nullstream weblog - March 2008



March 26, 2008 02:30 PM PST

Dvorak's new article is another inflammatory attempt at driving traffic to his site by presenting an argument counter to common tech wisdom. Ok I'll bite.

Dvorak - the iPhone is no desktop

His Main Points:

1. Smaller is becoming a problem.
2. Laptop as you only computer means you squint at a small screen and go blind - because they use a laptop at work as their main machine.
3. Because laptops don't get backed up, if it gets lost or broken they are toast.
4. Laptops are delicate.
5. Everyone thinks that the iPhone is going to be the next major computing platform. - What happens if people spill coffee on them?
6. They leave them all over, unlocked and with limited encryption. -Data robbing.
7. Claims that the desktop computer is the best model for computing. for 10 reasons: upgrade, displays, expandability, harder to steal, good input devices.
8, Only uses a laptop for travel.
9. Doesn't want to lug a laptop between home and work where it could break in the car.
10. If he wants data to be portable he'll load it on his 32G thumb drive.

Before I dive into the specifics of why he is an obsolete dinosaur who is nearly always wrong now, let's challenge the premise and then I'll counter his specific arguments. First why would we want the iPhone to be a desktop? What is so sacred about the desktop that it should be the model for all future technology? Next he uses the phrase 'computing' a lot. What is meant by that? What actually IS computing? My guess is that it is something that few people think they are doing, or even want to do. Lets say for sake of argument that the desktop IS the best computing platform (what ever that means), people don't buy an iPhone because they want to compute! The average iPhone consumer doesn't want to 'compute', he wants to find information, be entertained, stay connected with friends and he wants to do that from anywhere he goes.

Continue reading "Dvorakosaurus"...

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My First Mac


March 22, 2008 12:08 AM PST

Hi, my name is John, and I'm an Apple hater. Well at least that's what they make me say at Apple haters anonymous. You see, I have a problem. I've been hating Apple since 1982, the year my beloved Commodore 64 came out (may it rest in peace). That's a long time. A habit practiced that long becomes a part of you. But I am working on it. A few years ago I started a 12 step program, and I'm slowly making progress. I'm on step 6, and in this program it requires me to face the thing I hate head on.

After months of agonizing deliberation I found myself at the Apple store asking an overly cheerful associate to bring me the cheapest Mac they sold. At the mention of the word 'cheap' I saw a momentary crack in the facade as a sneer flashed across his face. But it was gone almost as soon as it had come, and he happily trotted of towards the back off the store. Before I knew it he was back and although there wasn't a cash register in sight my card was swiped, and a receipt was produced from thin air as if by magic. When my head cleared I found my self standing back in the mall holding a small white box with Apple logos on it.

I took the Mac mini home with some apprehension. After an hour or so into the relationship, it was clear we were not going to get along. I criticized its OS, it said something about my mother, I called Steve Jobs a name, and it refused to output anymore video. Check mate. The next day I went back to the Apple store and swapped it for one that wasn't set to evil. I got off to a rocky start with this mac too, but after a while we called a truce. Now it sits quietly on my desk, and through the magic of VNC, it happily serves up its bouncy GUI to whatever PC I happen to be using - at home or away. It doesn't complain that is is surrounded by PCs or that it is connected to Microsoft products. I no longer tense up when I look at it. I call it Minime.

So am I converted? No, far from it, but I am learning tolerance and that is real progress. Soon I hope to be ready for step 7. Hi, my name is John, and I'm trying real hard not to be an Apple hater.

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Evernote Beta

Something Cool

March 21, 2008 12:05 PM PST

I got in on the new Evernote beta today through
giveawayoftheday. I'm excited. The new version has a server back end with a web interface and it auto syncs to all your clients. Very cool. I'm currently testing the new web, windows, and mac clients. (BTW: I bought a mac). So far it is working well. The interface has changed a bit and differs between Windows and Mac. There are some features still missing and others not yet polished, but it is looking good. I imported about 200 notes from my existing database and synced them up. My tag hierarchy didn't come across - it got flattened out, but everything else looks good. The web version even does in image text searching like the client apps do. Cool. I think this hybrid type of desktop / web application is the future. You get the best of both worlds.

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Vista SP1 Released


March 18, 2008 11:26 AM PST

Vista SP1 has finally been released.
Fire up Windows update or download direct.
You can now feel free to switch over to Vista en mass. After using it for a couple months now, even Paul says it doesn't suck as bad as he thought it did.

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March 4, 2008 08:57 PM PST

Microsoft's research OS; Singularity is now available for download. This OS is build on managed code using an extension of C#. I've seen talks and demos on this before, it's pretty cool.

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