Stand back Mr Pig

May 17th, 2010

Been over six months since the last moment in time when I didn’t feel guilty to just kick back and learn some more digital art stuff. With 99% of the time in front of the screen being spent on Uni or work, it gets to that point where if you aren’t doing one of the two then somewhere in the world a penguin goes another night without a fish. Alas though with my Honours on the horizon of being finished and work calming down to a more normal level personal time is on the arise.

I bring you Stand back Mr Pig.

http://www.beakable.com/projects/photoshops_and_drawings/stand_back_mr_pig

I thought my last digital drawing was pretty good and a big step up from my prior attempts but this blows underwater escape out of the water. Still a lot of improvement to go and a great deal of techniques to pick up I’m far from being “good” at it yet, however definitely improving.

Pretty much no posts over the last few months as I have been extremely busy. Been doing some large projects for the Boston Consulting Group as well as wrapping up my honours year project and papers. Expect to see a lot more activity now though!

Anyway my return to my blog is hopefully going to reach folks having trouble with their Lenovo X201 Tablet. I ordered one about a month and a half  ago but with delays due to faulty processors and  mother nature it took about four weeks to arrive, damn you volcanoes.

The X201 finally arrived and it was everything I was wanting and better. Photoshop on it is awesome and extremely smooth, boot time brilliant, pretty damn light and the main attraction 12 hours of battery life… if your battery works that is.

My Lenovo battery was playing hard to get. It would charge to about 34% and go no further, if you hibernated it and woke it back up it would charge some more. Battery maintenance options did nothing and Google search brought up nothing except for other cries of help. Updates for both Windows and Lenovo turned up dead ends and even the Lenovo tech team where a bit of a wall with the usual “have you tried turning it off and back on” sort of answers.

Eventually Lenovo sent me a new battery and I thought I would finally be free to run through fields for twelve hours playing minesweeper. No.

This battery charged to 88% out the box and through battery gauge resets eventually to  100%. However five days on and it is back to the 34% of doom.

So here is what I have found. The answer to fixing your X201 battery problems. The latest Lenovo BIOS update. Now the BIOS update isn’t part of the Lenovo laptop manager application so you have to Google it. Here’s the link I used:

http://www.userdrivers.com/Notebook-Tablet-PC/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X201-X201s-X201-Tablet-BIOS-Update-Utility-1-14-1-08-for-Windows-XP-Vista-7/

Downloaded, ran, it updated, restarted and too much enjoyment the Lenovo x201 actually started charging.

Hope this reaches someone else having the same issues :) .

Honours project Beakw.com

March 3rd, 2010

Been having quite a bit of fun with the honours project recently and driving out the map editor for the multiplayer game itself. The game part is near completion to (code wise) with a round base system (similar to that of worms).  The editor is also rather neat with saving and loading of individual players maps which they own. Currently a small array of simple tiles and objects can be placed as well as start points for each teams minions. The only real thing left to do is some last bug checking and error detection.

The BeakW story:

In the near future both radiation and genetic manipulation experiments have destroyed civilization. Humanity has been wiped out and without supervision particles in man built tubes have collided ripping the earth apart through black holes. Vast pieces of empty land float seamlessly almost tranquilly through space unclaimed. Until now.

Mutated music playing rabbits, non-deteriorating radiation riddled tin cans, almost extinct water drops and anorexic looking aliens wage war on one another.

Select your side and wipe out your opponents. Destroy everyone.

Some Screenshots of the Editor:

editor1

editor2

editor3

Reseller Hosting and me.

February 8th, 2010

Came accross this today http://jqueryui.com/and from first glance it looks rather epic. I’ve implemented the calendar tool into the Glasgow storage quote form and can say it was pretty simple to do.  I get the feeling I’m going to be using a lot more of the UI tools they provide and will probably be buying the book on it over the next week as well. Also now helping to support island state of Niue with my recent purcahse of www.beak.nu which is my new front domain for my web hosting after beakw.com became home for my university honours project.

I Love SEO.

