Tuesday, 21 April 2015

New Laptop, Arch and Cinnamon.

Recently I purchased the unstoppable Optimus V, it's a PC Specialist machine and WOAHHH - it's fantastic.

Anyway, some of the cool features of this beast include:-

12GB ram
17.3 in screen
i7 with 8 cores
dual graphics:-
NVIDIA gtx860m
intel 4600 graphics
1920x1080 resolution
Oh did I mention SOUNDBLASTER?

Yes this machine is epic,

As always I installed Arch Linux, completely wiping windows 8.1 due to it being a pile of corporate doo doo.

Firstly I ventured into the usual awesome with the most basic stuff on there. But I felt a bit underwhelmed. I couldn't for the life of me get xbindkeys to register my multimedia keys and in the end I just gave up. I tried to install Manjaro Plasma 5 but Nouveau is so utterly sh*te (that's how angry it made the Christian) that every time I tried to load it it would crash, and if I ever managed to get to the install I got UEFI errors, I was sorely vexed.

I ended up reinstalling Arch, I tried Plasma 5 and got conflicts at install, so I decided to go with Cinnamon - good decision on my part.

The install worked like a charm, I installed GDM for my display manager, and the NVIDIA proprietary driver, bumblebee, and researched about how to activate it (primusrun. optimusrun etc)

Games work great, probably a little slower than windows, but not obviously. For instance, I get around 50-60 fps on WoW running at medium, and 45-60 in Ultra. Second Life gives me 60 fps on Ultra - which is unbelievable. The simple truth is, this is the fastest machine I have ever used, it takes ONE SECOND to run firefox - ONE SECOND!! On my old machine which (granted), was old..it took 10-15 seconds.

About a year and a half ago I spent 200 pounds on a brand new Toshiba laptop, it was literally slower than the PC I was trying to upgrade - thank you AMD. I installed windows and linux and both crawled, I could barely even view 720p video.

Compare it to this, it runs everything you throw at it, Steam, 1080p, 4K, without a hesitation. This is a gaming computer but it does everything brilliantly.

Cinnamon has come a long way as well. About 4 months ago I called Cinnamon "gnome widgets". I disagree now, I have no issue with Cinnamon anymore, it's matured and is a desktop in it's own right. It caters to my every whim. Happy Chris.

I bought my machine on finance, £45 a month for 2 years, in two years this will still be doing everything I want it to. I can imagine this machine will be able to serve me for many years after that.

Did I mention the 17.3in screen??!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

New Cambridge Paragraph Bible

There was a time when I said that the New English Bible I owned was the most beautiful bible I'd ever laid my eyes upon. I was correct - at the time. Now the New English Bible is on my bookshelf and this bible is never out of my hands. I love the King James Bible, it's evident from my statement of faith. I still hold to the King James being the word of God in absolute perfect form. The NCPB is that and more. It's the King James formatted like a modern bible, without the evilness of verse removal and doctrinal bias. Now, don't get me wrong  it has it's issues - and we will deal with a couple later - but I must say, as this is something I've wanted for a very long time, I'm blown away by it.

Firstly, this bible costs around £80 brand new, I paid £55 thanks to a small scrape on the gold edging, I'm lucky, it's minor and it would have happened anyway in my clumsy hands. The reason it costs so much is evident when you have it in your hands, firstly there's the formatting of the text:

One block paragraph, reminiscent of the hardcover NEB, with a font similar to the ESV study bible. Its right justified, allowing the margins to be used for editorial notes (both from the 1611 translators and Norton himself), this also aids in reading, the version I own has the apocrypha and it thickens it up a little, were it to be left justified it would make reading more cumbersome, and do I really need the notes so well exposed? No, the justification chosen by Cambridge is perfect, and it really justifies the extra dough.

Secondly we have the leather, Calfskin, it works, its soft, supple, and bends wonderfully. The text itself is a delight to behold. It's so well formatted that it actually makes reading the bible wonderful. Being the King James it allowed you to experience the word of God in all it's elegance and beauty whilst not having it broken by versification. Oh did I point out that this isn't going to be the best reference bible for you? No cross references (except what was in the 1611) and the verse numbers are microscopic, there's also no concordance - this is a reading bible - this is a 21st century Tyndale New Testament in resource terms. This is THE BIBLE and nothing else, and I'm fine with that.

There's quotation marks, this is a limitation, I first thought that quotation marks were a wonderful idea, and they are - where it's obvious who is speaking. But you take the epistle of James, or one of Paul's, and quotation marks are doctrinally worrying. Someone may think that James' talk about faith and works is all about works being necessary for salvation, whereas another may think that James is quoting a big paragraph of what someone else said and he is mocking them.
But, quotation marks aside, lets talk about the actual font. It's smaller than the original, but still massively readable. In fact the size of this bible shows just how easy a single column bible is if you put your mind to it. This is slightly larger than the ESV PSR, and a third thicker - that's all. It's light, and yet the font is perfectly readable - much more readable than the PSR, and all it sacrificed was a concordance and cross references - both of which you can get in a KJV concordance.

This is the beauty of the whole thing, it has 300 years of additional material, its modern looking, it has all the wonder of the past, and all the pluses of the present day. Its not some hybrid either, with the modern grammatical stuff added - it completely and utterly fits in today's world. Now, should you abandon your KJV for it? No, this is for someone who doesn't enjoy traditional KJV formatting and wants something new but old at the same time. I love single column, and this is by far the greatest single column KJV out today. The Thomas Nelson is disgusting, it's a hack job, and the font is unforgivable. Norton, for all his faults, has done an absolutely beautiful job here. I honestly cannot imagine myself ever needing a new bible, this is one of those bibles you will keep and treasure forever. Norton has scoured the 1611 KJV, updated the grammar, unified the thees and the thou's etc, so they're consistent, he's updated the names and unified them between the testaments, (so no more greekisms at the end of names) - he has been conservative in this. For instance if Joshua is referred to as Jesus - Jesus has remained where it's ambiguous - such as in Hebrews).

Norton is a clever man, and I have to give him kudos..he's made me a happy man. I own both the hardcover and the calfskin editions, and I am so glad I upgraded - it's changed things a lot. If you're considering purchasing the NCPB, I implore you to save for the leather version, it's so much better, lighter, and attractive.

Forget the NKJV, forget the MEV, get the NCPB!