Author: conann

  • iPod touch misses out on “The Social”

    What is it? What is this thing that I enjoy about the iPod Nano that is absolutely missing from the iPod Touch?

    Walking down the street in the cold, big coat and a pair of gloves early in the morning on the way to work is a sensation greatly improved by an iPod. I can’t hear it; the traffic is too loud, it’s too loud the traffic is gone, damn I hate this song, where is the Podcast I wanted to listen too. Effortless transactions on an iPod Nano move my hand over the wheel and the aural world changes to fit my existence.

    I have owned an iPod touch for well as long as they have been about. I ordered it the day it was announced. The day the package arrived was like any other Apple delivery where the anticipation of the cardboard box almost equals the hardware. When you cut the tape on an Apple delivery the tape makes a clearly audible OMFG your gonna love this F’n sh!t. Santa aint got sh!t on an Apple box. I could write 10,000 words on the box, I’ll save you the grief.

    Touch in hand “Slide to unlock” made my skin tickle when the iPhone was first announced and weeks into owning the touch it is still an amazing thing. Ohh what next? Safari? Youtube? Photos? Cover flow mmmmm cover flow is great though there begins the problem.

    “Slide to unlock” standing in line at the super market line, I’m next, TWIT is on and I don’t want to miss any so I better turn it off while I pack my bags. Pull the iPenis from the pocket from whence it came and “Slide to unlock”. There is nothing natural about his move it is new to human behavior and feels somewhat like a teenage fumble. Pack my bags and get on my way only to have to stop at the magazines to “Slide to unlock” and play, doh! the inside of my thumb is touching the very tiny corner of the screen and play wont work, better try spider fingers DOH still doesn’t work. Two hands for beginners, put my shopping down so I can get back to Scott Bourne be over polite about Apple stock and how Green Peace is off their heads ( I think they were proven right SB ).

    Walk outside down the path, struggling to hear what Leo is saying about the Blackberry 8800 and why he loves it ( I have one I love it ), trucks and busses are going by and I have to stop, put down my shopping and “Slide to F’n unlock” so I can turn it F€ck I am deff, I cant hear it!, F FF FFF my ears are F’n whistling like a bastard cat on the pull. Luckily at that moment a woman with a six week old baby was passing and I asked if I could borrow her child’s finger to adjust the iPod Touch’s volume control. Also I forgot to pause it can I use your kids fingers again to wind back as my little finger (pinky for the Americans) is a minute, seventeen seconds wide.

    Before the iPod touch life was easy, with a click wheel all this happened in my pocket, turn up, turn on, wind back or skip the Nano / Classic is a superior audio experience. I really wish there was an invisibly click wheel on the touch and for some very obvious reason it feels like it is missing from the new iPod.

    Sitting at home infront of the fire, watching TV the iPod touch is the best internet device ever created, nothing comes close. “hey check this out” is simple with a touch and makes the 12” iBook feel like you are passing Noah’s arc to your partner. The grimace with the sheer inconvenience “Email it to me I’ll look at it later”. The internet is great on this thing even for just seeing what is on TV it’s better then CEFAX. Safari is at it’s best here as are the multi-touch features of the device. The internet is totally fluid and really usable.

    Multi-touch is brilliant, nothing like it. I keep touching the screen on my Blackberry 8800 and it really pisses me off that nothing happens. There is something great about flicking through photos on the touch when you get it but that is where it stops. It was only when I was playing with my friend Christian’s new iPhone that I realized what it was that was missing from this device and why it is that I don’t put pictures on the iPod touch.

    The iPhone has speakers, I can share a video / song / podcast / photo etc. I cant do that on the touch. The iPhone is social the touch is a loner and for that reason will be a once ran and will not be around for very long.

    That said it still beats the pants off any non-Apple music player on the planet and is by far the coolest gadget I have ever owned.

  • Designing my death

    This time last year I was busy squirreling away on a degree in Design Communication and found myself having to “design my own death”. This eventually took shape as a series of illustrations which ended in this album cover type illustration. In order to tie this all together I wrote a short description of how I came about my demise.

    My Death

    I reached into the dark depths of the cold water and pulled out the soft tan burlap sack, which had been thrown into the lake by two young men in white shirts riding as-new old-fashioned black bicycles. The large text in western serif font reading “Saturate before using” at the rim of the bag only added to my fear of danger. Jackson Browne’s first album was called Jackson Browne the lettering on the radiator bag was a misinterpretation by the public and remained a joke between the singer and photographer Jim Marshall, who on a trip to Joshua tree with Stephen Stills and Joni Mitchell; who sat in the back seat of the black Lincoln Cosmopolitan with suicide doors penning “Big Yellow Taxi”, had completely failed in their peyote ridden haze to get any useful photographs for the album cover.

