Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Άπαιχτο! (freakin' awesome!)

A Greek song (original in music video form bellow) sung IN GREEK by a Japanese band.
Now that's what I call Freakin' Awesome!
I wonder if the band is learning (or speaks) Greek, or if it was all transliterated to katakana

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Alpha Protocol - some initial thought

With yet another driving scene in Alone in the Dark, I decided to put this game aside and try my hand at Alpha Protocol, another game that I got in the used bin for less than $15 this past summer.  While Alone in the Dark does allow me to skip that driving scene and go to the next part of the game (perhaps this being a silent acknowledgement that some of the game mechanics don't work that well), it feels a bit like cheating (and of course I won't get the achievement for completely finishing the chapter - who says that external motivations don't work? ;-)

In any case, Alpha Protocol, a Sega game, bills itself as an espionage RPG.  I tend to think of it like  Splinter Cell: Double Agent with a little extra on the character leveling up scheme (I guess this is where the "RPG" comes in). I have completed the initial newbie missions and now I am about to complete the first mission (saving the Taiwanese prime minister from assassination).  I have to say, even though this game is fairly easy (a ding that X-Play had against the game) it is quite fun and engaging (especially if you are one of those people who must try and collect every piece of cash and equipment that exists lying around in the same so you can better equip your character.

The only disappointment thus far is that it felt a little like bait and switch. In this game I become a rogue agent, much like Jack Bauer in some seasons of 24, and my initial hideout is a safehouse in Greece (mind you an undisclosed location in Greece). For a moment there I got excited that some of the story would unfold in Greece...but alas, it's Rome, Moscow and Taipei....booooo :-)  Of course, When I played Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six on my Mac (aaahhh...those classic days!) Athens didn't really look like Athens, so I guess it's all the same :-)
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iOS 5 στο iPad ναι, στα υπόλοιπα όχι.


Χτες είπα να κάτσω και να αναβαθμίσω το iPad μου αφού ούτως η άλλος δεν το είχα κάνει jailbreak. Εντάξει, εντυπωσιακό αρκετά το iOS 5 αλλά είναι ακόμα λίγο σπασικλάκι. Ναι μεν μου αρέσουν οι νέες γνωστοποιήσεις, αλλά στην οθόνη κλειδώματος ακόμα δεν μου δείχνει τα ραντεβού μου από το ημερολόγιο, ή αυτά που πρέπει να κάνω από τα to do μου. Το άλλο είναι πως το Siri δεν είναι ενεργοποιημένο στο iPad 2 - μα καλά ρε apple, πλάκα μας κάνεις;

Έλεγα να αναβαθμίσω και το iPhone μου χτες, αλλά τελικά είπα να περιμένω μέχρι να βγει jailbreak και να βγει καμία αναβάθμιση τύπου 5,1. Θα ήθελα να αναβαθμίσω (για να χρησιμοποιήσω το iCloud σε τουλάχιστον 2 συσκευές) αλλά το LockInfo είναι πολύ χρήσιμο γιατί μου δίνει τις πληροφορίες που χρειάζομαι χωρίς να ξεκλειδώσω την συσκευή για να δω το επόμενο ραντεβού.  Το άλλο που μου αρέσει στο jailbroken iPhone είναι το multifl0w που αλλάζει τον τρόπο που μεταφέρεσαι από εφαρμογή σε εφαρμογή, το BiteSMS (που είναι φοβερός SMS Client) και φυσικά τα ringtones που μπορώ να κατεβάσω απο cydia.

Το μόνο «κακό» σε όλη την υπόθεση είναι πως το  iPod Touch μου είναι δευτέρας γενεάς οπότε  την αναβάθμιση δεν την παιρνει, οπότε τον επόμενο Ιούνιο που θα κλείσει οριστικά το MobileMe πάει και ο συγχρονισμός ο αυτόματος (και ασύρματος)…Μάλλον με βλέπω να συγχρονίζω με την Google.

Αναρωτιέμαι αν ενεργωποίσω το iCloud, μπορώ να χρησιμοποιώ και MobileMe και iCloud ταυτόχρονα;
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Hypertext novels?

