Touching the Future

September 25, 2011

What does the entire mainstream computing world currently have in common?

It is moving towards a touchscreen environment.

Ubuntu and Unity

Microsoft and Windows 8

Apple and iOS / Lion

The final piece in the puzzle was the developer release of Windows 8 recently.

Big bold buttons are common place throughout the three.  Fingers at the ready.  Or should it be ready for the fingers.

Windows 8 is a horrible desktop Operating System, at least in my opinion after playing with it for a while.  There is simplified and just simple.  What works on a tablet doesn’t translate to the desktop environment as it stands right now.  Windows phone 7 and Windows 8 seem to be stepping towards each other and a merger.

Ubuntu and Unity (Ew) has laid it’s cards on the table.  I mention Ubuntu as the linux contingent simply because it is the distro new users gravitate to for the most part, although Linux Mint is definitely catching up in my opinion.  More big icons et al.  It will be interesting to see if anyone wants Unity on hardware other than the Desktop.

iOS, the best of the bunch, simply because it is currently only on touch screen based devices!  The release of Lion signifies Apple’s road map to unification between Lion and iOS.

Unity and Windows simply don’t have the history with touch screen devices so are trying to play catch up with Apple and it shows.  The jumps are just too much too soon.  It is a change to a desktop environment mashed up with parts of a touchscreen OS and simply doesn’t work.

Will touch screen devices ever take the place of desktop environments completely?  I don’t think so, but it will be interesting to see how things progress from here.  Windows user base means it won’t take the hit Unity might and Apple seems to have it’s future planned and nailed down pretty well.

Java and a friend

October 20, 2008

I had a long conversation with someone who I had’t talked to for a long while, probably at least six months.  It was like, well I don’t know how I can describe it, except to say it was fun.

As for Java?  Well I haven’t done much pure, in a loose sense, Java programming after exploring the Android and Apple SDK’s.  It may be time to pick up on a couple of projects I left off of a while ago.

I also have some web developement projects that I invested some time into a few weeks ago that need reviewing.

Oh, and we still aren’t completely packed.


July 7, 2008

Apple logoI have always been a reluctant Apple user but over the past year or so I have found myself surrounded by more and more Apple products and you know what?  I like them.

Yes they can be over priced, yes they do overly use DRM, and yes there is an element of style over substance.

So am I that superficial that I can be converted despite all of those things or even because of them?

Well not really, my love affair began fairly simply with my other half wanting and getting a iPod shuffle last year.  I scoffed of course having never used iTunes and read all the negatives about it’s DRM and how it limits the way you can use your downloads and devices associated with it.  And I still hold those views.  But iTunes really is a very slick and user friendly piece of software.  It makes downloading podcasts, which I listen to lots of, and other sundry simple via an Ipod.  However I don’t use iTunes for the negative reasons I stated.  However I still like Apple products.  Again, why?

Well since the day of my partners pink Shuffle I have been curious and as such have tired the majority of their products to the point of now writing this on a Macbook (as you will have an idea of if you have read my previous posts).

I like the iPods, especially when using them under Linux using software that allows you to edit as well as you can with iTunes if not with a little rougher UI.

Having used the nano, classic and shuffle I have found the zenith in the Touch.

My iPod Touch isn’t used for music or podcasts.  Why?  Because I have jailbroken it to use it as a very capable handheld mobile PC.  There isn’t much I can’t do with it using the inbuilt wifi.  It is use to check my email on the fly, sign in to an IM, check on the news, browse the web, check the whether and basically any other operation you can think that you might want to do on the move.  Of course it can’t replace the functionality of a fully fledged laptop but what it can do is replace my Asus EEE 701, which has now been handed down to my partner.  Yes, I love my Ipod Touch, not for it’s Ipodness, but for it’s functionality, when jailbroken of course.

So I guess I can move on to the Macbook.

I had never used an Apple computer until I got my hands on this one.  I knew what to expect from the style and looks; as I mentioned Apple products are simply stunning for the most part.

But hardware and OS X wise I had to lose my virginity.  OS X is slick and smooth, there are problems getting some freeware tools and programs that I am used to using, but  I am happy to be using a system that is close to Linux in it’s Unix core although I have yet to really get under the bonnet.  I haven’t even opened a terminal yet.  As such I can only comment on the GUI and it is functionally simple with installs via downloads very easy and it’s overall simplicity over complexity works well.

Hardware wise I am impressed.  The Core Duo model I have runs fairly fast after my upgrades.  I have installed 2 gigabytes of RAM (The maximum for this model I was rather sad to read), to replace the default 1 gigabyte.  I then changed the hard drive from a 60 gigabyte to a 120 gigabyte model.  What I noticed most doing this was just how easy it was to install the upgrades.  Remove the battery, undo three screws and you have access to everything most users would need to upgrade.  The whole operation can be done in under 10 minutes.  Now I come to my favourite aspects of the Macbook, and these alone are almost enough to keep me on it as my main machine.  The screen is simply gorgeous, the best I have seen on a laptop.  It is clear, bright and unbelievably crisp.  But the coup de tat is the battery life.  5 or 6 hours during my normal usage!!!  Brilliant, and coupled with the above, a deal sealer for me.

Yes Apple.  You have a convert.  Not because you are beautiful, although that helps.  You have your downsides in software availability  compared to a Windows or even Linux machine; and your DRM is horrible.  But your hardware is brilliantly designed and that coupled with the functionality of your devices… well, like I say, the Macbook will be my main machine for the foreseeable future and me and my Ipod Touch are never separated.

Maybe its time for me to try the Iphone?  I just hope my other half doesn’t read that!