Gaming, Technology, Thoughts

It’s time to slay Orcs…

Ages ago when I was a nerdy, unemployed, pimple riddled, gamer I was into RPGs (role playing games) for a while. I should emphasize “unemployed” since they’re tons of fun but major time wasters. Anyway after my few years of LANs and rig binge I decided to give it a rest. I grew some balls and found a few decent paying jobs. Once again I started to climb the hill of respectability.

Since my involvement with Apple and my iPhone 3GS (whom I love dearly), my insatiable lust for a good game to bury my mind in, was reborn. Up until now I’ve just been playing cheap and easy little shoot-em-up games things like Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, World of Goo, Kungu Fu Warroir, Continuity 2 and NinJump Deluxe. Some of these are puzzle-based games while others are still tons of fun. Although I wanted something more.

So I went about researching a decent iPhone RPG for me to get my hands into, and I came across the Inotia series. Since I jailbroke (hacking your phone to enable you to get games and apps for free) my phone, sometimes I’ll download a game that doesn’t quite install properly. This was the case when I loaded Inotia 2.

However once I fired up Inotia 3: Children of Carnia…wow, what an awesome game. What also impressed me (apart from the depth in the storyline and the fluidity of the characters) is how beautifully it is illustrated. It’s like diving straight into a piece of Manga (japanese style graphic novel).

For those who may be interested, have a look at the screenshots I’ve included in my post 😀



Reviews, Technology

Apple Loses Control of It’s Core

Recently I bumped into a client who said to me “Don’t you hate what the AppStore (i.e. the iTunes Store) is doing to customers?” What he meant was that recently both the release of Final Cut Pro X and the new Lion OSX (10.7), were only possible if you surrendered to the App Store and first bought it there.

I understand what the AppStore has done for developers, in the sense it’s opened a pandora’s box of opportunity to provide customer with Exactly the software they require. You need to look no further than the fluidity the iPad has to offer. I saw online the other day someone has developed an app and a ‘periscope’ sort of stand, which turns the iPad into a TelePrompTer for news-readers.

Apple (for me, and most likely others share this same view) is about user-centric software and access. The whole idea behind the ‘i’ naming convention (e.g. iPad, iPod, iPhone, iMac, etc) is a symbol and promise of user empowerment. The one single letter that is used to start sentences, write love songs, and dismiss theories; the same character stands at the front of these big names in technology.

You just need to look at the ease of the user interface, the integrated search at your fingertips (Spotlight), and so forth to see the previously Apple is about the user more than I is about the software. Then the AppStore comes along, and starts dictating that they be the only portal for purchasing software.

The AppStore is very efficient and reliable, I have no complaints with the workings of it, although if they start dictating that every user needs to download a 3-4GB file for the new OS, I start to get a little nervous. Firstly people in countries with low bandwidth will suffer, and secondly the AppStore has become a sort of policeman for those entrepreneurs.

Well, that’s my impression thus far. Will Apple continue to strict us, as is gains more and more loyal supporters?




How To Spot A Fake iPhone 4

Hey Bloggers

I work selling Apple products for a living. It’s a great job and I’d like to give you a few tips, if you are looking to buy an iPhone abroad. The iPhone in question (shown below) I could immediately tell the customer that it was not an original by simply examining the screen, and seeing it was a smaller size than I was used to handling.

Some basic differences:

  • If the back of the phone unclips and allows you to insert a SIM card, it is definitely a fake. The iPhone 4 (i.e. the original) has a tray at the top of the device that pops out and allows you to insert the SIM card.


  • On a fake, the back of the phone will have a small rectangle showing the size (in gigabytes). You will never see this on an original iPhone 4. (The original iPhone 4 is on the right hand side.)

  • The screen on the fake iPhone 4 is smaller.
  • I found that the interface wasn’t very responsive to my finger. I haven’t included a picture of the interface here, but I found it took at least 3 seconds before the interface responded to touch.
  • The Absolute Acid Test would be to plug the device into a computer with iTunes if you are unsure of the physical features. If it is not an original iTunes (whether on a PC or MAC) will not recognize the unit at all.


