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About Me

 

Name: Ali Hassan
Location: Dubai (UAE)

 

 

Thursday
Apr142016

Making a new short....

Its been almost close to 3 years since I made my last short and that is why I am super excited about the current one that I am shooting. I haven't shot or even attempted to do anything during this period and I need to get into the movie mode! I haven't forgotten the process of making a short but somehow this time it seems like a daunting  task maybe coz its been quite a while.

Currently I am only able to shoot on weekends because of time contraints and the fact I am generally never happy with my shots and I redo them so very often adds to be delay! So its like 30% complete and I still have quite a bit to shoot and I am hoping I get it done soon.

It's again a horror genre, somehow I cant think about making anything else so lets see how it pans out. Also for the first time I am using a full frame camera to shoot and I am only using the 50mm cannon lens for the entire movie.

I am guessing in a couple of weeks I should be done with all the shooting and then the editing and the sound design will come in which honestly is a litter easier than the actual shoot (at-least in my opinion). 

-Alstar

Sunday
Jan242016

Pebble Time Round - Impressions and Review

Just got my Pebble time round in the mail and the wait has finally ended! So this is my initial impressions on the watch and what I feel about it and what I like and don't. Since its been a couple of days now I have been using the watch so I would say this is like an initial impressions review.

Alright the moment you un-box the watch and hold it you realize how thin and light it is which is kind of OK if you ask me because I am not a great believer in things being thin just for the sake of you know just being thin. If you ask me I wouldn't mind this watch being a little heavier but that's just me I guess. Another design factor you cannot miss are those huge bezels! Now though they look good I just cannot understand the decision behind having them that big, I mean have the bezel I don't mind but don't go over-board with it. (To me this is a design flaw) 

The leather strap feels good, I have the 20mm Nutback model with a brown strap and it feels alright hopefully it wont die on me in the next few months but that's to be seen. Another aspect I had quite a hard time getting use to besides the "bezels" was the e-paper display technology  that the watch has, coming from devices which are bright and vibrant this does seem a little under whelming but the whole idea behind that was to save battery life and make it last for 2 days I guess? but still I am not completely sold on the display but with time I will get use to it since its not bad to start off, its just different.

The watch charges in a giffy! I mean you can get a full charge in about 15-20 minutes, which is awesome. Since these are my initial days with the watch and the kid inside me wants to explore it and try and figure out all the settings, I had to charge it multiple times in a day but I guess that's because I was using it so much to check notifications and also I have all the settings to the maximum (Backlight "ON", Ambient sensor "ON" , Motion Enabled "On" and Intensity "Blinding") which does drain the battery pretty quick but as I get more use to the watch in the coming weeks I can tweak it and since I wont be reaching out to it all the time I may get a 2 day battery life (hopefully).

The good part is  that I get all my notifications from my iphone which I have configured and that is why I got this device in the first place. I specifically wanted a smart watch which does the basic stuff right which is to notify me. It doesn't bother me at all that I cannot respond to notifications but that is how I want it to be.(I find people texting away from their watches a bit silly and its just too much technology going on!!) and also I am glad that its NOT a touch screen which makes the experience a bit retro in my opinion and gives it that old school feel!

So all in all I am fairly satisfied with the Pebble time round, it does what it says and yes its the thinnest smart watch out there but it has its flaws with the engineering part of it namely the e-paper display and the bezels. The e-paper display is not a flaw as such like I said it does take getting use to since its not as vibrant and crisp but the watch has nice animations!!

Pebble Time Round

Good

Does not look like a smart watch

Sleek and a simplistic design

Good build quality

Catchy animations

Bad

Bezels are a bit too much

E-paper display might not be for everyone

Limited functionality on iOS (at the moment)

 -Alstar

Wednesday
Jan202016

I am now a Pebbler....almost

Alright now, I have taken a leap of faith and finally got into the world of smart watches! I have ordered the Pebble time round last week and I cant wait to have that delivered to me so that I can try it out. The reason for choosing Pebble over all the other smart watches was that its really a minimalistic smart watch which looks really good but having said that I will have to try it out with iOS and see how it works and what does not.

