It was around this time

It was around this time last year that a Scottish English Catholic Indian called Joe was revising for his end of year exams and needed something he could use to procrastinate.

It was around this time that his friend’s blog, [insertnamehere] got 1000 views, and inspired Joe to make a blog.

It was around this time that he got some feedback from one of his previous blogs and wanted to try again.

It was around this time he published his first post, Welcome Earthlings, which was as follows:

Ahem. That was bad. But you’re still reading aren’t you? Unless you were put off…

Anyway, this is my first post. I love technology, and this will mainly be a technology blog, but keep in mind I may post the odd titbit every now and then. ;) I’ve done multiple blogs before, but none of them have really been successful. Recently I made a post on an old blog with my cousin, and I was surprised to find the post was recommended by another website.

But um… I didn’t want to continue on that blog because it had an *ahem* embarrassing URL. So here we are. By the way, my name’s Joe.

Hope to see you around. :)

It was around this time last year that he got his first like.

It was around this time last year that he got his first comment from [insertnamehere].

It was around this time last year that he had his first blogging interaction with someone he didn’t know in real life – Aliyaaaa.

It was around this time he got his first award.

And so forth.

***

WARNING: MUSHY STUFF

Thank you so much. I am very very happy. Probably one of the weirdest things is looking back on ‘past me’, that ever-naive person who blogged every day when he was meant to be revising (ah, bless) and thought this was going to be “mainly a technology blog”. (Is it OK to refer to “past me” in the third person?)

I do feel kind of ecstatic for obvious reasons that I’m not really sure of. At first I thought:

But then should I be happy? I mean, it was going to happen sometime. If I had never posted on this blog and left it as barren as my other ones, I still would have had this achievement. And yet the fact that so many other blogs (namely mine) have been abandoned but this one has not makes me feel quite… happy.

I suppose I should thank people. Mind this is not an exclusive list. But anyhow:

Thanks Aliyaaaa – you were the first person who legitimately took an interest in my blog who I didn’t know in real life.

Thanks [insertnamehere] and pessimistic leprechaun, for being my friends off and on the internet.

Thanks to the Indecisive Eejit, who followed me as the Geeky G4mer, and has given me, a young ‘un, lots of laughter (and some well-directed advice).

Thanks to Professor VJ Duke, for being generally professorish.

Thanks to Charlotte M, for showing me that I am not very good at fandoms.

Thanks to JED, for providing lots of post inspiration.

Thanks to mushroomsup, for nominating me for my first award and being hilarious.

Thanks to deepbluesandseafoamgreens, for despite being my most recent blog friend, her quirky posts and comments are pretty awesome.

Thanks to everyone who has ever commented, liked or followed. Thank you.

***

So I woke up this morning looking eagerly at my notifications to see if WordPress had presented me that shiny “Anniversary” trophy that everyone talks about – but it was not there. When I realised that I had to wait until 7:40 for my award, I did. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.

And then an hour later I got the award. Phew. You almost scared me there WordPress. Why so cruel? D:

Unfortunately this means I started this post quite late and I still have quite a lot to go. This may hark back to the days of essay post Joe, so you have been warned. :P

How do I put this?

I am a deeply flawed human being (that was hard to write). And I thought I could do something like Lollipop Tuesday where I do a challenge every week… except this time each challenge would last a week, every week, for a year.

I could become one of those slightly spammy blogs that talk say things like, “YOU can improve YOUR life with this simple blog feature. I used to be so bad at life until I discovered this one weird trick! Life doctors hate me!!!”

So to avoid that, this will be a bit different from most sites that advocate ‘trying new things’. While that’s important, when it’s done wrong (and I would do it wrong) it can probably sound somewhat smug. I’m already quite the praise hog, so I would probably end up boasting of my new talents and putting everyone off.

So rather than learning new things, I will be fixing old things. Every week (starting now) I will flaunt my flaws to the public and have you laugh at me as I try and sort them out.

Yippee.

