Smallbig

So I feel a little vindicated by this article on ZDNet telling about a recent study that found Apple Users are not buying the bigger handsets.

People on average just don’t have hands that big, to me the normal 6 and 6s are too big and I frequently have to do that double tap thing to move the stuff down the screen so I can reach it with my thumb.

The sweet spot was the 5 in my opinion and Apple also secretly believe this and are launching the “SE” (really? Is that really what they are calling it?) to recapture the shrimps finger market.

Read the article and then imagine me saying I bloody told you so!

The only constant is change

Over the last twenty years I have somehow managed to survive countless rounds of redundancy (I am not entirely sure how to be honest), but needless to say the company has regular seasonal purges and sheds staff like a labrador sheds fur.

This year there was yet another round. I, once again have escaped but my buddy Tony has got the shaft as they clean house. I am sad but more for me than for Tony who is widely connected and experienced in the industry. I have no doubt that when he want’s to be he’ll be back into the rat race and probably happier for not having the four hours of travelling everyday that living in the styx inflicted on him.

Meanwhile I am left behind and it’s getting busier.

Working with me occasionally is and will be young Darren, a multi skilled Rave graduate that has actually been working with us on and off since the days of TMS.

Darren has had a couple of weeks of learning to acclimatise him to the systems in the new studios. It’s an almost vertical learning curve and we have both been a little surprised I think, him as to the depth of knowledge required and me to the knowledge I have acquired over the last seven and a half years working with Tony.

It started well with us sorting some of the audio routing to the SADiE DAW but as the weeks have progressed it’s become increasingly busy and the extra work I was hoping to get covered has not happened. A sign of things to come?

Tony and I had our picture taken by the marvellous photographer Stewart Williams before he went, which I thought I would share as it’s a great picture and captures us as The Team. Together we could do pretty much anything (given the appropriate resources and time). See you soon mate.

Tony and I

Tony and I

 

 

On hunting big game

Recently there has been a lot of press regarding rich people (mainly from ‘murica) going to Africa specifically to kill large (not so) game animals.

Highlights of this ‘sport’ are a wealthy dentist (there are such things?) and some other silly tarts thought it would be a great idea after they had killed these beasts on their holidays to brag about it on social media for the world to see.

Unless you are the strictest of vegans, I think we are all guilty of promoting the killing of animals for our own purposes in some way.

Now I am not personally in the habit of going to the local abattoir and slitting the throat of a heifer for fun, but I do eat meat of all kinds, I wear leather shoes and belts and I recently purchased a very nice leather filofax to keep notes in.

I also eat gummy bears and have been known to chow down on chicken livers with a nice glass of Chianti at a good resturant, however all of the animals I consume in these various forms have been (as far as I know) bred specifically for that purpose and are not endangered or even wild (insert ‘wild?, they were livid’ reference here).

They have (again as far as I know, and certainly as I’d like to think) been raised and cared for in a controlled and healthy way and killed in a relatively painless manner with their bodies used as efficiently as possible with virtually nothing going to waste to maximise the producers profits from the carcase.

I don’t believe this happens in the heat of the African sun. The kills are seldom clean – it’s been said that Cecil the lion, the one killed by the dentist, took forty hours to bleed out. Additionally these are wild animals in the heart of the African bush, meaning they are probably infested by worms and parasites and other diseases, and once slaughtered, the bodies of the animals, which in some cases are huge (have you seen an adult Giraffe up close?) become fly blown and turn stinky within hours of the kill.

All this does not make for a slap up meal of Lion cutlets followed by Giraffe fricasse chafed at sunset over charcoal and served from the back of the guide’s LandRover. I rather think something else was on the menu that evening.

So why do they do it? Are they just sadistic evil people? – maybe, but I think that it’s mainly a power thing, I think that they have a burning need to exert their will over these apex animals in order to prove to themselves that they are better than their pray in some way, a primal survival of the fittest, king/queen of the jungle thing – you know – opposable thumbs and a carbine beats claws and teeth in the twisted game of top trumps going on in their heads makes their dick feel bigger.

