Archive for September, 2013

Passive beyond measure

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Passive beyond measure
Taking life as it comes
Then watching it pass by
Sitting on the sidelines
A willful surrender
With no hope of winning
Why bother playing
Is the question of the moment

Evernote for iOS7 looks awful, makes tasks harder to accomplish

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

I get that everyone felt like they had to update their apps to look like iOS7. What I don’t get is why you’d think that you should also trash the best parts of your app to do so.

The iPad has a huge screen, but the new Evernote app limits you to a sliver for editing, wasting nearly half the screen with a pointless list of notes you aren’t currently working on.

Spiteful Spending

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

(I remember what I was going to talk about now…)

Apple’s memory pricing policies drive some ‘spiteful spending’ on my part. For the price of 16gb additional iPod storage, I instead bought a 1tb hard drive that has battery power and a built-in wifi server. It almost seems odd they don’t offer something similar on their own.

Further iOS notes

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Damn it crashes a lot. I can’t remember ever getting a black-screen from iOS before 7. Sure, individual apps crashing, but never a complete forced reboot of the entire device. Now it’s a semi-daily occurrence. At least I haven’t seemed to have lost anything during one of these.

I had something to say

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

I had something to say, but it’s gone away
out of my head, the idea is dead
Unless it comes back
But until then

iOS7 wastes millions of hours

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I am still working my way through iOS7’s changes, but I’ve already found at least one item that seems like a horrifically anti-end-user attack on one’s most precious resource, time. When unlocking the phone or returning to the homepage, you are now forced to sit through a silly animation of all your icons flying into the screen from the sides. I’m not going to sit down and time it exactly, but let’s be generous and say it only wastes 1 second per iteration. The problem is it is an operation you will be doing lots, so the waste starts to add up. At a conservative 60 times per day, you end up wasting 36.5 hours of your life over the course of a year, waiting on a lame tech demo to finish. Multiply that by the millions of iPhone users, and Apple is directly responsible for destroying thousands of man-years of human life, life that could have been spent doing worthwhile, or at least enjoyable, activities. But instead, we are all forced to watch the same animation again and again, for no purpose, to provide no value to the end user. Hell, it’s not like Apple even gets any useful data out of this; they literally just decided to waste millions of peoples’ time, just to stroke the ego of some internal developer.

There ought to be a mandatory set of ethics for embedded developers who will impact millions of lives, which includes “don’t waste people’s lives just to make a new developer toy”.

Over thinking the solution

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I’m bemoaning the fact that, since ‘new’ iPhones come out on Friday, the T-Mobile store only had 1 16gb unit left in black (which in retrospect is covered up by a white waterproof case, doh), and there’s not much room for music AND apps. As I’m sitting on the bus, thinking about a solution, I’m thinking of devices I might currently own that I could use to put together a backpack media server. Then I think to myself, surely this is a solved problem, and I google for backpack media server, whereupon I find that technology has moved faster than I was thinking, and there’s a flash-drive that does exactly what I want; built in battery to act as a server while unplugged from any computer, small enough to fit in a pocket, and expandable because it takes SDXC cards.

Time to see if it works in reality as well as I envision =p

What’s the difference

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I am not a biologist, so I didn’t actually read the article, but the headline, “4 new legless lizard species discovered” amused me. Don’t we have a name for legless lizards, as a group, already? I think it’s on the tip of my tongue…..snakes? yeah snakes!


OpenSSH UTF-8/16 bug

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As I’m setting up a new music server, transferring files around with the scp that comes on OSX (Mountain Lion, I think?), and noticed that they have a tiny little bug in their handling of filenames with multi-byte characters. As files are transferred, a progress indicator is displayed, which leaves behind a line for every completed file. Usually these lines have several aligned columns, filename, percent complete, filesize, etc. But as a handful of classical pieces with french characters in the names go by, I see they are counting the multiple bytes, assuming they are all visible, so some of the columns were off for 5 files in a row.
As long as scp transferred the files intact, it’s a minor quirk/issue, but I do find it amusing, because I know I tested my old employers scp client with the same set of files, and it didn’t have this issue.

Appropriate Force

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Most of the time, I’m against forcing adults to do things.  But not always.

In designing a website, I think force should be applied frequently.  I’ll explain….


If you, for example, are building an e-commerce site, and are going to use a payment processor that requires shipping and billing information to match exactly, don’t put up two sets of fields and a warning that they must match.  Put up one set of fields, and one set of display-only fields that mimic whatever you typed into the first fields.  You avoid setting up your customers for failure, yet still salve the angst of the product manager who whines, “but people expect billing and shipping fields”.

At least that’s how I would do it.  But not a certain someone I visited today….and go figure, their system failed to work anyways, no matter what I tried.

Usually a Richard Branson company has better tech people than that, I’m surprisingly disappointed.