Right now, I am just waiting for Pebble to actually ship my watch which seems to be taking longer than expected I guess, the website says its in stock and usually the items they have in stock ship quite fast but mine seem to be taking time and when I contacted the support they informed me that my watch is due to be shipped in the next cycle but did not tell me when is that dam cycle gona come! (annoyed..) I have selected UPS as the shipment method which they say takes 2-5 days from the time the watch has been shipped but since its not even shipped that does not even count!

It would be nice if the customers are kept more informed about the status rather than sitting and guessing when the watch will be shipped, so that's one feedback I have for Pebble and hope they work on improving that in the future. So until then I need to keep a close eye on my email and wait for the message from Pebble stating that the watch has  been shipped!

-Alstar

Wednesday
Jan062016

To Pebble or not to Pebble...

I had promised myself that I will not think about getting a smart watch ever, because I felt that its just too much  technology happening in one's life. I mean you have your phone without which you cant live in today's time and then add to it a smart watch?! Never!

So when the Apple watch came out and I was like what a piece of garbage! the way it is designed and looks is absolutely ridiculous, so I was like you know I don't need one of those "smart watches"... but as time passed and when I saw the Huawei smart watch which actually looked like a real watch I got mildly interested but again wasn't convinced that I needed one.

The other day when I saw the pebble time round, I was like "woah i need that one!", it looks great and stylish plus its not really a full fledged smart watch because I am on iOS and the compatibility is just minimum to the extend of only getting notifications on the watch and that is exactly what I need. I don't want a health/fitness tracker or for  that matter an internet machine or something, the entire idea of a smart watch to me is to be used as a notification machine and it doesn't make a difference even if I cant respond to them via the watch since when using the pebble you cant do that with iOS.

So that's how I feel about smart watches and I may end up getting the Pebble since its so minimilistic and does not have all the functionality which an Apple watch has but its looks and probably feels a whole lot better than the garbage which is the Apple watch in its present state! I have always maintained that in 2 years Apple will change the design and make  round face watch but that's then but at the moment I want to get a Pebble and see if that makes a difference to my life!

-Alstar

Tuesday
Nov102015

Tim Cook says "iPad Pro will replace notebooks and desktops for many many people!"

Oh well.. I think apple is just being delusional with this product! In its current state without any major input ports, its inability to run desktop apps and no mouse and not even a track pad on its "smart keyboard", how in the world will it replace many many notebooks or desktops or for that matter anything!

Its probably best for graphic designers/animators and mostly people from the graphic industry due to its precesion Apple pencil but for the common man its mostly a useless device which is too big!

So like I said in its current state iPad Pro will not replace any of the mentioned claims and hell it wont even replace my ipad air 2! (Tim should stop smoking that weird stuff he is on!)

-A

Monday
Sep072015

Why I think Apple Watch is the ugliest piece of tech around... 

Oh well, a few months back Apple proudly announced their latest creation called  the "Apple Watch" in an effort to re-invent the time piece and change the perception of the age old design. The rumours and the curiosity building up was wild and everyone wanted to know what it looked it? What could it do ? and some people hoped it would even help them time travel! j/k

So when the day came and they un-veiled the apple watch the first few words that came to my mind were "WOW, they've done a Samsung!".. I mean to me it looked like they shrunk the iphone and decided to call it the apple watch. Now before all the fan boys start hating me for the record I love what apple does I mean I own every product that I think is useful (imac, iphones, ipads, ipods) and the list goes on and I am looking to buy the new iphone 6s Plus when it comes out later this month so this is not hate for Apple its just hate for the design of the Apple Watch!

There are certain things according to me that you don't mess with from a design point of view, a watch has a unique place in history for ages and it looks classy when its circular and not like a shrunk iphone! I am not talking software here because I am sure Apple will get that right eventually with later releases which is fine by me but the fact the physical design is so shitty I just cant seem to understand why people would want to buy it. Alright yea, they want it because its makes their life easier and its cool and all that stuff but Apple has been promoting it as a fashion accessory which it is NOT! Its a piece of tech that looks like garbage...(The only thing cool is the digital crown which is a usefull addition)

I personally hate what Samsung does in terms of design for any of their products.. they are tacky and for most part ridiculous in term of design but what they have done with their latest release of the Samsung Gear S2 is really impressive and for most part very cool! I probably would never get a chance to experience that since I hate Andriod but if they ever get them compatible with iOS I will be the first to jump and buy them! I also think the Moto360 has a really cool design as well and customizable which is fun.

