Using a HPC on a Daily Basis

Recently I’ve started using my Jornada 720 as a replacement for my iPad as a lab computer since it’s extremely tiny (space is very important in the bench) and can do practically everything I need my iPad for, of course I still have my main computer in the lab to program microcontrollers and do everything, but the Jornada is great to have near my working area so I can quickly check datasheets, schematics, and parts list while soldering or prototyping.

Lab view

Usually when I’m prototyping or testing a board I have to check datasheets for pinouts, common voltages, etc. and Adobe Reader is great for this task:

Datasheet open

In my main computer I keep a very well organized folder (and database, but I’m still researching the best way to get the DB into my j720 and keep them both synced) with datasheets for practically every electronic component I have in stock. So whenever I update the folder with more stuff I just rsync everything to my Jornada, and since it’s a nice Linux machine I’ve already wrote a nice script to automate things.

Datasheets

Folders

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve built a small command line application a while ago called build-bom which gets a schematic file from my CAD program (EAGLE) and can output the parts list into HTML, CSV, or JSON. So whenever I’m populating a board I export the parts list to HTML and open it in my Jornada so I can know which part to place where in the board:

Parts list

Logitech Wireless Anywhere MX

Recently I was looking for a new mouse to replace my Apple Magic Mouse since for some crazy reason it just doesn’t want to work on my System76 Bonobo Extreme (I went back to Linux), despite the fact that almost every person on the internet says it does. After searching for a while (2 months) I thought the best option was the Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse MX, so I ordered one.

I’ve been using it for 3 days now and I gotta say, it’s a perfect mouse, the weight is great (about the same as the Magic Mouse), the scrolling wheel is ok, and it has two customizable buttons (I use them to change tabs in my text editor while I’m coding), the only complaint that I have is the fact that Logitech took a huge effort to come up with the most obnoxious name they could come up with for a mouse.

Some people may hate the fact that it doesn’t use Bluetooth, which means you have to carry that little USB receiver with it, but the good thing is that there is place to put it in the battery compartment so you won’t loose it, personally I don’t care about wireless mouses that use the separate receiver.

Another great thing about it: It comes with a nice pouch to carry it in your backpack and protect it from scratches.

In a nutshell, it’s a great mouse and if you’re looking for one you should definitely take it into consideration.

The New Wave of Vaporware

Last week I got a new development device, a Galaxy Nexus, mainly for Android development since I bricked my old Galaxy S. Sooner or later I would try to install my favorite alpha mobile OS: Firefox OS. I really wanted to try Firefox OS because of how they want HTML5 to be the primary (and unique) way to build applications, but since I NEVER run anything on emulators, I was waiting until I had a device that was compatible.

So I went to their docs to get started on how to flash their OS into my Galaxy Nexus. The first thing that I see is that they don’t provide binaries, that’s not good, but I can compile it myself, no big deal. So I started following their Building/Installation entries, installed all the prerequisites, pulled the code from their repo and ran the configure command to prepare the repo. Then I realized it was downloading the Android source code, which is fucking huge and takes an eternity to download, at this point I realized things weren’t going to be good.

For some reason they weren’t using Google’s servers to get Android’s code, but instead the shitty Linaro ones, I was getting a extremely unreliable, 60kb/s download, it was a hell. After 4 hours trying to get all the code it started failing bad and then it wouldn’t download the rest anymore, so I went to their IRC channel hoping to get some help, but couldn’t get much of it, but what was interesting from the conversation in the IRC is that their primary development target isn’t phones, but the shitty emulator.

I can rant about emulator and all that crap for days here, but I prefer not to. So, dear Mozilla, if you want developers to really care about the awesome product that you’re building, you should first give us a fast and easy way to install it on our devices.

If you look closer at all these 5th place mobile OSes (Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, and Tizen) you’ll realize one major thing: It looks like they’ll never ship (yeah Tizen, you’re the worst at the time), they just appear to be a bunch of vaporware.

