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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs posted in 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Home Again, Home Again (jiggity jig)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/12/2005 18:46:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 14/11/2018 03:30:13

Finally back from my honeymoon - and it's good to be back in Australia. I really wish that I had a laptop with me for the trip - as each hotel we stayed at had free WiFi access (and I could have blogged down each days experiences).

I think I might go through each day of the trip and jot down some points of interest (well, that I will find interesting) when I get a chance.

Until then - it's good to be back!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


# Posted by Joel Dixon at 24/11/2005 11:40:00

Howdy all (however small all is),

I've got a chance to do a quick blog (internet terminal in Planet Holleywood - New York).

Wedding was great, honeymoon has been fun (except for the long flight).

Also, weather is very cold (had to buy a scarf and gloves).

Hope to type more soon.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

iTunes Store in Australia - finally!

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 01/11/2005 02:40:00

Just a few days ago, Apple finally opened their iTunes store for us Australians (albiet without offerings from Sony BMG).

I must say I'm very happy with this - and the timing is excellent. I'm also extremely relieved that I never ended up buying an iPod Nano like I had wanted, due to the new iPod's video capability that I would have missed out on.

I'm only buying songs as I think of them (and I had a quick browse through the Triple J Hottest 100 list for suggestions). Here's what I've purchased so far:

Luxo Jr. (Pixar's first film produced)

Asshole - Denis Leary
Be Yourself - Audioslave
Believe - Lenny Kravitz
Blue Monday - Orgy
Deeper Water - Deadstar
Easy - Faith No More
Laura - Scissor Sisters
Longview - Green Day
Music Sounds Better With You - Stardust
Not The Same - Bodyjar
Plush - Stone Temple Pilots
Sour Girl - Stone Temple Pilots
Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters
Teardrop - Massive Attack
When I Come Around - Green Day
Your Woman - White Town

I'm really hanging out for Sony BMG to get on board though - so I can finally purchase Outkast's Bombs over Baghdad.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My (not so) new domain name

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 30/10/2005 14:33:00

It's taken me about 6 or so years, but I've finally secured my name's domain -

My search for this domain began in my first year of university. Although I had heard of the Internet in high school - I had never actually been "online" until I started at Swinburne. We discovered the Internet and related protocols (pr0n) in the Computer Systems subject - which is when I also first learned about domain names. Even though I don't really like my name, the first domain name I searched for was - but alas, I was too late.

After pointing my trusty browser to the address I was presented with some guy's (probably Joel Dixon's) odd website. I think he was trying to get volunteers for a social experiment (details are hazy, it was a while ago). Regardless, I thought it was a complete waste of the domain.

I was somewhat upset that my domain name of choice was taken, and figured I'd check it again in a few years (I didn't know how to lookup the expiry date back then - or even whois information).

The next time I checked was during my first year of employment - but I was too late again. This time Republican Joel Dixon had registered the domain name in hope of securing a place on the Clayton County's Board of Education, District 6. See here for a historical view of his site.

By this time I knew how to check domain name expiry dates, and I saw that the name would expire towards the end of 2005. I was reminded of all of this about a month ago when my brother registered his own domain name - and here I stand.

I haven't really made any good use of my site yet - I've drawn a favicon that sucks:


but the most useful thing I've done so far is create a hockey scores page so I can view the latest Penguin's loss from my mobile (very useful in meetings):

Hockey Scores

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's a Tommy Gun!

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 11/10/2005 19:00:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 25/11/2008 21:57:32

Just downloaded my photos from my phone onto the PC - and have to share my first attempt at the creation of a balloon animal:

Balloon Animal
I shall call him Necky

While I was browsing my phone photos I also found these:

Banana Phone
I walked onto the train - and it looked to me like this guy was talking into his banana-phone (his actual mobile was in his other hand)

Care Bear
This is what it looks like when a small Care Bear is doused with metho, lit and kicked around a backyard for a while

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It's all about the pixels

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 08/10/2005 20:19:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 19/01/2008 11:40:03

I've always been a big fan of pixels, and pixel art. I think the fascination with picture elements came from many, many hours of Commodore 64 game play as a youngster. Not only did we play awesome 8-bit games such as these:

Commodore 64 Games
(click for full-size version - level bonus to the first person to name all of the games)

but I also had my first experience with pixel-pr0n with the lovely Sam Fox:

Samantha Fox
(I just played Samantha Fox's Strip Poker for close to an hour to get that screenshot! Heaps more great C64 ROM files can be found here)

Towards the end of Primary School - the family got a Sega Master System and once again I was exposed to some great pixel gaming:

Mega System Games
(click for full size - Chaos Emerald to whomever can guess each title)

It was around this time that I tried my own hand at computer assisted blocky creations, using Windows Paintbrush. I wasn't very good at this at all - although I did create one or two nice looking NHL logos (in my opinion). As all of these were created on the old 486 I don't have the amusing examples. All I do have is a Penguins logo that I drew with my calculator one boring train ride:

Penguins Logo

My love for pixels was rekindled a few years ago when I saw the film clip to Junior Senior's "Move Your Feet" single. Created by UK design group Shynola it's a pixel-art animation involving a squirrel. It's fun to watch - and still available to download from their website.

