Day 3 in Japan – Ginza and Shinjuku

After a major needed sleep in, we woke up, showered and head to the imperial palace and gardens. The people are generally really nice in Japan, I don’t think we’ve come across not one rude person, while walking around you won’t ever see one rubbish bin , nor will you see any litter on the floor.

Our first stop was the city bank which had a ATM which we cold withdrawal more money from (thanks bub). We did see a glimpse of some sort of shrine, which looked fair fancy pants. After that we walked to the train station that had a direct route to Tokyo Central, where we would get off to go to the gardens. After a very leisurely walked through a park we couldn’t’ help but notice how many homeless people in the park there was. One lady was eating plain bread with chopsticks, kind of felt sorry for them. Even though they were homeless they still seemed to keep their clothing and selves fairly clean.

We were pretty hungry and found a small café to eat, we ordered from a plastic food menu that was out the front for like 800 yen. It was chicken teriyaki with soup and some sort of kim-chi, was probably the best meal I’ve had so far here!

Anyway, on arriving to the gate we saw a big “CLOSED” sign which was fair disappointing, we realized we arse farted for too long to get there so headed off to Ginza, which was a shopping district close by. Ginza was amazing, the whole district seemed like somewhere outta a New York boulevard, there was shop on shop of expensive designer brands and people all in suites and stores like Luiu Vutton. Of course, being poor tourist that we are, we decided to just window shop but not go into the big department stores. After a bit of window-shopping we hop on a train back to the hotel room.

Few hours later we headed off to Shinjuku , a district known as “Classic Neon Tokyo”, after a hour of getting lost on the subway, (which was packed to the rafter at 8:30pm mind you) we make it to Shinjuku, the place was so massive and confusing. I think 6 main train lines converged and it was just chaotic.

We headed down to see this massive light lit streets sprawling with people. I mistakenly turned what seemed to be a nice quiet street to find some food. Within a few steps men in trench coats started trying to offer drinks and ‘fine ladies’. I think within the hour we got approached at least a dozen times, some even spoke English and trying to spook their services.

We eaten a Japanese style hamburger and sides for dinner around 1450 yen, so bit pricey, we walked around a bit more (getting harassed of course) , I would have tried to take a photo of the commotion , but assumed they would get offended and would cause trouble. My then, Alex was a bit tired of getting harassed by pimps so we decided to head home.

Here are some photos from the day

http://simtechmedia.com/photos/251109b/

Japan Holiday – Day 1-2

Here is my travel blog for my friends to read!

Day 1 – Leaving Aus

Sporting a 6am start, my brother and I left Brisbane at 7am. We both knew we were quiet early but better early than late we say. Traffic wasn’t too bad, but still took around 90 minutes.  We parked our car and endured a massive Jet star line, a quick breaky then waited in the international bit.

Flight was on time and we left off at around 10:50 from gold coast.   The flight was excruciatingly long. 8 hours and 45 minute flight time, we watched TV shows till my laptop died, and listened to music till our ears bled, but we both seemed bored out of our minds still.

We landed at Narika airport on time, think it was around 6:45 local time. Coming into the city you could see how massive it was compared to any city in Australia.  Me and my brother both was one of the first ones off the plane and walked with everyone else. At the end of the walkway there was just 5 doors, we were quiet confused, anyway they all end up opening up when a little tram rocks up to take us to the main bit of the airport.  We cleared customs quiet quickly, took some cash out from a citybank ATM and tried to figure out how to get to hotel.  Thankfully the help desk chick spoke good English and pointed us to a bus service that cost 3000 yen and dropped us a 5 minute walk from our hotel (supposedly) that left in around 20 minutes.  Brother picked up a hot tea for a vending machine (bottled hot tea!) and then waited for our bus.  The bus service was quiet organized, people came and sorted our your luggage and quiet polite.  The Bus trip took around 2 hours? Was quiet exciting at this point, being in a new country and all.

When we got off the bus we look at our map, to our surprise there are no street signs, or numbers to any buildings in Japan. We asked around a bit, but no one realy knew wher that exact hotel is, because no one knew the names of streets, was fair frustrating. We even asked a policeman which was no help. Eventually we gave up and jumped into a taxi which carted us about 500 metres up the road and dropped us off (should have done that from the start).

The local area was very different, every corner there was a little eat-our place, everyone seem to have a new car, except all taxi’s seem to be older cars, we didn’t see one new taxi at all.  Lots of people on bikes weaving through traffic.

We checked into our hotel at around 10pm local time, but while we checked in we made a horrible discovery that they wanted full payment for the hotel room.  Either alex didn’t pay for the hotel yet or they made a mistake we can’t find out, either way we had to pay our hotel room with my credit card which means ½ our spending money was now gone.  Obviously upset, we wander up to our hotel room. The hotel room was very very disappointing, we expected a lot better for what we paid, but by then it was far too late to change. Both of us starving go down stairs and hunt for some food, many / most restaurants stay open till 3-4am so it wasn’t too hard to find something reasonable, we ate some ramen from a restaurant, what was peculiar was the fact you paid using a vending machine! Our mood was quiet somber at this point thinking we had no money and no way to contact home to get more.

