On iOS v Android.

I can in no way claim to be fully impartial, I’ve been with Android since the beginning of the smartphone age and with Nokia, Sony and Motorola prior. I’ve never even used a blackberry. This iPhone 4 is the first apple product I’ve owned since an ipod video almost a decade ago. I am not an Apple fanboi and I although I have at times tended to the rabid opposite. I no longer identify as such. iPad’s have finally received the upgrade that would have prompted me to buy their first generation in a heartbeat, their laptops and computers are rock solid (if limited when it comes to gaming) and their phones are undeniably sexy pieces of technology. All that aside I still fall firmly in the ‘if you can’t open it, you don’t own it camp’ for computers and phones alike.

I have also in truth not been giving the iPhone exclusive use, partially because it is very slow, partially because despite not functioning as a phone my Gs4 is still fully functional as a mini tablet loaded with my audiobooks, comics books and a superior camera. My stories and their bookmarks pretty much ensure I need to keep the Samsung with me. I am also aware that the iPhone 4 is a full generation older than the Gs4 and so not fairly comparable for performance and specs.

The Good

The parallax is very shiny.

The bottom swipe up app drawer is excellent.

The kind of perky, bouncy nature of everything in the OS is sweet, but not to my taste.

The top swipe notification tray does all that it should, though old hat on Android.

There are a number of iOS exclusive apps I’ve been enjoying. In particular ‘Camera +’ and the extra instagram apps ‘Boomerang’ and ‘Hyperlapse’ I have also tried out a whole bunch of other random crap that hasn’t made it over to android some good, some rubbish, some absurdly expensive.

Siri is cool and very comparable in accuracy to google equivalent, neither can do what hound can:

The Bad

So small, for dainty little hands maybe, this one gives me cramps.

Updating this phone, which had to be done, none of the google apps would even install without the update, has reduced its speed considerably. Is this an example of Apple deliberately slowing down an older product to encourage a new purchase or do they simply not care to tailor their software to the old architecture?

The home button on this phone is on its last legs, repeated presses are required for any action using it and I’m more likely to end up with siri than my home screen. I’ve resorted to using the onscreen home button to counter for this. It seems this was a really common problem with this generation which is a shame.

Lack of a physical back button drives me bananas. It would be all very well if there was some uniform system wide on screen action that would perform this function but even that isn’t present. Most but far from all apps include this function as an on screen button. I honestly do not understand how people put up with the lack of this feature. To those of you who are iOS lifers, Android phones, in addition to the power/lock, volume and home buttons typically have a back and a menu button on either side of the home. The menu button is falling out of fashion being replaced by system wide standard ‘swipe in from the left for menu’ function. But ‘Back’ is for now at least, here to stay. I have encountered and witnessed people being confused by the buttons behaviour. All it does is if possible go back to the previous screen or action. It can go back through a number of screens or actions this way usually depositing you back at the home screen after a couple of presses.

The phone doesn’t display the number you are calling, only the contact name.

iTunes is almost as bad as I remember on PC. It slides its tentacles in deep, cannot be removed from background operation completely and is generally a cumbersome and irritating program to use. By comparison the Gs4 behaves like an external hdd when plugged in and is fully accessible. Prior to rooting I could not write to the SD card this way without removing it and plugging it in separately to my computer thanks to a google mandated security update.

The Verdict

Really the bulk of my issues with iOs come down to customisability. My Gs4 always had Nova installed so even though a few months ago I finally got around to Rooting it and installing Cyanogen Mod installed it is functionally and visually identical to what it was before, with the exception that I have superuser write access allowing me to bypass a few of the annoying restrictions in Android.

These are my Gs4’s two home screens, current background image is the camera obscura image the lounge room curtain gap makes on the wall in the middle of the day. Everything I need is on my home page, all other apps live in the app draw which shares the button with Nova themes settings, red button bottom centre. My icons are a custom set, labels would normally be switched off, but I haven’t bothered since the factory reset done while trying to diagnose the sim problem. I use signal the crypto messenger as my default sms client with the added bonus that if both I and the recipient are using signal and on WiFi the messages are sent that way instead.

My iPhone looks exactly like everyone else’s. The icons aren’t customisable, the spacing grid alignment isn’t customisable, icons don’t expand to fit low volume folders, every installed app populates neverending visually indistinguishable homescreens. There are no widgets, seen below a clock and weather widget with custom skin and on the other homepage a custom skin for a calendar widget. Bloatware apple apps are irremovable.

Android wins for me for now at least.































Discovered this wonderful site via someone being effusive about Elon Musk. Very pleased to with this discovery.

Horizontal History

This post has taken way longer than it ought. Back to work inking a card now.


