I’m a huge proponent of replacing basically everything physical with something digital. Dad needs a new workout timer? There’s an app for that. Why use a light switch when there are light bulbs you can control from your phone?
Yet… When it comes to reading, it’s just… different.
I’m a subscriber to now four different magazines that are all increasingly pushing toward digital publication and just this summer, I started reading books again (this was of course after my audiobook binge a while back…). People who know me well find this odd considering I’m big on using technology for basically… everything.
Magazines are simple for me to explain: The layouts are much more clean, the text is almost always easier to read, considering I don’t use an iPad to read news from Twitter, The Verge, etc.
Books and magazines alike have another quality that’s become increasingly important to me: tangibility. I’m can feel how new or old the book is and I can smell the cologne ads long after I’ve flipped past them. For books like the one picture above, the fact that I’m holding an old, worn, and fragile book helps enforce the setting of the story as I read it. For magazines like Bloomburg Businessweek, the smells of the fresh print and the Armani ads make me feel like a true city slicker.
Then there’s the satisfaction of turning the page and of making slow, but steady progress and then finally finishing a book or a magazine; a triumphant feeling for some, or maybe I’m just odd…
It’s true though. I felt empty trying to read on the few iPads I tried. It’s discouraging to just see at the bottom of the screen that you’re 23 of 1,029 pages into a novel, especially when that number constantly changes based on the font size. With a book and a bookmark, it’s a static progress bar. It’s real, and it’s right there.
It’s not to say that I don’t believe eReaders will evolve and become even more ubiquitous among every book group and school because they’re more convenient, practical, and environmentally friendly. But there’s something to be said about the fact that an expansive library filled with books is much more profound and wonderful to see than a pixel-encrested slate holding double the volumes of that same library.
All I really know is that for now, I’m going to hold on to my stories; forrealsies.
What about you? How do you feel about books in the age of the eReader?
You’ll notice, if you’re a follower or a frequent stumbler of this blog, that I haven’t posted very consistently lately. I’ve been busy with finals, but also busy trying to figure out just why I don’t feel like posting.
Sometimes, I just don’t want to write about non tech-related things or post my photography like I did once before because I feel like I’m diluting my own content…
So it hit me: In the shower, as where most great ideas are formed, I decided I needed a new blog. For those of you who’ve followed me long through the transition from Wordpress to Tumblr that essentially killed my just flourishing audience, this might cause a groan, but hear me out.
Seen above, I’ve been prototyping a new blog that I plan to code and build completely from scratch. No intermediaries, no third-party content management programs, no single-feed, simple themed sites anymore.
I don’t want to give too much away, but for the sake of explaining the bulk of my absence spent conceptualizing what I hope will be an awesome new site that I run through college, I’ll share a few details.
I wanted to share a lot of stuff on here that, given I have now over 300 tech-related posts, it would have really thrown off the whole tune here. What I would love would be one site with multiple sub-blogs where I can post about technology, art, even just my thoughts, and none of the blogs would be too far away from one another.
I’m even considering bringing in a little gaming channel with the help of one of my friends, but that too is pretty far from reality for now.
I hope to share more details about the new “Things & Stuff” blog in the future like some concept art considering I’ll have to design the logo soon. I’ll be working on a fully functional layout preview soon as well so I can get to coding it as soon as possible.
Until then, I’ll continue to post here about all sorts of stuff that interests me, and hopefully make some videos later in the year when finally purchase a new personal system.
"Oh man I really want it. I was supposed to buy it 22 days ago… But they didn’t update it."
That’s me and everybody else who wishes that Apple updated the MacBook Pro Retina at WWDC this year, but unfortunately, they did no such thing. As such, I forced myself to refrain from buying the current model, now considered “woefully outdated” by some, despite being just over a year old.
Although, you might consider it “old” later this fall when Haswell processors finally make it to the Retina Pros. I’m not about to go off and tell you all the nitty gritty about how awesome Haswell processor specs are because frankly, that’s all I found and I’m just not that into it.
You’re here for the bottom line: Upgrade now? Or wait.
Simple answer? Wait.
But Why? What’s the big deal with Haswell? Won’t this MacBook Pro work just fine for 4 or 5 years?
