Daily Archives: 8 October, 2014

Surfacing…

It’s been a very interesting few weeks. I loved being a part of EGX (and am happily snuggled up in my EGX hoodie at the moment as I type this with a smile on my face). And now I’m artist in residence (back there tomorrow in fact) at Shake Shack in Covent Garden which is very cool.

Tomorrow the Hudl 2 is released and I really hope I find one in stock and I REALLY hope it’s the right colour (orange machines are, generally, the best machines). If so I’ll be taking it to the shack to give it a run through. I’m a total sucker for the Hudl and hope the sequel is all that is promised.

Tonight there’s also an HTC One M8 announcement which I hope to catch up on. I think, pound for pound, it’s my favourite phone. Certainly the shell is beautiful and the screen is the only one which accepted input from all of the styli I use (wood, brush, rubber tip, plastic tip and so on).

 Which leads me to this. A couple of threads of my life weaving together nicely.

Just over a year ago things went a bit wrong and I couldn’t see the good in anything. I was still teaching well enough, the kids enjoyed the year and all came out with good grades and retention was up from the prior year… But I didn’t take much in the way of joy from things that were, in retrospect, pretty good. Now I can, and I thoroughly enjoyed Eurogamer Expo where, last year, I’d failed to enjoy it as much as I should have.

This morning I had a very happy, gentle argument with Ewen Rankin of the British Tech Network on Twitter today also. My argument was that Apple is an extraordinary company (which I believe it is) but that that doesn’t make me a fanboy.

My favourite phone(s) are from HTC and Samsung (mainly for the S-Pen). My favourite tablets are from Microsoft and Tesco. I don’t have a Samsung Ativ but always thought that it looks (looked) like a fabulous laptop and my prior favourite laptop was a Sony Vaio slider.

Apple is extraordinary in the devotion it inspires, for the ability it has in making the whole widget work (if you discount software where they are – debatably – troubled at times) and, basically for having that much money in the bank safe in the knowledge that it’ll have that much but a lot more tomorrow. Any company which employs Jony Ive, Knight of the Realm (and an equally brilliant design team) is automatically that much more awesome than any company which does not.

I’ve not got a special place in my heart for them: it’s not like they’ve ever replied to the emails I’ve sent about the tablet art things we do at the college and apart from occasionally saying nice things about the pictures I do (in store) that’s the sum total of our togetherness but you can’t argue that Apple isn’t an extraordinary company (I think).

That said none of the machines I look forward to are Apple’s. The tablet I’ve got my eye on next is the Surface Pro 3. I’m thoroughly enjoying drawing on that when I’m able to escape work for a lunchtime and head off to my local PC World.

… and, yesterday, I showed the students how to feather images together and came up with this on the board:

So I think it’s fair to say that the Surface is a machine on my mind… As is the Hudl 2. As is the One.

Ironically the only machine that interests me from Apple – which I still think is an extraordinary company – is one which hasn’t been announced and exists only as pure speculation: the iPad Pro. That said there’s an Apple keynote now announced for Oct 16th and regardless of the other companies pushing the tech boundaries as they are I’m sure I’ll tune in to see what they announce.

…but that’s the fab thing about tablets and tech. I tend to enjoy drawing on whichever screen is placed in front of me. No matter the app, input device or OS it’s always fun to see what’s next and to draw on what’s now.