iPhone vs. Droid

November 24, 2009

I had an opportunity to play with the droid for a little while this weekend. Most of my observations are superficial and based on simplistic understanding of the device.

The Droid phone from Motorola is bulky. That’s understandable since it packs more battery and has a real keyboard, instead of the touch screen-based one that that the iPhone has. Unfortunately, Motorola could have done this more stylishly. The phone has a lot of sharp edges and didn’t feel gentle in my hands. It looked like a brick to me. Now I don’t mind the sharp edges. The Razor was a sharp looking phone with a lot of angular surfaces but it really looked like was something new and different. The Droid unfortunately reminds me of phones from the turn of the century.

Now as far as the software goes, I thought the UI was kind of clunky. The droid has a higher resolution screen, yet it fails to capitalize on it by using contrast and shades. In a way the UI reminded me a lot of Windows 3.1. Even the latest incarnation of Windows has adopted a color and contrast scheme that echoes OS X aesthetics. I suppose this is a reflection of Droid’s Android OS roots in Linux but even Linux has started to soften its tone.

Now lets come to the software. I’ve never been able to figure out the point of widgets on a phone. There is a limited screen space on a phone. Every app is friggin’ widget. What’s the point of an app that’s already smaller than a limited app on the phone.

The only thing that’s going for the Droid right now is its open development model and the Java programming language. The iPhone with its development tools limited to Macs only means that developers have to invest a lot more money to start developing for a iPhone. I think Droid and Android has some way to go before it can challenge the iPhone. What they probably have to do is to make sure that the Android experience does not splinter along handset manufacturing lines (like what happened to Windows Mobile) and keep  improving its looks.

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The New MacBook Air

January 15, 2008

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Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford one of these babies.


A Tech Witchhunt??

February 13, 2007

First, Norway went after Apple for not allowing songs downloaded from iTunes, to be playable on the iPod only. Now, Belgium has decided that Goolge’s caching of information (that incidently is free) on the web is a violation of Belgian copyright. This is beginning to sound like a straightforward European governmental witch-hunt because they just can’t seem to make an alternative service. I used to think that the continuing European monopoly action against Microsoft was because Microsoft was guilty of monopolisitic practices, but now I suspect it was just because some beauracrat decided that lame legalism will constrain the competition.


Digg|OS X vs. Vista – a GUI development and concept analysis

July 4, 2006

Great article on interface design concepts and developement process on both operating systems. Different company philosophies for different results on user interfaces.
read more | digg story

An interesting article in the design process of Windows Vista and Mac OS X. One of the comments had a link to a video superimposing a presentation about Windows Vista’s upcoming features with all the features that Mac OS X has right now.


Mac OS X Blues Part V

February 14, 2006

So here I am at the Carousel Center Apple Store. I had about fifteen minutes on my hands so I thought why not write a quick post.
I have to say this, these Apple guys do have a certain following!

In the 10 minutes, I’ve been here, I’ve seen them sell two computers.

While I love the end-to-end experience that a Mac provides, I think their manufacturing quality leaves much to be desired. This is the second time, that an Apple product has crapped out on me . Six months ago, it was my 15 GB iPod. Now its the hard disk. While I’ve heard about hard disks crashing, this was much too soon!! My HP hdd, is still alive at 3 years, even if its LCD is dead.

Anyway, I had a long discussion with him, and he gave me a couple of tips. He told me that most probably the hard disk is shot and the only thing left to do is to replace it.

The way to replace it would be open the base of the mac and replace the IDE drive. And he also told me that the price of having it done at the Apple Store would be expensive enough to justify getting a new Mac. I’m just not prepared to do that right now. I want a new Mac, but not until the new Intel-based macs mature.

The next suggestion that he said would be go to ATS (off carrier circle). They had a lot more leeway about using more generic parts because they dont work under the Apple logo, as opposed to the Apple Store which has to buy overpriced Apple authorized parts.

Replacing the hard drive while possible, seemed to be a significant task, which I’m not prepared to do right now.

One last suggestion that Mac Genius suggested was to use my newly acquired external hard drive. This hard drive has a firewire interface. That was a good decision. So according to his suggestion I installed Mac OS X 10.2, and now I’m upgrading to Panther. My first priority is to transfer my music file so that its safe and the new files are authorized. Once that happens, I’m going to try to format the original hard drive again and see if I can recover the original hard drive again.

Mac OS X’s ability to boot from a firewire drive is really a god-send right now. Some of the design choices that Apple has done for its OS are really good, and the way the guy at the Apple Store described, their hardware is really well designed too.


Mac OS X Blues Part II

February 11, 2006

So I went out and bought a copy of Alsoft’s Disk Warriors.

I bought it the Apple Store at the Carousel Mall in Syracuse. Talking to the technician I found out that the main cause of the I/O errors usually occur because of hardware failures, and I would be much better off just by getting an external hard-drive and backing up my data. So i though I would risk a an investment of $107 and see if that Disk warrior is going to work or not.

Right now its displaying a dialog box saying that its Rebuilding director, and below two progress bars in brackets showing me that the (Speed is inhibited by disk malfunction). Seems to me that the technician was right. The hard disk is physically damaged.

The causes of damage could be anything, it could be a bad cable, a faulty logic board, or that the hard drive has gon bad. I guess the only thing I can do is just wait…. I’ve taken photographs, which I will be posting as I go along.

Disk warrior starting up.


Disk warrior’s attempt to graph the hard disk.

And this is where its stuck at.

and I’m right here waiting for it to finish.


The Graphing Calculator Story

December 26, 2004

The Graphing Calculator Story is one hell of a story. This is the kind of work I want to be doing at my place of work.