LEGO BB-8 review

I tend to get a couple of Lego Star Wars kits a year, when I saw the BB-8 larger model it had to go on my wish list. Well I must have been good because Santa brought me one this year.

This kit is one of the more tricky I’ve done and requires a bit of forcing! The main body is held together by an elastic band until you get all of the sides on so be prepared for some swearing.

Assembly took about 4 hours at a relaxed pace and aside from the above it’s a pretty easy one.

I’d guess that anyone over the age of 10 will be ok with this but might need a hand with the centre section of the body.

Once assembled it had a moving head and lighter opening. You control these via either side, spinning the disc on each side will move the mechanism inside to make the magic happen.

This is the first Lego I’ve had with a display stand. It’s actually pretty great and comes with a mini fig you can put just in front of your full sized model.

So overall if you are any kind of Star Wars fan then this is a must buy. As a Lego collector it’s not a complicated build so best if you are a fan of BB-8.

IS PSVR (PLAYSTATION VR) WORTH BUYING?

I’ve owned the PSVR since launch and now we are over 9 months on I wanted to share my thoughts on whether it was a good purchase and if it’s worth investing in yourself.

Spoiler: it’s not worth the investment.

When it launched and for quite a few weeks afterwards I was loving playing job simulator and demoing it to visitors. I then started to notice very little being added to the catalog with VR support.

With the exception of Resident Evil there wasn’t anything worth buying. Loading the store and trying to find VR games got a little demoralising and now PSVR has dropped in importance on the front page.

This coupled with the feeling that no games makers are embracing the platform has me worrying for its future.

The only game on the horizon that makes me excited is Ace Combat but I’ll get motion sickness. I’ve found slower paced VR games sit better with me .

I’m left with a device that’s sole purpose is to play job simulator.

Sony haven’t invested the time and money it takes to get game developers on board and take it seriously. Unfortunately like a lot of Sony projects I feel this is destined for the scrap heap.

Ambitious and a groundbreaking price for the technology but I feel strongly that it’s not living up to it’s promise and one to avoid.

I may look back on this post with embarrassment in a few years but I’m confident in saying VR just isn’t mainstream enough.

CAN AN IPAD HELP WITH RSI?

I’ve been typing on keyboards for as long as I can remember (ZX Spectrum was my first computer if you are interested!) and it’s all catching up on me as I get older. I have experienced shoulder, hand and wrist pain over the years of working on a computer for 8 hours a day and wanted to share how the iPad has been helping me to manage this.

If you have been following me for a while you will know that I am a big advocate of using an iPad to get your work done and with the incoming iOS 11 update it’s an even more important time to start to look at if you can alter your work habits.

I’ve found using an iPad Pro as my daily machine for writing and as a supplement to my 9-5 machine to really improve how I use a computer and thus having a positive impact on my RSI issues.

THE 9-5

In my day job I am at a standard Dell laptop but supplementing this with my iPad has made a difference to how I’m sat and my posture throughout the day. I use my iPad for all my notes and sketches in the day (I’m in meetings at least 2 hours a day). Using the iPad encourages me to change my position, allows me to stand up and walk around and change my hand position.

WRITING

90% of what I do on this site is produced on the iPad and Apple Pencil. Using this combination allows me to change my sitting position, use the on screen keyboard, the smart keyboard cover and the pencil for navigation – basically it gives me loads of flexibility.

I also find that I enjoy using the pencil for navigation as a way to take a break from typing and walking around with it allows me to give my shoulders a rest.

SO DOES IT ACTUALLY HELP?

Unscientifically for me – yes.

I find that the iPad forces me to change my position and with the pencil on hand to navigate with it gives my wrists a much needed rest. It’s important to point out that regular rests (every 30 mins or so), even if it’s just standing and sitting again is important anyway and having an iPad on hand to use especially in the day job forces me to break my laptop typing and use something else.

Get up, walk around with the iPad and make the most of this amazing technology we have at our fingertips.

Sphero R2-D2: Initial impressions

I’ve had about 2 hours with the Sphero R2-D2 so wanted to share a few of my thoughts on using it so far. (For context I already own the Sphero BB-8 and am using on iOS).

  • The box is beautifully made and the unboxing experience is a step up from BB-8
  • Couldn’t see any instructions in my box
  • Comes with micro USB to charge
  • Has a charge indicator on the droid, this is great
  • Having sounds coming from Artoo is great, BB-8 doesn’t
  • On board LED lights are great and he looks just like the movies
  • Easier to control than BB-8
  • More predefined actions at the tap of a single button

In short, I love this new Sphero. It’s a must for any Star Wars fan if you can get it under £100.

