Published July 31, 2006
Gadgets , General , Technology , Usabilty
Some guy has a blog entry featuring fan-made mock-ups of what a cell phone designed by Apple Computer might look like. Of course, there seems to be an unwritten rule that any such official results would be integrated with an iPod. I think it far more likely that it would be integrated with a Newton-like system, but whatever. I’ll run with the iPod assumption for now.
Now, if I was Apple, I wouldn’t go with any of those proposals. Instead, the rotary phone would be king. It would go wonderfully with the iPod’s scroll wheel.
Here’s how it might work. When the thing is turned off, there would be no controls visible on the scroll wheel. When turned on, the controls would be displayed via a blue light behind the wheel. I’m not entirely sure how this would be accomplished, but I’m thinking of something like a doughnut-shaped glowing liquid crystal display. This would allow different controls to be visible in different modes. It would also let the thing to be used in the dark.
In music mode, the traditional iPod controls would be visible. In phone mode, numbers would light up on the dial. The user could drag their finger around the wheel to dial, like on a rotary phone, or they would be able to simply punch the buttons.
Sadly, I fear an Apple made phone may be nothing but a dream.
Published July 27, 2006
General , Humor , Skits
Another original Boy Scout skit. Make sure you get someone who can do a good Gollum imitation.
1 – Fearless leader
2 – A Shakespeare lover
3 – Gollum
4 – A bear, and then a car driver.
The party walks to the center of the stage and stops. 2 is wearing a backpack
2 strikes a dramatic pose
2: Alas! We are lost in the woods!
1: Be quiet! You aren’t helping things any. You ate all our food, Gollum ate our map…
3: Stupid Scoutses! Hates them both! Hates them all!
2: Are we there yet? Mine feet hath become as stones.
3: Stupid rock-footed Scoutses.
1: Fine. We’ll stop.
2 sets down his backpack. On Gollum’s foot.
2: Grah! Our foots! They hurts, they does!
Gollum kicks 3′s backpack
2: Knowest thou not? That knapsack contains fine china!
2 opens his backpack and pulls out a broken cup
2: Alas, my mother’s dinnerware. I knew thee well.
1: Seriously. Get a mess kit already!
2: No need. We will all starve and die!
1: Look! A bear!
2: We will all die without starving!
Gollum tackles the bear, wrestles it to the ground, and starts punching it.
1: You killed it!
2: It is dead. Huzzah! We will now continue to starve to death.
1: Of course! With his highly developed survival skills, Gollum can gut the bear, prepare the meat, and get us enough food to get back to camp with!
2: He is pulling guts out of the bear and eating them like spaghetti.
1: Ewww. Stop that!
3: Grrrr. Gollum’s bear! Gollum’s food! His! Mine!
2 strikes his dramatic pose again.
The bear crawls off inconspicuously at some point here.
2: Never mind what I said earlier. We will starve!
1: Wait! Whats that?
Gollum sniffs the air like a dog and growls.
2: It appears to be some sort of marvelous transportation device completely unrelated to the aforementioned bear.
1: It’s a car! We’re saved! Try to signal to it! Make it stop!
2 does the hitchhiking symbol. Gollum tries to make it honk.
4: Is that thing trained? Backing away
1: No, no, it’s perfectly alright.
Gollum starts growling.
Gollum chases 4 offstage. 1 and 2 follow, trying to stop the driver.
Published July 25, 2006
General , Linux , Technology , Usabilty
If you’re into KDE or theming Linux, you’ve probably heard about the Oxygen icons that will be officially released with KDE 4.
Unfortunately, the official Oxygen website dosen’t exactly have a whole lot of icons up. You can’t look at a complete gallery of the progress they’ve made, unlike with the Tango project.
You can, however, get a sneak peek of things to come at the official KDE development SVN here.
Some of the icons look pretty slick, others… not so much. Obviously, these are not the final results. Note that the current license prohibits distribution until the official release. I guess they’ve got some perfectionists running this thing. ^_^
Published July 16, 2006
General , Technology , Vista
Some guy named Jerry Kindall is announcing the death of Apple prematurely.
Microsoft will release a version of Longhorn that runs on Apple’s hardware (assuming it is proprietary enough that it wouldn’t “just work” anyway, which it probably will be) and price it competitively. The next time Apple wants $129 for a Mac OS X upgrade, or at the next hardware upgrade cycle, users will go, “well heck, most of my software is already Windows anyway, Longhorn is all right, and I’ll get a slight speed boost by ditching the emulation,” and they’ll move over to Windows.
You won’t probably won’t get a speed boost switching from Wine to Windows. In fact, some stuff runs faster in Wine. As they say, “Wine Is Not an Emulator”.
All it does it replace a bunch of Windows framework with some rewritten kinda-windows-compatible framework. Also, did I miss something? I thought Wine still was in heavy alpha development for OS X.
I also doubt that this will make many people want to switch . You could run Windows apps on OS X before by using expensive software. Now you’ll be able to run Windows apps at a decent speed by using expensive software OR by using a buggy, expensive operating system. To quote Spock, “A difference that makes no difference is no difference.”
Keeping in mind both Apple and Microsoft’s track record for security and ease of use and noting the train wreck commonly known as Windows Vista, I think the Mac will be fine for quite some time.
Published July 7, 2006
General , Technology
Apparently, it takes three days to send an internet.