Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in gaming (7)

Monday
Jan262015

Finally, a Royal Flush

A progressive Royal Flush at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV.

After a Royal Flush draught, it's really nice to hit one. There are a number of things that I don't like about GSR — the lines, the parking — but there is a game there that's pretty cool. A progressive Double Double Bonus game.

Despite its high variance, I like playing this game. Maybe more than 10/6 DDB non-progressive. I like the mini-progressive jackpots for Aces, 2,3,4's — I like the excitement of four-of-a-kinds. It's also great that I've been really lucky playing this machine.

Without a four-of-a-kind (4oK), you could lose more than $100 per hour. At a minimum, a 4oK is worth $62.50. If it's a special 4oK (2's-4's, Aces, 2-4 w/ a kicker A-4, Aces w/ kicker), it's worth a minimum $100. The game is more exciting than grinding away to profit $2.50 to $5 at a time.

Unfortunately, the machine GSR uses for this game also has Blackjack and Keno on it, so people are often playing 5¢ Keno on a machine that gives me a good (albeit risky) game.

Yes, there are other places in town to play. But I've never been more lucky at a machine. I know that that luck will likely run out, but for today, despite my cold and broken car (I was rear-ended earlier in the month, still nothing from the insurance company USAA), things are okay.

Wednesday
Oct302013

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, Noteshelf and iPad mini

The iPad mini is one of life's pleasant surprises, and in November, Apple will release a 2048x1536 resolution Retina version. Super exciting! I use the mini for just about everything — except writing and serious art/design work. For whatever reason, the smaller screen cannot detect as fine a point as the full-size iPad, rendering some styli — such as the Hand stylus — practically unusable. Hopefully Apple has improved the touch sensor on the iPad mini with Retina display.

Though I've developed an aversion to writing on the mini, when I saw that Noteshelf supported the Wacom intuos Creative Stylus, I decided to give it a go. Results above. Not too bad, I think. It gives me hope for the new iPad mini.

So many pricy things release this year. XBOX ONE, Playstation 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, Mac Pro. That's about $6,000 without a 4K display, but still a technophile's dream. I wonder what will live up to the hype and what won't. I'm normally optimistic regarding Apple products, but I really don't like iOS7 and I'm not completely confident that the new iPads will be issue-free. I am hopeful, however... I want these tablets to be amazing.

The iPad Air is the device I'm currently most enthusiastic about. I started creating digital ink illustrations and it's been therapeutic and fun, and I'm starting to get decent results (I'll post some of it soon). I attribute at least part of that to the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus — it's incredible. I really hope Wacom works with app developers to get pressure sensitivity into more sketching tools, chiefly Paper (by FiftyThree) and Concepts: Smarter Sketching.

Im trying to get over a bit of a cold, but I'll try to post some art later this week. I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!

Friday
Mar022012

Free apps for $10,000 gift card!

Just in case you aren't aware, to celebrate 25 billion app downloads in its App Store, Apple is giving away a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Apple is very close to the goal. I don't think that their counter is totally accurate (apple.com). Anyway, because the 25 billionth app downloaded gets a lot of publicity, many publishers and developers are offering their apps for free.

How to find the best apps for you

I use an app called AppShopper. (AppStore link) There's also a website you can check out, AppShopper.com — they list new apps, price changes, and favorites. I use this app, and here's a tip. Don't download an app immediately after being notified of a price change. Wait a few minutes. If you attempt to download the app while it's being "updated," you will be unable to download the app for days. This has happened to be several times, and it required emailing Apple customer support to resolve the issue. Save yourself the trouble.

Currently there are dozens of amazing, highly-rated and popular apps offered for free. IGN posts a daily update on games, but there are also great deals on productivity, photo, social networking and news apps. See for yourself.

And good luck!

If you win the gift card, you can thank me by telling 10,000 people about my site. More art, design, and app reviews incoming. Says me.