Move Your Feet

The reason I bring up this topic is Mini Pops. There was an excel spreadsheet being emailed around last year with tiny little pixelated pop-artits, and you had to type in the name of each one. Here's an example of some of the easier ones:

Mini Pops
(From Left: The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Kiss, Guns 'N' Roses, Spiderman)

I don't have the excel quiz handy for download (look out for them - they're fun) - but I can point you to the source of all of the Mini Pop characters - Flip Flop Flyin' Mini Pops. He's also got a book out with 128 pages of Mini Pop goodness.

I also enjoy ASCII art - such as Star Wars Asciimation - but that's another post for another day.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm a multi-thousandaire

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 29/09/2005 20:07:00

I was about to go to bed at a reasonable hour last night - and I noticed that "The Up-late Game Show" was on TV. For those that don't know, The Up-late Game Show is a late night game show (fancy that) hosted by Simon "Hotdogs" Deering from Australia's Big Brother 5. On the show contestants call a 50c telephone number to solve puzzles for prize money. Puzzles such as this - how many triangles?

Triangle Puzzle
(Answer: 118)

Once a contestant wins the basic puzzle (which is worth around $100 to $300), they get a chance at the "Bonus Board". The bonus board is a series of eight left or right questions, if you get them all right you win a bonus amount (anything over $1,500). They keep the same pattern until someone wins the board - so if you watch a few people stuff it up - you already know most of the answer. Here's an example (starting from bottom to top):

Bonus Board

Anywho - as I was watching the show, someone got the last question of the bonus board incorrect - thus telling the viewers the complete correct path (as shown above).

I don't mind trying to win stuff - so I called through before they showed the next game, hoping that I'd be quick enough to get chosen - even though I hadn't worked out the puzzle yet. Luckily, the puzzle was quite easy and quick enough to solve pretty much straight away. Here was my question:

Shape Puzzle
(Answer: 14)

Luckily, I was the first person to be chosen in the queue and scored $200 for answering the first question. The bonus board had been going for a little while - so I scored $2,000 from that. Long story - long, I've got a cheque for $2,200 in the mail - yay!

While most of it will be going to house / wedding / honeymoon expenses (such as a fridge), my girlfriend suggested I might just have to find some money for a gift for myself.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I think I'm ready to buy an iPod

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 12/09/2005 21:22:00

iPod Nano

I was considering taking my MiniDisc player with me to America for the flight there and back - and the US interstate trips. I wasn't too happy with the idea though, as it's battery life is too short and I don't have any of my later music on the discs. You can't directly copy MP3s to my model of MiniDisc player (I bought it one version too early), so I'd need to play each of them on the PC and record on the MiniDisc. Otherwise I'd need to play them on my PS2, and copy them from the digital output (better quality, but will need to go through each CD).

The Nano's 4 GB model (black) should be fine for me, as I've only got around 3.5 GB of music - and 500 Meg of that is comedy (Jerky Boys etc). The 14 hour charge is good for the flights as well - as I'll be on the plane for about that long when going between Melbourne and LA.

I think I've never wanted to buy an iPod because I didn't want to admit that the MiniDisc was a poor purchase decision - but this Nano is sweet. And you can't say I'm rushing into buying an Apple music device!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Honeymoon Itinerary

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 05/09/2005 09:17:00

As part of our honeymoon to America, we'll be travelling to a few US cities - catching planes between each destination. I wanted to make sure that we had a hotel booked for each city - and that we weren't flying in at 6pm when there was a hockey game booked at 7pm - so I did a quick timeline.

While I was playing around with it - I used Google Maps to show the directions between hotel / airport - as well as between airports. I also put up links to pictures that show the view we'll be getting for each of our hockey games at Mellon Arena.

I'm using this to help plan out what we'll be doing each day ("Where are we staying on the 29th again?" etc) - so the map locations of each hotel are good. I'm currently reading New York's Lonely Planet Guide to get a few ideas.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Got me some web space

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 11/08/2005 00:18:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 31/01/2009 22:11:26

I've delayed paying for web hosting (for my personal projects) for two reasons. The first was due to economics - why pay money to have them hosted on the Internet when I can host them on my own server at home for free. The second was because of a lack of creativity - I just can't think of a really good domain name*.

Well, my girlfriend just got free hosting for 6 months on a MySQL / PHP site, and I didn't even have to think of a domain name (it's just The only thing up there at the moment is my Travel Plans - but I'm planning to add more sites as time permits. I can also use it to develop / test PHP sites from work, when I get a spare few hours.

* I want a domain name that is generic enough to suit all of my projects (inline hockey stats site, random ramblings, Ladybug testing etc), but is catchy / witty / funny. One good one I've seen is owned by a .NET developer that I had for ".NET Essentials". He's apparently quite interested in .NET tiers - although they can become quite messy (hence, this will "end in tears"). I know I'll never think of something that's available - and I'm happy with.

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