Well, let me start off by wishing everyone a happy 2011. This is the first blog post of the new year. Since the start of the year I’ve found myself completely apathetic with regard to doing anything remotely related to work of any kind. I can’t explain it but I’ve just felt like being a complete bum over the last week or so. That meant no blog posts, no real hours spent doing stuff for work. I needed some time to just reset. Overall, I feel that it was the correct decision. I’ve been able to catch up on my sleep and do some other things which have been long overdue. So, I figure that I’ll give you an update on what’s new.

eBook Revolution

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about the new year is my new toy. That’s right, I got an eReader. A Barnes & Noble Nook to be exact. For awhile I was considering investing in the Nook color, but let’s be honest – the last thing that I need in my life is yet another backlit LCD screen to stare at for hours on end. Also, I tried to get the Nook Color SDK working so I could write apps, and the software wouldn’t run. Not cool. So I settled for an eInk Nook… which is less expensive anyway.

So far, I’ve immensely enjoyed having it. I’ve already purchased and completed James Patterson’s The Witch and the Wizard, which was less than what I expected from him – to be honest. Yesterday I purchased Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, and I’ve been enjoying that ever since. (Just in case you’re wondering: No, I do not feel ashamed that I still enjoy Artemis Fowl.) I’m planning on picking up a Dan Brown book whenever I finish with Artemis Fowl – keeping in mind that the amount of time I have to dedicate to reading will decrease once school starts tomorrow.

Hopefully, having the nook will encourage me to get back into reading. If there’s one knock I have against brick-and-mortar bookstores it is the fact that they can be overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that unless one is down the block from where you live, there is some travel time involved. Additionally, when I am so inclined I can purchase single issues of popular newspapers like USA Today and read them instantly.

Now, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why I would choose the Nook over the Kindle. That seems to be the question on everyone’s lips… that is, which one to buy. Having toyed with both devices, I think that the Kindle could, in fact, be the better device. It makes since, considering that Amazon has been at the game longer than Barnes & Noble has. The Kindle costs less money and there are even cases where books are cheaper on Kindle (the artemis Fowl book I mentioned is 10 cents cheaper for Amazon kindle). But there are a few things that sold me on the Nook after I had played with demo units of both devices for a short period of time.

  1. I feel that the touchscreen, while it has its problems, provides a more straightforward navigation scheme than does Amazon’s hardware keyboard. In playing with both units at Best Buy, I was able to figure out the way the Nook works a lot quicker – and that wins usability points from me, which are key.
  2. The Nook is Android based. As you might have noticed, I like Android. While the Kindle is Linux based, I think Android based devices have a better chance of long-term viability than those mobile platforms based solely off a Linux install that was customized by one company alone. Android is the standard for Linux for mobile platforms, these days.
  3. The Nook has a leg up on the Kindle in terms of feature support. Some books are designated as “Lend Me” books – that can be lent out to other Nook users and the Nook supports the ePub standard where Kindle does not. While I realize that is just one software update away if Kindle decides to support it – I’m willing to pay extra money for it now.

Android Game

In other news, I’ve started writing out specifications for an Android game that I’m interested in writing. I’ve also started doing some Photoshop Mockups of the UI and researching Game Engines that I can use to help manage Graphics, the Event Queue, and the like. I think I may have settled on libgdx – but I’m not sure. (Suggestions from other Android coders are welcome.)

I’m not going to release too many details right now, but those of you who know me from the Cybiko days may be able to take a guess at what I’m working on. I’ve mentioned it to a few of you. However, this game is going to come back fiercer than you ever could have imagined. (Color graphics!) So, get ready. I’ll be acquiring some web assets for the game and creating the official site and announcement shortly.

Also, as a general roll call: if there are any graphic designers out there that are interested in helping me out with the menus – there would be a small payday and a free copy of the game in it for you when it comes out.

Project 365

So, I think that I’ve decided I would like to participate in the 365 Project, which is to take at least one picture a day for an entire year. There are some websites dedicated to this, but I personally think that I’m going to repurpose that little grey box down at the bottom of the homepage for this instead. Or perhaps stuff it in the sidebar somewhere. Still haven’t decided.

However, if you know anyone else whose doing it, let me know!

In Conclusion

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. As always, leave me some comment love. What was your new years like? Etc etc. For now, I think I’m going to go read some more Artemis Fowl. Don’t lie, we all know you’re jealous.