Tag Archives: life

What you YOU missing out on?

calvin and hobbes

via Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strip, September 06, 2010 on GoComics.com.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the thing.

Welcome one, welcome all, to another one of those “reflective” posts.

Now, without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, I’m pretty good at this computer thing. Certainly there are areas of my computing knowledge that are lacking, but I think I do a pretty good job. I could tell you how to win a round of game of Bad Company 2, for example, and yet I don’t know anything about programming in Python.

In the above comic Calvin is wondering aloud about the awesome TV shows they’re potentially missing due to watching a nice sunset — and that’s the crux of it, really. Where do you draw the line between doing something you enjoy and just getting out there and experiencing new things? Things that perhaps are outside of your comfort zone, things that you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy?

I know all about forum etiquette, but to date I’m still pretty baffled by pointers in C. I could create a heightmap in Photoshop to form the basis of terrain in Unity, but deriving mathematical formulae is still something I can’t do well.

Sometimes it takes an act of faith to realise what you’ve been missing out on all this time. An excellent example of this is socialising. I’m can be pretty alright when it comes to talking to other people, but I can also be pretty anti-social if I want to be. I’ve never been out clubbing late at night because (I think) that’s not my thing, but without having actually been clubbing, how would I know? Perhaps clubbing is actually the awesomest thing ever and I’ll meet the love of my life while out clubbing? The thing is, because I’ve never been out clubbing, I’ll never know (although I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t find the coolest girl ever in a bar, but weirder things have happened).

I could tell you how to forwards ports on a number of different routers, and make it so that you could access your home computers when you’re out and about, but I’ve never passed out from excess alcohol consumption (some would say that’s a good thing). I find talking to girls pretty difficult (or should that be pretty girls difficult?), but I could tell you how to edit the ID3 tags of any MP3.

The point is — how many experiences am I missing out on because I’m too busy marvelling at the wonders of the internet? One could certainly argue that the Internet would be able to tell me all about those experiences, but there’s nothing like experiencing things first hand.

Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith. And hey, I might enjoy loud crappy music, spending hard-earned money on pointless alcoholic drinks, and getting hit on by women whose fathers would be shocked and appalled if they could see exactly what their little princesses were up to.

Yeah, sure.

Your testimony, please.

Alternate title: testify, oldbag! (If you don’t get that, you clearly haven’t played enough Pheonix Wright. [link opens iTunes])

Okay, I’ll admit it: there are times when I think there would be nothing worse than going to church on a Sunday. There, I said it. Sometimes it’s because I played too much Bad Company 2 the night before and didn’t get to sleep until 1am and sometimes it’s because I’ve had a terribad week (in terms of sleep, anyway, averaging 5-6 hours per night).

My own laziness aside, it’s not until I actually drag myself out of bed, get ready, and sit down at church that I realise I’m glad to be there.

As I type this on my very-soon-to-be-replaced iPhone 3G, my mind flicks back to last Sunday…

If you’re a regular church-goer you’ll know that a testimony (sometimes also called a witness) is where some member of the congregation tells the other members how they came to be a Christian.

This one particular guy from the congregation stands up, somehow manages to mumble into the microphone “I really don’t want to be up here”, and then gets on with his testimony.

Well, if you could call it a testimony.

Now, I’ve said a friendly “hello” to this guy once or twice, but for all I know he’s just another churchgoer like me. I never see him come with a partner/wife though, but that’s not uncommon.

Anyway, he gets on with his testimony, and because he’s usually a pretty quiet guy he reads it out from a piece of paper. Which is fine, it’s normal to have notes or something. But I digress. Maybe it’s the fact he’s reading his testimony, maybe it’s just his actual testimony is amazing, but what he describes is actually pretty out there – not outside the bounds of reality by any means, but enough to make you stop and wonder.

Maybe it’s the fact that most testimonies I’ve heard are relatively the same (having Christian parents, going to a Christian school, etc, etc), but his story just makes me think. I won’t attempt to recall all of it here, but you hear stories of people coming from fractured families, having abusive parents, entering destructive cycles and so on, but it’s not until you actually hear it from a person that you know that it really hits home.

Not that he did come from a fractured family or had abusive parents, mind you – nay, his problem mainly stemmed from a lack of self-confidence and the discovery of alcohol – but it made me stop and think that yeah, that shit is real.

Maybe I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life. Maybe it’s because I’m lucky to have the parents that I do, and the lifestyle that I have.

I’m not really trying to say anything here, apart from the fact that I’m glad I went to church that day. 🙂

Apple’s 2009 MacBook Pro: Battery Life to Die For

There’s no other way to say this. If you care about battery life and portability at all, buy the new MacBook Pro. Go to the Apple store and buy one. While I only tested the 15” model, I’m guessing the 13” model should leave a similar lasting impression.

