Withings: Activite

I’ve been using activity trackers for a number of years. These have included Fitbit devices and lately devices made by iHealth. Generally a defining characteristic of these trackers is they are inexpensive and geeky. They look like technological toys rather than utilitarian tools. The Activite by Withings is different. Firstly – Its expensive. $450 US dollars expensive. Secondly its primarily meant to be thought of as a watch. An analogue watch that also monitors your daily activity. In this it seems to succeed. The Verge review refers to the activite as being so understated that it often went unremarked when…

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Hackintosh

Building a Gaming Hackintosh

I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.Killian Bell The post title links to Part One of a Two Part article by Killian Bell, outlining his own experience of building a Hackintosh computer. I’ve owned…

osxhistory.png

The History of OSX

I’m a relatively recent convert to the Mac. I’ve been using a Mac as my primary computer since early 2009. Before then I was a stalwart but unhappy user of Windows. However, I had grown weary of Microsoft’s operating system blunders – Vista was simply awful, and XP was functional but getting long in the tooth. By 2009…

pen

On the Craft of Writing

I knew better, of course, as teenagers do. I expect you did too. All this technique the pages were supposedly dripping with was mostly the English teacher’s wishful thinking. Blink. Twenty years just disappeared, and here we are. You’re there, and I’m here. I know a little more now, including the universal truth that was…

Barley Plugin for WordPress

Barley is a plugin that works with existing blogging systems, including WordPress and Drupal. It’s selling point is in allowing a blog author to create and edit content directly on the front-facing part of their site. This has long been a problem with content management systems. There has been a deliberate separation between the front-end and the back-end of the site. This means that the content which the author drafts in the administration panel may look completely (and unintentionally) different when published to the front-end; Thus wasting the authors time, by requiring editing and adjusting of blog posts. In the…

A Brief History of Graphics

Ahoy has produced an excellent series of five youtube videos that cover the origin and development of computer graphics over the past four decades. The obvious focus is on video games, as this is the area of computing that really pushed the graphical envelope. Ahoy identify many games that I never heard of, as well as many I remember fondly. It is quite fascinating to see short clips of game footage shown in quick succession. It really highlights how quickly the technologies driving computer graphics progressed as well as the stark difference between games from my youth and those of…

body_farm

Studying Corpses on a Body Farm

It wasn’t just a smell; it was a force. With the first whiff, I thought, Camembert. But as the golf cart got closer, the smell became sweeter—noxiously sweet. You could call it the smell of death, but really it was the smell of what comes after: an obscene eruption of microbial life. Roc Morin The…

Oxford Theme

The Oxford WordPress Theme

I’ve always been impressed by the WordPress themes produced by The Theme Foundry. As a rule they are generally minimalist, exacting in their pixel precision and responsive in their display. I’ve bought three themes from them in the past. The first was Shelf, a horizontal scrolling theme that displayed blog posts uniquely according to the…