Good Deals. Good Ideas. Good Designs. Good Health.

Anything that is worth reading… and learning from. Just my opinions.

Archive for September 2007

Adobe AIR Rocks!

leave a comment »

By now, if you are much of a internet news digger, you probably have heard of Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), formerly code-named Apollo, is a cross-operating system runtime that allows developers to use their existing web development skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop.

Check out some demos and information here but if you are like me… someone who have not done programming for a long long time… this AIR is certainly to get your blood boiling again!!!

The kind of interface, design that one can come up with is just amazing! The similar competing platform will be Microsoft Silverlight which is currently limited to mostly video streaming but version 1.1 will add a lot of the .NET stuff into it and allow for literally, very cool looking application / integration using existing programming skill and run your application in most browser (currently support Windows, Mac and soon, Linux) as well as offline.

The world of application programming is just getting more fun.

I just tried out this demo of a Google Analytics AIR runtime and man, it just rocks!!! This give you a glimpse of what the possibilities are…

Whichever platform may dominates eventually, it does not matter to general user and we probably just need to install two runtime on the system and run them ALL!!! But to developers… the war on the next generation programming platform has just begun…

Advertisements

Written by gooddealz

September 25, 2007 at 12:30 am

Posted in Great Stuff

iPhone killer… where are you

leave a comment »

Technorati Tags:

Samsung has begun showing off the SGH-i780, an upcoming Windows Mobile Smartphone that will offer a number of innovative features.

With its tablet shape and built-in keyboard, this model will start out looking like the Samsung Blackjack/i600, but there will be a number of significant differences.

For one, the i780 will run Windows Mobile 6 Professional and therefore include a touch screen, something its predecessor does not have.

In addition, this device will have an on-screen pointer controlled by what appears to be a touch pad built into the D-pad.

If that weren’t enough, this Samsung model will be the first Windows Mobile device with a 320 by 320 pixel display.

Personal thoughts:

It looks great as a business phone… but I just wonder the need for the pointer if it is touch screen… Yeah! I know, Samsung probably design it for people with one hand operations… but still… it is just weird for a small screen and I wonder how well the pointer will fit in with the thumb on the D-pad.

I currently have a Samsung i600 and it is serving me well. Solid stable phone, keypad is good to type fast, screen is sharp and bright, form factor is nice (slightly larger than the iPhone). My only complaint is the lack of touch screen on the i600… and now this i780 looks like a worthy successor.

Samsung should be better off with a custom shell like what HTC did with the TouchFLO interface, even though they are all inspired by Apple iPhone, and allow user to navigate the phone with touch. Some guy from Malaysia was able to come out with the iPhone shell just days after the Jan 07 announcement from Apple… with animation!!! Thus I don’t think it is that difficult to come out with some interface that is designed more for touch than D-pad.

Written by gooddealz

September 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Great Stuff

2010… the year of Linux

leave a comment »

Technorati Tags:

An article worth some reading by EETimes on 7 reasons why Linux won’t succeed on the desktop:

It is inarguably accurate to note that, while Linux is a success on the server side–Apache on Linux runs more Web sites than Microsoft’s ISS, though the latter is gaining–the open-source operating system has been a dismal failure on the desktop. There are at least seven solid reasons, which I’ll detail below, why Linux hasn’t moved the needle beyond a single-digit desktop market share since it hit the scene in 1991, and never will.

Desktop Linux’s failure to launch is all the more mystifying when you consider that it’s hard to think of any technology which has been backed by such an enthusiastic and committed group of supporters. Unfortunately, that boost has largely backfired.

Average PC users haven’t been swayed by vehement protestations from Linux supporters that it’s so clearly superior to anything and everything from Microsoft. It seems clear that more users have been turned away by the outright disdain hurled at them from many open-source initiates, than have been moved to overwrite their Windows installs.

While Ubuntu, the newest and friendliest distro, has done much to reduce the alienation of common folks, desktop Linux remains mired at a market-share of less than 2%. It’s likely to remain so, notwithstanding Dell’s move to offer pre-installed Ubuntu on a bunch of PCs and laptops. That’s the biggest boost desktop Linux has ever received, but it’s too little, too late.

One caveat: While I believe all the arguments I lay out below are valid, I don’t assert them with the faith-based certainty I see from many Linux supporters about their claims. This article is presented as an entrĂ©e to a healthy debate. If you don’t agree with me, please leave a comment below, or e-mail me directly at awolfe@cmp.com.

Before I dive into the seven reasons Linux on the desktop will remain an also-ran, let’s frame the debate with a quick analysis of the current market share of the open-source operating system.

