Making a pledge.

11 07 2016

There’s a company out there which produces recorded work by artists, which lets the artist talk about their idea, and if the fans like the idea, they can pledge (key word there) money to the project. If the artist raises a particular sum, then work can begin on the project.

In theory it sounds wonderful, and ought to be, as a vinyl collector I have seen some great ideas bought from dream to reality.

I have bought a few items myself.

But here is where the problem is.

Their treatment of the product during packing, and the packaging of the product itself, results in damaged items upon arrival.

In one case, a print costing around $100, was man-handled and tossed in a tube that was far too big for it, It arrived in very poor condition.

Other members who were on the site’s forum had the same trouble.

Another recent package involved a 7″ single, which was put into a paper and bubble wrap packer and sent from the UK to Australia, it’s a wonder it made it at all.

As a result, although I’d like to support Artists who are using this site, I doubt I’ll buy anything from there in future, unless there’s a clear message to say that great care while handling and packaging of our items will be a priority.

 

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Vinyl – The Basics

7 01 2014

You may have noticed that vinyl records are back, and might be keen to take up collecting yourself, and why not?

But you might like to know a few tips and tricks to help you on your way, so I decided to write this for you.

First of all, I’ve been collecting vinyl since about 1983, I think that’s about when I started buying my own, although I had records from a very young age, usually in the form of the old Disney read along records where Tinkerbell would ring her bell which told you that it was time to turn the page.

My first pop single was The Star Wars Theme, by Meco.

I probably bought about four singles every week when I was a teen, and I kept all of them, so I have quite a lot now. I was mostly interested in 45s (7″ and 12″) I wasn’t all that interested in Albums, mostly because I wanted to buy particular songs, and I didn’t have that much pocket money at the time, so I thought that LPs were kind of a waste.

I stopped buying records around the early 90s when CD singles, Which weren’t readily available earlier, started appearing in shops.

Now I think the transition from vinyl to CD was easy, looking after CDs was dead easy after vinyl, Look, Vinyl is looked upon by people like myself in a romantic way, the huge covers with beautiful layouts and song lyrics, coloured vinyl, picture discs…. but in all seriousness, despite the fact that I love my vinyl… it’s a pain in the arse.

Also, people will tell you that vinyl sounds better than CDs, It can, but only if you shell out heaps of money on really good equipment, which a CD player isn’t going to cost that much and will give you great sound on a budget.

Everything needs to be kept clean, your hands, the covers, the record, the needle, the turntable… and failure to care for your record will result in tears.

Seriously, if you are one of those people who have bought a CD or DVD in the last few years, and now it’s so badly scratched up that you can no longer play it, then turn around now and go back to reading facebook or whatever, vinyl records are not for you.

I personally have CDs from the mid 80s which are still in perfect working order, this is mostly because I transferred the same level of care to CDs as I was doing with Vinyl.

*** The Holy, Unbreakable Rules of Record Collecting ***

These are the rules of collecting vinyl, stick to them and you’ll have a great collection which you can enjoy for years.

* Never Never Never Never Ever LOAN your records to ANYBODY… EVER!

No other hands but yours will touch your vinyl, not your parents, not your friends, and remember, while you can get another partner you may not get another good copy of that record again.

Loaning vinyl will result in sorrow, you will either get your records back in poor order or not at all, and when I say poor order, I mean scratched or broken records or covers which have been torn and stained by coffee, oily stains from fingers which have been handling fish and chips, or even vomit from that party which your records had been taken to.

David+Bowie+-+Sorrow+-+7'+RECORD-354816

* No Food and Drink to be eaten anywhere near vinyl, and no smoking either, Thankyou.

It’s just too easy to knock a cup of coffee over your records, don’t risk it, and seriously, wash and dry your hands about three times after eating fish and chips, If grease gets onto the cardboard or paper, that’s it.

* No Kids… Leaving kids around your record collection may result in covers being “coloured in” and records used as frisbees, if you have a good record collection, either don’t breed or devour your kids shortly after they’re born.

* Records must be put back in their covers and back into storage after use.

Years ago, I bought my Niece her first picture disc, “Push” by Bros. and She left it on the turntable and went out. Unfortunately a friend of my sisters had arrived while she was out (Probably at school) and bought her toddler. The toddler was, naturally drawn to the delicate record and proceeded to scratch it to shreds with the stylus.