Ever since I first looked at the power consumption specs of Nehalem I thought it didn’t make any sense to buy a new, expensive notebook before Arrandale’s launch in Q4 2009/Q1 2010. While performance will definitely increase considerably with Arrandale, Apple just threw a huge wrench in my recommendation. The new MacBook Pro is near perfect today. If you need a new laptop now, thanks to its incredible battery life, I have no qualms recommending the new MBP.

[…]

Today I am more than comfortable saying that this is the best Apple notebook I’ve ever laid my hands on. The build quality is excellent, the base specs are solid and of course, the battery life. There’s no doubt that it could be better; toss in an SSD or drop the price even further, but as it stands the new MBP is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Mac laptop.

Obviously, you can attain the same battery life with a cheaper notebook and one or two spare batteries. But there’s something to be said for increasing battery life by at least 50% without increasing the bulk or weight of the system.

I’m not sure there’s much else I can add other than Good Job, Apple.

via AnandTech: Apple’s 2009 MacBook Pro: Battery Life to Die For.

That’s a hell of an endorsement, especially coming from AnandTech.

Favourite quote comes from the fourth page (where the beef of the article is):

That’s a 51% improvement in battery life. It’s close enough to the max theoretical 46% improvement for me to think that the significant gains in wireless web browsing are due to improvements in idle power optimizations. It’s possible that all of the components in the new MacBook Pro have been optimized for lower voltages at idle.

The battery tests are repeatable however. I saw anywhere from a 50 – 100% improvement in battery life over the old MacBook Pro. Given the increase in battery capacity alone, you should see no less than a 46% increase in battery life. Exactly what is accounting for the expanded life above and beyond that, I’m not sure.

Either way, Apple’s 7 hour claim is well within reason. For light workloads, even on WiFi, you can easily expect 6.5 – 8 hours out of the new 15-inch MBP. As I write this article on that very system I’m told that I have nearly 8.5 hours left on my charge. If you do a lot of writing on your notebook, the new MBP is exactly what you’ll want; it will easily last you on a cross-country flight if you need to get work done.

Spectacular work, Apple. Thumbs up from this blogger 🙂

35 Basic Tutorials to Get You Started with Photoshop

As a professional and 8 years experienced. I can tell you there is no better method to learning photoshop then raw experimentation.. Layer blending modes are a great way to see how to get awesome effects, try overlay, color burn and dodge alot, and scroll through the others to see what you get. Failure Failure Failure, it will get you comfortable and not afraid to try new things. Avoid filters as much as possible, they severely handicapped me for 2 years in my journey. Best advice I can give you, if you care to listen, is buy a tablet (1028p atleast 4×6), draw as much as you can, start hard, download brush packs and make your own, and most importantly DO NOT BE AFRAID.. you can do it… the more you force yourself to adapt the program around your needs, the quicker you’ll learn. If at 12 years old I could get it, I guarantee anyone else can too. I’m 20 now, and already in my third job of my career without a degree makin good money. I never had formal training, and you dont need it either. It helps but its not required. A DEGREE IS though, I’m working for mine, just make sure you dont wait for school to get started. You dont wana go in without any knowledge or experience you wont get good job placement.

Being able to draw will heavily distinguish you from the normal Graphics Designer, not only will your designs be crisper and more unique, but you’re not bounded by purchasing a stocks or a damn good camera to capture your own. Don’t get me wrong though, stocks are an integral part of GD, you just don’t want them to be the foundation of every design. BTW, drawing is an achieved talent, your not born with it, it takes a lot of practice but hell its worth every minute.

istockphoto.com (stocks only), pixel2life.com, good-tutorials.com, deviantart.com are great places to get training and resources for any new graphics designer, as you get better look for digital painting tutorials. Go to places like depthcore.com and try to pick out how they developed their pieces, technique studies in your spare time will improve your skill DRAMATICALLY.

Join graphics design communities, and get your art critiqued (word of warning, dont beg for lessons, we hate walking people through stuff). If I had any websites off hand I would post them here. Remember, Dont be AFRAID, fear of failure will handicap you more than anything else. Know you can do it.. know it and you will eventually be a great designer.

Sorry for the rant, but im assuming if you cared about this article then your looking for all the advice you can get. I wish all the new designers luck in their venture, and I hope to see some new inspiring work up on the net! Have fun!

via Digg – 35 Basic Tutorials to Get You Started with Photoshop.

I just wanted some Photoshop tutorials, not your whole life story… 😉

Australia ‘destroying life on Earth’

AUSTRALIA’S use of coal and carbon emissions policies are guaranteeing the “destruction of much of the life on the planet”, a leading NASA scientist has written in a letter to Barack Obama.

[…]

In the letter he says: “Australia exports coal and sets atmospheric carbon dioxide goals so large as to guarantee destruction of much of the life on the planet.”

via Australia ‘destroying life on Earth’ | National Breaking News | News.com.au.

Eh? Come again?

C’mon – surely you cannot be serious.