building'.

On our first night we ate at BlueSalt, a Greek/Australian Bistro on Langtree Avenue where the food was excellent and the service outstandingly friendly. Then we ate at the Old Spanish Grill and the Pizza Cafe, both impressive and enjoyable in their own way. Our last dinner was around the corner at a tapas restaurant, Verdict. Bravely we opted for the Chefs Special, five courses plus the dessert platter for two. A range of Spanish wines were on offer, choices being sparkling 'cava' for her and tempranillo for me. The savoury dishes were superbly crafted, delicately flavoured and beautifully presented. Then came the dessert. Wow.

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Creme Caramel, Churros, Santiago Tart and Fried IceCream Ball. Oh yes, and toffee! - 2012

As for lunches, we had a few! The best, undoubtedly, was at Trentham Estate Winery at Trentham Cliffs, NSW. A riverboat cruise goes there which made me a little nervous, but we tried it (with a Plan B if it didn't work out) but I needn't have worried, it was superb. An expansive menu, heavily influenced with seafood well matched with a wide variety of Trentham wines (which are excellent), professionally friendly service and river views.

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Robin posing @ Trentham Estate Winery & Restaurant - 2012


As I mentioned the 'sights' are few and dominated by the river which is the life blood of the region. Apart from general sightseeing, the other focus for the trip was for Robin and I to break out the cameras and snap away.

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The Coonawarra Paddle Boat - 2012

More to come.

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Bye for now, BomberBoy

Yarrawonga Golfing Holiday

Good afternoon,

Just back from a most enjoyable golfing holiday with my good buddy Rod, to the Murray River border town of Yarrawonga.

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Apart from the golf, I took the Canon 5D and usually had my trusty iPhone 5 for some opportunistic iPhonography. More goodness came from the cameras than from the golf clubs!

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We stayed in a self contained cabin in the Yarrawonga Caravan Park, right on the river bank. It would be very restful if one could gag the cockatoos who start their rowdiness at about 5.30am every morning.

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More details to come.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

The best looking Windows 7 system, ever...

Good evening,

I am so chuffed. I am the owner of the best looking Windows 7 system in the world… Or so I think for several reasons. And it is a longish story.

Way back when, my machine of choice was an Apple MacBook Pro, Intel Core Two Duo processor with 4GB of memory and a 512 GB HDD. A nice machine for circa 2005. My Windows journey started a little after that when I needed a system to run a wine cellar program that was MS only. So I duly fired up Bootcamp with Windows95 and went through much frustration re drivers et al, and finally got it to work. Sort of, almost in a fashion. Of course, after all that set up effort I had no energy left to actually do the data entry for the cellaring system and it was all then for nought.

Maybe not. For another 'hobby', I bought a simple GPS device for my Porsche that collected data on an SD card for subsequent analysis via (you guessed it) a Windows-only app. Well, to keep things brief, I never got that to work, and now the dust on the device is thicker than the SD card…

One thing I am not is a quitter. So when in doubt, invest more money! Somewhere in the previous transaction or the next one, I bought a copy of Parallels, the Windows emulation product for Mac OSX and a copy of Windows Vista Premium (ahem). After some frustration getting it set up, and all sorts of confusing concepts like Coherence mode and other stuff, it frankly ran like a dog and was unusable. Perhaps it was Vistas fault, or Parallels? I decided that I needed to try another approach.

So enter the other major third party emulation player, VMWare with their product, Fusion V4. The quick summary was that it was no better.

My Windows requirement became even more important as my Porsche racing became more serious and I invested heavily into an advanced multi-camera, GPS data collection, real time circuit analysis hardware and software setup. Basically useless without high-end Windows back end support. Gulp.

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Finally viewing the Racelogic Circuit Tools software - 2012

Come on down contestant number 4. Let's blame Vista and spend some more money on Windows 7. To be honest it was slow, clunky and 'fugly' but nearly almost worked. Too little, too late and I was getting pretty annoyed by this point (so was my local Porsche buddy who was getting sick and tired of helping out his IT mate) and I started to put the feelers out to my 'dark side' buddies about buying a dedicated Windows machine. Probably could have bought myself a nice one if I hadn't invested all the money in stand alone operating system versions and emulation packages. Grrrr.

Speaking of money, at this point for totally unrelated reasons, in September 2012, I ponied up and bought myself a brand spanking new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 16 (count 'em) GB of memory, a 512GB solid state disk drive to use as my photo editing and daily usage machine. It is an absolute gem.

So after researching all the Acer / Toshiba / Compaq / HP / Asus / blah, blah blah machines, I was totally confused and completely underwhelmed. Then in early November 2012, my good friends at VMWare sent me a promo email about V5 of Fusion. Best thing ever apparently. And only (another) $AU47.95. With a free trial. How could I go wrong?

By now I guess you are all thinking that this latest solution would be another pile of steaming sh*t. But no dear readers. Some combination of what I have done has given me a Windows 7 system on my MBP which just flies! I am so happy, less so because it works but more brimming with pride for my perseverance / bloody mindedness to finally get to this point.

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Now that is what I call 'Windows' - 2012

So if any of you know of any fantastic apps that are Windows only, please do let me know as I would love to run them. Really fast! Even Windows looks great on an Apple Retina Display. Might even look for that WIne Cellar installation disk again!