Just put them away.

Bros+-+Push+-+LP+PICTURE+DISC-10631

Bros – “Push” Picture Disc from 1988.

* Do not leave your records in the sun, even if they’re in their jackets.

One Christmas I was given two records, Abbas “Arrival” and another called “Jive to stay alive” by Dennis Garcia.

I was a kid back then and with nobody to ask, I guessed that this was the record that the amazing tune I’d heard on the radio a week ago, was on… The amazing tune turned out to be Jean-Michel Jarres “Oxygene” which Mum bought for my Birthday later.

Although this record was a rather cheesy affair, Dennis went on to play with some cool local bands, and played with David Bowie during his Australian tour… and the record is going for about $90 on E-Bay. *sigh*

Anyway…

After opening our presents, we got into the hot car (Note: Christmas in Australia is Summertime,) and headed to our holiday home, which was about an hours drive from here. I put the records on the back, under the rear window, under the hot sun. By the time we got there, my records had warped badly. Nobody had told me that would happen, and there’s a fair chance that if you were born after 2000, that you may not know either. They were both, mostly unplayable after that.

* Clean your records, find a way to clean them which works for you and do that. Dust is basically tiny floating asteroids which are sharp and enjoy getting into the grooves of your records… I have found that even a quick rinse under a tap, using cool water, is ok (don’t wet the label).

* All Records are equal and deserve the same amount of care.

I don’t care if one is Led Zep and the other is Justin Bieber, Both records will get the same amount of respect, always!

Tips

Invest in outer sleeves, Record shops used to sell them, and some still do, but if you cannot buy them there, then people on E-bay sell them, usually in packs of 50 or 100, in all sizes… 7″, 10″, 12″ and for CD cases too.

Yes Dog, I have put record sleeves over my record sleeves… if you plan to sell your records at some point, then having them in their original plastic pack makes them a little more oooh-errr if ya know what I mean, darling.

Get yourself a good set of crates to keep your music in, and if you have kids, a good solid, lockable chest, preferably locked in a room they cannot get to… Never leave records laying around with kids, don’t trust them with your pets either, your pets will get the blame.

If you’ve scored a really nice, limited edition record which is sealed, don’t open it and play it, keep it sealed. Look, I’ll tell you a secret, I don’t own a record player and I’m not buying one either… These days I can listen to music online and I still have loads of CDs too. Records are beautiful things to have, and you can be supporting your favourite artist if you’re buying new ones.

Of course one risks turning into that bloke from toy story, who kept all the toys in clean boxes, and never played with, perhaps if the doctor tells me I have a few weeks to live, I’ll open my records and play them all at least once.

If you ever have to post a record, there are special record posting packs out there. Always use the heaviest cardboard ones that you can get, and if the record is super valuable, feel free to go a bit crazy on packaging, in a cardboard record pack, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a virgin (as in “unused”, not as in from Virgin Pizzas) pizza box, put into a larger box with packing pellets 🙂

Save the packs from when you’ve ordered records from online shops, that’s the best way to get them.

Some people remove price stickers, but it’s better to leave them on, as they add a bit more to the story, as in “Gosh, I only paid $12.00 for that, from… Leedin records? Wow, they went out of business in, 1992, I think” keep receipts too, if possible.

Some people have difficulty identifying a collectible from a non collectable, but if it’s coloured vinyl, numbered, limited, etched, signed, an unusual size or shape, that’ll usually do it. if you’re still not sure, consult “The Google” 😉

There’s this too, after Record Store Day, some records will sell out quickly and then show up on e-bay for triple the price, if you missed out, resist the urge to pay big money, the record may still be available elsewhere, and cheaper too.

Here’s a thing that some people don’t get, the cover is often more important that the record, from a collectors point of view, a case in point is “The Butcher Cover” from The Beatles “Yesterday and Today” which is rare and worth quite a lot today, another rare cover is from The Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” which featured a photo of a mans pants with a fully functioning zipper… Look after the cover.

Oh, and If anyone so much as touches your records, bite their fingers off.

Jargon.

Explained here is a fair bit of Jargon which you’ll come across while collecting,

180g, 200g, Heavy Weight – Simply a heavier version of standard records, they’re claimed to sound better because they lay flatter on the turntable.