If the ‘hunters’ who go into game reserves want to kill animals they should be allowed, but in a controlled manner with a couple of – you know – rules;

  • Firstly they should take on their intended pray mano to beasto – one on one, no guns, knives or other tools. Hand to claw combat only.
  • Next, it should be a fight to the death – no one leaves until their opponent is kebab fodder. That will sort the men from the tigers.
  • Lastly, once there is a winner a feast should be held with the loser being the dish of the day/week – no fridges.
    If the animal is a herbivour (e.g. giraffe) and it tramples the hunter to death in the battle, then the hunters’ party and staff should be made to eat him instead – you know – native style.

The latest idiot has tried to justify her murder of an un-expecting OAG (Old Age Giraffe)  by calling the bible card spouting Genesis 27.3

“Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiuer, and thy bow, and goe out to the field, and take mee some venison.” (King James Bible 1611)

Firstly I am not even sure they had Deer in the lands of the old testament so the word venison is a mistranslation and many other versions substitute this to ‘meat’ but as Wesley says:

27:3 Take me some venison that I may; bless thee – Esau must go a hunting and bring some venison. In this he designed not so much the refreshment of his own spirits, as the receiving a fresh instance of his son’s, filial duty and affection to him, before he bestowed this favour upon him. That my soul may bless thee before I die – Prayer is the work of the soul, and not of the lips only; as the soul must be employed in blessing God, #Psa 103:1|, so it must be in blessing ourselves and others: the blessing will not go to the heart, if it do not come from the heart.

I read that as wesley was saying it was an instruction to Esau to go and hunt to prove himself to his dad before his dad pegged it but this is all just an interpretation and the book is written in such a piss poor way you can twist it’s meaning anyway you like.

That fucking book has been used to justify more and bloodier geneside than any other, it and all the other misused religious texts that are taken out of context by conniving pseudo religious zealots should be burned for the good of humanity.

Don’t justify your existence by basing it on a text that was passed down for generations as a verbal tradition, then written in an ancient language barely no-one could understand, translated (badly) into another ancient language, then bastardised to make it more suited for one organisation to control it’s followers and then translated again by less than scholarly monks.

Oh and don’t forget the bit where it was also fucked around with by an English king so he could raid the monasteries for cash and execute his wife to marry some bird he’d been shagging.

Yes that’s an excellent book to base your entire life on.

Centre of the world (when you are 14)

When I was a kid I spent as much time as I could (pocket money permitting) in the arcades and shops of central London.

There were a select few arcades where the latest machines were installed and where, for what seemed a kings ransom, we could put our grubby hands on the latest cutting edge technology. Such venerable names as iRobot, Gauntlet, Joust, Defender and StarWars come to immediate mind.

The best arcades were in Soho, and if you know anything about London you will know that Soho has been long associated with other forms of more adult distractions. It always made for an exciting trip. Will we see something today, will one of the ladies speak to us (more to have fun winding us up than any real hope of some business).

When the arcade had devoured all my cash (I was never that great at gaming and the machines ate the money of people like me faster than a labrador at dinner time) and I still had time to kill, Totenham court road was always on the list of destinations. TCR was the mecca of high technology in the UK. It was our answer to Akihaba in Japan. All the shops sold electronics – more HiFi than computers at the time but there were a few, all supposedly competing against each other, so – if you played the game and learned their names, great deals could be had by going too and fro playing one shop off against the other. Not that this mattered much to us, we were impoverished kids and the things they sold may as well have been made from gold.

Just around the corner in New Oxford street, opposite the enormous Centre Point tower, was the other store that had nose prints along it’s windows at the height of most teenagers. Morgan Computers was the dealer of rare and magical things of nerd desire – real computers.
With names like Apricot XEN, Apple, Fujitsu and many others, their windows were filled with surplus stocks of slightly out of date devices at almost obtainable prices. We would stand an pour over the price lists attached to the window and gaze longingly at these amazing machines in the window that were so close we could almost reach out and touch them. Objet D’art
Like millions of others, I now travel into London every day to work and it has lost some of the excitement but sometimes I like to visit the smoke on days off when my significant other is otherwise occupied.

A couple of weeks ago was one of those occasions, I had the desire to visit the London Aquarium on the south bank, I went and it wasn’t the nicest of visits – to many people and noise for me. After the Aquarium I took a walk, from the Southbank, through back streets to Oxford street then down to new Oxford street and on to the British Museum and I found myself looking at a parade of shops where Morgan’s used to be, the road looks much the same but the parade has been revamped and Morgans is gone – replaced by clothing and coffee shops. This is some of the most valuable real estate in the UK so it was natural that such places would end up here.
I felt a little nostalgic and the memories of my formative years came back walking along the street. I just assumed that Morgans had gone for good. A victim to either market forces or more likely one of the recessions over the last thirty years that saw many of the businesses off during that time.

