10 words the iPhone made up

29 October 2009

In my time owning an iPhone I’ve bitched and ranted, jailbroken, tethered, updated and created, replaced and misplaced it.  I’ve also typed a lot of messages on it, and sometimes the built in dictionary suggests some pretty strange corrections.

While I certainly can’t say I’m the most grammatically correct SMS writer, I certainly expect my dictionary to be.  But here are 10 suggestions the iPhone has made that I’m pretty sure aren’t actually words at all:

Suggestion

What I was trying to write

huerta David Guetta
Astarte Astaroth
Wyes Wyrd Sisters
UNO uni
arco arvo
Ader Acer
Thad Thas okay
kees I keed, I keed
Nuffield fair nuff
silip Soulja Boy*

* (not me, a friend was typing that one in.  Honest!)

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Inputs and Outputs

23 October 2009

A good friend and mentor of mine has convinced me to try  a suggestion of his to “get creative”.  I, in turn, convinced a good friend of mine to join me in the challenge.  Hopefully this is going to make quite a change to the way I view and discuss things – especially here on my well-hidden little blog :)

The basic idea is this: Get right-brained.
Every day I spend at work is a day I’m programming and thinking in the logical, problem-solving part of my mind – the left-side of the brain.  While this works fine for coding, social interaction is a creative activity – it uses the right-side of the brain – and trying to delve into an interesting conversation after a day of coding can range anywhere from difficult, to impossible for me to embrace.

So, to help me be something more of a social animal – I need to get some practice in right-braininess: get the creative juices of my mind flowing, as it were.  To do this, I need to differentiate between inputs and outputs in my life.DominicProcopio_Wxfield_base_switchboard_1955__2_

Inputs are essentially anything which I absorb, watch, view or somehow experience in a passive way.  TV, movies, video games*,  fiction books, browsing the interweb and listening to boring people talk are all inputs.  Inputs are good for expanding knowledge, awareness and understanding.  But they do nothing to help me understand myself or to create new things.

Outputs, on the other hand, are things I have an active hand in.  They include things that I can create directly: painting, blogging, writing, journaling, sketching – or in my case, stick-figure doodling :).  They also include things where I’m expressing or using my body somehow, such as exercise, dancing, jogging, singing, talking to people etc.

Inputs let me understand the world – outputs let me understand myself.  So over the next 2 weeks myself and my awesome friend will be doing the “Input-matching challenge”: for every input we give ourselves, we’ll create an output to match it.  If it’s a book, TV show, video game etc – we write a review.  If it’s knowledge (*ahem*Wikipedia-whore*ahem*), we journal it.  We can offset it with anything from singing, to swing dancing, to writing, to larking about in our underpants.  It’s just gotta be an output.

Wish us luck!

* Sure, games are interactive, but the player interacts as a character, in a designers world, following a scripted storyline etc.  Almost all (that I know of) are escapist and therefore not a proper output – in fact, that’s half the reason they’re fun :)

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I recently went through the process of installing MacOSX on my Dell Studio laptop, eventually (with much swearing) getting a Dual-Boot system with Vista and OSX running.  Along the way I ran into some problems and their respective solutions, which I’ll list here:

Problem: Starting up from the OSX CD was freezing or only booting sometimes, and when it did work I couldn’t see my hard drive to install on.

Solution: The version of OSX install I was using (iDeneb 1.5) had an issue with AHCI SATA – setting the SATA mode in the BIOS to ATA (or IDE or whatever isn’t AHCI) fixed this quite nicely, and from what I read it should be possible to switch it back after installation (which is good because Vista wouldn’t work without the AHCI setting).

Problem: Once OSX was installed, the computer hung on a blinking underscore and wouldn’t boot anything.

Solution: The blinking underscore happens because the system can’t find a valid bootloader.  The OSX install over-rode Vista’s bootloader, but then didn’t actually install its own.  My solution was to stop trying to use iDeneb and switch to a different OSX86 release.  Booting into Vista and replacing the boot file on the Mac drive with a Chameleon or EFI release probably would have worked too.

