Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Articles

Apple Focus

In Digital,Lessons,Marketing,Media,Technology on October 10, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about Apple since the death of Steve Jobs. He got me thinking about the meteoric rise of the company from it being months from collapse to where it sits today – a technological marvel and marketing maestro that seems to be ahead of the game against their competition.

It seems like many others have also been thinking about the company recently but one person’s comments really stood out to me – William Gibson.

Now there are obviously many people who have helped influence my life but both Steve Jobs and William Gibson are up there pretty much close to the top along with my parents, my Uncle Kenny and my best mates who I grew up with.

And I’ve spoken about Steve Jobs recently in my blog and what he meant to me.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer took me to a new world and made me see the future was cyberspace. I talked about it in school. I talked about it to everyone but no-one really understood what I was saying – this was late 80s remember and technology wasn’t as big as it is now.

And he recently spoke about Apple and why he has used their devices.

In an interview he said:

“I was never interested in getting any more intimate with whatever made my computer work. I wanted the most transparent interface possible; that is, that least required my personal attention. I wanted my personal attention to be elsewhere, focused on other things other than my computer. Design at that level kept me at Apple…”

And that sums up my relationship with Apple.

I love their equipment because it allows me to quickly pass through the fact I’m using a device and simply allows me to do what I need to do.

I have a number of friends who love to tinker with things, they want to know how things work and the majority of them are all Android users or PC users. They want to find out more about their devices and really dive deep into their software and what is possible with them – which is great but for me I want a device that lets me do my job as quickly and efficiently as possible without reminding me I’m using it.

Many Microsoft products drive me barmy because they have a habit of taking my attention away from what I’m doing (and I can be easily distracted at the best of times) and cause me to focus on the program and not what I’m using it for. I always felt that way with PC running Windows – and still do to be honest.

To me Apple computers remind me of my body (work with me here). I don’t stop to think about how I breathe I simply do. I don’t stop to think about how my muscles work and allow me to type it just simply happens. So my relationship with my body is the same as the one I have with my Apple – it exists and allows me to do what I need to do without thinking about all the stuff going on inside it.

And it was Jobs attention on getting the user-experience right that makes them so damn useful to me.

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Articles

Steve Jobs

In Life on October 6, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , ,

I never met Steve Jobs but upon hearing about his death today it felt like I had lost someone close to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever felt that feeling without knowing someone. Sure I’ve been sad about people losing their lives but Steve Jobs wasn’t just a figure on a screen, he wasn’t just a CEO. To me, Jobs was a visionary, a genius, an ambassador for the fusion of technology and life…and every single day of my last fifteen years there has been a reminder of who he is and how he has helped me communicate.

He taught us it was ok to fail.

He taught us that technology exists to help us out.

He took the computer out of business and put it in our homes, our pockets and our lives.

He made complex things simple and made them easy for people to understand.

He challenged the status quo and challenged us to Think Different.

I did and I never stopped.

He was an inspiration to me.

He made me realize that you don’t have to conform to succeed and that you should be willing to be passionate about everything you do. He wasn’t a normal CEO and Apple isn’t a normal business. I’ve met a few people who have worked for Apple and a still know a few there and all of them have said their experience for Apple was amazing.

Jobs fought the system which is why I get sad when people now say that Apple is the system.

He never was. He was a unique visionary.

Every day I use Apple products and everyday I have always had time to think of what Steve Jobs gave us.

Thank you Steve. Thank you for seeing the future and helping us towards it.

Thank you for your unswerving dedication not to give in.

Thank you for Pixar and it’s heart-warming movies.

Thank you for Apple and it’s amazing products.

But mostly thank you for never giving up, for being so passionate and for helping me out every day.

If there were more people in this world like you the world would be a livelier, richer and happier place.

My thoughts are with your family.

Articles

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.

Articles

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 😉

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 🙂

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