Creativity and Design

iPad Pro vs. iPad Air

Date : April 21, 2021

Jorge P. asks:

What do you use to make your drawings?

Short answer: I use an iPad Air

When the iPad Air (2020) was released I purchased both the iPad Pro and the iPad Air to compare them as a regular user would. I won’t make this long so here is my short review/answer.

The iPad Air

The good? Great screen, only one camera, basic features, works great with Apple Pencil (2nd gen) and beats the iPad Pro at single core applications. It doesn’t get as hot and it is very fast. You can use your fingerprint to unlock it meaning that even if you are not looking at it you can access your apps.

The bad? Sometimes apps crash, screen goes black, the loading icon is shown and kicks me to the home screen. Not a big deal, happens once a week but can get annoying. The battery life could be better while using video or applications like Procreate. I don’t care about how thin or lightweight it is, if it could have 5 extra hours of battery.

The iPad Pro

The good? Great screen, amazing refresh rate, multiple high-quality cameras and LIDAR which allows you to scan rooms and objects. It is blazing fast when working with multiple applications or video editing.

The bad? It gets hot, very hot, you cannot hold it without feeling uncomfortable by the amount of heat this thing produces. The only way to unlock the iPad Pro is with a password or Face ID which means you have to be exactly in front of the camera so it can scan your face. It also may have too many features that you are never going to use. The price may be a bit steep for some, it was for me.

I recommend getting the Apple Pencil, totally worth it.

The winner is…

*Opens envelope* …iPad Air! Ok, for what I use it for the iPad Air is just right. I returned the iPad Pro, too many bells and whistles. Both iPads performed great but like I mentioned before the iPad Pro gets very hot and iPad Air does everything I need for less price and with the same great performance.

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Creative Thinking

Date : April 19, 2021

Thinking requires strategy and lots of practice to be truly effective, if you practice thinking daily you might be surprised at the results. Our brain is a complex neural network that is constantly firing up signals and learning, it produces thousands of solutions per hour and these solutions lead to thoughts, ideas, decisions (good and bad) that result in real world actions.

How to think effectively

Think outside the box

Identify the parts of the problem and rearrange them in different ways, even if at first they don’t make much sense, this could lead to interesting outcomes. During this process, do not judge your ideas, let your mind do the talking.

Imagine solutions

Close your eyes and make an effort to visualize the problem and ways to solve it, rearrange ideas in your mind and identify the main pieces of the puzzle. If this proves difficult, grab pen and paper, start sketching ideas or write some notes.

Stay productive

One part of the creative process is productivity, staying productive keeps your mind busy and active. Productivity leads to better problem solving which leads to a healthy brain. Just make sure you don’t get stuck performing the same routine daily, throw your brain a few curve-balls or it will get bored.

Combine ideas and thoughts.

By now you should have enough ideas, sketches or notes of your own to recombine them into new solutions. Also try combining old ideas with fresh ones, this doesn’t always work but it can produce interesting results.

Think illogically

Although this may sound counterproductive, making connections between ideas and items that have nothing to with each other (even if the results make no sense at first) trains your brain to go beyond the limits of logic and reason. One example of this is sleep, when we are asleep our brain comes up with illogical ideas that do not make sense once we wake up, the brain does this naturally, which explains why sometimes our dreams are all over the place and we don’t notice immediately, yet our brain never runs out of material.

Fail and try again

The idea of thinking seems effortless but not everyone knows how to do it effectively, thinking takes effort and some people even get headaches from thinking too much, in reality our brains works like a muscle, the more you use it, the better it gets at doing its job. When you fail, move on, focus on your thought process, take note of your progress and enjoy the results.

Distract your mind

Taking time off from the problem can lead to good solutions. When our mind distracted, our brain sometimes works on the background. Go for a drive, watch an episode of your favorite show or simply sit outside doing nothing. Anything that you find relaxing will recharge your batteries. So don’t forget to give your brain a break between sessions and get back at it.


This is a general structure of my creative process, you have to find what works for you, the best location, the best time of the day and ideal situation. Find your own method and fine-tune it.

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Dell Inspiron 13 Review

Date : May 29, 2020

Note: I had removed this review thinking it might be outdated and irrelevant but I received so many e-mails requesting it back and it is my most read article to date with over 10,000 views. Ok, you win… it’s back.

This is a short review of a product I purchased recently, I am talking about the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Laptop. As of May 2020 you can still find it here on their website.

I love Dell. I will continue buying their laptops, I own 7 Dell computers myself and I still think they are the best Windows based computers currently in the market. I would build my own laptop if I could but until that is possible I am sticking with Dell.

Review

On the first day of using Dell Inspiron 13 I was blown away by the quality of the screen and trust me, it has an AMAZING 4K display. After a week the problems started showing up and I liked it less and less. This laptop packs a 10th Gen intel i7 processor and it is very fast but it also gets extremely hot. I used an infrared thermometer and it registered 127° F on the bottom, making it impossible to put it on my lap. The hot air leaked to the keyboard area my hands started getting sweaty, the computer did not slow down, it gave me all the performance I needed but eventually it got too hot. I updated the BIOS and all the drivers as recommended by the manufacturer but didn’t fix the problem.

I can’t draw in this thing either, this laptop includes a properly placed pencil between the keyboard and screen, when drawing the DELL pencil feels like it bounces on the screen instead of gliding naturally, the feeling is quite synthetic with a click sound.

So if you need a laptop for internet browsing, making spreadsheets and sending a few e-mails this is the absolute best laptop you can get and the price is not bad, but if you try to design anything or even play a little bit of Minecraft, forget it.