Bye for now, BomberBoy

2012 Melbourne Cup Day

Good evening,

This year we were a little disorganised / unprepared for a full on Cup Day event, so decided that a nice meal at home would be the go.

Robin invited her girl friend, Monica, over for lunch and somewhere in the transaction I picked up the role of event planner / chef.

One of my recent successful dishes has been crispy slow roasted pork belly. So I decided that would be the 'plat de jour' with Japanese soy rice and wilted home grown spinach with fresh lemon juice.

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Melbourne Cup Day Main Course - 2012

I am pleased to report that the meal was judged 'excellent' and that the pork crackling was superb! It was all washed down with a 2008 vintage 'pink' sparkling from Taltarni for the girls and some (OK, plenty of) 2011 King Valley pinot grigio 'cleanskin' for me.

A super fresh cream sponge with our usual quality coffee rounded out a most enjoyable day.

And with her usual spread of investments, Robin had a collect on the winner 'Green Moon'. Well done sweetie!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL Grand Final - Hawthorn v Sydney

Over chicken salad sandwiches and soft drinks at Humphries Towers, Robin and I settled in on a windy and cool Melbourne day to watch what we thought we would an excellent contest. As great judges, it turned out that we were correct!

A see-sawing contest with super teamwork and execution from both teams over most of the contest. There was a strong breeze at the 'G' and it seemed to influence much of the result on the scoreboard (favouring the right of screen or Jolimont end, I think) but wasn't necessarily always obvious in general play.

The result could have gone either way, but I thought the Swans were the better team on the day and deserved the win. If I was a Swans fan I would have LRT's number on my back. He was energetic, skilful and heroic at both ends of the ground; a clearly crippled Adam Goodes played out-of-his-extended-skin and the other blonde guys Hannebury/Jack/Bolton/O'Keefe/(sub)Parker etc kept at it and forcing the ball forward. An awesome cameo by Mitch Morton and Nick Malceski's two unbelievable snap goals should not go unreported.

At the end of the day, the best TEAM won, and conducted themselves modestly and respectfully in the post celebrations and thereafter. Well done to Sydney Swans FC, coach Longmire and his assistant coaches and all of the SSFC players who contributed to the years success. Take note Essendon!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Hole in One!

I play with great bunch of guys in the 'Tom Bowler' Social Golf Club every month. Our September game was at The Rosebud Park Golf Course (formerly known as Carrington Park).

The day started out well in bright sunshine and even brighter was that I made a nice par on the first hole followed by two good shots to the front edge of the second. Up and down in two for another par and I can start practising my victory speech! Two chips and two putts later, a scrubby drive off the third and too many putts I was now squandering my good start.

By the time we reached the tee of the short 120 metre Par 3 sixth hole, I was not exactly jumping out of my skin. I took the eight iron out, told myself to swing easy and …… pulled the shot fifteen metres left of the pin, wide of the green. Grumping while the ball was still in flight, my playing partners encouraged me that there is a mound over there which should kick the ball back towards the green. Yep, physics worked, the ball bounced to the right, onto the green and was rolling nicely until the hole got in the way!

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A great thrill!

The rest of the round was comparatively uneventful, and we duly celebrated in the clubhouse afterwards!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

EFC Year End Report Card

Spring is coming, and the AFL Finals are here but the mighty Essendon Bombers are not participating after finishing a very disappointing 11th. So I am marking the year as a 'D'. Borderline fail.

The obvious excuse as to what went wrong was the very bad, almost unprecedented, run of soft tissue injuries to most of the team at various times of the year. Was it bad high performance management or just a necessary evil to get added strength into the playing group is currently the subject of an internal investigation at BomberLand. The right answer needs to be found to ensure that we don't have a repeat in 2013.

I must say one of my pre-season concerns did come true. The club were confident that our success or rise up the ladder would come as a result of natural improvement of the playing group. Well, pretty much that didn't happen. Very few players ended the season with their personal football CVs enhanced. Incredibly Jobe Watson, starting from a high base, took his game and leadership to another level. I do hope he wins the Brownlow. He will of course be a certainty for the Crichton Medal. Tom Bellchambers took a decent step forward almost cementing his place as our Number One ruckman and Dustin Fletcher played with passion and enthusiasm which contradicted his age. Although not dominating, it was great to see Scott Gumbleton running around, injury free, getting senior game time and confidence which should stand him in good stead for 2013 and Jake Carlisle had a great first half before tailing off at the end.

Now I am struggling.

Crameri had a difficult year with injury and suspension, Hurley had long absences, Zaharakis also. Stanton found it hard to break tags consistently, Davey looked great when we were winning, not so when the losses mounted up. Apart from Fletcher, the defence never appeared settled after mid year and we leaked goals consistently. A bit cruel to single too many individuals out as the entire group looked flat and tired for the last six or so rounds of the year.

To my awards:
  • Best Player (Crichton Medal) - Jobe Watson
  • Best Team Man - Dustin Fletcher
  • Best First Year Player - Cory Dell'Ollio, Nick O'Brien
  • Best Forward - Michael Hurley
  • Best Defender - Dustin Fletcher
  • Best Mid Field - Jobe Watson
  • Best On-baller - Ben Howlett

Update: Here is a link to the official 2012 Crichton Medal results. I was pretty close!