After some food we limped back into our hotel room to sleep, was a crap day and really disappointed how it turned out, I guess I was hate-ing it at this point and missing home already.

Day 2 – Shibuya

We woke up with a bit more lease of life, knowing we had to make our most of our time here we set off when we woke up grabbed some food. We ate a curry at a local place which cost us 1050 yen (about 12$) so not that cheap, but still good.

After battling a few ATM’s to find out my credit card doesn’t work, we deiced to head off to Shibuya, a local district close by.  Took us a while to figure out how to buy a ticket but eventually get it, was around 160 yen for one and got us the whole way there.

The subway system is very different from what I’ve seen in Australia, the trains are very long and come every 5 minutes (2 minutes during peak).  Each of the train lines are owned by a different company and their platforms are not connected, so you have to leave the platform and find where the other trains leave from (very confusing most times).

Shibuya was fair crazy, 1000’s of people just walking everywhere, big neon screens across the whole of side of buildings and just generally chaotic, we walked around stores looking for a travel adapter for my mac so I could browse the net at the hotel room (which is very handy for people like me and my brother who didn’t plan anything).  I saw many clothing stores that was far too rich for my taste so we just did a fair bit of window shopping.  I got some photos of some strange things I saw that will upload later.

After our tired feet couldn’t take any more we headed back to our hotel room to use the net and have a bit of a rest.  With the net at hand we were able to plan our next day out with a lot more joy.  We head out again to have some dinner then headed back to the hotel to watch some crazy jap tv then goto bed!

Overall a much better day and looking forward in tommorrow

Here are some photos I took while in Shibuya

http://simtechmedia.com/photos/241109b/

Flowcharting

I never used to flowchart or do any type of visual documentation while programming, I guess you didn’t need to while programming in procedural like I did back on ye old days. In recent times in the advancement further into OOP it’s becoming harder for me to keep well cohesion classes. I recently almost had a early alpha program up and running and decided to try to flowchart the application to see where I was at with it. It looked like a mess, things that worked made no logical sense once I laid it out into a nice chart, needless to say, I am on my way to redo a lot of it.

From now on I’m flowcharting while I make complex applications.

Flex + ZendAMF

Slacker don’t update!

Anwyay i’m working on a pretty sweet project at the moment, using the new Flash Builder 4 , and using ZendAMF to remote to a server. I’ll update with more details, soon 😉

Macs are better for Development?

As a PC user in a Mac dominated multimedia industry I’ve always wondered what I was missing out on.  I recently brought a macbook and was forced to use it when travelling north away from my trusty PC.  The macbook has a lot of good things going for it, great build quality and stable as a rock… most of the times.

I can’t help Mac just try to be different to be different, not be better.

So there ya have, I’m not knocking the Mac brand before I’ve tried it, I’ve tried it thoroughly and I think I shall remain a PC user for a lot while longer, I find working on it faster and the tools available more robust.  FlashDevelop, my main ActionScript editor was not available in OSX flavour which i found the most pain, textMate and Flash Editor was just not up to its standard.

Keeping Busy

I have been keeping busy , things are looking up with work, more info coming soon…

3 Monitors!

Got my new monitors today, so now i got 2 hooked up to the PC and one hooked up to the Mac, yes, i have a mac these days, mr anti-mac himself.

Progress in life!

Long time no blog!

I promise I’ll write here more, things have been going well, been so busy with work i haven’t had a change to do much more then work.

I am full time with a Marketing company in Brisbane,  still work from home though which is sweet.

More blogs to come shortly, might even finish my portfolio one day 😉

MCV in Flash

With design patterns being using dominantly in corporate environments I have spent a bit of time learning and getting used to Design Patterns. The one that I was recommended was the MCV design pattern that has been used for years in conjunction with Java, PHP and now Flash and Flex.  The MCV design pattern is made of 3 different sections. The Model, the Controller and the View.

The Model – This is where the data is stored and changed

The Controller – The generally is class(s) which hook in with human interaction to adjust and control the model.

The View – The is all the visual stuff the end users see’s, the view updates itself every time the model says it needs to change.

So why bother with this you may ask, I thought the same actually, but with so many people recommending it , it was hard to ignore the possibility of great gains by learning this time of strong object oriented programming technique.

Flash Magazine 2

I’ve always been a huge fan of Lee Brimlows side projects, he recently started up a internet magazine known as ‘Flasher’, its quiet a good watch if you’re interested what’s happening in the industry right now. In flasher 2 he interviews some big wigs with Flash and Flex.

Definitely worth the watch http://www.flashermag.com/