On a whim, I decided to goggle them this morning and to my surprise they are still going, different owners but still selling slightly obsolete stuff from dodgy looking brochures and they are still using the same black on yellow logo!

Easily forgotten

As a long time Mac user (some 25+ years now) it is sometimes easy to forget just what a charmed existence we have.

Recently we purchased a new machine for the household, a wintel laptop made by Hewlett Packard who for marketing reasons I am sure, chose to name the device an “Envy”.

On paper this thing is great, it’s an Intel i7 machine, has 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive, the screen is 15″ (nearer 16″ actually – more on this in a mo) and it has a neat trick where the screen folds back and the machine turns into a touch device.

It’s the machine’s party trick which prompted it’s new name of Flipper.

It came with Windows 8 and will be eligible for the Windows 10 upgrade when they finally get around to releasing it to us non paying plebs in the UK (it’s been out days – what is the delay?)

So all this sounds great – a nice new shiny machine to play with. Well as ever the devil is in the details and it’s only when you live with a device that you find out what it’s really like.

It’s a Windows machine, and I am a Mac man, but you know these days I probably spend almost as much time dealing with Windows 7 as I do Mac so I am getting pretty platform agnostic in my old age. For a lot of things I actually prefer 7 – Network shares, USB drives, Copying files – all better – let down on the Mac by the Finder still being as dumb as a bag of nails.

So anyway I am going to share with you a list of gripes with the machine so far. I’ll try and not moan too much about Win8 as that’s going soon (I hope) and Win10 will be the software panacea we have been waiting for I am sure. So here goes

  • Trackpad – Our version of the Envy has an extra wide trackpad that has two zones or wings – one either side of the control surface which are used to invoke the side panes in Windows 8. They are like the flappy bits either side of a sanitary towel.
    What they actually do is frustrate the heck out of any normal users who’s fingers drift into them when using the pad. Of course you can turn this feature off? NO it’s a hardware thing – the control area does not extend into the sides of the pad. So frustrating. I don’t think I am alone in my hatred of this thing as the newer version of the Envy has a curiously normal size trackpad with no more ‘wings’
  • Trackpad delay – while we are on the subject of the touchy thing, even if you do touch it in the right place (platonically only of course) there is a delay in response – it’s not the PC/Windows; a normal mouse and the touchscreen work just fine – it’s the fracking pad again.
  • Screen Resolution – So this is a machine designed to be used for multimedia, the screen is ‘wide’, there’s HDMI on the thing – no DVD drive but who the hell uses DVDs these days anyway right.
    Here’s the rub – the screen resolution is 1366×788 pixels – WTF is that? Objects on the screen look HUGE, I can barely fit a web page on there. 1366×768 is 16:9 (ish) not x788 so there’s going to be bars what ever and although it is optically not a bad screen (it’s a shiny) it is just annoying.
  • WiFi – This is not an old machine, is newer than the MacBook Pro I am now writing this post on, despite this the machine would not connect to my WiFi and why is this? I’ll tell you – because it can’t talk to 5Ghz networking –  it does bgn but no a.

My venerable Mac Book Pro was an expensive machine when I bought it – about 4x the cost of the Envy but that machine was bleeding edge at the time and there’s a premium one pays for new stuff, but the features I am moaning about are now common place and cheap, screens with 1920×1080 are the norm, 5Ghz adapters can be bought for £10 and that trackpad is just poor.

Apple wouldn’t have put this machine on the Market, they would have bounced that trackpad on testing, the screen resolution wouldn’t have been an option and 5Ghz wifi has been in their machines for years.

P.S. I started writing this post on Flipper, but the post disappeared mysteriously mid write (That trackpad playing tricks) so I returned to old faithful.

Twitchy much

So, once again Apple has had a fantastic quarter, made billions of dollars and is generally quite happy with itself, however the Wall Street sheepies are twitchy again.

No only has Apple not released details of how well the Watch is doing and the iPad is not selling like it once was (more on this in a minute) but Apple didn’t meet the over inflated expectations of the market – they far exceded their own estimates but because some butt head said that they expected more, the market ishaving a paddy and the share price has dropped.

