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 personal (14)

Tuesday
May052015

Status Update

Hey everyone.

Thanks for checking out my little blog here. I know it’s been extremely neglected; honestly, I’m just not into technology like I was.

Part of that is changes in my personal life, but a big portion of that is that I feel like new technologies just aren’t revolutionary anymore. Some software is pretty good, but the hardware just doesn’t feel life altering anymore.

The iPhone and iPad were both life-altering for me, but new iterations and the new unstable iOS just haven’t impressed me. I don’t see anything out today that would make a significant change in my life. Some of the stuff on the horizon looks very promising to me… unfortunately, nothing from Apple is on that list. It really feels like the magic died with Steve.

Prior to the first iPhone, I switched from a Palm Treo to a candy bar Sanyo phone without a camera or games because it was super light and had a substantial talk time. I was still using landlines as well. The iPhone changed so much for me.

The original iPad seemed like a uselessly large iPod Touch — damn was I wrong about that. The iPad affected how I interact with the internet and create art. It changed how I dealt with emails and allowed me to connect with people even when I was extremely sick (months).

The first capacitive styluses (styli?) revolutionized art creation for me, and the pressure sensitive ones doubled my tablet drawing abilities. The new ones are exciting, but they just don’t seem leaps and bounds better. Each has tried to be an improvement, but reports of accuracy issues plague each. I know what my Intuos Creative Stylus (one) and Pencil can do, how they’ll perform, and I know that they’ll perform accurately. Assuming my iPad works. (More on that in a bit.) I don’t know that about the new stuff, and it just doesn’t seem worth the gamble. (I live in Reno, NV — there are other ways to do that.)

The MacBook Pro Retina put power and a fantastic screen onto my lap. Light, fast and sleek, it was a nearly perfect notebook for me — something that was a true desktop replacement.

The new stuff doesn’t strike a spark with me. Faster? Yes. Better in-general? Of course. Dynamically different? Hardly.

The Apple Watch? Maybe after a few generations. It’s nothing that I need or even really want. For a few days I thought that it would be fantastic, but I don’t see what it’d do for me that my iPhone 5S doesn’t already cover. It’d just weigh down my wrist.

Perhaps if iOS performed better for me, I’d have more faith in the Watch software. Each iOS iteration seems to make older Apple devices perform worse. My phone locks up, lags and crashes almost every day. My iPad? Nearly nonfunctional. Perhaps that’s how they’re going to convince me to buy a new one come Fall. The old one will just freeze up on the lock screen and won’t allow me to draw; so I’ll be forced to upgrade. That’s pretty shitty.

The only Apple technology that I’m somewhat interested in at the moment is a (possible) new Apple TV. Why? Because mine (current ten) crashes a lot while watching Netflix and Hulu. Again, a shitty reason to upgrade: because you have to — the current one stops working.

Not done with blogging.

So I’ve been writing about other things, controversial things. Political and social things. Everyone will admit that America and the rest of the world has serious problems, but people vehemently disagree on how to solve them. Heck, people don’t even agree on what the problems are.

I expect that when I start posting this stuff in earnest, it will have to be at a different site, it will draw out trolls and disgusting comments, death threats and the like. My intention is to stimulate honest dialogue and debate on issues, and I hope to get some of (or mostly) that, but people have a tendency to say awful and evil things on the internet.

It’s really just an exaggerated form of what’s happening in the “mainstream media” (TV, major news sites); more insults and rhetoric than reasoned debate and solutions. I expect (and appreciate) that from regular people (if there is such a kind) pundits, not politicians. Opinion pieces should be challenged by other opinions, and solutions should be challenged by alternative solutions — but that’s not really what’s happening.

I intend to try and offer both. I don’t see much point in saying, “well, that policy won’t work,” if it isn’t followed by “here’s what will.”

It takes a lot of time and research to formulate a cohesive and coherent commentary; creative viable alternatives to current proposals is tremendously more challenging.

It will take time and practice; I don’t expect my early works to be gems. I’ll probably make new enemies, but I think it’s worth it — and maybe I’ll make a few new friends.

And I’ll still write about technologies when something comes up.

Friday
Mar282014

Nevada Update!

Hey everyone! I am almost completely settled in my new state!

So far, so good. But I haven't had much time or energy for fun things like blogging. I've been keeping notes about things that I want to write about, but I also have about 60 unpacked boxes. There were some things broken and seemingly, some things missing.

