Monday, November 23, 2009

Dumping Adobe Acrobat

I’ve made a clean break from Adobe’s acrobat. Now using cutePDF for printing to PDF and foxit for reading.
I had some trouble getting foxit to open inside Google Chrome. This thread fixed me up.
So far, much faster response time with these two tools. Also, no more annoying tool bar buttons that won’t go away no matter how many times I un-check them.
Bonus, my company doesn’t have to pay for an Acrobat Pro license.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This is partly why we left Cary

Though this women does not live in Cary, we had a HOA rules that prohibited cloths lines. We installed ours inside the house.

People are so spoiled with clothes dryers and have the strangest reactions to clothes lines. Looking at old photos of cities I think it is really cool to see them strung up between buildings.

Clothes lines saves energy too. That helps everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chrome OS anounced as open source

Google took the wraps of Chrome OS today. As Google puts it, 90% of what you do on your computer is already in the web browser. In the video below there is a bit where they explain why your “modern” computer is so slow to start up and get you on the internet. Its the stuff that loads before you can click on and launch the browser:

  • BIOS
  • OS Primatives
  • Hardware Detection
  • Load and Start Kernel
  • Random Stuff
  • Login
  • Splash Screen
  • Invisible Startup Apps
  • Anti Virus Software

    It is amusing how those parts of the computer are made to crumble as time goes by. Just like in most computers today.
    If successful, Chrome OS looks like a great way to power most computers today. Weeee, everything is in the Cloud. Of course Qualcomm is right there as a technology partner.
    What do you think? Do you want to try it? Can you believe they’ll give it away on the Hardware? That the hole thing is open source?
    It just blows my mind. Especially when I think about how much I’ve spend on wintel computers and my last purchase.
    Chrome OS will be on Snapdragon powered Smartbooks soon - think middle to end of  next year. We have guys working on it right now.
    You can get a taste of Chome OS right now on your Windows PC. Download the browser and give it a try. I use it almost exclusively.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Looking at google wave

    UPDATE: the link below to the “10 Persistent…” is a slide show. I prefer the text version and the accompanying writeup. I think you will too. Here is a sample:
    In your average corporate environment, though, this happens all the time. People work on documents, presentations, etc. They have lengthy discussions over email. Pieces of work bounce back and forth across one or multiple organisations for weeks before they’re finalised. People are brought on to the conversation late in the day. Attachments get lost. Inboxes fill up and emails bounce. It’s a major pain.
    So what are the problems with email in a corporate environment, and what does Wave do to address them?
    Looking at wave? I am.
    I’d like to try this on a project or part of a project. What about you?

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    News and Observer talks up Lenovo Smartbook

    The News and Observer right here in Raliegh reports about Lenovo's big bet on Smartbooks. The report includes a mention of Lenovo's site in Morrisville:

    Although the Chinese computer maker is at the forefront of this new category, a flurry of competition is expected to emerge next year because of the market potential. Lenovo has a headquarters in Morrisville, where it employs 1,500.

    However, they do not mention that we developed the Scorpion CPU and the Snapdragon chip going inside that Lenovo smartbook right here in Raliegh.

    I was disappointed!

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Plenty of electricity in North Carolina

    I think in places like California where they sometimes have rolling black outs they also have peak and off peak hours. My washer/drier has a feature that you can use to turn them on some number of hours in the future. Thus you can set it, and it will turn on when "off peak" hours are in play. Doing so would reduce my electric bill.

    Too bad Duke Energy doesn't off peak and off peak rates to residential customers in my area (pdf).

    I guess this means we have plenty of electricity.

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    Google's Navigation app blows away your GPS NAV system

    I had no idea that Google would use street view photos in there NAV software for Android 2.0. I like the dock and the way it automatically enters NAV mode.
    But what really blows away other NAV systems is the voice recognition. Sure its staged, but if they get close to what is in the video - I’m at a loss for words. Google did some very amazing thigns with one text box interface in search. Looks like they are doing the same thing for NAV devices. Really unbelievable feature set.
    He also searches for an "event" at a museum, not knowing which museum it's at. Because Android does the search in the back end at it finds it. Check out the video.

