Saturday, 10 March 2012

My new toy

Well. It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that.
It turns out that neither a netbook, nor an iPhone are particularly conducive to my mood when it comes to blogging. 
Enter my new toy... It's neither pure tablet, nor netbook, but a combination of the two.

My admiration for a little Taiwanese company called Asus is no secret.  They are the company that made netbooks so popular five years ago with the original EeePC. In fact when Apple was talking about the iPad 2, Asus already had me intrigued with a prototype that they were showing off that was basically two iPads joined along the longer edge...
That ultimately turned into the EeePad Transformer, EeePad Slate and EeePad Slider early last year. Check out their microsite here.

The Slate is still a completely different monster to all the rest and remains something that I will covet until I win the lottery.  The Slate is a true artists tablet - like a Wacom Cintiq but not tethered to a desktop and one day I will buy one just to enjoy the pure thrill of drawing (with a pressure sensitive pen) directly onto my screen.

For now though, I have treated my self to the second generation of the EeePad Transformer: With the unwieldy name of the Asus EeePad Transformer Prime.
It is a beautiful combination of netbook/laptop and tablet, running on Google's Android platform rather than Apple's iOS or Windows.
Imagine a laptop where you can detach the screen and use it as a tablet and you're on your way to understanding the Prime.

The detachable keyboard, while also providing a level of screen protection and making typing far easier than using an inscreen keyboard has a real innovation: it provides a second battery... In fact whenever the tablet is docked to the keyboard it starts to draw power from the keyboard battery first, recharging itself at the same time!

I received my Prime on Tuesday.  Since then, I have surfed, tweeted (briefly - I'm still trying to find a Twitter client for Android that I like), used Facebook (UGH!- but that's Facebook's fault) watched hours of streaming video, played games, read Comics (thank you Comixology for allowing me to sync my titles between my iPhone and my Prime!) paid bills and watched movie trailers.  It is now Saturday morning. The keyboard has been completely drained and the tablet battery is down to 28%, so in effect I only have 14% charge left... SINCE TUESDAY!!!!  Compare that to my iPhone which generally has to be plugged in every night and I am VERY impressed with my new purchase.

All I need for it now is a Photoshop-like image editor and a MicroSD card to expand the storage capacity (already ordered) and I will be sorted.

Unfortunately, I also no longer have any excuse not to get back into blogging, so you're probably going to see a bit more from me in the near future...

Take care.


Friday, 1 May 2009


Just a couple of shots of the garden, now that the rain and sun have woken the plants up...
Firstly from the kitchen:

And secondly the gorgeous view from Zach's window:

Not great quality, I grant you, but that's the iPhone for you...

-- Posted From My iPhone

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

General ramblings - 29th of April 2009

I'm just going to spout a torrent of stuff that's on my mind. I'll avoid comics and F1 as much as possible. The other blog's for those topics...

I'm in another depression cycle. I go through them from time to time. Weather has a lot to do with it, but money more than anything else. I have always seemed to be treading water. Just keeping my nose above the water enough to keep going. The media depresses me too. The British media primarily, as it's the one I'm most exposed to, but American media adds to it. Creating stories to scare people, humiliate people, smear people, etc., usually with only the slimmest substance to back them up.

It's nothing new. An example that springs immediately to mind was the manufactured rivalry between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. No substance to it whatsoever. Ask Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney. But it sold papers and gave people something to talk about.

The latest fear of course is "Swine Flu"... Let's not explain it clearly and calmly, instead surely its better to spread panic and fear throughout the world before anyone realises what's going on.

What about companies giving bonuses to people when the company has just posted a huge loss? "We've lost money, so we're going to give some more money that we could actually be putting back into the company to improve it..."

Or, "You've just cost us £300 million, but rather than fire you, we're going to offer you £50 million to go away..."

The company I work for gives us bonuses in the form of "profit-share". If the company makes a profit, I get a share of it. No profit, no share. Simple.

