Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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BTTF Sneakers!!! YES!!!!!!

In Life,Movies,Technology on September 9, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Today I had a dream realised and then a dream taken away.

Funny how life does that sometimes.

This may seem like a post all about material goods but the truth is that i saw Back to the Future 2 when I was 15. Like every teenager who saw that movie we all came away with the same thoughts.

And it wasn’t flying cars.

And it wasn’t holographic adverts

And it wasn’t engines that run on garbage.

It was hover boards and power trainers.

And now FOUR years before the movie was set (2015) one of the two are out.

Look at this:

And this!!!

And with every glimpse I take. Every longing look I give them. Every childhood moment that screams inside of me that I want to own a pair and strut around in them I know that I will never own a pair.

Instead when I turn on the TV I will see a bunch of rappers and celebs wearing them.

You see Nike has decided to auction off all 1,500 pairs of these amazing BTTF trainers/sneakers (depends where you are in the world) on eBay.

Evil right? Cause that means it will be impossible to pick up a pair for less than $10,000.

Only it’s not evil. It’s wonderful.

You see they have teamed up with Michael J. Fox and his Parkinson’s charity and all profits after Nike take back their costs will go to the charity – http://www.michaeljfox.org/

And Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki have said they will match all of the combined bids up to the tune of $50million.

How fucking awesome is that?

So dear celebs, rappers, multi-millionaires please go bid. Bid your ass off. Bid till your mouse finger hurts. Get the total to $50million and watch $100million get donated to help people with Parkinson’s and let the future be without people suffering from it.

And if you can’t afford the trainers and want to help out why not donate to the charity instead šŸ™‚

Update: They don’t have powerlaces!!! But that just means they are trainers that light-up. They’ve been around for AGES!

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Neuromancer and Tron

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Social Media,Technology,Video Games on May 31, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

My dad took me to see Tron when I was very young. We went to the local fleapit cinema in Dennistoun near Glasgow City Centre. I watched the movie in total awe at this strange world inside a computer.

The grid.

This place where information zipped and zapped itself around while people shared information and collaborated. It amazed me. Battles happened with the world and my life was forever changed.

Then in high school i was involved in the first year of teaching computing at my school. We had BBC Micro’s and I remember learning some basic but never felt the teacher knew what he was doing that much so nobody really learned much. I knew that computers would forge a future I just didn’t know how it would forge mine. 10 Print etc šŸ˜‰

Around this same time I was told about a book called Neuromancer. I went and picked up a copy and sat down to read it. I stayed up all night and finished the book in one go.

I was mesmerised by the world created by William Gibson. The word cyberspace has stuck firmly in my brain every since.

It’s where I live today.

It’s where I work.

We may not be IN the Grid.

We may not be jacked into Cyberspace.

But we are there. Digitally connecting. Information sharing. Conversing and communicating.

For my talk in fourth year in English we had to do a talk about something and I chose Neuromancer.

I talked about how the world would be smaller. We would all be connected no matter where we were in the world. I told them about Cyberspace – this ethereal world where our other lives are led.

My teacher said she didn’t understand much about what I was talking about but that I seemed so genuinely passionate about it that it must be interesting. She gave me a high mark and that was the end of that.

I always wonder if she is on Facebook now. I wouldn’t mind just dropping her a line and saying…see told you it would work out šŸ˜‰

The world as we knew it then has changed so much. Not always for the better. But it’s nice to see the future come to fruition.

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My love of comic books

In Digital,Life,Technology on March 20, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , ,

I’ll never forget the first comic books I ever owned – glorious, rich images of superhero’s battling one another. They mesmerised me from a young age…and now 36 years of my life have gone by and I still read comic books.

I can sit on a bus or a train or a plane and happily pull out a graphic novel and sit and read it and people still stare. They look at you like you are some kind of Peter Pan who hasn’t grown up.

It’s a weird sensation sitting flicking through the latest Superman or Flash comic only for people to stare. I’ve even heard a few tuts in my time and the occasional whispered comment that I’ve picked up on.

