IceCalibre has moved!

May 20, 2011 Comments Off on IceCalibre has moved!

Well, it’s official: IceCalibre blog is being retired. It’s been a good run – just a few months shy of three years in total.

Time for not only an upgrade but a brand new everything. Ground up. Terra nova.

I’m excited, for this allows for some grand new options and ultimately what I feel to be a better reading experience in the end. It’s somewhat bizarre to see the blog reader statistics go from thousands back down to mere tens, but it’ll grow soon enough. I hope to foster more of a personal approach, actively answering people’s questions in the comments or on Twitter (and as always, feel free to send email) so definitely, do those things – it’s nearly always guaranteed to make you more attractive to the opposite gender / more successful in life.

Without further ado, welcome! Welcome, young and old, to the brand new chocolate factory. Welcome, to blog Acrylo.

*cheers*

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Writing

May 12, 2011 Comments Off on Writing

!

This is going to be lengthy and probably poorly flowing, I understand if your attention span doesn’t make it past the end of the next sentence.

Ponies.

…that was a joke.

It’s interesting the thoughts people have on the new media. It’s also interesting they call it new media. Really, writing hasn’t changed all that much and Facebook and Twitter and all of these “new medias” are really just old media in a new medium and even then, not really. It’s still black text on a white page – although the white glows more nowadays.

But it’s interesting for me as someone who has grown up on the wave of all of this. I wasn’t quite young enough to grow up beside it, but I’m not old enough to remember times before it. I didn’t have a cell phone until a few years ago, and now you see pre-teens texting so I am older than that generation (not in the offspring sense as much as the 2.0 sense) of people. It’s funny that I watch old movies and see the typical teenage girl laying on her bed with her own phone talking for hours while not moving at all. As far as I’m concerned, I’d say mobile inter-connectivity is better for us. This past week I’ve logged at very least 50 km  walking / longboarding and enjoyed hours of beautiful spring-summer sun and fresh air, while never missing a beat with my friends if I was so inclined to include them in my adventure. I spent several hours in solitude, both physically and electronically as well, because that’s why I go out and explore; I really enjoy solitude.

I think people have it wrong, overall. I think they see the medium as the solution, be it good or bad, and I’m not sure any of that school of thought is correct. The stereotypical old people see it as this looming evil, standing over the world like a physical monster, devouring children. The stereotypical child is a happy king, seeing a world of information brought to them at the swipe of a finger. The stereotypical school board sees it as this overwhelming distraction and problem, and instead of admitting that the entire recorded history of the entire planet can be browsed within milliseconds they want to steamroll the same old same old lecturing techniques and call the students the problem.

I would suggest contrary. I would suggest that in fact it is a tool. Facebook is a tool, Twitter is a tool. They can be time sinks, perhaps, but so is sharpening a saw. In the end, they do a particular job that not much else in the world can. I won’t say it’s good or evil, I’m not fighting for the kids or the seniors because honestly, I don’t believe there deserves a fight at all. To do so would be like fighting over said saw: perhaps people have been killed by them. True. Perhaps they’ve done an excellent job cutting down trees to build houses. True. Perhaps cutting down trees with your bare hands is a ridiculous waste of time and needs to be updated. Humans need tools. Ultimately, it’s a little part of why we’re human in the first place.

This relates directly to brands:

Apple vs. Microsoft.

I say: Who cares?

They too are tools. They do different things. You can fight saw vs. axe all day (I guess the metaphor is sticking) but ultimately they’re just tools designed to do slightly different things. There is no right or wrong, there is no winner or loser or better or worse. Pick the one that does the job you need to do best. Duh!

Also: Sports teams. An even more useless battle because they don’t even accomplish anything.

Moral of the story, before this turns into a grand mal rant: Everything is a tool, stop fighting over trivialities and use the one that makes sense. Don’t judge others for the tool they use, natural selection should take care of that.

We live in a new world that’s sparkling and awesome. Don’t be stupid.

Natty Narwhal

May 1, 2011 § 5 Comments

My sunday was looking remarkably open and with the recent release of Linux Ubuntu’s 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ operating system I figured I could spend the morning being a nerd and test it out on an old hard drive I had laying around.

Thoughts and reactions: I’m not a Linux guy, really. So my comparisons to other forms of Ubuntu / other distros are virtually nil. From reading the great information superhighway it seems there is a great divide of opinion of those who have upgraded: hatred and indifference. I suppose I’d fall into the indifferent camp. The new Unity desktop is pretty cool, I do have to say; I found a few bugs in my first few minutes playing around but otherwise it seemed pretty solid and the integration of everything was really well done. I definitely appreciate the ability for them to make the OS so coherent (as opposed to Window’s and Mac’s relatively cobbled together assortment of apps running and things all kind of going on at once) and having the chat / email / date-time-calendar / media player all neatly tucked into the corner seemed like what Window’s little corner dock wants to be (and so it should!).