Trust this information helps 🙂




Five Things You Should Know About Upgrading From XP To Windows 7

Here’s something I found while trawling the web again. This article is a bit old, but it’s still helpful to those peeps wrestling with windows 7, which is becoming more and more popular. 😀




Reviews, Technology

Could ’social viruses’ ruin your company’s reputation?


Social networks, as the name says, are “social,” and thus subject to the shifts in behaviors, norms, and attitudes that affect any group of people. There are both constant negative and positive streams surging through these networks that can change minds and re-mold opinions.

Organizations attempting to harness the power of social networks need to be aware and prepare for the ways social networks — which can be notoriously fickle — can quickly impact brand perception, or sow fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Boris Pluskowski in a recent post, raises the possibility that some companies may attempt to manipulate social networks to undermine competitors. In considering this really dark side of social networking, there is a possibility that competitors may purposely attempt to plant “social viruses” to attack or convert the social networks of competitors. Imagine one company proliferating negative statements and accusations about a competitor’s products and services within a network. It happens in sales circles all the time, right?

Yes, social networks have innate self-policing and self-editing capabilities to put the kibosh on such behavior, but still, damage can be done in the meantime. And, unlike a situation in which a sales representative disses a competitor’s product in the privacy of a customer’s office, the diss goes viral across the globe.

Pluskowski references the work of James Fowler, co-author of Connected, who demonstrates the powerful influence social networks have on attitudes and behavior. (”Your colleague’s husband’s sister can make you fat, even if you don’t know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse.”)

“I can certainly envision ways in which companies could manipulate a few key individuals to enable them to corrupt a competitor’s user community,”Pluskowski explains. “Sowing seeds of discontent, and setting up the consumers to be virally vulnerable to the possibility of alternative realities.  Could we then be on the verge of a new weapon in the corporate strategic arsenal?”

The best defense against such lowly tactics to to develop a strong, social virus-resistant social network. Pluskowski provides this advice:

“Engender a strong goodwill and feeling within your community, and you’ll find that it’ll be resistant to negative vibes… Cross your community though, and that bad feeling will spread far and wide like wildfire.”

The iPhone 4 is a great example of a community resistant to negative vibes, Boris illustrates: “Despite all its difficulties and problems, people are still buying it –- not because it’s that much of a better phone than anything else on the market (nor even its previous version the 3GS) –- but rather because Apple’s conditioned its community to be resistant to negative viruses by ensuring that they not only respond, but also try to over-satisfy the customer whenever possible. As a result, the community of Apple buyers continues strong, and continues to grow in number.”

Pluskowski also recommends that organizations nurture a new skillset – that of the “social doctor, able to diagnose potential viruses prior to them taking effect and injecting the corporate social world with the virtual equivalent of vitamins to re-enforce it.”

Business leaders also need to be eternally vigilant about showing sensitivity and concern for customer communities, Boris adds. Unfortunately, this sensitivity and concern “is currently alien to the majority of companies who still treat their social networks as a sales and marketing tool rather than a living, breathing symbiotic organism.”



Underneath the wires


“Software is everything!”


This is the first thing that I heard come out of my lecturer’s mouth. My immediate reaction was… how could this possibly be true? Prior to hearing that, I’d spent hours fixing family computers, installing motherboards, restoring hard drives, and tossing in a variety of electronic organs into this electronic being. If you are an average computer user and you see another guy with a toolkit, screwing stuff in the right place and building up a computer…you are impressed.


When I first started my journey into geekdom the most obvious thing was to learn how it worked. If you want to learn to help cure people, that general consensus is that you should study medicine, get to handle a few organs, and soon enough knowing the majority of the body…should mean that you can help people master their troubles. Instinctually I thought the same way about computers. Surely the guy with the cables in his hands, is better off than the guy that’s sitting behind the computer typing?