I really love to see all these emerging technologies and have fun with development stuff, but if I can’t install it, I’ll just loose my interest and never look back. I think I’ll never try Firefox OS again, it was a great experiment, but if you focus on crap emulators I won’t support your platform.

The Google Tax

Two days ago I came across this: Orange ‘forces Google’ to pay for mobile traffic. Clearly Orange has no idea how the internet works and what’s their involvement in it. The ISP is just a dumb pipe to connect the user to a server, nothing more. If their users are using too much bandwidth and the costs are higher than the profits they should start to rethink the price of their service, not go after Google saying that they are evil for transferring all that data.

We should also mention that if Orange, and other ISPs, start to rethink their service costs they should never throttle the connection. The user fees should be equivalent to their connection speed, not their usage, which apparently is something that ISPs can’t understand too.

In my opinion the bigger problem here is that Google apparently accepted to pay the fees (even worst since the government is also forcing a decision favorable to the ISPs):

French President Francois Hollande warned Google on Wednesday that his government would legislate a so-called Google tax if the company doesn’t reach a deal with French media companies.

If they accept to pay these fees they are going to open the gates to other ISPs to demand the same compensations. This is a completely anti-net-neutrality move, which goes in the inverse direction of Google’s ideals.

Google has also been faced with demands for compensation from content providers such as newspapers, who charge the search giant makes lots of advertising revenue from referencing their material.

What?! If you put such material on your website and allow Google to index it so people can find you, which will generate profits over the ads you have your website, you should instead pay Google (if you don’t use AdSense) for making it a lot easier to generate traffic to your ads.

Hollande said “Those who make a profit from the information” produced by media companies should participate in their financing.

If the information isn’t already publicly available, on the media company’s website and they allowed Google to index their information, there’s no way Google should pay for the profits they are making with ads.

If we really want the internet to continue as it was intended to be companies that are facing these issues should promptly oppose them and make their opinion public, just like what happened with SOPA and PIPA last year. Otherwise things are only going to get worst than they already are.

Getting Rid Of Physical Buttons: The Right Way

Three days ago a friend, which is a regular user, asked me about my opinion on the “new button-less phone that was just released”, he was talking about the Sony Xperia Z. First I explained him that those kinds of phones (button-less) existed for a long time before the Sony one, then I gave him a long explanation why I think the Android way of getting rid of buttons was just wrong.

If you really want to get rid of the physical buttons you shouldn’t replace them with virtual ones, since I still loose part of my screen to that piece of the past, so don’t get rid of them, I prefer to have something more “natural” than just an abstraction of it.

To get rid of the physical buttons in the right way you should first of all replace their place with pixels (shocking!), so I can see more content. After that you replace the button actions to be triggered by something that won’t take more screen space, for example gestures.

A clear example where a company made the transition perfectly is RIM, they came from a OS that was completely driven by physical buttons (BBOS) and went to a fully gesture driven OS (PlayBook OS and BB10). Another great example of how to use gestures is the awesome Ubuntu Phone which in my opinion is one of the best implementations I ever seen.

So, if you want to replace the buttons you shouldn’t just virtualize them, but really replace them with something different.

My Raspberry Pi Post-Mortem

This might be the worst day of this current year. As you might already know yesterday, after 4 months of agony, I finally received my Raspberry Pi. It cheered me up a lot, since in the same day my old Galaxy S bricked. Today the perfect chemical reaction occurred. All the excitement and expectation converted entirely (maybe multiplied) into a strange mix of frustration, sadness, and anger. My Raspberry Pi arrived dead.

After 4 long months of wait, ~20 items on a TODO list, 3 projects, 2 VMs, ~50 tweets, and 3 articles, it all came to a sad end. Today my friend borrowed me his spare USB keyboard so I could turn ON an configure my Raspberry Pi for the first time. While it was booting I had one of the most awesome experiences ever: I’ve watched the original Linux boot, with a logo on the left corner and all those awesome lines blazing through the screen, just like in 2005 when I booted Linux for the first time on my extremely old IBM ThinkPad. After I saw those lines for the first time I decided I wanted to know more about how things were made, Linux got me into programming, and turned me into what I am today. It was a awesome moment to watch those lines again.