But I’ll continue to do so especially with my iPad. Being able to access the Marvel or DC Comic store (although don’t get me started on how useless they are at times) and downloading a new comic still instills the same happiness in me similar to when my mum or dad would bring me some new comics to read.

I used to take a box of comics everywhere I went when I was young. So that I could always be near the stories I loved. I’ll never forget a weekend I spent at my parents friends place near Ayr, on the west coast of Scotland. I took a big box full of Superman, Batman, JLA, Aquaman, Spiderman and lots of 2000AD with Rogue Trooper stores – and when the weekend was over we drove off without them…

When I remembered I begged and pleased with my parents but they said that we had gone too far already on the way home and that their was no point in going back. I miss those comics.

Even living in Australia now I have stacks of comics back home in Scotland. They are in six long boxes in my parents loft and every time I go back to Scotland I sit in the loft with a torch catching up on some the classic storylines.

I also have a number of comics in their graphic novel format here in Australia as well as a number of collections but most of the time I download them these days as it allows me to enjoy them wherever I am. As I mentioned in my post about my iPad – one of the sheer joys of owning one is simply because I can carry my comics and novels with me.

There are a number of writers out there like Grant Morrison and Marc Miller (both Scottish – wooo!!), Geoff Johns, Brian Bolland, Brian Bendis and Alan Moore to name but a few whose stories could easily sit atop best seller lists if they were sold in novel format – yet once we place images onto the stories (as we have since humans could think) people seem to think it’s a childish endeavour.

Such a shame because a great story is always a great story no matter what medium is used to tell it.

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Why I use an iPad

In Technology on March 3, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , ,

I love Apple v Android debates they make me smile. It’s funny watching people become obsessed so much with the device they bought that they have to defend it everywhere and to everyone.

Baffles me.

Some people say I’m Apple obsessed when actually I really just enjoy using their devices. I don’t ever have any issues with them and when I do they are usually easily fixed. My parents are about to buy their first computer (hello mum and dad – one day you may actually read this blog!) and I told them to buy an MacBook as it will serve their needs and we can chat to each other with the cams and I can see their lovely smiling faces (I’m on the other side of the world to them so I miss them a lot).

My dad said ‘Scott, why should I buy one of those appley one when I could buy a Dell or HF or HP or something. They are much cheaper’.

Now my dad is an engineer. He spent his life under train and car engines. I said ‘Bert (I call him Bert cause his mates call him Da. I like to give him a sense of identity), would you buy a Ford with an engine made by Kia or would you buy a VW with an engine built by VW’,

He said VW. So I told him that Apple is like a VW and then I said that he was less likely to be hit by viruses etc and I also said that if he has technical issues with a PC then I won’t be able to help him. So he’s buying one next week…five years after I told him to!

But what I want to say in this blog is that I like my iPad. It’s not magical (well not unless you take it back 100 years and show it to people but c’mon who has the time to invent a time machine just to be called a magician?) but it is a great device, filled with some superb apps and I’m going to list the ones I use and why I use them.

Oh I should also add that I use it at work, on the train, at the beach, at home in most rooms and it’s best when you’re lying in bed just chilling out watching videos or down on the sofa relaxing and of course, in the bath.

For business I have found the iPad nearly replaces my laptop now.

I use (UPDATED):

Pages: Mac’s version of Microsoft Word. I design all client documents in Pages so having it on the iPad is a must. It’s a great desktop publishing program and let’s me change document while on the move.

Keynote: This is Mac’s version of Powerpoint and I use it for all presentation. I’d be lost without it. It’s just so simple to use and allows you so much ability to change and manipulate your presentation.

Things: Helps me keep track of the things I have to do. Simple as that,

Audionote: This record meetings and as I type notes it puts down the time in the recording that I took notes which is great if I come up with a creative idea tied to something a client has said.

Dropbox: Lets me access my Dropbox account anywhere I am. Fantastic if I need to fish out some files or grab some data that I need.

