Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Learned something new today

You can’t restore tour phone backup to a new memory card. Fortunately this really only affects the Focus.

A tale of two platforms….Sameapp Shodown!

 

 

 

 

Netflix:

iPod Touch v1.1.2-773

Windows Phone v1.1.5.1

 

As soon as the Windows Phone came out I couldn’t wait to compare the same app on both it and the iPod/iPhone.  The obvious first one of these is of course Netflix.  Netflix goes out of their way to try and offer a similar experience across all screens for their app, so this would provide a good opportunity to highlight the GUI advantages/disadvantages.

The first thing we are presented with for both apps is of course the home screen.  The iPod screen features a familiar row of soft buttons along the bottom of the app for Home Genre Search and Instant Queue.  Windows Phone has the same topics implemented through sliding text at the top.  Being that Windows Phone is panoramic in nature, the text actually scrolls off the screen.  This would seem to give the iPod version an advantage since you can click any of the buttons without scrolling.  However, I noticed that when I turned to landscape for the Windows Phone all categories were now present.  I could then click on each one just as I would the IPod soft button.  Trying the same thing on the iPod reveals….well, it reveals that the home screen doesn’t switch to landscape.  Bummer.

Another point to the home screen is that the recommendations are broken out into screens.  On Windows Phone, the recommendations are presented all on one scrolling page with thumbnails and the ability to stream directly.  Definite advantage to Windows Phone here as you are not flipping back and forth between pages.

When it comes to playback, the iPod shows some advantages that Windows Phone chooses not to implement.  One is the 30 seconds back button on the player.  The other is an aspect ratio button that allows you to view 4:3 in original or stretched.  I could find no such functionality on Windows Phone.  One hindrance to the iPod Touch version is that due to the lack of a hardware back button, it has a “done” button.  However, what I have found with this is that if you hit “done” in the middle of a movie, Netflix does not save your spot.  It actually makes the Resume function worthless because you are always going to start the show over.  I presume this is something that will get fixed when Netflix brings it up to version parity with Windows Phone.

 

In all, I have to give the Windows Phone version of Netflix a slight edge here.  The ability to browse in portrait or landscape as well as browse all recommendations from one page definitely shows some UI advantages of a modern phone OS.  The iPhone version does show some refinement in the playback portion, but these are minor features that get little use.  If the next update to the Windows Phone version adds 30 sec back rewind and aspect, the iPod version will definitely start to look aged.

Google + RIM: The Perfect Shotgun Wedding

Now that the sleeping giant has awakened and graced the world with Windows Phone 7, many are looking around the room at who the odd man out is.  Most people will agree that the incumbent, Apple, is not too concerned about this sudden 4th player coming to the table.  I think soon the stats will show that not too many defections occurred with the release of Windows Phone.

However, the ones that seem to be knashing their teeth the most are the Android crowd.  In fact, shortly before WP7’s launch, Google was bold enough to come out and say the world doesn’t need another OS….clearly worried about fragmentation.

What then of RIM?  The Blackberry is flailing to find a voice in the consumer smartphone fervor.  Certainly, it provided a good corporate alternative to Windows Mobile when it came to email.  But how many people do you know are saying “hey, I want to go out and buy a Blackberry!”…?  The Torch was a miserable failure from a consumer standpoint.  No doubt, corporate users will replace dying BBs with Torches, but one has to wonder how many of those users carry an iPhone or Android.

Then we have what is perhaps the most damning announcement, Dell is kicking RIM out of the house.  Even in good economic times, CIOs had a hard time stomaching a secondary server that was needed to work with the corporate Exchange infrastructure.  Now Dell is boldly announcing what more companies are thinking…why do we need a Blackberry Enterprise Server when now we have a phone that works directly with Exchange and is something people would actually want to carry?

Certainly not the position RIM wants to be in, and with the recent privacy fervor with India, Saudi Arabia, et al…how comfortable do you feel emailing someone with a Blackberry?  It could all come together for a perfect storm of bloodletting (or juicing as it were) for the Blackberry.

So who might be the white knight in all of this?  Well Google of course.  They are dying to get inside enterprises, and their Google Apps suite certainly hasn’t been doing the job.  Google and Blackberry hitching up would suddenly get Google’s name on a server in practically every major company in the world.  From there they could launch an attack on the enterprise from the inside. 

First task would be to separate BES from Exchange and make it a force unto itself with a Google messaging platform.  It would essentially be an Exchange and Office Communication Server (now Microsoft Lync) wrapped up into one.  Consumers already rave about Google Voice….GV for the Enterprise?  Even better.

Then of course Google could put the aging Blackberry OS to rest and migrate everything to Android, while keeping the more coherent app store Blackberry has fostered.  No need to stay in the hardware business either.  There is something to be said about letting OEMs make the hardware, just go the Microsoft route and establish a chassis standard.