    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    Verizon store very excited about Android

    A colleague of mine posted to our shared internal blog his experience at a Verizon store:
    I visited a local Verizon store last night to look at phones for one of my kids. People were coming in with hopes of seeing a demo of the Droid and Android. The sales rep was very excited about Android products. He said he had six hours of training on the Droid and Android. He loves the new Android OS, “Its really fun to use!  I prefer it to WinMobile.  I believe its going to take over the market.”
    Verizon will also be offering the new HTC Eris Android (MSM7600) phone for sale tomorrow. For $99 I just read!
    Verizon will launch to Android phones tomorrow.  The HTC Droid Eris and the Motorla Droid. Turns out Droid on Verizon is a series of phones - not just a phone from Motorola.
    Both phones feature a 528 MHz processor. The Eris’ CPU is reported to be from Qualcomm. Both will have a 5 M camera, Eris does not have a flash. Also missing from the Eris is a physical keyboard. Finally since Eris will run Andriod 1.5 it will not have 2.0’s Navigation features. What Eris does bring to the table is the HTC’s own sense UI.
    Engadget has posted an un-boxing of DROID ERIS.

    I gotta say, I'm excited too.

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    Storm 2 vs iPhone spelling suggestions

    I was just in the Verizon store to try out the Storm 2. As I said before, Verizon has suggested to me that the storm is just like the iPhone. I don't agree but I wanted to see Storm 2 for myself.

    I played with the phone for 10 minutes and found it to be a good unit. Seems solid. Its touch screen functions well - it selects what I think my finger is on very well. I'm not a fan of the "screen is a button" touch screen model. I suppose some will like having to push the screen in each time an on-screen item is clicked - but I'm not one of them.

    However, in playing with sending a sample SMS I found that the spelling suggestions were very weak. Typing therr, the Storm suggested therr and thert. The iPhone however made one seggestion: there. Neither phone suggested their.

    For the record, Merriam-Webster does the not think thert is a word. Why in the world would the phone suggest that?

    Which suggestion software do you think is better?

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Android is coming everywhere - Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, everywhere!

    Perhaps the most plausible contenders against iPhone are Google’s Android and Palm’s webOS.
    Pause for a minute here - the top most talked about smart phone operating systems did not exist (as something I could buy) 3 years ago. Amazing.
    What are people using these for? Take the top of the three, the iPhone. People use that for many many things - but it can be boiled down (excluding the phone feature) to, in no particular order: web, apps, music, and email/sms.
    As a new contender, PC World’s David Worthington says that Droid Faces Uphill Battle Against iPhone. They don’t talk much about the phone’s hardware. They talk about the software. Telling is the discussion of iTunes:
    “However, that would involve switching carriers, and would leave much of my iTunes music library orphaned. My music, video and phone are all-in-one now, and I do not want to have to carry around a separate iPod.”
    Verizon’s ad campaign for Droid says “Driod does“. This means that Android does - since the HW does nothing without the SW stack on top of it.  Android does offer features in web, apps, music and email/sms. PC world is correct however, the biggest electronic seller of music is Apples iTunes and there are 30 million iPhones (or so) out there. Perhaps Qualcomm or some other group should make a seamless way to get iTunes data on their phone.
    One could go the route that palm took and spoof the iPhone. Or you could champion any of the many open source projects aiming to unlock iTunes data for other devices.  Without a path from iTunes to your music playing smartphone it will be difficult to convince people to switch from iPhone.
    But does any of that matter? David Worthington says:
    The question is, does the average user care about things such as open development? I’m an iPhone owner, and Apple’s draconian policies don’t really affect my overall experience. There are still plenty of apps to choose from. I haven’t met too many disaffected iPhone users, probably because the user experience-while imperfect-is pretty great.
    Maybe, maybe not.
    Regardless of the outcome here, Android phones are exploding onto the market place. Sprint launched the Samsung Momenttoday. Also today, T-mobile brings out the Motorola CLIQ. Rachael may be officially revealed this week.
    One thing is for sure, these are exciting times to be working on smartphones.
    Update: HTC’s Eris will also come out this week.