But all around, things are great here! The people are nice. There's some issues with the unit I'm in, though. Right now I also have a crazy number of seats. My two bedroom can seat 30 people. And I'm still missing two chairs.

So almost completely settled really means, I'm almost able to never go back to Oakland.

I need to go back a few times maybe to take care of some issues, but after that, if I go to the Golden State it will be for vaykay. People have been dissing Reno, but they're all crazy. Reno is awesome. It has everything I liked in the Bay Area, plus more, and all within a ten mile radius.

Reno people consider half-hour commutes to be too long. As a Bay Area native, it makes me laugh every time I hear it, because it's said without sarcasm. That's the pace and style here. And I like it. Because I hate traffic.

I should have more time to blog in April — hopefully I'll have my desk chair back by then. I have two kickass desks in my office now.

I'm much happier here. Hope things are going well for you!

Sunday
Mar232014

Bradtastic, now in Nevada!

Thanks, but no thanks, Bay Area!

I'm finally out of California, but I'm still working on getting settled. My new place is pretty nice, especially for the price! No more luxe high rise photos and fireworks shows, however.

But, I am right next to a nice looking river! It's peaceful here.

I will be writing again when my little office is setup. Right now there are still tons of boxes to unpack!

Hope all is well with everyone!

Sunday
Feb232014

So now I'm dealing with BS!

 

So I haven't been able to do much of the writing that I've wanted to do (like stuff for this blog) because all of my time has been consumed by bullshit dealing with Park Bellevue Tower and its big fat asshole manager Mark Cherrington. He's an idiot, too, so it's not really that bad. But he's been on a power-trip as long as I've known him, and I'm tired of pretending that everything is okay.

But I thought I would share something very enlightening, an episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit on recycling. It's amazing, the lies that we've been fed and never questioned. Like, get this: (at least in the US) buying and using paper isn't killing our forests — we have more trees in the US now versus 100 years ago. Using paper might kill a tree, but a new tree is planted in its place! And recycling paper creates a nasty byproduct of sludgy bleach. Also, we aren't running out of space for our trash. Check out the video!

Recycle your aluminum cans, though. And make sure you get paid for it!

Hope to get back to the fun tech stuff soon.

Thursday
Feb062014

Ghost Writing — and Blogging

More thoughts at my Ghostify blog, Bradtastica!

I’m really looking forward to the release of version 0.5 — but until then, it’s fun playing around with something simple, clean and brand-new. If you’re a handlebars.js expert, maybe you can point me in the right direction; I’d like to create my own theme someday, but right now I’m just trying to change the way the basic theme, Casper, displays excerpts.

Looking forward to again having the time and energy to create great iOS-related content.

Monday
Jan062014

Says Brad 2014!

Happy New Year! I’m excited about 2014.

2013 didn’t start well for me. I was sick throughout. I feel like I didn’t get much of anything done, like it was a lost year. Looking back at 2013, it feels like it went by before I realized it but simultaneously, it didn’t feel quick. Time feels quite different when you’re sick, and I was sick for probably more than half of the year, including the final weeks of December.

This year will bring more significant changes. I’m going to move out of California! That’s an exciting thing for me; a chance for a new beginning, to meet new people, and find new opportunities to learn, grow, and hopefully work. I’m hopeful that November’s mid-term elections will signal a shift in America as well, and I’m making every effort to get my political site up and running as quickly as possible to share some of my libertarian conservative ideas, specifically regarding controversial topics such as gay marriage and abortion. Far too often, people steer conversation away from these serious matters toward the mundane and inconsequential, all in effort to keep peace and to not offend. I think this is usually done with good intentions, I just don’t think it’s a feasible long-term solution, and has aided in alienating people and polarizing the country in ways I’ve never seen before in my life.

But enough of the serious and personal, onto Says Brad!

For about a month, I’ve been writing exclusively in Markdown, and I’m thrilled with this change. Two critical components that’ve made this pain-free and pleasurable: Daedalus Touch (universal iOS) + *Ulysses III* (Mac), and Byword** (universal iOS, Mac).

Ulysses III is so good that while I’m working on a full review, I’ve spent enough time with it to know — it’s indispensable for anyone interested in a fluid, natural, comprehensive and beautiful writing/note-taking environment. (That it syncs automatically with Daedalus Touch via iCloud is a huge bonus.)

