All posts by Peter Craddock

A telepath battle

Here’s a little passage for Arpia vol. 2 (Fight of Eve) I just reworked (when not studying).
Tell me what you think, …

Background information:
Mbirnsi is a So-laon, and they are a race of telepaths imprisoned by the Constitutor Intelligence Service.
Birgo works for Arpia, and has become pretty much the greatest warrior in the galaxy through training with Masters of many kinds of martial and telepathic arts.
To fully understand though, you need to read vol. 1 and the rest of vol. 2.
And when you see , it means a telepath is “sending words” into someone’s mind.

Aim of the passage:
I was hoping to describe a battle between telepaths that seems alive and isn’t just “two people standing there doing nothing visually” or “this was awesome, believe me!”.
Hopefully, I have achieved this.
Continue reading A telepath battle

My Leopard’s Look: part III

In this series, entitled “My Leopard’s Look”, I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X “Leopard”: icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons, and Part II to read about the Dock and wallpapers.


I never was interested in themes under Tiger (Mac OS 10.4), partly because I had a 1999 G3 iMac, and partly because the only tool “average users” could use to apply themes was Unsanity’s ShapeShifter (which came at a hefty price for a student, and which is a “haxie” that requires “Application Enhancer” [APE] to run, and APE has caused me a couple of problems in the past).

Then Leopard came along, and while I was very happy with the new unified metal look for all applications, the blue aqua (scrollbars, list headers, …) was starting to feel old.
So I decided to take a look at Leopard theming options.
Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part III

My Leopard’s Look: part II

In this series, entitled "My Leopard’s Look", I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X "Leopard": icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons.


The Dock itself

The 3D Dock introduced in Leopard was one of its most controversial features. Many users far preferred the 2D Dock from Tiger. But then someone found how to customise the 3D Dock, and now, you can find Dock skins and instructions on how to install them all over the place ( and spring to mind).

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part II

My Leopard’s Look: part I

There are many things you can do to make your Mac look unique.
You can customise the hardware by decorating it or adding "skins".
But most of the customising comes from the software. Partly because it’s often free, and because it’s less… permanent.

So, what can you do if you have Mac OS 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard?

Until this weekend of mid-May, icons and dock changes (which I’ll detail later) were pretty much all you could do, because Apple has changed the way OS X generates the user interface in many ways. Not completely yet though: it appears 10.6 will be the first to fully use the new "CoreUI".
But enough technobabble. In short, since this week-end, all parts of Leopard are customisable. At least, that’s the theory.
And to illustrate, this is a normal Leopard screenshot. But here is an example of a new appearance, without using any hacks (note that system fonts can also be changed), and here is my personal Leopard’s appearance.

Note: there are still some limits, but for example, window backgrounds are customisable, …

In this series, I’ll talk about the different aspects of customisation, mostly for the sake of those users not entirely familiar with it, but it will contain some advanced customisation information as well.
Part II will concern the Dock and wallpapers, and part III, theming.

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part I

Lessons of web design

I could have easily titled this "What I learnt while making this website" (yes, "learnt" – British English, my friends), but it felt a little long.

The website has only been truly complete for a few hours now, because I now believe no more changes are needed (though the past week has been just about tweaking). This means I haven’t yet received any real feedback (except from a couple of friends), and so I cannot say I’ve learnt anything from the potential users.
But as a web designer (an amateur, really), there are so many things I’ve learnt over the past month that I feel it necessary to write down the most important of them.

Continue reading Lessons of web design

The quest for the perfect non-web font

At university, I write down most of what the teacher says during a lecture, and given that I do so on my MacBook and was feeling generous at the time, I decided to make these lecture notes available to all 400 other students in my class, by putting them online and putting a link to them on the class webboard. Turns out my notes were downloaded over 3300 times during a three-month time-span, because over here in Belgium, lecture notes are the way to go if you want to pass an exam. Especially if the teacher doesn’t provide you with a syllabus.

So I decided I would do the same this term, though this time, we had far fewer courses in common. And at the end of the term (a week ago), I was thinking about how I would make the notes available: Word .doc and Adobe PDF, as usual, or just PDF? I work in Pages ’08, so converting to .doc is always a bother. At the same time, I noticed that the course titles were in Times New Roman. And I thought: “Eugh.”

Continue reading The quest for the perfect non-web font

PACweb2.0: Mind-haven

Over the blue sea, there is an island you can’t see,
Come on and believe me when I say it’s heaven on Earth
Over the blue sea, there is a place we’ll never see,
It is a part of our mind that we can still try to find…

Such were the lyrics to a long-forgotten song of a then-unknown composer.

There are few places where one can go and truly speak freely. The best place nowadays, I believe, is the internet, and then only in certain places. Even if you own a website, you are limited by your webhosting company as to what you can put on your website. But freedom of speech depends on the context and on yourself. If you make a habit of insulting people, then you will feel controlled by forum moderators, … If however you are always polite and try to make constructive arguments, you will feel free as a bird.

But still, you never know if you can speak of just about anything that crosses your mind.

I have decided to integrate a blog in this website, because I know that I often have random thoughts, the desire to write about something, …, and this might well be the best way for me to channel this other kind of creativity and madness.

Therefore, to whomever this may concern, welcome to Peter’s empire of twaddle.