I’ve been given a Kobo ebook reader. I was offered a tablet but I didn’t want to cost too much money plus I needed something to get my reading up. And tablets are everywhere here in Nigeria but ebook readers are impossible to find. You see, I’m a very very veeerrryyy slooow reader. It annoys me. But the thing is I’m much faster reading physical books than I am reading books on my computer or on my phone (SGS2). But if I got hard copies of all the books I wanted to read there’d be nowhere to put them! Plus I already have lots and lots of PDFs and EPUBs on my computer. So I decided having an ebook reader will do the trick.
Why a Kobo (that was a mistake but more on that later)? I looked up a comparison chart and found that the Kindle can only read ebooks in Amazon’s AZW and KF8 formats. It’s possible to convert with Calibre and not too much of a hassle but I didn’t want to jump over that hurdle at all plus I didn’t want file duplication either. I then assumed that with a Kobo, I’d be able to just switch the thing on, connect it to my laptop and dump all the ebooks I have in it. Boy was I wrong.
First of all, I have to say eink is pretty awesome; there was an illustration on the screen of the device which I thought was printed on the transparent film that covers the screen, only for me to switch it on and the image disappears!
From this point is where I have a problem. I select language, it asks me to connect to a computer or a wireless network. No wi-fi so I connect to my laptop and then it asks me to visit a URL from my laptop and since I don’t have internet on it, I can’t get past this step. So I try option 2; I set my phone as a hotsopt and connect the Kobo to it. Then it allows me set date and time. After that it proceeds to do a firmware update, it’s taking so long I hit “Cancel” at 9% hoping that will bypass the process, only to see a warning that if I cancel I’d have to start over. I cancel and put it away. Until I go to the nearby cybercafe and connect to wi-fi. Here’s annother thing, when I switch it off, the whole screen goes black which makes me feel like the screen is on, so I turn it face down so I don’t have to look at it.
So here I am. With an ebook reader (and a connector cable) and a bunch of ebooks but no way to put it together.
Epic fail Kobo. Epic fail. For an ebook reader to really make sense, one should be able to go from unboxing to reading in less than 5 minutes and with no needed internet connection whatsoever.
Epic fail to me too for not doing the homework thouroughly enough. And that’s what I get for rooting for the underdog. Next time, instead of comparing features I’d purposely look for disadvantages and gripes before making a choice.
Update: I’ve finally done the initial setup. Took about 30mins. One free ebook is in my library and it’s titled What My Mother Gave Me which is funny because it was actually my mom who bought me the Kobo.
Didn’t have desktop internet so like last year I headed to a cybercafe to follow the liveblog (streaming video would have been impossible). The Verge had the best liveblog and it was almost as good as watching video because they were updating with large clear photos as fast as anyone possibly can. Thanks Verge!
Last Saturday (24/3/2012) I was at The Network, a conference for creatives held at Chevron Club, Gbagada. It was organized by Abinibi.
These are some of the speakers at the event. (L-R;T-B)
Steve Babaeko : An art director and advertising guru.
Lemi Ghariokwu: An artist who specializes in album art. He did several album sleeves for Fela Kuti and many other musicians in the ’70s & ’80s.
Kelechi Amadi-Obi: A well known professional photographer.
Kingsley James: Founder of DigiPrints; one of the best and most well known print companies in the country.
Goke Oludare: One of the major printers based out of Ṣomolu “the printing centre of Lagos”.
Toyosi Akerele : Founder of RISE; a youth empowerment programme who is also in the magazine industry.
Cynthia & Teju; who came from Google Nigeria to talk to us about Google+ and YouTube.
Some notes I took down at the event:
From Steve Babaeko
“Build a solid knowledge base”
“Build a solid reputation”
“Build trust; always be on time”
“Build a strong network”
“Have multiple streams of income”
Adapt to survive
from Kelechi Amadi-Obi
“Make the decision to be an artist”
“Do good work, and show it”
“Show your work with style (packaging)”
“Take your work to the right audience”
“Do more than what is paid for”
“Put your standards above that of your clients. Then they be able to tell you “use your discretion” “
Kingsley and Goke also spoke about the age old battle between graphic designers and printers, and why many printers insist on CorelDraw’s .CDR format when we like to design in Photoshop. Basically the rip of their machines come equipped to handle .CDR and .TIFF natively. Also exporting to PDF is also a good format for print. We were reminded to take note of resolution, the size of paper (or whatever material to be printed on) and to design in CMYK.
All in all it was very good and enlightening.
Kudos to Abinibi for organizing this. Look forward to there being more and attending them.
As “award season” comes to a close, Where we take a look back at the past year and pick and/or rank our favorite things, products, entertainment, etc. Here’s my attempt at recapping 2012 and the things that I enjoyed and caught my attention last year. Bear in mind that for most of the year I was away from the city and it was kinda hard to keep up but I tried. I’ll try to make this an annual thing and maybe have a more structured “top-10” type list. You can include some of your favorites in the comments too. (Also it took me veeeerryyy loooong to compile and write this post)
- Kevin Rose: "Did you have any really bad flops, or something you really thought was gonna take off?"
