Elly Williams' Weblog

Caught Between Industries

Tendons, Tablets and Tubigrip

I talked about RSI on one of my very early posts here. Particularly in relation to Playstation consoles and the like and to people not taking care of themselves when operating a computer.

Meri and Simon both discussed software that makes you take a break at the same time as OK/Cancel were talking about Ergonomics and how an office might be better arranged for the good of the people who work there.

Then more recently there was another discussion on OK/Cancel about the difference between pen/tablets and mice. At the time I wasn’t using my tablet to any great degree – I’ve gotten used to using a mouse , particularly with the bits of software (Photoshop, AutoCad, 3DStudio) that I use on a daily basis. To start using a pen and tablet for these made simple tasks a lot slower and a lot more agrovating.

And then, 1 week before a major deadline on my course, I started getting significant pains in my hands and wrists. Seeing as I’d quite like to still be able to use my hands when I’m 25, I’ve decided to stop using a mouse altogether. It now sits, unplugged, on top of my case. It has a pair of cardboard ears stuck to it. I’m getting used to using the pen, and discovering all the keyboard shortcuts I hadn’t bothered to learn before. I also make sure I have an emergency stock of tubigrip to support my wrists if need be.

I originally bought a tablet because I thought it would make my life easier, and I was then disappointed when it didn’t have an instant effect. However, in the longer term (6 months or so), having a tablet has made a significant difference. The fact that I already had a tablet meant that I could swap instantly without waiting for one to be delivered, or having to go buy one in town. I am much more positive about it than I was before I had to start using it. It is however slightly tragic that it’s not until I got into trouble that I started looking after myself. It’s the same as with protecting against viruses “It’ll never happen to me!”

Comment Spam: Just Say No!

I got fed up of individually deleting every piece of comment spam that I get. Like so many other people.

Seeing as the particular batch of comment spam I’ve been dealing with appears to have been using random IPs banning those has not worked. It has just left me annoyed at continually deleting comments (especially as I get more spam comments that real ones) and banning IPs rather than blogging.

So I’ve set up Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist. And it’s fantastic… since I set it up I’ve had spam comments bounce every couple of hours, and none get thru.

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

This article where Wired reviews LifeLine is interesting. LifeLine is a new game for PS2 featuring, instead of the ususal “hand-cramping sessions of frantic joystick movements and light-speed button pounding” an interface based on voice recognition and actual interaction with the game’s protagonist, Rio.

On the gameplay front, to have a game where your interaction with the character makes sense in terms of the plot is fairly unique (can’t think of any examples off the top of my head.. ) although I can imagine that trying to get Rio to do what you want could be quite difficult (“that thingy there… the whatsit, thingamajig….it’s blueish green.. it’s right in front of you… look, right there…*points wildly*) even if she does understand all the words.

Which could be an issue. My limited experience with voice recognition has been fairly shaky, annoying and generally aggrovating – but I’d certainly be interested to see how well this works – especially seeing as I appear to be developing RSI, and anything that helps me avoid frantic button pushing is a bonus.

The Camera Never Lies

This is quite a good article on Integrity and Photoshop.(Cheers to Meri) Bearing in mind the insane amount of editing you can do with the various pieces of digital imaging software ( like these for example – thanks again to Simon for the link) is integrity, and fidelity to what the camera saw an issue?

Well, with traditional photography and developing there is still a lot you can do to “improve” the quality of you photographs. There are ways to adjust Hue, Saturations, Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness and Blur to start with You can select exactly which part of your negative you want to print… and you can always trim the edges of the paper afterwards.(not to mention taking Black and White instead of colour because it (to quote friend of mine) “makes it look less shit… oh sorry, I mean, it’s more flattering”)

The objective of the photographer is to get the viewer to see what they they want them to see – which may or may not actually be what they saw… and the manner in which they do this is up to them. If they are taking light falling through trees, then they may well wish to increase the contrast in order to better point out what they are illustrating.

Integrity in Photography isn’t exclusive to digital. The number of faked UFO pictures and the like is testimony to that… but perhaps with the rise of digital photography allowing you to effectively develop your own photographs the tricks are becoming more widely available, and more widely publicised.

Mountains of Coursework

er…. I’ve been busy. I will continue to be busy for some time.

I did try to find something interesting to talk about….. but I can’t.

If you have nothing to do… why not dig for buried treasure

And the Winner is….

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King scooping a massive 11 Oscars, out of 11 nominations – equallling the record number of wins of Ben Hur in 1960 and Titanic in 1998, and being only the third film ever to win every award they were nominated for (the others being Gigi in 1958 and The Last Emperor in 1988 – both of which received 9 awards)

Oscars 2004 on the BBC

is an Architecture Student and Web Designer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (UK)