PROS

  • Absolutely incredible 4K screen
  • Light as a feather
  • Very thin
  • Enjoyable keyboard
  • A whisper silent fan
  • Very fast computer
  • Finger recognition

CONS

  • Feels cheap, too much plastic.
  • Gets extremely hot when doing intensive processing (127°F)
  • Can’t open it with one hand like my other laptops.
  • Only USB-A port (USB-A is still the standard)
  • Feels like I am going to break it every time I fold into tablet
    mode

I still love you Dell but sadly your XPS line does not come in black.

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War of the Worlds is a boring disaster.

Date : April 6, 2020

Epix War of the Worlds ended last night with and quite honestly I had high hopes for this show as I am a fan of H.G. Wells and I thought we would finally get an interesting adaptation of this sci-fi story, instead what we got was a dull mix of boring characters and robot dogs with zero explanation to the viewer as to what is really going on.

So these are the main characters.

The Blind Girl

Emily (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is a blind girl that depends completely on her mother, the alien brain waves give her the gift of sight (it is never explained how this happens) and suddenly she decides her mother is annoying and rebels by sleeping with the first guy she sees with no emotional connection or relationship development whatsoever.

Top of the building doing nothing.

The Weird Scientist

Bill (Gabriel Byrne) is a brilliant neuroscientist who discovers that the aliens are planning something big and after saving his ex-wife (who he used to stalk by the way) by throwing her into an elevator, (yeap) his only obsession is to get back with her, never mind the billions of dead people, the killer robot dogs walking around hunting survivors or the fact that the entire world just came to a screeching halt, no this guy wants to play house with his ex-wife.

I don’t know, maybe use this character to develop the story a little bit and provide the audience with some useful information as to what is going on? nah, too much work I guess.

Bill can’t take a hint.

The Refugee

Kariem (Bayo Gbadamosi) is another wasted character, after surviving by accident he gets stabbed in the gut with a 5-inch blade, he is bleeding to death but then he just walks around like nothing happened a couple of days later, no medical care, no antibiotics.

Maybe they could have made this character the hero with a backstory who protects the rest of the group with his skills and give him some meaningful purpose. No, this guy just stands on the roof for hours, completely exposed staring at the buildings, he also sleeps with blind girl in the most awkward sex scene filmed since cameras were invented. Who directed this?

He didn’t actually do that.

The Walking Scientist

Catherine (Léa Drucker) seems to be the most useful character of the whole show, she’s smart and intuitive and is puts the pieces together on how frequencies affect the aliens to be able to defeat them, yet the show runners have her walking back and forth from the observatory to the city and back to the observatory and then back into the city… I mean, wouldn’t you like the smartest person in your group to be completely safe inside a concrete building protected by soldiers while she figures out a solution?

She goes back to the city again and again.

The Killer Robot Dogs

These amazing killer robot dogs are so stealthy you can hear them coming from a mile away because their mechanical joints make so much noise they could wake up an entire neighborhood, they are agile and stealthy when the script needs them to be and slow and loud when the show’s budget is running low on funds, there is no explanation as to what they are, how they work or what they want, but they don’t hurt blind girl for some reason and it is never explained why. Good job robots!

The robot dogs are perfect snipers when killing extras but are basically
Star Wars stormtroopers when shooting at the main characters.

The Logic

Bodies in this universe do not decompose, there are no maggots nor flies, no one locks or barricades doors, everyone forgets that just a few seconds ago there were murdering robot dogs chasing them and they just step outside and walk like they are shopping at the mall.

The killer robot dogs safely carry newborn babies miles away even when they have no physical way of doing so, no one shows despair or questions what is going on because their personal dramas are more important than aliens taking over the world I guess.

That shopping cart is loud, let’s alert everyone of our presence!

The Story

The entire first season could be summarized like this:

Meaningless CGI balls crash on earth and then the sky lights up and almost everyone’s dead, among the survivors there is this blind girl who can now see and there are robot dogs killing survivors, blind girl seems to have an unexplained connection to robot dogs and at the end she finds one of the aliens who looks like a human and they both have the same circular tattoo. THE END.


The entire first season could have been told in just two episodes if they didn’t spend SO MUCH TIME on “slow artistic shots” that add nothing to the story. The show builds up tension but then leaves you hanging because there is no sense of urgency or dread that these characters are in any real danger, they run and escape, this goes on for the entire season. The final scene (which is supposed to be a cliffhanger) has no meaning whatsoever since we are never told the meaning of the tattoo or why blind girl can pet the killer robot dogs. One season was enough and I am done with it.

Nah! I’m out.

Final Score: 2/5

One point for building up tension perfectly on the first 3 episodes and another point for not injecting any politics.

We are on lockdown, I just want good entertainment.

233

The incredible brain

Date : April 2, 2020

Yesterday I was trying to get into my AutoDesk account, I entered my username and I suddenly realized that I forgot the password, it was a strange feeling because it is a password that I use about once a week and I made weird faces, stared at the wall, closed my eyes, nothing worked. I went to sleep.

This morning I got up and the first thing that popped up in my head was… yes… my password … I know it perfectly now.

I am no brain expert and I have no idea how this happens but my theory is that one of my brain cells holds my password and last night when I needed it, that brain cell was chilling in the break room maybe flirting with the other brain cells, I don’t know. Anyway the brain is a mystery and it still surprises me from time to time.

More on this later.

P.S. I am not bald. (yet)

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