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    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011 edited
     (10345.21)
    #Android for Desktop

    Android-x86 (the eee-pc version) seems to run just fine in VirtualBox.

    Android in VirtualBox

    Note that I haven't tried anything more advanced than browsing the web with it, but installation was painless and relatively quick.

    Edited to add:

    So far the compatibility with just about everything seems pretty piss-poor. I think some of this is down to being run in VirtualBox (struggling to get SD card support working), but other than the pre-packaged apps basically nothing seems to work. So far it seems like a nice idea but not something you'd want as an everyday OS.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011 edited
     (10345.22)
    @Greasemonkey - Yes! I know her well. She's great company and a great artist. Has collaborated extensively with Fiona Davis who curated Looking At Others - The Death Project Part I, the group show where I trialed the first iteration of my work on roadside memorials. The two of them did all that excellent site-specific stuff around the vanished buildings of the early farms of Parramatta. Hauntology at its finest.

    Patricia's always given me loads of encouragement in my work, and she picked up a couple of paintings at my show in September last year. Wonderful woman. (I was best man at her daughter's wedding, too.)

    Reg is often underrated in Australia because of his early deal with Mambo surfwear. I think he'd be much better respected if his style wasn't associated with t-shirts worn by idiots. He'd be seen as a comic surrealist master if not for the very work that has supported him all this time. He's doing etchings with my old friends Michael Kempson and Tess Allas this week and I'm hopeful we'll get to meet up next weekend and see all their new work.

    I love Reg's t-shirts, have a bunch of them in mint condition. They'll be worth something as collectibles some day. Really wanted to purchase something at his exhibition last year, but I was saving up to move to Canada.

    Regarding Parramatta - the concentration of homeless people in the square there was caused by the clearances of the CBD for the 2000 olympics. I wonder what has happened in Darwin this week with the Queen and then Obama visiting - I bet all the homeless got moved on there as well. The only time I ever had any drama in Parramatta was on the train one time, some tweaker with bugs under his skin was telling off an old man and I told him to quit it. He then had a 20 minute monologue to his invisible audience about how best to defeat me in the apparently inevitable hand to hand combat. He flinched when I stood up to get off the train, so I extended a hand to him and said "I wasn't ever going to hurt you, I just wanted you to be kind to the old bloke." He cried.

    Then again I'm 5'7" but 3' across and my muttonchops are heritage listed. I come from a long line of army sergeants and policemen and have a baritone that can be clearly heard over the band when the PA gives out. I think I might have had a mohawk at that stage. I am mentally ill but I don't vibe vulnerable. I don't get hassled a lot.


    I used to like Parramatta in the eighties, when there were loads of video arcades around the station and there were nice stores like David Jones down by the river, but it's gotten very seedy since then. Three of my friends have been mugged there, a friend's sister was pack raped on the train by a Lebanese gang, and I've lost count of the times I've been hassled for money by junkies around the bus terminal.
  1.  (10345.23)
    Wow, that's incredibly shit. I remember it in the '80s too, wagging school and getting the Castle Hill bus down to the Roxy, blowing all my paper round money on Galaga machines in the big arcade on Church, the cool shops, the best milkshake 75c could buy.

    It's different now but I have to say - from 2007 when my wife got a job with the University of Western Sydney and I got the residency - we spent a lot of time there and never a hint of trouble. Lou just left that job a few weeks ago for a new post at the Bankstown campus. She caught the train from Stanmore to Parramatta and back every day for 5 years, never even saw anything bad. Bogans bickering on the train sometimes, but that's about it. I've copped more crap in Marrickville than I ever did out there.

    I guess I never spent much time there at night, mind you. Maybe it's a different place after dark. Still, it'd be hard to recommend it as a tourist destination given your experience of it.
  2.  (10345.24)
    It's probably better during the day. Nights, going down the restaurant strip can get a bit hairy.

    Remember the arcade on the top side of the station in the 80's? It was called The Alien, and they always had the newest and greatest games (it later became an Orbit franchise during the decline of video arcades in the 1990's). Glenn Ford opened his first Phantom Zone comic shop just a couple of doors up from there in 1989, and he used to run movie preview nights at the Roxy for his customers.

