this blog, and how i feels.

Okay. Ever since I started this blog, I kind of wanted to experiment and play around with it, see how far I can go. It’s been 6 months, and I couldn’t be any happier.

With this sort of stuff, I get way too over-the-top and be a perfectionist when it comes to design and writing because I know I can do better. But recently, I just figured out the look I want on this website (which is rare taking into account my constant uncertainty when it comes to anything) and I smiled intensely, like a real goofball.

I never smile when I’m working on a project controlled by me. I never smile. (yes i do, don’t worry.)

But I feel good about this. Usually when I’m on a client job, I’m never happy about how my work looks, though my customers tend to be, and it leaves me on a bad note. With this blog, I feel otherwise. I feel…

 

I feel like this is a beginning of a beautiful digital era.

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Nintendo Switch Reveal: Promising, but one BIG game-changer.

So, tons of people got invited to Nintendo’s event which revealed more on the Switch, a tablet-esque console with a docking station and JoyCons, and the upcoming games that will be supported. Honestly, I think Nintendo really hit the nail with this one, but there is one concern that scrapes at the back of pretty much everyone’s head.

 

…what about the games?

 

You see there’s so much I love about this concept. The whole modular, portable idea of seamlessly continuing from your TV to a tablet for travelling or just to show off is great. But as with Nintendo’s consoles, there’s not enough substance in terms of games. Sure, you’ve got the Mario games with a side of Pokémon and a lot of other very niche games that I missed out but it’s always put Nintendo on the side.

It’s good not to be included into the console war because you have the freedom of innovation without the risk of another big rig corporation getting in the way, but the games that you see on a PS4 compared to a Nintendo 3DS is more diverse and enticing and I’d pick it any day (unless nostalgia hits). Because there’s all sorts of games: indies, platformers, story, action, FPS etc.

That’s why it’s assuring to see the Switch having more compatible games, working with different companies like Bethesda, Activision, Epic Games and even Telltale dammit (I’m so excited for that one). But I hate to say this, it’s not enough. It’s a start, sure, but they can’t just have Super Mario Odyssey and then attempt to please everyone by throwing in Skyrim and a chance to play N64 games every month with a fee, just like Xbox Games for Gold and PS Plus’ free game system.

We need more games dammit.

In retrospect, it looks like also being the console war is also a good idea because you hunt for game devs to make more exclusives because exclusivity is what is making Sony the belle of the ball in the current console wars. jots idea down for a future blog post

But everything else is fine, though the JoyCons seem shifty af for me as well as the tablet battery but I appreciate the humble thumbsticks being offset.

ToDoist: Awesome addition to your daily life

Whether you’re a productivity nut or not, you need something to at least remind you of the important stuff to get done throughout the week. Meet ToDoist, probably the best app you can get on productivity and also a great app to kick off the year!

I’ve been using this app for months and I must admit, it has done very well towards handling my rollercoaster of a life.

Extra info for extra context i guess.

Before we get into the pros and cons, I think it’s best to add some context first. I’ve been using ToDoist since August-ish and was learning my ways around the basics and how it could fit into my workflow. There was a moment where my computer and iPad broke down and I couldn’t access the app at all which was a real pain until I realised I could print my weekly ToDoist on a local computer and still keep up, which was an absolute lifesaver!

Back to the review! batman transition

Look at it! It looks amazing!

I immediately fell in love with the ultra-minimalist UI that shows me everything. No matter which platform you use, it’s always got a consistent, familiar look with customisable themes too.

There’s all sorts of options, giving the user a lot of freedom and just generally making life a lot easier. It’s given you the choice to control things your way, and that is vital for anyone really. They offer no specific way ToDoThis (knee slap for a certain reader I have an inside joke with) and it works.

How it works.

To create a task, press the plus sign and type as shown in the amateur gif provided above. You can can create projects and assign the job to a specific section. You can then choose the time, date and it’s priority level.

What’s even better, and is by far my favourite feature, is the smart detection in what you type. So when typing in ‘Next Friday’ or ‘ToNIght’, whatever the upper and lower case the letter may be, it will highlight the detail red and automatically move that task to that date/time.

There’s even a Smart Reschedule addition which automatically reschedules overdue tasks to a suitable date based on your routine/what the robots learn from you! They won’t do it without your consent though.

The shortcuts make life a lot simpler for the mere human being due to the nanosecond of “productivity time” being saved for that 3 hour Louis Theroux marathon you’re going on. In my opinion, this is a HUGE advantage that they do subliminally support and it doesn’t take too long to get the hang of.

Verdict: Downright awesome.

The UI is clean and consistent no matter if you’re using Windows, a Kindle or the extension available in Internet Explorer (thank goodness the latter doesn’t exist) and all the various elements proves to make you more efficient and the algorithms smarter than you. #rekt

As of December 2016, I have no issue with this system because I control the system. Everything works when I work so I basically have no one to blame but myself when it doesn’t work.

So in short, it’s incredible and a 9.7/10, because nothing can be 10 without being a God-sent miracle.

