As long-time readers might already be aware, I opted out of the whole Windoze Unpaid Bugtester craze some time ago now. Although there are times when I curse the inconvenience associated with some of the effects, I do happen to feel that I am better for it. However, just like there are myths and stupid misconceptions associated with autism, skin cancer, diabetes, and just about everything else of significance in my life, there are also myths and stupid misconceptions associated with my computer of choice, the Apple iMac. Continue Reading
As I sit here and go through the process of toying about with several devices that are based on computing principles, most obviously the desktop and laptop computers I own, it occurs to me. In spite of development that has gone on during my lifetime, and before, no real improvements have been made to the humble computer. In fact, as of June 2012, psychological professionals are still dealing with a phenomenon they refer to as Technology-Related Anger. Continue Reading
(Before we begin: What follows is a short story that I (re)wrote around two and a half years ago. It is based on a very similar short story that I wrote a little before that, in a time that I sincerely wish I could erase from my life. Apart from previously unnoticed spelling errors and some formatting to clarify the text, none of what you see in this document has been edited or altered in any manner. I hope you find the content enlightening or even enjoyable.) Continue Reading
It is time for another history lesson (yes, you can all groan now). Continue Reading
Before I say anything else, I want to make something clear to the reading public out there. Whilst most, if not all, of my posts have been written with the offline journal writing program called Qumana, I have started to find it a most unsatisfactory editor for my purposes. This is not to say that I do not recommend it to people who are looking for a cheap (ie free) editor for their posts, but several problems with the interface have made me decide to look elsewhere. Even for a solution that I must pay money for. Probably the straw that broke my proverbial camel’s back is that on the iMac that I use for all my computing needs, the almost-universal keyboard combination to move back and forth in text on a word by word basis is to hold down the Alt/Option key and press the left or right arrow keys. But for reasons best known to its programmers, Qumana seems to feel that users should hold down the Command key and use the left and right arrow keys to achieve the same effect. This inconsistency with the standard (and yes, I know how that sounds coming from me) has caused me confusion not only when attempting to use Qumana, but also when trying to carry out tasks in other programs. The Command key usually has all of the most powerful and important keyboard commands of the OS X user interface associated with it. Save, Load, Cut, Copy, Paste, and most importantly of all, the Quit command. In OS X, quitting most programs involves holding down Command and pressing Q. When migrating over from Windoze, this can present some confusion at first, but now that I have gotten used to it, I have to say that it is a far better system for closing programs. Qumana threatened to create confusion in that, so I am going to phase it out.
In my previous entry, I made reference to how the videogame industry, as well as the entertainment industry in general, has evolved. I also said that the use of the word was subject to certain understandings, if only in different language. I promised that I would explain this, and then seriously forgot to do so for the rest of the entry in question. Well, unlike certain people that I will not mention this time around, I like to keep my promises. I make them with the intent of keeping them, no matter how much it ends up putting me out. So now is a good time to explain what I mean when I say that the videogame industry has evolved over the past thirty or so years.
This means that I need to explain a few things about evolution as I understand them. If you are a scientist, particularly one that deals frequently in evolutionary theory, I beg your indulgence. It is for a good reason.
When I think back to the mid-to-late 1990s, when I first started taking my tentative steps onto this whole new, “exciting” medium called the Internet, I think of all the promises that were made and the promise the medium was reputed to hold. And in those days, it did promise a lot that was exciting to a technology-dreaming boy like myself. But promises are like wishes. Put one in one hand, then shit in the other hand. See which one fills up first. And never has there been a better example of this truism than the Internet after the commercialists realised that it was not just some “geek” trend, that it was not going to just go away whilst they ignored it, and that it posed a real, credible threat to them. And since then, they have been working overtime to try and negate what made, and to a degree still makes, the Internet a far better medium for all concerned.
Now, you have probably noticed that I inserted a capture of what I see when I load this journal in one of the web browsers on my computer. It is not for vanity reasons. For one thing, I am not that vain. For another, I do not like to use graphics in these things unless it is for an actual purpose. And if you have even the slightest interest in design, one glance at the image I have placed near this paragraph should be able to tell you what that purpose is.