It’s been a little while since my last blog, so what’s been happening…. well, I finally took the plunge and bought a new iMac. I had been considering a new computer for a while, and after working on a laptop for the last three years I fancied a change. I already owned an iPhone, iPod and iPad and was happy with all of them so Apple was at the top of my list. I was a bit worried about the change from a PC to Mac but as it turned out there was nothing really to worry about. All the photos and videos I had on my PC were easy to transfer across and there is a lot of open source software that lets me read all the old MS documents that I have floating around. The only big change for me was finding something to replace Microsoft Outlook for my calendar and email. In the end I went with Thunderbird from Mozilla which syncs well with my Gmail calender (but not the Hotmail calendar quite so well).
So I’m all up and running and it was a great opportunity for a bit of a spring clean……. well kind of, I still have about 11 years worth of digital photos to go though.
Oh, another great thing, I love a bit of retro gaming from time to time so it was cool to discover that the Mac has just as many good emulators as the PC…. allowing me to play one of my favorite old titles, Llamasoft’s Ancipital (see photo).
Ancipital, one of the great C64 games of the 80's
I am completely in love with an iPad game at the moment called
Sword & Sworcery, it’s very retro visually but has an awesome soundtrack by a Canadian artist called Jim Guthrie. It’s hard to describe the game itself, it’s kind of a role playing game but it has a gentle almost otherworldly feel to it. Definitely a modern classic in the making.
The soundtrack is wonderful, you can also buy it on vinyl with a digital download for just $30 Canadian.
I already have mine on order from here.
I’ve been meaning to make an update to the Blog for a while, not that I’ve really been up to much ….. so just what have I been up to?
Reading: Currently reading the complete Nemesis the Warlock, this is a fantastic comic book series from 2000AD that I missed the first time around during the 80’s. It’s been an absolute pleasure to rediscover this masterpiece.
Music: I was really interested in Electronic Music during the early 90’s and often played around with synthesisers and sequencers with a friend. It was great to discover recently that all the old synths have been pretty accurately reproduced as applications for the iPad, so over the last couple of weeks I have been downloading and messing around with a few of them. I’ve uploaded a few of my first efforts to Soundcloud, a link for which is somewhere on this page. They are only little experimental loops at the moment but I hope to produce something a bit longer and more interesting when I have a bit more time.
Games: I’ve been hitting the PS3 quite heavily over the last few days, playing Little Big Planet and Infamous which were free downloads from the Playstation online store. LBP in particular is amazing, the graphics, music and gameplay is stunning.
Study: Yes I’ve finally started studying Japanese seriously again, I have go to a class on Tuesday evening (although I do think that the teacher Yamaguchi-sensei does give us a little too much homework). I’m also using the iPad for a bit of extra study (did mention I bought one). Lots of great language learning apps for the iPad, my favourite at the moment is called Kanji box, I try to practice for 30 minutes in the morning before I go to work. Kanji box is all linked in with an online app, I’ve stuck a couple of widgets on this page which allow me to track progress.
Food: Well that’s about it for this blog entry, although I must mention my new favourite food Tsukemen Curry Udon, absolutely delicious. Sorry about the link its the best I could find, Tsukemen are basically dipping noodles.
Plotbot is another on-line writing app. this time aimed at wannabe script writers, basically you tell it what type of project you want to write and it sets everything up for you using a template, it also allows for collaborative writing which looks interesting (I invited a few people to help with my project, but not unsurprisingly no one has taken me up on the offer yet). There is a Facebook page app, so you can log on via your Facebook page and write basically whenever you feel like it. When you are finished you can download the whole thing as a RTF document. I started writing a Roald Dahl’esk short story, just to see how it would work and what would happen. If you sign up my user name is AndrewCousins, please add me as a contact.