My new best friend: Beryl

Further to my experiences loading Ubuntu Studio on my main machine, I thought I’d let you know about something that may just change your opinion about Linux. You thought it was a hard to use, graphically boring operating system for geeks, yes? You’d be wrong, then. Meet Beryl (watch this selection of videos for details).

Impressed? You should be. That’s some sweet window effects right there, yes sir. And it’s as easy to get as ticking Beryl for installation – the system takes care of the rest (downloading, compiling, organising, fettline, installing, cleaning up and initialising). OK, I admit I had some problems getting the operating system onto my machine, but it was worth it.

SO hopefully we’ll start to see some more people agreeing that Linux is ready for the big-time.

Flickrising the world

I’ve succumbed and created an account with Flickr, the amazingly popular image management website. While I have a gallery of images here on this very site, it’s not that easy to add pictures to. No batch tagging, no handy uploader tool to drag and drop photos in. Whereas FLickr makes uploading, tagging, renaming, commenting and organising photos a breeze. I’ll still keep the gallery here, but it will be for just a few select photos I think.

So take a look at my photos. My favourite so far is this fantastic sunset.

Finding great colour schemes in nature

Despite occasional successes when it comes to design work, I’d say my graphic ability is rather average. I’m definitely more a developer than a designer. But even I know that even if amazing graphics aren’t your cup of tea, you can get a long with simple designs based on great colour schemes.

But where do you get great colour schemes? They are all around us, and there is loads of help finding them on the web. But one source of inspiration particularly appeals to me, partly because I like natural, organic things, and partly because it’s very rarely wrong. That source, of course, is nature.

But just in case you are starting to worry that you’ll have to dig out those walking boots and go trekking, stop right there. There’s a fantastic collection of colour schemes based on butterflies over at And if that’s not enough, just find a photo of some nature to get the creative juices flowing.

As you may know, I like providing multiple “skins” for the systems I write, and with great resources like that there’ll never be a shortage of inspiration.

N-Studio – glimpse of the otherworld

Just occasionally I see a website that makes me stop and catch my breath. So it is with N.Design Studio, which is retro and modern, funky and smooth all at once. Like an Ozric tentacles track it envelopes you and makes you drift into a land far, far away.

Of course we can’t all do designs like that, partly due to the fact that clients wouldn’t like )or indeed get) it, but mainly because us lesser mortals just can’t do illustration of that magnitude. Well done to the n-studio guys.