Simon’s Backup Weblog


So far, so NZ…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 27, 2004

Mountains, rivers, spirals, tree ferns, volcanoes, forests, weta, greenstone, vines, whales, beaches, great food, good beers, King Kong, sheep, mud pools, geysers, ice cream, shells, waterfalls, kiwi, pau, southern stars, birds, seal pups…

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The wild blue yonder…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 15, 2004

We have a van, we have a map, and we have no plans whatsoever…

Sounds like a good day to start our month driving around New Zealand!

So it’s good bye to Gary and Elise’s house in Christchurch, and hello open road.

Intermittent reports and photos to follow…

Well that was Vegas…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 11, 2004

…and I’m up 150% on my gambling. Yup, wagered a whole $1 and won $1.50. I’m turning in to a real high roller!

Today we’re travelling back to LA to catch our flight on to Christchurch, where by the miracle of the International Date Line we miss Friday completely…

The Incredibles is…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 11, 2004

…pretty damn good. It’s a cross between superhero comic and spy thriller, with more than a nod of the head at classic James Bond, all animated with a touch of New Yorker cartoon, Chesley Bonestell spaceships, and pop art children’s picture book. In other words, another Pixar triumph.

There’s also the usual Pixar movie game of spotting the film references in the shots – which leads to a wonderful segue between the Return of the Jedi speeder bike chase, the Phantom Menace pod race, along with the sequence where the flying boat approaches the Man with the Golden Gun’s lair…

0ooh Las Vegas!

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 10, 2004

The 16th floor lake view at The Bellagio rocks. Especially when the fountains go off – and reach as high up as us. Not entirely sure about having individual switches for all the lights here, though we do seem to have a master control panel for the curtains… Perhaps we’re missing a remote control…

We were most amused to find that the various floor patterns in the lobby and conservatory are just like those we saw at the real Lake Como a couple of weeks ago…

Today has been mostly spent walking around a block or so of the strip, taking in various park-like bits of the big theme hotels. The Flamingo has penguins (and flamingos), while The Mirage’s dolphins and various big cats are very impressive indeed.

For those who need to know, fake Italian skies are still in.

Off we go…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 8, 2004

…back in mid-December.

Watch out for sporadic updates from the other side of the world (or the right side of the world for folk like and )…

Stamp those Muppets

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 6, 2004

There’s going to be a set of Muppet stamps in the US. Launching in March, they’ll include 11 different images of popular muppets and their creator Jim Henson.

Now, how about some Smallfilms stamps in the UK. I could lick a first class Clanger quite happily…

You win…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 6, 2004

From near enough everyone…

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 23.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal…
…along with these instructions.

“As a result of being hunted, the moa became extinct several hundred years ago”

Eyewitness Travel Guides: New Zealand

(What else would I have on my desk today?)

Digital Retro

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 5, 2004

There’s an interesting list of early PCs and gaming systems at the web site for Gordon Laing’s book Digital Retro (another one for the wish list…). It looks like I’ve used quite a considerable number of these beasts in the past – and owned more of them than I’d thought.

I’ve bolded those I’ve used, and underlined those I’ve owned. And by used I mean more than typing “10 Print “Hello World”: Goto 10″ on a machine in a high street shop!

MITS Altair 8800
Commodore PET 2001
Apple II
Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80
Atari VCS
Nascom 1
Atari 400 / 800
Sharp MZ-80K
Acorn Atom
Texas Instruments TI-99/4(A)
Mattel Intellivision
Tangerine Microtan 65
Hewlett Packard HP-85
Sinclair ZX80
Sinclair ZX81
Osbourne 1
Commodore VIC-20
IBM PC
BBC Micro Model A / Model B
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Colecovision
Grundy Newbrain
GCE Vectrex
Dragon 32
Compaq Portable PC
Apple Lisa
Oric 1
Jupiter ACE
Mattel Aquarius
Nintendo Famicom / NES
Acorn Electron
Apple Macintosh
Sinclair QL
Amstrad CPC-464
IBM PC AT
MSX / Sony HitBit
Tatung Einstein
Atari 520ST / 1040ST
Commodore Amiga 1000
Amstrad PCW 8256
Sega Mark III / Master
Acorn Archimedes
NeXT Cube

So how about you. What were your training wheels for the world we have today?

High Fiving Forklifts…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 5, 2004

…it’s the teaser trailer for the next Pixar movie: Cars.

Vavoom.

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