Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

24: Just A Thought

February 6, 2013

1. OUYA Will Be DOA

OUYA, a game console based on Android, will be officially launched in two months. Sounds good. There’s only one problem — it will launch with no compelling games.

2. Poor Guy

While Matt Moore — an “ex-gay” Christian blogger — has probably done a lot to damage the LGBT community, I feel kind of bad for him. It’s confirmed that he has an active profile on Grindr, a dating site for gay people. While it might be right to proclaim “hypocrite!” and hate Moore’s guts, it must suck to be him.

Clearly Moore is battling himself, because on one hand he’s gay, and on the other his religion tells him that it’s unacceptable. There probably aren’t many worse things than being at odds with your own being, and while I don’t appreciate hypocrisy — particularly when it hurts others — I can at least think that therapy is a greater response to this news than pitchforks.

That said, if you are gay, and you are Christian, you should know that Leviticus says that eating seafood is a sin. So unless basically everyone goes to Hell unless they live by Leviticus, I think that God will forgive you. Or if Leviticus is the final word on all things, you’ll have a whole lot of people to share Hell with, many of which have probably hated on you.

Gotta love silver linings.

via Gawker on Facebook

3. So What’s Different?

Speaking of gay stuff, it looks like the UK is going to legalize same-sex marriage. Here’s what David Cameron, the Conservative Prime Minister, said about gay marriage:

I am a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too. … This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger.

It’s hard enough to get a Democratic politician in the US to say something similar, let alone a Republican politician. I’m not David Cameron’s biggest fan, but kudos for this.

via FlipBoard [App Store Link]

4. Hooray: Warm Bodies Is Hot

I was pulling for Warm Bodies since the first trailer was released, and I’m thrilled to tell you that it brought in $20 million over the weekend (not including Sunday afternoon and evening).

Part of that was the $31.50 from me for three tickets. Surreal that we’ve gotten to the point where ticket prices actually exceed $10, isn’t it? I remember when ticket prices here in Portland were $9, and while the price increase over so many years might not seem like much, it adds up.

These prices are zombifying.

(Sorry for the lame joke.)

5. Want To Know Where I Am Always?

This is just a rumor, but one I wouldn’t have a hard time believing. It seems as if Facebook is working on an app that will keep track of your location so that your friends can see where you are. Allegedly it will also help Facebook with its targeted ads.

If (or when) this app does come to pass, I’m curious to learn how many people value their privacy so little.

6. Justin Bieber And Selena Gomez Back Together?!?

Like, OMG.

via @cambio on Twitter

7. This Death Star Just Won’t Die

People are determined to get that Death Star up and running. E for Effort, I guess.

8. We Survived The Fall Out Boy Hiatus!

Honestly Fall Out Boy’s hiatus was the closest thing to an Apocalypse that the world has seen, so we should all pat ourselves on the back for surviving it.

9. The Real Story Is What James Cameron Thinks Of Avatar

James Cameron just won a lawsuit where he was accused of stealing ideas for Avatar. Good for him! What’s disconcerting is this little gem from Cameron’s mouth (emphasis mine):

It is a sad reality of our business that whenever there is a successful film, people come out of the woodwork claiming that their ideas were used. AVATAR was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades. I am grateful that the Court saw through the blatant falsity of Mr. Morawski’s claim.

Considering that Avatar is basically a mediocre retelling of the Pocahontas story, I’m sorry that Cameron feels the way he does. His “most personal” film, really?

via FlipBoard

10. Showcasing The Little Guys

If you haven’t noticed, I often use this blog to brainstorm. Ya know, it’s my party blog and I’ll cry ramble if I want to. So bear with me!

I’ve had this little idea since yesterday, that maybe I should start sourcing my friends instead of huge news sites that really don’t need traffic from me. Most of the people I regularly talk to on Twitter have blogs of their own and can write well, and I feel that I’ve been ignoring an opportunity to show them off.

The biggest problem I can see is the publishing schedule. This blog’s seven-day publishing schedule is an anomaly among other small blogs with a single writer. If I want to keep my posting format as-is (Thoughts on nine different articles and a few hundred words about whatever is on my mind), I would need my friends who blog to collectively churn out at least 45 articles per week — problematic, yes?