I hope you can see a pattern here which is that circular watches look much better!.. I am no one to imagine the future but I feel in about 2-3 years time Apple will make a circular watch and everyone would be like they have done it again! A REVOLUTION! tadaaaa...

So in conclusion I cant see myself wasting my money on something that is this ugly! and for the ones who already have... well have fun with it!

-Alstar

Sunday
Aug162015

Life with Multiple Sclerosis....

Last year sometime around April 2014 I was diagnosed with MS and my first reaction was "really?" .. I mean I had heard about this condition but never imagined I could ever get that which is probably true for almost all cases when you realize you have it.

Life hasn't changed much expect for the flare up's here and der..Initially I experienced issues with my eye sight and had double vision for about 2 weeks, life was tough because I couldn't drive or see properly at night because I saw double of everything! and that was accompanied by some facial tension on my right side along with a constant burning sensation on my tongue. That was when I had decided to consult a neurologist and get a MRI of my brain done with with a lumbar puncture procedure where they insert a needle into your spinal cord and take fluid out to confirm the diagnosis... Its not painful but feels so bloody weird when they do that!

Once confirmed I was told that this is a benign MS and not a progressive one which was some consolation I suppose but none the less they wanted me to start taking steroids to reduce the re-lapses and flare up's but I decided not to because I dont want to take steroids for the rest of my life and after reading about steroids and the side effects they have I took a call not to take them... I dont know if that is the right thing to do but that is just my personal choice.

After the episode of my double vision I didnt have any major re-lapses until now where it looks like the left part of my face has turned weak and I cant move it freely and my speech is a little slurred, this has been going since 4 days now and I am seeing a doctor tomorrow in the German Neuroscience Centre here in Dubai and get myself examined again. Its going to be the same thing I suppose of taking a new MRI to see how far the MS has progressed if at all and see what needs to be done. Since there is no medical cure for this condition I have to live with this for  the rest of my life unless some medical whiz comes up with a cure! 

So as of now I just have to maintain balanced low fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid processed food as much as I can. Life isn't really miserable at this stage but a little annoying that's all... I can still pretty much do what I want to and my normal day to day activity isn't hampered but when your speech is affected that's kinda irritating with the headaches that happen on and off so here's hoping it goes away sooner rather than later and now since I will make an effort to live healthy and avoid foods that are not good maybe the flare up's wont happen again or at best be short lived!

So lets see how it goes tommorow and here's keeping fingers crossed!

-A

Thursday
Nov132014

Moving to a full frame camera! --- Cannon 6D

Ah finally after all these years of shooting video with my awesome cannon T2i which is still a bloody good camera for the price I got in for.. I am moving to my first full frame camera the "Cannon 6D". Now I thought about this real hard because this is my camera upgrade after like 3 years so I wanted to be sure.

There were couple of factors that drove me into buying this camera out of which the main one was the price... If you ask me I would love to buy a Panasonic GH4 or Sony A7S but since I was on a tight budget and wanted to buy a full frame camera at this point I choose the Cannon 6D. The reviews on for this camera are pretty impressive and its being compared to the Cannon 5D Mark III with regards to its video capability and sharpness but having said that I know that Mark III is a more well rounded professional camera when it comes to video.

Speaking of video that is the only thing I use my DSLR for since that is the norm in today's world of independent short films isn't it.. I already have a Cannon 50mm 1.4 lens with me which I might end up using on this new Cannon 6D but other than that my old Tamron lens will not work coz its mainly for crop sensor cameras.Still not sure what I am going to do with my old T2i and the Tamron 17-50mm.. I might sell it and see how much I get and then invest that into buying a new lens..

So anyway for now I am pretty satisfied with my decesion and as I use it going forward I am sure I am going to love it!

-Alstar