Great, what a good time for Apple to continue it’s shares buyback programme.

As for the iPad, I like to think that I am a normal Apple user (OK not that normal I grant you). I have an iPad mini – the original one, and I don’t need to update at the moment, it works perfectly well and does everything I need it to do – web browsing and emails mainly. It runs the Apps I need it to and is generally fine for me and I would imagine most iPad users are pretty much in the same mind.

There is no overwhelming reason for us to buy a new iPad at the moment, the market is reaching saturation and so there is a sales drop off.

If they are going to chase sales of the iPad then there needs to be some big change to the device or it’s OS that makes it compelling to get the next model, until that happens (and I think iOS9 may be the catalyst for this), sales will stay low.

After it happens there of course will be lot’s of bitching about how Apple always bring out new ones making the old ones obsolete.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

Big small

Dear Tim.
It’s been widely reported that Apple are about to start manufacturing big-ass versions of the iPhone product.

This trend of super sizing phones is really naff (not good).

On the UK there was an old TV programme staring a guy called Dom Jollie who would take an enormous prop phone into public places and then have a conversation about embarrassing stuff at the top of his voice making all the viewers cringe (we are British after all).

The trend of certain manufacturers producing their own massive dimension smartphone is just like this gag.

The average person does not want something the size of a roofing tile in their pocket. Some might say the current iPhone is too big.

So, please, let the iPhone6 be the pocket friendly size if the previous generations and not the impractical iPad wannabe you are alleged to be launching.

Yours sincerely

Pushing Jelly

Beatsing the drum

Is it just me or did Apple pay over the odds for Beats.

So apparently they paid $3B – $2.5B of that for the hardware business and £500m for their streaming music service.

If they wanted a streaming music service why not buy Spotify? Who the heck subscribes to Beats? I don’t know anyone who does – do you?

Also $2.5B for their hardware business – WTF? they sell crappy headphones! How can that business be worth that much – I know they are popular with a certain type of person (insert style over content Apple comment here) but that’s a shed load of cash – hell they could of bought Sennheiser if they wanted good headphones, or Bose or Bowers and Wilkins or BEO or any number of other companies that make great kit – but Beats? – Really guys?

I am probably missing something, you know some strategic technology acquisition that makes it all make sense.

$2,500,000,000 (shakes head)

Foreigner in my own country

As I sit here on the train to Liverpool Street, I can hear many voices of fellow travellers and it occurs to me none of them are speaking English. There’s Spanish, various forms of Asian languages, dialects that sound like Russian (they could be Latvian or Ukraine however). An so I’m sitting wondering what happened to all the British English speaking people. Is this the new Britain?

Where as before the drip of immigration meant that social integration was vital for the immigrant to “get on” in their new life, now the influx caused by Europe’s open borders means that ghettos of various nationalities, silos of languages and customs have developed across our country.
This has happened before of course, notable examples being Brixton, Slough and Bradford, these being driven by the racial undertones of last century’s England. Today’s ghettoisation is more to do with convenience for the immigrant, many cannot speak English when they arrive (at least not well) and so choose to settle where the shops speak their language and sell their foods from home. This is much like the English Ex-Pats in Spain and other countries that gather in certain areas, for example Benidorm.
What can we do as a nation, if we should do anything? Like the citizens of Bradford, Slough and Brixton have, these colonies will gradually integrate. The social boom and benefits bonanza that made moving to the UK an attractive proposition are mostly gone so we may even see migration back to their countries of origin.
I think the conclusion we should take is that Britain is a sum of its parts. From time immemorial we have suffered invaders, intruders and invitees, we are the resultant mess of peoples, a nation of immigrants.

(edited some time after posting because I may have been drunk when I originally rambled incoherently and barely was able to string a couple of words together without spelling mistokes)

Been a bit busy

So it’s been a while! Over a year. Lots have happened.
We now have dogs, two Labrador puppies (well not so much now)

The kids are grown or growing up fast. This year they will be 21 and 16.
Goodness I feel ancient.

I am still at the same company and at long last we have a studio again with lots of toys, I wish we had been allowed more of a hand in the process but it’s a start.
My long suffering friend Ian has recently been put out of his misery and relieved of his job in the latest round of rationalisations. Not cool.

So that’s a very quick status check.

I have no excuse for not blogging other than the fact that I am a lazy toad so i’ll shall endeavour to write regularly again.

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