The problem with that being problematic is that I really like the idea of sourcing my friends for my posts here instead of, say, TechCrunch or the LA Times. So I have to find middle ground somewhere.

At present the posts I publish on Sunday and Monday are standard articles, little to nothing newsy about them. I could dedicate just Monday to my favorite articles from friends for the week prior, which would leave Sunday as the only day I publish standard articles. Assuming my network continues to grow and I make enough blogging friends, I might be able to start phasing out huge news sites for bloggers that might want my promotion.

I might try this out for next Monday’s post, but I’m not sure. It’ll be a surprise to both you and I.

As a sidenote, regarding what was mentioned above about me using this blog to brainstorm: I didn’t come up with the “middle ground” solution to my dilemma until writing it here. Thanks.

17.5: “Inexperience Required”

January 20, 2013

Nick Denton, Founder of Gawker:

We’ve always prided ourselves on saving young talent from the spirit-dulling indoctrination of journalism schools and genteel media companies — and the conventional thinking, cosiness with sources and addiction to junkets that often go with them.

The Deadspin exclusive shows what can be done by young journalists who don’t know better. There is another reason for this reminder. Newspapers and magazines — their ranks clogged by veterans with nowhere else to go — are not hiring. We are recruiting — and we value raw talent and attitude over the long resume — in not only Editorial but also our Technology, Advertising, and Operations teams.

I have some friends who don’t particularly care for Gawker — I used to not be a fan myself — but this company impresses me more each day.

Some of the best writing that I’ve seen on the web has been by people who never went to journalism school and are complete self-starters. People who have an opinion that they feel should be heard, and who sign up for a blogging platform and just run with it. I’ve become friends with many of these individuals and have been able to see them grow, which has been fascinating.

So to make a potentially long story short, it’s encouraging to see at least one large media company understand that these kids are extremely valuable in the long term.

Wannabe writers are the future and “professionals” should be afraid of them as Gawker probably won’t be the last media company that looks for inexperience. And heck, I’d wager that the media companies that do value the resume over the raw talent won’t be around forever.

We live in a fascinating time.


November 12, 2012

I hate starting every recent article with Guys! I now have a webcomic called Seizure Prone! Check it out! But it’s centered around a lot of my ideas for articles here, so bear with me for just one more article or two.

I’ve already received comments that my comic is starting out maybe just a little bit depressing, and my copy-paste response is somewhere along the lines of What do you expect with the subject matter? The more I think about that answer, the more I find it not acceptable.

Every good webcomic that I know of has a main cast which is beloved by readers, and when something bad happens to any of the main cast, it affects the readers personally. I know that I feel like I’m really good friends with a lot of characters in webcomics that I read, and I’ve gone so far as to cry over a few things that have happened to them.

With Seizure Prone I want to eventually reach people emotionally; it might not happen, but that’s one of my goals. If I’m going to seriously pursue that, I believe that I have obligations that I’m failing to meet in the story I have outlined. I have to treat my characters as real people and not, you know, just kill them because I’m like a god in their world.

There’s the way things are and the way things should be. When I started Seizure Prone a little under a month ago, my goal was to show readers how things are because the way things should be aren’t real. In hindsight, that was very cynical of me and I think that the perfect story sits in the middle of those two extremes.

The way things should be can become the way things are in real life, and it’s my job to express that reality as much as the hopeless one. If anything, just because I’d prefer to inspire readers more than make them sad. In fact I think I have an obligation to correctly balance happiness and sadness.

It’s interesting how similar I’m finding webcomics to general blogging in terms of obligations, actually. One of the things that I’ve learned in my two years blogging is that I have to respect my audience. My job blogging is to know who you guys are as a whole and write stuff for you.

I’m effectively obligated to write what you want to read — which is fortunately what I want to write, as being a niche blogger I’ve attracted a niche audience. But if I start writing and publishing content here exclusively for page rank in Google and a lot of one-time readers, I’ll lose you.

