2012 UPDATES[Site updates are described here, but practically all "blog-like" activity is made through Twitter.]
October 17, 2012
For the first time in like... forever.. I modified the quicklinks on the front page.
Oh, and congrats to Sweden for the epic comback vs Germany in the WC qualifiers tonight. Best comeback since Liverpool in Istanbul 2005.
September 23, 2012
Oh man.. It's done, at long last..
My re-worked Photo gallery is now live. Enjoy.
September 17, 2012
Ye I know, news don't find their way down here often these days. I usually communicate through Twitter, but today is different. After several years of using the Gallery2 php plugin for my Photo Gallery, it's time to ditch it for something that looks a bit more modern.
I grew tired of the old gallery over a year ago which explains why there haven't been any new photos. I promise you it's not because I haven't been out shooting new stuff. In a very near future (we're talking days here ;-) I will release my completely reworked gallery. Announcements will be made here, Twitter and other social media. Cheers!
January 8, 2012
Things change, don't they? And yet, a lot of stuff stays the same. Ye, here is another "New Year blog", although a week or so late..
2011 was the first year since the very creation of this website where there was only one update posted in this section - and it was the New Years blog. I admit it, site seems to have taken it's final steps into oblivion, but to be honest, some stuff I would have written here before was simply done on Twitter.
So here's the classical "the way I saw it" -rundown of the year 2011.
I'm a guy that's genuinely interested in technology so there are always some memorable moments in a year full of announcements, product launches and such.. As always, the media was full of speculation about various would-be iPhone and iPad models, but in the end, some where left disappointed when instead of the highly hyped and anticipated iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S arrived, looking exactly as its predecessor featuring only internal tweaks. Ironically, the mixed reception of the 4S was just about the last thing Apples visionary man, Steve Jobs got to see before he passed away. R.I.P. Steve - you were never my idol - your "reality distortion field" (TM) made that impossible - but all my respect for your visions and ability to turn them into actual products that truly transformed the industry for ever.
Speaking of which.. In the last week of May 2011 I got my Samsung Galaxy S2 "iPhone-killer" phone (I gave up on my HTC Magic since I realized, HTC would never update it again. They blame it on lack of RAM - Fine, but 2-3 years later, HTC are still cheap on RAM in their phones, so apparently the lesson was not learned. Also - I learned my lesson, I bought my new phone unlocked and without a contract.). Now, the phrase "iPhone killer" gets thrown around a lot, but this time, it was for real. At the time of launch, the SGS2 really did manage to beat up iPhone4 - at least technology wise. For the first time since the launch of the original iPhone, there truly was an alternative device that was better that the iPhone in practically every respect. Of course, that stuff doesn't end with one launch. Now the cat is out of the box, and the battle will go on for a long time. But as proof of Samsung doing a little too good job, Apple launched what US companies are so good at when they no longer can compete with superior products alone - they sue.
I'm a fan of innovation and I understand the necessity to patent stuff that required some original R&D, however, I'm NOT a fan when patent wars reach absurd levels. Get over it Apple, the iPad design is not original. Digital picture frames looked like that well before the iPad. And how proud are you of the originality of the iOS5 notification system?
Alright, let's move on to some of my other favorite topics: Computer graphics. Just about as I wrote last year's New Years blog, I ordered a GeForce570 which has served me well, and that includes playing stuff like Crysis2 and Battlefield 3 on it. It also came to use when I played around a bit with the Octane GPU renderer which looks pretty promising.
The very recently announced Radeon 79xx from AMD/ATI looks like a pretty exciting piece of technology. It's been a while since a new GFX card got me excited, but the new Radeon generation have some very useful features that will help taking gaming and real time rendering to new heights (like 64-bit addressing, virtual memory support etc). As always, I look forward to nVidia's response. (And it will also be interesting to see if the trend of the PC dying as a gaming platform will lead to any significant changes in strategy for nVidia and AMD. nVidia already have a potent mobile chip-set, AMD need to think long and hard about where exactly they want to be in the future (hint: it looks mobile and cloudy ;-)
Ok, so here we are, it's 2012, the world should be coming to an end (it still might ;-) and yet, what's sitting there in my living room? Yep, the same old PS3. So Microsoft and Sony have milked this cow for a long time now, is 2012 the year when we see new consoles? Well, I don't know if we'll "see" something as in being able to buy and use it. But some announcements are likely - current rumors suggest there could be major announcements on this years E3 (That's in June).
So yes, there are the usual Xbox720 and PS4 rumors floating around and poor old Nintendo have their WiiU console on the horizon. Specs for that one are less of a secret though. It will end up more powerful that xbox360 and ps3, but considering those were released in about 2006, anything worse would be seriously sad. It's not that Nintendo couldn't produce produce a kick-ass hardware console if they wanted, they've clearly chosen another path. (One of cheap-ass consoles that don't break their bank :-) - it's well known that Sony and Microsoft don't make any money on the hardware at the beginning of a console's life cycle.)
All right then, I'm also a "photo enthusiast" so let me say a few things about that, ey? My dear old Canon 40D decided to break back in April, so I had to get a replacement so, the 60D was what I got. I did consider the 7D for a while, but decided that the 60D will be good enough for my needs.
So, despite the fact that there were no gallery updates the second half of 2011, it actually doesn't mean I didn't do any shooting. I did, I just didn't post it in the gallery because about half a year ago it was time for a major rebuild of my good(?) old(!) homepage. Yes, the base structure is over a decade old and with HTML5 growing stronger I thought it would be a good time to update everything (And, ye I did kind of announce this in last years blog). Including the Photo gallery (making it look fancy using jquery etc) but stuff like that takes time and discipline. As it turned out, I was short on both.
This brings us to the personal part of my life. The biggest event of the year, hands down, was me and my "sambo" (you english speaking folks need to invent a good word for that, but it means "girlfriend whom I live together with") buying a house together this fall (process took a few months). So yup, now I'm a house owner and so far so good. :-)
Anyhoo, buying a house and getting rid of old apartments, moving stuff, fixing stuff, buying new stuff etc AND about a month ago I also started on a new job after almost 6 years at my previous employer.... It takes up a lot of time, so other, less prioritized projects suffer of course (such as a total remake of my website).
What else.. Oh ye, this year's vacation was interesting, because it contained two marriages. Two of my close friends both got married in the summer in Macedonia (which I'd never visited before, so it was an interesting experience). We also took a trip to mainland Greece (always been on various islands on my previous trips to Greece) and did some hiking around Mt Olympos, visited holy Meteora etc. Also interesting stuff..
So anyway... in conclusion folks, as always, I wish you the best possible 2012! And just in case the world ends, make every day count, ey? :-)
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