–>By the way this isn’t a picture of my room…although it’s good to dream 😀



It took me a while to realise that my logic, although correct to some degree, lacked a different approach. Somewhere along the line, in the computer world, we’re going to encounter software. If you’re into networking, learning to build up a motherboard may be useful however, at some stage even a cable monkey has to learn to flick through computer diagnostic screens and check everything is hunky dory. A doctor can give you good advice, but somewhere down the line he’ll encounter a patient with a bodily abnormality that is a result of something in her psychology (or software), rather than in the torso.


I’m using the human comparison for those of you reading this who aren’t familiar with computers on a technical level. Early on in life I did a few years of therapy to correct my internal software (psychology or thought patterns). This doesn’t mean I’m sorted for the rest of my life (i.e. there will always be updates I need, and new paths to explore.) When I started to first work with my head for a while, I began to realise that problems can get fixed faster. If you’ve been to a therapist of some kind and are prepared to change, sometimes you will find the strength in yourself, to correct a few errors.


I’m not trying to sound too idealistic and unreasonable either. Hard work and determination play a huge role as well…although back to the computers now.



The layers

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Nothing is what is seems.” This is a very paranoid and poor judgment to make. Instead of getting worried, take a second to think of it in terms of technology. We look at websites every day; we click on links, download photos, Google research topic and so forth. Behind it all is code. Endless amounts of words and numbers, directing the flow in information to the right place (waiting for sometimes a single mouse click from a user). This should be a frightening prospect to those who delve into other academic fields. If you look deep enough into the human body, you no longer see obvious foibles like emotions, veins, organs, or blood. You start to see cells and atoms…and beyond that chromosomes and DNA. These attributes we all carry help us to stay alive, to catch criminals and invent even greater technology.


This is how I’m starting to feel about software. There are people who spend years behind the computer coding, building and sculpting. They are (for the most part), the people responsible for when a new gadget or computer is released. If software wasn’t around we would stop emailing each other, watching cable, TV adverts would be non-existent, and life would feel pretty dull and uneventful all of a sudden.


So what is my point behind all the examples, and computer loving? Embrace technology. I often say to people that ‘there is a program for everything’. You might be able to think of something that hasn’t been made, to contradict me. Well, in theory I’d put a word in a programmer’s ear about it, and within a week you’d need to find a new argument. Now I’m not trying to act like some sort of genius, and come across as if I can build anything, but we have the tools are out there.

Apple is emerging as one of the leaders in the computer industry. One of the reasons for this is because when you buy an apple, you get a lot of software given to you to use, before you need to throw down another credit card. The whole point is they want to use software, to give people a boost. Why should a user buy a computer, and waste time gathering together bits and pieces of extra software, to start using?

I like that idea. Put some tools in the customer’s hands, and teach him to build!






Predictions from the Past

Here’s some interesting quotes i came across on the web. Feel free to to leave a comment if I’ve misquoted someone 😉




“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”

Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949


“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”

The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957


“But what … is it good for?”

Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.


“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977


“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

Western Union internal memo, 1876.


“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would payfor a message sent to nobody in particular?”

David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.


“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”

A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.


“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.


“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.”

Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”


“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.”

Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.


“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.


“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”

Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.


“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”

Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.


“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'”

Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.


“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.


“You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.”

Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus.


“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”

Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.


“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.”

Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.


“This fellow Charles Lindbergh will never make it. He’s doomed.”

Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast.


“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.



 “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”

Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.


“Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”

Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television.


“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.



“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”

Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872


“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the instrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”

Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873


Five Things You Should Know About Upgrading From XP to Windows 7

Here’s something I found while trawling the web again.

Enjoy… 😀



Tony Bradley, PC World
PC World
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 12:19 AM

Now that Windows 7 is here, the three out of four users who have rejected Windows Vista and clung to the tried and true Windows XP can breathe a sigh of relief and consider moving to the new flagship operating system.