- Stan Lee: "Excuse me, you're talking to Stan Lee!"
- Kevin Rose: "Oh I'm sorry, I'm sorry"
- Dad: ...oil is more likely to become obsolete before it becomes depleted...
- Me: It should have by now, it's just being delayed by some people...
Last year I created a similar list and even though I didn’t accomplish all the things on it (mostly because of NYSC), it was still a great year for me nevertheless. And I think making the list kinda helped. I had compiled this year’s since January but wanted to wait till NYSC was over to post it. To be honest, it feels like the new year starts for me once I return to Lagos. So here goes (in no particular order):
You are not our customers, you are the cattle we drive to market and auction off to the highest bidder. Enjoy your feed and keep producing the milk.
- yours sincerely, Facebook.” —
…and you guessed right, my username is @dpencilpusher on there too.
The Android app can be really annoying and uses a lot of webviews. It loads EVERYTHING even things that change infrequently like usernames and profile pics and bios. Twitter does a much better job at caching stuff. There are a lot of spammers (commenters) too.
But I like the stuff I get to see.
So I went to the nearby cyber cafe and plugged in to follow liveblogs of the event.
CNet was the fastest and most clutter free of them http://live.cnet.com/Event/CNETs_Apple_event_live_blog_Wednesday_September_12
So as I was watching the liveblog, I was typing my thoughts in a text file.
This was a beautiful film. It was colorful and lush; a visual delight.
Satisfying, Enjoyable and down-to-earth.
Funny when it needed to be.
But, hearing that this was a fairy tale and that our main character’s a princess I feared it would land in “Disney Princess” territory. Well, even though it borders on it, it doesn’t have a Prince Charming for our princess to ride off into the sunset and “live happily ever after” with. I hope Disney doesn’t tie it in with the Princesses thing.
One main thing that fuelled this concern was that Pixar characters when human are known to be very stylized.
But Merida and her Mom -the main characters- weren’t. (most of the other characters were). They were both appropriate height (about 7 heads), muscles well defined, and no exaggerated parts. They looked too realistic; Merida even had slim, angular, (dare I say “sexy”) fingers. The main thing that’s recognizable about Merida is the shape of her head, an her big, ginger, frizzy hair (which took a lot of effort to animate) which I appreciate. It’s not really a complaint, it’s just something different and uncharacteristic of Pixar. Let’s look at other Pixar duos: Woody’s tall, skinny, limp and made of cloth while Buzz is short, stocky and made of hard looking plastic. McQueen is curvy, red & shiny while Mater is rectangular & rusty. Carl looks like he’s carved out of a block of wood while Russell looks like a balloon animal. WALL-E and EVE look like a PC & Mac (circa 1999) respectively. The only contrast between Merida and her mother is the hair and while it’s a very obvious contrast I felt there could be more.
I thought the movie might have something to do with the origin of Stonehenge but was a little disappointed when it didn’t.
Enough about that. Now the story. The story was awfully predictable. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but there was no twist, no surprise, it just went smoothly like rowing on a straight & familiar river (not that I’ve ever rowed before). It was almost as if I knew what was going to happen before it did. This made the movie [feel] quite short.
What I liked:
-Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; when it was first announced that she’d be playing Catwoman I had my doubts but I belived in Nolan and I gotta say, she’s the best Catwoman I’ve seen.
-The cast; Inception alumni; Michael Caine, Marion Cotilard, Jason Gordon Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cilian Murphy. In another universe it could be Ellen Page as Batgirl and DiCaprio as The Riddler (which I read he was actually interested in playing).
-The reference to the comics: it had parts of “No Man’s Land”, parts of “Knightfall”. Especially the scene where Bane brakes Batman’s back, recreated accurately from the comic.
-The vehicle chases.
-The fights between Bane and Batman; I caught myself thrusting my fists at the air while they were duking it out.
-The subtle inclusion of a Robin. I suspected this quite early in the movie but I read somewhere that Nolan didn’t like the idea of sidekicks (which is pretty much what Catwoman was).
What I didn’t like:
-A little too much talk and less action. A little too much Bruce Wayne and not enough Batman.
-Bruce Wayne came out of the hole twice; first at the beginning of the movie and then literally towards the end. Seeing Bruce with a full beard looking messed up felt kinda repetitive.
-The Bat. There were times when it looked cool. But at other times when it was in flight and in full view, it looked like a giant mechanical cockroach with it’s wings surgically attached to its underbelly.
-The motive of the villan. I like that the stakes were high. I understand that Bane was working for Talia Al Ghul. But she wants to avenge her father (and to purge Gotham of organized crime & corruption) does that warrant blowing up an entire city just to get one man? I like the severity, it’s the motive that just doesn’t hold water IMHO.
-Batman recovering too quickly, it seemed a bit unrealistic; his leg in the beginning, his back in the middle and then after being stabbed at the end.
