Monday, January 25, 2010

48 hours till the world changes

It's not often that I get excited about things (on this scale anyway). The world is about to change (sort of).

In 48 hours time, the world will be enlightened and no longer just wildly speculating about the technological marvel that will change the way we view electronic content. I've been following the rumour mill recently and we can gather pretty much what Apple is going to give us - the Kindle Killer, the slate of slates, the replacement of print media and change the way electronic content is sold and distributed.

Okay, Apple have pretty much nailed it with the iTunes store and distribution of music, movies, podcasts blah blah blah and of course the app store. The iPhone and iPod and Apple TV have been vehicles to drive sales of content, simply a pathway to purchase stuff over and above the cost of the device. Beautifully designed hardware with ever evolving software to drive sales of other stuff. This new device will be exactly that, large enough to view traditionally previous print media comfortably, deliver a rich multimedia experience, make purchasing content child's play. It's everything you wanted, but didn't know you did. You WILL want one, even if you don't know it yet. I certainly want one, even if I don't NEED it.

Think of the rainforests we'll save, think of kids going to school, with an iPad (that what it's gonna be called) instead of a bag full of books. Think of the latest glossy magazines and novels you'll be able to carry around if you feel the need to tuck into one while you're out and about. Maybe have a video chat with a friend on the other side of the planet, or catch the latest episode of True Blood.

What we know is that the 'iPad' will have:
Look like a proportionally flattened first generation iPhone
3G Connection and Wifi
Have a 9 to 11 inch screen
'Revolutionary OS' - a fresh re-think to how to switch users and manage lots of apps and content
Virtual keyboard
Handwriting recognition without a stylus
Headphone socket
Usual USB connector
Camera (for user input - may be able to recognise user - iPhoto can already do face recognition)
Video chat may not be currently offered yet (due to crappy camera and bandwidth issues)
Volume and 'Home button'
Eventually have actual tactile buttons on a previously smooth surface, though this will probably be in a couple of years
Great for gaming
A touch version of iLife 10 - with all your data and documents stored in the Cloud
Be priced at +- £500

It will not be your replacement for your Macbook Pro, though for many basic end users it would suffice to do most everyday tasks really well.

I want one already and, trust me, you will too.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Peep Show

Peep Show is easily one of the best programmes on TV. It's just finished it's 6th season so it's a testament to the show's popularity. It's sharp, witty, genuinely funny, and shows not sign of slowing down. Ricky Gervias describes it as the best show on tele, and he knows a thing or two about being funny.

It's told from the point of view of each character, so the camera of always at the level of their head and you see what they see, hear what they say and even better, hear what they think. It's a bit strange to get used to it, but after a while you can't imagine the show done any other way, and its what makes the show unique.

In a nutshell, it's about 2 guys who live together and are very different to each other. One dry and cynical, the other witless and niave. The contrast and the clash is what makes it entertaining to watch their misadventures and escapades.

Series 1 - 6 is available on DVD and it's worth checking out. Each season is roughly about 6 episodes of about 25 minutes each. Yes, you'd go through them quickly, and probably want to watch them in one sitting! Highly recommended.


Hey, life has it's ups and downs. You have to find distractions you keep you entertained...

Spotify is one of them that does keep you entertained. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's basically online audio streaming in a slick user interface. Virtually anything that's been released on CD is available there, and a handy way to access loads of music wherever you are connected to the internet. There's an iPhone app too, so it's like having access to a huge library of music wherever you have signal.

It's only available in a few countries in Europe, but hopefully will catch on in other places. It's free, and the catch is that in between tracks, you would get an advert of some sort. For buying a premium subscription, it gets rid of the adverts, but for a free service, a few ads every now and then isn't so bad.

Could this be the future of how people listen to music? Possibly. So many people illegally download music, 'giving' it to them, sponsored by adverts and generating income for the artists income is better than piracy. I'm loving it.

Today, Robbie Willams new album was released on Spotify, 3 days ahead of the commercial release. Way cool.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shut Down

I'm a graphic designer, and I work in a programme called Illustrator. It's a great programme, and you can loads of fun and create some really cool stuff. But then the programme has a nasty habit. When you get so caught up and just going with the flow, the programme just shuts down without warning. Suddenly and harshly, it just stops running. You stop in your tracks and realise that you've lost everything that you were working on, that the time you spent working in the programme and whatever you've been creating - is no more.

