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Chris's Random Ramblings

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 - Hello World!

Its taken me over 3 weeks to blog about it (twitter is just so much more convenient these days), but my wife gave birth to our little girl, Alyssa Pei Ping Yeoh, on July 29th.

everest and lhotse

Alyssa is home and settling in really well. Of course she has her own web site.

Mon, 14 Jan 2008 - Australian Open Tennis Championship 2008

For the Australian Open in 2007, as part of the virtual world work we do for IBM, Kelly, myself and some others built a partial replica of Melbourne Park in Second Life where the event is held. At the site you can visit the Rod Laver arena, see games from centre court replicated in the virtual world in almost real time, and get some free virtual merchandise. You can also see an ongoing game from the players point of view which is quite cool.

Last year, whilst we did some tours for guests, the sim was kept private, but now the sim has been made public so anyone can visit. Also, this year a Couture on the Court fashion competition is being run where there are linden dollar prizes available ($L250,000 for first place) for original outfits. Details about the competition are available at the site - entries close 12am Australian Eastern Daylight time on January 21st.

Aus Open Court

Couture on Court Competition

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 - We're having a baby!

Kelly is 12 weeks pregnant! We went off this morning to get an ultrasound and came back with some pictures. Looks like Baby Yoyo has a head, two arms and two legs which is a good start :-)

Baby Yoyo 12 Weeks

Baby Yoyo should make an appearance into the big wide world around July 24.

Thu, 15 Nov 2007 - We bought a house! (in Adelaide)

Kelly and I have been thinking about moving back to Adelaide some time in the future, and have been looking at houses on the websites for a while. Something that fits in pretty well with what we want came up recently, and we put in an offer which was accepted. The house is in Hectorville, within walking distance of both my parents and brother's house.

We plan on renting out the place for a couple of years, then knock it down and build our dream house before moving back. We've been reading a lot of books on sustainable houses, and hope to get a good solar passive design. I think it should be possible to end up with a house that needs no artificial heating in winter and little cooling in summer. We're off to see an architect who specialises in sustainable house design next week for some advice and feedback on our very rough house design.

Mon, 06 Aug 2007 - Real Estate Listings

Adverts for houses generally have the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and maybe the size of the land. In some places in Australia they have energy efficiency ratings. But what they really need is a rating for the fastest broadband connection you could get to the property.

It would be much better than the current method of searching for a house based on the distance from the telephone exchange and websites like adsl2exchanges.com.au .

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 - Watch the world

A very cool SL Machinima video. Wish I knew where in SL it is so I could go have a look.

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 - Virtual Software Freedom Day 07 T-shirts

I saw Pia's post about Software Freedom day t-shirts last week and asked about getting the source artwork to make some virtual ones. I'm no gimp expert, but I did get around to making a virtual t-shirt up that you can grab in Second Life for free.


tshirt dispenser

You can pick up your own free (full mod/copy of course) version of the t-shirt at Sipiwesk (127,40,61)

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 - T60p, Ubuntu Feisty and Second Life

About every three years our laptops get upgraded. Monday last week was upgrade day for me and I received a T60p to replace my T41p. If I'd remembered to google beforehand I would have saved myself a bit of time as the graphical installer doesn't work because the video driver doesn't work (installer just crashes). The text installer on the other CD did get a lot further, though it did stall for a long time at the end - long enough that I thought I'd try to kill off the offending process and hope the installer would continue. Unfortunately although the installer framework survived, it just refused to retry installing the packages.

The second time around when it stalled I did a bit more investigating, and with the help of sfr realised that it was trying to do an http request. It was late enough in the day that the office network was behaving much better and rather than getting stuck it managed to complete the install. A little bit of upgrading and everything was happy. Nice not to have to play around with xorg.conf settings for once.

These days virtual worlds are a big part of my job, especially with Second Life, thus the choice of laptop with a 256Mb video card. Unfortunately Second Life has a bit of a reputation of really pushing the graphics drivers (both on Linux and Windows). Hardware accelerated OpenGL works pretty much out of the box, but on Ubuntu Feisty Second Life dies pretty early on in the process.

Again if I'd googled before hand I'd have found that Second Life simply doesn't work with the default install. Luckily, upgrading to the latest version of the binary drivers makes things work, although it does still seem to crash occasionally.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 - PS3 Eye Toy

I recently noticed a couple of videos on YouTube about the PS3 Eye Toy coming out somtime this year (I think). The first is basically just an advert, and the second is a demonstration of how a card game will work. If it works as well as it does in the videos, there are going to be some very interesting user interfaces come out as well as some very fun games.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 - Square Rock Snow

Kelly and I headed off for a walk up to Square Rock today . It was a little colder than expected - here's Kelly doing a penguin impression.

It was Kelly's first time playing in snow and I hadn't seen that much snow up there before. We weren't really dressed for snow weather so we turned back not that far along the track, but it was fun to wander around for a while and have a bit of a snowball fight.