As for the coaching staff, I rate them 6 out of 10. I would like to see more passion from James Hird. When he says he is hurting and feels for the supporters, it doesn't quite feel desperate enough. The mid field coaching needs to be more flexible to stop opposition domination, for example the Carlton game late in the season. The development of the playing group needs acceleration and fast tracking. I think the loss of Brendan McCartney was significant and he has not been adequately replaced.

A quick word of congratulations to Mark 'Spike' McVeigh who has announced his retirement. A very good AFL player, but a fantastic clubman and team mate he should be proud of his career and I wish him the all the best for life after football.

Now for 2013. Joe Daniher will be an automatic start and a long term replacement for Dustin Fletcher. He is a gun. I would expect the recruiting staff to obtain either Brendan Goddard, Brent Maloney or Josh Caddy in the various drafts coming up. I dream of us picking up Goddard and Caddy! But we do need to add strength and kicking skills to our mid field group.

Robin and I enjoyed the wins, and felt the losses hard. We will sign up as members again next year, we like our reserved seating position and just hope the on field performance can be a highlight sometime past late June 2013.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v Carlton

The mighty Bombers have not been travelling well of late. But hope springs eternal so Robin and I suited up on a very bleak Saturday morning to head out and support Essendon versus the arch enemy, Carlton, on Saturday afternoon.

Enjoying a quiet bistro lunch at the RACV City Club I would have happily cancelled the whole transaction had the weather stayed foul, given we would be sifting in the open, albeit in our reserved seats.

The rain stopped, the sun shone, and we committed to join the fray at the 'G'. Taking our seats ten minutes before the off, it was clear that many of the Bombers faithful had voted with their feet and decided to stay away.

Who said Essendon members were not smart…

After winning the toss and kicking with wind, the first 15 minutes were promising, albeit with a couple of butchered shots for goal. But at least we were in front.

Then it was all over. To say it was an avalanche would be under-stating the disaster. I won't dignify the effort with a description of a 96 point thrashing...

A dark day in Essendon football history. And against t-h-e-m…

Bye for now, BomberBoy

My 'new' 1975 Fender Telecaster

After a slight delay, I picked up the Tele from Guitars Plus yesterday.

Telecaster

It is an early 1975 model, still with the original plush lined Fender road case.

My amateur playing impressions and more photos to come soon.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v Hawthorn

We haven't been to a game for a while, so it was with some enthusiasm we kitted up and set off Friday night for the big clash with the Hawks.

Our delight was dampened a fraction by the heavy rain as we left the car park to walk to the ground. It cleared reasonably quickly and the game was at Etihad Stadium under the closed roof so we will stay dry.

The mighty Bombers haven't been in great form, have a massive injury list while the Hawks are in premiership touch. So we were looking to a great game, but with not high hopes we would win. Well we were half right…

Crameri was a late withdrawal, so was Hooker but congratulations to Elliott Kavanagh (our 2011 No 1 draft pick) on being selected for his first game and to Jason Winderlich for his return from a knee reco. I summary, we had a very small, underdone and inexperienced side on the park and we played like it. Got absolutely hammered. Beaten up by nearly 100 points at the end of the game in front of 45,000 people. Although I am not convinced they were all there at the end...

Highlights? Well, there weren't many. Bomber Thompson's rant at quarter time looked 'good' from a distance, maybe was a bit uncomfortable if you were in the playing group; Gumbleton's four goals in only his third game back was a great reward; Jobe looks injured and even slower than usual but still picked up over 30 possessions.

Plenty of work to do for the coaching a medical staff to get the team up for a make-or-break clash in Adelaide against the Crows next week.

I am not too distressed with the result as we have a huge injury list with Hurley, Crameri, Ryder, Zaharakis, Myers, Pears, Hooker and Hibberd missing from our best 22 plus spare parts man Reimers. Not sure why Lonergan and Colyer can't get a game at the moment. Out of favour perhaps? I assume Dyson, McVeigh and Slattery's cards have been marked and filed as well.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Apple MacBook Pro w/Retina Display

My old Apple MBP is now six years old and has smoke and steam coming out of it trying to run the latest resource hungry apps. Time for an upgrade. I had been hanging out for the release of the mid 2012 MacBook Pros and when the 'high end' model with the Retina display was announced I knew I had to have one. My enthusiasm was tempered by the price ($3.5K with some upgraded bits) so I held off hitting the 'Buy Now' button for a couple of weeks while I procrastinated but eventually did it in late June. The item was then on back-order so it was four weeks until mine arrived on July 24, the day before the Mountain Lion OS upgrade was officially announced. I was entitled to an upgrade as my laptop was bought within a one month qualifying period.

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As all of you know, I am an Apple fanboi and can only compare this machine to what I have previously owned and the specs I know of the current range. I am not saying it is the best laptop in the world as I have had zero experience of recent Windows machines and probably never will.

My new MBP-r has five killer attributes compared to my last machine - weight, performance, battery life, screen resolution and Mountain Lion. Lets look at them one at a time.

Weight
The new MBP-r weighs a little over one kilogram. Two and a bit pounds. It is over 30% lighter than previously plus with the extended battery life, one doesn't always have to lug around the charger so the gross weight of the overall package is significantly down. From a portability POV, it is not in the MacBook Aiir class but as a fully configured desktop replacement system, it is uber portable.