HyperCard - one of the tools used for creating HyperText fiction
I came across this article on Slate the other day on the topic of HyperText books. I have to say that the idea intrigued me since for the "early life" of HyperText stories I was in Greece and I didn't have a computer, and for the latter part of their life (in the 90s anyway), I wasn't really interested in reading novels, much less so on my computer. I preferred games, music and reconnecting with old friends (in the late 90s once I got to college).

Reading through the Slate article, and my own memories of what computers were like back then, I can say that it's a wonder that even some HyperText stories (or books) got off the ground! Sure, one can come up with a good enough story to get the readers engaged, and one can get away from gratuitous use of hyperlinking that actually gives the reader information (and it doesn't just distract him), but think of the technology of the time.  Massive computers (at least compared to today), massive CRT monitors with low resolution, and these things were probably on someone's desk.  No one really wants to read fiction  at a desk staring at a giant (but low resolution) CRT monitor!  Fiction is savored, sitting out in the garden, on your sofa, or while on the train commenting to and from work!

I was looking on wikipedia to see if there are any more recent examples of hypertext fiction out there and sure enough there are! I had a quick look and man are they poorly made!  OK, the graphics are low res because they are  a product of their times, but the design aspect is rather poor! I can't imagine spending 5, 10, 20 hours "reading" something that is so badly designed (no matter how compelling the story).

I think that HyperText fiction may actually have a place in our lives again since we have iPads, Kindles, Nooks and Android Tablets in our lives that facilitate a more portable, more "intimate" reading experience when compared to what HyperText was read on in the early and late 90s. Now all that's needed are good stories and appropriate design (both visual design, and user interface design).
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GLaDOSiri (pretty funny)


OK, I know this isn't exactly new but it is pretty funny, even though I have not played Portal (maybe I should pick up the Orange Box these holidays).

Now as far as user changeable voices go, I've seen them on TomTom and I can say that they can get fairly annoying. The only voice that would do is Majel Barrett (the computer voice in star trek)

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Εργασία, Ελλάδα και σκόρπιες σκέψεις

Την περασμένη Παρασκευή είχα λίγο ελεύθερο χρόνο οπότε είπα να κάτσω να δω τα νέα της ημέρας σε κάποιο διαδικτυακό κανάλι. Πήγα πρώτα στα ενημερώσεις του Mega αλλα η Ανάλυση ήταν χαμηλή και δεν φαινωταν ωραία όταν έβαζα το βίντεο σε full screen mode οπότε πήγα στον ΑΝΤ1. Σε αυτό το δελτίο ειδήσεων είδα τον αντικαγκελάριο να λέει στους συνέλληνες μου να σφίξουν τα ζωνάρια, να πηγενουν νωρίτερα στην δουλειά και να φεύγουν αργότερα. Να σου πω το είδα κάπως ως προσβολή για τους συνέλληνες μου επειδή αυτό το σκεπτικό των Γερμανών σημάνει πως μας βλέπουν ως έθνος τεμπέληδων και όπως καταλαβαίνετε δεν τους βλέπω ως τεμπέληδες.

Σήμερα το πρωί, για πρώτη φορά εδώ και καιρό, λόγο αργίας είχα τον χρόνο να δω τα πάντα στο google reader μου, και ένα απο τα άρθρα ήταν ιστορίες απο τα άτομα που "πονάνε" από τις νέες κρατικές ρυθμίσεις. Ένα απο αυτά ήταν ένας 48-χρόνος, που "αναγκάστηκε" να πάρει σύνταξη όταν η Ολυμπιακή αποκρατικοποιήθηκε. Έχει γυναίκα που είναι "χρονικός άρρωστη" και έναν γιο που δεν δουλεύει. Ας τα πάρουμε ένα ένα: πρώτων, απο τα 45 σου παίρνεις σύνταξη; Τι μαλακίες είναι αυτές; Αφού δεν έχεις προλημα υγείας, Γιατί δεν αχανές να βρεις αλλού δουλειά; Δεν σου φταίει το κράτος που σου μειώνεται η σύνταξη, εσυ φταις που δεν μοιραίες αλλου για δουλειά. Τόσοι και τόσοι χάνουν την δουλεια τους και ΕΣΥ πήρες σύνταξη.
Δεύτερο: η γυνεκαι είναι χρονικά άρρωστη. Ένταξη η Ελλάδα πραγματικά δεν είναι καλή σε αυτούς που είναι άρρωστοι ή έχουν ειδικές ανάγκες, αλλα έχουμε φτάσει σε ένα σημείο ως πολιτισμός που όλοι, ανεξάρτητου ιδιότητας, μπορούν να συνησφέρουν.
Τέλος: ο γιος σε αυτό το ρεπορτάζ δεν φαινόταν για μικρός, οπότε γιατι δεν δουλευε;