The first thing Raspbian did was show me a nice ncurses-based configuration tool. I started configuring it and suddenly “No Signal”. I looked at the Raspberry Pi and the only thing that showed me it was working was the Power LED, all the other LEDs (including the internet ones) turned OFF. I disconnected the power and tried booting it up again. This time it did the same thing, but a lot earlier.

I rushed to my computer to check if it was a known issue and if someone had a fix, many users had similar issues, but not the same, the suggestions were the same: Check the power source voltage and the SD Card. I’ve started by downloading the other distros and flashing them on different cards, without success on the Pi, I was still having the strange issue. Then I decided to get a multimeter to check the voltage of the board, when I checked the board voltage it was great, so it means it wasn’t the power source causing the issue. All I got was to acknowledge that I got a faulty unit.

I inserted the Raspberry Pi back into its case and gently stored it into the drawer were I put all the electronics that stopped working, which currently contains only my first laptop (that ThinkPad with Linux) and my Galaxy S. I care a lot about all my electronics, even after they are “dead”, that’s why I never sold, or trashed any of them, which means I almost have a museum here in my room, with all the devices I ever owned.

I’m curious to know what will be the next thing that will get me as excited as the Raspberry Pi did. Computers, they aren’t fun to play with anymore, and the Raspberry Pi changed this. The mobile world that always excited me, since the day I got my Palm, is no longer that exciting. So what’s next?

I don’t think I’ll be buying another Raspberry Pi, probably not. All the excitement extinguished today.

Updates:

After 4 months of wait… It finally arrived #raspberrypi #gklst

The Linux GUI Development Nightmare

For about 2 weeks I’ve been having some fun with Linux development, mainly using Ruby to build command-line applications. My decisions, to create command-line applications using Ruby instead of GUI applications, were made because of a simple factor: GUI development for Linux is a nightmare, since there isn’t at least one good GUI prototyping tool available to help you design your UI without having to do everything manually.

First I tried Glade which is just a nightmare. It’s extremely complicated to deal with and you have no clue about which control you should use or how to arrange things, and most importantly there’s not a lot of tutorials and documentation for new users to learn how to use it, and how to integrate with other languages.

Then I was told that Qt Creator was an awesome thing, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve created a new test project and selected the Qt Quick option so I could use QML, which is a lot better for a developer with Javascript background like me. One of the things that made me like this was the amount of good documentation and tutorials.

When I started playing with the Designer one of the first things that I noticed was the lack of simple controls like Buttons, this was pretty strange and I thought I haven’t installed all the things needed, but when I searched for it I got this tutorial from Qt itself, which explains how to create a button in QML (from scratch!!). QML is one of the most awesome things I ever seen to build the GUI logic, it’s simple and flexible, the problem is that there isn’t any kind of controls to create real world desktop applications with it.

After that I took a look at wxWidgets, which lacks good documentation and a decent GUI designer. Then after all this horrible nightmare I thought about creating all my UIs using HTML5 and wrapping everything around a GTK WebKit window, but I don’t think this is a good approach since my apps would look like an alien to the system.

Where are the Delphis of modern computing? I remember how easy it was to design UIs using Delphi and with a right-click on the control you could easily attach an event to it’s logic. It’s this kind of IDE that I’m expecting, one that focus on the fact that you don’t need to struggle to create a UI, but instead that you should be able to create the UI fast and easily enough, so you can focus on the most important thing that is your application logic.

Linux is a awesome OS, I’ve been using it since 2007, and it needs/deserves better tools to create awesome GUI applications, this is one of the reasons that developers aren’t porting their apps to Linux. On Mac OS X we have the awesome Xcode that includes a incredibly awesome GUI designer, and on the Windows side we have Visual Studio with a designer that is the best one in my opinion, since it’s easy, flexible, and powerful. Isn’t this the perfect time for a great Linux GUI designer?