Numbered – A Numbered, Limited edition. So you might buy a record which is 1032/5000 which means it’s the 1,032nd copy of 5000 prints, which is the case with one of my records, as you can see.

photo

Two copies of Duran Durans – “No Ordinary EP” on 10″ White Vinyl, The US version on the top is numbered, while the UK version below, was not.

Limited Edition – Limited to a particular amount of copies, but you may need to poke around online to find out how many copies were made.

Gate Fold – When an album cover opens like a book. Here’s the famous innards of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

lp-gatefold-sleeve-frame

The Beatles – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, from 1967, and re-released multiple times since.

Coloured Vinyl – Anything other than black, Coloured vinyl is usually limited to a particular amount, so it’s always collectible and personally I think it looks better. There is some discussion as to whether coloured vinyl affects the sound quality, technically it shouldn’t, although some say that records of multiple colours may click slightly as the needle travels over different patches of colour. I don’t know if that’s true, but is worth debating. Man of Colours, pictured below, was originally released in Red, Yellow and Blue vinyl editions, this one is a re-issue.

b6330d08-6294-43d7-9870-2ea5560a1342

Picture Disc – Where a picture is sandwiched between two pieces of clear vinyl, due to the process of making picture discs, the sound quality is not as good, and I would treat picture discs more as something to be looked at than played, although the sound is still reasonable, many people couldn’t tell the difference, let’s put it that way. The record below, Karma Chameleon came out when the song was a big hit, but has since been re-issued too, I have the original and the re-issue, and why wouldn’t I?, I adore my New Wave and loved Culture Club. (Still do!)

Culture+Club+-+Karma+Chameleon+-+7'+PICTURE+DISC-90006

Wide Label – Some records have a larger label than normal in the center of the record, it’s mostly done for effect, it looks interesting. I have this Ghostbusters record, it’s in “Slime Green”, it’s weird and I love it.

R-481561-1295230535

Australian release of Ray Parker Jrs “Ghostbusters”. The Extended Mix on Slime Green Wax, from 1984.

Four Prong – Where the center of the label can be pushed out, so it can be played on turntables with a larger spindle, which is often not required (I’ve never seen a turntable like that in fact). If you have a collectible record of this type DO NOT push the center out. If you have a record with a large hole in it already, you can play it by using the adaptor which is on your turntable, yes, that little plastic thing you always wondered about. (sometimes the adapter is called a “spider”)

Alice+Cooper+-+School's+Out+-+4+prong+-+7'+RECORD-564164

Alice Cooper – School’s Out. from 1972.

Twelve Inch or EP – An extended song like the ones often heard in clubs, they are said to sound better than seven inch singles because the grooves are further apart, a loud track can “bump” against an earlier segment, producing “crosstalk” where you may hear a soft drum sound before you should hear the proper beat, it’s kind of like ghosting.

Ten Inch – The standard size of 78RPM records from the 50s and earlier, and occasionally turns up as an interesting variation for collectors.

Splatter – A splattered, spotty, multi-coloured vinyl record, simply to interest collectors.

img_splatter

Etched – When a design is etched into part of, or one side of the record, it just looks nice.

zebrakatz

Shaped – When a record is anything but round, Yes, all of these can be played. 🙂

tumblr_m478i3F4lC1qa3zsh

Matrix Number – The number etched into the vinyl, near the run out groove and label. They are also seen on CDs, around the hole.

viny-record-stamper_Code

Finally – People who make bowls and clocks out of records, send cold shivers up my spine. Records are art, they should never be lowered to the realms of craft (wrinkles nose in disgust). * acceptable if the record is damaged, but it’s still a bit like having your Mother stuffed.

Links

Places to buy collectible records.

Note: One thing to consider when buying records which have to be posted out, is how they’re packed. I’ve had a few damaged covers because the packaging was not strong enough. the companies below pack their records well.

What Records

Banquet Records

Eil (Very extensive catalogue, but also kind of expensive)

Other stuff, out of interest.

Odd sized records

A book about coloured vinyl and picture discs.

Discogs Collector site.

Wolfie Rankin





AIR FM – Transcript. Melbourne, Australia

12 02 2013

Werewolves of Melbourne – Lesley Jones
Broadcast: Monday 11 February 1986.

Werewolves have been a part of human folklore for centuries, and later
took the starring role in many of our books and films, filling us with
fear late at night, and giving us blood curdling nightmares… If we could
sleep at all.

