2014

It’s the last day of the year, and time to sum it up. 2014 was the year that…

  • I wrote the least entries since I started writing. Only 46 entries were published, although I’ve got a few drafts what will probably never see the light of day. 46 entries are less than an entry a week, which is nothing short of a scandal! I can’t promise you any more next year, though, if anything there will probably be even less writing.
  • I did writing an unhealthy amount of reviews. Consider it a public service from me, to you. You’re welcome. Most of them were computer game reviews, but I also saw a few movies.
  • I read a few books, believe it or not. I wanted to sit down with a great space opera, and based on recommendations I started reading Leviathan Wakes, the first book in The Expanse series. It started out really well, but after about hundred pages, I really got the feeling I was watching an episode of Firefly. For most of you science fiction nerds, that is a good thing, and something that probably helps explain the series success. But personally, I really didn’t find much joy in neither Firefly nor Serenity. It’s a bombshell, I know, but I’m standing by it. And while I’m dropping bombshells, I think The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a massively overrated series.
  • 18 years overdue, I got my driver’s license. It took 18 years because I didn’t really see why I needed it since public transportation is a completely sufficient way of getting around 99% percent of the time you have to get from point A to point B. But in the end, I caved: When you get a kid, it turns out it’s extremely convenient to have a car and actually be able to legally drive it.
  • Version 3.0.0 and subsequent bug fixes of my WordPress plugin wp-days-ago was released. I hope you’re not waiting for me to answer a question in the support forum, because I haven’t visited that for ages.
  • I think I managed to watch every single Formula 1 race. The 2014 season wasn’t the most exciting one I’ve witnessed, and my old nemesis Lewis Hamilton won the world championship, which was a huge disappointment.
  • I used a Windows Phone 8 handset for three weeks to see if the mobile operating system had changed for the better since version 7.5, which I tested back in 2012. My three weeks with the phone were summarized in three blog posts and the conclusion was the same: There’s nothing wrong with Windows Phone, but there’s nothing spectacular about it either: There’s nothing there that will make an average iOS or Android user want to change to Windows Phone.
  • Wearable tech got hot. I bought myself a Pebble, a gadget that I can easily live without. But it’s nice to be able to quickly figure out the time without having to fish out my mobile phone. Also, controlling Spotify from my wrist while traveling is pretty damn convenient.
  • I pledged to a few more – 12 to be exact – Kickstarter projects. Here are a few highlights. Some of the projects I backed in 2013 also began actually delivering in 2014.
  • A bookmarking feature was added to the site. Behind the scenes, I also moved all my domains – I own a few others in addition to this one – to a new registrar, which will cut my yearly domain costs down to about 1/3 of what it was previously.
  • I revealed one of my deepest, darkest secrets: From 1995 to roughly 2000, I tried my luck as a “composer” of sorts. HYPERSPACE, Milo and Timid is in the building!
  • The 2014 FIFA World Cup was hosted by Brazil. As with every big football tournament, either the European Cup or the World Cup, I tried my luck at some sports betting. I’m still having a day job, to put it that way.
  • I realized just how much the Skullcandy Uprocks suck as a pair of headphones. Oh my god, they suck so unbelievably hard.
  • The summer vacation scored very low on the exotic scale: We spent three nights in Sweden.
  • I spent a lot of time looking for good camera and post-processing apps for Android.
  • I listened to a lot of podcasts.
  • At least, but certainly not last (and you knew this already from having read through the rest of this list): Vilde was born. As of the 14th of May this year, Anniken and I are no longer in control of our lives.

There you go. Even though I didn’t write much, 2014 has without doubt been the most eventful year so far. Here’s to a less eventful, but at least as interesting 2015. Happy new year!

I’ve now been making these summaries for 10 years. Knock yourselves out: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

A Picture a Day 2014

It’s been another year, and I’ve shot a new photo every day. This year I’ve even cheated less than I did last year, most of what you see is actually taken on the day they are posted. Looking at the pictures from 2014, I can say for sure that I still live a pretty ordinary life. But it’s certainly been an extraordinary year, with the birth of Vilde. I’ve made an effort not to fill each and every day with a picture of her, and as far as I can tell, she’s featured about once a week on average. Not that much considering she has my attention about 80% of the time I’m awake and not at work.