If it’s Good I Don’t Care Which License it Uses

Today I could finally watch the Stallman’s interview on The Linux Action Show, and their second video about it, and I couldn’t agree more with Bryan, so I thought about writing an article about it since most of the responses I saw were just a lot of crap thrown at a person that wants to make a living out of software development.

Stallman has a great dream that software should be “free”, but I think that the developer must also have the freedom to choose if they want to charge or not for their software. Free software is great, but if a developer wants to make a living out of their software, which means be dedicated full-time and not have another job, it’s almost impossible if you only make free software, even if you accept donations they won’t be good enough to make a living. Which means you’ll have to charge for some of your software.

When I’m going to get any kind of software the first thing that I look is at the description, what it does and what it doesn’t, then I look at the screenshots. If the software is considered good (in my opinion of good) I’ll download, if it’s free, or buy, if it’s paid. The developer has the freedom to choose the price of their software and I respect that, if the developer thinks that his app is worth $10 and I think it’s worth too, I’ll surely buy it.

Bryan and Chris also talk about the proliferation of the “App Stores” as a bit of a bad thing. Of course it has it’s cons, but they have a huge pro which is how easily it makes for users to discover and get software. This is good for the user, that will be able to get more software to fit his needs, and is good for the developer which will get more downloads/revenue.

Let’s take me as an example. I’m a student which is very thankful to my parents for supporting me to study and have some time to develop software for fun. That’s why I build software that I want/need to use the best examples (and the ones I’m mostly proud for) are build.prop Editor and stream.json, these are all licensed under the GPLv3, but I’m going to start reworking (long story, worked for 1 month to start this project, all was almost ready and a lot of bugs on bbUI.js made me very depressed and leading to my rage quit from BlackBerry development) and it will be a $0.99 app for iOS, Android, and maybe BlackBerry. My decision to charge for this app is just because of the time I’ve invested and will invest on it.

Free software is a great thing, but the blind way that Stallman looks at this scene is just mind blowing. If he really wants that every company that develops proprietary software fails he is just going to kill his own idea because most of the big free software projects are possible because huge companies that earn money from proprietary software can pay for employees to contribute to these free projects.

Stallman also said that he wouldn’t use/recommend the Raspberry Pi just because of one single proprietary part of it (which is probably the GPU). This, and the discussion about child’s food that he had with Bryan, showed how he cannot think about practical implementations of his ideals of freedom. Projects like the Raspberry Pi are the things that are currently keeping my interesting on programming, since the programming scene is so saturated that everything I think might be a cool week pet project never comes out of the paper I’ve sketched, because there’s already a well known and successful project which does exactly what I wanted and more.

What are your thoughts about my opinion? Want to troll? Agree? Leave a comment and I’ll love (or not) to read it.

PS: This post was written using proprietary hardware on a Apple MacBook Pro 17” (2010 model), running a proprietary OS called Mac OS X, using a proprietary word processing software called iA Writer.

Apple, What Are You Doing?

This is my thoughts about the new iPhone that Apple just introduced today. I’m writing this as I watch the keynote. (it was written yesterday at night so I decided to publish it today. I haven’t reviewed or modified it.)

iPhone 5

The name

Seriously Apple? I really loved that you called the iPad 3 the new iPad, which is a lot better for you and for the people since now most of what you’re going to do is just do some iterations like you did from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S. Calling it the iPhone 5 makes no sense.

The bigger screen

That looked like a nice addition in the beginning, but it will become a hell. A lot of apps are going to have those crappy bars, could you guys do what Android does and just re-align the pixels? Most of the apps really have no reason to “take advantage” of that bigger screen. Also that aspect ratio is just the worst one ever. It will also start a little more fragmentation to the platform.

That back

Seriously that back looks like a generic chinese phone back. It is just so ugly. I would prefer if it was made all of the same color/material which would make a lot more sense.


