iain-simpson.org

Listing posts published under ‘Personal’
Monday, 11 June 2007

Yay! I was reading BBC News, and saw that Apple have released a beta of Safari 3 for Mac OS and Windows.

Naturally, I hopped over to the Apple site to download it, and was bleeding from the eyes within minutes.

One thing that I've noticed about Macs, is that whenever I'm using one I feel as though my eyes are about to explode from the pressure of attempting to focus on the seemingly intentional blur effect applied to text. This is probably a personal thing, but I don't want to go back to the bad old days of dodgy CRT monitors that required manual focusing to avoid brain haemorrhage after prolonged exposure. I don't like the default softening effect that Macs apply to everything. Annoyingly, Safari on Windows applies it to all text rendered. Perhaps more annoyingly, there is no way to turn it off, meaning that I'm stuck with a multicoloured haze around characters, and the feeling that everything is in bold type.

Another problem I have is that Safari on Windows looks virtually identical to Safari on a Mac. Might be nice if you spend all day masturbating over Apple's latest product line, but very annoying if you like your UIs to be vaguely consistent. If you really want a Mac, you'll probably buy one anyway. Mac software should look like Mac software, Windows software should look like Windows software, and Linux software should look like whichever of the 101 or so widget sets that the developers decided to use.

Apple aren't the only offender here, but they're more relevant than Sony and the shitty custom apps they bundle with their PCs, or Nero with their increasingly shit "Media Center Solution" or whatever - what happened to Nero Burning Rom? - I couldn't find it on their site a few weeks back, and it looks like they only offer bundles of software that happen to have the ability to burn optical media.

I imagine that Apple try so hard to keep their Windows software looking like Mac software, is to get people used to the look and feel, and convert them to the way of the Mac. I still think that it's bad manners to ignore the look and feel of the system that your software is running on.

Unfortunately, I think Safari for Windows will be relegated to a place alongside Quicktime and iTunes, as software that I'll probably not use unless I have a file or site that won't work in anything else.

 
Saturday, 6 August 2005

It's 11am on Saturday morning, I can feel a hangover setting in, and I'm off out again in a couple of hours to drink more.

Last night was an unofficial work night out, organised to recitfy the fact that we'd not been on a night out for a while, and perhaps a little because we've just moved office - which wasn't too painful.. I still have my evil genius chair, and dual 20.1" TFTs, so all is well. The new building is good - although there seem to be more stairs to climb :/

Cat and I got the keys to our flat on the 27th. Cat moves in properly next week, with me following when I get my finger out and shift some stuff across, and sort out internet. A good start would be to phone BT and have them turn the phone line on - something with I was planning to do by now. Yay for procrastination - which many would probably say is how I spend most of my time..

This morning I did something that I've been itching to do for months now. I ordered a phone upgrade from T-Mobile. Woo hoo. A sparkly new Nokia 6230i will be arriving shortly, and the postman will (without attempting to knock) take it back to the Royal Mail sorting office, where I'll have to get up early to go and get it. I don't mind though - my thirst for new gadgets will be partially quenched.

I've been invited through to Edinburgh, for a couple of what might perhaps be alcoholic beverages of some kind, by my flatmate from a few years ago (3!?) - Colin. I'm expecting anything, and leaving my Visa card in Glasgow. If I still have the ability to type when I return, I'll maybe share the experience.

 
Thursday, 16 June 2005

It's been a while since I last posted, but it doesn't feel like it.. The weeks have been flying by recently, perhaps i'm getting old.. :/

The main consumer of my time outside work recently has been GTA: San Andreas, which was released for the PC (Windows - bah) on the 10th. Having preordered my copy from Play last month, I received my copy on the 9th. The basic gameplay is similar to GTA3, and Vice City. You run around, pick up guns, steal cars, run people over, crash, burn, and basically cause havoc. Rockstar have added much more detail than in the previous incarnations of the game. The game world is HUGE compared to Vice City, and those annoying area transition screens are gone. You can also choose how your character will look - if you eat lots of junk food you get fat, if you go to the gym and do lots of weights you build up muscles. You can choose your clothes and haircut too. If anyone enjoyed GTA3 or Vice City, and hasn't bought San Andreas yet, i'd recommend that you waste no more time.

Things have been going well at work, and despite having to force myself out of bad in the mornings, MS Word being the most horrific piece of software conceived, and a certain e-Commerce site being the bane of my existence, I'm enjoying the variety in the projects i'm working on. So far I've played with managed DirectX (C#/MS SQL Server), converted Word documents to PDF using wvWare and LaTeX (C), debugged and repaired chunks of LiteCommerce (PHP/MySQL), started work on a tool to help with a large web localisation project (Java/MySQL), and started work on a Content Management System that will run several sites that we will be building soon (PHP/MySQL/Smarty). An aspect that I especially like is that within the bounds of practicality, I get to choose what I use to implement stuff. It's also quite satisfying to be paid for doing something that I enjoy.

Following on from idea of getting old, Cat and I are looking to rent a flat together. If anyone knows of flats going in the West End (Glasgow) around August/September time, let me know.

I'm off to play some more San Andreas before bed. Mmm GTA.

 
Monday, 7 February 2005

Woo. This'll be my first post since my birthday. Nothing's really been happening, except for the party on Friday 28th. Much Jack was consumed, and all concerned appeared to have a good time.

I'm settling into work, getting my hands dirty with some managed DirectX using C#. There's plenty to do, and I can always go off and do some PHP, C, C++, or Java for a while if I get pissed off with DirectX. Life is good, and I get to choose what I code in. I also have a really geeky desk - two 20" Sony TFT monitors, a cool Sony VAIO desktop, and an evil genius style black chair. I may post pictures at some point..

I have also aquired a new toy - an O2 XDA, which is basically just a PDA with some phone bits added in. It's a bit of a silly size to use as a phone, and definately too fragile to go anywhere near the pub, so I'm just using it for games right now. I've found a fun bubble game, and I've installed SCUMMVM.

Mmm toys.

It's a bit depressing that I'm sitting up at quarter past 11 at night, and thinking that I should go to bed soon. Dear me.