During 2014 I bought a spanking new Nexus 5, which did wonders for the quality of the photos. The optical image stabilization is great, and combined with the HDR functionality of the Google Camera, I can now take pictures needing a lot less light than before. The Nexus 4 I used previously was a great phone, but the camera wasn’t impressing anyone. I also did quite a lot of research into other camera and post-processing apps for Android, research that curiously enough resulted in even less use of filters and effects. A shame, really, since the pictures with a little bit of post-processing are way more vivid than the straight-off-the-camera-shots. Perhaps next year will be the year of the filters?

2014 in Music

Not much blogging these days, but I’ll do my best to keep my end-of-the-year traditions. One of them is the Year in Music, so let’s sum up 2014 and introduce you to a few new artist you might not have heard of before.

According to last.fm, my top 491 artists for 2014 were: Biffy Clyro, Lonely The Brave, Nils Petter Molvær, Kent, Lissie, Eminem, Coldplay, Ben Howard, Tycho, Ed Sheeran, Moddi, Pink Floyd, Bastille, Boards of Canada, Solar Fields, Adam Fielding, Bonobo, Nubah, The Glitch Mob, OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene, Bush, Skambankt, Jon Hopkins, The War on Drugs, 36, Cinnamon Chasers, Rhian Sheehan, Snakadaktal, Tomáš Dvořák, Chrome Sparks, Aydio, Clean Bandit, Sync24, Koan, Hammock, Kvelertak, Todd Terje, Shingo Nakamura, London Grammar, Pearl Jam, The American Dollar, Clubfeet, Ellie Goulding, Matthew Good, John Mayer, Clint Mansell, Pharrell Williams, Rise Against, Northcape.

Not many big changes since last year. My taste in music is mostly the same, with Scottish heroes Biffy Clyro being the number one band in 2014, just like they were in 2013. The electronica genre has been pushed back a little, with the first artist in that genre being Tycho. This is not entirely correct, though. I’ve been listening to Soundrop’s ambient channel a lot at work, but there’s a huge span of artists, so it’s hard for them to make it to the top of any lists.

I’m Alive

But I’m a bit creatively challenged at the moment. Also, spare time is a luxury these days and my priorities are obviously not with this site. I do, however, continue to take a picture every day, so you can check them out if you’re starved for what is going on in my life. You’re probably not, but here’s a spoiler: Nothing spectacular at all is going on.

You can also find my shenanigans on Twitter and I just joined Ello. If you’re there, say hi. Or, if you want an Ello invite, let me know. I should probably warn you, though, the site is likely to give you a headache. Who in their right mind uses a mono spaced font as their main font? Ello thinks it’s cool. It’s not.

2014 Android Photo Editing App Review – The Verdict

More reviews! There has been a lot of them this year, and over the last month, there has been a lot of Android reviews in particular. But after this post, I’ll calm down a little, as least with the Android stuff.

After the 2014 Android Camera App Review – The Verdict post, I decided to go ahead and find a photo editing app for my Android phone. I picked three popular apps from the photography category in the Google Play store and took a deep dive into each one of them (links are to my reviews):

Based solely on the review score, Photo Editor comes out on top. While it’s a great piece of software and without doubt the most feature rich and powerful app pf the three, the learning curve is rather steep. Photo Editor really requires you to spend a lot of time with it to get a good result, so if you’re looking for a quickie, I’d recommend that you got for PhotoDirector or Snapseed instead.

All three apps have their own strong sides and in some ways complement each other. So why not use all three? PhotoDirector is somewhat handicapped by its resolution limit in the free version, and you should consider paying for the full version if you plan to use it often. The free version of Photo Editor only show you an ad without removing any features, but if you are bothered by ads, you can turn them off by upgrading. It’ll cost you roughly half of what you have to spend on the full version of PhotoDirector. Snapseed is totally free, compliments of Google, but on the downside it hasn’t been updated in almost a year.

While you might think that we’ve found the ultimate collection of photo editing apps to cover your every need, we’ve not. All these apps could have been replaced by a single one: Pixlr Express – photo editing (review). It’s feature packed, easy to use and very quick. But for some moronic reason, the creator Autodesk has decided that it’s a great idea to wipe out the original EXIF data when you save a photo edited with the app. It’s not a great idea, it’s a bad idea.

But until Autodesk decides to fix this, the winners are all of the reviewed apps: Photo Editor, PhotoDirector and Snapseed. Happy photo editing!