Stock Apps

Shared Photo Stream

Haha, I had to laugh when I saw this. That’s really the worst thing ever. They forgot that today our friends have different devices, usually they are half iOS users and half Android users, also Instagram does this a lot better and in a lot better and more social way.

Siri

Nice new additions to Siri (I’m talking about the sports stuff). I hope that’s international because if that’s only for the USA you just made a stupid decision.

iTunes

The new additions to iTunes were really awesome. The new Mac app UI is really great. I loved the clean interface.


iPod

The nano

The new iPod nano is really awesome and a lot better than the current generation. If I didn’t used my phone as my music player I would buy it for sure. By the way I still can’t understand why someone would use the iPod nano to watch a movie or look at photos.

The touch

The back really looks like crap. It’s really thin and light, but the only market for that is kind of device is for children that their parents doesn’t want to give them a smartphone. Also I had a “WTF?!” moment when they showed that wrist wrap they are calling iPod touch Loop.


Conclusion

Sadly Apple haven’t got me back. I’ll continue to develop for BlackBerry, I think they are doing a better work to innovate with BlackBerry 10.

RIM is Doing it Right

Finally someone got it right! RIM is the first company that understood that there is no way you can be successful without having 4 things (and implemented all of those):

  • A good, stable and professional OS that fills the needs from teenagers to business people.
  • Beautiful interface that is everywhere and is extremely easy for developers to use on their apps.
  • Developer support/excitement.
  • Carrier support.

Impressions from The BlackBerry 10 Jam

I just got back from the BlackBerry 10 Jam São Paulo and what I saw there was just awesome! I’ve been developing for BlackBerry since I got my Torch 9800 (just for fun) in March of this year and as soon as I started developing for it I saw that RIM was really committed to developers. They provide all the tools, SDKs, frameworks and support for you to create the most awesome apps.

They saw that if you don’t have a developer community that is excited about the future they just can’t continue with their business since after Apple introduced the App Store consumers got addicted to apps and if a platform doesn’t have the apps the need/want they just go to another one. Everyone at The Jam was extremely excited about BlackBerry 10 and how innovative it will be.

I talked to some people there, from business mans that were there only to see the next step from Rim, to developers from other platforms that were thinking about migrating to BlackBerry. The business people were really excited about the new UI/UX of BB10 and how great it will be for multitasking. The developers were really excited too about the UI/UX, but a lot more about how easy it was to develop gorgeous apps for it.

One interesting quote that I got there was from a awesome Android/iOS developer that said: “I submitted a FREE app to Google Play. It made a good success there, but in about a month there was a exact clone of my app being sold on Google Play and other app stores for Android.” He was there because he loved how RIM really cared about developers (which is not true for Apple and Google).

The Dev Alpha

Another thing that RIM did right.

I was one of the lucky developers that was able to get a Dev Alpha (What is the Dev Alpha?). The idea behind distributing prototypes for developers is just amazing. I’m the kind of developer that hates emulators and only develop using real hardware. That’s why the Dev Alpha was a must for me, so I could start developing for BB10.

This is really a awesome idea that we don’t see very often: OEMs distributing prototypes for developers so they can start building their apps to make sure that when the platform is really for commercial release there will be a great selection of apps available on day one.

Monetization

One of the most awesome talks from the BlackBerry 10 Jam, in my opinion, was about monetization of apps in the App World and how it’s proven (by those analytics and research companies) that BlackBerry developers make more money than the average Android/iOS developer.

I totally agree with this because everyone knows that the piracy rates on Android are absurd and the fact that for some strange reason the average Android user doesn’t like to spend money on apps (even if it’s just 99 cents). On the iOS side piracy is a bit of a concern too, but less than on Android.

When we compare to BlackBerry piracy isn’t a big concern since RIM is very well-known for having the best security on their products, also as they showed on the conference the average BlackBerry user loves to download apps and think it is ok to pay for apps that are good and fit their needs.