Monday
Aug222011

Tablets... Game, yes. Work? Not so much.

Mo' blogging options, writing on the run

Even though the iPad market alone is worth like $20B (USD) and tablets are finally being taken seriously, even with millions of apps available on the App Store and Android Marketplace — with millions of people buying apps and downloads every second, still no one has released a decent (or better than) blogging app. There are serious gaps in mobile software.

Mobile gaming is different; there, there's at least six of everything. Anyone know exactly how many tower defense games are available for iOS? I've seen hundreds; maybe a few dozen great ones, twice as many good rip-offs of those great ones, and a plethora of crap. How many versions of Angry Birds do we need? Ten different racing games with the same cars, a dozen FPS offerings, hundreds of sudoku apps... seriously?!

Also, this micro-transaction, in-app purchases (IAP) business is frankly ridiculous — especially the pay-to-pwn model in certain games, such as Glu's Gun Bros. and its clones. The best items cost around $200 USD, and there's really no other way of getting those items other than spending cash. I understand the freemium model; make a game, offer it free, and people can pay for it in increments based on how much they enjoy it. Often, these games have no end, much like MMORPGs — the game is updated to add more, so to continue enjoying the game, players need to spend a few more dollars. Time management freemium games (farming games, building games, restaurant sims) usually offer some IAP that speeds up the process by offering instant gratification. "This plant will take 48 hours to grow, but for $2.50, you can have it now!" This is how hard-earned money is being blown spent.

Freemium is one thing, and some are fair enough that you can play without spending any money. But now there are premium games offering IAP "cheats." Example: Angry Birds offers an instant-win item for $0.99 — an Eagle that automatically clears any level. EA's Dead Space has a in-game store offering power node and credit pack IAPs.

The iPad is clearly a fantastic portable game console; dual processors, large multi-touch screen... there are Android devices with NVIDIA Tegra2 chips that have similar power. Beyond the toy factor, there are a lot of cool utilities and productivity apps. Also, mobile blogging has changed; people use the Facebook wall, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to share media. That is blogging, though people might not realize it.

There's a market for and a demand beyond casual, social network blogging, however. There are some decent writing utilities for the iPad and some blogging services have released apps (WordPress, Squarespace, LiveJournal), but many of these apps are problematic and lackluster. The Squarespace app is the most complete that I've used (for blogging), but still far from perfect. None of the apps take full advantage of the capabilities of the services and formats. For writing/word processing, Apple's Pages comes close. I could've used it for work far more often if the app supported vector graphics.

I was on the fringes of the Tablet PC community that existed prior to multitouch displays, iOS, Android, Vista and Windows 7. People had inkblogs and used slate and convertible Tablet PCs as primary work machines. On the few occasions that I interacted with some of the GottaBeMobile guys and other tablet enthusiasts, I got the distinct impression that for some, the slate wasn't a passing trend, it was the Grail.

The iPad is my primary computing device. The iPhone 4 has filled my portable point-and-shoot camera desire. With the right software, the iPad could replace notebook computers; it's fast, has front and rear-facing cameras, wireless internet, decent memory and capacity, a good screen and keyboard support. Of all things, it's the apps (and lack of) that retard it.

Mail supports HTML, but it's only usable via copy/paste. The email editor is weak. Safari is restricted to nine windows as a form of tabbed browsing; this might have something to do with memory, but the iPad can run Infinity Blade and Safari with nine pages.

There are some great iOS apps; I've shared and reviewed a few, and with time, I hope this rant becomes irrelevant. ThinkBook is phenomenal, and I'm enjoying Writing Kit, Daedalus, Day One, iA Writer, Penultimate, Wunderlist and Idea Store. Evernote and Dropbox also work well, despite iOS limitations. I can do just about everything on the iPad... but where's Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator for iPad? Where's ecto or MarsEdit, Scrivener or Storymill? Where are the programming tools and font designers? Where's Firefox?!