I’ve never used a more beautiful writing app… or had as much fun. Ulysses III inspires me to write more, and helps keep me organized and efficient with everything neatly in one place, sans messy file folders and miscellaneous doc names.

Byword is a fantastic markdown/rich text editor that I’ve written about before, but I really only use it on my iPad and iPhone right now because it includes a markdown preview and live, in-line styling — and Daedalus doesn’t. It’s also possible to post to blogs from within Byword, but it’s an IAP priced at $4.99. I’d use it if it were included. (Having communicated with Daedalus/Ulysses debs, The Soulmen, I’m confident that Daedalus Touch will include these things in the future. If you have an iOS device, there’s no reason not to try Daedalus, as it’s now freemium.)

Switching to markdown has helped me to focus on content and forget about formatting. The text is clean and readable, links can be added in as reference-style footnotes, and words can be emphasized and emboldened without ever using brackets or clicking a toggle.

Blogging, 2014

Over a decade ago, I was happily posting to Livejournal without a care or concern for the underlying technology or the longevity of the platform. As a teenager, I just didn’t think about those things. This changed when a Livejournal admin censored me. I hadn’t been posting as frequently and had just undergone surgery to fix my shoulder (bad idea), and didn’t realize that they’d contacted me by email, instructing me to self-censor and remove someone’s full name. As I hadn’t replied, my site was shut down.

It wasn’t just that my content was pulled from public view. I was locked out.

My account had been suspended for violating one of their rules. I was cut off from my own writing, years of work, completely unavailable. I was lucky; able to save my site, discovering what had happened before my account was permanently closed, but the process alerted me to the fact that my content was not my own.

I decided that I was done with LJ. I didn’t like the fact that someone could put extra restrictions on my content and that those rules could change at any time, that I could lose my writing. Since then, I’ve been very concerned about terms of service and content restrictions and ownership. I used WordPress for several years and then stumbled upon Squarespace, and although I’m presently (mostly) happy with the service, I’m always looking at alternatives.

I think that both WordPress and Squarespace do a remarkable job at managing a full-featured website, but lately, I’ve been intrigued by the “just blogging” platforms like Ghost. I’ve been testing different services: Roon, Posthaven, Silvrback… I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on these services and hope that I can help someone pick his/her best fit blogging platform.

More in 2014

In the coming months, I’ll be adding reader-requested reviews of styluses, including a more-detailed review of Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and thoughts on Pencil by FiftyThree. Also, some app devs have graciously provided copies of their apps for me to try and write about, so I’ll have that upcoming as well. I’m excited about another year of cool technology and discussing these things with you! (The latest Apple rumor is about an iPad Pro iOS/OSX hybrid device — I really hope that it’s Penabled, wouldn’t that be something?!)

In the interim, if you want to chat, send me a message at Twitter or Facebook! I hope you have a great year!

Sunday
Dec082013

Black Friday Thoughts

Note: began this entry last week. Been exhausted. :-(

Thanksgiving was the day after dinner with my parents, so I was pretty tired. We started to say what we were all thankful for but the conversation sidetracked, and never refocused. With the FLOTUS' suggestion in mind, we spoke about ObamaCare and politics... but I won't get into that here and now. I'm truly thankful for two wonderfully supportive parents and the relationship I have with my family now. Also, although we give each other a hard time, Stephanie does a good job taking care of me and reminding me to eat. I forget about that sometimes when I get involved in a project or, well, sleep.

It hasn't always been easy or fun, but I don't think I could get by without them and their support. Disability really sucks like that. Thank you. And a shoutout and thanks to all of the wonderful internet people — hopefully you know who you are. Your generosity, kindness and encouragement, thoughts and prayers are cherished and appreciated. I hope you have a great, merry Christmas! (...and a happy New Year!)

Now to Mainstream Sheeple Consumer (yes, very bleak—err, black) Friday thoughts.

I really miss Steve Jobs.

Mostly in an abstract way; it's not like I knew him personally, but insofar as a man (or woman) can be known by their great works and contributions, it pains me greatly that his direction and insight is no longer a constant.

Although Apple might honor and carry his legacy through their refinements and further developments of his breakthrough products, they've lost their prodigal navigator and are thusly adrift. It's impossible for me to know whether or not Steve would've allowed the iPad mini to exist, but I cannot fathom his acceptance of iOS7 on it.