Unknown #aranae #daddylonglegs #spider. Body approx. 25mm #macro phalangioides Pholcus

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More #daddylonglegs #araneae #spider #macro phalangioides Pholcus

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Work on the Horizon and more thoughts on The Revenant

Thanks to family contacts I am as of today apparently top of the list for casual work at the local High School. The need for work is getting critical so that is very good news.

I’ve been scheming my Android v iOS comparison for some days now but I’ve again left it too late to start on that tonight.

Further thoughts on The Revenant.

I don’t ‘Like’ it and I can’t in truth reccomend it.

It has stunningly light, incredible suffering and examples of human depravity and absolute callousness galore. It is riveting but not I think, particularly memorable. Once the glamour passes holes and gnawing problems abound. For instance I am for some reason really annoyed that Glass can run on what was a very broken leg by the end of the film.  Hypothermia is ignored for the sake of plot armour. The film completely fails Bechdel, yes it is about men in the 1820 frontier but there are women in the film, none has any agency. I haven’t read the book, nor to be honest am I likely too, but as discussed here (Spoilers) the film diverges pretty wildly from what was already a fictionalised adaptation of an allegedly true story.

 Today I’ve completed principal line work on a Downs/Grasslands terrain card. Rough snapshot below. Linework needs cleaned up some as I’m trying a new pen.





I also pencilled what will be my first evolution card but I’ve not yet finished the evolution card templates I will frame them in.

I’m learning to use appropriate hashtags on Instagram. Garnering a lot more likes on my insect pictures thanks to them.

Unknown #beatle deceased. 15mm #macro #insect

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The Revenant and Bureaucratic Nonsense

Double swim today, picking away at the value of the season pass, once for L’s swim lesson in the AM and again late afternoon when the heat was just abating but it still felt to hot to do work.

N butted heads with bureaucracy repeatedly today, converting to a NSW licence and changing surname at the same time is apparently a tall order, but she succeeded. Not so with the children’s passports which apparently have to wait until her new licence arrives because birth certificate, passport and a bank statement showing address are apparently insufficient for lodgement of childrens passport applications. So there is likely a two week wait until N’s new licence arrives and lodgement is possible. We may try in Dubbo if her licence hasn’t arrived by then. We remain eager to lock in flights.

Noticed at the pool this afternoon that we are apparently far enough south that this noxious weed is ornamental:

Mt what lovely flowers on that shrubbery. LOL #lantana

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Path progress

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N has made some progress on the bike path. Six or seven courses of bricks down since this animation.

Rather than working this evening we watched a screener of  ‘The Revenant’.

Having just finished it, I feel it is too early to pass judgment, I will share some impressions now though.

Incredibly brutal, visceral film.

I was repeatedly reminded of ‘Blood Meridian‘.

Nature does the best lighting.

Revenge stories are predictable.

Leo deserves an Oscar, but is it for this performance or for his body of work. I am not sure this is his lifetime best so far.

Tom hardy can play nasty well.

Alejandro Iñárritu puts his actors through hell.






Teaching again

Back in the saddle, well kind of,

tutoring has begun.

Today I spent an hour each with two delightful children, getting to know them both and learning how best I can help them.

I promptly spent my earnings on sausages and beer to feed the ravenous horde at home. We have had two nephews about. Both playing very well with our boys while, during my absence N and her parents tore down the ancient and hazardous back fence and constructed an entirely new one using their wealth of fencing experience.

They found some pretty extraordinary pieces of metal in the process too. Some of which will feature in future projects.


I haven’t managed to finish the card I’ve been working on today, in truth I’ve barely touched it. Going to put some time into templates now.


Found a great early learning maths game for L and as a reward activity for my younger students. From the always brilliant ‘Dragonbox’ creators WeWantToKnow games ‘Numbers’ is rather brilliant for little ones.


Young #Bluetongue approx 200mm #macro

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More #Bluetongue. Try as I might I was unable to get a picture with it’s tongue out.

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Some wanton stupidity made amazing by the grace of Slo-Mo

Garden Beds and the Font of Absurdity

Garden progress, Finally filled the raised garden bed tanks to the brim today, though we are expecting some subsidence, they will be ready to be planted into very soon. Each is filled with a nice wet lasagne of sheep poo, soil, potash, cardboard, hay and compost, some layers mixed more thoroughly than others. Shade cloth for the poly covers is still required. The chook tractor build is stalled waiting on suitable plywood for the roost walls. N made significant progress on the orchard bike path digging and paving should commence there tomorrow.



