Sunday, November 27, 2011

Laughing at Windows 8

So through a Facebook post I saw the link to the Windows 8 Preview and I have to just sit there and laugh.  I think crayon and finger paints look better than this preview.  When Vista and then Windows 7 came out I scoffed at the flashy interface and Microsoft's lame attempt at "Pretty" interface.  Mac had them beat hands down.  I run across this link where someone references this as potentially Microsoft's "Tablet" to come and I nearly fell of my chair in laughter.

When I see this I thought I flashed back to 1997.  This is beyond a minimalist approach it's down right pathetic.  When I ditched my Windows Mobile phone several years back I said that it was the single most worst interface I ever used.  Seeing this it seems that Windows Mobile now made its way into "Windows 8".

I fail to understand where Microsoft is going with this.  The iPhone interface has been around quite a while and for the most part people love it.  So much the iPad is just as popular as the iPhone.  Android is just making a killing basically modelling after the same interface (due to it being so successful) and then Microsoft says "I know, people want a dos style dir /w with some icons next to it".  I just dont get it.

I fail to understand this for a few reasons.  First, Microsoft has been building UI's for over a decade.  You would think at some point they would have learned what to do and not to do.  Is this what all our user experience data they are collecting has come up with?

Next, does a iPad look like this?  Let's be honest.  iPads are created so an absolute idiot can use it.  They isolate you from even more than Microsoft does and they don't look anything like this.

Who seriously is going to use this interface?  Certainly not anyone with something to do.  This is just in the way of getting real work done.  Ok, so maybe Facebook is not a paying job yet (although my ex-wife tried to make it one).  Given that you still want to fire up an app and go to Facebook.  Who cares about this crap.  It's just something annoying in your way.

The personalized lock screen.  Not since the Edsel has there been such a bad idea.  Yes I know they are not the first.  Android has this and I'm not a fan.  Any "plug in" or other application able to display data from the lock screen is just a stupid idea.  Why?  Security.  It just takes someone with some evil powers to compromise an application and make it so when you press the battery icon, mail icon, battery icon then the clock twice the tablet unlocks or displays all your passwords.  Mark my words the day of reckoning cometh! 

Any way you want to slice it this looks like a bad idea.  I can't believe Microsoft has not just given up and said "Yup, we're not in the mobile market" but they keep trying.  Whats worse is some idiot out there keeps buying this stuff.  I have met more than my share of Microsoft fantasists but I have to question anyone buying this.  If you are considering it let me ask one thing.  Do you live under a rock? 

Android owns 43% of the market.  Apple and RIM own the rest.  Yet Microsoft with less than 5% keeps trying.  Who do they think they are Linux?  I don't understand what they hope to accomplish here.  Is this their tax write off?

I'm not excited at all by this.  What would be entertaining is a WebOS style of surrender before the fight even starts.  I have to say one thing for Microsoft, at least they are keeping programmers employed and for that my hats off to you.   

Adding Windows back into your Grub Menu List

Oddly Grub has always listed my windows partitions along with the list of recent Kernel updates.  Today for whatever reason Windows disappeared from there.  Well I honestly don't know when Windows disappeared since I use it once every 6 months or so.  In any case I came up with a lot of pages on how to edit Grub, etc.  I said there has to be an easier way since it seemed stupid to have to go through all these steps to modify the Grub configuration.  After some in-depth research I found the easy way to get the windows drive back on the Grub list.

For Ubuntu 10+, you need to install os-prober with
sudo apt-get install os-prober
and then update grub again with
sudo update-grub

That did the trick, next thing you know I had it listed back in the list.  Now I can play my Windows games again. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday is now spam friday

Apparently black friday is now considered spam friday for all retailers. I don't think that my inbox has received so much I spam over a 24 hour time period from people that I actually wanted to receive email from.  Even companies I haven't purchased things from in over 24 months from have managed to send me at least 2 emails today telling me about some outrageous deal that they've got going on for black friday.  Here's a tip if you want me to buy something don't send me 2 or 3 emails on it telling me what kind of an outrageous deal it is only to find out it wasn't something I wanted to buy any how.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Android Camera Apps

I have been struggling with Motorolla's "standard" camera app for Android.  It's down right pathetic.  In fact iPhone puts it to shame.  I have used the default camera app for some time now and it is down right a joke.  This includes the one on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well.  These apps suck.  I tried Vignette but it really worked hit and miss although this was much better than the stock one.

I finally found something that not only is worth $4.99 but shows that the hardware on these phones far exceeds the software.  Camera ZOOM FX by androidslide is exactly what it should be.  A full featured camera application that allows a non-novice camera user access to the functions of the camera.  I was able to even control the jpeg compression on the images.  I immediately was taking better pictures.  I'm still a bit disappointed in the shutter lag on  my phone but at least the quality of the photos I do take are decent.

When LifeHacker said that it's the best camera app for android, they weren't kidding.  It's by far the closest thing to what should be the default installed android camera. 

Which I want to mention as a serious android gripe.  If they want to keep being the iPhone killer they really need to step it up and start creating applications like this as the default installed camera application.  I know people complain about the price of an iPhone however when you get premium apps they come at a premium price.  Something to keep in mind Google!

The Digital Life

I have been considering for some time putting this blog together.  I have other blogs like however I don't have one that expressed my every day nature.  I created this blog because I wanted to share all the little things I find along the way.  I often share those with friends and family in person but I felt the need to share it with more people.  I know that others will gain something out of my experiences.  I hope that others will gain something from this and will be kind enough to leave some comments (other than advertisements for pharmacological products!).