Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Move to Fruity IT

August 25th, 2013 No comments

So it finally happened. After years of being a supporter, and then around 4 years as a user I finally turned my back on Linux as my desktop at home. Sadly in many ways I finally got sick of everything just being a little bit harder, particularly around work connectivity and the accursed DET love of Microsoft Office.

I was using Ubuntu and I have to credit it with being a great desktop OS. Really great in many ways. Compared to Windows versions I’d tried I happily played in the Linux world. But with the boys and I getting back into the iOS world it was only a matter of time before desktop computing made the easy move to Mac OSX.

In typical Paul fashion, it was in for a penny, in for a pound, so we have a new iMac, and we have an Apple AirPort Extreme router and an AirPort Express as well. Sadly I’m really not missing Linux much at all. Mac OSX is rock solid and except for a crappy Firefox memory leak I’m pretty impressed with its operation. iTunes is so much better on Mac than it ever was on Windows, and I can see why people quite like it.

So now we have gone over entirely to the world of Apple. My new roll neck sweaters arrive soon.

Categories: Computers Tags: ,

Yes, I hate Apple

December 28th, 2011 No comments

OK I’ll admit it I do hate Apple. It’s not really the products, nor the users, it’s the bloody hyperbole that goes with Apple and I reckon man users and the company foster it.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting back at a meeting and Apple was mentioned and a zealot said, “Yeah well they [Apple] manage to come up with innovations 15 years ahead of others.” Oh give me a bloody break. Yes that is the siren of the hyperbole police you hear. For a start 15 years is such a gross exaggeration. Yes the Apple Mac introduced the GUI when they reverse engineered it from Xerox, yes Apple zealots they didn’t invent it, they just redid it and marketed it. Partly cause Xerox didn’t realise they gold their researchers had developed. When Microsoft introduced Windows, Apple “visionary” (deliberate hyperbole used there) Steve Jobs was apoplectic with rage that Apple were copied. Clearly unfamiliar with the concept of the pot calling the kettle black he called Bill Gates over and questioned him about Gates’ “theft” of the GUI. Gates’ response was simple and clear: “…it’s more like we both had this rich neighbour named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.” Yes Apple Zealots (would they be “Applets” :-D) Apple didn’t invent the GUI so stop whinging about Windows and any other GUIs copying.

Then Apple zealots want to tell you how innovative OSX is and how intuitive it is. Well OSX is good partly because it is built on a Unix back-end which makes it very stable. The interface is very pretty but intuitive? Well if you get a person used to Apple on there thewy love it. But get a Windows user on there, they will say it’s pretty, but they will be lost by certain things. No double click to install will be strange. Or when you click the red cross the program doesn’t Quit. No you have to select File> Quit. Now that’s intuitive… no it isn’t.

Pull out a thumb drive accidentally then try to plug it in again. Poor old OSX struggles there. You have to unmount it properly (that’s a Unix thing), which you do by trashing it, which always feels like deleting it. Strange, not intuitive. I once made this mistake of pulling out a thumb drive on a mate’s Macbook, to fix it I ended up in some disk management utility to correctly unmount the volume. He had no idea what I was doing. To a Linux nerd this was easy but to a new Mac user this would be a nightmare.

Then there is the whole iPhone and Android battle, which for the record Apple will lose. The iPhone is a cool device no doubt, but Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, or the touchscreen smartphone. They simply designed their own. It is good, well especially by the 3G model which could then be used here in Australia cause 3G networking needs multitasking which early versions of the iPhone couldn’t do. Ooh that’s a bit crap isn’t it. Oh it couldn’t do MMS either, also crap. Android just offers other hardware makers a mature and comparable OS to run their smartphones. Apple of course bangs on about copying, but what are other manufacturers to do, sit back and give Apple the whole market? Well that is what Apple would like, but sadly for Apple that won’t happen and Android will continue to push Apple and with a variety of handset makers will end up surpassing anything Apple will do.

I can hear the Apple zealots already talking about how much superior iOS is, like how it has this innovative notifications drop down in version 5… um, well Android has had that since Version 1 back in 2008! Apple isn’t afraid to copy either when it suits them.

