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.

Inspiration Photography

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?