Problem: I’ve given up on iDeneb and want to go back to Vista, but there’s no bootloader

Solution:  Getting the Vista bootloader back requires the Recovery Console (from a Vista Install disc go to Repair My Installation and skip all the Wizard crap).  Then in the recovery console type:

bootrec /fixmbr

To fix the master boot record, then

bootrec /fixboot

To fix the boot partition.  In my case, the /fixboot command returned an error, which turned out to be because the OSX install had also made my other partition the active one.  So in the recovery console type

diskpart

Then use the following commands to find your Vista partition and make it active again

list disk
select disk 0

(in my case it was 0)

list partition
select partition 2

(again, in my case)

detail partition 

(this showed the partition was marked as Active:no)

active
exit

After these steps the bootrec /fixboot worked successfully and the system booted into Vista without problems.

Problem: OSX installs and boots (finally!), but only into a White Screen of Death with the cursor smeared across the screen like a hot girl in a Saw movie

Solution: ATI drivers are baadfood when it comes to the Mobility HD 4570 in my particular model of Dell Studio 15.  Deleting the ATI driver Kernel Extensions (kexts) from System/Library/Extensions on the max drive forced software rendering, which I’m happy with at the moment.

Most of these instructions should also apply for Windows 7 systems.  I recommend downloading and installing EasyBCD to run a dual-boot system using the Vista bootloader.  It’ll also give you a much easier way to restore the Vista bootloader if you’re luckier than I was and OSX installs successfully.

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On styling and sauces

8 October 2009

This post is really sort of a rehash of a conversation I had with a friend the other day.  I’ve recently become somewhat enamoured with the idea of a raw food diet.  That is, making sure as much of a  picture from http://healing.about.com/od/healernetwork/ig/Pictorial-Site-Index/Raw-Food-Diet.htmmeal as possible is uncooked fruit, veg, bran, wheat etc.  Obviously the two main issues with this diet are meat and white bread – two of my favourite cooked foods!  So I excuse them, because not eating meat is just stupid, and white bread tastes nice (and wheat bread tastes like sucking on sand).  And to any vegans I may have just insulted by claiming not eating meat is stupid, I apologise: I’m sorry that you’re stupid :)

So while I’m happily munching away on my raw carrots, lettuce etc (with a nicely grilled steak on the side), my friend heads out to a 10 course degustation dinner for two (all expenses courtesy of his work the lucky bastard).  And it makes me think: it’s all well and good to be reverting to hunter-gatherer cuisine Bear Grylls-style, but then what has been the point of the last several hundred years of evolution in our cooking abilities.  As far as I remember, Fred Flintstone never had a George Foreman grill.  And as I’m a firm believer in there not being such a thing as a step backwards, I set myself to musing to how to integrate these two ideas.

What I decided on was that flashy cooking is like styling a basic in dancing.  It’s fun, it’s showy, it adds something unique – but only if image from http://euro-quest.tripod.com/prague_swing_lindy_hop_dance_classes/ you don’t do it every time.  If a styled basic becomes your default it doesn’t look cool anymore, it looks like you’re a retard that can’t dance a basic properly.  If you keep always styling your basics, you end up being confusing and unpredictable.  But if you have a clean basic and throw a style in every now and again, it creates this ‘WOW’ factor.  Flashy cooking is like that.  Things like sauces, char-grilled vegetables, cheeseburgers, cabanossi and degustation menus – those sorts of things that couldn’t possibly count as a part of every healthy hunter-gatherer’s food sources – they’re styling.  Always eating cheeseburgers trains your body to be shit at digesting stuff (no pun intended).  Always cooking in strange and different ways (like I’ve been doing most of my life) throws your body’s energy levels into confusing and your sleep cycles all over the place.  But with a clean basic – raw food and meat – then adding all these extras every now and again is fantastic.

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