Saturday, April 24, 2004


Yesterday, I attended an Australian Rules football game at the former Olympic Stadium in Sydney. The game was enjoyable, although my team were a bit soft towards the end and lost, and the game was a little lacking in atmosphere. (Even in its reduced post-olympic form, the stadium seats 80000, and there were only 33000 at the game). After the game, I went into a bar outside the ground. Before getting in, a bouncer wanted to look inside my bag, presumably to check I was not carrying any other alcoholic drinks (or something).

"Can I check your bag".
(Assenting grunt). (Bouncer looks inside bag).
"Is that a Walkman"?
"No, it's a DVD-ROM drive".
"Okay, that's fine".

The DVD-ROM drive was bought for only A$25. (£10) in one of those little computer shops run by Chinese people that Sydney has in abundance. My Mum's computer does not have a DVD-ROM drive as it is a year or two old, and that is so cheap that I felt pretty much compelled to buy one to add to it.

Update: The DVD-ROM drive came from a well known company (Creative, who also are well known for their Soundblaster sound cards and who are also a distant number 2 in the MP3 player business behind Apple), but it was an old model. This had two disadvantages: the first is that the drive is 12x speed rather than the seeming current standard of 16x; the second is that the software it came with was for Windows 2000 rather than Windows XP. This explains the low price to some extent, as I had to find some appropriate XP compatible software before it would play DVDs. Now that I have done so and installed the software, however, the drive works just fine. Definitely a bargain.

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