    There was also Escape Entertainment just up Church Street from the main door of Westfield shopping centre, where all the metalheads used to hang, and the Moonraker was further up the hill and across the road (and was apparently the local drug bazaar and gay cruising spot of choice, but I never noticed anything while playing there). The big arcade at the front of the Roxy had more obscure games that you couldn't find anywhere else, plus the great booth games like Ridge Racer and Star Wars.
  3.  (10345.25)
    Yeah, do I ever. Is that right, drugs and cruising at the Moonraker, huh? Oblivious, me. Raiden! BombJack! I bought The Killing Joke from that Phantom Zone shop. Those metalheads, and their "gang" - God, what did they call it? Parrabangers? Hilarious. They were a fairly innocent breed compared to some of the ones that showed up in the 90s. The cathedral that burned down in Parramatta in the 90s was rumoured to have been torched by members of a touring Norwegian black metal band, though this was never proven.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011 edited
     (10345.26)
    Glenn still has a Phantom Zone shop at Parramatta, down on Horwood Place near the big car park. I only closed my account there in 2010 when I left for Canada, relinquishing the record for longest-standing customer account.

    AFAIK St Patrick's church was torched by a schizophrenic parishioner who claimed the Devil told him to do it. My wife and I attended a Bach recital there a couple of years ago, and they've done a superb job of restoring the place.
  4.  (10345.27)
    #SydneyAndAuckland

    Thanks Greasemonkey and Kay - I've pretty much got an itinerary sorted out based on your advice. I'm going to have to give Parramatta a miss, but I've put a day aside to do the long haul out to Katoomba and the caves. I'm also planning to do a tour of the old Middle Head artillery emplacements, hit the galleries and museums and take in a few cheesy ghost walks in the evenings.

    On the subject of evenings, do either of you know any particularly good (or particularly bad) places to eat in the CBD?

    Now I've just go to figure out Auckland...
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011 edited
     (10345.28)
    CBD eateries:

    1) My absolute favourite place in the city is The Prophet at 274 Cleveland Street, just a short walk from Central Station. Family-run Lebanese restaurant which serves basic, delicious, affordable Middle Eastern cuisine. I recommend the stuffed zucchinis, refried green beans and chicken skewers. They give you a big dish of flat bread which you tear into pieces and wrap around morsels of food - order hummus and fatoush as an entree, and eat them rolled in flat bread with some of the pickles they always serve. I'd recommend taking a dinner companion as the dishes are fairly large and are meant to be shared amongst a couple of people.

    2) City Extra at Circular Quay, right behind the ferry wharf. The food's pretty good, although you're paying downtown prices, and the view at any time of the day is spectacular from the top floor, especially if you ask for a table by the front window. The fish is totally decent, as is the mixed grill if you like your meat. Don't order a lot of alcohol, as their markup on booze is fairly steep. Worth it just for the experience of eating dinner with the perfect view of the Harbour Bridge. Don't order any dessert either, just walk down toward the bridge afterwards and get some gelato at one of the stands along the Quay (NOT the ones in the ferry terminal).

    3) Sydney Cove Oyster Bar is built right on the harbour wall just around from the Quay. Perfect place to spend an hour or so on a summer afternoon, eating seafood and drinking white wine. They're only open until 5:30 in the afternoon, so do it as a lunch date.

    4) Head south on George St to Chinatown. Loads of fantastic Asian places on Dickson and Goulburn Sts. My favourite Chinese joint is the BBQ King at 20 Goulburn, but they'll only serve you the White People Menu (which is damned good) unless you're Chinese or have a Cantonese-speaking friend who can demand the (completely awesome) Chinese regional menu.

    5) This is WAY out of the CBD, but there's a place up at Pennant Hills which has Australia's best pizza. Belmonte Pizzaria is at 116 Yarrara Rd, just across the road and up the hill from Pennant Hills railway station. The owner's a huge stickler for quality ingredients, and the toppings are seriously at least an inch thick. Again, take a friend because you won't have a hope of finishing a whole pizza by yourself. Belmonte's pizza is so good that people drive 2 hours down from the mountains just to eat there.

    6) Finally, there's the ultimate Sydney icon, Harry's Cafe de Wheels at the corner of Cowper Wharf Roadway & Brougham Road Woolloomooloo. You can walk there through the Domain from the CBD in about 30 minutes. They only serve pie and peas, hot dogs, mashed potato and such, but . . . . just trust me. Go to Harry's at 3am on a Saturday after a pub crawl, buy a pie and peas, and you'll experience something quintessentially Sydney.
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011
     (10345.29)
    #Android for Desktop

    I tried the how-to-geek method and it was kind of neat. It worked, and looked like a big phone, but without deeper fiddling it doesn't seem worth it.
  5.  (10345.30)
    #SellingArtOnline -

    to avoid big fees then you'll need to use PayPal or Google Checkout. They both charge small fees, but they're fairly negligible. I haven't used Google Checkout for selling yet, but I've used PayPal - at the basic level they provide you with a step-by-step "wizard" for creating customized "buy" buttons that give you a chunk of HTML to drop into the relevant page on your website. At an advanced level you can start using the PayPal Software Development Kit and doing all sorts of fancy programming integration. I've used the basic version to successfully sell artwork from my site, and I'm preparing to dive into the advanced version soon.