Closing Thoughts

Is it possible that I’m wrong, and the Linux will move the desktop needle beyond the single-digit market share in which it’s been mired for so long?

The biggest hope for desktop Linux came earlier this year from Dell, which is now offering Linux preinstalled on several desktops and notebooks. Preinstallation is important, because the vast majority of PC users will never load their own systems software onto a bare machine.

A personal story: Dell never came through on their promise to send me a review unit of their Ubuntu laptop. Whether it’s because they prefer to publicize the machine on Linux sites, view me as anti-Linux (I’m not), or don’t want to shunt attention away from their Windows machines on mainstream IT sites such as this one, I can’t say. What I can say is that Dell’s Linux desktops will remain a sideline, and a drop in the bucket for the direct-PC powerhouse as compared to Windows.

While Dell’s Linux machines are likely to remain on the market for a while, the other big Linux retail hope hasn’t caught on either. That was the positioning of Linux as a low-end retail option, which reached its apex in 2004, when Wal-Mart took a stab at selling cheap Linux PCs.

Currently, most of the low-end Linux activity involves Linspire, the distro marketed by Net billionaire Michael Robertson. Linspire comes preinstalled on this $378 Microtel PC at Wal-Mart; other Linspire partners have similar offerings. It’s not realistic though, to say that Linspire will be the savior of Linux on the desktop.

What now? Perhaps 2010 will finally be the year of desktop Linux. Unfortunately, I believe that that the seven arguments I’ve set forth in this piece make an airtight case that this isn’t going to happen.

Personal thoughts:

The inroads made by Linux will continue to grow… slowly perhaps as usability and all other possible home user kinks are worked out over time. It just won’t be anytime as claims by the Linux community.

Written by gooddealz

September 22, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Posted in News Only

iPhone has landed… in Singapore

leave a comment »

Technorati Tags:

Parallel importers… they really are fast to import the iPhone and are selling hot in Funan.

Saw a guy buying one for SGD$1,788!!! Saw it with my own eyes and man, it’s a beauty, it really is.

Held it in my hand man, it just feeel sooo goood!!! The build quality, feels sturdy, the interface… and touch… the flipping… iPod Touch or iPhone… Both are going to be very hot!!!

Written by gooddealz

September 21, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Watch Out

Microsoft Office in danger… not yet

leave a comment »

CIO Today has an interesting article written on the potential of Google Apps… It is a good initial attempt to change the business model for Microsoft but it is far from competing with Office Suite.

Below are the excerpts:

Google Docs, a Web-based platform for creating, sharing, storing, and publishing documents, has offered capabilities for word processing and creating spreadsheets, but has been missing a major piece of the Microsoft Office puzzle — until now. On Monday, Google added business presentation software, the element that many analysts said was preventing the Web-based office suite from contending with Office on a larger scale.

Google’s business presentation software attempts to answer Microsoft’s PowerPoint with a Web-based twist. The application lets users create simple Web-based presentations that coworkers can update and view from their own computers.

“From student groups to sales teams, people are turning to the Web for help improving both personal and group productivity,” Sam Schillace, director of engineering for Google Docs, said in a statement. “Putting documents in the cloud surrounded by easy-to-use features for collaboration and sharing can save people hours of inefficiency and frustration and even enable new ways of working together.”

Natural Addition to Docs

The way Google sees it, presentations are a natural addition for Google Docs because they are usually created with the intention of being shared. Web-based, collaborative presentations eliminate the need for users to manage and compile group members’ input in separate attachments, and make it possible for multiple users to view a set of slides while a moderator controls the presentation.

“Most people don’t make presentations for themselves. So it wouldn’t be like a document you would use as a record or a spreadsheet. Presentations are inherently documents intended to be shared,” said Paul DeGroot, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. “If Microsoft is correct that collaboration is a key driver, then solutions like Google Docs may be a better fit for many organizations.”

A demo Google posted on YouTube illustrates the new application in action. The business presentation features are still in simple, early stages, the company admitted, but the Google Docs team is making them available now. Google said updates and improvements will continue to roll out over the coming months.

Microsoft Office Killer?

Along with going head-to-head with other Web-based applications, Google Docs is competing with Microsoft’s SharePoint, a collaborative Web portal that is a free component of Windows Server.

DeGroot said that Microsoft’s solution is expensive and doesn’t lend itself to interorganization sharing. “Companies developing Web-based applications are, to some extent, limiting the effectiveness of Microsoft’s most important Office strategy, which says Office tools are a great way to collaborate and communicate,” DeGroot said.

