New Zealand Photography Trip – Day 1

April 16th, 2017

I recently got myself a new Camera – Canon 5D Mark IV. So of course I need to test it out by taking photos of the most beautiful landscapes in the world – New Zealand.

My colleague – Anton and I embarked on a journey to the land of Middle Earth, with one goal in mind: “take as many beautiful landscapes as possible”.

NZ 2017 Day 1 – 16th April:

We flew from Sydney to Christchurch on an Emirates Airbus A380, like you normally would, and enjoyed the great entertainment that was provided to us onboard. Upon arrival we instantly encountered our first issue – getting held up by quarantine. We were carrying a tent, so to remove all possible remnants of soil, quarantine had to inspect and vacuum it. After a small delay and a quick lunch, we collected our rental car and drove about 270km to Lake Tekapo. Arriving at around 10pm, our next struggle was to set up our tent. That proved a bit more difficult than initially expected. Mainly because it was 4 degrees outside, a bit windy, and we couldn’t figure out how to assemble the thing. Eventually we got it done and I spent my first night in a tent. Oh we also took some night shots of the church!

Tekapo Church

flickr

Sand Dune Photography

March 5th, 2017

I figured it about time I upgrade my kit. I love landscape photography, but I was constrained by my camera and lenses. So before embarking on a new journey, I upgraded a bit of my kit. I ordered the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM from Amazon Japan. Its so much cheaper from Japan then here in Sydney, so happy with the cheaper price I got.

So to test out this new baby, Anton and I headed for Port Stevens to take photos of some dunes. The weather wasn’t the best, but we still got some good pics:

flickr

flexboxes

CSS Flexboxes

February 26th, 2017

Today I would like to tell you all about this awesome property that CSS got a while back, but is now finally fully supported by all browsers and should be used by all web designers and developers. This property is called Flexbox or display: flex.

Why should you use it, you might ask. The reality of it is, if you have ever tried to centre something vertically and horizontally in CSS, you know the struggle that it is, and you know how after swearing at the screen for 30 minutes, you’d just end up cheating and setting the pixels manually, cause nothing else works. What if I told you that flexboxes allow you to centre an item within a container with 3 lines of code, and it would consistently work across all browsers? Well it can:

display: flex;
align-items: centre;
justify-content: center;

Flexboxes use the concept of a container and items within it, and uses tools like: justify and align to determine the position of the items within the container. Furthermore, you can easily flip the direction (order) of the items using flex-direction, change the direction from row to column and  grow and shrink the items with just a few lines of code. Its that simple.

I have started using flexboxes at work exclusively, and have not even had to write another "margin: 0 auto" in months! Now I am in the process of fixing up the anime club sites with the same stuff, to make them more robust and the code cleaner and more manageable.

If you want to learn more about this, then here is a link to CSS Tricks, a great website for learning about various interesting css properties and selectors.

Also there is a flexbox game, where you can learn how to align elements in various ways. Unfortunately though, they dont show you the code, but you can work it out from the buttons you are pressing on their UI.

And here is an article (with GIFs), that goes over all the flex box selectors and explains how they work.

Mongolian Throat Singing

January 8th, 2017

You know that country between Russia and China? That country that no-one really talks about at all, and the last time was involved in something was in the 1200s. I am of course talking about Mongolia.

Recently I have been researching interesting places in the world to travel to, and Mongolia is high up on that list, of obscure places where people don’t usually travel to. Once of the reasons my eyes were set on Mongolia, was due to this beautiful performance and the stunning views behind him. As a photography enthusiast, I just jump at any opportunity to take some amazing shots of exotic places around the world. And I believe Mongolia will offer me some great views.

Lets hope that my plans work out and in 2018 Feb I will cruising down the valleys of Mongolia.

2016

2006 vs 2016

December 21st, 2016

So this year there is this thing going around: me in 2006 vs me in 2016. So I decided to get on this bandwagon and combine it with my yearly retrospective post.

In 2006 my family had our annual trip to a new country – Australia. We visited Sydney, Uluru, Alice Springs, and Cairns during the 2 weeks that we were here. I was a small boy, exploring the world, one country at a time, trying to not get eaten alive by flies (as you can see by the photo).

Now, 10 years later, I am once again in Australia, more specifically Sydney, living my life here as a uni graduate and a software developer. Could I have imagined that I would be here right now 10 years ago? Probably not, but I am sure glad as to what I have achieved and how much I have grown.

So what actually happened this year? (And last year kinda, cause I never did a 2015 retrospective, and 2014 was still in Japan )

  • I got a proper job in IT in 2015, working as a software developer at WiseTech Global and I am really loving it! Still there, going strong, working on some really cool stuff.
  • I gave little Ringo-chan an uplift in February by redesigning this whole site.
  • Alex and  I moved to a new apartment in Mascot, now 10 minutes away from work in Alexandria.
  • Went to Singapore and Malaysia with my parents in March.
  • At around this time as well, I started doing sunrise and milky way photography with my coworker Anton. Even though I have been taking photos since 2006 (what a coincidence!), but now I believe I can truly explore this hobby more without having to travel somewhere far. Check out my photos on Flickr.
  • You know what a NAS is? what PLEX is? Well neither did I until I got a NAS and installed PLEX on it and now I have my whole media collection available to me anywhere.
  • June = Pokemon GO! came out allowing us to catch Pokemon everywhere! “A new region to explore, a whole new bunch of Pokemon to catch!”  – Vadim 2014
  • Then pretty much since July I didn’t blog as much and didnt do as much, was just focusing on work and getting my visa situation sorted out. Now I have a 4 year temporary working visa (457), so then in about 2, I can apply for permanent residency!)
  • In October, my parents came to visit me for my graduation! Thats right I am done with uni, no more classes, no more lectures…. no more fun times with my friends from the anime club… No not really, I am forever their we(e)bmaster.
  • Oh and of course we went to Middle Earth and visited Hobbiton. That was amazing. Wish the weather was a bit better, but hey, what can you do.
  • And now I find myself spending Christmas and New Years with my friends, and looking forward to a great 2017.