Many of us thought that the Werewolf would remain a fictional character
forever, until Australian born rock singer Wolfie Rankin “came out” during
the “Aurora” concert in 1983.

Has it changed our perceptions about who and what the Werewolf really is.

Wolfie Rankin, Thankyou for coming into the studio tonight.

It’s a Pleasure, Thankyou.

I began by mentioning horror movies, and wonder if you think that there’s still a tendency for people, your fans included, to think about the werewolf as a blood thirsty creature of the night? and does it bother you?

No, not really, I mean it has been discussed among some of the other werewolves but we’re not generally worried about it, many of us grew up watching those movies, I certainly did…

You didn’t know you were a Werewolf until you were fifteen, right?

That’s right.

When you first transformed, what was that like? Was there any warning?

Well I remember having the odd twinge in my body and not worrying about it all that much, it wasn’t until after the fact that I looked back with Twenty-Twenty vision and went, Oh, So that’s what that was.

On the day that it happened, I remember being very stiff and sore and my fillings fell out.

It happened during the day?

Yep, Two PM on a Saturday afternoon, so pop goes that cliche. *laughs*

Would you mind taking us through what it was like?

Happy to, I know there are others out there who haven’t changed yet, and while I took it fairly well, others have a really hard time with it.

I’d been out walking Laddie, our Dog, with Dad after lunch and my body began to ache, it wasn’t too bad, but I remember sort of limping around and once I was home, I told Mum who was fairly concerned, especially after me going “Oh look, another filling popped out”.

She straightened my bed and made me lay down, and filled the hot water bottles up for me.

Good old Mum.

Yes exactly, Dad was worried too, I remember hearing him in the kitchen asking Mum if She wanted him to drive me to the hospital, Mum didn’t know what to do, but I’m glad they didn’t do that or it would have made things so much worse.

Anyway, once it happened, there was no pain, it was almost like my body let out this big sigh and all the tension left, and then it was like I had an erection over my entire body, and all the fur sprouted.

It felt lovely, really… but I also felt strangely drunk.

Then I noticed my arms, and my hands and just thought “Oh that’s nice”, and
about five minutes later it started to occur to me that I’m going to have to tell someone.

I thought of Teen Wolf…

So the movies got some things right then?

Oh, It’s generally accepted that if any movie got things right, that Teen Wolf came the closest. *Laughs*

My whole life is basically a better version of Teen Wolf, except the costume is better and I have a Guitar rather than a basketball.  *Laughs*

So what happened then?

Well I wanted to panic a bit, but I couldn’t get up, and Mum came back and
that was that.

How did She take it?

It was difficult, She wasn’t sure what I was, or maybe even who I was, I think she had thought a few things which she still hasn’t told me… but there I was, all seven feet of me, with my legs sticking out at the end of the bed.

She wasn’t prepared for it, how could she be?

I’m grateful that she didn’t watch horror films, I think that would have made things worse, she had none of that imagery in her head so, perhaps, it was easier for her.

Dad was a different kettle of fish, I remember him coming in and looking at me, and his mouth dropped open, and then he said “You alright Son?” and  I said “Yeah, I think so”… although my mouth wouldn’t work properly so I sort of mumbled it. and he nodded and that was that. It’s funny how some people react.

He wasn’t fussed?

Not at all, There’s a part of Dad which never grew up, which I think we all have, but I could just see that sparkle in his eyes that said “Cool!”.

I’m glad because I think it made everything easier for Mum.

Dad helped me get out of bed, and was somewhat surprised when he saw how big I was,

I wrapped my arm around him for support because I was still wobbly on my feet, My Dad is this big truckie and I think he was straining under the weight, so he’s trying to hold me up without falling over and I’m trying not to knock him over or run into anything, it was a mess. *laughs*

My whole body had changed into something new and I had to re-learn how to do everything.

I was getting around the house awkwardly, trying to walk without falling over and I was saying “Look at me, look at me” and then at some point I remember thinking “Oh crap, I’m naked”, so I went to the bathroom and put a towel around myself, and that’s all I could wear for a few days.

You didn’t change back?

No, I was like that for a solid month or more, so I was confined to the house. and you know, I’m generally an inside person, but not going out wore thin, I snuck out a few times, late at night to walk the dog with Dad.

I had no idea if I would revert to my old body or not, and I was worried that it might hurt if I did, or something would go wrong, if I’d die.

What kind of difficulties did you face over that month.