(I’ll also lose you if I continue to fail to publish regularly, which is an obligation that I’ve been failing to meet lately.)

I haven’t ventured into other digital professions aside from blogging about film and tech, and now creating/publishing a webcomic. But I’m a betting man and I’d wager that you’ll find obligations in any profession where you have an audience, especially when you’re your own boss. I’d also wager that you should keep that in mind if you hope to have an audience in the future or are trying for one now.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet my obligations going forward, both here and with my webcomic, and other publications that I write for. You are my reason for having an Internet presence, and it would be a huge mistake to make everything for me, even when using my own experiences as examples.

See you tomorrow.

Announcement: Themed Weeks

September 29, 2012

The traffic to this blog is exploding, and I want to keep it that way. So today I’m announcing Themed Weeks, which I hope will keep this blog different from others who I’ve seen outright steal my topic ideas.

As you may have heard, 10/1/2012 through 10/5/2012 is 1313 Week on this blog, where every day I review a movie from the 1313 franchise. What you haven’t heard, is that it’s the first of quarterly themed weeks.

The way it works is that the first consecutive five weekdays of every January, April, July, and October will be themed. Some themes will be wacky, some will be serious, and the rest will be somewhere inbetween.

Themes will vary from movie franchises (like 1313 Week) to maybe niche subgenres like Giant Snake Week, or tech related stuff like, say, an Apple Gaffes Week or a Women in Tech Week. There are a lot of possibilities.

The theme I have for January is going to be a recurring theme, and I’m really excited about it. You’ll have to wait to learn what it is though. ;-)

I’m in this for the long term, even if it takes ten years for me to be a good writer. In the meantime I plan on doing the best work that I can for you, and I hope that you like every change and addition I make.

RE: The Demise of the English Language In 140 Characters Or Less Part II

September 27, 2012

FYI: If every post I wrote was like this I’d be known as a robot writer. A mix of conciseness and entertainment is what makes good articles.

And I hope that I don’t come across as narcissistic… I think I do, and if I’m right I’m sorry. I know I have a lot to learn as a writer.

I published an article almost a year ago called RE: The Demise Of The English Language In 140 Characters Or Less and it needs an update.

My original article was a response to another one which had implied — in a very roundabout way — that character limits damage writing.

The author of the original article which I rebutted focused on how character limits lead to shortened, ugly, F-worthy words. Lyk srsly.

I disagreed because I viewed that my writing had improved, that I learned how to be concise, that Twitter conditioned me to be direct.

A lot of people do take shortcuts to fill more content in a character limited tweet/txt message. But from what I’ve seen, it’s just a phase.

As people age and mature they realize how dumb they look writing using shortened words. I think that we’d be lying if we said we never did.

The best thing about character limits is what they force us to do. We can’t be lazy, we can’t drone on and on, we have to learn and adapt.

Twitter teaches us to write to an audience. People react in one way or another to tweets; Boredom, anger, joy. We learn what language works.

If the posts you write are large and fluff filled, you’ll lose your audience. But the more points you can get in, the less holes you have.

If you can coherently and successfully make a point in 25ish words, you’re an effective writer. Imagine 24 points in a 600 word article?

When there’s so much information out there, conciseness is great as readers have more time to learn more from people who write concisely.

Before I go on I need to make it clear: I’m not advocating not reiterating. I’m saying that character limits teach effective use of space.

This article is reiteration itself. Each “paragraph” is a unique point and most can be rearranged. They compliment each other to fill holes.

Obviously if being overly assertive detracts from your argument, you shouldn’t do it. But being skilled in conciseness can kill opposition.

Few articles should be written with 1 point per 25 words as a rule. No matter how persuasive, they’ll be dull. Entertainment is needed too.

Does Twitter suck for conditioning us to not be entertaining? No. A) We still learn outside of Twitter. B) Not everything is an argument.

One of Twitter’s benefits is how easy it is to write. Even if you tweet about sandwiches, each tweet gains you experience in writing.

If we go off Yahoo! Answers and assume that 1 book is 80,000 words, with 20,635 tweets I’ve likely written 5 to 6 books worth of tweets.