Performance
Apart from the display, the MBP-r and it's feature set are all about performance. That the new machine is fast should be a given, not a surprise. I configured it with 16GB of memory and the 512 GB SSD. It is predictably a lot faster (boot times under 20 seconds), applications starting without a 'bounce' from the Dock, and power apps like Aperture updating complex RAW photo edits instantaneosly. The system never slows down irrespective of how many windows are open, downloads are faster (perhaps a function of better wireless chips / upgrades), and I haven't missed the deleted Superdrive. To load MS Office, I shared the DVD drive on my iMac over wi-fi with absolutely no problems at all. Other improvements are the inclusion of an SD slot (convenient for photography) and USB 3 which I have found to be significantly faster than USB 2. I don't yet have any Thunderbolt drives to test, nor have I had any reason to test Bluetooth 4. Overall, the features and performance makes using the machine a joy rather than a chore.

Battery Life
As mentioned above, the improved battery life (around seven hours in normal use) means that you can work 'leash free' and not fear running out of juice or have to worry about carting a charger and cables around. Really makes the laptop 'mobile', something that I hadn't enjoyed in years.

Screen Resolution
Thought I should talk about this in the middle of the review so it wouldn't sound like such a rave. The screen is simply breathtaking. Whether zooming in on photos, or reading text and just staring at it, the quality is extraordinary. Hi-res photos from a DSLR are almost 3D-like, and the printed page looks crisper than you can imagine. It would be hard to go back to an older-generation screen once you got used the Retina display. A real game changer.

Software - Mountain Lion, iLife Suite, Safari, iTunes
I only have a couple of days experience with Mountain Lion (ML) but I am impressed so far. It is more stable on the MBP-r than Lion and it is more functionally rich and feels more resolved than Lion ever did. I am yet to fully explore Notes / Reminders / Messages but they seem like a welcome communications additions, AirShare works as advertised streaming the display to an Apple TV-connected HDTV. Developers have done a good job testing their apps for ML as apart from a minor bug in Rapidweaver (fixed in the current beta version) I have had no compatibility issues at all. Even the iOS-like predictive text feature works better and seamlessly in this version. Another benefit for me is 'gestures' through the trackpad. I didn't have access to the full range of gestures on my old MBP's trackpad, so I am finding the usability of shortcuts combined with gestures to be a real productivity aid, even more than I would have expected.

The machine also comes with the freshened versions of the iLife suite - iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. I can't speak for iMovie as yet, but iPhoto looks a little cleaner with improved sharing options, and by all accounts Garageband is maturing into a complete music / sampling / creation tool.

Safari and iTunes get an update for ML. Airplay availability is the major change for me in iTunes, although I use Apple TV for my audio streaming. Safari is different. The unified URL/search field (intuitive and sensible really, thanks Chrome!), the removal of RSS (no problem for me), social network sharing support plus iCloud integration options among a number of other features make Safari 6 feel much more modern and part of your wider cloud / social networking universe than ever. A good thing, and well overdue.

Is there anything not to like? To get the packaging of the MBP-r just 'so', Apple have made some construction compromises making the device non-serviceable with many components soldered and not able to be replaced or field upgradeable. Probably makes AppleCare as a must-have as you would be unhappy if either through accident or component failure your new-ish mega-buck MBP-r turned into a expensive paper-weight. Some commentators have lamented that Apple haven't advanced their wireless speeds beyond the 'n' standard and therefore may have missed an opportunity to advance the MBP-r wireless performance.

However, I couldn't be happier with this device.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Vale - Doug Tregenza

Sadly our neighbour Doug Tregenza passed away from cancer at age 64 this week. Doug and his wife Janet had been friends since we arrived in Mt Eliza in 2002.

Doug was a handyman amongst other things, slashing and harrowing our paddocks with his tractor & appliances. Almost as importantly, he was a source of information (I won't say gossip) about what was happening in the street and district.

A man's man, loved a beer, loved a bet, a caring husband and a hard worker. Not a bad epitaph. RIP mate.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Guitars Plus VIP Night

A most enjoyable night was had at Cafe Hobson in Sandringham last week attending the Guitars Plus VIP Night showing off a wonderful array of rare and vintage guitars for sale. Guitars Plus head honcho, the ever amiable Chris Voce, was on hand to share information, advice and guidance on all guitars on hand.

Guitars Plus

Along with fine wine and beverages, an acoustic duo, 'Locura' played fiery flamenco style guitar, entertaining the attendees extremely well.

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During the night, I had the pleasure of handling a few of the fine specimens on display, including a couple of gorgeous Gibson Standard and Les Paul guitars. I am not man enough for those guitars. I don't have the physical strength (they are weighty beasts) nor do I have the strength of wallet! They attract a serious and I am sure well deserved premium.

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I was looking at one item in particular, most of the evening at the exclusion of all others. You have probably guessed it was the mid 1970s Fender Telecaster shown on the home page. Just worn enough to look 'vintage' but preserved enough to be in 'fine' condition. Playable and collectable! The guitar also comes with the original vintage case. It is just being freshened up as we speak and I should have it my hands by weeks end. It will match extremely well with my Fender Deluxe Twin Reverb amplifier.

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I am one happy strummer. Rock on!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Vale - Danny Riley

The Humphries family are most saddened by the recent passing of Danny Riley. 'Uncle' Dan was our 'oldest' family friend harking back to when Danny and Dad worked at ANA in freight / transport in the late 40s and when both families lived in Kerferd Street, North Essendon in the early 1950s.