Of course a current generation MacBook Pro would net you a light-weight, 13 or 15-inch laptop that looks gorgeous (in hardware and pixelage), that also grants you 7 or so hours of solid battery life. That’s enough… right?
I thought so, but before you dump a minimum of $1,299, or in my case $2,799, on a new MacBook, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and of course that you can prolong the day when your Apple device becomes "Woefully out of date."
If nothing else, the promise of more battery life should be enough to keep you waiting patiently for the next iteration of the Retina MacBook Pro. Although the boosts will not be quite as impressive as those seen above in the MacBook Airs, the Retina Pro is sure to see a significant boost keeping you away from outlets that much longer and making the most of every battery cycle, leading to longer overall life.
Graphics should also see a nice improvement. Many of the reports both on Haswell abroad, and especially on the new MacBook Airs suggest that graphics performance with Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics is even better than 4000, which in my opinion was already passable for most tasks. Intel HD 5000 combined with a new dedicated graphics card in the Retina Pro, however, could yield monstrous results for gamers and photographers/film editors alike.
802.11ac wifi networking is a gimmick, but you’ll have it. I won’t lie and say that if you’ve just now bought a MacBook Pro—Retina or otherwise—you’ll be missing out on amazing networking a few months from now. If you’re looking for longevity, which most users spending over $1,000 on a computer are, having the latest technology certainly helps. AC is remarkably faster, but has yet to be brought into the mainstream with only Apple making routers outputting such a connection.
Maybe I just need the latest and greatest or maybe it’s difficult to say exactly when to buy, but these three reasons are just a few I’ve kept repeating to myself in the absence of my own machine. That all said, I’m still drooling over the Retina MacBook Pro every time I walk into an Apple store, but I’ll wait until this September to buy one.
That is spam.
Spam, if you’ll notice, sent to me from MacWorld trying to sell me on a service they couldn’t possibly know if I need or not (I tried it and I really don’t). If you think I’m overreacting a bit, you’re right! But I’m a blogger, so instead of just throwing it in my trash, I thought about why it bothered me so much.
Rewind, just a little. Moments before I received this message, I was commenting on a post on MacWorld.com—ironically I may have been trolling the author ever so slightly—but was first prompted to login via Facebook, Twitter, or one of the other common means of authentication.
I chose Twitter, setup a username and password, and it was done; comment sent.
Then I hear the notification sound for Mail… I always dread handing out my email address on the internet since my inbox is already constantly flooded with every college spam-bot and newsletter and pharmaceutical rep and Kenyan banker on the face of the planet, let alone the receipts and other messages that I actually do need to read. So you can imagine my frustration in yet another newsletter arriving that I simply did not want.
Not only had I not wanted it… I wasn’t even warned this time! There was no checkbox on the tiny signup window asking if I cared to be bombarded with more solicitations. Yet there it was. From MacWorld: A publication I knew and loved for years and only just recently stopped subscribing to physically in favor of the Verge’s online coverage…
I hate to do rants, but I’m sure I’m not alone in this crazy mess of trying to use even as outdated of a service as email but being plagued by endless messages that you just don’t know what to do with other than delete.
MacWorld: If I want your newsletter, or if I want you to sell me something from one of your advertisers, I’ll tell you! Times are tough for the physical magazine world, but that’s the last way to build any sort of loyalty to your content.
— Unfortunate Me
A few years ago, armed with an ancient Dell PC running Windows 95, I learned to code.
I’m no programmer, but once I realized that just about anyone can make their own site on the internet, I binged on W3 Schools.org trying desperately to learn how to code my own sites.
Not that I failed, but I could never quite code another very… Aesthetically pleasing—that is to say I never learned CSS, the language responsible for websites looking ‘pretty.’
I mention Beautiful Pixels a lot, and again the blog filled with amazing things came through: I found Jon Duckett’s HTML & CSS. Not only was it an amazing way for me to review HTML and begin learning CSS,
It also reads extraordinarily well! Although it seems like a massive and daunting book full of complex code, the layout is astoundingly beautiful and minimalistic. You fly through the book—a literal page-turner—and then wonder how you ever read 100 pages so fast yet retained so much.
For beginners and users looking to refresh their knowledge, this book is a steal for just $22 on Amazon. In fact, I’m reading it so that I can begin to code the third revision of Things & Stuff to include much more content in a much more organized way so stay tuned.