Many of my friends have written 100k+ tweets. They’re the best writers I know. The more you write, the better you get regardless of medium.

I won’t say my writer friends would suck without Twitter. But I know I would. Read my archives. The more I tweeted the better my posts were.

As always, to get Twitter’s benefits you need to use it regularly, every day, and want its benefits. They don’t come on a silver platter.

Character limits teach us to be more direct and to the point, and publishing concise arguments often makes us better writers. Demise my bum.

Believe it or not, this article’s “paragraphs” are published in a completely different order than they were written. Independence rocks.

Happy 2-Year Anniversary!

September 21, 2012

As of today I’ve been blogging for two years. So I thought that I’d do something special! Obviously that means embarrassing karaoke and a look at my two years of negativity in my movie reviews.

Update: To be clear, this isn’t this specific blog’s anniversary, this is the anniversary of me outright blogging… So effectively my first blog’s anniversary.

The karaoke I chose is Eye of the Tiger, and there’s honestly nothing symbolic about it. There’s nothing tiger-eye about my blogging history, I just really like the song. So, without further ado:
(Direct link to song if you’re blind and VoiceOver sucks)

The vocals were recorded and set against the karaoke track in Garageband for iPad, and the final song was uploaded to SoundCloud with GarageBand for iPad. The instrumental track which I’m singing over is by Sing It Back and I don’t own that copyright.

For the next part, what follows is five snarky movie review quotes from my first year blogging, and five snarky movie review quotes from my second year. I had a fun time going through these:


Review of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”

I think actually that the editing of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is what bogs down my rating the most, since it was such a distraction and looked astonishingly unprofessional. I’ve know YouTubers who can put film clips together better than the editorial department here.

September 25, 2010

Instant Netflix Review: “Beware! Children At Play”

“Beware! Children At Play” is a loathsome, despicable wad of garbage and you’re best to stay away from it. Films rarely tick me off, and I stress rarely. This film is rated R and it should be NC-17. In fact I wager that you wouldn’t find a studio willing to produce this film today.

February 17, 2011

Review: “Red Riding Hood”

It would be way too easy to blame Catherine Hardwicke as wholly responsible for “Red Riding Hood”, but unfortunately I can’t pin her on the writing. Nono, that (dis)credit goes to David Johnson. I haven’t seen worse writing for a theatrical Horror release in a long time. I can’t fathom how it passed by any producer, it’s just terrible, and I also don’t understand how Gary Oldman looked at the script and accepted a leading role (More on that in a minute).

March 11, 2011

Review: “Scream 4”

“Scream 3”. “Cursed”. “Red Eye”. “My Soul To Take 3D”. Those are the last four films Wes Craven has directed, with “Cursed” being the only slightly passable one. Five times the charm though, right? Nope. “Scream 4” is the latest in Craven’s line of 21st century junk, with “From the master of suspense” plastered across every trailer for every film he directs. News flash: Wes Craven was the master of suspense thirty years ago, and I don’t think he has any interest in adding anything good to his legacy.

April 18, 2011

Review: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

And lastly, the soundtrack is a disaster. Almost no song matches its corresponding scene. Whoever is behind this soundtrack should hang their head in shame, and Michael Bay should hide under a rock for letting it slip by under his direction. It really is that bad… If not for the quality of the special effects, I’d guess that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was put together by interns.

July 02, 2011

YEAR II (Most of these are near the end because the high majority of my articles in my 2nd year were tech articles):

Review: Orca

In all honesty, Orca really is all over the place. It’s not clear what the filmmakers wanted to make; Is it A) Moby Dick circa 1977? B) A terribly made drama? C) Funded by PETA? D) All of the above? It’s a mess, with characters that lose and gain depth quickly enough to give any innocent viewer The Bends. The filmmakers did not do their jobs well.

February 22, 2012

CGIFF Review: Walther (2011)

Avoid Walther like a plague. A kitten dies every time it’s played. Treat this film as if you’ll die if you’re within 100 miles of a screening of it. The entire existence of the world rests on you not watching it. Walther is the most boring full length film ever produced, and I imagine the Lutheran churches that played this lost a few members.

