To read comics, I constantly vaccilate between the Kindle application on my iPad Mini and a dedicated comics reader, usually the application provided by DC Comics. The Kindle application is attractive because all my purchases are more portable – I can read them on a Mac or any other Kindle-capable device if needed. But even though Amazon built better navigation and pane-by-pane guided reading into the Kindle app, I am still not that happy with it. On the other hand, the DC Comics app falls somewhat short on the iPad Mini because the vertical view has a tendency to compress the display resulting in some of the text being difficult to read at times.
An obvious fix for this would be a retina display for the Mini, but we’ll need to wait for that…until at least 10 September. A few days ago, Comixology updated their app to enable content to be displayed in landscape orientation. Since the DC Comics application is based on the same, landscape views are now available for existing and new comics.
To enable landscape view, simply select the cog icon to enter the Landscape Options dialog, then switch the slider for Fit to Width from Off to On.
The results are quite dramatic and make for a much improved reading and viewing experience.
I obviously use an iPad and have to assume the same feature is available for the Android version of Comixology and DC Comics apps. The Marvel Comics app is a descendant of Comixology too, so the same feature is available there.
I’ve just upgraded my primary media drive with a new Seagate 4TB USB3 drive. It will be used to replace the absolutely full Seagate 3TB drive – my photo and video library is growing at a rather furious rate and the new drive should give me a bit of breathing room by providing an initial 1TB of space to use.
As with many of such tasks, I’ve gone through repartitioning a new drive for the Macintosh more than once, but can never actually remember the detail of what tripped me up previously. These drives are delivered pre-formatted for Windows systems, necessitating Macintosh users to repartition and reformat prior to being able to use the drive.
Disk Utility is built into Mac OS and makes partitioning and formatting of a new drive very easy. The drive is factory formatted for Windows using NTFS.
The usual scheme of simply selecting a new partition layout by selecting a single partition (in my case), choosing a new name and specifying a journaled filesystem fails with an invalid request error.
I know I had the same situation when I prepared the 3TB drive for use, but couldn’t immediately remember what the solution was. Of course, it’s rather simple: the drive is factory formatted for Windows with NTFS and has Master Boot Record. It’s that fact that makes Disk Utility unable to repartition. The easy solution is to change the drive’s partitioning architecture to one native to the Macintosh. Clicking the Options button below the partition layout allows the change to be made to GUID – partitioning and formatting is now rather easy.
The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland is an important one-shot that influenced long-term continuity in the Batman storyline. As an alternate origin of the Joker, The Killing Joke tells the story of a failed comedian pressured into committing crime as the Red Hood to support his pregnant wife. Interference by Batman sees him leap into a chemical vat that disfigures his skin and, combined with the trauma of his wife’s earlier accidental death, the man goes insane, creating the Joker. It’s a classic with great artwork and an interesting story.
Now, the entire script for The Killing Joke has been released on Tumblr and should make an interesting addition to everyone’s understanding of the story, as well as providing an insight into how comic book scripts are produced.
Lego‘s Architecture lineup is quite popular, though individual sets are specific to a certain building or structure. To allow would-be architects free reign, Lego has released a 1210 brick Architecture Studio. Since concentrating on the design and lines of a structure is important, the set contains only white and transparent pieces. A few sorting trays and a guidebook for inspiration round out the package.
Set #21050 retails for around USD 150. More details can be found here.
Friday, 9 August sees the start of the new Bundesliga season for 2013/2014. For fans of Bayern München, the following fixtures are scheduled for the coming months.
I’ll update the scores for these important matches
This is another book I chose to listen to rather than read. Audible presents dramatised versions of certain books with different readers taking over individual parts or chapters of the book. Generally, this works well. In the case of Lexicon, the American readers try too hard to replicate an Australian accent, often with cringe-worthy results. Whilst this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story, a native Australian could have done wonders here.
Lexicon is my first exposure to Max Barry. The writing is well-paced and intersperses the tale of the various characters in separate chapters, making sure that the reader is left wanting to know what happens next at the end of most chapters. Lexicon takes a cyclical approach to unfolding the mysterious kidnapping of airline passenger Wil and the unusual induction of Emily into a secret society of poets, starting his story somewhere near the end and either stepping forward or backward as the pacing demands.
Emily Ruff is a con-artist working the streets of San Francisco. A talent spotter from a very exclusive institution finds her and offers her a unique opportunity to take part in a training program that will radically alter her life. The talent spotter has noticed her ability to influence people, a gift she will learn to expand upon during her intensive schooling at the poet society in Virginia. Within the ranks of the poet’s society accomplished graduates take on the names of actual poets and utilize their skills at modifying the behaviour of people to subtly steer world events.
In a separate thread, we learn about Wil, a former resident of a small mining town in Australia, Broken Hill. His mysterious interrogation and kidnapping at an airport by a group of poets leads him on a path to rediscover what actually happened to him prior to his apparent memory loss: the complete annihilation of Broken Hill is the tip of the iceberg that involves a rogue poet in the guise of Emily and a schism in the closed ranks of the poet’s society. The crux of the story is the relationship between Wil and Emily.
There are a number of plot points that could spoil your enjoyment of this book, so I will keep the above description of Lexicon spoiler-free. It’s an easy read that will appeal to anyone interested in conspiracy theories mixed with psychology and action. It’s a book with the highest death count I have ever been exposed to – not a single character in the book seems to care or is ever admonished or punished for the killings described in the story. Not necessarily gruesome but certainly on a scale that is unbelievable.
If this is your cup of tea, I highly recommend Lexicon.