With all the negativity around Windows 8 I've not been in a rush to try it. Being a Mac user I already have a great OS and last week's upgrade to Mountain Lion again reaffirmed my allegiance to the Apple ecosystem.
Apple got a lot right with iOS, the security, the simplicity and the app ecosystem. We've seen a lot of these features ported back into OS X in Lion and Mountain Lion. Microsoft is going for a more radical approach of designing an almost brand new interface called Metro and making it the heart of Windows 8.
A lot of the criticism of Windows 8 revolves around Metro and how it's central to the OS, yet does so much differently from previous versions of Windows. We've seen hints of Metro in Windows Phone and in the Xbox interface which I've never liked - it's small annoyances like giving a four way input controller the option to go 6 ways.
Installation was very similar to Windows 7 and took around 20mins through Parallels.
Once rebooted you enter a few details and you're presented with the Metro desktop.
On the bottom left there is a link to the desktop, this takes you to a desktop that is very similar to Windows 7 but without a start menu. You can get back into Metro at any time via the windows key (cmd in Parallels).
Metro integrates with Facebook, Live Messenger, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and a number of other services. Feeds for News (below), Weather, Maps, Travel and Finance are automatically included by default.
Any additional programs you install that would normally appear in the Start Menu are added to the Metro Interface instead. All settings that were previously in control panel are integrated with Metro.
Metro is quick to use but takes a bit of adjusting to get use to, I like how you can easily get to it at any time through the Windows key. By rearranging icons within Metro you can quickly customise it to your work flow. As more developers integrate with Metro I imagine it will get stronger and stronger.
I will admit that I'm a fan of Metro, it's a refreshing change for Windows and coming from OS X it's good to see the simplicity that Windows often lacked shining through.
With Windows 7 and XP It was hard to argue the benefits, in the past ten years we've seen so many great new features in OS X, from time machine, dashboard, mission control, expose and spot light yet you couldn't really say the same for Windows. With Windows 8 Microsoft had to try something different and whilst some parts work well with other parts don't.
Back in 2001 when Apple released OS X there was uproar, OS X did things differently, in a lot of cases it did things worse than OS 9 and did a lot less. Many of the Apple faithful resisted the move for years, yet today could anyone argue that those hard decisions were not for the best?
Microsoft is at the same cross roads now, it knows it has to do something different to stay relevant and keep up with the competition, it has to make hard decisions that it knows will upset some of its core audience.
Yet hopefully what will come from it is a much smarter, simpler OS, it will take time and I imagine at least another Windows release but the changes Microsoft are making now will set them up for the next decade, to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.
We've already seen parts of the puzzle come into place with the launch of Outlook.com, Skydrive and Metro. It's a massive gamble and one that I hope works out for Microsoft.
The modern day dating scene is already complicated. But it becomes even more difficult if your sexual orientation or gender identity is different from the more traditional options. For transgender people, dating is an entirely different ball-game and the rules are a lot different. Hence, if you are a man genuinely interested in dating trans women, you need to do more than just get on the best transgender dating sites. There are a lot of basic things you should know if you will find the right person and if your relationship will be successful down the road. Here are some of the things you have to know and do:
Do Your Research
If you intend to get into a relationship with a transgender person, it is only normal that you find out as much as you can about the subject and know what exactly you are getting into. While you don’t have to be a walking dictionary of transgender terms, knowing the basics of what it means to be trans will proof valuable in your relationship later on. By doing your homework before getting on a dating site, you will be free from misconceptions and misinformation and will refrain from asking offensive questions or use the wrong terms during your interactions with a tranny. You can throw a bigoted remark at your transgender lover and try to shrug it off with an excuse that you are ignorant about trans issues. Learn as much as you can about the subject.
Break Off Negative Stereotypes and Wrong Mindsets
No transwoman appreciates being treated like a sexual unicorn. Sadly, many men (an even those who claim to be attracted to transwomen) don’t know this fact. If you will be successful dating a transwoman you have to shake off every negative perception and wrong images you have in your mind about them. Don’t approach a transwoman simply because you have a bizarre she-male fetish. You will only succeed in hurting her feelings and that will make you a terrible human being. Read more about transgender stereotypes that are totally inaccurate here.
Be Prepared for Awkward Situations
If you fall in love with a girl that is still transitioning, then you should prep your mind for some potentially awkward situation both in your private interactions with her and social interactions with other people. For example, don’t be too surprised if you see her wake up with a facial stubble or if someone asks you what sex with a transgender feels like. You have to brace yourself for awkward situations because they are almost inevitable.
Drop The Comparison
There is a very good chance that you have dated cisgender women in the past. You might be tempted to make comparisons between your cisgender ex and the transgender girl you are dating now. Try to avoid making comparisons like this. Saying things like “a normal girl would never do that” is not only offensive but hurtful.
Dating a Trans Woman Does Not Mean You are Gay
We should have probably started with this point since it is one of the foremost questions in the mind of most men that are attracted to transgender women. To allay your fears, being attracted to a transwoman does not mean you are gay. Even when she still has a penis, she is still a female and should be treated as one. Gay men are typically not attracted to femininity as you obviously are.
Be Willing to Discuss
As with every relationship, having honest open conversations especially about important issues like sex is important when you are dating a transgender woman. There are major issues that must be discussed and settled especially when it comes to sex with a transgender person. Don’t hold on to an erroneous belief that a transgender person is down for anything, especially in the bedroom. You must be willing to discuss and decide boundaries and fantasies for both of you.