August 17, 2012

Movie Review: Area 407 (2012)

The acting is horrible, all done by a slew of actors I haven’t heard of before. I hate knocking people, but it’s clear that none of the budget for Area 407 went to hiring halfway decent actors. And the two main girls (Schrader and Lester) especially, the characters with the handycam? They’re so irritating, I kid you not, I wanted to throw my iPad across the room at minute three. The movie is basically 90 minutes of their perspective, and it’s a disaster.

August 28, 2012

Review: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1986)

The characters are dreadfully boring, the killer is dreadfully boring, the kills are dreadfully boring, and everything about Mountaintop Motel Massacre is dreadfully boring. The acting is horrible, the writing is worse, and the direction is lost on an unmarked highway. If I had never seen this movie it would have been too soon.

September 12, 2012

Movie Review: Skew (2011)

Skew is rife with flaws, a very irritating lead, poor dialogue, and a plothole which makes it impossible to realistically exist even in fiction.

September 13, 2012

Here’s to many more years!

P.S. See you on Monday with a tech-related article!

How I Use iPad (And How You Can Too!)

September 3, 2012

This entry has been waiting to be written for a very, very long time. The fact that my iPad replaced my Mac has been something I’ve talked about for probably a year and a half in “real life” and online. I’ve either alluded to it or outright said it in blogposts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably read many tweets from me also covering the topic.

So, enough with the foreplay. We know that my iPad is my primary computer, with my iPhone secondary. We know why. But all of that is explicitly useless information without knowing how I outright replaced traditional computers with iPads. It’s time to publish something useful. This article includes four main parts:

  1. How I used my Mac, listing the apps I used to use regularly and what they were for.
  2. The iPad apps I use in place of the Mac apps and how well they work as replacements, with pricing info and App Store links to the iOS apps.
  3. The apps I use regularly on my iPad which aren’t “replacement” apps, and make the iPad better than a traditional computer in my eyes, with pricing info and App Store links to the iOS apps.
  4. The iPad’s present shortcomings compared to traditional computers in my opinion.

This is a very detailed article, and it is quite long. I’ve organized it in a way which makes it easy for you to skip what you aren’t interested in. Further, I need to make clear that this article does not exist to prove any point. I’m not setting out to tell people what is and what isn’t the right way to use a computer. This is purely the information that I can offer to people thinking about how they can use iPads. Please don’t mistake it for anything else.

Part I

As a student I used my MacBook Pro for typing up term papers (among other, general stuff) and designing Keynote presentations. I used it for media storage/viewing, and even very basic media editing. I of course browsed the web, and instant messaged and audio/video chatted with friends. And until iOS 5, I used my Mac to manage my iPods and iOS devices, among other basic things. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that my exact use cases aren’t uncommon.

So, the Mac apps which I used regularly:

  • Pages: School papers and word processing in general
  • Keynote: Keynote presentations
  • iTunes: Media viewing and iPod/iOS device management
    (iomega external hard drive: Storage)
  • Preview and iPhoto: Image viewing and basic editing
  • GarageBand: What I used to create terrible music
  • Safari: Web browsing
  • Mail: e-Mail
  • iChat, Live Messenger, and Skype: Instant messaging and audio/video chatting
  • Handbrake: DVD ripping
  • (Funny observation: Almost every one of those apps are Apple’s own apps)

    Part II

    This next part might come across as a little disingenuous simply because this isn’t my story about switching to iPad two years ago. I’m not going to cover the holes I encountered which have been filled — this is explicitly about the present. The whole story is mostly irrelevant to you.

    So, here’s the iPad apps which replaced the apps I regularly used on the Mac:

  • Replacing Pages

    Not surprisingly, Pages on iOS it what replaces Pages on the Mac, and is even better in some cases. Sure, the Mac version is more flexible, but Pages’ signature feature is how it handles media within documents. That feature is brought to life on the iPad in many ways — to begin with, manipulating images and videos is way more fun with your fingers than with a mouse pointer. But on top of that, the iPad’s cameras make Pages for iOS a killer app.