  • Clouds over the Foyle Derry City

  • Corrupt Fonts in Microsoft Word on OS X

    For awhile now I have been suffering from a bad case of microsoftness. Everytime I launch an Office app I have been getting endless corrupt font errors, which prevent the app from opening correctly. Not surprisingly no other programs are effected it’s just an office problem. I have tried switching to NeoOffice and the other contenders but Office is by far the best tool for the job.


    Took a few searches and problems but I found the solution here in an article by Beth Rosengard. After reading the article I downloaded Linotype which fixed the problem right away no problems no fus and no major trauma.

  • Good advice from Anil Dash

    I talk to a lot of consultants, freelancers, and small businesses who do web work, and I used to be a freelancer myself, so sometimes I get asked for advice on how to price one’s goods and services. I think I came up with my best suggestion today, and it involves only two simple steps:

    1. Slap the client in face.
    2. Tell the client your hourly rate.
    If the person looked more shocked, horrified, offended, hurt, saddened, or wounded by the slap in the face, then you are still pricing yourself too low. Your mileage my vary, this is not to be construed as legal advice, eye-poking may be substituted for slapping in some states.

  • Understanding the Need for Multiples

    No matter how hard you try and prevent it life always gets in the way of making your own art, in fact it feels so long since I have painted that I am almost ashamed to call it art. I look forward threw my to-do lists in my account and I can see the halo of painting time ahead. I have enough experience to know that finding the time to paint is much easier then figuring out what it is I want to paint. I am not sure I will ever be the type of artist who will want to explore the land of multiples. I don’t envy the artist who decides to sit and paint twenty canvases of sunflowers. I tried it when I did a series of clouds paintings, and still feel the first three were the strongest. The other ten were an exercise in confirmation of that feeling. Whether I am painting or designing digitally, so much time has gone into the thought process before the work has begun that the other iterations of the work have already been explored. The exception to this is drawing, I can sit and sketch the same person for hours and then go off and do a100 sketches based on what I have learned. I wonder if there is something I am missing about working in color that makes me have a different frame of mind.

  • My iMac G5 And The Big Switcheru.

    After a week of sitting in the window waiting for the TNT delivery van and humming ACDC, my arrived. Now I had to of of the and them on as I think that is a bit geeky, but I have to tell you the opening ceremony was great fun it all took about a minute and I was plugged in and ready to go. Set up was a breeze and I was able to mount my dead as a target disk and rescue my files. Relief! I have to say to anyone who is thinking about moving from a to a or even just getting an Mac to compliment your complement of computer parts. Do it! you will not be disappointed. Getting used to takes very little time and you will very quickly find yourself wondering why does not implement the same unified menu system. The is very cool to play with and you will probably do the same thing as me, make it as small as possible and turn off magnification, until a PC using friend comes by and you want to show off. The heavily flouted is more useful then I thought it would be but I only use post-its and to do lists. As it sits my iMac has 512mb of ram, which is what it came with and it is not enough to really take advantage of dashboard as it’s hog. I will be ordering another gig asap. For most uses it’s a wonderfully quiet machine but as soon as it gets under a little bit of strain the fans kick off and it gets louder but still nowhere near a regular PC. I am in love with , I know it’s available for but I had never played with it. Music is fun again and ripping CDs is sooo easy. Being able to switch from to and is great and did I mention easy. It is when listening to music or watching a DVD that you realise how good the sound is on an iMac.

  • Search Engine Optimization for Dummies

    There is a really good SEO piece over at The Blog Herald which I found via one of my regular reads . Since switching from a flash format to a blog format for this website I have been getting more and more interested in this topic as I have seen a vast increase in the amount of Google juice I get. Rather then write my version of what others have already said I thought I would try and pool together different sources that have been of great help to me along the way.

    A visit to the is very revealing when looked at in this context it is not a measure of google rank but it is a quick way to look at what top sites are doing. It becomes quickly apparent is that there is no one-way to skin this cat and the only thing that these sites have in common is they have great content. I am too new at this blogging thing to even pretend that I know anything about great content so I can’t help there, but there are some things we have control over which can greatly improve our websites performance.

    Understanding What Search Engines See

    Google doesn’t see nice styling and does not take a look images when deciding what your site is about, it sees your documents content in the context of its structure. So what gives a site its structure and how does it help your blog? Structure comes from HTML and each of the elements gives its content meaning. Use heading tags for headings, paragraph tags for paragraphs, link tags for links etc, Google understands this and uses this structure to make decisions about your content. Problems only arise when you start to do things wrong. If you use a strong tag for a heading Google presumes your know what you are doing and reads it as bold text rather then an important part of the page structure. So what are some of the important elements to keep control of?