Upgrading or switching operating systems often comes with some trials and tribulations and the Windows 7 upgrade is no exception. Microsoft has tried to provide the tools users need to make the transition as easy as possible, but you may hit some snags. Here are five things you should be aware of as you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7.

1. . Unfortunately, Microsoft has not provided Windows 7 with the capability to upgrade directly from Windows XP. The explanation is that so much has changed between Windows XP and Windows 7 within the operating system kernel itself, the Registry, the drivers, etc. that trying to get from Point A to Point B just won’t work. That isn’t as horrible as it sounds. Frankly, although in-place upgrades are convenient, experts always recommend doing a fresh install when moving to a new operating system in order to ensure the best performance and overall experience. Just think of it like Microsoft did you a favor by forcing you to do it the right way. You’re welcome.

2. ?? You can’t get from Windows XP to Windows 7 directly, but there was a little known operating system that came out between the two. I know you have blocked out that part of your memory to avoid horrible Windows Vista flashbacks, but surely you could make the switch to Windows Vista if its only for an hour or two. Windows XP users can work around the upgrade issue if they have a copy of Windows Vista. It doesn’t even have to be licensed since you won’t be activating it and won’t have it loaded for more than a few hours– well within the 30-day trial period. Just upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, then upgrade the Windows Vista system to Windows 7. I make no assurances that this will go off without a hitch. I will add a disclaimer: refer to the first tip where I reminded you that it is recommended that you do the clean install.

3. . If you bought your printer when Clinton was still in office, or your graphics card when Michael Jordan was still ruling the NBA, you might have a hard time finding software updates and drivers to make them work with Windows 7. Thankfully, Microsoft has an app for that. Microsoft created the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor tool which scans your hardware and software and identifies any known compatibility issues. It provides guidance on how to resolve identified issues, and makes recommendations for what you should do to ensure a satisfying Windows 7 upgrade experience

4. . Whether you do the clean install or some sort of crazy work-around to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, arguably the most important part is making you’re your data and personal preferences stay intact. That’s where the Windows 7 Easy Transfer tool comes in. The actual file is You can find it on the Windows 7 DVD under First you run it on your existing Windows XP system to migrate your user profile(s) to some external storage. Then, after Windows 7 is installed you run it again to import the user profile(s) to Windows 7. One small caveat. If you have 32-bit Windows XP and you are taking the opportunity while upgrading to make the switch to 64-bit Windows 7 you might run into some problems. I was unable to transfer user settings from a 32-bit to a 64-bit system using this tool during a previous upgrade.

5. . If you’re running Windows XP I assume you have invested in some security software– antivirus, antispyware, personal firewall, etc. Because of changes that Microsoft has made to protect the operating system kernel, those Windows XP-era security programs will most likely not work in Windows 7. The good news is that the Windows 7 firewall is significantly better than the Windows XP firewall, and Microsoft provides adequate security protection for free with Windows Defender and the recently released Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program. You may still want to explore alternatives and install more robust protection, but these tools should provide sufficient protection for the time being without costing you any money.

If you don’t want to spend all that time alone, maybe you could throw one of the Windows 7 parties and you and all of your Windows XP friends can have ice cream and cake (or pizza and beer) while you make the transition.

Of course, you might better off to simply invest the extra money and get a whole new system with Windows 7 already installed. If you have held on to your computer hardware as long as you held onto the Windows XP operating system then you are really skewing Moore’s Law and its time you upgrade.

poetry, Technology

the wires inside

i closed a coffin today,

it was black with

wires of time inside

its burnt body


it lay on the floor

the silver fan

(cooling its heart)

Stopped and sighed

It lay in the warmth

Of my own curiosity


i was more technology than

this carcass, splayed before

me and the wooden desk

i could get off the floor

crawl away from the slow

undergrowth – over

our lives.


i wept more for the

numb life hiding in

the cage and its brain

my tears fell out


so did the battery