    A use case which I’m very familiar with is taking notes in class; all too often instructors write or draw something on the board which would take 1000 words to express. So what can you do when that happens? Well, if you’re taking notes on your iPad with Pages, just quickly open the Camera app, lift up your iPad, and take a picture of the board. Insert the photo right into your notes. That use case isn’t restricted to the classroom either. As an example, let’s say you need to create a flier about wildlife, and you want it to have pictures. Go out to a lake and create the entire flier there, pictures and all. Get home and be all ready to print it out.

    Edit: I wasn’t clear at all. Pages is a full word processor and can open and export Microsoft Word documents, and can also export to PDF. It’s native file type though is .pages, as with the Mac version.

    Also, if you have an AirPrint enabled printer, you can print your documents right from the iPad. It’s kinda cool.

    Pages for iOS: $9.99

  • Replacing Keynote

    Also not surprisingly, I replaced Keynote for the Mac with Keynote for iOS. Unlike Pages for iOS, though, which I adore — my relationship with Keynote for iOS is very love-hate. Keynote is my favorite app on the Mac by far, designing keynote presentations to deliver is my hobby. The featureset between the two is so different that Keynote for iOS should be called “Keynote Nano” or something. As an example, I like to time basically every aspect of presentations I design, and timing builds and transitions to go off at the millisecond I want them to is next to impossible on Keynote for iOS, whereas on the Mac I can actually do advanced work and make things perfect.

    Don’t get me wrong though, Keynote for iOS is immeasurably better than PowerPoint on any platform, it’s just that Keynote for Mac is immeasurably better than it. The best thing about Keynote on the iPad is actually delivering presentations. I hook it right up to a projector or TV, and press play. The portability of the iPad makes presenting easy and kinda fun, and if you’ve added “presentation notes”, they’ll show up on the iPad’s display for you to see while only the presentation is seen by the audience.

    Edit: By the way, Keynote can indeed import and export Microsoft PowerPoint documents, but it isn’t ideal at all. You lose so many things in the import it’s scary. It’s the same as the Mac version in that way.

    Keynote for iOS: $9.99

  • Replacing iTunes

    This is a relatively easy one. For media viewing, iTunes is replaced by the iPad’s built-in Music and Videos apps. I have all my music stored in iCloud with iTunes Match — callable at any time in the Music app — and I can bring up any movies I’ve previously purchased through the iTunes Store with the iTunes Store iOS app. Speaking if the iTunes Store app, it’s also where I buy new music. However… most of my music listening and movie watching is done through the Pandora and Netflix apps, respectively.

    To me, most of the movies I have “ripped” from DVD which are stored on my Mac aren’t ones I’d want to watch more than once. And in any event, I can rent movies in 1080p HD for $4.99, which is great quality and worth the cash compared to even my best DVD rips. As far as device management is concerned, my iPad (and iPhone) are backed up to iCloud, automatically when left to charge while connected to WiFi. Everything I previously managed with iTunes can be managed on iOS devices themselves.

    iCloud: Free. iTunes Match: $24.99/year. Pandora: Free. Netflix: $7.99/month.

  • Replacing Preview and iPhoto

    Also something that shouldn’t be too surprising, I replace Preview and iPhoto on the Mac with iPhoto for iOS on the iPad. The surprising thing is iPhoto on the iPad is outright better than iPhoto on the Mac. iPhoto on the Mac is quite irritating, it feels very out of place with the rest of OSX. It’s clunky, organization is funky, and it’s just a mess. iPhoto on the iPad is a pleasure to use and makes sense, it’s really hard to explain. Quick edits are easy, sharing is easy, and organization is great.

    iPhoto for iOS: $4.99

  • Replacing GarageBand

    Are you getting it yet? My iPad replacement for GarageBand on the Mac is GarageBand for iOS. GarageBand for iOS isn’t near as fully featured as its desktop sibling, but it’s way more fun. For example, playing the drums with your fingers is a lot of fun, and directly manipulating each track and loop you’ve created is great. Compared to the Mac version, GarageBand has a whole lot less pre-made loops and you’re limited in the number of tracks you can create per song. All in all, I’m not gonna lie, I’m a horrible, horrible, horrible musician. But being horrible with GarageBand on the iPad is so much greater than being horrible with GarageBand on the Mac.

