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Showing posts from January, 2012

I don't think newspapers will survive the iPad generation

I'm the kind of guy who likes to go out for breakfast on the weekend, buy a newspaper, and flip through it over a cup of coffee. So, in a recent attempt to justify the existence of my tablet, I decided to sign up to a free 3 month trial of an online newspaper.

In theory this was only going to make my news consumption experience more pleasurable and practical. Because there are three things that I really, really hate about reading a newspaper:

The actual size of the damn thing. I quite often find the table I am sitting at can only hold half the newspaper.Throwing away such a large amount of paper when I am done.Not being able to quickly scan the headlines. Reading an electronic copy solves all three issues. And yet, after trying the subscription for a few months, I realised that not only will I not sign up, but that I probably won't be reading the print version either.
The first problem is that so little of the content of a newspaper actually interests me. Sure, different newspa…

Listen up gen X'ers

From Wikipedia:
Studies predict that Generation Y will switch jobs frequently, holding far more than Generation X due to their great expectations.As a proud member of Generation Y I have to say that this prediction holds up. I myself have had at least 8 jobs in the last 10 years (although some were concurrent), and I am not an edge case.


What I don't agree with is the notion that Gen Y will flip between jobs because they are fickle or have "great expectations". The reason is actually quite simple: it's because 99% of employers make absolutely no effort to create an environment that I, and most of Gen Y, want to work in for the rest eternity.


Let's look at some of the common features of the modern workplace:



A cupboard full of International Roast, paid for by a social club funded by the employeesThe opportunity to work unpaid and unrecognised overtimeFlexibility to arrive at work +/- 90 seconds of 8:30 amThe ability to take annual leave in order to complete study dire…

New Web Site is Live!

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I'd like to announce the official opening of Make Indie Games.

Chances are that you have come to this blog looking for tutorials on game development. I'd also be willing to be that if you have ever tried to create a game by your self you have run into a wall where you need to find an artist, programmer or music composer to make your creation look and play like you originally envisaged.

The best solution I have seen to this issue to date are help wanted forums. But these forums are, quite frankly, a pain in the ass. They are almost always tied to a specific engine or platform, you have to read through a million posts just to find out what opportunities are still available, and they do little to bring together all the creative fields that are required to make a kick ass indie game.

This is where Make Indie Games comes in. You can create a project and specify the kind of skills that you are need, and you can create a profile and specify the kind of skills that you have. Then, wi…

The value of qualifications

I had an epiphany the other day.

I have always been someone that believed that real world experience was far more valuable than academic training and certification. If I was ever put in the position of hiring someone, I told myself that I would pick someone who "has done" over someone who has been "trained to do".

This philosophy has also defined my opinion of I.T. certifications. It hasn't stopped me getting them, but I have always felt that, at the end of the day, these certifications tend to be fairly artificial representations of my skill set.

Then I was given the opportunity to see things from the employers point of view, and the real value of certifications and qualifications was made clear.

No manager worth their salt really believes that a I.T. certification or qualification means that an applicant is unconditionally skilled to do the job. I think we have all come across MCSEs who don't know which end of the network cable to plug in or university I.…

Almost the perfect computing combination

My low end mobile phone died the other day, so I decided to treat myself to a shiny new Motorola Droid Razr. It's a speedy phone, light weight with a generously sized screen, which is all well and good, but its is not hard to get fast, light phones these days. What did impress me was the WebTop functionality.

WebTop is basically a desktop environment that you can display on an external monitor when you plug in a HDMI cable. (Actually, to be clear, without a rooted phone you can only use WebTop when you mount the phone in a Motorola docking station, but using a little app called Nebtop on a rooted phone will allow you to run WebTop with any old HDMI cable.)

WebTop allows you to browse the web in a full version of Firefox (I think it is version 6, but I can't remember exactly). Surprisingly you can install most of the addons available for Firefox in this WebTop version, which was a life saver for me since I can not live without Xmarks and LastPass. Flash 10 is also provided.

Add…

My tech news years resolutions

The start of a new year provides the perfect, if a little arbitrary, opportunity to reflect on the mistakes and milestones made over the last 12 months. I made plenty of both last year, which leads me to the following tech news years resolutions.

1. I'm done with stats


Last year saw the publishing of my first book, and the tail end of my freelance blogging efforts. While both projects made a meaningful contribution to my life in their own subtle ways, I can't help but feel that I spent an incredible amount of time and effort trying to earn that next $10. When I think about the scheming and plotting and analysing that went into making enough money for a bus fare, I can't help but come to the conclusion that I was prospecting for fools gold.

So I'm done watching graphs. This year I will only post content that interests me, and not create something for the sake of a few page views.

2. I will develop services first, applications second


I spent most of last year in charge of …