In the end it’ll never be my main OS simply because everything I have is on Windows and running WINE just to emulate the desktop I’m already using for a few upgrades to the UI seems really pointless. It is a shame, though, because those scrollbars really speak to my minimalist side.

I did some benchmarking with TM Nations and scored about 50-75% as good as the same thing running on Windows 7. I chalk the performance difference to the power required to emulate everything. Additionally, there were some ugly rendering issues in the game, not sure what caused them however.

Speaking of Trackmania, if you haven’t seen the new trailers for TM2 I highly suggest you look them up. I am so excited for that to come out!

Moral of the story: Windows is the worst OS, except for all the other operating systems I’ve tried. I use it because it does what I need.

Thanks to Bryan Veloso for the narwhal image above.

Lamborghini Aventador

April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, new Lambo out. Nothing particularly different or exciting here as far as design evolution goes, other than the dip just behind the front wheels is getting more and more Ferrari as time goes on to allow for increasingly thin windows to be used. Everything else seems predictable, the brand language is conveyed, they’re sticking with the angles and louvres and gaping intakes the Reventon liked so much…

But!

They messed up the hood. It’s hard to tell in the above photo but there are two lines coming from the front corner of those intakes and sweeping back towards the middle of the windshield wipers. I’ll draw a comparison:

It looks like a squirrel hoarding something in it’s cheeks.

It makes the car look obese.

Obesity is the least attractive thing for a sport car to look like.

So, love the car everywhere else and all. It probably has obscene amounts of unnecessary and mostly unusable power and it definitely has this promo video which is 105% awesome but that face! Ugh.

Comparison image sources: Lambo and baby.

Facebook Profile Photo Template

January 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

So you’ve probably seen this all over the internet already: on the new Facebook profiles you can make photos line up with your main profile picture to make a bigger picture.

That’s neat.

So, I made my own template .PSD with mask which means you can throw any photo into the layer folder there and it’ll automagically cut up and spit out 6 individual photos that you can load into Facebook and tag with your own name to show up on your profile.

You can find the .PSD file HERE.

All you have to do is when you save go to “Save for Web and Devices” instead and then define where you want the photos to go. It’ll make a folder to contain them. If you don’t prefer this you can disable it in the “save for web…” dialogue. This is the part that takes the slices and makes individual photos, so it’s required to work. Otherwise it’ll just save the big jpeg, like the photo above, which doesn’t help you.

I realize there are apps and stuff that will do the same thing, but since I hate installing sketchy little .exes and since I love the flexibility photoshop gives you, I prefer this solution.

Then, in Facebook, just upload the profile picture like you normally would and make a new album to house the other five, tagging yourself in them (and you can change the order around if it’s out of place.)

Also, you can spam other friends who have the profile by making five pictures and tagging them in it! I accept no liability for actions or harm against you.

Into New Eden

December 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Taken straight from EA’s Mirror’s Edge, which I mentioned time and again on this blog. It remains a constant inspiration for me from both a visual arts perspective and also as a 3D modelling goal.

The New Eden Mall is a level about halfway through the game and is predominantly yellow, with blue accents and the omnipresent black and white. For those of you who have played through, you know how fast this level goes despite the fantastic detail that went into the places you don’t even see (or aren’t supposed to go).

For example, the second and third last shots; the escalators and the angled glass window. It’s a four level atrium that is basically a pit full of gun wielding baddies that you run over on a glass catwalk platform and never see or go down into. I found a way. I died a lot to get a clean screenshot of a) me not all dead and such and b) said baddies not getting in the frame. So, despite serene appearances, things are bustling around me in the game.

From a game design point of view, I noticed they just put metal shutters over all the shop windows to avoid modelling and texturing extra things. Also, as a game device, the civilians don’t have much freedom, so I don’t think shopping would be similar to what we know it as. It’s easier just to not show any shops than explain these minor details.

Here, as with the rest of the game, all the plants are white. There really is no green, organic plant life in the game anywhere. A subtle metaphor for the fictional society, no doubt.

74/365 :: MackFai.com

March 22, 2010 § 4 Comments

It’s live!

Good friend and photographer, Mackenzie Fai just launched his new website, so… you should go and look at his work, which is wayyy better than mine.

See? He's happy. Click on the image to go to his site!

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