    GarageBand for iOS: $4.99

  • Replacing Safari, Mail, iChat, Live Messenger, and Skype

    Safari and Mail really are a given. The replacement for Safari on the iPad is Safari for iPad, and the replacement for Mail on the iPad is Mail for iPad. As with the apps on the Mac, Safari and Mail come pre-installed on iOS devices.

    As far as web browsing is concerned, using Safari on an iPad is so much better than using any web browser on a Mac or PC. Manipulating entire web pages with only an invisible sheet of glass dividing you and the pages is brilliant, and you really need to try it yourself to understand why. A lot of times when I find myself at a Mac or PC, I try to scroll through web pages by touching the computer screen. It’s that natural.

    For Mail, the only major difference between the Mac and iOS version is that the Mac version supports filters. Why the iOS version doesn’t is one of the mysteries of life. But what do I care, I don’t really use e-Mail anyway. ;-)

    As far as IM services go, iChat on the Mac is replaced by iMessage and FaceTime on the iPad, both of which come pre-installed. It should be noted that iMessage and FaceTime only allow you to talk to other people with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and/or Mac. And Skype for Mac is obviously replaced with Skype for iPad, which personally, I think is better than Skype on Macs and PCs. I’ve stopped using Live Messenger simply because no one I know uses it. Probably no one you know either.

    Skype for iPad: Free

  • Replacing Handbrake

    The replacement for Handbrake is no Handbrake. Even if the iPad did have a DVD drive, there’s no way I’d have any interest in watching a ripped DVD on my iPad’s 2048×1536 Retina Display. My eyes would burn. I don’t think anyone is interested in doing such a thing. The best thing is to rent 1080p HD videos from iTunes or to watch streaming Netflix movies, as mentioned way above.

  • Part III

    So, how about stuff I regularly use my iPad for which I never used my Mac for?

  • Games

    I’m not much of a gamer. I dig my Wii and DS, but I never really played games on a PC or Mac. Funnily enough, my iPad has made my Wii and DS collect dust. Here are the following iPad games I play:

    Jetpack Joyride: Free – Side Scroller

    Star Legends: Free – Sci-Fi MMORPG

    DragonVale: Free – Fantasy Puzzle

    Groove Coaster: $2.99 – Music/Rhythm

    osu!stream: Free – Music/Rhythm

    Words With Friends HD: $2.99 – Multiplayer Word Puzzle

    Sudoku HD: $2.99 – Number Puzzle

  • Another thing I didn’t do on my Mac was read books. Infact, I outright didn’t read books — I hadn’t read a non-textbook in probably 5 years. When I purchased my first iPad in 2010 I bought roughly $100 of iBooks books, and read them in less than a month. Flipping digital pages was entertaining enough to keep my attention, and since then I have been a reader. iBooks is also great for reading PDFs, and has been great for keeping all of them organized.

    iBooks: Free

  • My iPad also shines as a learning tool. I’ve written about the iTunes U app before, but a quick recap: Instructors at various universities upload course material — syllabus, video/audio lectures, slides, readings, homework — and people with an iOS device equipped with the iTunes U app can take full courses designed by these instructors, for free. I’ve learned more than I can express through iTunes U.

    iTunes U: Free

  • And finally, arguably the most interesting thing I do regularly, is blogging. The iPad is, undoubtedly, the best blogging device that there is. Ignoring the ten hour charge and the portability, the iPad is so great at consuming content, and it’s very easy to find inspiration for your own articles. The more information you intake, the more ideas of your own you have. While it’s not said much, content creators are probably the biggest consumers; relay that the next time someone dismisses iPad as useless because “it’s only good for consumption”.