If I’ve planned it right, each week will focus on a particular flaw, like “procrastination” or “door slamming” or “bursts of nonsensical singing”. Each one will have a certain task attached to it, like “do your homework the day it’s set” or “don’t slam the door” or “have a sponsored silence”. Each week will have a reward… and a punishment. My family are all too happy to get involved with the punishment side of things – as for my friends, I know some of you will be eager to join in. ;)

I’m unsure how far this will go. The thing is, I haven’t actually made a complete list, so I’ll be making a lot of these up as I go along. :P Being the narcissist I am, 52 flaws might be a bit of a stretch for me to think of, but we’ll see.

At the end of this I could either be a  changed person, the same as I ever was, or a complete nervous wreck. Possibly all of those three.

Undoubtedly as I publish this at 11:00 very few of you will be reading this on the day, but that’s what you get for posting late. ;)

Here’s to another year!

Joe

P.S. This week’s challenge is “Exam Preparation” – I must revise at least two hours every day for a week. Normally the challenges will start on Monday, but this will start tomorrow because I haven’t actually done much revision today. :P The reward: undecided as of yet, but I’ll think of something. The punishment: one hour without the internet the day after if I break my revision streak – and the hour has to be when I’m on the computer, not when I’m doing something else.

I told this to my family, and the reaction was slightly more mixed than I expected. Some of them were on board, but another said that I’m training myself with operant conditioning. I’m not sure if this is inherently bad, but it was used on rats to make them press buttons in labs. o_O Not entirely reassuring, but I won’t be deterred.

Advertisements

Tech Battle: iPad Air vs Pencil

Today is my first scheduled post! *yippee* It’s 8:00 so I’ll have to hurry up. I couldn’t really think of anything original today, so I’ll do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – another Tech Battle! For the uninitiated ‘Tech Battles are when I pit two machines against each other (or one machine against it’s classic non-technological counterpart)’. That was plucked straight from my About page, which I should really update soon.

You may know that these battles have a bit of a reputations for being… biased, you might say. They tend to lean heavily towards one thing before the debate’s even started – and none more so than today!

First a bit of background. This advert was released back in 2013 (I’ve been putting this off for a while), and it still angers me to no end! *ahem* Sorry about that, this may get a bit emotional.

This just makes my blood boil in so many different ways. As I have already stated, I am a big advocate of the pencil, infinitely preferring them over pens, so when I first saw the advert I was thrilled, almost ecstatic for the pencil to finally get the hype it deserves. And then Apple had to take some crazy-thin iPad Air from out behind it! What? What! What (You know what, this deserves an interrobang). I take this personally and, as a self-proclaimed Apple fanboy, even I think they went too far.

You know what, let’s get to the comparisons…

Pencil

I’m not even going to list the many advantages of the pencil, because there will never be an exhaustive list. It’s that good. So what I’m going to do is quote the video because, before that horrendous last line, Apple had a pretty good advertisement… for pencils that is.

“It’s an extremely simple tool, but also extremely powerful. It can be used to start a poem, or finish a symphony. It has transformed the way we work, learn, create, share. It’s used to illustrate things, solve things, and think of new things. It’s used by scientists and artists, scholars and students. It’s been to classrooms, boardrooms, expeditions, even to space.”

As for disadvantages… does it have any? I suppose it doesn’t double up as a calculator, but it’s perfectly adept at doing calculations. True, you can’t get apps on it, but I would even dare to say the pencil can do more things than all the apps on the App Store combined. Well I suppose… nope, hang on. Perhaps it’s not Flash compatible? Oh no wait, that’s…

iPad Air

The iPad Air is probably an extremely useful tool. Although I haven’t used one, I have used an iPad, and they’re great. As I’ve previously stated, I love Apple –  but my allegiances only go so far. So rather than focus on what the iPad Air can do, because it can probably do a range of things, let’s see what the iPad Air cannot do. It can’t double up as a ruler, and it isn’t very good for drawing unless you have a stylus… it hasn’t transformed the way we work or learn considering that most classrooms still use HB pencils… I could go on for a while but I don’t really have time. ;)

I suppose it does have a slight advantage on the social media front, but let’s be honest… that’s very, very minor.

Conclusion

Pencil wins hands down. Just because. Pencil.

