Space Penguin

Once again I find myself creating a bit of work based on doodling I have been doing. This time, I have been doodling penguins and the result, amusingly, is Space Penguin. I like penguins and I like space, so the two surely go hand in hand nicely?

I have tried to keep things very simple with it as you can see. The font is actually one that I made of my handwriting, albeit I could not make a font with it properly cursive.

This is something I may be taking further. Maybe.
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Mu Plug Vs Apple Folding Plug

The MU folding plug. The solution to the problem that was how do you make the UK 3 pinned plug better and more portable. In 2012, I bought two of them for my final year university project and wrote a post on here. Once the project was finished, I put them to good use to charge my iPhone and occasionally iPad. They were a mainstay for my laptop bag, weekend bag or whenever I was going on a trip. It has proven to be extremely tough and durable yet always provided interest to those I showed it to.

Recently though, upon purchasing a new Apple something (I’ll talk about this at a later date), I found an Apple version of the UK 3 pinned plug. Long rumoured to be hated by the late Steve Jobs, the UK plug when it comes to packaging something has always been a bit clunky (hence my sticking with the MU plug when I got my iPhone 6 last year). It was always going to be a matter of time before Apple did something about it.

The Apple folding plug, in principle is the same as the MU plug. It folds up into a smaller footprint allowing for better space use both in the packaging and when storing. The Apple plug however uses a single action to open up whereas the MU plug is a 2 action job.

The other main difference is where the USB port exits the plug. When plugged in the MU plug exits out the rear whereas the Apple plug exits out the bottom (see images if that makes no sense). Both exiting strategies have their plusses and minuses. My preferred for where I usually am charging at the moment is the rear exit of the MU plug, it takes the cable straight up from the power bar on the floor to my bedside table. The Apple plug in this case has to turn 90 degrees before going to the same place (but different product).

To be fair, I suppose you can’t really compare them. The MU plug has been on sale for 3 years already whereas the Apple plug has not long been on the market. One is from a small startup company and the other from a huge multinational. Both however perform the job they were designed to do wonderfully. Both have addressed the problem of portability well too (I do prefer the overall slimness of MU compared to the smaller footprint but thicker Apple).

These are only USB chargers though. The real winner will be the ones who can get a foldable laptop charger plug made. That will be a game changer.

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Good News: A Bit of Old Work

I am currently in the process of sorting out the hard drive on my computer, giving everything a bit of a tidy and making sure everything (or most things) are where I would like them to be. A result of this I have been finding many old bits of work that I have done over the years, either university work or personal projects.

One thing I did find was an entry to a photoshop competition I entered. In fact it was my first entry in my first photoshop competition in January 2009. The premise behind the competition was simple: do what you want. Although, obviously it wasn’t that simple. It was on a car based website and you were given a base image of a car and then you could do anything you wanted with it.

The base car was a Dacia Sandero and being interested in motorsports, I turned it in to a World Rally Championship version. I can remember at the time I didn’t fully know what I was doing as I had not long started using photoshop and was largely self taught. This to an extent made things a little bit easier because I had no preconceptions of what needed done or how it needed done. This was especially true when it came to adding the dirt, or because it was January at the time, snow.

Overall I think it was a good first attempt, and if my memory serves me correctly, I won the competition. That was 6 and a half years ago and now my abilities are better, but it it always good to take a look at where you were before before trying to find the next steps.

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Enjoying a Craft Part X: Woodworking

Enjoying a craft part ten. When I started off writing this series, I didn’t think it would have still been going after ten instalments, but that must prove that there is a lot of craft and skill that needs to be shown.

This week is a little bit different albeit with a fairly typical front to it. Woodworking. Wood is a lovely material to work with and is probably one of the oldest building materials. Building a house out of wood usually results in a more characterful abode compared to one made of bricks. This leads me on to the video itself. It is actually one of my favourite episodes of Grand Designs, The Woodman’s Cottage.

In my opinion it is one of the best in part because of the humble nature of the build in comparison to the multi-million pound creations that are more often shown. Watching it shows many crafts and techniques that simply are not used in the mainstream anymore. It also highlights how materialistic people are now when what we really only need is food, water and shelter.

If you have a spare 50 minutes then this video is worth the watch.

Enjoy!

Doodling

I have been finding myself doodling a lot recently. Usually as a result of my mind wandering but I have found that my drawing skills that I thought I was losing are getting back to what I would call normal.

Below are some of the doodles I have been doodling. Even though they are more sketch like than doodle like.

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Enjoying a Craft Part IX: Signwriting

Signwriting. A dying craft (and skill) that should really be saved.

When you look at shop fronts and advertising on vans and buses they are now typically computer generated and printed on vinyl or machined from various materials. What is missing is the hand crafted effect and style of days gone by. Granted not all brands would look good with a hand painted sign but in the few instances they are used now, they stand out.

As with all skills that are dying out, their results are meant to last. As mentioned in the video below, the outputs of signwriting (when done properly) should last the entire time the company is there or however long they own the van.

It would be good to give it a go, but I don’t know if my hands are steady enough.

Enjoy!