Not far from the Fischer brewery in Schiltigheim stands an unassuming building where great things are afoot in the world of architecture. It is here that I’ve had the privilege to be involved in the launch of a new product, which is set to take the 3D design world by storm. These are the headquarters of local company KA-RA Srl, which stands for Kinetic Arts and Research in Architecture. It’s headed by visionary architect Raphael Pierrat who, with the help of a team of talented software engineers, has created a software package that architects the world over have been waiting for. It’s called Twinmotion2 and is the result of ten years of field experience with firms like the famed Zaha Hadid Architects. In essence it is a 3D design and visualisation application that renders in real-time and is loaded with tools aimed at helping architects to visualise their ideas with incredible speed. What makes the product special is it foregoes the requirement for users to hit a ‘render’ button in order to see the final results. As any 3D [...]
While the name might perhaps conjure up visions of a yet-known talented French mid-fielder, aged sixteen – possibly – and guaranteed a bright future in the Premier League, Fabrice Linck is no such individual. Alas, although football plays a huge part in his life, the nearest Fabrice (40) gets to a match ball is the occasional attendance at Stade de la Meinau, and even then it’s simply to support the home side RC Strasbourg, or ‘le Racing’ as they’re known. However Monsieur Linck cannot be categorised along with other regular supporters, who exercise their love of the game by buying merchandise, season tickets and satellite dishes. Fabrice prefers to turn what he sees of the beautiful game into an art-form: bande dessinée; putting pen to paper to create what is known as ‘BD’ to the man-in-the-street (pronounced ‘beedy’) or ‘comic-strips’ to you and I. In France there’s no shame in being an author of comic art, in fact it carries a certain amount of kudos, partly because comic ‘albums’ sell in quantities comparable to those experienced by the literature [...]
It's times like these that make you realise why the dismantling of national postal services is a bad idea. I have dealt with two private parcel firms in recent days who share the same attitude to their respective services. Today is the second time I have had to deal with UPS' useless attitude after a missed delivery. The last time it happened my parcel sat in a Strasbourg warehouse for almost two weeks while it was progressively de-prioritised because I never seemed to be in when they came by. But with UPS' delivery system it is impossible to specify a delivery time - only a date, which means those of us who have to do the school run are prone to never receiving our packages from Useless Parcel Service. It didn't matter how many times I'd call saying "don't deliver it between 11.30 and 12.30" - their idiotic system ensured that that was the precise time that the driver would come by to find me not in .. and program in an automatic dumb delivery time 48 hours later. [...]
Just want to bore you for a minute or two with my tales of woe following my misguided attempts to upgrade my PC to Windows 7. As the situation currently stands my expensive custom built desktop computer is currently sitting idle, it is now incapable of booting up so therefore will most likely remain idle for some time. This is the end result of approximately two weeks of lost productivity time in trying to bring my system (which was built in 2007) into the new age of Microsoft operating system technology. I had convinced myself that Windows XP had to be replaced, if only because it was so old, being first released in 1999. Like a naive schoolboy I assumed that modernising would make my life easier, and my system more secure. Indeed, Microsoft's helpful 'upgrade advisor' gave no clue as to the actual reality of making the leap of faith, cheerfully telling me I could slap the x64 or x32 version of Windows 7 onto my computer without much ado. In my first attempt to upgrade I opted [...]
My dealings with my pension agent CIPAV can only be described as "disastrous". The bastards who run this little outfit, intended to help freelancers plan for their retirement, seem to find it amusing to ignore all communication from their desperate members (i.e. me) who say they are unable to pay due to CIPAV's estimated earnings being way beyond the reality. In 2006 I stupidly ticked the box for 'complementary cover' in my retirement plan. Meaning I agreed to pay extra if I earned above a certain threshold. Last year I came in way below this threshold - and so filled out the requisite form asking for exemption. No reply. So I was a bit miffed when I was asked for the same amount again a few months later. So I followed advice and wrote a cheque for what should have been the legitimate amount. Today I received a bill, that not only ignored my complementary exemption, but also ignored the fact that I had already paid up 50% of what they had asked for. Additionally they see fit to [...]
When the divine creator, or one of their subordinates, sat down to programme my genetic code it seems they decided to have a bit of fun at my expense in the hair department. Yesterday I was forced to go fishing for a rogue nasal hair that was causing me no end of irritation. When I had finally tracked it down and extracted it with the aid of a thumbnail which could really do with a trim, my eyes began to water uncontrollably, decanting their contents into my nasal canals causing me to sneeze so hard it made my testicles hurt. Twice. After blowing my nose, I sat down to recover and ponder the article that had once been an integral part of my being which I still held between thumb and forefinger. It was long, straight and wiry, starting in thick trunk-like fashion at the root and narrowing exponentially at the tip into what can only be described as a spike, altogether resembling a miniature version of a lance, the type Julius Caesar used to conquer most of Europe [...]
Trojan-Clicker.JS.Agent.ma JS:Small-C [Trj] Many thanks to Matt and Danny who spotted the above virus attacks on this site. I have now cleaned-up and everything should be functioning as normal - if not - please tell me asap!
I've had a day of high emotion, but thankfully there's been some top quality liquor nearby to sooth it's passing. On reflection it's been an education in the way different people approach business. I began the day by hosting a very amicable meeting of the Strasbulles 2010 design team. All in French of course, but I got the gist of my responsibilities (albeit unpaid) and agreed a set of goals with my compatriots. I then returned to my PC to read some good news - I had landed a new UK account! An old colleague had followed my movements and pushed a new venture my way. It's nice to work with old friends particularly on projects that they are passionate about and have the potential to grow into something quite exciting for all concerned. Marvellous. Then it all went downhill... My PC's power-supply (which has been on the blink for about a week) finally gave up the ghost, forcing me into a panic back-up of all my open files before the battery ran out. Anticipating this I had already [...]
This post by Aaron Winborn, author of, among other things, a book entitled 'Drupal Multimedia' seems to find it's way to the top of my Google search queries on a regular basis. The article, written in August 2008, weighs up the pros and cons of the three leading open-source content management systems (CMS) on the market. As you can probably guess Mr Winborn recommends Drupal as the most flexible solution for serious website developers, hence the trick question. Having now built sites using all three systems I can safely say now that not one of them can be regarded as the best solution for all needs, however, as time goes by I am increasingly convinced that Wordpress will eventually become the default choice for website construction. Things have changed a lot since August 2008. While the development of Drupal and Joomla may have progressed, the sheer size of the user community lending itself to improving the program have accelerated the development of Wordpress' gamut of functionalities ten-fold; and 12 million downloads of the current selection of themes tells you [...]
Ever had that annoying little yellow triangle alert symbol appear over your network connection, and no matter what you do to alter your network settings, you just can't seem to get connected to the internet? This happened to me this morning - but thanks to a little program I found here I'm back online! Unfortunately I deleted half my network settings in the process - so I'll have to retype all those WEP keys! Argh! Am now seriously considering buying an Apple Mac - the stress is starting to make the hefty price tag seem worth it. Herein lies the problem with working for yourself - thou must rely on one's own IT knowledge to stay online, or suffer the consequences.