Lego BB-8

I love Lego, especially Star Wars ones and I was so pleased to receive the new BB-8. These come with the minifig and a stand to display it all.

I’m looking forward to the build and I’ll report back on it with a full review.

My second viewing of The Last Jedi

I saw my second viewing of The Last Jedi yesterday, this time with my daughter. It felt even more like a Star Wars film to me this time.

I enjoyed it first time around but was conflicted about a few parts. Having had this second viewing, taking more in and seeing my daughters reaction I have to admit that it’s it up there with my favourites in the franchise.

I watched Return of the Jedi in the cinema when I was a kid and this feels a lot like that. Cool planets, space battles, creatures and a couple of good baddies.

I think some people are picking apart the mythology a little too much. I just sat back and enjoyed it for what it is – a Star Wars movie.

I should preface this to say I’m a massive geek for Star Wars but I do like what Rian Johnson has done with the storyline, breaking away from the Skywalker family.

I love this movie.

What I want to see from Apple in 2018

As we’ve already talked about 2017 was a mixed year for Apple. Moving into 2018 it’s a good opportunity to think about what I’d like to see in 2018.

iPhone lineup

Between iPhone 8 and X Apple have had mixed reactions from the public. The 8 isn’t different enough and the X is too expensive. Personally I’d love to see how many iPhone SE and 7 models have been sold since the 8 and X were released, it may surprise you. I feel that they have sold rather well. I know a new line up has been rumoured already but here goes what I’d like to see

  • A new 4.7″ LCD that goes edge to edge, which replaces the current SE
  • The current 8 gets replaced with an edge to edge 5.8″ LCD
  • Plus model dropped
  • The current iPhone X gets a price reduction with 128GB storage option
  • A new 6.5″ OLED iPhone X to satisfy the current Plus owners
  • All models except the SE have a dual lens camera
  • All models have FaceID
  • All models start at 64GB and offer 128GB

Thoughts?

iPad lineup

The current line up is solid, I don’t think we’ll see much on the iPad front aside internal bumps. No edge to edge design needed or FaceID this year I feel.

I’d like to see dual lens on the iPad Pro and FaceID but I don’t see it happening this year.

Mac

As someone that using a Mac maybe 20% of the time it’s a hard one.

I’d say improved keyboards on The MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Deliver on your promise of a new modular Mac Pro.

Wearables

I wear my Apple Watch everyday and love it, don’t see where the hardware can improve at this point.

I’d like to see improvements in software

  • Third party watch faces
  • Improved proactive health detection

Services

iCloud is pretty solid for me so mine is more around consolidation. Roll video into Apple Music or create a new video streaking app. Stop the bloat on iTunes and finally split it up.

Create a new Amazon Prime like service where you pay once and get all of the services in one package.

Software

Improvements to core Apple apps such as Reminders, Calendar and Mail. They are unusable for when you want to get things done and I often use a third party app such as Fantastical.

Consistency, this is something that should be top of Apple’s list when it comes to software improvements. I am a bit sick of Apple’s own apps all having their own personality rather than a consistent approach. For example Music has the new larger header style but Reminders has the older list view that is inconsistent. Please Apple chose one style and stick to it.

WordPress vs Squarespace (iOS)

If you have been following me you’ll know that this week I made the switch to WordPress from Squarespace. I wanted to start to share my experience of doing this, especially coming from an already established blog and platform.

One of the reasons I switched was Squarespace’s lack of commitment to iOS. The site editing didn’t work well in Safari and their iOS apps were slow to update.

The first thing I noticed switching over was the iOS app was supported on the latest hardware. So they look great on both my 10.5″ iPad Pro and iPhone X.

At the time of writing the Squarespace app still doesn’t support the new screen on the X.

Next thing I noticed was how well laid out the iPhone app was. It’s easy to see stats, separate drafts, scheduled and published and adding images works every time (unlike the Squarespace app).

So if like me you are an iOS first user then for me WordPress is the only choice.

Visiting Puzzlewood

It’s a not so well kept secret that Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean here in the U.K. was used in The Force Awakens. At the time it was obviously hush hush but now it’s been out for a while it’s common knowledge that it was shot there.

It’s also rumoured to be one of the places Tolkien took inspiration from for middle earth.

Specifically Maz’s home planet of Takodana.

I live about an hour away and visit there a few times a year, it’s such a magical place to visit and like nowhere else you’ll visit.

It’ll take a few hours to get in there and wander around, remembering to take in the food at the cafe.

If you’re visiting the U.K. (and a Star Wars and Lord of the Rings) fan check it out.