Category Archives: Geek

I’ll attempt to add to the great google help-desk in the sky by posting my geekier moments here. I doubt it’ll be of interest to anyone unless they’ve also had trouble frobulating with gargleplex version 3..


I was worried that I might be listening to too much old music, so I made a graph of my iTunes play count data, mapping numbers of plays against the year. Sure, there’s a peak around the early 80s, but the bulk of what I’ve listened to most often is still from the last few years. Phew.

My Eyes!

So there’s this show coming up and I decided I really don’t want to use Logic as a live instrument again – it’s entirely the wrong tool for the job. Mainstage would be nice but I don’t get paid enough to justify forking out for the full Logic Studio, and I wouldn’t be doing much else with it anyway, given how little music of my own I do these days. So I did a bit of googling last night and found a few contenders in the “performance-oriented VST/AU Host” category.

Including Jambalaya. Now, I’m sure the developer is a very nice person, and I appreciate all the work they’ve done on this free tool – it worked right out-of-the-box on my new hardware. But seriously. How can anyone look at it for more than 30 seconds without getting a headache?

..and so, with yet another reminder that good programmers do not make good UI designers, the search continues.

Update: I bought Logic Pro, with Mainstage. Ten days before Apple released it for 1/3 the price. Assholes.

In a Nutshell

The iPad was widely criticised at first for its Noddy home screen; there were no software or hardware concessions made regarding multitasking or task-switching. But the result is something my two-year-olds can easily navigate, and which really doesn’t need a manual.

via Samsung’s lovely illegal tablet: Why no one wants to know • The Register.

To which I’d add that most apps I’ve downloaded that have required reference to any sort of instructions have rapidly found themselves in the disused folder.

So there’s the fact that your 2 year old and your Gran can use it. Sure it’s got the grunt of a desktop machine from a decade ago but you can get apps that do more than my first (Pentium 100 Windows 95) PC ever did*, and more intuitively. Without instructions. The software-becomes-the-device.

*I still get the heebees thinking about how I struggled to get Cubase on that old PC to do more than any four-track cassette could have at the time..

On that Retrevo blog

“We’re not positive that some respondents didn’t confuse Amazon the manufacturer (Kindle) and Amazon the reseller ” – Retrevo

And that could just be the edge that Amazon needs. They have the best … what do they call it … vertical integration

You can’t seriously argue that Apple’s design>build>sell>support mobile strategy isn’t working for them so far, but to me the interesting question that’ll be answered when the dust settles, is how “open” or “closed” of an ecosystem would the Amazon offering have to be in order to effectively compete with Apple. Google’s version of Android is .. well it depends who you read but I’m not convinced the entirely ‘open-ish’ way is working yet. But then it’s not Google’s core business, and they’ve shown little interest or ability with hardware so far.

If Amazon took it upon themselves to invest smartly in polishing up the Android ‘experience’ on their own hardware, the fact they already have a large audience of consumers that already trust them and their sales channel (something much closer to a bricks-and-mortar store than the more nebulous Google has ever been) could give them the edge they need. They’d be like budget Apple, without the snazzy shop fronts. It’s not hard – they just have to come up with an ecosystem-in-a-box that works for the user as well as it does for the company.

$5 says this is the thing – the next-iPad-killer – that Apple is most likely to be actually looking over their shoulder at. Interesting Times.