Back-to-school-despite-being-december 2016: Things I would use myself

This was originally meant to be my Back-to-School blog but I just procrastinated thanks to Nishat being Nishat (wooooo). I might as well make one long list that’s actually not that useful at all. Because nothing is as exciting as back-to-school-in-december tech, and you know you’re ballin’ when you got affordable tech that’s cool and swaggy af.

(NOTE: I do have affiliate links but that in no way affects my love for these damn products and they don’t bump up the price either. Now scroll, young one)

Continue reading →

My experience with homework – a student’s perspective

Homework seems more like a neverending battle of stress, anxiety and detention as you attempt to pull yourself together to get that stupid, tedious task out of the way. It’s actually affecting student’s health and ironically their grades.

“Don’t forget kids”

The intro should honestly be enough to convince schools to ban homework, period. But they have their reasons too. One of which is so they “don’t forget”. This is a valid point and practically the sole reason homework exists, however going through the strenuous ordeal of doing buttloads of it outweighs the benefits.

You load them with too much homework to a point where that stress, which leads to a shrink in a certain part of the brain, consumes the thoughts to an extent where memory loss is more likely than remembering the topic. You’re overwhelming them, dude.

Your homework makes us smart in the wrong ways

It also ignites a rage within the student to lash at you, either aggressively with verbal or physical attacks, or assertively by outsmarting you with authorities or some rather plausible excuses. To back up this point, it is proven that the stricter the teacher, the more deceptive a student becomes to avoid consequences. Here’s some facts.

I always used to struggle doing homework in time because I just couldn’t give a single damn about it. The only homework I cared about back then was my Sociology, English, Computing and Graphics. Everything else was done the lesson before it was due. Looking back on it I just feel like I was more bent on doing everything else and coming up with a good enough lie if I missed it.

It’s not that hard man

Come on teachers, if you want to give them homework, give them something that is fun or lets them be creative and incorporate our own skills. I may sound like a cliché, but you’re literally giving 12 year olds depression here, just bring it down a notch.

How to save Google Drive space with Gmail

Well it’s 2.35am, you’re emailing your colleagues dank memes when all of a sudden, your 15GB of space fills to the brim with errors popping everywhere. You consider getting a subscription, but you haven’t paid rent yet so you’re screwed. Here’s how to save space.

Delete them meems.

I know they mattered to you and were there for you during your divorce, but it’s okay. Go to the ‘Sent’ section of your Gmail and just delete. Delete every thing that belongs to your heart. Do the same for the spam, inbox (any unnecessary ones) and make sure to go to the bin and slay all the beasts you once called friends.

If you have any subscriptions, make sure to read (keep the precious ones if you like) and delete. This button is key to all storage saving. Once you clear up your Gmail, head to the Bin and permanently get rid of all emails.

I’m sorry pal, those memes must go.

TIP: The emails with files and attachments, if not important or is already saved, can be deleted as well. They bump the storage down a lot.

Make a new account

If you use Gmail intensively and can’t handle the onslaught of emails, make another email and redirect all subscriptions and other unrelated stuff there. You can also use it for signing up to websites or just dedicate it towards being a professional email for outsiders to contact you. It helps you be a little organised.

Now watch those numbers drop as quickly as your marriage. This was a simple but hopefully useful tip that’s helped me out a lot.

So you removed the headphone jack but still get sales…

It’s absolutely unbelievable. One controversial thing has just been completely glossed over because the iPhone 7 came out. Really?

Apple removed the classic headphone jack, claiming that they want more space to place stereo speakers. I only use speakers to show people videos and that’s very rarely, I generally tend to use a headphone. Now they are rendered useless.

“but neshat du dangle comz wif du fone” Don’t care, how am I meant to charge and use my headphones all through one port?

Now if I get this pointless ounce of glass, it’s probably going to break quicker than my temper. EVEN APPLE MADE AN “OFFICIAL STATEMENT” OF HOW FRAGILE IT IS. Jeez, and what do they exaggerate? The cameras.

One is a telephoto and the other is a wide-angle, which sounds like something I would be interested in if I wanted to do photography like a hipster. Why not just slap a lens on the iPhone 6? Why not just use the Galaxy S7 or the Huawei P9?

Everyone raged about the AirPods (don’t get me started on that one) and how stupid dropping the headphone jack would be. But as soon as the keynote released with their only selling point would be more cameras and a fingerprint-magnet colour, all the haters went quiet. Not this hater.

What is there that’s new? The iPhone 6S had 12MP. Just grab a wide-angle lens and boom, you get the same deal but cheaper. I don’t mean to offend people but no consumer, except tech junkies, will understand what the hell an f1.8 aperture is. They literally just say things and emphasise on it as if it’s a new innovation of today, but God Apple just shut up.

“I can’t wait to get my hands on the iPhone 8, heard there’s no screens!” – an idiot.

My productive routine (or daily ritual or whatever you call it, i don’t care)

Everyday, I strive to be as productive as I can so when I’m done, I can spend my time enjoying Bloodborne or even the old Crash Bandicoot.

For projects/lists: Trello

A great minimalistic board showing your tasks, ideas and lists. Trello integrates with many other apps (Evernote, Slack etc.) to optimise the workload and generally make things more efficient.

