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Old Hardware

written by owen, Tue, 01st Aug

I have been cleaning out my closet and dusting out the old PC and apple computer that I have found/kept over the years. Most of it merely for backup purposes. Too old to be useful but merely a display of the state of the art at the time when I was transitioning between high school and college in 1998 there abouts.

The IDE harddrive in the 486 still works although harddrives in those times were loud even with it 100+ mb of storage it hummed to life as I connected it to my current PC. The Apple computer needs a boot floppy disc because I hard crashed it experimenting at some point in the past but I am sure that it is functional once you can find the means to create a bootable disk for a Macintosh of that age.

The 486 (could be a 386 I am not sure) is easy to open but the Apple requires a special long bit when I borrowed and one point to get it open but now I cant seem to find someone that has the bit.

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New Point and Shoot

written by owen, Tue, 26th Aug 2014 at 3:29 pm

So I jumped on the opportunity to upgrade my trusty point and shoot to a newer version before I went on vacation. Friends will say "dude that is so old school! Everybody takes pictures with their smartphones‎! Its the future get with the times! Stop being so stubborn!".

To which I reply in writing with a list of reasons why I poo-poo smartphone cameras;

Smartphone cameras are not good at any particular thing. Except for maybe instagraming and facebooking pictures.‎ Smartphones are small but the pictures are soulless.

Smartphones are less efficient; After six months using a smartphone as my main camera it turns out that I take less pictures. I am not sure if it's the clunky touch screen interface of launching the camera application then waiting for it to focus. Eitherway I seem to be taking less photos as time goes buy.

Point and shoot cameras are better for organizing photos. ‎ When I take photos on my smartphone all the pictures get dumped into the camera/photo folder. On a camera you get a big neatly organised daily/monthly folder structure.

Smartphone cameras lack all sorts of simple functionality. Yes you can pinch to do a digital zoom but who wants digital zoom? I like to tinker with my picture settings, aperture, focal point, ISO etc. I would rather take a good picture the first time that have to be adding filters after every shot I take. (might be why I haven't taken many pics lately)

Battery life; not matter how many services I turn of on my smartphone the battery still runs down by 5 pm. On less I plan to walk around with my phone charger, smartphones can't hold up to extended picture taking.

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Tami commented: What did you upgrade to? ... read 5 more

BlackBerry OS10 Review

written by owen, Mon, 09th Jun 2014 at 7:27 pm

‎After using the Q10 for the past 3 weeks I can safely say that this is the best cellphone operating system that I have ever used. Once you get accustomed to swiping up and not having a answer call and hang up hard key.

Recommendations

On the Q10 remove the phone app from the bottom left edge of the screen or allow the user to customize the icon.    Also the quick dial numbers are too close to the edge of the screen. It is very easy to accidentally call phone numbers while putting the phone into you pocket. Gripping the phone at the edges or when the phone app is open often results in the last number being dialed. Suggest having an option for confirmation before dialing a number.

BlackBerry hub
No filter for draft emails(fixed in 10.2 with pinch). I ended up having to prefix all my draft emails with "draft" so that I could use the subject search to find them.  

File manager
When selecting photo files the sort order always resets to sort by name descending. It should remember the last sorting selection. Also the facebook app doesn't allow me to select a png file for my profile picture but the UI doesn't show that I am looking at a filtered list so I spend 10 minutes wondering why I can't see the png file I just recently saved in my folder.

Offer an option to create folders based on the day the photo was taken (instead of having a month long list) .

Facebook app
Can't write on a person's wall directly from the hub on thier birthday.   This was a feature is the old BlackBerry os.

‎Quick settings
There should be a quick setting for mobile data on/off. Sometimes I might be using wifi for an extended period and the wifi access might drop unexpectedly and the phone will start using the mobile data. Not good.

Music player
I don't see the need to spend the whole time looking at the cover art. Especially when you are playing and entire album. Show the list of songs or give an option to keep the album art minimized.‎ So far this is the most inefficient interface.

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Smartphone Battery Future

written by owen, Mon, 13th Jan 2014 at 12:22 pm

Remember back in the day when you used to charge your cellphone once every week? Yeah, I don't remember it either. Nowadays if you even look at your smartphone the battery dies and you have to carry around a charging cable with you everywhere you go. Some people go to the extent of buying several cables; one for work, home, parents home, car or Europe.

I read a somewhere once that the best way to extend battery life on a smartphone is to not use it. Like never use it; "My cellphone has great battery life, when I don't use it, lol". We are having faster and faster phones, eventually we will have to walk around with tethered external batteries in our pockets.

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The Age of So-So Hardware

written by owen, Mon, 02nd Dec 2013 at 9:59 am

I think shuffle one of the most useful piece of technology that apple has built since the Iphone. Not only is it clean, simple and compact - it does one job very well which is what is missing from most technology that is being released today. Often hardware released in this day and age is a "Jack of all trades". You can buy a TV that has a web browser but the web browser is 2 years old and never gets updates unless you buy a whole new television.

The smart phone market is just as bad with thousands of Android phones which need specific software updates from each manufacturer even though they all have the same base features; touchscreen, camera, bluetooth. We are just making more plastic for the landfills of the world. Apple and Windows has a marriage of hardware and software which encourages developers and consumers to buy several apple products regularly simply to stay in the loop.

Software abstraction and APIs are getting so bloated that one often never knows what is going on under the hood. While at the same time writing more and more code that does less and less. With enough funding and a early jump on the SDKs one could weather the storm but in a flooded market place its really the companies with the most loyal fans that rule.

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Nick commented: I agree. The iPod Shuffle was way before the iPhone, though. ... read more

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