Archive for March 12th, 2007

Vista sucks

My new laptop arrived today. The Inspiron 640m is a very good laptop, the only thing missing IMO is an integrated webcam. It came with Windows Vista Basic, and get this: Dell had already enable composite support for it! I don’t get any gimmicky desktop effects but I do get hardware acceleration, and that’s what matters.

Now, regarding Vista: it sucks. It is ok-fast alright, and pretty stable and it always does what you ask of it. But it’s annoying and it has a very confusing and bloated UI. While technology-wise it is a step forward for Windows, usability-wise is a step backwards. It just ain’t a simple inteface. There is no freaking way you can easily find where everything is in your computer.

For example, by mistake I deleted the Trash icon from the desktop and to get it back you have to really google it. There is no fucking way you can guess where that option is otherwise. Sure, you can just drag-n-drop a shortcut from Explorer to your desktop, but this is not the same as the original Trash icon which has special right-click options.

The control panel is a mess. IE’s UI sucks. Explorer is confusing.

One other thing, Windows Vista Mail doesn’t support Hotmail anymore. I am a paid Hotmail customer, so I am now expected to use a web browser to access my email. And how do I get all that email to my local email database? There doesn’t seem to be a way!

Now, after it told me that it can’t do Hotmail anymore, I closed down the app. Later, I decided to configure my POP3 instead. And guess what! Now Windows Vista Mail loads completely without giving me a wizard, and I just can’t find where to configure new accounts. There is no such option in its menus! What’s the deal with that? update: Found it. Apparently searching for “mail” in the programs’ search bars loads a specific email message without the rest of the UI instead of loading the full Windows Vista Mail application! What a mess!

The Sidebar is shitty: the weather applet says that it can’t find the server for my locale/language (US/English!) and the RSS applet does not let me change the RSS feeds to something else. What kind of shit is all that?

Having said that I am getting Vista Ultimate. A friend is selling it for $50 (legal copy) so I thought why not. But it will probably just stay in the shelf and it will never be used. Update June 2008: it’s sitting in my shelf never installed for more than a year.

I can’t wait for Ubuntu to get released so I can have a sane UI back. Short of not being able to install Mac OS X that is.

Linux home-DV software

I am sad now. The only home-DV editing application that was a bit “sane” to use on Linux, Kino, is no more. The author says that he stops working for now (usually this means “goodbye”). The application with the best UI for a video editing app, the ever promising Diva, is toast too (as I wrote many months ago). The other apps that do DV editing absolutely *suck* in various levels (from UI to usability to functionality to stability).

I wrote this article about the bad state of DV editing under Linux more than 3 years ago, and nothing, absolutely fucking nothing has changed.

Where is Canonical or Novell when you _really_ need them? It is 2007 and Linux still doesn’t have a good DV editing solution, when the Mac has iMovie and many other good commercial ones and Windows about 20 really good ones. Heck, Ubuntu still is shipping without a home video editor when so many people have camcorders.

Triple jumping

This whole thing about my father today reminded me of his short time in high school (which as I said, he ran off). He was the 3rd best in his high school in triple jump. His record was 14.10 meters. For those won’t “don’t get” that number, it would probably make an official Greek record for boys under 16 years old (my father was 12 back in 1960). Today, an adult woman who would jump as long would have a place in the top-10 of a European championship.

Apparently the boys in my father’s mountain village were triple-jumping for fun for years. It was a common game. They had no official training or technique to speak about, but they had the talent.

You are probably thinking who was the “number 1″ in the school. My father told us many times that the best triple jumper he ever saw was his cousin George. He was nearing 15 meters in his jumps. What is amazing about uncle George though is his… height. He is about 1.52 meters, just as tall as I am (my father is 1.67m). I can’t keep thinking that if uncle George had proper training and the “perfect body” for a triple jumper (tall, long legs) what kind of a jump he could have make back in 1960.

The funny thing about all this, is that when I started training in sprints and javelin in high-school my father wouldn’t let me. You see, sports are… for boys.