The Matrix remembered

End title sequence

2019 rings in yet another anniversary. The Matrix movie is twenty years old.

Released in the USA on 31. March 1999, it would take another few months before it reached South African shores. On 23. June I saw it for the first time, and in September I went to see it again. It is one of the rare instances that I saw a movie twice while it was still on the cinema circuit, and it was one of the first movies I purchased on DVD — long before the sequels appeared.

Confessing that The Matrix blew me away would be an understatement.

Had the film been released now, in 2019, it would still be a terrific actioner and perhaps even more relevant than it was then: the matrix will be instantly recognised as an obvious allegory to the always-connected, domesticated, utilitarian social media of today.

We’re permanently jacked into the internet matrix. Alexa is always listening.

Surveillance by machines is a pervasive theme, and much of the computer jargon that would have befuddled viewers two decades ago has since entered mainstream speak.

Back in 1999, however, the Internet was nowhere near as ubiquitous: it was the realm of technophiles, geeks and misfits. Although the general population had heard of its existence, its early reputation wasn’t exactly positive on account of the hysteria caused by a different computer glitch looming: Y2k. The world would end after 31. December 1999 because of machines going berserk.

Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday!

Should I keep it zipped? (image via Shutterstock)

Here’s another anniversary. This site, hmvhDOTnet, is ten years old.

While the domain itself was registered ten years ago this month, the blog where you are reading this very announcement only came into being a year later (or much sooner — depending on how you look at it or what you consider to be a blog).

hmvhDOTnet is my primary home on the interwebz.

I’ve been rambling and writing rubbish online in one form or another for many years.

Having an own site (read: domain and hosting space) has been a dream since I first ventured online. It was practically expected of me. And it’s mine. Mine, mine, mine!

Continue reading

Posted in Internet | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Discogs Fan Mail: 2016 to 2018

Welcome to the madhouse!

Adding and updating information in Discogs is an interactive process.

While it is surprisingly easy to sign up and then begin populating the database with new entries or to edit existing ones, it is also just a matter of time before another user or “voter” comes along to see what a rookie user has been up to. There might be questions.

Errors get pointed out, advice is given, links to the relevant guideline are provided – and it is usually no later than this when our new user realises his efforts have a very human audience after all.

He is not alone. There’s someone looking over his shoulder.

Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

15 years at Discogs

Edited hero image (lifted from discogs.com)

So today is my 15th Oggsday. I’ve been a member of discogs.com for a decade and a half.

It has become as much a part of my daily online regimen as checking my email or Twitter feed. No other site has grabbed my attention in the way that Discogs has, nor has any other online resource infuriated me in the same manner.

Discogs is as fascinating as it is frustrating.

Now, if this sounds somewhat familiar, then you’d be right: I used a similar introduction for my 10th Oggsday. Read that article first to gain insight into how it all began and how things developed during my first decade there.

What’s happened since? Which features and improvements have been introduced?

Continue reading

Posted in Internet | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to get stuff done

Getting shit done in Megawatt Park, 1977 (photo via Dad)

Do you have a lot of stuff on your plate? Do you have notes and reminders all over the place? Are you always busy – yet feel like nothing gets done? Join the club.

If you have post-it notes strewn all over the place and, like me, have them sequentially numbered and, worst of all, connected to one another, then you’re in real trouble.

You ain’t gonna get shit done this way. Trust me on this.

Here’s a bit of a life hack. For free.

Continue reading

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Evacuating MySpace

MySpace profile pic from 2009

Ah, MySpace! Would those of you still using MySpace please stand up?

Nobody? But you do remember it? You’ve heard of it? Perhaps you’ve simply all but forgotten about MySpace once more flashy toys like YouTube and Facebook showed up?

Or have you forgotten your password and haven’t been able to recover it because you’ve also lost that disposable Hotmail account you signed up with? Bummer.

Well, it’s been a while since it was the poster child of the burgeoning social media scene — back when we all had a friend named Tom Anderson and there was tons of new and free music to be discovered there. MySpace was the cool place to hang out at.

Myspace launched in [2003] and was acquired by News Corporation [two years later] for $580 million. From 2005 to 2008, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. In June 2006, it surpassed Google as the most-visited site in the United States.

Myspace was also huge for the music scene and functioned as a self-serving advertising platform for those seeking publicity.
The Bean Team

MySpace was instrumental in furthering the careers of acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey (as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen”), Lily Allen, and My Chemical Romance. Needless to say, even established artists had to have a presence there.

Continue reading

Posted in Internet | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The management of projects

The supreme Basement Archaelogist

There are projects, and then there are projects.

There are projects that reveal themselves as mere tasks when they’re completed in one or two sessions. There are projects that depend on the successful completion of others.

There are projects that have hard deadlines – whether set by yourself or by outside agents. Often there is a plan that determines which projects should be tackled immediately, those which can be delayed, or those that eventually get dropped altogether. There is also this thing called “life” – born as the unholy offspring of human nature, boredom, exhaustion, financial situations and changing personal circumstances.

Life doesn’t find a way. Life gets in the way.

Then there are the ongoing projects: responsibilities and maintenance tasks that you take on for reasons important to nobody but your own delusion of “the greater good”.

One project may delay the start of others. One of these is my “SA labels” project at Discogs.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A decade at Twitter

The real Angry Bird! (photo by unknown)

No sooner did I announce that 2019 is a year packed with anniversaries do I realise, quite by chance, that today marks my 10th year on Twitter.

It was none other than Jason Scott who (indirectly) pointed me towards Twitter and, like most first-time users, I had absolutely no idea what to do with it nor what to expect of it. Twitter was different to the other social platforms of the time.

My début tweet was “Just signed up on twitter. Now trying to figure out why.”

In its early days, micro-blogging was as confusing as it was innocent.

Continue reading

Posted in Internet | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment