Saturday, January 2, 2016

What difference does it make to e-read?

Prompted by a question by The Kindle Chronicles about how my reading has changed after ebooks, I wrote: 

Surprisingly difficult question. It feels obvious. 
After a lot of thought, I conclude, for now, that all the little advantages (text size choices, no light needed, 900 books in a handbag, etc) makes it a lot more FUN to read. 

Similar to when I was young and got a quality racing bike. Compared to my old heavy bike, distances felt cut down to nearly half of what they used to be. And it was just great fun zipping through the landscape. 
But if you tried to tell that to me before I got it (and before I could afford it), I would have poo-poo'd it; "Yeah, it's 'More fun'. Zippidy. Big deal..." 

But it is a big deal. If you have to do a one-hour task every day, and doing it one way it's slightly tiresome, and done another way it is fun, that makes a hell of a difference. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Creative iPad wallpapers [and Apple oddities]

Here is one of my newest iPad wall papers. I treated it in Pixelmator, made it BW, gave it grain, added the "light leak" (the big orange spotlight).
Now when you take a screenshot from a video, there will often be black bars because of the slimmer formate of the video. But the effects in the app treats them as well, so in effect you get a screen filling image. I like the translucent dock, showing the "spotlight" so well.

... And as it looks when used as wallpaper:

And here's the original. Nice also, but a bit of variety is good.  

When I got my first Mac in 1995, the only way to personalize the screen was to make tile
walls out of Apple's supplied tiny, tiny pictures (Really. Like 20x30 pixels.). Or one could use a shareware app called D├ęcor. Now, two decades later, Apple has *almost* caught up to the capabilites of this app made by a single Frenchman. For example, his app could scale the image so it was not partly hidden under the menu bar. Apples OS still can't do this, nor with the dock, or on the iPad. On the iPad one can't even use an image which is smaller than the screen in either dimension, resulting in blurry photos, cut-off heads and whatnot. But hell, with 800 people working on the iPhone camera, I understand it's hard to spare a man to improve this pathetic state of affairs.

Apple makes FANTASTIC products. So why do they always insist on spoiling the experience with the occasional screaming  misstep, like this, or for example mouse cables which were so short they could not even reach to the other side of a laptop!?