A week with the iPad and my family

Normally I spend my time surrounded by people who are completely comfortable with technology. They are – we are – people who work at computers all day long. That’s not a small thing. It changes your perceptions of how you approach problems, how you find information, how you communicate, how you get from A toContinue reading “A week with the iPad and my family”

A Terrible Beauty

Published in 2000, A Terrible Beauty is defiantly a pre-internet book(1). In under 850 pages (under 775 if you discount the index), it gives the reader a history of the twentieth century’s defining ideas, from Marxism to Nazism, from Feminism to fusion. Not just the ideas, but the people too – Satre, Picasso, Orwell and JanetContinue reading “A Terrible Beauty”

My Year in Books, 2009

Previously: 2006 – 25 books, 28% non-fiction, and my book of the year was Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated. 2007 – 24 books, 33% non-fiction, far fewer contemporary novels, and my pick of the year was Crime and Punishment. 2008 – 22 books, 54% non-fiction, all but one of the novels were contemporary. BestContinue reading “My Year in Books, 2009”

Stop Safari always opening new tabs

I’ve moved away from using FireFox as my browser – it’s too slow to start, too fond of updating – and now have Google Chrome on my PCs. It’s not properly available for the Mac yet, so I’ve switched to Safari, which is reasonably quick to start, and gives you more of the web toContinue reading “Stop Safari always opening new tabs”

Virtual reality, then and now

In the 1980s and 1990s, the term ‘virtual reality’ was understood to mean the creation of reality inside the computer – and thus we would need to experience it using complex imaging and interaction systems (3D googles, cursors mapped to the movement of a glove etc.) The implication behind this was the reality itself wouldContinue reading “Virtual reality, then and now”

Ebooks are inevitable

Three Ebooks links: 1. ArsTechnica posted an excellent article on ‘the once and future Ebook‘ that’s worth reading start to finish. Suffers perhaps from some Apple fanboyism (I’m not 100% convinced as it claims, that the iPhone/iPod have such huge potential as Ebook readers, certainly not in their current state, and it seems a bitContinue reading “Ebooks are inevitable”

On the quality of the iPhone’s camera

Autumn in the shire Originally uploaded by Sifter I’d been weighing up getting an iPhone for a while, ever since the new and improved 3G one launched. My existing contract with Orange featured rapacious data costs and distinctly rubbish data speeds, so the iPhone/02 combo of Exchange email, a decent mobile web browser and all-you-can-eatContinue reading “On the quality of the iPhone’s camera”

Moving pictures and sound: Yes, that’s me in the corner, on TV, on your computer

We’ve run a couple of video pieces on the Custom PC site this year, but so far, I’ve not presented any pieces myself. It’s something I was keen to try though, so when my friend Wil, ex Editor of Bit-Tech, offered me the chance to do a guest spot on one of his new ChannelContinue reading “Moving pictures and sound: Yes, that’s me in the corner, on TV, on your computer”