Tag Archives: Apple fanboy


A smorgasbord of possibilities and entertainment angles, provided I can evade the kids and family long enough to keep up with them. Was going to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (awesome film – up there with the best 3d adventures and proof finally that Mr T can act rather than just be Mr T) with family, with one eye on the Apple tablet announcement, but that’s postponed til tomorrow so that some members of the household can go out and cheer up other family members not in the household. Which leaves me on child end of day duties, with one eye on the Apple tablet announcement.

These things WILL happen:

No-one will talk to Mr McGraw Hill. He’s either a twit or a shill and everyone will shun him and he will stand in a corner alone eating canopes.

Stevie J will take to the stage wearing an artists smock and beret.

The naming game will end. It’ll be called the Apple PaintSplodge.

The PaintSplodge will eat newspapers for fun.

It will be the best comic reader known to man.

My wallet will cry.

It will have Pixelmator and Brushes built in, or easily buyable from the SplodgeStore. I will be very happy about this.

Molly Wood, CNET’s Apple antagonist par excellance (and the person who sings the word ‘awesome’ better than an-e-bod-e), will be the Chun Li to Stevie J’s Ken.


The internet will buckle and crash and burn as a million twillion uber nerds refresh Engadget every four seconds. Twitter will cease to exist after the first four seconds of the iNote under a deluge of mostly related hashtags. Lots of people will say it’s just a bigger iPhone.

Apart from that it should be quite a quiet evening I’m a guessing. I’m also guessing I will end it substantially poorer than I started it.

New Apple device naval gazing…


OK so it’s rare to see me without the iPod touch nearby, or not next to my Mac mini or Macbook… Or plugged into my iPod classic… Or teaching computer arts from a Mac Pro or iMac…

So it’s fair to say that I do fit nicely into the Apple fanboy* bracket.

And, like most of us, I’m as intrigued and interested to hear what’s coming next Wednesday as the next Appleite and thought I’d play the guessing game, just in case I’m RIGHT and then can TELL EVERYONE I was right 🙂

So: the Tablet? My predictions?

A: it won’t be called the Tablet. It has a medicinal ring to it, although it’s the better of the ones I’ve heard suggested that said. Personally I think it may well be called the Apple Canvas. Not the Slate, nor the iPad. Maybe the Aaple? Canvas is my first guess and Tablet the next. If not those then something completely new and unexpected: the Zoltron Uber Twelve for example.

B: I think the key USP will be in the creative industries. Yes I know that the invite alludes to that but a couple of things make me more convinced than most: Jobs is a famous aesthete, Hockney is said to be using the platform to create artworks, Brushes grabs the cover of the New Yorker etc and Wacom tablets have barely changed at all over the past few years (yes I know you can do pen and touch at the moment. In comparison to the iPod touch the implementation is far less instant and gratifying). Personally I create almost all of my artwork in Brushes now and hope to only dilute that fact by adding an Apple Canvas to the mix.

C: This is TOTALLY speculative and most likely factually incorrect but the makers of Pixelmator, a Photoshop style art package which is cheap on price and high on value and features, have had a three month break following the release of their last update, which may likely be 100% true… but what if they had a three month break to work on something else? Possible, unlikely, and more to do with what I wish more than what I know in any way but a touch screen device with large working space and Pixelmator and (I hope) Brushes built in? Day one purchase for me. Full stop. iWork is lacking an art app and Pixelmator is the obvious solution to the issue.

D: look, it just should be, alright? Creativity rules 🙂

Roll on next week. I’ll be there, in spirit, and on the internet pressing refresh on the Engadget site throughout. Hopefully it’ll be a game changer, rather than just another new set of iPod colours but, if it is I hope there’s at least an orange iPod touch somewhere in the mix.

*Not to say they don’t wind me up a wall on occasion. I’m still waiting for my ed rebate despite chasing and chasing but hey ho, they are a company after all…

The ballad of Steve and Yoko.

So the day of three nine’s went by without huge incident: didn’t get a copy of Beatles Rock Band (on delayed order from Game.co.uk grrr), didn’t buy any of the CD’s (am interested in the mono’s but £200 are you having a giraffe?) didn’t watch the documentaries (McCartney’s historical revisionism? No ta) and didn’t see anything of interest in the Apple showcase (last years Zune functionality? Camera that doesn’t take pictures? Slightly shinier colours?)

As you might be able to tell, slightly underwhelmed by the whole kit and kaboodle. I was hoping for a mac tablet or Yellow Submarine iPod classic. In fact the best thing about it was Steve Jobs back on form, sort of kind of, and starting with a plea for people to choose to be organ donors, which is understandable bearing in mind the year he’s had.

So, with that sort of but not quite in mind this image fell onto my iPod Touch this evening.


All things considered they make something of a double act… But who’d get the leather chair and the white cat? Which of them would want a white cat bearing in mind they’re both wearing black? Ahhh the possibilities….

Lets talk about apps…

Or one in particular: geoDefense on the iPod Touch.

I’m teaching games at college at the moment and geoDefense is the game that’s getting the most love and hate.

