Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Mana Bar Melbourne - Review

Name: The Mana Bar
Address: 336 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne.
Theme: Video Games
Open Times: 3PM-11PM Weekdays, 12PM-11PM Weekends

The Mana Bar; I'd like to give you a thorough review of it.  The vibe, the people, the games, the prices.  For those that don't know, Mana Bar is a place where alcoholic beverages & video games are offered in the same venue.  You can buy a beer, pick up a control, shoot someone in the leg, have a sip of your beer and receive a roundhouse kick to the head all within 20 seconds.

When we first arrived to check out Mana Bar, we waited outside for people to leave as they had reached their 50 patron limit.  Usually I'm not one for waiting in lines, but the bouncer was a great bloke who told us all about their liquor licensing restrictions (which they are looking to extend to hold more people, and hold them later into the night) and we kept ourselves entertained by peeking through the windows to see all the on-screen carnage that was happening within.

It was only a few minutes before we were in and had a beer in hand.  Entry was free, gaming is free and beers were 8 bucks a pint which is pretty standard for most bars in Melbourne (I was suprised it didn't cost more).  The atmosphere was great, obviously you don't go to a bar full of video games unless you love playing, which meant that everyone had something in common, and most gamers seemed pretty experienced.  There was a good mixture of gender & everyone was happy to rotate around the 4 controllers on offer on most screens.

The venue is very small, but with the 50 Patron limit, there is plenty of room to move/sit/lean.

Here's also a list of some of the games they had on offer the night I was there (I am unsure if these change, but I would be happy enough if they stayed the same forever!):
Marver Vs Capcom - Unsure
Call of Duty: Black Ops - PS3
Super Smash Brothers - Wii
Guitar Hero w/ 2 Guitars

There were 4-5 more screens with other games on them, but I either hadn't seen them before or have forgotten what they were after 4 days of work.

Overall, I'm really looking forward to going back a bit earlier in the day(arrive at 3PM leave at 11PM anyone?), and hope that they do get the extended liquor license to keep people there into the wee hours of the morning.


Friday, 22 July 2011

New Desk Acquisition

A few weeks back...  wait.  I'm only lying to myself, let me start again.

A few months back, I moved desks at work.  At the time, I merely pushed aside the old desk-owners belongings and plunked my own right in the centre.  My computer.  My books.  My pencils.  My keyboard filled with my skin dust.  It instantly became My Desk.

It wasn't until a few days back (truth) when I became severely low on work for the day, that I was scrounging around the depths of the third draw only to find that the majority of stuff in there was not mine!

The challenge had been set, how much stuff could I viably throw out without someone asking me later down the track where it had gone.

Now the interesting part of this story isn't how much I threw out (it was substantial), but what I threw out, and what I learnt.

Here's a list of useless things I found in my draw:

  • Receipts for the departments fruit bowl for the past 5 years (1 for each week)
  • Printed email trails regarding how popular the fruit bowl is
  • 1 x copy of Advanced Microsoft Outlook 2000 (Still in the shrink wrap)
  • "Introductions to types in organisations" (in regards to types of people according to the Myers-Briggs Indicator)
  • Hundreds of business cards (2 x books full)
  • More stationary than can be found in the stationary cupboard

Here's what I learnt:
  • Buying fruit for a department of about 50 people for the week costs about $200
  • People will waste time sending emails on absolutely any subject
  • Staff will ring IT and ask how to do simple shit rather than read an instruction booklet in their own draw
  • According to Myers-Briggs I am an ENTJ, some famous ENTJ's are: Bill Gates, David Letterman, Charles De Gaulle, Winston Churchill & Barney Stinson.  Which made me think, wow, I'm in a pretty good group!  until I saw these famous ENTJ's: Adolf Hitler, Darth Vader, Eric Cartman & Whoopi Goldberg..
I digress..
  • Business Cards are pointless.  If you must, save paper and make an E-Business Card 
  • People are hoarders, how did it come to be that my desk is more well equipped for the everyday business person than the entire contents of the stationary cupboard!?  It got me thinking, why are people hoarders? I didn't find an answer, but maybe you could for me?
  • The subtle differences regarding the words learned & learnt while writing this post.  
hopefully I got it right...

What Microsoft InfoPath 2010 Can't Do

I feel like there are many sites/blogs/articles etc that list all the wondrous things that InfoPath can do.  They praise how user friendly it is for non-coders, how quick it is to design forms in comparison to Adobe & Visual Studio.  What none of them tell you is that if you want to design a code-less InfoPath form, you are severely restricted in many areas that you wouldn't realise, until of course you need to implement that functionality.

"Why would you need to stick to a code-less InfoPath form?" you ask?  Well, in our organisation, the reason is simple.  We plan on creating many automated forms, and we plan on pushing them out to the various departments so that they can administer small changes themselves, only asking for help when they need technical advice.

So as a coder who knows what can be achieved with a cheeky bit of C# here and there, I am going to list of issues I've found while trying to create a code-less form:

- Insert images in Headers & Footers
- Query databases dynamically
- Email the form as a proper attachment
- Drop-Down Lists: cannot display more than one field of information on each  line.
- Using InfoPath on a Tablet:  If you accidently double-tap, it zooms in, with no way to zoom out without exiting the form and re-opening it. 

Obviously there are a lot more issues I wish to list, but right now I have a few things to do, just wanted to get my first post out there!