Digital TV: day one

Today my DigitalNow tinyUSB 2 DVB-T Receiver arrived. That’s a cute li’l USB box for receiving digital TV on your computer. Well, on my computer in this case.

Unfortunately the supplied “tiny” aerial can’t pick up a signal. I expected as much, seeing as we live quite some way from the transmitters at Mt Coot-tha. We get pretty decent analogue reception though, via the antenna on the roof, so I’m hopeful we’ll get good digital through the same. Unfortunately—again—I’ve been stymied by the cabling.

We have five—that’s right, five—coaxial cables for hooking up TVs and VCRs with antennas. And all of them lack the necessary connector my the tinyUSB, d’oh! Back to the shops tomorrow… maybe then we can watch cartoons all day on ABC2. Yep, we’ll just have to wait for Spring.


I'm selling Transformers video tapes on ebay

Selling on ebay is a first for me. We have quite a lot of old VHS tapes which clutter up the cupboards. I thought I would make an attempt at clearing some of them away. First up, 5 Transformers G2 tapes + 1 G1 movie (VHS PAL). Yes, I’ll have to archive that content in a week or so when the auction ends, or this link is gonna go the way of so many others.

Reasons to buy: (a) you want to understand more about transformers in order to understand this blog, or (b) you realise Transformers G2 should be put out of its misery, and recognise the only reliable way to achieve this is to buy and destroy every copy you can find—personally. Go bid!

Don't jump to conclusions about people

I just had my birthday and one of my presents was Transformers — Collection 6. It contains the final three (terrible) episodes to the original series—known as G1 or Generation 1 to fans. More importantly, it includes all the extras, including public service announcements with this all important warning: don’t jump to conclusions about people.

DVD menu showing Transformers Public Service AnnouncementsDVD screenshot: Powerglide tells kids don't jump to conclusions about people

So now you know—and knowing is half the battle!

seeking better classification of computer games

Sometimes I think I should just blog my emails …

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Boyle 
Date: Aug 2, 2005 9:25 PM
Subject: seeking better classification of computer games

Howdy OFLC,

You need to classify computer games better. It is extremely poor of
your organisation to stop at an MA15+ rating when it is now obvious —
with the revoking of the MA classification for Grand Theft Auto: San
Andreas — such ratings are insufficient in these times. All content,
irrespective of media, needs to be classified appropriately, and
therefore appropriate categories need to exist for classification.

Better efforts towards raising consumer awareness are also warranted.
There are too many reports of games being bad for children, where the
games in question have been classified as being unsuitable for
children. There is far more awareness of film and television
classification, but a bit of a culture that “games are for kids.”
Perhaps that was true once, but it as wrong as “cartoons are for kids”
where anime is concerned.

I enjoy many forms of entertainment — movies, novels, TV shows,
playing in the backyard with my kids and yes, computer games. I feel
OFLC is handling the classification of computer games poorly and needs
to reassess as a priority the place computer games hold in modern
society, and the initiatives that can be taken to both classify
content correctly and improve public awareness. Do not relegate
computer games to the “kids/teens” demographic. There are games with
adult content. There is an adult gaming market. There are adults who
enjoy computer games. Handle this appropriately.

That said, I’m sure it is a difficult job but we very much appreciate
the time and effort taken to provide the service. Classifications do
help us look after our kids. I do remember one time being surprised
that our son (now three) learned to say “Shut up” from watching The
Incredibles. A Disney movie of all things. We were outraged initially,
but PG was right there on the classfication and we’ve learned to pay
closer attention. Those classifications really do help, so thank you

I like the new colour coding too, that will be a nice touch. I find
yellow for PG and blue for M odd choices: yellow is quite frequently
used as a warning/alert (road signs, computer icons) and blue is
usually a calming, pleasant colour. Seems they should be reversed.
Though perhaps this is to highlight the difference between G and PG,
which can be important (as evidenced by my own example above). The red
octogon for MA is definitely spot on, and that’s where it really



Don’t get me wrong here — I’m not after sex scenes in video games.
But GTA has so many other fun things to do: steal cars, drive really fast, get stunt points, ride bikes, do wheelies, dance in clubs, eat chicken, steal a harrier, take a punt on the ponies, swim the river, take a walk around virtual San Francisco, photograph the golden gate bridge, discover the truth about aliens in Area 51 — er, I mean Area 69. It’s full of satire and tounge-in-cheek comments on our oh-so civilised modern western culture.

Ah, banning it is a crime. If crap like Big Brother aired on public television in family hours, then I dunno what we expect …

Further information