Clive Sinclair. RIP

As many people have shared on social media since the recent passing of Clive Sinclair the ZX81 was also my first computer and my first introduction to computer programming. Remember PEEK and POKE anyone?

Clive’s passing brings back a host of memories regarding my journey with computers – one which continues to this day. My primary school had 2-3 ZX81’s and with an upcoming birthday it was all I wanted.

I started with the base 1kb model which allowed me to do a school project on castles complete with an animated drawbridge and iron grate. The screen resolution was something like 64 x 40 pixels which again is laughable these days.

My brother and sisters can clearly remember – and enjoy reminding me – the sounds of anguish coming from my bedroom after having coded for hours (or at least it seemed like hours) the saving to tape had failed (yet again)

That said, the ZX81 is now 40 years old and these last 40 years have continued to illustrate that Moore’s law still continues to this day.

Subsequent to the ZX81 I upgraded to the wonderful world of colour with the ZX Spectrum. VIC20s, Commodore 64’s, Archimede’s and Atari’s all came and went before moving to PCs, Macs and iPads.

Today developing solutions for iPad we continue to push current hardware capabilities to their limit – this is a universal truth of computing that you never have enough power!

The last 40 years have been an amazing time to be part of the world of computing and while a sad time for Clive’s family, his impact on a generation can never be underestimated.

NXT BLD 2020

Earlier in the year I attended BIM live show. When talking to a friend about what I was up to he recommended I attend NXT BLD.

This year – like many conferences and events – NZT BLD turned into an experiment with it being held as a Virtual Conference.

There were a series of 6 Sessions spread over 6 days. I found the daily sessions a great way to attend those that attended me and found it easy to fit into my day.

Obviously it missed the interaction with participants but from a content point of view the delivery was very well done. I enjoyed all the sessions I attended and found them very thought provoking.

All sessions are available on demand for those that register and are definitely worth a watch.

At this stage NXT BLD 2021 is scheduled – in person – for London June 2021.

Based on this years event I hope I can attend 2021 in person and maybe even have an opportunity to show what we are working on.

New iPad Air

Last night in between cooking dinner I checked out Apples latest event – and then just now watched the bits I missed.

As had been telegraphed the launch included the new iPad Air.

It is now over 10 years since I wrote about the original iPad when it was first launched.

The evolution of the product over this time has been amazing to see and the sheer power of the device is something to behold. The new A14 Chip in this latest iPad has some [almost] unbelievable specs and the fact that it works with Apple Pencil 2 opens up a world of opportunities for this mid-level device.

It is incredible to think that on average over 50 million units have been sold each and every year since it was first launched.

While I haven’t given up my laptop yet, I know many people who regularly use an iPad as their main computing device.

I remember when it was launched initially and the amount of criticism that both the product itself and the name received.

I won’t be buying an Air just yet – but the blue one does look pretty sharp!

Thinking… about a new business

Its been over 4 months since my last contract finished and with Covid spreading throughout the world we are in lockdown here in Hungary. It could be sometime till I get a new contract one feels.

I’m not one to sit idle for long so I’ve kicked off a number of ideas to see what may come of them.

Starting can be tough and although I’ve started researching, prototyping and thinking whether it will result in a new business is anyone’s guess.

Since moving to Hungary I have worked for GRAPHISOFT SE, and then subsequently started my own Consulting Business. While I’m working for myself from the consulting point of view, it is still for other people’s businesses and deep down I feel I want to build something of my own.

As I’ve been investigating I’ve started to think about what I would want a new business to look – maybe it’s a weird place to start, but based on past experience there are some things I have strong feelings about.

I’ll explore my ideas in a series of posts, and update this post with links as I continue.

BIMshow – Newcastle

I’m just back from a few days in Newcastle for the ninth bim show live event.

Its the first time I’ve attended but I have to say that Rob and the team put on an outstanding event packed full with a huge line up of speakers and exhibitors.

It was great as always to catch up with Rob Jackson and meet Emma Hooper. The work these two are doing primarily for Bond Bryan but also the wider community is incredible – I’m not sure where they find the hours for it all. They had two presentations regarding Better Information Management which were brilliant.

It was great to catch up with and also hear David Philp presenting as the Chair on the first day. It is a few years since David was down in New Zealand but it was good to reconnect.

Paul Tunstall’s demo of Rhino/Grasshopper/ArchiCAD/Twinmotion while showing me things I’ve seen many times before really started me thinking about something.

There was a good balance of presentations and social time and I hope I can make the trip across to attend again next year.

I also enjoyed getting out for a run and taking in some of the local architecture.