January 21st, 2010

There is nothing more rewarding in SEO than taking a company that is not listed on Google apart from an “Untitled Page” result when specifically searching the company name and moving to the front of Google. The feeling is great to see them rise above competition. What gives you an even better kick is when after 8 months they go from nowhere to #1 for their main key term “Storage Glasgow”. The Glasgow storage company is now top beating local competition as well as multinational. Now onwards with Spectrum Properties.

Happy New Year!

January 10th, 2010

What a year. I could list a hundred great things of 2009 but it would only get boring after the first three :) .  So 2010, in four months I will have my BSc honours which really isn’t a long time away in a galaxy far far away.  2010 is also the year I plan to start reading non-web related books again, improve on the spelling, blog more, draw more (get the laptop/tablet fixed) and relax a bit more.

When I write relax more, I really mean do less work related stuff on the net and hopefully get some more hours towards drawing and programming for fun… not that work isn’t fun but unfortunately no one is going to pay me to finish my flash ISO game :(

Not sure if I did ever post something I was working on in my spare time but here it is in all its basic glory -

Basic game engine: http://beakable.com/game/013.html - Purple cubes can be clicked and moved around map using keyboard arrows, crates can be pushed and orange triangles are simple blind AI.

Basic game editor: http://beakable.com/game/E002.html – Arrrow keys to move around move map, mouse to lay tiles, white buttons bottom left of map display tiles and so on. Save feature in top left.

Till next time :)

Still on the go.

November 29th, 2009

Having apologised in my last post about lack of updates recently I come back again with my tail between my legs. Coming up for the last couple of weeks in my honours year semester at university now and just in the middle of wrapping up some large projects which is all peachy as I’m hoping I’ll get some time at the Christmas holidays and not need to be stuck to the box. Everything is going great though. Ages ago I had posted about doing SEO for a local Glasgow company and it really is time to blow my trumpet. On my first meeting they were failing to show up anywhere near the first page on Google, not even close. However after roughly six months on they are now 1st, 2nd or 3rd for their main key phrases in organic results. Phrases such as “self storage Glasgow”, “Glasgow storage”, “Storage units Glasgow” and “Storage space Glasgow” as well as many other phrases has seen their average monthly hits tripled from below 200 to over 600.  I’m Pretty chuffed. The Glasgow storage company is http://www.aabsoluteselfstorage.co.uk.

I’ve sadly ignored updating my blog and my Facebook site page over the last month as I have really been nailed down (not even tied, but nailed). Apart from about 4 smaller websites/portfolios and larger NDA flash stuff, I’ve also began my Honours year at university.  After achieving my Bachelors with distinction I decided I’d stay on and see if I can get top grades again. In my honours I have to show what I am capable of with a yearlong project, which is why I’m making http://beakw.com/. I’m hoping to progress fast through it but with the amount I have on just now it’s only getting allocated the time it requires, not the bells and whistle time I’d want.  So once I’m over this current hurdle of work I might take a couple of weeks off from it all to focus on getting those top grades.

Spectrum Properties Website

September 13th, 2009

Similar to the new Projects blog category as I finish sites and so on I will post and record them here.

Spectrum Properties Logo

A few days ago I finished and went Live with the Spectrum Properties website. It uses the cakePHP framework (which I’m really starting to love) as the sites backend, which made it a doddle to generate the large database driven content. Also uses a touch of jQuery with a relatively good use of the Google Maps API to produce the office, workshops and other property locations. The sites content is still in need of some touching up and perhaps a few site tweaks as well as finishing touches to the custom CMS I made (incorporates TinyMCE and jQuery). The site can be seen at http://www.spectrumproperties.co.uk. I went for a spacious clean and professional look and as usual its XHTML & CSS valid. As always feel free to leave any feedback – positive or negative.

Follow Beakable on Facebook

September 3rd, 2009

Beakbale web design on facebook

Just a couple of days ago I launched a Facebook page for Beakable.com seen here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glasgow-United-Kingdom/Beakable-Web-Design/144184688922. This will be used for tracking of current and finished web design work as well as linking back to any articles that Beakable may feature in from now on. Hopefully viewers will join and give both positive and negative feedback on my work and comment on the progress of Beakable.com.