All posts by Kawaii Gardiner

Random thoughts

1) Interesting to see what a change at Microsoft has bought to their position in the eyes of so many Microsoft fans who were turned off by what was served up in the form of Windows 8. With the release of Windows 8.1, then update 1 along with the sneak peak into the next update it appears that Microsoft is learning something that Apple pointed out earlier on – don’t try to push one interface on multiple devices and expect people to be happy with the end result. Are universal applications the be-all and end-all? no but their movement back to creating a start menu and windowed ModernUI applications go along way to admit that maybe touch isn’t the be-all and end all in every situation – that maybe in some situations that the keyboard and mouse are the best option even if it isn’t ‘trendy’ or ‘hip’ or ‘cool’.

2) WWDC 2014 this year was put into a lottery and those selected were given the ability to purchase a ticket. For me I’m neither here no there (nor do I have enough money anyway) so I’ll be sitting at home in the comfort of my own bed watching the WWDC 2014 keynote via the internet at the low, low price of $0. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds – I do hope that they spend 10.10 (or what ever they call it) as a time to clean things up especially when it comes to SMB2 which has been troublesome for some many end users.

3) Work has been going great, just received the latest P&L statement through and our GP was good for the month and over all profit was healthy so hopefully if we stayed focused we’ll get a good result for the year this year.

Update on some things

1) Apologies about the lack of a ‘Technology in Review’ video for this week – nothing really much has happened and I’d like to hold off till 10.9.3 is released along with a few other things occurring at least in NZ before making a video. I could have rambled on about the new Office for iPad but I don’t think the video would have been all that interesting so I thought I might as well hold off.

2) Work this week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday but I’m fearful that I’ll need to work longer on Sunday morning assuming there is no chance to get a manager to do an opening shift (man will I be completed buggered by the end of that shift!).

3) End of the month was good – I don’t think our GP will be as high as February but the waste wasn’t too bad over all so hopefully we’ll be all good for the month.

Stuff, stuff and more stuff!

Just reading through some interesting news and I’ll just throw it out here as a list of things:

1) There has been a return of local synchronisation in reference to contacts, calendaring etc. with the latest beta seed of iTunes and OS X 10.9.3 which have just been released to employees to test themselves – I assume employees able to take it home and test it out on their own computer. I guess that amongst the many 9 to 5’ers that there are some tech enthusiasts who are more than happy to do some testing themselves as well (I know I would).

2) Huawei has corrected, as it should have ages ago, all those idiots who went around claiming that they would release a dual boot phone. Honestly, when are these so-called journalists actually going to quote what representatives say instead of sitting in a press conference whilst second guessing and read into every line said about there being some hidden message behind it all – “oh, he said this but reading between the lines he actually said….” because God help me if I see more of this. Anyone remember the crap put out by one website claiming that Steve Woz said something when in actual fact he never said anything of the sort – you know, the whole ‘Apple will make an Android phone” when what he actually said is that Apple COULD make an Android phone, that is, could meaning ‘they have the potential’, but wouldn’t because there is no need for Apple to embrace Android. Honestly, some of these so-called journalists need to take a class on English and what the words actually mean – btw, tolerance doesn’t equal acceptance.

3) Yet another day and another idiot releases another biography on what is supposedly happening behind the scenes at Apple – honestly, is that the 21st century way of making a quick buck; write a book about a high profile company, fill it with bullshit then get enough stupid websites like Forbes to provide a platform on which the book can be marketed? who would have thought that making a quick buck these days merely requires a good imagination and the willingness to sell ones integrity.

4) I’ve decided to take the train to and from work on Friday/Saturday as to avoid the drunk drivers when going to work and the fact that when I go home from work that I’m incredibly tired and probably not in the best state to actually be driving. $21 gives me three days of unlimited travel on the train but I think it is a small price to pay as to ensure that arrive to work and back home safely without having to dodge the usual nitwits. In the mean time I’m looking at getting myself a hi-viz jacket which will be more visible especially on rainy days. Just having a check there and I can pick one up for $104.95 so I’ll probably wait till next pay day then go off and buy one.

5) Gah, tax returns – lots of fun. Why can’t I just submit it on line :-(

6) Microsoft and FBI have gone after a code leaker but that wasn’t the interesting part – what I find interesting is how when Apple went after Think Secret many years ago we ended up with the dipsticks over at Neowin, Arstechnica whinging, whining and claiming that Steve Jobs was worse than Hitler because he was trying to crush freedom of speech and yet when Microsoft does the same thing we hear nothing but silence from those very people who whined about Apple. Honestly, is it too much to ask for some consistency when it comes to getting outraged?

