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(Doctor to patient whose nose has impaled an iPad) No need to be embarrassed. We see a lot of using-a-tablet-on-the-treadmill injuries these days.

Run-time error

Run-time error published on 4 Comments on Run-time error

That looks painful, I know. But there’s no easy road to six-pack apps.

As someone who struggles with going to the gym, electronic devices may well prove to have been a life-saver for me. Without an ingrained workout ethic, it’s been hard for me to see a half-hour on a stationary bike as anything more than a sweaty waste of time.

Yes, I know it improves my lifespan over the long run, increases my endurance over the medium run and enhances my energy in the short run. But in a world of a million urgent deadlines, it takes a lot of self-talk to convince myself to take the time to get to the gym, change, work out, stretch, shower and get back to work.

But devices – they provide that immediate sense of accomplishment that working out, at least so far, doesn’t quite manage to do. I can listen to an audiobook while I row, read an O’Reilly tome while I run, or catch up on my favourite podcasts while I flail.

All well and good… but I’m getting pretty good at identifying moments when I’m dividing my attention instead of being truly present. The fact that I feel the need to multitask to feel productive, while I’m doing something that is objectively very productive, tells me I have some more work to do. There are mental muscles I need to work on in tandem with my lats and quads, wiring in some positive associations and finding a few immediate rewards.

Maybe those rewards come in the form of an endorphin rush, or the short-lived-but-gratifying muscular definition that sometimes emerges in my arms. Or maybe devices can come to my rescue again.

There are, after all, scads of apps (possible new word: “scapps”) devoted to encouraging, tracking and reporting your workout progress, and a slew of social networks centered around fitness and exercise.

Fitocracy caught my eye with the single phrase “turn working out in the gym into an RPG,” suggesting I can address both my basal metabolic rate and that conspicuous gap in my geekiness resumé around role-playing games. And the Kickstarter-funded Zombies, Run! had me at “Hello– AIEEEE! (gurgle)

What’s working for you?

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb

A cartoon essay supporting the iPad (and stylus) as a drawing tool

Is the iPad ready for use by hand (and stylus)? Here’s how I vote “yes”.

Is the iPad ready for use by hand (and stylus)? Here’s how I vote “yes”. published on No Comments on Is the iPad ready for use by hand (and stylus)? Here’s how I vote “yes”.

Squinting? Here’s the full-size version.

A few months ago, Jon Mitchell wrote a great piece on ReadWriteWeb that spurred discussion about the viability of using your hand on your tablet for more than just pinching and zooming. He tried his hand (so to speak) with a stylus on an iPad, and found it wanting. Although I commented at the time, I wound up drawing a more complete response, and last week, ReadWriteWeb ran it.

The time elapsed is significant because of something that happened in the meantime: my birthday. More to the point, my birthday present: what Apple calls the new iPad and what everybody else calls the iPad 3. Doubling the resolution means my answer would have been more emphatic… not to mention drawn on a single screen instead of over two documents and pasted together in Photoshop.

Edge cases of the third kind

Edge cases of the third kind published on 2 Comments on Edge cases of the third kind

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb.

Hard to believe it’s already been a year since I posted my farewell to Internet Explorer 6. (By “farewell” I meant “Just frickin’ die already.”)

My post was prompted by the announcement that support was ending for IE6 on Google Apps; since then, IE6’s decline has accelerated, dwindling into low-single-digit percentages of browser visits (if that) on most of the sites I manage.

And this week, the latest heavyweight jumped on the let’s-kill-IE6 bandwagon: Microsoft, which launched the Internet Explorer 6 Countdown site. It sets a target of reducing IE6 usage to less than 1% worldwide.

“For the love of god, please stop using our product” is an unusual message, but it’s a welcome one from Redmond. I’ve already been told by one client not to bother supporting it – which is superb news.

So if you haven’t already struck IE6’s installed base off your list of users you have to support, chances are you’ll be doing it sometime in the next few months.

But don’t feel too smug. If there’s anything to the latest sensational headlines from astronomy news(and that might be a big if), we might have a whole new group of use cases to consider.


Take two tablets…

Take two tablets… published on 2 Comments on Take two tablets…

Yes, I finally use the “take two tablets” line. You may resume breathing.

Meanwhile, I’m just aching to know if the new Apple tablet (insert caveats, weasel words and qualifiers here) is a potential Cintiq competitor. I don’t think it will be, but you never know. It may also have a built in barometer and bird call generator.