Spending this evening preparing a go bag for my first tutoring session tomorrow. In the process I have discovered that the only way to legally acquire the official handwriting font for NSW and the ACT ‘Foundation Handwriting’ is to pay this dubious and outdated Northern Territory based site $30. More hilarious and baffling still, judging by the pricelist they also charge schools $60 a licence as well. So despite no doubt having been paid to create the fonts in the first place, they now have the gall to charge the education departments, parents, teachers, tutors and schools for the privilege of using the mandated font for NSW school students. All free hosts back to page 5+ of the search have received takedown notices or are obvious scams.


Anyway ‘Foundation Handwriting’ appears nearly indistinguishable from the frightfully ugly QLD QCursive handwriting font and in yet another discovered policy win for QLD v. NSW they at least give their font away for free.


Lots of interesting biology around yesterday and today.


More baby mantids, so many more. #macro

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A lizard

Tiny bearded dragon on my pinkie.

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Didn’t have my lens with me today unfortunately.

Yabbies caught on the farm.

#yabby says “I will cut you!”. >200mm

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#yabby s are really rather alien looking creatures up close.

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Special Process Episode

Completed the first forest card today. As they are somewhat repetitive and tiresome I may limit the number of originals for forest tiles to a maximum of four.

It all starts with pencil,



Then Pen,




More Pen,




Bigger pen,




Now working digitally The black is separated and clarified and a base green is washed in beneath,


Highlights are added,



Then Shadows,



Finally it is cropped and resized to fit the card template, shown here in screen resolution with a watermark:


Forest 1 In template






Vale Alan Rickman

Yet another splendid human lost this week.

Rickman played the only real teacher in the Potter series, he voiced Marvin in the more recent and unfortunately forgettable film adaption of Hitchhikers, he played many a truly fantastic villain and was by all accounts an altogether cool human.


Seeking Materials & Waiting.

Slow progress being made in the back yard. Projects reaching completion, others just begun, others are still waiting on materials, help or decisions. We need help with the fencing, which will wait on in laws convenience. Shade cloth for a number of things including shading the garden beds, creating a shade sail to block light to the radiant brick wall and another sail to shelter the other side of the house.

Soon to be bikepath

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Today I scored metal framing used in the transportation of quad bikes from our neighbours the motorbike store. Frames which will form structures in the chook tractor. Some parts of this project require timber, in particular decent ply, which I have been unable to find locally. The local hardware is unreasonably expensive. There was one decent piece I could find at the tip, though it required some unearthing, turned out to be be too big for me to transport home which was very annoying. That project may have to wait until our trip to Dubbo for my First Aid course on Feb 2nd. 

Cobar tip has got it all.

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This image shows the building waste slope. Timber is on the ‘Trees’ slope and is primarily composed of broken pallets and garden waste. The household waste field is truly repugnant and as Cobar has no recycling at all, it’s pretty depressing.


Finished the first two steps of another terrain card today. I should be able to finish the rest tomorrow.

No more calls about tutoring yet.

I’m getting ready for a side by side comparison of the Samsung GS4 and iPhone4. It can’t be completely fair as the GS4 is a full year newer and more powerful. The Iphone 4 has a lot going for it all the same. Not going to start that this late in the evening though. There is a much bigger tech and politics story brewing tonight though.


I am very curious to see what is coming out midday tomorrow.




Completed a terrain card. Screen quality with watermark displayed below.

This one took way longer than it ought to have, partially due to the lure of good SF, partially heat, partially I’m just out of practise. Planning to smash a few out and get into flow with them.

For reasons unknown this image won’t centre justify.

Mountain 1 In template

Finished the thrilling and at times extraordinary ‘Seveneves’  overnight. This book has been interfering with my projects because it was so good that I had to force myself to put it down and turn out the lights a few nights in a row. I’ve been snatching time to read a few pages at the expense of more pressing activities. a more detailed review another night.

Received two calls in minutes of each other requesting my tutoring services beginning next week. I’m thrilled to bits and looking forward to getting back to work.





Bad Hair Day

Thankfully a milder day than yesterday.

Swimming continues and I finally got through to NSW education and sorted out what was missing from my accreditation package then posted it.

Visited the library and swung between luxuriating in the air con and stressing out stopping F from dismantling the place.

Had a haircut, I’m not sure if she gives this cut to everyone or if this was just her best approximation of the picture I showed her. Rarely had a less talkative hairdresser anyway.

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I am not delighted



Almost finished application process for F & L’s passports, N’s still has some way to go. As soon as they are processed we can start locking in travel dates for later in the year. We’ve already been looking. Currently favouring a Sydney/Tokyo/Glasgow itinerary.

Today via a recommendation I discovered Google Flights which is relatively unknown because Google or more accurately Alphabet receives so much ad revenue from other flight search aggregates that their own seemingly rather good product doesn’t make ranking.


Still working on a card and sketching templates.


Interesting reads from my feed:

Maximum pregnancy


Neil Gaiman writes Bowie fanfic