Archive for September, 2005

How expensive is it to write bug-free software?

I said it many times before, but my JBQ says it even better. Read his blog post and the comments, right on the mark.

Music Industry Threatens to Pull Plug on Apple

This is just preposterous, the Music Industry wants more, more, more. It’s not enough that they milk the artists taking away sometimes as much as 95% of their sales, now they want to earn more via Apple. However, Apple being a tech company understands the dangers this will bring destroying iTunes and get people fall back to piracy. It’s the fat asses at RIAA and SONY/Warner who don’t get it.

The x86 Apple machines are around the corner

I believe that in Macworld in January 2/3s of the full Mac hardware line will be replaced, at once. Among those it will be the G5s and the Minis and the Powerbooks.

This (http://www.hardmac.com/news/2005-09-30/#4552) is only one indication, but the reason why I believe it to be true, is simple: creating a new x86 machine only takes a few weeks of design and testing. It has a well-known recipe, and Intel is there to help both with the hardware and the software side of things.

Creating a Mac on the other hand is much more painstaiking, because there is only Apple and a couple of others that know how to put together such a machine. Let alone the chipset troubles that Apple themselves has to solve each time.

As for Mac OS X, the x86 version is nearly there. I knew for years that Marklar existed, it only needs some polishing right now and bug fixing.

One thing is for sure: Apple is on the march to deliver x86 Macs by January, not by June as Jobs promised. Jobs mentioned June as a fail safe date.

So, I hope you put some money aside to get a new x86 Mac this January. IF the new x86 Powerbooks are also 64bit (not OSX, just the CPU), I am going to be replacing my first generation 12″ Powerbook 867 Mhz. I want to buy one with a 64bit CPU in it just in case Apple has such a mandatory requirement in a few years for their OS or libraries. I tend to keep my hardware for a long time, so I don’t want to end up with an unsupported Mac in only 2-3 years time.

Mobile Update for GnomeFiles.org

Spent the better part of the afternoon fixing the mobile version of GnomeFiles.org. Previously, only the front-page was mobile-enough, but now more pages should work better (except the comment’s pages which is so-so and the developer’s back-end which is not mobile-enabled at all). Especially people with Opera on Zauruses or Symbian should see a tremendous difference in support. Still though, Gnomefiles’ mobile html pages are optimized for PDAs, not so much for phones (pages are about 30KB to 60KB each, normal phones would run out of memory). Non-smartphone users are still recommended to use Gnomefiles’ WAP pages instead.

The Apple smartphone

Now that the jealous Motorola CEO has let the cat out of the bag, it’s time to do a blog story about it: there is no doubt that Apple is creating as we speak a smart phone. 😉

No, my evidence about this are not based on Motorola’s CEO bedtime bubblings, but on simple logic as well. My friend Russell put it very well, detailing the trouble traditional phone manufactures will have soon because the needs people want to see fullfilled through a phone are increasing by the day. There is no doubt in my mind that the next high-end mp3 music players (same class as ipods) will be phone-based only. It doesn’t make sense to carry both a phone and a PDA and an mp3 player in your belt and look like Batman. It makes sense to put together all this functionality in one device, and Apple KNOWS that sometime in the very near future this is what most people would want. And because Apple knows that, they have put their asses down to work on a new smart phone, otherwise they will eventually lose their ipod market.

Besides, by living in the Silicon Valley, I know what kind of engineers their ipod division has hired the last few months. Ok, I will shut up now… 😉

Microsoft Smartphones Suck

And so my beloved husband brought home last night an i-Mate SP3i Windows smartphone (Bluetooth, IrDA, TI ARM CPU, 32/64 MBs RAM/ROM, 176×220 2.2″ TFT, VGA camera with recording, tri-band, Windows 2003SE with WMP 10).

I hated the thing.

Originally, I was kinda jealous, as I am stuck with a Series 40 Nokia, but after using that smartphone, I started loathing it. The UI feels so much like an afterthought, that it is not even funny. It is obvious how it all began just by looking at its UI: MS engineers working on Windows Embedded. Engineers are getting orders to fight Palm in the PDA space. Engineers create Windows Mobile for PPC. Engineers are now asked out of the blue to hack up their already hacked up creation to create a phone based on Windows Mobile. And so hack upon hack, we get this thing, called Windows Smartphone.

Its long settings, its long menus, its weirdness to setup GPRS (it would not work if you were to specify the IP address required by Cingular), it’s beyond belief.

I am sure Windows Mobile 5 for smartphones is better now (this phone comes with 2003SE version), but I won’t be going anywhere near such a phone for a few more new versions down the road, after things have been smooth’ed out, UI-wise.

No, the phone did not crash, in fact it seemed rock solid. If not a bit slow at times though, when moving through some menus.

This is NOT to say that I don’t like the PocketPC-based phones though which use a DIFFERENT UI, because I LOVE those. It’s the pure MS smartphones (no touchscreen, no QVGA, crappy UI) that I loath. Only Internet Explorer is sweet on those phones, as it uses better fonts than on other similar-resolution phones and so more information fits on screen at one time. OSNews renders more than great for example!

Regarding Firefly/Serenity

‘Firefly’ only had 13 episodes aired in its short TV life, but it has created a huge following of fans. I watched the series’ 3-4 first episodes when it first aired in 2002, but I didn’t like it for the reason I explain below. In fact, I found the show stupid. I watched the rest of the Firefly episodes yesterday, and I did like it a tiny bit better. However, my main beef with the series remains:

It is just not believable the story that the outer rim of planets are all US-western type civilizations. Cowboys, sheriffs and the like, just like in the old wild wild west. Even their clothing is the same, which it makes even less sense (clothing habits are changing a lot in a matter of a few years, let alone in 2517 AD that the heroes are supposedly live in). And EVEN if a single planet has chosen to live that way, this can not be true for all the planets. Where are the chinese or the europeans? Where are the africans or the muslims?

Firefly offers a very single dimension ‘outer rim’ look to this otherwise nice sci-fi series. It’s all about the americans, and even worse, it’s all about americans that somehow live like they used to live in the late 1800’s. It just doesn’t friggin’ makes sense, because it is not possible ALL the outer rim planets to have the EXACT same amount of technology or fashion or way of life!

Firefly feels very binary to me: Alliance planets with all the cool technology, outer rim planets with late 1800’s *american* tech. It can’t be black or white, it never is. Firefly/Serenity fails for me in this very issue.

The most beautiful Eugenia…

…is not me. (duh 🙂

Between supermodel Eugenia Silva and top model Eugenia Volodina, Ms Silva is definitely the best looking as she is more naturally good-looking than Volodina.

And so they got the championship…

And here it is, one of the most incomplete teams of the tournament (in my opinion), the national team of Greece, got the championship in the EuroBasket 2005.

In the final, Greece played GOOD basketball and they were a better team than the second Germany, but if people actually were to see their previous games they would see how this team sucked (except on defense) and they won most games at the last moment. IMHO, the best team of the tournament was Slovenia.

In any rate though, I am very happy about this championship coming to Greece, after 18 years we got it again. 🙂

Basketball and athletics are my most favorite sports, and as every Greek, I have a very sweet spot for the Greek national team of basketball. Although this team could be better, to say the truth…

Mac OS X: the gripes

Two of my friends write about their Mac OS X gripes:

First (Thom is the new osnews managing editor and good online friend)
and second (Russel is a Yahoo! manager, met his a few months ago, great guy)

I replied on both their posts, especially Thom’s.