Money: It’s a mini budget calculator thing. I put in what I have spent money on, what my income is, what my outgoings are and it lets me keep on track of everything.

SpeedTest: Let’s me know how fast the connection to the Internet I have at any given time.

AirDisplay: This is great. It connects to my MacBook Pro and becomes another screen for it.

AirVideo: OMG!! This is the best thing ever. Wherever I am in the house it connects to my MacMini and lets me watch any TV Shows or Movies that I have on my hard-drives connected to my computer. I tend to use this a lot in the bath so I can soak and relax and catch up on some shows.

Wired: The iPad version of Wired magazine. I download it every month and read it at my leisure.

ComicZeal: I have a massive database of comics which I store on my iPad to read whenever I feel the need to dive into some Superman or Green Lantern fun.

Kindle and iBooks: I use both of them to read books. I also still buy books like Keith Richard’s auto-biography Life which is freakin’ awesome!

ArtRage: I cannot draw. I cannot paint. But I like to play about on this painting app cause it makes me feel artistic n shit.

DesignClassics. DAMNED EXPENSIVE APP!! It’s basically a coffee table book with 1,000 classic designs and their history. Brilliant. Whenever I get a few minutes I look at some new item in it.

Flipboard: Facebook, blogs, twitter – all in one flip book. It’s fun but takes ages to load

Home 3D: I’m still building my dream home on this. One day I’m going to ask an architect to build it for me from my design plans. It’s up to five-bedrooms now.

BBC News, ABC, Guardian Eyewitness: Must have apps really!

BBC iPlayer: Acces to a number of great TV shows from the UK including some old skool Doctor Who

Artree: Is a lovely little app that lets you choose the leaves, background of the app, colour of the tree, branch types etc and then it slowly grows a tree on screen. It’s zen man. Pure zen.

Speedball 2: CAUSE IT’S SPEEDBALL!!! Bitmap Brother FTW.

Pinball HD: The best pinball game out so far I think.

Let’s Golf 2: Damned addictive golf game.

Plants V Zombies. I had a life once. Then this game took it over.

Civilisation Revolutions: Digital Crack.

Fruit Ninja: One and two player hack and slash fun. Take that you pesky melon! Have at ye ya strawberry scum!

Minigore HD: Still can’t get past the first level but you run around and blow things away. Switch brain off and kill kill kill.

Battleheart: Wonderful little game where you battle skeletons with a team of four like a Wizard and a Warrior. It’s a bit like Gauntlet for the modern day.

The Daily: Interesting newspaper online. Content is great and I’m really into it at the moment.

SMH: Way better than The Daily I’m discovering. They really nailed the app well and I find myself using it daily…ironically enough.

Magic Window: Relaxing little app that let’s you chill out with a nice scene in the background. Like looking out a wee small window. Love the one with the sun setting…drop on some relaxing music and it’s a nice way to go to sleep.

iThoughtsHD: It’s a mind-mapping program that works a charm. Buy it. Download it. Use it. Superb app.

Dragon Dictation: Free and let’s you speak and it records what you say. Who could ask for me. Free!!

Debt Free: Useful app to help you balance your books and work out ways to pay off debt.

Some more games you should think about:
Another World: Remake of an amazingly brilliant Amiga game

TacSol: Turn-based Zombie killing game. Fun and addictive

Trenches: Addictive little world war one war game

Cowboy Guns: Like mini-gore but western and more to do.

Jetpack Joyride: Digital crack. Amazing. Obsessed with it. Get it and lose your life. Try and beat 4,427m šŸ˜‰

Zombie Gunner: Fly an AC30 and bomb, shoot and blast the crap out of zombies heading to your HQ. Save humans and unleash hell on their zombie scum.

Oh, and I’ll be buying an iPad 2 when it comes out so I can chat to my family no matter where I am in the house. I like that idea šŸ™‚

UPDATE: Bought the iPad 2 and use Facetime to talk to me family in Scotland about five times a week. It’s amazing