Archive for October 13th, 2005

Firefly: The DVDs

Wow, my JBQ bought for me the Firefly DVDs and he didn’t even tell me that he did so! I opened the Amazon box that arrived earlier today, and I am in awe! Thank you my little mushroom! 🙂

*UPDATE:* Oh, my God! 8 hours of Firefly so far! My brains will explode! 🙂

*UPDATE 2:* I get that feeling a lot lately that SciFi Channel would want to buy over Firefly and make a new tv series out of it (especially since there won’t be a new movie based on it). I hope SciFi channel won’t do that. Joss Whedon won’t work for a usually low-badget SciFi Channel series and that would mean that a new producer would have to come on board. And given the fact that very few people “get” Firefly/Serenity, that would be nearly a catastrophy equally to Rick Berman getting Star Trek’s steering wheel after Roddenberry’s death. If SciFi channel can pull over an equal quality Firefly series, I am all for it, but I don’t think they have the budget or the writers to do that.

Abiword 2.4.1 for Mac: now sucks less

Remember my entry a few days ago about the sorry state of Abiword on the Mac?

Well, apparently Hubert Figuire optimized the hell out of Abiword the last few days (still slow, but much faster than before), and he fixed the rendering bugs. The font engine is still below par, but it’s definitely more usable now. Thank Hub.

Where it becomes funny is that the 2.4.1 public announcement now has a disclaimer!

“Note to Mac OSX users: please aware that the font rendering in 2.4.1 is still a work-in-progress. Depending on the fonts used the quality of the
rendering may be sub-optimal. We are working hard to address this issue.

You see, I made it clear to Hub and others that Abiword for Mac is obviously a beta product and should be marked as such. And now, they do!

What I don’t understand, is why do I have to become a real bitch, make all these people hate me and think that I am evil (Hub does), and at the end, they DO what I am asking for (which usually is a no-brainer fix or feature)! The same thing happened with a number of projects and products. With Gnome for example, many times I would push for something, they would piss me off and I would go overboard, and at the end, they implement my request or fix like nothing happened and like that it was a logical fix/implementation. But not before I become a bitch! Same goes not only for other OSS projects, but also for commercial ones: I have been into ugly shouting with Yellowtab, eComStation and Red Hat. At the end — after I was forced to become a bitch — they fix all the problems I reported, problems that are NOT simple bugs, but usually *mistakes* (I don’t expect people to fix my bugs before anyone else’s — but when it comes to obvious *mistakes* they should step in immediately because a ‘mistake’ can have worse consequences than a ‘bug’). Here is what I mean when I say ‘mistakes’:

For example, Yellowtab was expecting people to go to bebits.com and download a new firefox build, and overwrite the yellowtab official release, instead of sitting down their asses and provide their own official firefox package — I had to fight for it, and now Yellowtab is preparing an official release. Please note that Firefox is the main browser of ZetaOS. This is a lot like Apple releasing OSX with Safari, and then they stop updating it, and when you ask about a new release, they tell you “go download OmniWeb or another KHTML browser, they are the same anyway”. Sorry guys, but this strategy doesn’t fly and it’s not appropriate for a commercial company. Bernd was pissed off at me for 2 days. But I know I was right. And at the end I think he understood it too.

Same kind of ‘strategy’ problems (not just “bugs”) have pushed me over the edge with many OSS and commercial companies. I win most of them. But not before they ruin my reputation and my well-intentioned suggestions that turn sour.

Ah, I guess it’s the price I have to pay. 🙁

The future of TV?

Remember a few days ago about my suggestion of following-up on Star Trek via episodes released on the web or via iTunes?

Well, check these new articles here and here.

The new Nokia E-series

I had a look at the new business series of smartphones from Nokia, the E-series. Very interesting, they are obviously trying to compete with Blackberry. Having WiFi on them, should be really cool, as there are at least 4-5 web browsers to choose from (nokia’s, opera and opera mini, netfront, Doris).

I am not interested in their very conventional-looking E60. And if their E61 had a touchscreen and a camera, I would be all over it. But because it doesn’t have a camera (being a real business device), I think that the E70 is cooler and smaller too. The E70 has a huge resolution of 352×416, but it’s double pixeling from the original Symbian resolution of 176×208. The E61 has a real 320×240 resolution (so it fits more information than the E70). But its lack of touchscreen (for such a large device/screen) and the lack of camera really kills it for me — who I admit, I don’t want it for its business usage but for the geek factor.

Seeing the new stuff with Windows Mobile, the new smartphones from Nokia and SonyEricsson, I can only say that the future of phones is smartphones. Sure, they only have 4% of the market now, but this is going to change real fast as parts becoming cheaper.