Ένταξη, να εσφιχτουν τα ζωνάρια, αλλα πρέπει ως λαός να αλλάξουμε το τραγούδι μας - δεν μπορεί ο κάθε Κώστας να παίρνει σύνταξη απο τα 45 και ο κάθε 18χρονος Σάκης να συργιανά στους δρόμου.

Χωράφια δωξα τον Θεό έχει αρκετά η Ελλάδα - καιρός να επιτρέψουν οι άνεργοι στα χωράφια!

-- Post From My iPhone
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Java Life rap song

Reminds me of "I'm on a boat"... puts a smile on your face in the morning :-)

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Adieu Steve

Goodbye to an innovator and a great leader - and a heck of a presenter!

I have to say that I came into the Apple world after Jobs had left the company and I still loved the products they had (confusing as the product line up was).  I was there when the NeXT acquisition brought Steve back and witnessed the Apple renaissance. For a while there the fear was that Apple would go the way of the Amiga and we'd all have to go over to Windows 98 (*gasp*).

The two biggest influences that Jobs had on me was the iconic Think Different ads (same theme as the 1984 ad - don't conform, dare to innovate), and Steve's great presentational style. I think throughout my MBA and MSIT programs, where presentations were frequent, while many of my classmates seemed to put all their talking points on the slide, and kept looking at the computer or projection screen (and not the class), I adopted the minimalist but polished presentation style, and I spent quite a few hours practicing my presentations (and often timing them) to get comfortable enough with the material, the flow, and the crowd, so that I could just walk in front of the class not stall during my presentation.

Adieu Steve - you've taught us a lot.

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Idea for gRSShopper - participant +1

I was sitting on the train this afternoon On the train catching up on the Digital Scholar (Martin Weller's book from last week on Change MOOC), reading some of the seed-posts from this week's facilitator and reading some initial posts from people who've already written something on thus week's topic (collective learning).

I have a few blog post to dos on my list for the next couple of days (which require more text and brain power than I have now...otherwise I'd get crackin' on writing those thoughts down right now) but I had this idea for gRSShopper: a digg feature for blog posts. If you really like a participant's blog post (or diigo submission or tweet or whatever) you could +1 them. Then top posts could rise up at the end of the MOOC as something to revisit if you didn't get through them the first time around.

OK that was the idea. What do you think?

- Posted using BlogPress from my Newton 3000 (iPad)
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Why Windows 8 is interesting


I've heard lots of grippes over the past week about Windows 8 but I have to say that I for one am quite interested in it, and I have been a Mac fanboi for most of computer using life and I have never particularly liked the Windows OS line. Windows Vista and 7 are OK. With Windows 8 things have an opportunity to change (no, I am not switching to Windows, but I could consider making them part of my own user ecosystem). Why this change?

Well, it all comes back to really portable computing that allows you to have the power of your own computer in your pocket. Back in the day there was an ultra portable computing company called OQO (they are now defunct). The idea behind the OQO was that you had a computer that was powerful enough to replace your laptop (as a matter of fact it fit in your pocket), that it could run a full OS and the apps you use in a day to day basis, and when you're at home or in the office you could dock the unit and get a full keyboard, mouse and screen, as well as access to external peripherals and additional storage.

As you can see from the video below, the device is quite portable and windows vista runs fine on it. However, it does seems like a giant pain the butt to use in a mobile fashion. Why? Well, it's simple, previous versions of Windows really were not built with mobile in mind! The mobile aspect was really just grafted on near the end of the process. Even when I used early tablets (windows based) they would only work with a special pen (there was something in the tip of the pen to register the press), normal touching of the screen did not work - what a waste of an opportunity!

With Windows 8 being built for touch, devices like the OQO can take off (provided that they are cheap and powerful enough). You can use touch when you're on the go, and when you're docked you can use a desktop if you want. Now you can (potentially) have your PMP, computer and tablet with you all the time. One computer for (almost) all occasions!

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