You begin to realise how much of this world is made for “normal people”, You don’t really get it until your body changes in such a drastic way and things which were easy to use can suddenly be difficult.

The first night I changed, I couldn’t use a knife or fork, so Mum cut things up and fed me as though I was a baby, I think she quite enjoyed doing that even though she was also still really worried about me.

It was difficult to use a toilet, I had to really think about that one but
eventually everything worked out well.

What about playing the guitar.

If anything, that seemed easier, for which I was grateful. Having claws at
the ends of my fingers was a real asset there.

Except I couldn’t sing, It took me a good few months to understand how my voice worked.

I remember reading an article earlier on where someone suggested you weren’t really a werewolf, and that it was all some sort of publicity stunt.

Oh yes, I’ve read a few of those too. *laughs*

They cited your ability to form words with a “dog shaped mouth” as impossible.

Well there you go, that proves it then *laughs* Fake as…
I do understand though, there’s a lot of things which shouldn’t be possible and people think well, logically, that can’t be right.

When you went on The Don Lane Show shortly after coming out on stage, didn’t that help?

Not really, I think a lot of people still think the whole thing’s as fake as the moon landing, I’m not fussed about it really, But the Doctors and Vets who examined me that night, were convinced that I wasn’t fake. but then they had difficulties with their workmates and patients so in retrospect although I wasn’t just trying to clarify my position, it wasn’t good for them and it came across as a bit of a stunt.

I know you’ve spoken about it many times before, but what was it like to come out on stage like that?

Difficult, I was more worried about the other Weres than myself, I’ve done well for myself over the years and have a nice big home with security, but not everyone else does.

Although we’ve never been all that secret, people just saw us but would keep it to themselves, people aren’t worried about Werewolves at all which sort of flies in the face of everything… it’s like “Oh, You’re a Werewolf? <pause> cool” and it’s a kind of a let down really *laughs*.

Certain People in Melbourne, the vagrants, the ladies of the night, the cops, always knew we were there..

So when….

But you know the band had no idea, and I just told them I’d make this big announcement and not to worry too much, just keep playing. it was ok, but it got a bit complicated later when we had to have a long talk about it, but after a month or so, we were just us again.

You mentioned the other Werewolves, are there many of you and where do you
gather?

There’s perhaps around thirty of us at the moment, others always show up. We have a place which has been converted into a sort of pub, we hang out there and then go for a walk if we feel the need for a lung full of smog… But I’m not going to say where it is.

mind if we dispel a few myths?

Not at all.

Full Moons?

It’s bollocks, although I find I can’t sleep very well when there’s a full moon. I can change at any time, and so can all the others.

What about Silver?

Well I’ve been to a few lovely evenings where silver cutlery was involved, nothing happened. I can’t say anything about silver bullets as I haven’t been shot at and neither have any of my friends, I hope that remains the status quo.

Is it a curse?

*laughs* Definitely not, it’s incredible, I love it.

Next Album?

We’re still working on it, but it’s getting close to being finished, We’re hoping for a release date of around May or June and another concert in June or July we think.

AHA! A Scoop!

Yes indeed!

Wolfie, Thanks for coming in, and good luck with the next album and tour.

Thankyou for having me and for your wishes.

I’ve just been chatting to Wolfie Rankin and as he says a new album around
May or June, Sounds good to me.

It’s five o’clock here at Air FM.

Archival:

Copyright Air FM 1986

Air Digital, Melbourne Australia.





Tears for Fears

23 01 2013

A lot of people think the Tears for Fears version of “Mad World” is too boppy, but I would like to explain how I think the mood of it works.

There was a sound at that time, which was possibly created by Fun Boy Three, for “The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum”. and I think Tears for Fears used a similar sound for “Mad World”.

The sound evoked images of Asylums, Madness, Padded cells, Old Matrons with veils and a poor person who was crying out via his song.

It dripped with “Insanity”, and I visualised a sort of David Bowie “Ashes to Ashes” kind of thing.

I think those of us who were there in the early 80s understood what the sound meant.

All I get from the Gary Jules version is a bloke moping to himself in his room somewhere.

Wolfie!





Sad and Lonely

14 07 2012

I saw some news article as I was browsing the internet, all by myself, one of those news stories which claimed that people who sat at home and used the internet a lot were a pretty miserable sort, you know, not meeting people, always alone (as the meme goes).

