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Panzer III … Workhorse of the Wermacht #blog

November 26, 2016
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Challenger II… MBT #blog

November 1, 2016
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Excelsior… A smoother Churchill #blog

October 31, 2016
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Old Man Virtual Reality Bugbear

October 31, 2016

I remember the 1990s… back when Pterodactyls in 8 bit glory were rendered on incredibly heavy glasses at 10 frames per second, using Transputers to power this all and we all went wow… however we knew what we were looking at. We were looking at Virtual Reality – interacting with the environment into which we were placed.

Today we have improved the tech significantly and added new variations. Today we have Virtual Reality, Augmented (or mixed) Reality and 360 degree video. You don’t hear much about that last one because so many people mix it up with the first one. Many standards groups are now working on improving the tech to be used for deliverying video at sufficient detail level to high resolution glasses that a consumer would wear (sounds a lot like 3D…). However my bugbear is so many of these persons are mixing up things – they are not working on Virtual Reality (VR), they are working on immersive 360 degree video. Google/Youtube has this right, as their subsection of Youtube is called 360 Video and not Virtual Reality.

I cannot change the industry, but I can point it out – VR is about interaction with a virtual environment, not just watching something. AR is about interaction with virtual space overlaid on real life. And 360 Video is about watching something where you have full ability to rotate and look around. @vmccurley perfectly visualised this…

Victor Meldrew is alive in me.

Apple Innovation – really?

October 31, 2016

Apple Macbook Pro 2016I use pretty much every single type of device there is, from Android phone through Apple tablet, all the way to Windows 10 desktops and I have a lovely Apple Macbook Pro (early 2014). I adapt to pretty much everything, I am not aligned to one single tech or product range.

With my Macbook Pro, I have a nice compact, high quality piece of hardware that runs a Unix OS – something I wanted in my job as an engineer but I also wanted to be able to do all the normal things as well. It cost about 30% more than the equivalent PC hardware from say HP, Dell or Asus – and I mean equivalent right down to the screen resolution. It suits me and I really appreciate the little touches on the hardware from backlit keyboard, the large mousepad and the good battery life (always a big thing for me).

I was looking forward to seeing what the new refresh would bring, not sure what I was expecting, but we have received a touchbar, the change to USB-C and the removal of the SD-Card slot. The port changes were to be expected, although I would miss the nifty magsafe power adapter as that has been a really nice touch, but two things disappoint – the touchbar and the price.

The touchbar looks to me like an attempt to give touch functionality without admitting the need to introduce full touch screen features – something I do find useful. That touchbar as well seems to have pushed the price up – far beyond the adjustment from the Brexit exchange rate adjustments. The latest base Macbook pro is almost 50% above the price of the existing model. Let me say that again – 50% above the current price of a Laptop that was already 30% above the equivalent machine in the Windows world.

Oh my god is all I can say. The Macbook Pro is now 100% more expensive than an equivalent Windows machine. That cannot be ignored, and I predict that will actually be the case – consumers will see the price and go elsewhere.

M3 Stuart #blog

October 17, 2016
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The Deadly Sturmgeschutz IV … #blog

October 15, 2016
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