She’s Out of Your League, Helio.

Wow, I can’t believe I still hear people referring to the Helio Ocean as a serious iPhone competitor. These people clearly have yet to experience the iPhone. I, too, mourn the lack of 3G and GPS functionality on the iPhone, but I don’t miss having a hardware keyboard. The iPhone keyboard works amazingly well after a little practice, and this is coming from a former SideKick 3 owner. That device had the best hardware keyboard, for its size, I’ve ever used.

As a former T-Mo customer, I was hesitant to move away from the simple, straightforward plans offered by the company. Turns out I was really worrying about nothing… AT&T’s plans for new subscribers are perfectly clear. I do miss having an AIM client on my phone every day, but I’ll have one soon… that’s only a matter of time now, whether Apple likes it or not.

What I’ve gained by switching, on the other hand, I can barely begin to discuss here… Continue reading

Bill Gates Smokes The Good Stuff, Man

Picture of Gates actually smoking the good stuff
not found, due to the fact that he is a colossal nerd.

It never ceases to amaze me.

Bill Gates can say whatever he wants, and everyone just believes it. It doesn’t have to be true, nor accurate. Sources are not required for his data. I don’t even think he needs to use real words.

“Windows Vista dumple splort nooka plix, brumity chubba chubba chubba <tongue click> bortnoy esparghery.” — Bill Gates

And that, apparently, is everyone’s cue to run out and buy Microsoft’s latest pile of mediocre-ware. Also, he said he wants a Frosty from Wendy’s. Equally baffling is this marvelously delusional diatribe:

“Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.” — Bill Gates, NewsWeek

Wow… by comparison, the first statement actually makes more sense. It must be nice to be able to spew utter nonsense and have the world continue to see you as some kind of corporate hero and saintly philanthropist. I don’t think I’ve heard a such an ill-advised challenge posed since President Bush’s infamous “bring it on” schtick.

Now for some reality: No exploits have been found that allow a Mac OS X machine to be completely taken over, certainly not without some kind of user authorization or direct physical access to the computer. Out of the box, Mac OS X is still untouchable. Issues have been found in certain applications and web site, but nothing that allows a “total take over”.

Now, shall we take a quick look at the security record of your widely-installed OS, Bill? I don’t think we need to… it’s well established that there are hundreds of serious exploits in Windows XP, and new ones ARE discovered every day. It also doesn’t take a whole special campaign (such as the Month of Apple Bugs event) for people to find them in bunches. Glass houses, Bill.

And now for the real fun: despite all of the truly impressive (no sarcasm here) security features in Windows Vista, most exploits, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses made for Windows XP continue to work just fine in Vista. It really is all flash, and very little substance.

What’s got me so riled up is that no matter what Bill Gates says, no matter how full of utter crap he is, his word is gospel, and people continue to fund the Microsoft machine. Nobody will rebuke, nobody will retort, nobody will call him out on the utter lies he spreads.

Fine. I guess it’s up to me.

You go to hell, Bill Gates. You have no taste, no craftsmanship, and no passion, and it shows in virtually everything your company makes. You could change things… if you cared, you could make everything work seamlessly; but that’s not why you’re in business, now is it? You don’t fool me, and someday soon, you won’t be able to fool anyone else. Microsoft is a parasitic entity sucking the life out of the computer industry, and you, Mr. Gates, are a shining example of exactly what money can not buy.

iPhone Missing Needed Applications

No, iHockey is not one of them. Cool, though, huh?

When the iPhone was unveiled, I had never wanted to own a new gadget as badly. For ten years, all I’ve ever wanted was a Newton with a phone. Suddenly, here was the Apple device to meet that specification. I was overjoyed.

