Monthly Archives: December 2005

Quarter Of A Century

Claire Lattimore, Abstract Oil On Canvas - 30 December 2005Today, marked my 25th birthday – yippee! Claire always manages to find me practical (which I like) but awesome presents, this year was no exception:

  • A pair of oil paintings. This was particularly significant as Claire has wanted to start painting again. With that in mind I bought her a new set of oil paints and brushes for Christmas. To have the first painting off the bristles is fantastic and I think they look awesome.
  • A pair of nice felt tipped pens to go with my leather document wallet and visual diary.
  • The Blade Trilogy DVD set and an immortal classic – Top Gun.
  • A ticket for the Brisbane Story Bridge climb.

At work, I have the pleasure of working with an amazing bunch of people. We are all quite young, with energetic personalities and we love to have a bit of fun. In keeping with that mantra, the boys put their minds to work for some presents:

As a small celebration, we (some of my family and some of Claire’s) went out to dinner at Hogs Breath. As usual, the steak was fantastic and cooked to perfection. The Hogs Breath staff brought out a mudcake with a pair of sparklers and sang me Happy Birthday. I then attempted to demolish the mudcake, however after the big meal – I just couldn’t finish it!

The day has been great, thanks for everyone involved in making it memorable. See you this time next year.

Guido van Rossum & Google Team Up

Guido van Rossum, the founder and creative power behind the ever popular Python programming language has accepted an offer from Google.

After reading, it seems people are divided, saying it could be a good and bad thing for Python. I am well and truly of the opinion it will be a good thing. It is a known fact that Google uses a huge amount of Python in their company. With the scale of their systems and data, you would have to assume this will lead to the improved performance of the language in the future.

Lets hope its a positive influence for the Python programming language in the future.

John Butler Trio, Homeward Bound

John Butler Trio: Live At The Brisbane River StageThe John Butler Trio are currently on their Homeward Bound National Oz Tour.

On Sunday, it was Brisbane’s privilege to host the band at the River Stage. For those that don’t know, the Brisbane River Stage is a semi-natural grassed amphitheatre backing onto the Brisbane River. It has space for about 12,000-15,000 people in a mixture of sitting and standing.

I have had the pleasure of hearing the John Butler Trio play twice now. My first encounter was in 2004 at the Toowoomba Empire Theatre, for his initial Sunrise Over Sea tour. The atmosphere that a theatrical theatre provided was surreal, it was electric. Claire and I left the concert in total awe; we would have bought another set of tickets and gone back in to hear it all over again.

My second encounter was at the River Stage. Since it’s a large outdoor area, I didn’t think the concert would have had quite as much impact – I was wrong. The sound was excellent and loud, very loud. The River Stage would have been at close to capacity I think, with 10-12,000 people there. Everyone was well behaved, which was great and for the most part everyone remained seated (where appropriate) so that everyone could get a great view of the concert.

Andrew came with me this time, it was his first John Butler experience and he was thoroughly impressed with the talent on display. This first thing that hits you is the array of unique sounds he manages to draw from his guitars, superb. Once the first song or two are over, you then get to appreciate just how hard he is playing when he starts ramping up into some of the faster songs – wow. As the concert progresses, the other band members are taking more and more of a role, until at times they are the sole focus of the music and John is backing them.

Even though we were outside with a huge audience, John still drew you in. At one point, he unplugged the leads from his guitar, walked to centre stage and played Peaches & Cream into a single microphone. He asked the audience to try and remain quiet and it was, as before, brilliant. There was another instance where John was backing the drummer and he is literally urging the drummer to go harder and faster. That was a display of absolute percussion talent – I think everyone was lifting their jaws, the roar of the crowd when it finished certainly backed that.

The three photos were taken by Andrew on my Sony Ericsson K750i mobile:

There are songs on the Sunrise Over Sea album where John’s guitaring has you in awe, however as impressive as it is, it isn’t a scratch on what he delivers on stage. John has an absolute gift for the guitar, which is hard to explain unless heard live. If you ever get the chance to see him live at a town near you, I would whole heartedly recommend you purchase the best tickets you can get your hands on and enjoy the ride – pure brilliance.

Yahoo! Purchases

The ever popular social bookingmarking site has been purchased by Yahoo!. allows its users to create bookmarks, however since it is web based, they follow you everywhere. That in itself isn’t what makes powerful though, it’s the community driven aspect of it. People bookmark a site because it is useful to them in some way, so in short is providing a huge shortlist of excellent bookmarks cultivated by other internet users.

The site also allows its users to categorise their bookmarks and tag them. A tag is generally a very specific category, so while you might categorise something as programming – you might tag it as JavaScript, XML, CSS, and AJAX. The user specifies the categories and tags, so they are naturally grown – not specified by the team. As such, the categories and tags should make more sense to more people, as its the community that is powering the growth of the categories and tags. The more people link to a particular resource in their bookmark list, it increases the popularity of that link – in essence making it important in that group or collection of tags.

The acquisition of is the second such purchase for Yahoo! this year, after acquiring Flickr toward the end of March 2005. Flickr is a social image sharing website, where they allow their users to categorise and tag photos. Clearly Yahoo! can see an incredible market in the community or has a use for the tagging type nature of these sites as they supposedly paid between US$30-40 million for each of them.

Congratulations to the founders of both of these sites, it just goes to show what a good idea and some leg work can get for you.