Saturday, December 3, 2011

So Where Do I Go From Here?

I haven't written much lately. Well, at least not on this blog. My Tumblr blog on the other hand has been fairly active by comparison. And of course I'm extremely active on on Twitter, somewhat less active on Google Plus, and I keep in touch with my family through Facebook. So where does Blogger fit in? In the past it was a no-brainer to put whatever I wanted on my blog but now there are so many more choices, many of them more convenient and faster than blogging. Twitter is amazing in this respect and Tumblr fills the gap nicely when Twitter falls short. Tumblr even holds its own nicely against Blogger in terms of longer form writing, something I never really did much anyway....

So here I am with my old blog writing a post wondering if it will be my final one.

Although the new revamped interface for Blogger does look cool once you get used to it. Maybe I'll play around with it a bit....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A President's Job is Hard...

You're the most powerful man in the world but everyone wants a piece of you. You start out able to do no wrong but public opinion turns and you can't seem to do anything right.

From Squeezing My Mind Grapes

And after—2010:
From Spock Is Not Impressed

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Remember When We Thought Computers Were Used to Educate People?

From the bowels of a box of stuff:

The disks were gone but the box graphics sure are pretty.

Endorsed by Alex Trebek!

Increase your SAT scores by 200 points!

Success Pack!

Step by Step. So many CDs.

A curriculum that covers third grade through college.

Knowing big words makes you rich!

Testimonials. (Which makes me wonder if anyone who actually used this program are actually reading this; if so, how was it?)

It even comes with its own diplomas!

Get a load of those system requirements. Note how much more memory the Mac version requires and the long list of add-ons required for the PC version. But also notice how much more powerful a modern smartphone is than a PC or Mac of that era.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Palm Pre Makes Yahoo's List of Phones Doomed to be Collectibles

The most interesting thing about this piece is that it lays the blame for the Pre's demise squarely at HP's feet. And I think they're right. Palm was putting out a new update every month, slowly but surely improving the Pre by improving webOS. And then Palm sold itself to HP and nothing. There was a lot of talk and a lot of promises but ultimately those promises were broken as HP made webOS the centerpiece of their mobile strategy but showed little interest in actually making new phones. And the frequent updates which Palm had been so proud of dried up.

The Pre's immediate successor, the Pre 2 is only available on Verizon and sales people tend to steer people away from it. The Veer, a tiny little phone which combines the best features of the Pre and Pixi phones with some nice, fast hardware is only available on AT&T and is similarly neglected. The Pre 3 which was announced in January has yet to debut anywhere.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Firefox Aurora and its New Multi-channel Approach

With its 5.0 Beta, Firefox has debuted a new feature designed to speed up its own development to counter Google Chrome's rapid release schedule. With it's new Aurora release Firefox allows users to easily switch between three different channels: Development which is the normal version of the software, Beta which includes new features which are still being tested; and Aurora which is the latest nightly build of Firefox which can be expected to be unstable but also full of interesting new features.

It's all credibly slick and cool. Just select About Firefox in the Help Menu which tells you your channel and click Change to select a new channel. You select your new channel and click on Apply and Update and Firefox installs a new version of itself and restarts.
But I have to wonder if this is the right approach for Firefox. As slick as Firefox's channel switcher is, I prefer Chrome's approach of having separate installs of the browser for different channels. With Chrome's Canary Build, you can have your cake and eat it too. One safe, always up to date browser and another separate browser with cutting edge, experimental technology which will occasionally crash. And one can have dozens of pages open in tabs and another can open to just one or to your start page.

Aurora on the by contrast feels like an all or nothing proposition. You can switch between channels easily within one install of the browser but what happens if the latest nightly Aurora build is unstable? Will there be a way to switch to a more stable channel without bringing up the About Firefox box? I hope so.

And I think that Firefox with its more powerful extensions can benefit even more by having two separate browser installations. It is fairly common for early Betas of Firefox to be incompatible with many extensions. Having a "stable" installation of Firefox with all your favorite extensions and a second "experimental" installation which runs alongside it would probably be something that most Firefox users would enjoy.

While I realize that I could probably set this up myself using Firefox's Profile Manager, that tool is on its way out. And in any case it's probably overkill for most users. It would be much easier to have a check box that says "Maintain Separate Aurora Installation" or something like that in the About Firefox box.