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Danny Riley (far left) & wife Edie (far right)

Our families were always close, even when we all moved further 'south' and weren't in day-to-day contact as in the early days. Various family events, dances, water skiing, holidays etc maintained the contact. This continued with my relationship with Danny's children Bruce and Pam who are wonderful friends of ours even through we have infrequent contact.

My memories of Danny are of a man who worked very hard to support his family, set high personal and moral standards and expected and demanded all those around him to follow. Allied to this strength, he was gentle and kind, had a quirky sense of humour, was a wonderful dancer but had a dark side because he was a Carlton supporter!

An end of an era. RIP, Uncle Dan. Thanks for your support and love for my family and for all of our wonderful memories.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v Sydney Swans

After the disappointment of the Melbourne loss at the MCG (which we didn't get to 'live', Robin and I were hoping for a better showing against the Swans at Etihad Stadium. At least in Melbourne, Sydney seems to be a team we play well against and tend to have really close games.

The first quarter started tight and the Swans looked up and about and kicked a couple of early goals 'out the back' and we were a bit slow and missed some easy shots at goal. No reason to panic at quarter time even though we were down by around 20 points.

The second quarter was a repeat of the first with the smaller, quicker Swans making us look inept, plus we butchered the ball around the ground and in front of goal. No goals at all for us in Q2, and seven goals down at half time was a fair reflection of the efficiency difference between the two teams, although I couldn't question our effort, just execution.

The boys continued to try hard in the third quarter but just couldn't score finding ever more creative ways to miss. Just one goal for the quarter, and only two to three quarter was a pretty pathetic return. While we restricted the Swans to only three goals, being nearly 10 goals down at 3/4 time was very disappointing.

In the last quarter, we obviously decided to remove the impostors from the field and put the 'real' Essendon players out there. What a barn-storming finish! Goals from everywhere, everyone up and about. Just too much was left to be done when Courtenay Dempsey got the ball sixty metres out and played when the siren rang. An honourable defeat? Maybe or one that got away.

Best for us were Watson, Davey, Howlett and Hooker, with Alwyn Davey the only real star up forward with three goals.

We now have a bye coming followed by a vey important clash against Fremantle in Perth.


AFL - EFC v Richmond

Good evening,

Expectations were high among both Essendon and Richmond fans coming in the 'Dreamtime at the 'G' game. A capacity crowd was expected and the evening was fine and clear.

With homemade roast lamb rolls & bagels, we intended to arrive early to catch the pre-game entertainment of indigenous musicians and dancers. Duly early as we arrived at our usual parking place to be confronted with a 200 metre plus queue of cars just to park. Aaarrgghh. We will be late…

Being as patient as I could be we endured, parked then walked briskly to the ground and found our seats with just minutes to spare. The entertainment was understated, delicate and all the better for that. The Oz rock anthem, 'Solid Rock' was re-interpreted and extended by it's writer, Shane Howard, and formed a fitting intro to the 20 minute odd display of music, dance and pantomime. Hard to get pre-football entertainment right and I thought they nailed it. Meatloaf, take note!

Ah, yes, we came for the football! The Bombers bounced out of the blocks well with Paddy Ryder kicking three first quarter goals giving us a handy break at quarter time.

The second quarter was much the same, in a very entertaining, fast paced game, the Bombers looked in command and went in to half time some six goals in front. Our run and spread, structure and run from defence was clearly superior.

I think Paddy Ryder kicked the first goal of the third quarter and we found ourselves 42 points up at the two minute mark. The red and black army was very, very happy. Then it happened, or more correctly, nothing happened. We missed targets and stopped running. Not running less but literally stopped running to space, supporting the ball carrier etc. Richmond were all over us, kicked a few goals but missed several more and we went to three quarter time in trouble but three goals up.

In a blink of an eye, but probably more like 10 minutes our three goal lead evaporated and a goal by Trent Cotchin put the Tigers in front. What a turnaround! We looked absolutely helpless (and hopeless). Then a scrappy couple of minutes seemed to stabilise the Bombers and calm the rampaging Tigers and we jagged a great snap from Nathan Lovett-Murray to get back in front. Soon after a great intercept mark fro Gus Monfries put us a little further in front then a great break from defence found Alwyn Davey who tried to pass to Jobe Watson in the square but kicked the goal instead! We got home by three goals.

A really great game of Australian Rules Football watched by nearly 81,000 very vocal fans. I felt privileged to be there.

For us, Ryder, Stanton, Watson, Crameri and Hurley were superb, while Brett Deledio of Richmond won the medal for BoG.

Bring on GWS next week. Go Bombers!

Bye for now BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v West Coast Eagles

Good afternoon,

Our third home game of the year is the massive clash against the unbeaten West Coast Eagles.

I was really looking forward to this game to test where we are at against high quality opposition. As it turned out the quality of the Eagles was impacted severely by injury to an even greater extent than the Essendon side. Over 43,000 fans mostly in red and black made their way to Etihad Stadium on a chilly Saturday evening.

The first quarter was an extremely low scoring affair with each side only scoring one goal each. Essendon had the major share of the play but were very wasteful in front of goal. I was worried that these missed opportunities would come back to haunt us later in the game.

The game opened up a little in the second quarter with Essendon, though still quite wasteful, starting to exert some dominance especially through the mid field. I thought Cox and Bellchambers were breaking even in the ruck contests but we were able to share the clearances more effectively through Watson, Zaharakis and Melksham. This quarter, Brent Stanton started his usual gut-running and was getting free on a regular basis. At half time we were three goals up, a handy lead in a low scoring affair.