Some people claim to run iOS7 just fine on first-gen minis. Many others, myself clearly included, believe that the tablet is just too slow for it. It's clunky. Glitchy. It crashes and lags.

It's ruined the mini experience for me. The mini was my favorite tablet, one of my favorite things, even with the iPad2-like specs and unimpressive screen. It gave me the iPad experience that I love on a device that I could use all day — the iPad 3 is just too heavy to hold up for hours. With iOS6, the mini was quick and stable.

It allowed me to create.

iOS7 was deliberately designed to be sleek and minimal — two qualities I don't have an issue with — however, it feels like style over substance. Over-engineered, unavoidable. Apple won't let dissatisfied users go back to 6, and even pushed the update install to devices. It seems like a marketing tactic to throw out at keynote speeches. Almost all of our users are on the latest version of iOS, while Android devices are split between...

Compounding my tablet frustrations are blogging woes.

Squarespace 5 has started getting hit with referral-link spam. At first it was maybe a few a week, then a few a day, now maybe a dozen per day. This nuisance isn't easy to take care of on an iPad, and has obscured legitimate comments, emails, questions... I've got to do something about it.

Sorry for the trouble here but I'll be happy to assist you. We will continue to maintain Squarespace 5 for customers. However, updates and apps that are released in the future will be geared toward the Squarespace 6 platform. – Squarespace Customer Care response

So it looks like I'm blogging on an obsolete platform. Simply move to their Squarespace 6? And perhaps in a few years, they'll grow tired of that, release version 7, and cut support/updates for 6.

I get that things progress and change is necessary for business, but because the systems are incompatible and there's no automatic 5 to 6 conversion tool, it's extra stress that I don't want.

So I've been looking into alternatives. I found two articles particularly informative.

I'd like to focus more on long form content and less on blog design; unfortunately, so many "blogging platforms" (CMS) are setup for full-site management and treat the blog as a secondary item and focus.

Perhaps more importantly (at minimum, of equal importance) is sustainability — Internet immortality. Permanent links. Link rot sucks. Importing and exporting content sucks — there's always loss and errors. That makes something like Posthaven — at least at face-value — very attractive. Their promise, for $5/month is a service that will last forever. I blogged at Vox, played with Pownce, tweeted at Jaiku, shared with Posterous — all gone.

I think my only real reservation with Posthaven at the moment is that I don't like the look, and it seems like there's no choice with that. No templates or themes, or CSS or whatever. Just pure, simple blog — take it or leave it. I don't think it's attractive or very usable. On their site, they indicate that custom design is something that they're working on implementing, so I'll have to keep an eye on it. If you use Posthaven, I'd love to know what you think of it, and how it compares to similar blog only services (like Medium, Ghost, Postagon, Roon, etc).

And then there's this: Web Design is 95% Typography – Information Architects — thoughts from the genius Oliver Reichenstein. I've read his thoughts on typography (I love typography and handwriting), and agree with most of it. It's particularly true for this blog, since I tend to post fewer, write longer (instead of many/short). This theme just looks bad with big type. If only I could work on it from my iPad.

I'm not good with code. I know a bit — enough to understand it when I see it, but I can't use code like I use a pencil (or stylus). I can't wield CSS as a design weapon, and that limits what I can customize on my own. If only I had more time, more years of life.

Squarespace (like many other visually fancy UIs) is difficult to modify on a tablet. There are a lot of JavaScript effects and overlays, menus and some drag-and-drop. Stuff mobile Safari doesn't do well (at least as Squarespace has coded it — I've seen some neat interactive HTML5 stuff on iPad, like FiftyThree's site). I really think that they could do away with all that or offer an in-app option, but alas, the limitations of small company. And they're based out of New York — not my first pick for a business.

My goal, of I can ever manage it, is to write about the tech, games and design that I love, disability and pain management, and politics (local, national, international). I believe that it's important to our first amendment and culture to express controversial and perhaps unpopular opinions, always remaining truthful and forthright. I don't like political correctness and white lies, and I don't want to live in a world where government tells me what I can buy, where I can go, whether or not I can own a gun, airplane or anything else. I don't want to live in a world where creativity and ingenuity is stifled and suffocated under the burdens of taxes, regulations, penalties, local, state and federal ordinances requiring prior authorization and approval, etc...