It’s time for people to recognise Apple make some nice software and design some nice hardware too, but they certainly aren’t the second bloody coming, and Steve Jobs is certainly no messiah. As this New Yorker article explains, he wasn’t innovative, Jobs was the consummate tweaker. And this in itself is a skill, but he was no innovator. So let’s stop the hyperbole and just acknowledge they do some good stuff.

Categories: Computers Tags: , , ,

Ubuntu 10.04 on my Asus EeePC 1005PE

June 19th, 2010 No comments

I have to say I am very impressed with Ubuntu Netbook Remix running on my Asus 1005PE netbook. It is snappy, much better than Windows 7 on my DER Lenovo netbook and so far OpenOffice 3.2 has had no problem with most of the Word documents I need to edit for work.

The interface works really well on the netbook and I would not hurry to the standard Ubuntu layout. The way the launcher setup is there in lieu of the standard desktop works really well. That said with all my mapped drives as bookmarks I can no longer see my volumes on the Files and Folders page, but I can’t seem to work out how to get the icons smaller yet.

Out of the box all worked except for the wireless. So I headed over to a tutorial on James Little’s blog and all worked a treat. Thanks again James for sharing this. Sure you have to use a terminal but that is fine and it all works after that, just don’t install linux-backports package as other sites suggest. It doesn’t work and can cause issues with James’ tutorial.

Battery life seems to be around 8 hours which is not as good as the 14 hrs claimed by Asus under their modified Win 7 but it is comfortably enough for my work day.

All in all I have no hesitation in recommending Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix. All but the wireless works for me and best of all when on the data projector my students see something other than Windows as an OS.

The biggest disappointment is the 1005PE does not have N wireless. It might in other markets but may machine is only 802.11 b/g. Frustrating as most classrooms have N wireless in them now. Thanks Asus, why is the Australian model not sold with N? And many reviewers say it has N but double checking the Asus website says the Aus models are only b/g.

iPad – I say bah humbug

June 5th, 2010 2 comments

When the iPhone came out I wanted one straight away. After what seemed an eternity Apple finally released a 3G version in Australia and I had to have it. I still think it is a cool device; sure I am no huge Apple fan, but the product is good deserves much praise. Its operation is smooth and seamless and it makes the smartphone experience so much better than the horrible Windows Mobile experience.

But what were they thinking with the iPad? I suppose the idea sounds great, take iPhone and make it bigger so it is easier to read books and browse the web. But that then introduces some problems.

  1. It doesn’t fit in your pocket; the very portability of the iPhone is gone. The iPhone is powerful, multifunctional and small, it is the Swiss Army knife of the phone world. Now the iPad doesn’t fit in a pocket so now I need a bag, to carry it, or a sleeve and then I am always carrying a book. Now if I have to carry a bag why not buy a small notebook or a netbook, with a real keyboard and mouse. Oh I know touch screens are cool and good to use, but the mouse and keyboard on a netbook are more versatile.
  2. Where is the USB port? Friends will tire of me saying this but what a stupid omission, what was an annoyance on the iPhone becomes a cardinal sin on the iPad. Wow look at my cool iPad and when someone wants to give you a photo you can’t take it, unless you get it off the web. So to share photos they have to put it on the web first, or let you have a flash drive to put it on your home computer then sync it to the iPad… seriously that is silly.
  3. For $600+ dollars for the iPad you can get yourself some really cool Netbooks that catually do more than the iPad can and are smaller. These can run lost more useful software and are actually more portable. But true they don’t have the wow factor of the iPad.

I was excited about the iPad. Stu Hasic on his blog Parallel Divergence called it revolutionary, it may well become that. Apparently the Chinese iPed (running Google Android) is selling like hotcakes, but I digress.

I won’t own an iPad, for that money I will buy a netbook and then put Ubuntu Linux on it. To me the iPad is a show off toy that maybe in future versions will realise a niche, but at the moment it is just a toy for non computer savvy people who want a big hard manilla folder they have to carry everywhere.

Categories: Computers Tags: , , ,