Conclusion

RIM is really making their path into the future and will definitely survive this phase and get the 3rd place on the mobile market, since I really can’t see Windows Phone going forward with all these bad decisions from Microsoft, how they can’t get outside developers into their platform, and how they are having problems with OEMs to get onboard. (poor Nokia, no updates for you…)

UNIX Fragmentation 2.0: Android

First of all, let me introduce you briefly to the UNIX fragmentation: Before Linux was around (1991 Linus released the version 0.01 of the Linux kernel) there was a huge problem on the UNIX-based operating systems, since they were all proprietary and each OEM had their own version of the OS. It was common that some softwares would not be able to run on all the UNIX variations which caused a lot of trouble at the time since if you were a company buying computers you had to know if the computer you were buying was compatible with the software you had to run. You can read more about the history of UNIX if you want. I’ve learned about the history of Linux and the open source movement from two books: Just for Fun and Rebel Code.

Now, if you look carefully and you’ll notice that the same is happening with Android, maybe less intensive since software may run on different "distributions of Android" (aka different Android versions made for a particular device) but it’s happening. In this article I’ll be talking about this new era of UNIX/Linux fragmentation in two main areas: UI fragmentation (skins), version fragmentation (OEMs holding the source code) and how Google doesn’t care about their app developers.

UI Fragmentation

One of the most visible fragmentation issues of Android is the UI fragmentation. OEMs are (still) thinking that Android is just the smartphone version of the old Java ME-based OS they used on their feature phones. They are skinning Android just like they skinned their feature phone OS.

These skins are creating a huge issue among consumers because since they are not geeks, like us, they think that Android is something like a platform that manufactures use to run smartphone apps, most of them don’t even know its built by Google. These customers also get a little confused when they switch to a newer smartphone, from a different OEM, and the skin of the OS is completely different from the one they were previously used to.

Skins are terrible for the Android ecosystem, but most of them added some really great features, for example the “slide to call/text” from TouchWiz. These improvements to Android UX in my opinion shouldn’t be embedded into these crap bloatwares, but instead should be pushed to Android’s tree (remember the Open Handset Alliance?) to be used on all Android-based devices since they’ll improve the end user experience with the OS.

Version Fragmentation

I don’t know which one is worst: UI fragmentation or version fragmentation, but I think it’s more likely to be the version one.

This problem is completely Google’s fault, even Google itself had problems with Android’s version fragmentation: Google Chrome for Android only runs on Android 4.0+.

Time passed and Google hasn’t come with any solution to Android’s biggest issue, and they know that the only way to correct this is by making pressure on OEMs to only announce new devices if they are running the latest version, and impose tight timelines to update all the older devices that are capable of running the stock version of the latest major release if they want to continue having access to Google Play on their phones. Don’t come to me saying that there is also the carrier problem because there isn’t any carrier problem, Apple updates their devices to the latest version from day one. You know why this is possible? Simple: Apple told the carriers to fuck off. They imposed to the carriers that their OS shouldn’t be bloated, so carriers couldn’t include their crapware with it. As I said previously: Pure stock crapwareless Android is always the solution.

Version fragmentation is extremely frustrating since all those awesome features (and UI) that Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean have are currently available (stock experience) in one single mass-market device: The Galaxy Nexus.

This is a very serious issue on Android because its making app developers stuck with their innovations, which doesn’t happen on the iOS side. Everyday we see awesome iOS apps, with innovations in UI and UX, getting released for iOS, but we don’t see the same happening with Android mostly for one reason: Developers need to make their app compatible with older Android versions.

Developer Relations

Google doesn’t care about app developers. A great example is how we don’t see a lot of official Android developer evangelists around the internet, another example is how there is only one language you can use to develop you apps: Java. HTML5 is the future of mobile, and desktop, applications and Google is just ignoring this. Developing a PhoneGap app for BlackBerry or iOS is great and you don’t have serious problems like CSS properties or drafts that weren’t implemented, but on Android this is completely different, the terrible CSS3/Javascript animation rendering issue that is still open and yet not addressed.