    The downside of selling work through your own site is getting people to view it (it's the attention economy again). Etsy etc are a focus for people looking to buy reasonably-priced artwork (and, as you say, they charge you a big cut for that). Convincing people to stray from the beaten track is a little more difficult without a few attention philanthropists willing to help you out.
  6.  (10345.31)
    @Purple Wyrm

    #SydneyAndAuckland

    I have to disagree with Greasemonkey on the eateries. Avoid City Extra, it's pricey and fucking ordinary IMHO. Don't buy food at the Quay or in the CBD. If you absolutely have to, the pizza at the Australian Hotel in the Rocks is worth the walk. Order the one with kangaroo on it. The pumpkin one is also great.

    Harry's is shit but it's true Sydney shit. I love it. Everyone I've ever taken there has vomited. Be warned. That said, I've generally poured a representative selection of Australian beer into anyone who is drunk enough to agree to eat "food" at Harry's. Think Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler in Ankh-Morpork (for Pratchett fans) and you've got Harry's. Also: never go drinking with me. It will end badly.

    The best places to eat in Sydney are dirty old Abdul's on the corner of Elizabeth and Cleveland in Surry Hills, 250m south of Central Station; order the garlic chicken with extra garlic and get a jug of the house lemonade. The place looks like shit. You'll wonder why anyone sent you until you open your mouth. If you go in with a head cold you will leave without it. AJ's in Marsfield is a right cunt to get to, I only know about it because I lived a block away from it for a couple of years, but Indian food: I had better in London on the night I proposed to my wife, but that's the only time in 25 years of eating in Indian restaurants. There isn't better in Australia. Order the malai kofta, it's fucking amazing. Tell Sanjay I sent you, he'll make your night. It's about a 2km walk from either Macquarie Uni or Eastwood stations. Get a cab.

    I used to have a list of favourite Thai and Vietnamese restaurants but most of them have changed hands. Banks Thai on Enmore Road is always good. Bay Tinh in Marrickville used to be brilliant. Thai Power II on Addison Rd is pretty consistently great. Email me at the address on my profile and I'll give you my mobile phone no in case you get lost or need advice on the fly.

    k.

    For cheap night eats, Saray in Enmore is the bomb. Pide to die for. Drink beer at the Courthouse in Newtown, a block south-west of Saray. Order Coopers Pale Ale in a schooner glass. Drink several. It's very easy to do once you get started. Get a cab afterwards, don't try to walk.
  7.  (10345.32)
    Oh yeah and the gelato at Bar Italia on Norton St in Leichhardt. And the coffee at Campos on Missenden Rd in Newtown. Breakfast cafe repast is best at the Big Brekkie in Stanmore (order the house baked beans) or the Post Cafe in Marrickville (anything with fried haloumi). Both serve Campos coffee.

    Check out the markets at the Addison Rd Community Center on a Sunday for food, music and flea market heaven - they're held between The Bower and Reverse Garbage, two giant warehouses of second hand goods. Gould's Books on the north end of King St in Newtown is worth checking out as well if you like second hand shopping, but if you want Australian literature and poetry in particular go to Gleebooks on Glebe Point Rd in Glebe (a short walk across a nice park from Newtown) and particularly check out their selection from Vagabond Press.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2011
     (10345.33)
    I don't think I've ever wanted to go to Sydney more than I do right now.
  8.  (10345.34)
    Don't listen to the blasphemer - City Extra and Harry's are part and parcel of the Sydney experience, and I've been celebrating almost every one of my birthdays at Belmonte's since 1975. Their pizza is without peer.

    Second on Dirty Old Abdul's, Big Brekkie and Saray. Bar Italia has outstanding gelato which they make themselves on the premises, but they're very overpriced and you really only want to go there for dessert. Epping Hotel has been famous for its food for some years now, ever since the new owner refurbished the place and hired a proper chef from one of the downtown restaurants, but I've heard things have gone downhill there lately.

    Doyle's on the harbour for fish and chips.

