davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
I am perhaps something of a luddite when it comes to technology. I still shoot film. With cameras 20 years old. My phone is a Nokia 3310. I listen to a Discman on the way in to work. (It plays MP3 CDs I'm not that far behind the times).

So I am, as you might expect, not excited by the iPad. And the first things I read confirmed my suspicions. It probably isn't for me. And I couldn't really see why anyone else would want one. You can't make calls, so its not as useful as a phone. No videoconferencing, no quick snapshots. So you won't leave the iPhone at home anyway. And virtually everything a laptop does, it does worse. You need an adapter to give you a USB port. And then it describes itself as being a "camera connector kit" Does that mean I can print from it? Or connect a scanner? I doubt it. Nothing other than proprietory software sounds bad to me. I've never used iPhoto. How does it compare with Photoshop CS2? Even if iits good, for anything other than basic tweaking I'd want to be able to use an external mouse or graphics tablet- its got bluetooth, so hopefully that's doable- but by the time you start adding these peripherals you're getting back into laptop territory.

There's certainly no support for Flash, so the only way to view embedded content would be with a trillion and one applicatons. Which seems crazy. I care nothing for a camera in something like that, but clearly several people do. It does however have support for all the iPhone/iPod apps. Which is very nice and gives you a massive ready-made suite of programs, like light-sabres, virtual beer glasses, and things that are actually useful like a word-processor. Tablets as a whole might have a wonderful variety of industrial applications, but I don't think the iPad will be exploiting them just yet. (Its only 2010 after all).

But then I read a bit more. And I can see how even I might get a use out of it. I do not own a laptop. I honestly haven't seen the point. Most of my computer use is either surfing the net, listening to music, watching videos (I recently sent the TV back home as I haven't turned it on in months), and playing music. All of this the iPad will do perfectly well. With one small exception. It does not multitask, other than, presumably allowing you to play music and do one other thing. I think I might be spoiled by Firefox here, as I've lost count of the add-ons I could install to control other software, check websites and suchlike without even switching tabs.

However the other thing I use my computer for that the iPad is photo manipulation. There is no way an iPad will replace my set up (extra monitor, scanners, graphics tablet, printer, card readers, etc). Once I've plugged all that in there is absolutely no value in me having a laptop, either, as I'm tied to the desk anyway. Better to have something with a big screen and a keyboard I can actually write on than something small and cramped. But as I say. This isn't what I do most of the time. I can see it being extremely useful to be able to throw something nice and light in the suitcase, and keep myself entertained in the evenings. No more working out which books to take with me- its an ebook reader, I'll have a small library thank-you. I can have a variety of films, and most of my music collection. That should keep me occupied through a wet weekend in Wales when the rain's horizontal, and you really don't want to leave the caravan (Yes I've been on holidays like that).

Except the memory is tiny. The cheap one is 16GB. The expensive ones are 64GB Most people with digital SLRs have 4-8GB sitting in their cameras, and another two or three to spare. This is not the relatively portable storage for anyone moderately snap-happy that even a cheap laptop would be. Anyone serious would use a notebook- Still a market for the Airbook then.

However, as I've said most of what I do most of the time could very easily be done on the iPad. The portability would be quite nice- though I'm not sure how ubiquitous free wifi is in the UK compared with the states. My inbuilt pessimism tells me I'd need the 3G version if I took it out of the house. And the keyboard looks horrible to use. I have tried using the one on an iPhone briefly. I didn't like it much. Then again, I like the tactile feel I get from typing.

So for me it would be a toy. For the people who find computers strange and bewildering beasts it will be very nice. Until they want to do two things at once, or print a document, or... And then there's all the fans who'd buy a turd if you polished it and stuck the Apple logo on it. So I'm sure it will sell well enough, and then maybe when you get to the 3rd or 4th generation we'll have a product I'd actually be interested in.

But frankly the real kicker for me is this quote: "Closed devices are the future of computing." It is probably true. And that is something I am truly afraid of.
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davegodfrey: Flying Spaghetti Monster : Touched by his noodly appendage (FSM)
Recently I broke the circuit board on the keyboard trying to thread the flex through a bootlace, and as Maplin don't make it any more I had to buy a new one. (I'll probably go looking for a replacement on the Bay of E sometime soon, because for some reason this new one just isn't as nice to type on...) As I already had the keys all made up it was a fairly quick job to cut down the key-caps, cover the board in sticky-backed plastic, and a bit of leatherette, and this time rather than cutting the cable and risk damaging the keyboard I've done the sensible thing and wrapped string round the outside.




Last week I pottered around Oxford Street poking about MacCulloch & Wallis, and John Lewis' haberdashery departments. I picked up a cheap black shirt from the nice people at BHS and have comprehensively voided the warranty by sticking bits all over it. Its not quite complete yet, I think I'll get some of the organza style stuff and add another layer or two of ruffley bits to the cuffs, and maybe hide the seams behind more silk ribbon.


At the same time I picked up this nice dark brown strip of fake fur that's 15cm x 150cm, and have absolutely no idea what to do with it.


I'm thinking of sewing the edges together and just making a scarf, but that just seems rather boring. I've got about a square metre of black velvet, and quite a bit of the brown leatherette from the keyboard left over. Arm warmers maybe? Though I'd not wear them would anyone else want a pair? Or do you have better ideas? Preferably that don't involve drawing patterns or anything sensible like that...
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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Well for now. I'm pretty much out of things to modify.

I wasn't entirely happy with the buttons on the 15" monitor, so I bought some nice buttons, filed off the loops at the back and glued them on.

Monitor 1 )

Since the last update I've also completed the 19" monitor.

Monitor 2- Screen )


And now for the base...

Monitor 2 - Base )
And Lo. It was Done.

 

Yes. that is a periodic table mug you can see in the corner. And the china Parasaurolophus is a cream jug. Don't ask.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)

Today I went to see the Orchids over at Kew Gardens, and discovered another reason why 2009 is the year of real science. Its Kew Garden's 250th birthday, so raise glass of something nice and botanical to them sometime.

I also picked up the bits of copper pipe and angles that Dad had, so after getting hope I cut some pipes up and finished off this.

Three quick cuts and tighten up the compression joints et voila!

Piccies? )
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
Last time I painted the plastic parts, and covered it in wood-effect sticky-backed-plastic. At the time I didn't really know what I was going to do for the support. Building a new base, while still using parts of the existing stand turned out to be impractical- I don't have access to a drillbit the right size. Having seen these lamps from Professor Fzz made me think of alternative designs using plumbing parts. And when I realised what the four holes on the back were for- they're to attach the monitor to a wall like a flat panel TV- everything fell into place.
 

Brilliant, drill holes, attach the copper pipe (leftover from the computer) that'll work! I won't have to chop up small bits of wood to fit in the slots where the previous stand went. And I can rotate the thing by 90 degrees and mount it vertically if I really wanted to. I can't adjust the angle that the monitor is at, but that's a sacrifice I'm happy to make.

One problem, it falls flat on its face.I'll need to get a couple of 90 degree compression joints and another 8" or so of pipe and build a "U" shape, attach it to the front, and then I'll have a completed desktop set! Watch this space!

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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
The Evil Atheist Your Mother Warned You About

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