Well what does this mean? Does it mean you should sob your eyes out and grab a Kleenex and wallow in your self pity? Does it mean you should never use Illustrator again? Or does it mean that you have to open up Illustrator again, learn from your mistakes and handle things more responsibly next time (like always saving). Knowing where you went wrong. Learn from your experience and remember what you were trying to create, and this time do it better than before?

Well, right now, in my life, Illustrator has crashed. I have realised that I have to start again. That everything over the last couple of years is no longer. The initial reaction to starting again is undeniably daunting. But with these technical failures that we cannot simply avoid or foresee, we have a choice in the matter in how we handle things and how we proceed from then on.

I'm sure I will use Illustrator again when the time is right, though in the mean time I think I'll just power down and give the computer some time to rest.

Friday, January 02, 2009

okay here's to 2009

It such a long time since I've posted anything on my blog. Almost forgotten how to write. Rather, write something coherently and interesting enough to keep anybody reading for more than a couple of lines. I've lost on Facebook to be honest. I've accrued a collection of thousands of photographs taken over the last 3 years with my trusty SLR, and thought it's time to share it with the world. Photography has become a bit of an obsession. I'd love to steer my career in the direction of photography an illustration, so organising my collection is a really good idea. I've developed a decent collection handy when creating any illustration, and montage. Yep that's my justification (was a guilty pleasure previously).

What does 2009 hold in store for me? That's a big question, and aside from those niggly resolutions we all have, would just like to improve the quality of my life in all aspects, one step at a time.

Today is the last day of my holidays. I'm freelancing as an Artworker/Designer, so work has been sporadic and slowed down significantly over the past month or two. On Monday I start work again for about 3 weeks at Freeway in Twickenham. A really small agency, with most freelancers / contractors, I go in every now and then to cover leave and help out on design, and whatever else needs to be done.

I sort of vegged out today and watched 4 movies, a sorta record for me. It's just darn cold outside, and as much as there's stuff to do in London, staying in for the day in a warm and cosy room sounded just fine.

First movie was Baby Mamma. Was light-hearted and entertaining, a chick flick about a woman who finds herself infertile and decides to get a surrogate mother to bear her child. It's amusing, lots of chuckles, definitely a chick flick. It has some good cameos from Sigourney Weaver and Steve Martin. It shows the need women have to procreate, the balance between work and family, the choices we make, without being anywhere close to heavy. 7/10.

Next up was Made of Honour. Stars Patrick Dempsey, its about an eternal bachelor who only realises his feelings for his lone term best friend after she decides to up and leave to get married to a stranger she meets on holiday. She asks him to become maid of honour at her wedding. Of course, he obliges, as he thinks it's the only way to make her see that he does love her. This was even more of a chick flick than the previous one, a bit predictable but light-hearted and funny. 7/10.

Next up was Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden. It's from the guy who made Supersize me - Morgan Spurlock. He's just about to have a kid and realises he wants to make the world a better place by finding Osama Bin Laden, or OBL. It takes him to Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, etc. The documentary doesn't actually find Osama (you would have heard about it by now), so if fails in that respect. But where it scores, is showing the humanity of the people behind the stuggle and the politics. At the end of the day, the people of the countries involved in the struggle in the middle east, are just normal people who want the world to be a better place to live in. Isn't that what we all want? I've been saying it all along - why can't everybody just be friends? If we all practiced forgiveness, accountability, charity, compromise the work WILL be a better place. The movie doesn't deliver loads in terms of entertainment value, but it deserves an 8/10 for the message it delivers.

Last was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This was about a guys who gets dumped by his long term girlfriend. He then goes on holiday, and con-incidently ends up in Hawaii in the same resort as her and her new partner - played by Russell Brant. Okay by the time I watched this I was quite movied-out, so probably didn't enjoy it as much as I might have. It has amusing and funny moments, but drags on a bit. Russell Brant plays himself, and even though he is funny, he can become tedious. It's ultimately about relationships, careers, and the mistakes we make along the way. I can think of better ways to spend 2 hours, but it's watchable. 6/10.

Okay enough movies to today. Time for some reality television, with Celebrity Big Brother, and whatever else I am force-fed. Hopefully I'll have some motivation to face sub zero temperatures and actually cross the threshold of the front door. It'll be the first time this year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why do I say these things

Apt or what???