For a start it riffs on (which is a kind way of putting it) a fantastic forebear. Let’s be honest: geoDefense steals its entire art style from Geometry Wars. Which, in one way, is good: if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

The first levels, all in the easy setting, are brilliant. Loads of fun and very compulsive. That’s when it’s good. After that it’s very, VERY hard and that’s when it’s bad. From Medium level 2 the game is a broken mess of decisions which take the game from being a compulsive classic to being a very unkind partner. Caution, it says as you load it up, meltdown imminent. And that’s very true. In one respect that’s useful; I’ve been using it as an example of best and worst practise in one fell swoop with my students… But it’s so close to being deleted because it’s so frustrating it’s untrue.

Still, just one more go, eh?

Other apps I’m loving; iFractal, Classics, iFooty, Artisan, Topple, Rolando, Dr Awesome, Spawn, Randompos and my favourite app of all: Backgrounds. Hardly a surprise Apple had its billionth app downloaded over the weekend. Good job it wasn’t that app though…

Pixelmator update…

Big fan of art software – as you know – and some packages more than others. Photoshop I use for when I’m teaching but it’s not the best photo manip package out there (well, in terms of muscle and wealth of features it possibly is – everything really is under one box but like most supertankers it’s not that easy to steer). Pixelmator gets the nod from me purely because it’s nippy and a joy to use.

So I was very pleased to be asked if one of my pictures could be used in the new Pixelmator manual which was released on tuesday/wednesday alongside the 1.4.1 update. Truth be told the update is mainly for bug fixes and only includes one more filter to play with – noise – but a new iteration is always fun to play with and seeing my pic blown up over a whole page was tres exciting 🙂 Not overly sure it was called leaves though – I thought I’d names it Pixeltree – but whatever and whichever was a pleasant surprise to see it in there. I’ve been mulling over doing this and a couple of other images as podcast/vodcast type things (we’re looking into it as a dept at college so have been wanting to have a crack at it, especially as Boinx came with the latest Macheist and is calling out for a playthrough. We’ll see… Depends what time offers.

Image below. Click on the pic to go to the PIxelmator website. If you’re after an inexpensive photo manipulation package for the Mac platform it gets high recommendation from me, especially pge 63 of the manual ;P


One to one…


This is the God so loved image at 100% magnification. See below for the whole image.

This is SERIOUSLY unsettling my poor lil Macbook… 🙁 It’s struggling like mad, just about made it (although without Photoshop I’ve been unable to check the CMYK settings and will have to do that tomorrow at college…)

Almost there though, phew. Looking forward to seeing it printed up large though, should be fun.

…one more thing…

…ooops, forgot to add this but will add it to this post thus distracting from all in the post prior, but hey ho: one more thing… ((you know how the apple fanboy always saves a cool thing for last with a white text on black slide?))

I add this with a mixture of fear and trepidation, as well as a little pride for reasons that will become apparent in a second.

I’m very lucky enough to be married to someone who is a talented artist and creative person. SHe always deflects this, because I can ‘draw’ in a more conventional sense she always dismisses her artworks as less useful or ‘arty’ but, as the picture’ll prove, wifey’s artwork is, often, far better than mone and certainly more popular 🙁 Hence the hesitation in mentioning it. The last time I big upped her work it proved so much more popular than the stuff I was doing I wanted to move to a tent in Wales and forget about it all 🙂

Anyhow: wifey has been getting more and more into sock characters (take a sock, make a character). (Hence name). She was into amigurumi (sp?) for a while but this seems to have taken over. Pix added show the skills and how cool they look.



They do look very groovy and are some of my favourite things 🙂 as is wifey herself. Now if I could just persuade her that she is an artist…

Hmmm maybe I should have added a sock character to the parcels/quote begging letters… Ah well, too late now.

One more thing…

There’s that inner apple fanboy coming out again…

Forgot to mention a non-related thing mark 2:

Downloaded Expression Studio 2 the other day (as part of Microsoft’s support a student scheme, bless ’em) and have been totally addicted to switching it on (well, the Design part of it anyway) and playing if I get any free time, generally between 10 and half 11 most nights, much to the grumpiness of my wife.

Nearly a week in and it’s a mixed review so far. Expression, for anyone who knows me, is BY FAR my favourite art software with Photoshop coming in second place. Pixelmator is nearly there and Blender, Flash, Fireworks and others all get an airing occasionally. Expression is the only one I play with rather than work in though. Love it to pieces…

Currently I’m in the ‘learning new features, frustrated with changes’ zone and also the slightly sluggish working in virtual mode – it’s currently being used on a lowish end macbook using Parallels 3 as a bridge. However there are some BIG changes that are winding me up a wall.

For a start I was surprised by how much I had come to use soft fills and fringes to give sometimes very subtle effects. They’re not there anymore. Worse still is the exclusion of effect lines! Shocking.

These images have some of the taken out options in. No idea how I’d replicate some of the effects in there without:




((the last one is called faces because every time I look at it I just end up looking at the faces that come out of the lines)).

Apart from that the new effect filters are lovely and I’m aiming to be working with them a lot. Here’s the first doodle done, playing with the new options.

creature house microsoft expression

Frustratingly the colour blend modes don’t seem to work and I’ve got no idea whether that’s the build I have or what… Hoping to get some customer support although, sadly, their forum is filled with people saying the same sort of thing.

Regardless Expression remains my favo piece of art software… I’m just not sure which version of it it is just yet… Or whether I’ll be using both Expression 3.3 (old) and Design Studio 2 (new). Ironically both were free downloads from Microsoft and that’s something that I think the company are well deserving of thanks for over and above the slating they get for many things.

But I still want my effects lines back 🙁