RIM escapes their current debacle altogether and Google removes a player from the market while firmly wedging themselves between Microsoft and Apple….while staying relevant.

Funny things my son says

So this weekend the weather was particularly nice, my son and I were sitting out in the back yard in our chairs watching the airplanes and I was telling him the name of each tree in the back yard.  I told him botany was the science of plants and trees (way over the head of a 4 yo, yet it spurned this thought):

“Dad, when I was at Mimi’s we learned about science”

“Oh really?”  “What science things did you learn about?”

“Pirates.”

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“Finished” Battlefield 1943

I guess I should say, I have all of the achievements for this game now.  But you never really finish it.  It is just so addictive you have to get online and just keep playing and playing. 

More uselss computing history (Toadie this time)

I have another computing entity besides MONSTER.  Toadie came about as a “helper computer” for MONSTER (a Monster has its Toadie, get it)?  Toadie was originally cobbled together from spare parts during my work at Datafix.  It started out as a 486 133Mhz box.  I have no idea what OS I was running on the thing.  Toadie v1 didn’t last very long in this incarnation.

Toadie quickly lept from being a mundane PC to being a mobile computer.  Toadie v2 was actually an HP OmniGo 100.  This was a sweet little PDA that ran the GEOS operating system.

Toadie v3 came into being after Toadie v2 met its demise getting dropped while walking out of Wal-Mart.  v3 was an HP HP 320LX.  This was one of the first PDAs running Windows CE (version ONE!)  The cool thing about this PDA was that to upgrade to v2 of Windows CE, you just popped in this chip and BAM! Windows CE v2!

Toadie v4 came about when I got an HP Journada 420.  It was a rather bulky thing and it ran Windows CE 2.11.  If I recall correctly this one got broken too because I moved on to…

Toadie v5, which was an HP Jornada 548.  This ran Pocket PC 2000.  Pretty impressive unit.

At this point I was carrying a cell phone too, and I had been through various attempts at getting a smart phone, but nothing that could really be called a mobile computer.  Finally Sprint came out with the Toshiba 2032.  This ran Pocket PC 2002.  Unfortunately it was also a very dreadful PDA phone.  So Toadie v6 was short lived.

I went back to carrying a regular mobile phone, except this time the mobile had bluetooth.  So I came across an iPaq 3970 which was running Pocket PC 2002, but I was able to upgrade it to WIndows Mobile 2003.  This was a wonderfully fast PDA and when paired to my bluetooth phone I could surf the web on it.  It was a great performer but I still wanted convergence. This became Toadie v7 for a short time.

This brings us to Toadie v8.  This was the PPC-6600 from Sprint.  It was an awesome phone running Windows Mobile 2003.  Toadie v7.  One thing ticked me off with Sprint though is that they wouldn’t offer an upgrade to Windows Mobile 5.  This, combined with the fact that I was out of contract and ready to change, led me to the next iteration of Toadie.

Toadie v9 was the HTC 8125 on Cingular.  Work was paying for my phone line now, so I used it as an excuse to dump Sprint.  The 8125 was a decent phone, but it was woefully bulky.  It also had poor battery life and was overall pretty slow on Cingular’s EDGE network.

Toadie v10 was the Samsung Blackjack.  It started out running Windows Mobile 5, but I upgraded it to WIndows Mobile 6.  The blackjack was an awesome phone, but I accidentally cracked the screen on it and had to get a replacement.

Toadie v11 is a Treo 750.  It is running Windows Mobile 6 Professional.  I love the form factor of this phone and really I haven’t found anything that has made me want to change yet.  The Samsung Epix comes close, but I think I will wait and see if Microsoft will be coming out with a phone of their own.

 

EDIT 3/26/12  I realize I have left a few off here…

Toadie v12 was a brief foray with a Motorola Q9, I think the proper term for it was a Q9h….at any rate the thing rocked.  It was a hand me down because my Treo was convienently sold while it still had some value.  Unfortunately this Q9 had been really beat up over time.

Toadie v13 was a brief return to a Samsung Blackjack.  It was also a hand me down.

Toadie v14 was a return to a Motorola Q9 h but this one was in MUCH better shape than the hand me down.  I wore this phone out pretty much.  I consider this phone to be the pinnacle of Windows Mobile Standard devices, even though it was only running 6.1 it ran circles around Blackberries and just about anything else.

Toadie v15….the first Windows Phone 7 device…a Samsung Focus.  What an epic device.  It started out with the release version of WIndows Phone but was soon updated to 7.5 in 2011.  Incredible incredible device.  The only reason I parted with it was because..

Toadiev16….an HTC Titan.  Now normally I would not be stepping into another phone quite so fast because the Focus did everything I needed.  However, this was one of those craigslist specials.  for $100 I simply couldn’t resist.  Supposedly it didn’t work, but a factory reset fixed that.