Read here for more tips for dating a transgender man or woman. https://pairedlife.com/gender-sexuality/How-to-Date-a-Transgender-Person-5-Tips-for-Starting-a-Relationship-With-a-Trans-Woman-or-Trans-Man
It's Not Just About the Sex:
If the only reasons you want to get down with a transgender person is simply for the sex then all you have is a fetish and not genuine feelings. You should understand that dating a transgender person is just like any other type of relationship. It goes far beyond what goes on in the bedroom and if you are unwilling to accept that then you are simply fooling yourself.
There is plenty to do and learn in every type of relationship. Your success on any dating site and in your relationship with a transgender woman or man depends on how much you are willing to learn. The fact that you are willing to accept your attraction to a transgender person is the first step in the right direction. But there is still a lot to learn down the road. Keep learning, having fun and growing with your lover.
Two Shropshire based companies have recently established links with the Far East after developing a brand new website for one of the only Vespa rental companies in Thailand.
Launched earlier this year VESPOi offers the latest Vespa scooters with GPS in Thailand’s northern capital city, Chiang Mai. With well over 200 Buddhist temples and over 2 million people living in the city, VESPOi believe that the best way to enjoy and explore the busy medieval city is on an iconic Vespa scooter.
A number of accessories are also available for hire with the Vespa scooters, including GoPro cameras with SD cards, Nancy Chandler map packs, and extra helmets for pillion-passengers.
Simon from VESPOi said, “After launching Nam’s Guesthouse earlier this year we wanted to offer something different to visitors to Chiang Mai, so we decided to offer GPS Vespas – something that hasn’t really been done in Thailand before.
“These allow our guests and customers to create their own itinerary, discover whichever part of the city they want at their own pace and never get lost in the complexity of Chiang Mai’s myriad of Sois and bazaars.”
With the summer season fast approaching, VESPOi approached ERUP Creative and The Web Orchard to develop the new website in preparation for visitors to the city. The new website is fully responsive to mobile and tablets, as well as desktop computers, which means users will be able to use the website and book rentals in advance during their travels around Chiang Mai and the rest of Thailand.
Ron Gale, Creative Director at ERUP, said, “When VESPOi first approached us to design their new website I was excited by the challenge of creating new branding and a mobile friendly website for such an exotic location. I think that we’ve been able to achieve the perfect website to suit their new, contemporary brand.”
Peter White, Director at The Web Orchard who worked on the website, said, “We love working with a diverse range of customers – whether they’re from Shrewsbury or from further afield! Our expertise in Drupal gives the perfect combination between usability and ease of website management.”
Simon summed up the final site “Thanks to ERUP and Web Orchard the VESPOi e-commerce site came in on time and on a tight budget.
“Developing an idea into a new e-commerce website or transferring an existing business into an online model takes skill, vision and technical ability. You also need a team that takes time to get under the skin of your idea or business and also your customers. This is what they did from the get go. Once they understood our “pitch”…their ideas just kept flowing.
“The result is a visually appealing e-commerce site that enables our target audience in the UK and Europe to book a holiday rental through our Thai based business using a credit card.
“Together ERUP & Web Orchard worked to deliver a new business for us. We just sit back and watch the bookings come through like magic. I recommend these guys very highly, it was fun as well.”
Microsoft has finally unveiled its Tablet PC that hopes to make massive changes in the way we use computers in the next few years. The Startrek look alike ?pad? uses a smart screen and a special pen to simulate the effect of writing onto paper. The tablet pc can also have a keyboard and can be used as a normal Windows pc.
Other companies such as Apple and IBM have tried similar ideas but have failed, Microsoft hopes to succeed where they failed with better hardware and an improved version of XP.
The tablet pc will be distributed by a number of companies including Fujitsu, Toshiba, Acer, Hewlett Packard and Research Machines. The Tablet will come in two forms at launch. One looks like an ordinary laptop but its screen swivels round and flips over to let people write on it like a traditional paper notepad. The other type has its smart screen separate from the rest of the laptop and only takes keyboard input united with a base station.
The tablet pc will allow you to wonder around your office connected to your network with new Bluetooth technology. Both versions let you write notes on the screen as shown below.
The tablet pc is ideal for places where a laptop is not convenient such as in hospitals and while on field sites. The Tablet PC also comes with 25 new emoticons designed by the people behind Wallace and Gromit.
However all of this comes at a price and the Tablet PCs are set to go on the market at around ?2000 which makes them a lot more expensive then a normal laptop or a PDA. The price should fall with time making the Tablet PC an affordable option for many people.
About 2 week ago I had the idea to add an articles section to the site, somewhere where we can post on going things that we feel are more important for the forum and that we want to keep more of a permanent record of. After thinking about this for a while and how to do it, i decided (yesterday) to get on and try to code it, anyone who knows me well will know i'm wasn't the strongest of php and sql coders but i thought the task would be easy enough.
Well after installing apache in windows and php and testing all the code i had written offline i thought it was time to upload it! Everything i could see worked fine offline but once i had uploaded it, it was obvious it wasn't working. The main problem was in using mysql_fetch_assoc which isn't yet supported by supanames, sam helped me fix this and everything went fine. I have a few more tests to do and a few more column posts to move over to the new database otherwise everything looks good.
I have a lot of people to thank for getting ImAFish 4.5 up and running, in no particluar order - Pariah from norway has been a great help in helping me code the articles and columns section. Sam also has been a great help as always for getting things working we wish him the best in running devilware. I would also like to thank all of the imafish crew and visitors for making the last year great for the site.