A Brief Beginner’s Guide to Binary

We all know computers deal in 1s and 0s but it’s not always that clear what binary is and why it’s even used at all instead of good old decimals. Wouldn’t it make more sense to write eleven as just 11 rather than 01011? The binary system was in existence well before its application to computer science and came to us from George Boole via Leibniz who … Continue reading A Brief Beginner’s Guide to Binary

Amusing Ourselves to Death

By rights Neil Postman’s 1985 tract on television’s perniciousness should be a relic or at least a curiosity but despite being written amid the Reagan administration parts of Amusing Ourselves to Death seem as relevant as ever while others less so. Evoking Orwell, Huxley and McLuhan Postman casts his gaze over television and by extension mass media’s reach. That said, when he talks of the primacy of … Continue reading Amusing Ourselves to Death

The Golden Ratio as Design Strategy

The Golden Ratio is one of those design concepts that’s often discussed but not entirely well understood but whether you believe it to be divine or bunkum it’s worth knowing about. First up, it’s not a magic bullet; despite what Dan Brown may say it’s not encoded with divine hermetic powers but it does turn up a lot in art and nature whether it’s the Parthenon or The Last Supper. In … Continue reading The Golden Ratio as Design Strategy

FFmpeg for video encoding

A couple of weeks ago I needed to trim an MP4 file. I didn’t necessarily want to re-encode besides I was on a machine without a media encoding application. I thought I’d try out FFmpeg which is a command line video and audio transcoder. To install FFmpeg I used Brew, the OS X Package Manager (Windows users can investigate Chocolatey): $ brew install ffmpeg It takes a … Continue reading FFmpeg for video encoding

Rebase 2015

I was lucky to attend the Rebase design event last week. It was a packed three days that kicked off with three talks at Wednesday evening’s Fringe event in NCAD. Fringe Event The first from Love & Robots‘ co-founder Kate O’Daly showcased their phenomenally interesting work with customisable fashion accessories and 3D printing bridging design and technology. Check out their customisable bow ties to see … Continue reading Rebase 2015

Creativity Inc

Ed Catmull’s Creativity Inc.

If you’re in the business of creativity but allergic to business books try Ed Catmull’s ‘Creativity Inc’ , a business book sure, but one in the guise of a whirlwind narrative on being at the apex of bleeding edge technology and the hard graft of the creative process. Catmull earned as a doctorate in computer science discovering amongst other things, texture mapping, at technique that’s used by all 3D graphics applications … Continue reading Ed Catmull’s Creativity Inc.