Finally decided to upgrade to an HTC Android yesterday – in fact writing this post from my phone. Must say overall very impressed. There seem to be just as many apps for this phone as for the iPhone, or useful ones anyway. Plus there is a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing that I have yet another household item running on Linux.
Anyway will write a more complete review later. Right now very happy with Android.
One of the great things about Ubuntu is that, well, it’s free, but so are all (or almost all) the applications that come with it.
It’s like the old UK game show Supermarket Sweep (it might be in the US and elsewhere, I just remember the one from the Nineties hosted by Dale Winton). Contestants would go run through a mocked up supermarket with their trolleys, filling them up to the brim because it was all free.
In Ubuntu, I not only have an app for everything I need, I also I have several apps doing the same thing. I listen on Amarok, or is it Rhythmbox or Banshee ? Do I browse the web on Firefox, Chromium or Epiphany ? Chat on Pidgin or Empathy ?
Some of these apps are better than others, of course. All have strengths and weaknesses. But all I have to do is read about some app someone is using on a blog somewhere and off I go, adding yet another line in Software Sources or typing sudo apt-get install in the terminal.
Not knocking it of course, it’s fun, like being a kid given the key to the sweetie shop.
The title is a little harsh, I know, and might qualify as linkbait. However, would you hire:
- A sculptor who doesn’t understand clay
- An architect who doesn’t understand building materials
- A photographer who doesn’t understand traditional and digital film
- A clothes designer who doesn’t understand fabrics
All of these professions work with a certain medium, and they understand that medium. They may not be experts in that medium, but they understand what works and what doesn’t. An architect, for example, may not be an expert in building materials, but he or she understands which materials may be best used to hold up a building, while providing the aesthetic and functional value, be it glass, cement, whatever. Otherwise they are just someone who draws pretty pictures of houses.
Being able to knock off website designs with Photoshop doesn’t make you a web designer, any more than my ability to draw a house makes me an architect. Sure, for a brochure-type site with no more functionality than a link to “Contact us” that may be sufficient. I’m not knocking Photoshop – it’s great for an initial prototype, something to aim for, perhaps as a rough sketch for a client or management. The problem then is that the design gels in everyone’s mind as the canonical version. It looks great, you’ve done your job – then it’s up to some poor sap to implement your wonderful design. At that point they find out that your design is impossible to implement but have to do it anyway because it’s what the client and management have agreed.
Please, if you are a web designer, for the love of God, learn CSS and HTML.
- Remember, remember the fifth of November,
- The gunpowder treason and plot,
- I know of no reason
- Why the gunpowder treason
- Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as “Bonfire Night”, is nowadays along with Halloween, a small, pre-Christmas festival, where kids set off fireworks around town and in parks and gardens up and down the country a Wicker-Man like effigy in an old tracksuit is burned at the stake (actually, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were hung, drawn and quartered – the penalty for treason).
James I (of England, VI to the Scots) was not the most popular or competent of rulers, a poison dwarf despised by his wife and courtiers (the Stuarts were quite possibly the worst thing Scotland has ever done to England, after Gordon Brown and the Krankies). The Parliament of 1605 was less democratic than, say, the Kuwaiti parliament today. We hold it in such regard now because of the (quasi-)democratic institution it was to become. But had the plot succeeded, and James, his family and the backbone of the aristocracy gone up in smoke, the conspirators might, with the help of Spain, have put a Catholic back on the throne. When he was uncovered, tortured and hung (he managed to break his neck before the drawing and quartering bit, unlike his friends) the people of London lit bonfires that night out of relief – for had he succeeded it would have been like the dark days of Bloody Mary, when hundreds of Protestants were burned at the stake.
Later Guy Fawkes became a martyr not only to Catholics but to anarchists – “the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions”. “V” in the film and graphic novel V for Vendetta is portrayed as a modern day Guy Fawkes against an oppressive fascist government. But Guy was more Osama bin Laden than Che Guevara – a religious fanatic ready to kill hundreds for his beliefs. He could be regarded as the first terrorist. Nowadays the Catholic Church is a relatively benign organization (paedophile priests notwithstanding) with Father Ted jokes and doddery Popes promoting world peace. Back in the 17th century it was a frightening, oppressive organization, backed by the superpower of the day, the Spanish Empire, and its Gestapo, the Inquisition. That century would see Europe torn apart by the bloodiest war in its history, not counting the two world wars, fought between Protestant and Catholic. Religion, back then, was definitely not an ecumenical matter.
What was unfortunate is that the Gunpowder Plot, along with Henry VIII’s break with Rome, the Spanish Armada, the English (and Scottish and Irish) civil wars, the “Glorious Revolution”, and the troubles in Ireland, is one of many episodes leading to greater persecution of Britain’s (and Ireland’s) Catholics. Go to Belfast or Glasgow today and you can still see the remnants of centuries of this conflict.
Perhaps it’s time to put aside the old Guy. Let’s keep Bonfire Night going, but let’s make it more in tune with our own times.
How about instead we make an effigy of straw, dress it in an old suit, with a bowler hat and umbrella ? Children would take it around town in a wheelbarrow calling, “Penny for the Banker !” (or better still, “Bonus for the Banker !”).
We would then burn the Banker at the stake while we warm our jacket potatoes and drink our mulled wine, watching the fireworks fail to go off.
Just set up a WordPress blog after leaving an empty one to languish on Blogger.
WordPress looks very nice, very polished. All that makes a difference; it encourages you to say nice, polished things.
Anyway just testing a post via Ubuntu/Drivel. See how it goes.