The Eagles suffered a blow when one of their key playmakers Matthew Priddis was subbed off with concussion. Essendon's dominance was finally transferred to the scoreboard this quarter. Seven goals to nil setup the final result. The run and spread of the Bombers was awesome, and on the rare times the ball went near the Eagles scoring zone, it came back twice as fast with Fletcher, Hooker and Hardingham being impenetrable for the quarter. Crameri started to kick straight, Jetta and Davey again were lively and elusive while maintaining offensive pressure and Paddy Ryder was providing a quality aerial target. A standing ovation from the Bombers faithful was a fitting reward for an outstanding quarter of football.

The final stanza was a low key affair, Essendon never really threatened while WCE picked up a few consolation goals. We ran out winners by 61 points in a stunning display.

A standout performance on the night was the disposal of Ricky Dyson. Several times he rebounded off half back with scything 50 metre passes to beat the press and setup scoring opportunities. And his 45 metre hooked goal in the second quarter I think, showed that goals were kickable when other were missing shots. Well done Ricky!

For me, our best players in a very even display were Watson, Zaharakis, Hooker, Stanton, Ryder, Melksham and Dyson. Hard to find good players for the Eagles though Dean Cox, Waters and Gaff tried hard.

Our next test is the 'Dreamtime at the 'G' game next Saturday night against Richmond. Looking forward to that one. Go Bombers!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v Brisbane Lions

Good evening,

It was our second home game yesterday, Essendon v Brisbane Lions. The Bombers have some injury problems in recent weeks and appeared slightly undermanned but I expected us to win.

The day got off to a slow start when my membership card was rejected by the turnstile on entry to the ground. I was cheerfully told lots of people are having problems and I should go back to to the Essendon Membership tent about 500 metres away from the ground and against the approaching masses. Did all that, got in another queue and finally received a day pass that got me in and I was able to join Robin at our seats just in time for the first bounce.

Despite the cold & foggy drizzle outside, it was surprisingly warm under the closed roof at Etihad Stadium with some 36,500 (mostly) Essendon fans in attendance. The game started in what I thought was eerie silence. Not a lot of crowd noise for the first few minutes. But Stewart Crameri's four goals in the first quarter certainly livened the crowd up. A few late goals to the Lions kept them in it.

The second quarter was a pretty good display by the Bombers with Dyson Heppell doing a great job at half back, setting up many scoring opportunities. Alwyn Davey and Leroy Jetta were lively up forward and we went into half time nearly six goals up.

I thought we dominated the third quarter as well. Tom Bellchambers was doing well in the ruck and also seemed to stand in the centre square as a marking / passing target during the quarter providing a great link for us going forward. It seemed the Lions coaching staff preferred to keep their ruckman deep in defence rather than shoulder-to-shoulder with Bellchambers. There was a scuffle in the diagonally opposite forward pocket to us so I couldn't see much but there was a murmur in the crowd that Paddy Ryder may have been a touch aggressive. We will see… We kept the Lions to one goal for the quarter and went in some 9 goals up.

I must say the last quarter was a lacklustre affair with three goals to one our way with the Lions a bit inaccurate from set shots. The major issue for the quarter was an apparent knee injury to Crameri. We would not like to be without him for too long especially with Michael Hurley still out.

So it was a 129 to 62 victory. We played very very well, especially good clearance work, fierce tackling and swift, accurate ball movement. Best players for Essendon were Brent Stanton, Jobe Watson, Sam Lonergan, Tom Bellchambers and Dyson Heppell, but overall no real passengers today. According to Robin, she thought Jonathan Brown, Simon Black, and Ben Hudson tried hard for the Lions.

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Always a good day at the football when you win. Now 5-1 for the season. Bring on West Coast Eagles in Melbourne next week. We will be there!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

Daylesford Escape

Good afternoon,

Thanks for stopping by. More details to come ASAP.

We left Mt Eliza on a cold and damp Tuesday morning and I am afraid to say it got colder and damper the closer we got to Daylesford. But being on holiday, we bought our spirit with us and remained positive.

We had booked in to The Manse for three nights, four days either side of Anzac Day. The property is ideally situated in a quiet location, five minutes walk from the main street. The rooms are interestingly furnished but cosy and welcoming with full 'claw' baths and open fire. Just the ticket for a chilly April stay.

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Our first dinner was at The Farmers Arms Hotel just a minute out of Daylesford Central. One of the tourist mags recommended it and it was one of the few 'better' establishments open on a Tuesday evening. We were not disappointed. A tasteful room, an extensive menu of local and typical bistro fare most reasonably priced. The food is well supported by an eclectic wine list of local, Australian and international wines, many available by the glass. We supped on various styles of pork, belly for me, sticky loin for her. Both excellent and we concluded with hot chocolate and decent coffee. A very positive start to the week's dining.

The second dinner was in our room, a 'ploughman's lunch' consumed with local Mt Franklin Estate pinot grigio in front of the open fire. Very enjoyable indeed.