It's great that the tablet market has made it possible for two-man teams to create and sell apps... I just hope some established developers start taking these devices seriously for something other than gaming.

Thursday
Jun102010

What a race!

Over the past few weeks, my life has been project after project,

With no time to relax. I'm not complaining — not really — because it's been good. I've been in a position to help some friends get things done while simultaneously making some money. Altogether, not bad.

I haven't had much downtime, however — no time to relax. With a disability, that's a bad thing. Yesterday I was really run down.

A perfect storm.

I was struck with medication side-effects, heartburn — extremely intense, despite taking acid reducers, and I had a horrible stomach ache plus a head-splitting migraine. It was my intention to meet with a friend for dinner and a chat — but I wasn't in a reasonable condition.

Fortunately, with some rest, I started to feel better... a few hours ago. I'm still being cautious about what I do and specifically, what I eat. I've been watching Star Trek and I played some Red Dead Redemption (awesome game). I managed to get some work done as well.

It's during these gaming sessions, while relaxing, when I come up with many of my ideas. I've been thinking a lot about blogging/writing and my websites, and i'm thinking about using Disqus for comments here. Squarespace's default system just isn't working for me. I don't get email notification when new comments are posted, and I don't understand the spam filter.

Video games are fun with friends!

I'm excited about co-op gaming: Red Dead Redemption will have multiplayer missions soon, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Sony PSP) was entirely designed with co-op play in-mind and at-heart. If you have a PS3 and/or PSP, please let me know.

Yes, this post is random. It's early in the morning and I'm in a lot of pain still. Later I'll post about my project for San Francisco magician Peter Morrison and his show at The Marrakech Magic Theater (located near Union Square)...

and the upcoming Starcraft II launch event here in the bay area!

Thursday
Jun032010

Starcraft II

I'm delighted to be officially involved in an awesome celebration of a truly epic event — the launch of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty.

More information about this will be available in the coming weeks. The past few months have been incredible, and despite pain and disability, I haven't felt better in a long time.

Last, feel free to post questions at formspring.me/bradtastic — I'll answer actual questions, and if your question is particularly interesting, you'll win a prize (assuming you don't ask anonymously)! [I've gotten a lot of lame posts; people seem to treat the page as a wall, like Facebook, instead of a Q&A.]

Friday
Dec042009

Topical leads to seriousness

I’ve been chatting with Daniel — a “student” of mine — while playing some Borderlands (2K Games’ masterwork RPS — role-playing shooter); he’s figured-out, over this year, that his serious interests involve writing. His love of videogames is a natural outlet, and hopefully, writing about games (or for them?) can become a career for him.

As some readers of mine might remember, I’ve wanted to write about games for some time. I dabble in it, from time-to-time, usually at Gamespot. I tried making a dedicated gaming blog, but never could make enough free-time to pick up the necessary momentum to carry the project along.

I might have another chance now… and an opportunity to do things differently.

In discussing videogame reviews, one facet stood apart — particularly interesting to me — the nature of trust. People generally read reviews to accumulate more information, to make a better decision. However, if the reader doesn’t trust the reviewer, the review won’t mean much — that’s if it’s even read!

Why should anyone trust a review? How can we assess whether or not the author shares similar views, has similar tastes?

At the time, I didn’t think of this thought-trajectory as being particularly-profound, but it lead me to new findings, new ideas and concepts. Free-association, mixed with a bit of luck, I suppose. 

I’ve decided on a few fixes; I thought about what makes me trust a review — and the reviewer, what I think when we don’t share the same tastes, and what makes me come back for more. I also thought about Bradloves and Bradtastic.com, and the future. Indeed, 2010 looks like a turn-around year.

Before I get back to work, I thought I’d mention quickly: I’ve been told that I’m hard to shop for, get gifts for. That’s not at all true. At my Links page, I have two wish lists (so far) — each with gifts ranging the gamut. If you don’t have lists of your own, you should think about making one (or five)!