    So, where do I get my information? My primary news source is Twitter, and the client I use and regard as the best is Tweetbot. I can also be found in the IMDb and TechCrunch apps. Obviously, Safari (already covered above) works too, but as far as news goes I use it for maybe three sites. The “Read It Later” app-service I use is Pocket, which is honestly the best Read It Later service I’ve used, and is integrated with many apps, including Tweetbot and TechCrunch. And for articles I catch in Safari, Pocket has a “bookmarklet” which, in short, is Safari integration. It rocks.

    And creating blog articles? It’s a breeze with the iPad. Going back to the ten hour charge and portability, I can be gone all day without a charger and get any amount of articles written in any amount of settings. The battery life and portability can’t be emphasized enough — it’s very valuable.

    The apps I write and publish with is iA Writer and the WordPress app, respectively. iA Writer is an amazing text editor, in writing view everything except the keyboard and text is hidden. No status bar or any distractions, just the keyboard, the text, and you. And the keyboard is custom, adding very useful keys which save you time. iA Writer is incredibly well thought out and it’s foolish for any iPad writer to not have it installed (Sidenote: iA Writer works with iCloud, so everything you write is automatically backed up in iCloud). When I’m done composing everything in iA Writer, I copy and paste the article into the WordPress app, preview and then publish. The WordPress app for iPad is actually better than the website, which I’m sure every WordPresser can appreciate.

    I also write for Unity Bond, and over there the service we use is Blogger. Unfortunately Google makes the Blogger publishing site suck immeasurably for iPad bloggers, and Google only makes a Blogger app for iPhone. The Blogger app works on the iPad, although it looks ugly “pixel doubled”, and it’s very basic. But hey, it’s better than nothing.

    Tweetbot: $2.99. IMDb: Free. TechCrunch: Free. Pocket: Free. iA Writer: $0.99. WordPress: Free. Blogger: Free.

  • So there you have it. That’s how I use my iPad, and more importantly, how I can outright replace traditional computers with it.

    And, finally…

    Part IV

    What are the iPad’s current shortcomings, to me? To get it out of the way, personally, I prefer the iPad’s software keyboard to a physical one (and keep in mind, if the keyboard wasn’t software, iA Writer wouldn’t be able to add those great custom keys). I can type roughly two times as fast on my iPad as I can on a traditional keyboard. I understand that I’m not everybody, however… If you didn’t know, the iPad works with the high majority of modern Bluetooth keyboards (Infact I’m not aware of any which it doesn’t work with).

    The only personal drawback which I can think of is that Apple hasn’t developed Xcode for iPad yet. Don’t get me wrong, I know next to nothing about app development, but I want to start learning, and as of this writing Apple forces developers to use Macs. Those jerks. However considering I don’t know how to develop at all at present, this is a nitpick. Oh yeah, and it would be nice if Keynote for iOS was half as good as the Mac version. So basically, I miss next to nothing about traditional computers.


    I hope that this article has been useful to you, be you an iPad user trying to figure out how to use your device, or if you’re thinking about getting an iPad wondering how to use it. Or even if you’re not, I hope you found this interesting.

    By the way, it’s like five minutes to midnight. I made the day’s deadline! Also, happy 50 posts!!!

    RE: The Demise Of The English Language In 140 Characters Or Less

    December 20, 2011

    A recent entry argued that the “English [sic] language” is being diluted by abbreviations, caused by character limits & Twitter. I disagree.

    First, abbreviations aren’t English-exclusive. c-à-d, the opinion I’m addressing was flawed before it was written. Ignoring that…

    Character limits are actually a great thing to happen to language. Abbreviations might be a side effect, albeit one that’s worth it.

    Think of Twitter as microblogging. It’s a service used to publish opinions to an audience. But it’s immeasurably better than blogging.

    There aren’t character limits on blog entries. This allows authors to drone on and on and on. It can take paragraphs to make a single point.

    140 characters command writers to be concise. With few sentences to make each point, writers are forced to scrutinize each post.

    Readers also benefit. Twitter users often follow hundreds of others, & absorb more information at any moment than anyone. It makes us smart.

    The result is a level of engagement between writers and readers not imaginable even five years ago.

    We’re writing less and talking more, thanks to Twitter particularly. Language is flourishing, abbreviations notwithstanding.

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