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The third dinner was at The Perfect Drop in Daylesford. We were up for a big, last evening dinner but Robin was a little concerned that the dishes might not be to her taste. But some pressure from me, and sweet talking by our hostess got us across the line with a shared plate of slow cooked lamb shoulder and vegetables accompanied by roasted heirloom carrots and a green salad which consisted of, among other things, watermelon radishes and three different colours of tomatoes. It was a rich and enjoyable dish. Robin was most taken by the creme brûlée and the toffee tower on top! We enjoyed a bottle of Passing Clouds 'Graeme's Block' Shiraz. Very rich but smooth. What started as a tricky dining situation turned out very well indeed. Recommended!

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Bye for now, BomberBoy

AFL - EFC v Port Adelaide

Thought I would add some new post categories this year. One of which will be my match reports from the Essendon home games. Robin and I have signed up as EFC Members and reserved seat holders again this year so I thought I could jot down my game day observations, thoughts and rants from the rounds we attend.

The first home game for us (Round 2) was against Port Adelaide (PA), an afternoon game on a sunny Saturday at Etihad Stadium. Very civilised!

OK, bags packed, radios charged, sandwiches made (as self funded retirees we can't afford to attend the games and eat THEIR food!), we made the trek from Mt Eliza to the stadium. Except, when we got REALLY close to the ground we still couldn't see it! Someone is building hotel or apartment complex right on or very, very close to the ground. Interesting.

First rant. As pre-game approached there was a never ending barage of announcements, music and advertisements at volume levels that made sensible conversation with yourself, let alone those around you, impossible. Very, very uncomfortable. OK, the first package of sandwiches were opened and eaten. Turkey and Jarlsberg cheese. Excellent!

First bounce of the year and we are away!

A luck lustre first quarter by the Bombers saw us about even after some straight kicking by PA and some uber-wasteful forward work by us. A big disappointment was our number one ruckman David Hille limping off early with a serious calf injury, not to return again. Same Lonergan, an on-baller, was subbed on in his place.

The second quarter was a little bit better and we managed to sneak away by 21 points and I was comfortable with our position at half time. More of those fine sandwiches! Unbeknown to most, Nathan Lovett-Murray was now carrying a hamstring strain but was still playing (at reduced efficiency) so we wouldn't be too many men down obviously on the bench.

In the third quarter we wasted more scoring opportunities than humanely possible (are you listening Angus Monfries?) and PA came back hard and it was pretty close at three quarter time (2 points our way). For the first (and probably not last) time in season 2012, I was officially nervous.

PA seemed to have the momentum and with our injury issues, the future looked dire. To our boys credit, for a side that was few players down, they decided to take it to PA, ran hard, isolated key runners and forwards and then kicked away for a hard fought four goal plus win. David Myers went down like shot with a severe hamstring strain in the last quarter as well. Talk about walking wounded.

So what did I take away from the game? Well credit where it is due. PA were a bit of a basket case last year. Not so much this season. With Kane Cornes, Jay Schulz, David Rodan and their captain Dom Cassissi up and about they looked well organised and well coached. Kudos to the coaching team.

And the Bombers? With Hille going off, Paddy Ryder stood up big time and was superb with his tap work at the stoppages. Captain Jobe Watson and Sam Lonergan were the major beneficiaries of his good work.

Down back, Dustin Fletcher was again fantastic with his judgment, reading of the play, rebound and superb disposal skills. Up forward, Hurley presented well but kicked poorly (including two posters), Crameri competed OK, but really stood up in the last quarter when the game was on the line.

In my mind the real game changer (after Ryder) was Leroy Jetta, still running hard at the end of the game, he kicked four goals when others were missing and added a real spark and X-factor.

In excess of 30,000 folks attended under the open roof and it was good start for our spectator campaign for 2012. Go Bombers!

Bye for now, BomberBoy


My AFL predictions - 2012

Good evening,

That time has come again when serious AFL followers must, with their hand on their heart, make a call on the season ahead. So without any more fanfare:

The Ladder

Hawthorn (Premiers)
West Coast
Geelong
Collingwood
Carlton
Fremantle
Sydney
Essendon

North Melbourne
Adelaide
Richmond
St Kilda
Western Bulldogs
Port Adelaide
Brisbane
Melbourne
Gold Coast
Greater Western Sydney (honourable Wooden Spoon)

Why?

Hawthorn had a wretched run with injuries in 2011 and still really should have played in the Grand Final. They have had a solid pre-season, only slight injury concerns with their rucks, Roughead to return, plenty to play for (revenge etc) and they are well coached by a maturing Alistair Clarkson. And no Jeff Kennett distractions from on high! I see this year as a boom or bust for West Coast. Lynch and Cox are ageing, Nic Nat is only showing glimpses still. They need to capitalise on the big guys this year plus a fit Daniel Kerr and their famous home ground advantage.

Geelong has lost their spiritual leader in Ling, their finals weapon in Ottens and will have more clubs looking at them this year after they arguably flew under the radar (marginally) in 2011 after Thompson / Ablett Gate etc. The Carlton / Collingwood positions are honestly a toss up. Carlton probably deserves to be ranked in the four but 'coz I hate them so much, it is fifth for them. Collingwood appears to be underdone at season's start and have a heavy injury list plus the distraction of GWS poaching some of their out of contract stars.

I think Ross Lyon will add structure and discipline to the talented Freo list, enough to get them into the finals after a years absence. Although I don't rate the Swans (no one does) they always seem to make the eight so let history be a guide and add the Sydney team in once more.