The only company that I see that is doing a great job on this area is RIM. They care about their app developers because they know that users want not just awesome smartphones, but awesome smartphones with a lot of awesome apps they can download. A great example of this is how they support natively Java, Flex/Flash, HTML5 and C/C++. They even created a awesome mobile UI/UX framework for HTML5 apps called bbUI.js.

Conclusion

Everyday Android feels a lot more like vaporware for me. I’ve stopped using my Android phones on a daily basis and I don’t think I’ll ever start using them daily again. I’ve stopped developing for Android and now I’m almost fully committed to the platform I’m loving most, and felling more comfortable, to develop to: BlackBerry.

There is a Market For The Nokia PureView

Today I remembered about the Nokia PureView because of The Verge’s sample pictures and videos, and I after thinking about the concept of that phone for a while I finally understood the potential market, besides their fan base, that they might be aiming at with that device.

First of all when Nokia unveiled the PureView at this year CES my first impression was really bad, since I’ll never ever understand camera phones. Also it was running Symbian, which for sure was the best choice since Microsoft would never let them customize Windows Phone to their pixel needs and because this was really on development for at least 2 years. Another thing that I noticed was that it was extremely thick, making it really a camera also does phone calls. This happened because of the entire camera mechanics they used, which impressed me a lot because of the way they did it, by inverting the way the lens moves instead of just doing like any point-and-shoot camera, in and out, they made the lens go up and down, removing the need of that popup lenses.

But now I saw that this product was targeted at people like for example journalists (more specifically from the independent media) so they wouldn’t need to carry a camera with them while they are at a conference or just out gathering information for their article. I realised this after I started thinking about how many times I saw journalists using iPhones/point-and-shoot cameras to capture photo, video, or audio for their job.

I hope Nokia can get some attraction to this new device because I really liked it after realizing this.

Conclusions From The Microsoft Surface Keynote

I’m watching the Microsoft keynote at the same time as I write this, so if I commit any error just put it in the comments.

List of problems with the Microsoft Surface:

  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Confusing products (ARM and Intel)
  • No pricing confirmed

The 16:9 aspect ratio for a 10” tablet is the worst one you could ever use and still Android manufactures and Microsoft thinks it’s a great thing. It’s just impossible to feel comfortable with a 10” 16:9 tablet in your hands while in portrait and the same happens for landscape. Every time I get my ASUS Eee Pad Slider to do something I immediately want to go back to my iPad.

Having the same name for completely different products that look exactly the same is the worst thing Microsoft could ever do. They made a professional tablet, using a Intel chip, running Windows 8 Pro (another terrible name) that “might be capable” of running all those those so called “classic” applications. And another tablet that looks just the same but with a ARM chip and running Windows RT, and won’t be capable of running “classic” applications, which I’ve already discussed how it will be a nightmare on a past article.

The last thing that wasn’t presented and also haven’t talked about is the availability. I’m almost sure it won’t be available on developing nations like Brazil neither countries that don’t have Microsoft Stores.

Anyway I won’t be buying one of these because I seriously don’t care about Windows anymore, it’s boring since Windows Vista and it’s still boring, but now it will be a lot worst with all the fragmentation problems that are going to come with the release of Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Some interesting quotes I selected:

We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when hardware and software are considered together.

Looks a lot like the Apple approach huh?

Take the mouse. Windows needed one, so we built one. Early reviews were not very positive — in fact, it was so new that Canadian customs quarantined it.

I won’t comment on this one.

"I say perfect a lot — it’s part of our team culture."

I still remember Windows Vista.. Also that’s not part of your team, it’s more part of the Apple team.

We took the time to get Surface and Windows 8 right. To do something that was really different and really special. We’re proud of the Surface like we’re proud of Windows 8. Because of Windows 8, the Surface is a PC, it is a tablet… it’s something new.

Looks like a Transformer Prime running Windows 8 for me…