For weekly and daily planning: Bullet Journal

I used to use ToDoist but then came to the realisation that it was too easy and unsatisfying to cross off a task even though you hadn’t done it. It disappeared forever out of sight, and it was pretty unmotivational. But this was my experience, I still do recommend you try it out for yourself.

But turns out using a Bullet Journal was waaaaaaaaaaaaay better, and my prejudices of using it had been

Note-taking awl day err’day: Evernote

This is a no-brainer. Evernote syncs on nearly all platforms as it takes in notes that you have full control over. I’ve used it for general brain farts I want to remember later on or plans for certain things as well as client notes.

 

Alright well, that’s all I got folks.

PS4 Pro + PS4 Slim Announcements: WHAT DID I SAY?

I may or may not have said it in the previous gaming article about E3, but I expected Sony to whisper out a few announcements to keep tension.

On the 7th September, there was a Playstation meeting where they officially released details on two new consoles into the world of gaming. One of such was the PS4 Slim, a smaller console which consists of those 2 “sandwich breads”. Well that’s what I like to call them anyways.

The design, in my opinion, is a little weird but hey, it serves the purpose of being incredibly slim whilst maintaining, if not improving, the performance of the old trusty PS4. I am disappointed that they ditched the light bar though, I thought it looked nice. It’s coming out on the 16th of September. Plus. they’ve kept it simple for gamers on a budget as it has a nice pricetag of only £259.

Image result for PS4 Pro

SHUTUP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

But for the real deal, the 4K resolution, HDR and 3 sandwich breads, there’s the PS4 Pro. Most hype has circled around this console, which has rather unique design that I don’t really find appealing. It’s basically another sandwich bread above yet 2 pieces of bread. The light bar has found a new home in between one of those slices but I just feel uncomfortable with the official look.

Just looks bulky and one of those 3D renders of what people jokingly think the future consoles would look like. Come on Sony, they were playing you. If I preferred to pick one of the two, I’d choose Slim because it’s small, not too ugly and it’s cheap.

Moving onto controllers, they both have a new redesigned Dualshock 4 for extra convenience. One big aspect for me is the controllers; and if it isn’t up to scratch, I’ll shut you down for it e.g. how Xbox didn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, that was humiliating.

This controller looks good, and there aren’t many obvious differences except the touchpad and the light bar. You can now quickly glance at your controller to check the light bar instead of flipping your hand in an awkward direction just to see if the battery is dying or not. I like that idea, and if games put it to good use (like the light bar turns into a health bar or an ammo centre).

Also, the internals have changed, so it is more sensitive when it comes to tilts and motion.

Overall, they seem promising. The PS4 Slim is out next week whilst the PS4 Pro releases November 10th for £349.

The never-ending battle of games

Though the game medium has existed for a mere 50 years, it’s really made its stand in history with incredible visuals, immersive gameplay and unconventional plots. For the pre-2000 years, that was revolutionary.

But when the first GTA game released, it sparked a lot of controversy due to it’s gory pixelated violence. Games were breaking a wall of moral beliefs; introducing you to “what-if” situations. You had complete control of your choices and that still causes concern about gaming today.

A lot of shocking scenes in games had you question our beliefs, like the “No Russian” chapter in COD. The fact that you had a choice to shoot someone and you did ignited a war between gamers and overprotective mums.

The audacity the developers had to place these graphic scenes caused a decrease in revenue and just fuelled more hatred and discussion whether there should be some rules to regulate these types of games.

The fact that 8 year olds play COD and scream their heads off somehow represents the whole gaming community. It gives a good enough reason for your average white mom to say no and spit hate towards this whole industry.

Yeah, kids shouldn’t be doing that. But it doesn’t mean that you aim for the whole damn art of games. There is a lot more to this art form, the beauty of the soundtracks and visuals define a game, not the players. Penn says it best when he shuts down a bunch of really badly-informed mothers blaming violence on video games.

There are some truly moving games, and despite the graphics and the immersive effect it has on us. People watching gamers think it’s rather immature and just plain stupid. Play something like The Last Of Us, the Uncharted series, Telltale’s Walking Dead series or Red Dead Redemption. Violent games, sure. Emotional games? Hell yeah.

Sometimes it doesn’t even take a good linear story-based game to affect someone, it’s also the little things, like the button mechanics. A game like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (the other versions suck) has really convenient and not too simplified parkour and combat mechanics and it honestly makes the whole game a joy to play.

I mean, the goal in AC is to be stealthy but if you’re playing for the thrill, fighting 10 guards head on will satiate that thirst.

But there’s a lot more beyond the game than just killing, believe me. If you’re skeptical, play one of the games I mentioned above otherwise you can leave now.

Photography = Time + Money

Photography is a really expensive hobby that you have to invest tons of hours into. I feel that people underestimate that, and aren’t prepared to go through those hardships. But then again, I don’t blame them. There is work, school, family basically life smacking you in the face. It sucks, and I don’t think you could ever claim yourself to be a true photographer because there are no standards like that (in my opinion).

Even the simplest of things can spiral out of control, like getting a good camera bag.

sees a really nice bag, finds out it’s £140. oh well. nevermind.