Dara O’Briain

I’ve been watching an insane amount of British comedy at the moment and between Dara O’Briain and Micky Flanagan I’m having a lot of fun watching comedy gigs, panel shows and general knick-knackery.  I think the UK in general punches out the best comedians.  I still don’t really know the difference between Britain, the UK and all those distinctions but I think if I meet someone from there who’s touchy about me getting it right I’ll just refer to them as “you ol bastard” in true Australian tradition. 

Brett Cravaliat waffling on about VPS machines

Well here’s my review of the setup process and initial impressions of setting up a VPS at http://vpswindows.biz/virtual-servers. First up I’m not affiliated with them, I don’t even have an affiliate link to their site. I’ve only been using them for a couple days, but the reviews I’ve read of them rate them well for their ongoing uptime. 

This is my first commercial VPS and that’ll be apparent as you read my commentary. On the flipside I’ve been an IT nerd for a while I’m comfortable with most of the concepts. Mostly I host and own all the hardware in my jobs so I know what to expect with them. 

Brett Cravaliat

This is not my VPS it’s a picture from the internets of a server — Brett Cravaliat

Here’s a rundown of the steps I took and how easy it was. 

1) Found the type/price VPS I wanted (cheapest one I could find for testing with)
2) Went through setting up my account – as easy as setting up a forum account. 
3) The Paypal button wouldn’t send me anywhere. So I couldn’t pay for the VPS. 
4) Went into my account and added some credit to my account, the Paypal link there worked. 
5) Came back and hit up my unpaid bill section – it asked if I wanted to apply my credit which was real handy as I didn’t have to work out how to do that. 
6) Went to the manage panel, worked out how to start up the VPS. Hit the “boot” button. Very technical. 
I took this chance to read through the connection guide I should have read first which is pretty simple and lots of pictures for newbies. 
Immediate impression - through the java web console it’s surprisingly quick I thought it was going to suuuuuck. 1Gb machine running in the US and I’m in Aus but it feels like some of the machines I have on wan links inside Aus for work. 

Following the quick guide step by step and I can login directly to the machine via RDP. All good. 

From ordering to seeing the console took me (including figuring my way around the website and the paypal issue) about ten minutes. From no account on the site to installing my testing software on the VPS was about a hour and a bit – but I was eating lunch and working on other projects at the same time too so that slowed me down. 

My tests and software aren’t massively intensive, but the VPS has 1gb of RAM and a 2.something ghz cpu.  I was testing locally on a 2Gb Ram virtualbox on my 3.5ghz desktop PC and honestly the performance feels about the same I think the disk IO for the VPS is a little more efficient which helps.  

Cockneys vs Zombies

A movie review by Brett Cravaliat. 

I recently watched Cockneys vs Zombies, a hilariously silly zombie flick set in the East End of London.  Without putting out any spoilers because basically the movie is about as un-spoilerable as it gets, it’s one of the best zombie flicks since Shaun of the Dead.  In terms of un-spoilerable, imagine a film where some Cockneys end up in a zombie invasion and have to fight to survive.  There.  That’s it.  That’s 80% of the plot.  The other 20% of the plot however is not fresh or innovative, but it is when it comes to zombie films, that’s all I’ll say.  

There is a scene in this film which I highly regard as one of the best action scenes in zombie cinema.  I won’t spoiler this one because it will break some of the tension build up, but you’ll know it when you see it – all I’ll say is it takes the chase scene motif and absolutely knocks it out of the park.  Take the finest off centre British humour, apply it to zombie films, throw in some absurdist comedy, and you’re there.  

The rest of the film goes along spendidly and whilst the plot outline – a group of people surviving a zombie invasion – is pretty much the staple of the zombie genre, this film does things around that which make it an underhyped classic.  It’s got nods to some of the classic British films, Lock Stock, Spice World, all the greats.  Yep I said Spice World.  Maybe it was just me, but there is one scene in the film where I was 100% sure I knew where it was going.  They had me convinced they were going down the macho big trucks and big guns route, and then they British’d the hell out of it.  Classic.  Unexpected.  Hilarious. 

Definitely worth a watch and has some surprisingly big names in it.  A little gory in places but it’s a zombie flick, with a lot of Cockneys. 

- Brett Cravaliat

Chernobyl is Creepy

Having recently watched the latest Die Hard film, I was reminded just how disturbingly dangerous and yet intriguing to people Chernobyl is.  I found a group of photos that highlight this extremely well. Bonus pictures of other abandoned places around the world too. The American town that has underground coal burning in a decades long fire is fascinating as well. 10 people still live there, I wonder if they’re just there to monitor it or if they like the free heating?

- Brett Cravaliat