Where Have I Been?

I wanted to keep posts about mental health on a separate blog, keeping my main site to be about more positive things. However I think on this occasion it would be more appropriate to share with as much of my online audience as possible. Plus if I do it like this then I don’t have to keep telling the story.

A couple of weeks ago I went through what I’d describe as a total brain crash. A kernel panic. It’s no secret that I’ve suffered from depression for a long time and the last couple of weeks have been especially rough. If you’ve ever suffered from depression you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, just imagine the saddest you’ve ever felt and remove whatever reason you had for feeling as sad as you did. That’s depression. A crippling sadness that has no real world cause. Normally I take a tablet every day and I don’t feel so bad. Unfortunately sometimes things just get too much. The recent stress over the new Simply Syndicated website and Simply Everything, which isn’t proven as popular as I’d have hoped, all took its toll on me and I needed to shut down for a while.

Where do I go from here? There’s lots to do. One of the upsides of recent events is that it has put me in touch with new mental health services which sound very promising. For the first time it’s being said that I could actually rid myself of this condition I had accepted I’d be living with for the rest of my life.

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of writing blog posts explaining where I’ve been for so long. I’m tired of trying to start new projects only to have them abandoned almost immediately because I have some sort of break down. I have no choice but to keep on trying. I reached the point where I considered not trying, but that’s how you end up with a crisis team in your living room.

I’d like to thank everybody for their support and for all the messages that helped me more than I can say.

Now I just want to get on with life and make some awesome stuff for the Internet.

Remote Patrol: Trust No One – Squeeze

Jason and I have got another episode of our award winning X Files show for you to listen to. I know that we haven’t technically won any awards yet, but just say the words a few times. Award winning, award winning. Now you can go listen to the show.

By the way, you have to be a Simply Syndicated supporter to listen, it’s on Simply Everything. Visit http://www.simplysyndicated.com/everything to support the network and get access to all the content.

Here’s a link for the episode – http://www.simplysyndicated.com/3-squeeze/

David Bowie By a Non-Fan

I wasn’t a fan of David Bowie’s music. That’s not a criticism. He just didn’t make music I wanted to listen to, that doesn’t mean it’s bad music. I don’t listen to a lot of Motzart on a daily basis.

To me Bowie was about style, confidence, and a general “Fuck you world! This is who and what I am and I’m awesome” attitude. To a lot of people he was a legendary musician. That’s fair enough, but there are a lot of legendary musicians. There was only one David Bowie.

The Case of the Disappearing Headphone Jack

The rumours are flying around about Apple launching the iPhone 7 without the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and the Internet has lost its mind.

First of all please understand that absolutely nothing is confirmed. No Apple products officially exist until Tim Cook shows one to you. So nobody outside Cupertino know for sure if the iPhone 7 is going to have the headphone socket or not. If anybody else tells you different, they’re just wrong.

But let’s assume that the it’s actually happening. Let’s say that the the next iPhone won’t have a headphone socket. What are we going to do? Well, we’re going to use wireless headphones, and I hate to say it, but you just might have to buy some wireless headphones. However there might actually be a pair in the box with the phone, did you ever think of that? You’ve got to be really cynical, with no historical evidence, to assume that Apple simply expect every iPhone owner to drop £200 on a pair of Beats.

It’s also possible that you’ll be able to connect your headphones via lightning. That could happen by either having headphones with a lightning connector, or by having a lightning to jack adapter. Expect lightning headphones to either come in the box or be extremely available when the phone launches. Remember that the iPhone enjoys the biggest and most vibrant accessory community.

If you’re really upset about this idea, just remember that the phone jack as its known, was invented in the late 19th century. Did you really think that’s how we were going to connect headphones until the end of time? There had to come a time when something better came along. That time is possibly now.

Welcome to the future. Everything you own is obsolete.

Fallout 4 on the Retina MacBook Pro

If you’re looking for a review of Fallout 4 I’m afraid this isn’t it. I’m here to talk about my experience running the game on my particular hardware setup, specifically a mid 2014 15″ retina MacBook Pro. It has the 2.5GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 500GB SSD, and an Nvidia GT750M graphics chip.

It seems PC gamers are very eager to let you know that the MacBook isn’t great for gaming, and that the GT750M graphics card is unreasonably underpowered, and they’d be right. If you were to spend MacBook money on a Windows laptop you’re going to get the GT970M or even GT980M. You don’t need to know the Nvidia graphics chip range to know that there are a lot of numbers between 750 and 980.

Fallout 4 turned out to be unplayable. Not just bad, unplayable. With the graphics set to the lowest possible settings, at the lowest possible resolution, the MacBook could only manage a few frames per second. I didn’t expect to be running ultra graphics settings at full retina resolution but what i was getting just wasn’t good enough.

Fallout isn’t available for OS X so I’m running it on Windows 10, running on Bootcamp, and I think that’s where the problem lies. You see the 15″ MacBook Pro doesn’t just have the GT750M, it also has the Intel Iris Pro on board graphics chip. That’s the very low powered graphics processor that lives inside the Intel processor. It’s terrible at 3D graphics but it uses very little power. For a laptop that can be the difference between getting your work finished and staring at a blank screen. OS X can decide whether it needs to use the Intel or Nvidia graphics depending on what you’re doing, only using the more power hungry chip when it’s absolutely necessary. As far as I can figure, Windows can’t do that. I’ve even read reports from Windows laptop owners with similar graphics arrangements complaining of the same problem. Windows isn’t using the big graphics card to run games. It’s just using the Iris graphics.

The work around I’ve found is to use an external monitor. With the laptop plugged into my TV via HDMI at 720p, I’m able to play using ultra graphics settings with a super smooth frame rate. I can even play the game nicely on a 1080p monitor via Thunderbot and DVI.

So my guess is that Windows won’t use the dedicated graphics card when running on the internal monitor. Using an external screen forces it to use the right card. I’ve had similar problems with other games, I’ll give them a go as soon as I get bored with Fallout 4, which will be sometime in May.