Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Are blogs as we know them dying?

Today I realised that I have not posted on this blog for over a year. That is amazing, especially considering that this constantly ranks high on Google searches. The world's changed considerably in that time and I feel that the blogging space has changed.

First things first... Is text still an efficient way to communicate thoughts? Whilst many English enthusiasts might argue so, it's rather apparent that there are many limiting factors with text some of which include:

  • No tone
    • When speaking one can animate their thoughts using changes in pitch. With text you're limited to simple formatting. Many people hate the fact that sarcasm doesn't carry well across the internet or within books so on social networks the sarcasm 'tag' /s has been widely adopted. 
  • A picture tells a thousand words
    • The rise in vlogging is a testament to this. Why read a two thousand word essay when you can have it played out in front of you in a few minutes of film with sound. These mediums appeal to various senses and can aid the blogger in establishing rapport with the audience. The viewer also has to do little work in order to interpret the footage, whereas processing large block of text can be tiring. 
  • You need to host it somewhere
    • Yes you can start a blog easily but if you want to go seriously one would need to pay for a host and/or a domain name. They'd have to maintain the site for the readers etc. With videos, there are many distribution services like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo where content creators can share footage.
There is still hope for text based blogging, however. Services like Medium offer opportunities for bloggers to write one off (or a series of) articles on whatever subject pleases them. Medium has rapidly expanded to now be in my opinion the murderer of the classic blog.

I find it funny how the founder of Medium (Evan Williams) was also the founder of Blogger- seems a smart way to do business... make a company that kills your old one.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Memrise: A new spin?

I've been having trouble as of recent with learning vocabulary (especially in German). Many people recommended to me Memrise, a site which enforces learning by repetition.

In the past I've used Quizlet but personally I'm prefering Memrise at the moment. It seems that I'm picking up vocabulary far quicker than anywhere else.

The rank system is an interesting yet fun way to keep track of how you're learning (for the record I'm a Memgineer).

As well as learning German I'm learning all the capitals in the world (there was a time when I could do this) and learning Latin Vocab. All in all I say that in combination with Duolingo, Memrise is a great tool for learning languages no matter what your level. Like many other sites I believe it strikes a good equilibrium between learning and gamification.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ubuntu to move to Python 3

In around 10 days Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be released. One of the major changes? Python 3 preinstallation.

Hopefully this'll put pressure on a few modules to port to 3 and for 3 to be adopted as a worldwide standard.

Sorry for my lack of posting, I've been very busy and not able to post as much as I'd like to.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Change Ninite's install directory. (or any other programs for that matter)

Like many other people I was troubled by this post on Ninite's website stating that they won't support custom install locations. "BUT WHAT ABOUT MY SSD!" Was the general thought :)

However there is a little hack around that will help people who have multiple drives.

1. Open regedit (open start and type regedit)
2. Browse to these keys: (If you're running 64 bit Windows there'll also be a (x86 version of each)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

3. Double click these entries (2 for 32 bit users 4 for 64 bit)
4. Edit them to where you want programs to be installed.
5. Reboot your computer for these to take effect

And there you have it! A simple workaround that will save you hours in the long run and allows you to use the ultra simple Ninite installer.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

My monitor's picture is shifted too far to the left

A quick fix for anyone who might have the annoyance that I had for a long time.

Simply go to your monitor settings and click auto adjust (it's probably under settings).

There. It should be fixed.

Now this will be archived somewhere in the web until someone who needs it finds it.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Crash Course on How to Use a Hashtag

I'm not the ruling authority on how to use or not use hashtags however they were created for a reason. Since the spread of hashtags to Facebook, I am appalled to see its poor usage. So I proclaim to you...

Internet 101: Hashtags

The ideal purpose of a Hashtag is to associate your post with a theme so that it can be searched via a hashtag. Like if I was to say:

"Free bottles of water in Sydney", using standard convention it would be appropriate to tag that post/tweet with #water #Sydney #freebie

That post would not be suited to a hashtag like #imsothirsty or #wasteofmoney .

Really, if you think about it if someone was to search the hastag #wasteofmoney they wouldn't expect to find details about how to get free water. Instead they might be interested about the government's latest stimulus packages.

I guess people won't change using terrible hashtags, but I hope that someone finds this post and changes their ways.

Friday, 3 January 2014

First look at Stonehearth Alpha 1

Due to my relatively large pledge on Kickstarter, when Stonehearth's Alpha came out I was one of the first invited to try it out.

This game was created by a few Silicon Valley developers who decided to quit their jobs and make the game of their dreams (and one of my dreams), Stonehearth . Not to be mixed up with the also emerging game HearthStone, Stonehearth is basically Sim City on AntiSteroids. The shrunk down version has a lot of potential I believe and I can't wait for saving to be added (it's not present in Alpha 1)

I've played around with it for a few days now and am ready to release a verdict and quick review.

First of all, I, and all the developers emphasise that this is a work in progress. Many of the screenshots that I've taken below are bugs (in fact I think all of them are :) )

Before I get into some of the bugs I'd like to thank the developers for aiming (and succeeding) in a December launch. Having it delivered on time means a lot to a player.

The soundtrack and sound effects are great- exactly what I thought they'd be like if not better. The voxel based art is also (dare I say is) cute...

All the foundations are perfected, bugs just need to be squashed - although I know patches are being released almost daily through Steam and Humble Bundle.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is the UI which fits very well. In the screenshots below you can see aspects of it.

Ok. Now onto the bits which I don't like. BUGS. Here I've decided to post a few screenshots and hope that some of the Radiant Crew stumble upon this post and fix them.

However wacky this may seem, the beds seem to be able to form a black hole in between them with glitchy pixels.

 This person also seems to have fallen through a bed

 Documented by the team but further found here, the Stonehearthians love building themselves into corners (or having others build them in for them). This happened very frequently to me as well as the workers walking through walls.

 And finally I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong but the citizens don't seem to like sleeping in the beds made for them.

Overall, however it's probably one of the best alpha's I've played. As I said before can't wait for save functionality and more features. I'd urge you to hop onboard if you haven't at