Thursday, January 25, 2007

Masons...

Clearly the old secret society thing involves keeping a low profile in Oakland.

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Looking back part 2.

 

Last day in the office in eugene 01/02/2007 all "my" stuff with stickers on it, sorted into piles. Posted by Picasa

Looking back...

 

First day in the new cube 01/08/2007. Already starting to look like a mess. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kinda looks like Simcity.

 

Something tells me Gavin Newsome doesn't have quite the same tools at his disposal that you do in the game. Posted by Picasa

Just one more thing...

Clearly gesture based touch screen interfaces for widescreen media playing devices are so revolutionary that no-one has ever-thought of that before apple...

 

If it one thing that the 770 has taught me about UI design, it's that onscreen keyboards are easy to implement and use. Even so, little chicklet plastic keys are faster to type on. For gross gestures and modal interface controls, the touch screen is great (better than alternatives like the joystick and mousing). The UI can respond accordingly, when control are grabbed or manipulated.

Typing is a different activity than UI navigation. For me, I mostly touch types. I'd rather be focusing on the output while my fingers are busy with the input, so tactile rather than visual feedback is important and the area under my fingers is not the target of visual attention. Maybe there are interfaces that are better (faster requiring less attention) than typing, but for now a competent typist is still faster with a crap chicklet keyboard then someone typing on a screen keyboard that's obscuring half the display, area. Posted by Picasa

Not something you see very often.

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So long old friend...

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Guess the Nokia 770 is dead...

Unless things change it won't see another official OS release now that the n800 has been released.

http://www.nokiausa.com/N800

http://jaaksi.blogspot.com/2007/01/were-getting-some-feedback-and-weve-got.html

I'm cool with that sort of approach I guess, it's a consumer appliance after all, and the 770 was more of a prototype than an actual product.

Nonetheless the sinking feeling when I got the message that the 770 wouldn't see another software release was sort of like having a pet die. I relate to Linux machines differently than I do to say phones, they're more extensible, they expose more of the inner workings, you negotiate with the operating system rather than being held hostage by it like on a normal embedded communications device.

I have gotten a lot of value out of device since I ordered it in November of 2005 certainly it was $350 well spent. I should order the n800 right now I guess but I haven't quite worked up to it.

There's some question in my mind here about how people relate to objects of varying levels of sophistication and interactivity. I don't really get all that concerned when my toaster gets discontinued by sunbeam, that my 30 year old Beosystem is obsolete or that next year Honda will release a newer slightly restyled version of my car. I didn't get that upset when I bricked my n91 by flashing the firmware (it's just a phone after all), but when something that like many open-source products has a built-in assumption of routine software releases to enhance it's functionality gets discontinued, a little part of it dies. Some pieces of hardware take on a life of their own long after they're technically obsolete and abandoned by their manufacturers (the Newton and the Amiga come to mind) but that's by no means guaranteed, classic electronic devices aren't really that numerous.

Thursday, January 11, 2007