Now, some time has passed, and I’m able to look at things through a more analytical lens. Bathed in the light of reality, it is clearly apparent that, despite everyone’s expectation otherwise, the iPhone is not for me… not yet, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the device, and I think Apple’s hit a home run here… we’re just waiting to see how far the wind actually carries it. I think it has the potential to change a lot of thinking where smartphone design is concerned, and it makes Windows Mobile look like a joke. The overall concept, design, implementation of the device: I am in love with it. My reticence stems from very specific needs, which are twofold: Continue reading

Larry Bodine Needs a Hug

A gentleman by the name of Larry Bodine was “suckered” into buying a Mac. He gave it a “thorough” test cycle, and posted an “assessment” of his experiences with his “silvery box of frustration”. I have rarely ever seen such inflamatory, sensationalist, and blatantly false “information” cobbled together in what can only be described as a rant. A batshit-insane rant.

I read this article, and fumed quietly to myself for some time. Now I need to vent, and besides, I can’t let Wil Shipley have all the fun, now can I? My responses to many of his points are below. Now… where do I start?

“…can’t view Web sites properly…”

Which sites? You don’t provide any.

“…not compatible with Microsoft Word…”

Continue reading

Wii Will Not Be Disappointed

Good ol’ Billeh Berghammer over at GameInformer has penned an article expressing his apprehensiveness about the Wii’s launch. An excerpt:

“…the future is made up of many of the same promises and hopes I had when the N64 and GameCube were announced. I just hope I don’t end up being disappointed once again.”

Granted, I had similar concerns about the last Nintendo home console. I also had the same concerns about the DS. I mean, come on, a touch screen? How can *that* be fun?

Continue reading

Google Holding Back Automotive Tech

Google’s forming a new for-profit charity. That’s good.

One of their first projects is a 100MPG plug-in hybrid vehicle. That’s bad.

The word “hybrid” is rapidly becoming associated with half-measures that really don’t solve the fundamental problems which thet address. Hybrid hard drives… where’s my fully solid-state MRAM drive? And hybrid vehicles… I demand cars powered by hydrogen fuel-cells! We need to stop scaling back and doing the easy things, simply because we can bring them to market quickly.

Companies need to focus, take the hit to revenue and resources, and take the time to do the hard thing, because it is the right thing to do. GM has been doing it for nearly a decade now, and their efforts are closer than ever to paying off.

Continue reading

IDBUX: Radio Menu Items

Windows Radio Menu  Mac Radio Menu

What happens when I select “List”?

Here’s a truly rare bird: a UI heuristic where most GUI toolkits get it right, but Apple (Cocoa) goes horribly wrong.  In the above example, what will happen when “List” is selected?  On the Mac (right), It’s not clear, is it?  Will “List” also become checked, or will “Large Icons” become unchecked?

In virtually all pull-down menu implementations across all platforms, there are basically three types of functionality for any menu item (which does not have a submenu, and is not a separator):

Continue reading

IDBUX: Make Use of Application Roles in Finder

Editor / Viewer

Respect These Roles!

When developing a Mac OS X application, you can specify what extensions your app can open.  Furthermore, you can specify, for each document type, whether your app is able to open that document for editing, or just as a viewer.

So why is it that I can not utilize this differentiation in the Finder?  For any given “.jpg” file, why can I not choose to view it (using, or edit it (Adobe Photoshop

The experience could be simple enough:  double-click to view, triple-click to edit.  Command-O to view, Option-Command-O to edit.  Think of the time you would save that is otherwise spent tediously dragging an image to an icon in the Dock.

With the capabilities now built into the core of Mac OS X, the “Open” command just doesn’t cut it.  I Demand Better User Experience.

Yeah, yeah…

Damn... hair.

This man also neglected his blog.

So it’s been a while since I blogged.  Big deal.  You wanna fight about it?  Things have been busy, and they still are.  I recently realized, however, how many ideas and observations I have backed up, soooo…

I’m firing up the computar blog machein again, and to kick it off, I’m introducing a new recurring category.  It’s a rant about big gaping omissions from good interface design.  I call it “I Demand Better User Experience,” or IDBUX for short.

Enjoy, you ungrateful wenches.  ^_^

PlayStation 3: $500.00…

…Playstation 3 INCLUDING Wi-Fi, memory slots, HDMI for 1080p, and a 60GB HD: $600.00.

Blatantly ripping off your competitor just enough to defuse one of their killer features: priceless.

I can't wait to pay $70.00 for games for the thing! Oh, wait, yes I can.