    Take a look at the Strand Arcade on George Street. Genuine, old-time high end shopping arcade from 1892, immaculately preserved. I wouldn't buy anything in there without mortgaging the house first, but it's very pretty.

    Centrepoint tower in the CBD is worth the entry fee for the view of the city. Security has gotten tight there post 9/11, but it hasn't reached the bend-over-and-cough stage yet so it's not intolerable.

    There's also a climbing tour of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but be prepared to sell a kidney to pay for it.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2011
     (10345.35)
    There are some pretty amazing Chinese restaurants in Haymarket.
  9.  (10345.36)
    @Kosmopolit: true that. Red Chilli, the Marigold for yum cha, even some of the little food court places.

    Greasemonkey's right about the prices at Bar Italia. Apart from the gelato it's not somewhere I'd go generally. They do charge like a wounded bull. The gelato is killer though.

    The Epping Hotel were making good food when it was my local about 3 years ago but don't go there after work on a Friday or Saturday - unless you're a bogan trying to get laid, in which case it's ideal. Epic meatmarket. The refit was a weird thing, they did that sort of conversation pit thing downstairs but didn't bother to level the surrounding floor so it kind of made it hard to stay on a bar stool or set down a full glass. I heard tell that they ripped it all out again a couple of years later and did a new refit! Really bizarre. I remember seeing Jesus Jones there years ago, and the Cruel Sea prior to Tex, and Died Pretty. No bands there now. Not much of anything to see or do in Epping really! For pub food I'd actually go to the Duke of Edinburgh for preference, on Enmore Rd. Good shopping up that Newtown/Enmore strip. Epping's got 2 decent bookshops but that's really it, not much reward for a 40 minute train ride.

    The Bridge climb is a bit of a hard recommendation too, it's eye-wateringly pricey and you can't take a camera up there - you're above the traffic, so you can't take anything that might be dropped. The view is really something though. So is the wind. I did it kind of unofficially one night a couple of decades ago. Painters had left a ladder out. There may have been a large amount of beer involved, and a good cigar at the top. I'd say go Centrepoint for preference though, if you had to choose. You can take a camera at least.

    And I retract my remarks about Belmonte. It really is pretty good pizza. I just... "Australia's best" ... hmmm
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2011 edited
     (10345.37)
    Oh yes, definitely the Marigold. Chinese friends at my last job introduced me to it, taught me to eat Hulutou Paomo without gagging ;-)

    Newtown is a fun place and often has street bazaars on weekends. You can get there by train from the CBD in about ten minutes. There's the Dendy cinema which often shows offbeat arty films, plus several fantastic bookshops and an excellent noodle restaurant. It's also a major pink-collar enclave, so there's loads of chi-chi boutique stores.

    Oh, and places to avoid unless you want to catch a raging case of galloping E-coli:

    1) Any of the quick-serve places around public transport. The Quay ferry terminal is the worst of the worst, with dubious wilty prawn sandwiches that've sat around all day in the heat, but all the city subway stations have dodgy eateries as well.

    2) You take your chances eating anywhere in Chinatown that you don't know. Mate of mine used to be a health inspector and has a million stories about gag-inducing filth in Chinatown's establishments.
  10.  (10345.38)
    #SellingArtOnline

    "As far as can be ascertained, cyberspace has yet to launch the career of any previously unknown artist into stardom. Most serious Internet sales appear to be backed by the legitimating collateral of a respected art dealer and physical gallery space. One noteworthy alternative model of autonomous online representation is Justseeds.org, a cooperative web platform made up of left-leaning artists from Canada, Mexico, and across the United States (although primarily from the west coast and Midwest). Thematically focused on issues of social justice and anarchist history, Just Seeds artists produce “traditional” graphic works—silk-screen posters, spray painted stencils, even linoleum block prints. The pieces are displayed as digital images on the website and sell for modest prices, often between 10 and 75 dollars. As if illustrating the long-tail theory of retailing in which numerous specialized interests form a proportionally larger consumer base than that of mainstream buyers, Just Seeds’ tiny sales add up to at least enough to sustain both the website and provide a partial income stream for participants."

    Gregory Sholette - "Glut, Overproduction, Redundancy," in Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture
  11.  (10345.39)
    #Ridofchewingfingers

    I have pretty much made an addiction, out of chewing my fingers and soles of feet since I was a wee lad. Has anyone whose had this addiction, broken it? How?
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      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2011
     (10345.40)
    @Kay, that's fascinating!

    And yeah, I'm not looking for fame here. I'm just looking to make an extra buck. I like that model described in the quote you posted.