-There was absolutely no mention of the Joker. None. A hallucination of Ra, his daughter, a photo and flashback of Harvey Dent, even Dr. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow) made his third appearance but no one even name-dropped The Joker. It’s as if the guy never existed.
-I know I hate it when action films dwell on romance. But the relationship between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle felt very hollow. He even seemed to be more into Miranda Tate (and that’s not just because he slept with her).
-Secret Identity. While Bruce Wayne and Batman went into hiding for different reasons, they resurfacing at the around same time shoulda given it away. It made everyone, especially Commissioner Gordon (whom I assumed already knew) and Selina Kyle (I couldn’t tell if she was just playing along, but “my powerful friend”? Really??) seem stupid.
-I hate it when in movies (or books) someone just explains the plot twist in one fowl swoop through a series of flashbacks instead of the thing coming together by itself. That’s what happened here.
Summary: Despite all my nitpicking, I really really enjoyed the movie. Definitely one of my favorite films of the year. Totally worth seeing in the theater. Totally worth revisiting. But seeing as I couldn’t pick at this many dislikes in The Dark Knight, I’ve gotta say the, the 2nd film is the best of the trilogy.
I had been following the progress of both Foursquare and Gowalla since they launched at SXSW in 2009. Even though I didn’t feel the need to join either until recently. I was more attracted to Gowalla because of it’s beautiful & colorful design (obviously), and because it was less popular (you see, I like rooting for the underdog) so I joined. Then they released that version 4.0 which nobody understood how to use even though it was still beautiful, then a few weeks/months later they announced the sale to Facebook. Needless to say, I was unhappy with the news. First because they gave-up, second because they sold out to big blue. I deleted my account but didn’t jump onto Foursquare yet. I wanted to watch the space to see how Gowalla’s exit will affect it.
If you had asked anybody to mention Location Based Services they knew, they’d mention Foursquare first then [most likely] Gowalla. Despite the fact that Foursquare had more users, and more activity, Gowalla still had the recognition of being their rival.
February is over! Big thanks to those who patronized. Progress, completion & payment details are being communicated to you via email. And thanks also to those who shared. I have to go for NYSC and would probably not have access to my computer, [desktop] internet etc. for a while. Hence I wouldn’t be taking up any requests for design work for now. When I’m available again, I’ll announce here and on twitter.
UPDATE: I don’t leave until the 22nd of March. I’ll be using the remaining time to tie up loose ends on current projects.
I’ll also take 3 requests (via email) for simple, non-elaborate, colored & shaded illustrations for N7,500 a pop. See regular procedure here.
Very practical guide to getting the best out of social media rather than wasting time on it. And it’s the kind of thing where you can see examples of people who are using these principles and it’s working for them both at home and abroad.
Oh Hollywood and sequels! Part 1 was way better! This movie was enjoyable but it didn’t feel like a Sherlock Holmes movie should. Too much brawn over brain, a little too much humor and that mental(or was it psychic?) pre-emptive strike thing was over exaggerated in the last fight with Moriarty. It was more of an action movie than a mystery solver, and that I didn’t like.
I give it
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Totally good read. It could as well have been an autobiography, but then again after reading it, Steve Jobs writing his own autobiography is probably a bad idea. Makes you really get to know the man behind Apple’s great products and the company’s culture as a whole. Oh! And Pixar too! (can’t forget Pixar) And now I finally understand why the iPad has no stylus…
View all my reviews
Nonsense! Or will it? Really?
One of the biggest complaints users and developers (especially developers) have concerning Android is fragmentation; specs, button placement, screen sizes, etc.
Screen sizes: Samsung has phones from 2.8” all the way up to a 10.1” tablet, in 0.2” increments; it’s ridiculous.
Android app developers have to cater to all these screen sizes (and more) & resolutions, they have to draw visual elements in vector, or include multiple sizes or just leave the app to stretch, contract or crop to whatever screen size the app finds itself on. This leads to the apps being resource heavy or ugly or both, varying experiences across a myriad of phones etc.
This year I want to:
- Draw & paint more (‘cos I can’t have enough of that);
- Improve my HTML5 & CSS3;
- Buy a smartphone [finally];
- Learn to code in Ruby-on-Rails, just enough to be able to rapidly prototype and put out any webapp ideas I may have;
- Read more books (I have a couple lined up already);
- Fool around with 3D & VFX;
- Game, I haven’t in a long time and now that I have a capable laptop, I might as well indulge myself;
- “Meet someone” (this one ain’t even funny anymore)
So help me God
Happy new year.
Wishing y’all God’s blessings and progress in life all through the year.
I’m looking for a font with the following features:
a small letter “l” that curves at the bottom;
all dots are circles “i” “.” “,” “:” “!” “?” “;” not squares;
The number zero “0” and the capital letter “O” are clearly different
and can be embedded in a webpage
Translation: God’s child became man’s child, so that man’s child can become God’s child.
-Ice Prince Zamani