...but I really, really don't like all the public insults, flame wars, death threats, obscenities and personal attacks hurled at strangers online and elsewhere in our society today. There's an awful tension and hostility and a lot of hate — so I plan on contributing to debates without attacking others or responding to personal insults. I won't instigate persecution and I will report threats (and hate speech, where applicable), because it isn't right or productive. We do not have the right to never be offended, but we do have protection against battery, libel and slander. I encourage debates where people vigorously defend their positions and say "you're wrong," but I condemn the "you're an idiot and you should die" that seems to occur online with alarming frequency. Liberal or conservative, it doesn't matter who's saying it — this type of attack is wrong, and if I see or hear it in the mainstream media or popular blogs, I'll flag it — because I think character is important and people need to be aware of it.

In my experience, the racism, discrimination and flaming comes from:

  • people with an intellectually, factually indefensible position — perhaps thusly, they believe that their only option is to end discussion entirely or redirect it from information and ideology to personal attacks,

people so arrogant and/or narrow-minded that they believe that there's no possible way that they can be wrong; thus they are unwilling to even hear or entertain the opposing argument or view — and often in anger, shut down civilized discourse with disdain, using statements ranging from cynicism and snide remarks to outright vile hostility and threats of violence.

Sometimes it's difficult to contain anger, I understand that. But even if someone is wrong — stubbornly so — it would be far better to simply withdraw from dialogue than resort to conversational (or actual) thuggery.

So in the spirit of American Christmas, those are my stresses, wishes and cold-weather! winter worries. And now that I've shared them,

I can get back to blogging about fun stuff like iPad styluses and the joys of iPhone 5S. PLUS: why I won't ever switch from iOS to Android, and why I simultaneously want Android to always be awesome!

Happy December!

Saturday
Nov232013

The iPhone 5S is superb! Makes me want...

My view of Lake Merritt; Oakland, CA

Several days ago, I received an amazing gift — a new phone. For many reasons, I'd held off upgrading, leaving me with an iPhone 4. After years of use, it wasn't in great shape. Physically unscathed (mostly), but the battery life was seriously reduced and the device was just sluggish. After a lackluster experience with iOS7 on my iPad mini, I decided not to "upgrade" to it, but that didn't stop Apple from pushing the download to my phone and insisting the 4 could run it.

Because my iPad mini crashes constantly and is plagued with sluggish typing and random lag, I was skeptical about iOS7 in general. I'd no doubt that the new A7 was fast enough to handle it — my concern was with stability.

Crashing a game is one thing; crashing an art project and losing work, perhaps an hour of progress — that's entirely different. I'd lost sketches, vector work, notes, writing... it's destroyed the once beautiful iPad mini experience for me and I've been using the iPad 3 for basic things instead, just to get away from iOS7. I like the old notifications with the share widget. I don't mind the brushed metal and linen look.

Because of the iPhone 5S, I no longer hate iOS7 and can see the potential of a new iPad.

 

I read Anandtech's iPad Air review, and I'm super excited now. I can imagine working on the new tablet, switching between apps, browsing the web with more tabs, music playing on the device, Siri offering guidance... a bunch of things that I can't cleanly do on the iPad mini (non-retina). But I can on the iPhone 5S.

I can actually work on the iPhone 5S, multitask, read, write... it's more impressive than when I moved from iPhone 3GS to 4. At first, I thought my phone was defective because colors seemed really yellow and warm, and the pixels were clearly visible to me. For awhile I neurotically compared the iPhone 4 screen to the 5S — and then it dawned on me that the pixels are more obscure on the 4 because the capacitive layer sits above the LCD panel. The 5S' is built with the screen. Instead of glass > glue > capacitive touch > glue > LCD, it's glass > glue > screen. The colors appeared warm because my iPhone 4 was incredibly cool and inaccurate.

So far I have no complaints. The phone does what I want it to do. I can write, read and draw on it, talk on it, video chat, and take really nice photos. The image above was a quick snap from yesterday, unedited. I'm looking forward to finding new ways to be more creative with the 5S.

Perhaps the biggest thing is that I'm now really excited about new iPads. I'm still unable to decide between the models. I love the mini due to its lightweight frame and comfortable shape, but I like the retina display for art and design. Now the mini has the retina display so it should be a simple choice, but the large 9.7" iPad now has a lightweight, nice (mini-style) shape! The Anandtech reviews point out that the mini retina display is less color accurate than its larger counterpart, but the slight loss of color accuracy might be a fair trade for the portability and ease of use. I demo'd both at the Apple Store; unfortunately, the only drawing apps on their new demo models are Penultimate (without zoom) and Paper by FiftyThree, so I wasn't able to test the pressure-sensitivity and palm rejection of the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus.