I’ll have to wrap this up because it’s now 10:00! (I wasn’t writing this post non-stop). The next post will be on Friday if all goes to plan, but we’ll see what happens. ;) Hopefully I’ll be a little less rushed, but I’m determined to stick to this schedule!

Joe

DISCLAIMER: This post should be taken as little more than a rant, and not a serious comparison – the iPad Air and the pencil are very, very different things.

What’s coming up?

So whenever I come onto my blog, I think three things.

1) Wow. I don’t have that many notifications do I? Why are all the other blogs so successful?!

2) Probably because they post more.

3) Should I post now? Nah, I’ll wait till I get my next notification. I mean, quality over quantity, right? When more people start following, and I finally get my reward for the countless hours I put into my blog then I’ll start posting again! I mean, what’s the point in posting if hardly anyone is there to read it? Besides I have all this homework/reading/exercising sitting to do!

This repeats in a vicious cycle until… the point of utter despair. This point usually happens late in the night when I have nothing left to lose and I think, “You know what? ASASDFAJDHFALJ!*£$%^&*()” Don’t laugh, it’s actually quite heartbreaking.

I ramble on about something for an hour, press publish, wait for a few minutes for the incoming stream of notifications, and only when I realise that a lot of you are actually asleep at 11:00 and can’t read with your eyes closed do I go to bed. And they wonder why I’m a night owl. -_-

This may be the reason why most of my latest posts are pretty bad compared to my earlier stuff. You see, whenever I do post, it’s because I choose quantity over quality. Whenever I don’t post, I have spent ages writing a post, so much so that it becomes sucked of its fun- then I give it up to the drafts pile and do something else. I CAN’T STRIKE A BALANCE. Add to this my tremendous skills in procrastination and you have a recipe for disaster. So today I have decided to do something drastic. Something I promised myself I wouldn’t do, because I am so, so bad at sticking to guidelines. But I have to try.

I am going to make a schedule.

Basically I’ll post on my free days: Saturday/Sunday, Tuesday/Wednesday, Friday. So three times a week. We’ll see how it goes.

Also, I’ve had a good idea for a new feature which I think will be very interesting. I can’t say when it’ll be announced, but hopefully within the next week. Stay tuned.

Joe

DISCLAIMER: The countless hours put into my blog are mainly composed of me refreshing the Stats page over and over.

Toothpaste!

No kidding this time. You’ve waited long enough.

It’s time to find out the answer to a question older than time itself: What is ‘Operation Toothpaste’?

First of all, toothpaste is (according to Wikipedia, I take no credit) a ‘paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush as an accessory to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth’.

Aesthetics?! Since when have teeth alone been beautiful? I mean, a smile is nice and everything, but does it really have aesthetics? And what on earth is ‘gel dentifrice’? (Feel free to look it up and tell me in the comments).

But this is beside the point. Operation Toothpaste is a feature where I will explain an aspect of my life, however mundane, once a week. Hopefully what this means is that you’ll get a better picture of who I am, and those of you who tune in regularly will find it more rewarding as… I don’t know. I’ll become more human in your minds eye.

Not to say I’m a robot. o_O Wow, that would be awkward. My confession post would be called Coming Out, Guess What? I’m a Robot or something similarly cheesy. But seriously. I’m not. I am also just a kid in secondary school, so don’t expect me to be talking about my car, or complaining about my mortgage.

As I said, this could go either way with you guys. In advance, when I say ‘however mundane’, I’m not going to talk about how many carpets there are in my living room or whatever. It’s  a bit of a risk, and is more of an experiment than anything else.

Unlike Tech Battles, which I post when I feel like it, I hope for this one to be regular, perhaps once a week on a Saturday (not today, I can’t be bothered). As for why the feature is called ‘Operation Toothpaste’, it is something of a mundane story. Literally, it’s not a page-turner. If you really want to brave it, check the About page in the coming weeks, which I’ll be updating in a number of ways.

Apologies if you were expecting a proper post, this was more of a blog report. Check back next Saturday for Operation Toothpaste – if you dare.

Joe.