anthony galvin

15 years ago the four of us went boarding together in Norway. There's been other trips, but we never managed to get us all back together on the snow. Until last week.

More grey hair, a little heavier and slower. Four fabulous days away from pandemics, impending war and work. Let's not leave it so long next time!

#snow #norway #boarding #friends

09/03/2022 permalink

Yesterday evening, I finished work, had dinner with my family and then cycled up Alpe d'Huez.

Not the real, physical one, but a simulacra of one in Zwift, the virtual cycling app / game / training tool. I wasn't on my own, there were thousands of other cyclists on the mountain. Well not on the mountain - in their garages, sheds and living rooms.

Over the last few months there's been a lot written / spoken / tweeted about the Metaverse. Especially since the company that makes Facebook (previously also called Facebook) changed it's name to Meta. Of course nobody who regularly uses the Metaverse is calling it "the Metaverse". They are spending time in Roblox. Or playing Minecraft. Or even Second Life (for the retronauts).

This concept of a virtual world where people can interact in a 3D way has been around for some time. I remember working on virtual cafe for Nescafe, as a graduate at a small web agency all the way back in 1999. It was slow. People still had dial-up. Nobody was really interested in a branded cafe experience. Especially one sponsored by an instant coffee company.

The other day someone asked me if TodayTix Group had a Metaverse strategy. I can imagine the company selling tickets for virtual events. But so much of what the company does is about getting people together at live events. It sounded odd even verbalising it. For me the hours spend in Zwift are a means to an end. An attempt to do some exercise and get a bit less unfit in a fun and convenient way.

So what's next for the Metaverse? Maybe people will spend even more time in these places - the price of hardware will fall and faster internet connections become more ubiquitous.

Will people choose the Meta over reality? With better 3D googles? And more painfully realistic recreations of alpine climbs? I'm not so sure. I can't see people choosing the Meta in-place of reality. If you offered me a week cycling in France or 7-days on a virtual trainer I know which one I'd choose. But as a facilitator of convenience or entertainment there's a place in our connected world for these virtual spaces.

#cycling #metaverse #technology #3d #zwift #work

25/02/2022 permalink

Jan Pieńkowski (1936 - 2022)

Jan Pieńkowski is one of those childrens illustrators or authors who provides a link between my childhood and my childrens childhood. "Haunted House" was one of my favourites, as well as of course Meg and Mog. Someone who had a huge impact on storytelling, illustration and bedtimes!

#links #education #creativity #family

21/02/2022 permalink

It’s a surprisingly warm summers day. We’ve been coming to Mull for more than a decade, but we’ve never had weather like this. It’s a flat calm on Calgary beach and the sun is beating down. The beaches of the west coast of Scotland often look like the Caribbean, but for once they even feel like it!

It’s pretty busy, for the Inner Hebrides, which means not that busy at all. Once I push out from the beach the hubbub slips away and I’m floating over the seaweed below, looking out for fish beneath the gentle waves lazily rolling in. I stand up from my kneeling position. After a few minor wobbles I’m ready to scoot round the northern side of the bay, up towards the old pier. There’s a couple having a picnic who are slightly surprised by my “hello”!

The bottom drops away from this point, and I get a moment of vertigo as I suddenly feel like I’m a long way from shore. I spin the board round and head back in a little before pushing across the bay towards the far side, past a yacht anchored a little way off shore.

As I head back in, the effort starts to hit me, there’s more current here than you might think, and on another day it would be a much riskier enterprise, but with a few minutes of long pulls on the paddle I’m back in the shallows where the girls coming splashing in to meet me.

#paddleboard #sup #scotland #family #islands #family #mull

23/12/2021 permalink

No 10 plans to lower salary level at which graduates start repaying loans

Government believes too many students are racking up debts studying “soft” 3-year university courses in arts and social sciences, and is looking to funnel more 18 year olds towards technical training that is cheaper and will pay a faster economic dividend.

It probably was “soft” compared to some degrees, but I learnt an awful lot of “soft” skills that have proved way more important than the technical skills that I learned on the job.

#links #education #work #creativity #politics

27/09/2021 permalink

MKGeek Night, my local tech meet-up.

My local tech meet-up, nice breadth of topics and a good group of participants - hosted at the always excellent MK Gallery.

#links #tech #geek #meetup #miltonkeynes

20/09/2021 permalink

Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81

My friend Chris, from over the road, had a ZX Spectrum. It was an absolute marvel and embedded somewhere in my brain the idea that computers were something you could use to create things.

#links #computing #creativity #1980s #childhood #maker

16/09/2021 permalink

How R/GA Is Bringing AI to Brand Naming

As always with agency hype around AI, the article reads better if you ignore the references to AI and just assume this is good old Machine Learning (and quite possible Linear Regression) - but if anyone can pull this off it's probably R/GA. Great to see what Rob and the team have been working on.

#links #ai #branding #machine-learning #creativity

16/09/2021 permalink

The Mentorship Diamond

The idea that one person, your manager, is going to be the oracle on your career is a bit optimistic. Mentees all round!

#links #work #tech #careers #mentoring

16/09/2021 permalink

The Case for ‘Developer Experience’

If you're an engineering lead business and you make vendor and toolset choices that don't take account of the impact on the team it's not likely to go so well.

#links #work #tech #strategy

16/09/2021 permalink

Optimizing a homepage image from 10MB to 78KB

Great deep dive into image optimisation - and a reminder that really delivering on web performance often takes expertise and diligence that's hard to deliver at scale.

#links #web #work #images #optimisation #performance #internet

15/09/2021 permalink

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