What utter crap!

I’m sure it was written by the type of person people call “An Extrovert”.

An Extrovert, would practically die, if left on their own for a few hours. Whereas I, like many Introverts are happier at home, where it’s quiet and where we can put our feet up.

I don’t mind being out now and then, It’s perfectly lovely to meet friends… but I prefer it in a small group, never in a place with a crowd or really loud music.

I want a chat over a cuppa, that for me is plenty.

And if it’s with my dog, all the better.

I like to hear myself think, I like the internal chatter… if there’s too much going on, I get over-loaded and want to escape to somewhere quiet.

I went to a friends wedding once, and I was really glad to have been invited and to go… but as the night wore on, the music got louder and louder and I hated it, I spent most of the evening on the steps outside, and was very glad to be home.

What I find strange are people who somehow don’t know how to make actual friends online, I’ve done it heaps of times and have met some of these people (who could make it over here, not everyone online is local) and they’ve been perfectly lovely.

How can people have all these social networks and not find at least three really good friends, are they doing it wrong or what?

I have made some really good friends simply by chatting to people on the social networks, I’m on… It’s no big deal, talk about what interests you, and people just sort of turn up.

Making friends online is no different to chatting to someone in a cafe, and I think it’s better really, as I get to know what’s going on in a persons mind first, rather than what they look like. (Not that I’ve been disappointed by how my friends look).

So here I sit at night, chatting away to people I like, grabbing a bite, patting my dog, snuggling with the cat and not feeling sad or lonely at all.

Being the introvert I am, I wouldn’t have bothered going out of my way to meet people, I would have stayed at home, cooked my own meals, watched some TV, walked my dog… if there’d been no internet, and that would have been that.

Lonely on the internet? Nah.

Wolfie!





Fuck that. (A little tale about censorship)

8 06 2012

A little tale about naughty Aussie radio, which appeals to my sense of humour.

Triple J is the ABCs National Rock FM Station, and they wanted a cool news theme, but everything they tried was a big fat fail.

Eventually someone decided to re-mix the ancient ABC theme called “Majestic Fanfare” (Which has been updated and is still used today by ABC Local stations today).

So an old scratched 78 of the original theme from 1943 was procured, and work on the hipper news theme began.

Now around the time that the new theme was being worked on, there was a rap record called “Fuck the Police”, which had been banned on Aussie radio stations.

This was one of the records sampled for the Triple J News Theme.

The new theme was a hit, and is still used on Triple J today.

Despite “Fuck the Police” being a banned record, tiny bits of it are played on the hour each day on Triple J.

Wolfie!





That NBN thing

17 05 2012

A lot of us in Australia are either talking up, or talking down the NBN, as you know.

I think those of you who are talking up the NBN need to get your message across to this person.

This person has only recently bought a computer,

They think Internet Explorer is the thing that turns on “The Internet”.

They have an ADSL connection but when asked about how they’re connected to the internet, They’ll say Bigpond or Google.

Speaking of Google, this person thinks it’s something ON their computers.

I think of the time before 2000 as the “black and white era” of the internet, anyone who has just got online may have no real sense that one file is larger than the other, To them a short text file is the same as a Movie, I have seen one person burn a single short text file, to a CD.

This person has never experienced the effort of downloading an mp3 file, on dialup, which took a whole hour to download.

I’ve seen a computer ruined because someone downloaded “a song” from a P2P program which was only a few hundred KB in size, a huge red-flag to me, (virus) but they thought it was the song they were after.

They have no understanding of why Apples insistence on a closed app store is a bad thing, and probably think that everything is on the app store anyway. I’ve met an apple owner who doesn’t know how to use the app store.

When I got my first computer, an Amstrad CPC 6128 for my 21st Birthday in 1986, I was very aware of the size of files, I had to be, as I could run out of disc space very fast. The same when I moved to my Amiga A500 and my Amiga A1200… and I learnt about the limits of my machines and it’s software.

Newbies never had that education.

And while I fully appreciate the idea of having an NBN, this person won’t understand any of it, and probably think they’re fine with what they have.

This person will accept any of the rubbish they hear from Tony Abbott, about how a wireless system would be better.

To the techie, you need to explain yourselves very clearly to this person, and fast, You need to sell the idea that an NBN is a very good thing, you need to make it sound as appealing as a new Apple gizmo… and realise that even if all the customer understands is that they can buy a white one, then sell them a white one.