Hope you all had a good year, and see you all in the future!

uts

I ‘member UTS

December 5th, 2016

I ‘member the good old time, you ‘member? – South Park

It’s been almost 6 months since I completed my almost 6 year degree in UTS. And now thinking back, I kinda miss being a student. Of course doing what a love at an amazing job that I got is great, however that feeling of going to university to learn, and socialise is something that I started to miss over the past few months. Of course I can say that I’ve had the best time of my life while at university and that I owe this to the amazing people that made that time so… well… amazing! However I am still involved in anime@UTS and to some extent JASS, so I can’t say that I’ve left campus life for good.

The reason for this reminiscing post is because I stumbled upon an article written by UTS International Office – about me! I did an interview with them and got them to take my photo, but never actually saw it used anywhere, but then today I did a Google search for my name (Vadims Brodskis) I came across this article. Isn’t it cool! Hopefully this stays on the site for ever, or at least a long long time, then I can say that I have made history! And with such a quote:

With the knowledge UTS has given me, I’m confident I can enter the job market, show them that I’m amazing and make then hire me.

Now, how many of you have your own university page?

Muza Birthday

Happy Birthday Muzaffar!

November 6th, 2016

Some people go to dinner, others just chill at home, what does Muza do? He organises a place at Jervis Bay for the night and gets together a gang of Russians (Uzbek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Kazak Russians) and takes us all to the beautiful beaches. Early wakeup on Saturday followed by a 2.5h drive out to Jervis Bay resulted in us getting some good sun, a few dips in the cold water and a hike through the national park. In the evening, as per tradition, we have shashlik (skewered meat) on the grill and some drinks, while chatting into the night.

All I wanna say is a big thank you to Muza, for organising, cooking and well being such a great guy! Happy Birthday my friend, wish you health and happiness, and of course all the best with work and your personal life.

Photos from our outing are right here:

flickr

Hobbiton

There and Back Again

October 31st, 2016

And thus I have left my comfortable dwelling to go on an adventure to the land of Middle Earth New Zealand. For only a brief 8 days I wandered the uncharted lands of the two islands and explored vast valleys, steep mountains and lush forests.

At first my parents and I arrived in Auckland, went for a few tours there and did a bit of shopping for some Manuka Honey. That stuff is so good, I had to get some for home.

Then we went to the green field of The Shire, to the small town of Hobbiton. That was the best day of the whole trip, both weather wise and experience wise. The tour around the town was only a few hours, but boy did we enjoy it. I took photos of everything I could, and the clear blue sky with the occasional clouds helped a lot.

Afterwards we visited the city of Rotorua, the forest around it, and the volcanic valley with a bunch of natural hot springs. I wish I could take a bath in one of them, but alas was not able to do that.

Next on our list was the south island, more specifically the areas around Christchurch. There, a couple of hours away form the city was a mountain in a valley, next a river, in between two bigger mountains – the city of Edoras, capital of Rohan once stood here. Unfortunately thought he weather took a turn for the worst and everything was covered in clouds and then started to pour once we left.

Finally on the last day of the trip, we went to see some more mountain ranges, valleys, and sheep!

What more is there to say, just take a look for yourselves:

flickr

 

graduation

I’ve Graduated

October 23rd, 2016

What a long, strange trip its been… I came to Australia in 2010, when I was only 17 years of age. I stayed with a homestay family and studied a foundation course in UTS:Insearch. Then after a year of that, I was accepted into UTS to start my 5 year double degree of IT and International Studies (Japan Major). Then just 5 years later I find myself graduated with distinction, with a full time job, living in a great apartment with an amazing housemate and surrounded by people who are made me who I am today.

Of course I would like to thank everyone for helping me with this long journey. First and foremost – my parents. Without them, I wouldn’t be here; without them, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or the skills to get me where I am now; without their support I would not have been able to 6 years of studies, work and life. So thank you mom, thank you dad. I hope I did good, I hope I made you proud, and that your investment in me will not be in vain.

Then my friends. Starting with the first even friend in UTS – Ruben, my weebmate – Tac, my housemate – Alex, my potato – Seb, my Eastern-European friend – Mad, my closeststestest artsy-friend Amy, everyone else and ending with the new anime@UTS exec team for 2017. Thank you everyone for your support, for telling me off when I was acting stupid, for giving me a pat on the back when I did something good, and overall making my campus life as rose coloured as it could have ever been.

So after 6 long years I have finally graduated from UTS! *throws hat into the sky*

However, now it is time to embark on a new journey – I must change the world, one line of code at a time. And I hope that all these great people I have met in university will still be there by my side throughout my adult life.

Photos are right here, on my:

flickr

▹ or ▿ ?

September 7th, 2016

This title may sound a bit strange, but the question behind it is very serious and has caused numerous debates between UI designers.

When a folder or a menu group is collapsed should the arrow point to the right, or downwards?

This is an example of the arrow point to the right when collapsed and downwards when expanded. However not everyone believes in this standard, so UI designers fight that the arrow should be down when collapsed and up when expanded. As you can see in the article image above, the 2 options are both valid, however option 1 (on the left) has dominated the technology space as Microsoft (with Windows), Apple (in macOS) and pretty much all the Linux OSs all use this notation for folders, groups of contacts, and any other kind of grouped lists.

The web however is a different beast and a lot of designers come from print, so they know how things should work in the real world, but no so much how the standards have been set in computers for the past few decades.

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