The other thing that drives me nutty is talk of Religion. Newsflash. Darwinism is a form of Religion. Religion, based on its Latin root, means "system of belief". What you believe in. Atheism is a Religion. You don't have to believe in "God" to be religious. My personal Religion has one core belief, shared by most of the world's religions - "Treat other people in a manner in which you yourself would like to be treated." I will admit that I'm not perfect. I lose my temper too easily, and get annoyed by silly things, but I try to treat people well.

I believe that there are good and bad, "angels" and "demons", in all walks of life. Be they British, American, German, French, Israeli, Arab, or Martian. Black, white, pink or green with yellow spots. Male, female, young, old, Christian, Jew, Moslem or Creationist.

Oh, and Scientology is not a religion. It is a business. Full Stop. It was created by a Science Fiction author who saw a great way to make money. You pay your way to advance within the ranks of the business. Look up "Operation Clambake"... It will explain things much better than I can.

That's enough ranting for now.

Night night!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Sisters of Mercy at the Forum, Kentish Town

The overwhelming verdict seemed to be "Terrible".
Nothing against Andrew, Doktor Avalanche and The Other Two. Once those at the very front of the audience started singing along, it was easy to tell what the songs were, and what verse they were on...
Putting it bluntly, the Sound Engineer had apparently no clue what to do with a Sound Board... I spoke to a couple who had been standing next to her during the first half of the gig, and they said she seemed to be enjoying herself! Maybe she didn't know what The Sisters are supposed to sound like?
The bass drowned everything out. Andrew Eldritch is notorious for singing with a deep, bassy boom, but we were getting maybe one word in ten!

A friend said she was at the Forum last year, and they had a similar issue... Being a Sound Engineer is an extremely technical job. Knowing how to compensate for a crowded room, when your sound checking in an empty venue is an art. One sadly lacking at the Forum in Kentish Town.

There is a way round it. They are called Roadies... You may have seen them onstage between acts at larger concerts, going "Testing, testing. One. Two!"? That was called a "sound check". It comes in useful.

I won't be going back to the Forum, but I wouldn't mind seeing The Sisters again... Ah well, at least I got a new T-shirt, long-sleeved this time!

-- Posted From My iPhone

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Blogger needs an iPhone app...

With the rollout of Wordpress 1.2 for the iPhone, I really want to find an equivalent blogging app. that I can use to update my Blogger/Blogspot blog.
Must be able to store drafts locally on my iPhone (for working on the tube, or other places with no signal) and most important, it must be FREE!
Oh, alright, I'll settle for 99p, but mo more than that...
Come on Google! Nice orange 'B' for my phonetop please?

Sunday, 1 March 2009

iPhone blogging apps vs the EeePC

The Wordpress app for the iPhone isn't a bad tool, really. It's still a bit buggy, but you can at least save drafts, categorise your entries, add tags and insert images... The next rollout (1.2) promises landscape typing, link-embedding, improved image handling and a few more bugs ironed out.
Blogger still hasn't got it's own version... I'm writing this using Blog-writer lite (sorry, the Wordpress app is free, so I refuse to pay for the full Blog-writer...) which means I can't save drafts, or tag, or use images...
The Eee PC is a better option, but naturally bulkier than an iPhone. You do get a better keyboard though, and as you are working online, you have full functionality. Having said that the seven inch screen does make the Wordpress layout a bit cramped...
So in summary, Wordpress has a lot of potential on the iPhone. Blogger could really do with launching something similar fast.
The EeePC is the better option, but bigger and heavier than the iPhone.
I will be drafting my Blogger blogs (i.e. This one) on the Eee PC from now on. Wordpress I can at least start drafts and store them locally on the iPhone.
Come on Blogger! Build an iPhone app! A free one!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Blogging by portable devices...

Okay. Maybe this is obvious, but I'm finding it an awful lot easier to blog on my Eee PC than my iPhone...

The keyboard is bigger for starters (obviously) but it's more than that... the iPhone apps that I've got don't even allow me to categorise my blogs, or use simple italics...

Maybe I'll use the iPhone to simply post my ramblings and edit them later on the Eee PC...

I'm sure the iPhone blogging apps will improve with time, but currently they are really far too basic...

Anyway, it's late, so I'm going to cut this short...

Experiment time tomorrow, maybe...