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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Too Close

Internet Explorer: the browser to download another browser. (I'll talk about FTP another day so you guys will never have to open up IE ever again.)

The reality is that IE is the browser of choice for absolute idiots computer illiterate people. It's installed with Windows and nobody who wants to watch funny cat videos or checks their email  on a semi-yearly basis cares about using a better browser. But for the rest of us, IE has a special place in our hearts. Namely, the outside.

I love the song that goes with the commercial for IE. It reflects how we are so close to IE yet we never love it. IE is a bloated standard oblivious browser that killed off the browser Netscape and stripped away everything that came with it (I loved the blink tag, perfect for annoying even the most indifferent people) It was a web developer's nightmare. Many of the standards shared among other web browsers were plainly ignored and webpages needed two sets of code: one for the monster, and one for all the browsers that had consistent behavior.

Now that Microsoft has somehow decided that IE should become standard-lovingish and less-bloatingish, it's a bit too late. There are so many different browsers which people have already switched to.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Why tablets

No. Just no. I love using a desktop pc

Actually for most other people, tablets probably would be a pretty good idea. The only things that they would need from a computer is to surf the web and to read documents (notice how they don't write any documents, just read). And that's pretty good, but I don't know if it justifies the hype that people have been giving them.

Touchscreen computers have been around for a very long time. They even existed before there was Windows! Touch is a pain in the ass. You get the screen smudged. You might hit the wrong icon. The tap you may have made may not have registered. The swipe that you thought you made accidentally opened up something you might not wanted to show. They just don't provide the nice usage that you can get with a cheap laptop (yes, the laptops are cheaper) or a mobile phone (small enough to fit in your  pocket )

I personally find that interfaces for tablets should definitely be used for the general populace. These are people who need a design that is simple enough for a child to figure out because a lot of these people act like children. While I don't think that the touch screen itself is a necessary component, being able to easily open an app (btw, there were applications before tablets and smartphones), and share photos with the rest of your family will make almost all computer users happy.

Tablets: good for web browsing and document viewing. Don't expect to solve the meaning of life with it though.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bringing life out of old computers

While I do like using the latest and greatest tech, sometimes it's better to use something older. Perhaps it's the keyboard that you can really type on or a touch pad that seems to rule above all else. (One of the most hated things that they do today are the island style keys on the more recent laptops. I much more enjoy the old thinkpad style keys. They are much better and faster to type on with so much greater accuracy.) Older laptops are also less likely to be stolen and you are much going to care much less you you accidentally drop it somewhere or lose it entirely. Plus, for simple web browsing, old computers are  still surprisingly effective.

The computer that I am typing this on is an old HP that I installed Linux on. More importantly, since I decided that this computer should be as cloud centric as possible was the decision to install a cloud based OS called Joli OS. It's wonderful HTML 5 design plus it's small overhead make this laptop (which has 2 GB of RAM, mind you) a joy to use.  I feel like taking this out with me to the library or a coffee shop, since I don't mind if I lose it or even it I crack the entire screen. That's what makes it so great

Another thing about old computers: optical drives. While I do think that there is no need for most people to use discs anymore, I still have a giant collection of discs that I use from time to time. But that will probably not be the case as I buy more flash drives to boot media off of.

We really shouldn't judge whether a computer is good or bad based on it's age. We should be judging it based on the usability of improving our everyday lives.