Technology in Review – Episode Thirteen

And just one more addition to that – it appears that Yoobee (the Mac reseller formally known as Magnummac) has been sold off to another reseller for $1 along with around $900,000 worth of inventory. To be honest ever since they became Yoobee their standards have really, really, really dropped – they used to have enthusiastic sales people who were passionate about Mac’s but recently most just seemed to treat it as a job rather than something to be excited about. Then add to that they become more and more difficult to deal with when it came to repairs – always trying to find some way to claim they didn’t find a fault such as when my DVD drive failed intermittently and yet they claimed each time there was nothing wrong. I actually had to force them to see me physically put a disc into the drive and see it fail before they finally did something. Honestly, given that you can purchase a Mac either directly through Apple’s own online store or via Noel Leeming, Dick Smith and Harvey Norman I really have to ask why they even exist in the first place.

The re-emergence of OpenGL and OpenGL ES

It is funny that over a decade ago Microsoft, after getting annoyed with the endless procrastination of the OpenGL working group went off and created DirectX (made up of a suite of different API’s ranging from hardware accelerated video to 3d hardware acceleration, input management etc) and thus we’ve over a decade where pretty much Microsoft has had the gaming industry by the balls. Fast forward today and the situation seems rather different especially when one considers the rise of iOS and Android (along with OS X and Steam on Linux) with the move to not only get Steam working on Linux but also the rise in gaming on mobile platforms then place on top of that the strong sales of Sony’s Playstation 4 has led to a some what OpenGL and OpenGL ES revival and golden age after  almost a decade and a half in the wilderness with all but a few niche markets holding stedfast to the technology ( link ). So whilst Microsoft ignored the mobile world game developers realised that if they were to target both desktop and mobile devices they would have to once again embrace OpenGL and OpenGL ES and thus we’ve seen an uptick.

Regarding how this relates to DirectX 12.0 and the apparently promise of an open alternative to Mantle – and reading through the comments Peter asks the question (and I’m paraphrasing), “what has OpenGL got to do with an API that attempts to be lower level than DirectX or OpenGL today” – it has everything to do with it. Microsoft is once again trying to keep itself relevant by claiming to have some sort of edge over the competition by offering something that, quite frankly, I haven’t heard many developers ask for because god knows, as some contributors in the comment section point out, we don’t want to see another episode of GLIDE where a hardware vendor claims that their vendor specific API has magical properties that no other vendor has. The inclusion of a lower level API as part of DirectX is a larger attempt by Microsoft to bring the spotlight back to themselves after having ignored the mobile platform for years and more or less snubbed the hardcore gamer community (which act, in many cases as evangelists for Microsoft to friends and family members aka “he’s good with computers”) many developers are still targeting Windows but many question the wisdom of being bound to a Windows only technology given that portability will be of greater importance as Mac sales grow along with Steam/Linux and handheld devices.

I’ll be interesting to see what happens with Mac OS X 10.10 (or what ever it’ll be called) given that OpenGL 4.4 delivers harmonisation with OpenGL ES 3.0 so maybe we’ll be lucky and see OpenGL 4.4 support appear along with OpenCL 2.0 which will make things interesting. With that being said, with Mantle it does open an interesting question as to whether it’ll mean that third party developers will be able to implement OpenGL on top of mantle thus not requiring the sorts of low level information and if so then could we see an nVidia counterpart to mantle which will make things interesting.

Making progress, day by day

1) Gradually paying down bills with the goal to get all the loose ends tied up by the middle of this year. Things are looking good so far – the old situation of eating away at something piece by piece rather than trying to get it all cleaned off in one go. The loan with my parents is gradually being paid down and hopefully I can get it paid off by the end of this year which will free up more cash each year. As much as I’d like to get myself a 125/150cc scooter ASAP at the same time I’d sooner pay down my debt before taking on new debt.

2) Work is going well – lots of movement and hopefully with the minimum wage going up to $14.25 on 1 April so hopefully that’ll translate into a pay increase for me as well but if nothing happens I’ll talk to my area manager and find out. I don’t expect to be rich but it would be nice to receive a modest pay increase given that been here for 3 years and all the customers I serve have survived – which is a good sign.

3) The Warehouse now have a bigger range of picture frames which should mean that I can finally get those last two prints framed although I’d prefer to get the larger version of “Repast of the Lion’ but that’ll set me back NZ$230 or so from All Posters not to mention the cost of having to get it framed would cost a pretty penny. Oh well, maybe with good fortune I’ll get it in the second half of the year and I’ll give my dad the smaller version for his office.

4) Updated the look and feel of my blog to the ‘Twenty Fourteen’ theme and the banner at the top is a Joan Miro painting which I enjoy purely on the basis of it being colourful – yes, art can be appreciated based on it being pretty rather than an elongated wankfest that many seem to engage in when discussing art.

5) Scooter is going well – the fixing up of the muffler has quietened things up a bit and the replacement of the filter has meant things sound a little smoother than they used to. Although I have to admit I am tempted to give the Unleaded 98 a go to see whether it makes a difference in terms of smoother idling.