“The difficulty there is that Microsoft’s strategy really lacks a Web element,” he concluded. “Google’s solutions are inherently collaborative inside and outside of an organization.”

Personal thoughts:

A threat to Microsoft Office suite… not yet! It never will be at version one. Perhaps version 3 or 5 onwards. 🙂 And you know what my thoughts are… I think there’s nothing stopping Microsoft from extending what they have set forth to do and that is software plus services. Microsoft should extend free add on plug-ins to the Office suite and allow the extra collaborative features and storage onto their SkyDrive or other cloud services. That way, the Web element will be solved, in a way. Just spend some time and think about it… and I think you might agree with me on the solution from Microsoft might already be in works…

I think it is coming from Microsoft… to stop all this free Office suite from IBM or Sun or Google, as I have written earlier, all Microsoft need to do is to provide add ons or plug ins that allow Office Suite to be extended over the web. Services will push and pull contents / changes over the network and allow people to collaborate documents as they are stored online in Microsoft SkyDrive and be updated, just like how Google Apps does it. Except Microsoft solution will be a lot easier to implement since the client side is already there and it just makes more sense. It is more productive too as the client side are more powerful. To solve the other piece of the puzzle which is the ZERO cost needed for Google Apps, Microsoft just need to provide a free trimmed down version of the Office Suite online for every purchase of the box set version and perhaps set a limit on how many user can be assigned to share the document at one time. Then you have the competitors struggling to rethink the strategy again.

Price of the Office Suite should be lowered like that they did recently to capture the students market and with that kind of affordable price point, coupled with the cloud services, competitions will have to really try harder! Which is only good for the industry. At least they will realized that it is not just about throwing FREE STUFF around… Then again, perhaps Google, IBM and Sun or others got a much longer term strategy to topple Microsoft dominance in the Office Suite realm… and I am for that. Let the battle begins.

Click here for another review on the Google Presentations

Written by gooddealz

September 19, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Opinions

TechCrunch40 winner…

leave a comment »

Technorati Tags: ,

Here is an excerpt from Ars Technica coverage:

Another standout was the winning company, Mint. Mint links to your banking accounts in the same manner as Quicken or Microsoft Money and provides a number of statistical analyses to provide helpful services. One of its main services is the ability—much like Quicken and its ilk—to drill down into your aggregated spending habits and see where your money is going and how that trend changes over time. An example in its demonstration was clicking into food-related expenses to expose a breakdown of groceries and eating out. There are a number of notification features that permit you to receive SMS or e-mail alerts when your account balances reach a certain level, abnormal spending, as well as tools to help you save money.

mint

While Mint’s service to you is free, they look to generate revenue by saving their users money. This works by analyzing your spending and recommending deals to you, from which Mint gets something of a referral fee. For example, if Mint notices you spend a lot of money traveling, it will recommend to you a credit card that gives you the maximum amount of airline miles. If it notices you’ve got a particularly high interest rate, or if there is a card out there with an interest rate below what you’ve currently got, it will offer those up. What remains to be seen—Mint just launched today—is if this business model will actually work. The “save me money” portion of the web site is hidden in another section of the site, and it seems rather unlikely that users would deviate from the “main” part of the site so they can be pitched with credit card offers, even if the pitches are highly targeted.

Written by gooddealz

September 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Posted in News Only

Expose benefits on Vista…

leave a comment »

Technorati Tags: ,

Another great little application that I using on Vista… Switcher is free utility for Windows Vista (running Aero) that lets you arrange the windows on your screen in different ways. I am not sure if Apple copied other programs before it but the Mac OSX Expose is the one that was implemented before this little apps came out… So I assume it copied Expose and it extended some nice features like text search filtering and some customization. The default view is the “tile view,” which arranges the windows so that you can see all of them, even across multiple monitors. Another view, called the “dock view” magnifies one window and arranges the rest along the side. There is also a grid view, which is a good one to use if you are also going to use the number shortcuts for the windows (the first 9 windows can be activated by pressing the respective number on the keyboard).

switcher

Above is my desktop captured. It support dual monitor.

Your desktop can be treated as a window, too. In this new version of Switcher, the windows now have a customizable background color, border, and a label which can display any of the following: the filename of the application, window icon, the number shortcut, the memory used in megabytes, the process name and the window title. Other features include the ability to close windows during a session, smoother animations, and additional keyboard shortcuts. To learn more about Switcher, check out Bao’s Blog. To download the program, visit the Switcher website here.

Written by gooddealz

September 19, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Great Stuff