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I've Moved to WordPress

Announcement Hello, readers. You might notice that my old posts are in the process of deletion. Fear not! I have merely moved my blog ove...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Linux Mint is the Ultimate Distro

I haven't been on my Linux OSes for a while, and every time I use them after some period, Linux Mint really shines. So much so that I don't know why Ubuntu is still the "mainstream" Linux distro. I suppose people admire its simplicity.

I run both Ubuntu and Linux Mint, and while I like them both, I really do love Linux Mint. Cinnamon, in particular. Unlike Ubuntu, it is very customisable and provides a familiar Windows-like environment. Of course, Windows is my favourite operating system of all time (top 3: 7, 10, XP) - I love its practicality, its diversity and its interface... I suppose everything, really. And I really admire the way in which it is perfect for both the simplest of computer users and the most advanced. And don't forget just how perfect it is for business (Group Policy, etc.). But Linux Mint comes second. Linux Mint is probably the second-greatest operating system there is.

If you don't already run Mint, I really recommend it. Especially if you use Windows.


Friday, 25 November 2016

Code Surprise

I spent most of today preparing a Tic-Tac-Toe game I made in Visual Basic a few years ago for publishing on my website. I figured it would just be a matter of adding a copyright footer and squashing a few bugs, but I actually received a bit of a shock when I looked at the source code.

Much of the code was repeated and so I spent a lot of the time moving parts of it into subroutines, creating variables and putting large slabs into much smaller loops.

I can honestly say that I think I managed to cut down about 500 lines of code.

It was quite a positive experience, however, as it showed me how much my programming skills have developed (pun intended) in the past few years. Mostly without me noticing.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Animal Planet Logo in Illustrator

I was playing with Illustrator again today and I decided I'd have a go at creating one of my favourite type logos: Animal Planet.

Mine is on the left:

I started with two textboxes in the font Impact - "ANIMAL" and "PLANET" - and went from there, creating outlines, resizing, rotating, reflecting and colouring. And I finished it off with the ™ symbol in Arial.

Let me know what you think in the comments.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Preview: Scribble

Here's a screenshot of a project I'm working on-and-off on, Scribble. It's written in C# with WPF and is designed for users with Windows devices with styluses to scribble on their screen. Unfortunately, I can't really use it much since my touchscreen doesn't have a pen.

Scribble is a small, light, portable program for Windows devices that lets you draw on your screen.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Experimenting with Arial in Illustrator

Yes, it's another post about fonts. This is just something I whipped up in Adobe Illustrator. I thought I'd see what I could do with the word "Font" written in Arial.

Let me know what you think of it in the comments. I'm also happy to upload the AI file.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

TIL: Fonts and Ascenders

Why is lowercase "L" usually taller than capital "I"?

I had thought about this question for a while, but decided today to ask it on the StackExchange site for graphic design. (You can see my question here.)

It turns out that it's mainly to do with two typeface concepts: cap height and ascender height.

Here is a good image of the concept taken from the answer:
Click the image for a better view
The answer states that the cap height and ascender height can be the same, but usually the ascender height is taller.

At this point you're probably wondering, but why is the ascender height taller? I wondered the same thing, but the answer adds (reworded):
Capital letters are generally all the same height and easy to distinguish from lowercase letters, so their height isn't an issue. The height of ascenders, however, can greatly affect readability, so they need to be taller—especially when there is a larger x-height—giving you more vertical variation.
So, there you go.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Never Recall An Email In Outlook

Quite simply, exactly what the title says. Don't do it if you don't have a Microsoft Exchange email account. You will be bombarded with hundreds of "recall failure" email messages.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

When I Didn't Buy Enough Laptops

Bring Back Toshiba

This started a few months ago when I was buying parts for my desktop at a computer shop. I overheard one of the salespeople saying that they had low stock for Toshiba laptops as the future of the brand was uncertain.

Now, since my first Toshiba laptop - a Satellite Pro L300 - I have been a great fan of Toshiba. In fact, I'm on my third. So this rumour was a little unsavoury to hear.

Thus, when I left the shop I had to get on to the internet and look up the rumour. It was indeed plausible based on the articles I found.

Time passed and different articles started appearing suggesting Toshiba would enter a deal with Fujitsu to continue making consumer laptops. It appears that this deal has since been put to rest.

The sad truth is Toshiba is stopping production of consumer laptops because they claim to be losing money from them. There is good news for businesses though: Toshiba is still going to be making business laptops.

To make matters worse, I now have no idea what laptop I should could get when the time comes to get a new one. And that's because Toshiba laptops just make sense. The keys are the right size, the spacing is near-perfect, the design doesn't "try too hard" and most of them still have DVD drives. (They're still handy to have.)

HP could be a possibility, but the up/down arrow keys are a completely different size to the left/right arrow keys. Asus... They're just not the same. And Acer isn't renowned for reliability. And when it comes to Lenovo, let's just say I will probably never go there.

Perhaps as equally upsetting is that I will now no longer be able to own my dream laptop: a Qosmio.

Unfortunately, I just didn't buy enough Toshiba laptops to save them. I thought they'd always be there, and I'm sure many others did too.

We'll miss you, Satellite.


The Rise

Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been thinking for a while now whether or not to start a blog and today I figured I might as well give it a go. I don't know how it will turn out; whether it will be successful or just something I'll forget about in a few months. But should it succeed, I hope you'll find enjoyment in it.

You can read about me here.

~Linguistic Programmer

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