To the person who is new to computers, who may be reading this, feeling a bit confused, would you like some things to think about? If so, here’s a few.

Speed.

There are three ways to send data.

1. Cable

2. Regular copper wires

3. Wireless

Now I know some of you confuse Wireless with Wi-Fi, I’ll get to that shortly.

Consider this, do you recall from school what the fastest thing of all was?

If you said light, you’re right, and deserve a gold star.

Light is the fastest thing of all, and that’s what will travel along the fiber cables of the NBN.

Now there is some talk about different cable systems being faster than others, so some people worry that perhaps all the old cable will have to be dug up again and replaced with the new technology, this is highly unlikely… instead when it’s time for an upgrade, it will be as simple as the NBN people replacing their computers with new ones, just like you would if you need a new machine.

Wireless.

Wireless is fine, and I’m not against it. But radio waves cannot ever go as fast as light can, and it doesn’t matter what politicians of either side say, the fact is that nothing in the known universe, is faster than light.

Have you ever had your mobile phone slow down when you tried to access facebook, or poor reception? or worse no reception? Well that’s what it will be like if we all had wireless internet, which would get worse in the evenings as kids tried to play games on it or do their homework, it could even stall completely.

Granted, Wireless internet can be great for accessing things on your computer while on the train, but at home it’s probably not the best.

What’s the difference between Wireless and Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is usually the signal which comes out of your router, that box with the blinking lights on it. It’s that box which allows you to connect to your internet via a laptop, a mobile phone or iPad.

Wi-Fi will only work within range of your router, and is usually password protected so that only you and your family can make use of it.

You can access the NBN via Wi-Fi if you want.

Wireless is different.

To access wireless internet on your laptop, you need a small plastic thing which plugs into the USB port.

While an iPhone or iPad would need something like a pre-paid plan with Optus, Telstra or someone like that.

Wireless internet allows you to take a computer or phone with you and use your internet on the go, it would be useful to someone who’s an interstate truck driver, for example, or someone who regularly flies interstate.

But the down side is that it’s generally quite expensive and rather slow to use, and while it’s perfect for E-mails or Facebook, it’s no good for downloading movies, skype or playing fast moving games with.

Old copper wires.

If you have a really good phone connection, then you can connect to the internet via dial up, which is the very old method which makes odd squealing sounds through the phone,

You cannot use the phone when you’re using the computer for  dialup  internet.

Dial up is terribly slow, so slow in fact that it could take an hour to just load a youtube video.

Or you can have ADSL which is a fairly standard method used in most homes in Australia.

ADSL is for the most part, pretty reliable, it will allow most people to do pretty much everything they need to do, however the problem here is that the further away from your phone exchange you are, the slower ADSL becomes, and if you’re in a rural area, it might not work much better than dialup.

So, if you’re on a farm in the bush, your internet may suck more than your milking machines do.

What an NBN would do, is basically give everyone the chance to drive a Ferrari,

And it should cost about the same as standard ADSL internet (Generally ADSL works out to be a lot cheaper than wireless as you get a lot more data for your money).

It may surprise you to know that the internet came out of the 1960s and has slowly been advancing, always getting better.

That Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are all fairly new, and have come about as the new technology became cheaper and easier to use.

And that although things are pretty good as they are, they could be a lot better and a lot fairer to the wider community if we decide on having an NBN.

Well Like what?

People in rural areas would have the same internet experience as those of us in the city would.

It would give doctors life saving information about patients extremely quickly, or possibly allow surgeons in Melbourne to operate on a patient in Alice Springs via a robot.

It would allow anyone to upload high definition videos they’ve made themselves in just a few minutes (It once took me eight hours to do this on ADSL)

Business people could have conferences online, rather than fly interstate or overseas, allowing more time for people to remain with their families, the experience should be a lot better than todays Skype calls.

I really love to dream of possibilities, I’m really not sure what the next step will be, and that excites me.

So far I have met the most amazing people online, people who I thought I’d never get to meet, but what tomorrow brings may be a complete knock out, for all of us.

I say push it hard and as far as it will go, choose the NBN, it’s the best technology we have at the moment.

Wolfie!

The current, cheapest option is $50 per month, which is 30GB per month, with a speed of 12mps down, and 1mps up

(on internode)

*There was an error in my research last night, this has now been corrected.