Now all the above is pretty easy really. Now the fun begins. Who gets the eighth spot?

If only there was a five headed coin! Essendon, Richmond, North Melbourne, Adelaide and St Kilda probably have genuine and valid expectations.

My heart has given it to Essendon for a few (mainly) soft reasons. The Bombers are almost injury free; the new training strengthening regime should see some improvement in close and later season games; Courtenay Dempsey is almost a 'new' recruit and will provide elite run off half back; I am expecting break out seasons from Michael Hurley and Paddy Ryder. And we have lost nothing (poachings, retirements, de-listings) from 2011. Go Bombers!

That said the next four will challenge not only Essendon but potentially those from seventh and above as well with a little luck. It will be a great mid table battle I believe this year. There is plenty to like about Sanderson's Adelaide so far (NAB Cup form is winning form), the Tigers are looking better than they have in decades, the pressure and expectations are deservedly high on the in-form Kangas. And it is now or never (well five years rebuilding) for the Saints. Nick R, Kosi, Lenny are not going to be at their peak much longer. Overall a tipster's nightmare!

Even at the lower reaches of the ladder, their should be serious jousting. Port Adelaide have started the season by removing some dead wood, keeping a couple of key players to inject some confidence in the future and a competitive NAB Cup performance. Brisbane can't go as badly in 2012 as their injury plagued form of 2011 suggested (although their captain J Brown has gone down again). I have a lot of time for the coaching and teaching skills of Brendan McCartney so expect the Doggies to give a solid account especially with Brian Lake fit and firing. He is a bell weather for the side.

Melbourne is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum and in my view have made too many changes in the off season, sent too many mixed message (the old guys are out but Jack Watts is on notice???) so I believe they will trail much of the field this year.

Finally I look forward to watching the improvement of the Gold Coast and the entry of the expertly coached GWS into the competition. Still training wheels for both in 2012 but look out 2013 and beyond!

There you have it. YMMV!

Brownlow Medal

Plenty to choose from. Usual suspects Judd, Goodes, Murphy, Ablett, Pendlebury etc. Richmond's Dustin Martin should be prominent, Jobe Watson will poll well (subject to soft tissue injuries) and Daniel Kerr may pop up. I kinda like Adam Goodes. A noted vote getter, not too many stars to poach votes from him and the Swans should win enough games to sway the umps to give votes to players from the winning side.

Coleman Medal

I liked Jack Riewoldt as an outside chance last year and will back the same horse again for higher honours in 2012. Not sure Buddy Franklin will be able to top the list while enabling the Hawks to have enough avenues to goal. A fit and firing Jonathan Brown is a chance as well.

Rising Star Award

No real idea but I got it right with Dyson Heppell last year. One of the kids from GWS will be a chance. They have so many that are so good, I expect one to salute with Stephen Coniglio my tip.

First coach sacked

An ugly award but Bluey McKenna and Mathew Primus must still lead the betting and be most at risk. But it may be a quiet year with so many new coaches appointed in 2012. The knives may need to stay in the scabbard in 2012!

As always, 2012 is shaping up as an another great year. Bring it on!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

My New iPad

I placed an order for the new iPad on launch day and had it delivered on March 16. Release day! Colour me excited!!!

GJH & The New iPad

My spec is the 64GB WiFi model with a red leather smart case. I don't need the extra cost of 4G/LTE hardware (not that it runs in Oz at those speeds anyway) and the separate data plan. Tethering with the iPhone4 works just fine. FYI, Robin has taken over my original iPad. And she is very happy with it.

The upgrade / migration from the original to the new was fairly painless and straightforward. It took some time, but if you were patient (and I was) all apps & Apple stuff came across. Except many magazine subscriptions which required separate downloading of previously downloaded issues. Possibly more an iOS upgrade issue than a hardware one. Tedious, very tedious.

So how is it? My views are pretty consistent with initial reports. The screen is stunning. Outrageously clear and crisp. Photos, text, icons, movies the lot. Over the Version 1, the speed bump is a welcome addition but is line ball with the iPad 2 apparently. The other major change over the original is the front & rear cameras which makes Skype video and FaceTime calls now a reality for me plus the odd happy snap. Release your inner geek taking photos with a tablet...

I think I did the right thing waiting two generation between upgrades, as I do for my iPhone. Just enough evolution and just enough revolution to make the step change tantalising.

Bye for now, BomberBoy

OS X Lion Upgrade

One of my other Christmas gifts was a copy of the latest Apple operating system 'Lion' (technically OSX 10.7). I opted for delivery via a USB key to save the nearly 4GB online download and have a fixed media backup should the need to rebuild ever arise.

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Released in Q3 last year from memory, I decided not be an uber early adopter so I waited a few months for the dust to settle and the horror stories to be told and resolved.

Settling in last night for a lengthy upgrade session, I was surprised when it was all done and dusted inside 75 minutes (including the update 10.7.2) and the new log on screen was there welcoming me.

I understand what Apple was trying to achieve with the look & feel of Lion, but it comes over as a bit 'in between' for my liking. Not quite like a new full-blown desktop OS release, and not really like the IOS devices it was trying to align with. I also took the plunge and upgraded to the new iCloud syncing service as well. It is pleasing to report no issues so far.

Some learning required of this new technology, so bought a copy of the 'Missing Manual for Lion' by David Pogue, via Kindle to read on my iPad.

Bye for now, BomberBoy