Every time I think I'm leaning toward one or the other, I think of a reason to switch. I don't want both — I think next year's models will be a huge leap forward, and it's silly to split my time and attention between two tablets with such similar specs and hardware. There was a vast distinction between iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad mini — now the three main iOS devices all run A7 SoCs.

If you have suggestions or opinions, I'd really appreciate hearing them. I'm especially interested in reviews by iPad artists regarding touch sensitivity and drawing accuracy, as well as comparisons between iPad Air and Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) and Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid. $929 for 128gb iPad Air — very pricy...

Unfortunately, Android just doesn't have many great sketching and design tools apart from SketchBook Pro. Lack of Procreate and Paper is a negative, but having an active digitizer is also a big deal — impossible on iPad.

 

For now, I'm going to focus on maximizing my iPhone usage moving preparation. I wanted to write about some new art that I've been working on and blogging woes (considering migrating this site; looking at Squarespace 6 and WordPress), but that will have to wait for some other time.

Monday
Oct072013

Writing and Blogging in 2013

The sketch above is a logo concept for a new blog that I'm working on. I've been trying to decide on what to do with my life since my disability has gotten worse and my overall condition hasn't improved. This year has been particularly tough; I might've done about 1% of what I'd planned on, and each day, I can feel the strain of chronic pain, muscle spasms and migraines taking its toll, sapping my energy and resolve. Just about everything takes a considerable effort.

I don't think that I had a particular vision for Says Brad when I renamed it, I just wanted a place to share thoughts on life, technology and design. I've enjoyed writing about and discussing iOS apps and iPad accessories, and sharing my favorite games. Several times I've thought about focusing on just mobile games, or just iOS — several times this year I've seen a glimmer of hope, the possibility and potential, only to be thwarted by illness or injury... or both. It's unbelievably frustrating.

It's given me a lot of time to think and read, however. I've had time to explore iOS7 (I really don't like it) and organize thoughts on the new Apple iOS. I've discovered a passion for mobile technology and figured out that what I really like about video games is story and catharsis. At times, I want to dedicate myself to sharing these passions, especially when I look online and see the (lack of) quality content (and poor writing) available.

I love the iPad and Sony Playstation Vita. In particular, there's a lot of negative press surrounding the Vita, and technology seems to draw flame wars about as frequently as politics. I don't like the hostility and personal attacks. Why can't I like iOS and Android? Mac OS and Windows? Why can't I like the Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation Vita? Playstation and Xbox? Why can't I have both Christian conservative and Obama supporters as friends? Why can't I discuss religion and politics with friends and in public?

Perhaps it's old-fashioned tribalism, something built in our DNA. You're not supposed to like the Oakland A's and the SF Giants, Raiders and 49ers, Lakers and Clippers, Nadal and Federer. You're supposed to choose, and never change sides.

It's been frustrating enough where I've thought about just writing about RPG stories... I just don't know that anyone wants to read my thoughts on Skyrim and Persona 4, so perhaps I might as well just keep it all private. I also don't know why anyone would want to read this.

Sometimes I don't think I have the energy to write about controversial things on a regular basis. I don't always have the energy... rather, I rarely do. It takes time, patience and the courage of conviction to state your position and defend it — because people will attack it.

My new blog will be built using WordPress, and I intend to devote a significant portion of my strength to it. If you follow my Facebook, you know that it's almost entirely political, with a few Instagram photos of my mom's cats and links to video game news and free apps mixed in. I love America, small businesses, free market capitalism and The Constitution — I want to share this passion in my personal pursuit for more knowledge and constant growth. I hope that I can continue to learn and educate along this bumpy road of life.

There will be supporters and detractors. I will always encourage people who disagree with me to share their thoughts, but I won't tolerate name-calling, personal attacks and vile, spiteful remarks. People can feel however they feel, but I can't afford to have that negativity seep into my life. I hope to have rigorous, honest debate and exchange perspectives and values with various people from all backgrounds. Mostly, I hope that I will have the strength to continue and carry on.

Thanks again for your support. As the Bay Area cools down and nights get longer, I should have more energy to get this blog back on track, too.