Archive for March, 2011

Clever TV Tech

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Inhabitat are reporting that Samsung have a announced a LCD television at CeBIT that can operate without being connected to the mains.

Lets hope we can see more of this kind of thing in the near future.


Site Update

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

I saw a comment made by Ray Camden about the minimum pages that all blogs should have and felt guilty… I’ve not really spent any time figuring out what I can do with Posterous, so I’ve never bothered to put up Contact and About me pages.

As the work load is dropping off, I thought I’d start to fix that. Not a lot I know… but I’m working my way through.

Dev platform

Posted: March 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m starting a new development role in a couple of weeks, so I’m a bit sad to be leaving my current role, but the opportunities that this new position offer were far too good to decline.

Anyway the team I’m going to work with seem to be exclusively Mac based, and the manager seems surprised that I would rather have a desktop PC instead. This got me thinking about why I choose a PC and if it was simply a knee-jerk reaction to being offered a laptop.

I’ve always used desktops, I find them easier to work on – better keyboards, mice, displays and generally more powerful. I was given a laptop way back when I first started developing full time and although it had a docking station and separate monitor, I could never get past feeling that I was using something underpowered and better suited to the management levels. To this day, I still prefer to use a desktop for “heavy-lifting” (video editing, CD ripping, photo manipulation) while I use the laptop only for checking emails or the odd emergency ssh terminal on to various other bits of hardware.

Yet a laptop can perform just as well as a desktop – most of the time these days they have equivalent processors and memory, it only really becomes an issue if you’re using a pseudo-laptop such as an Atom based netbook. So it’s not about the performance.

There are still parts from a HP Pavilion desktop I bought back in 2001 used in various PCs at home. The laptop I had at the same time is long gone as none of the parts were really reusable. So the ability to gut a desktop and reuse the bits in a new build or builds has always been attractive to me. In fact that HP Pavilion was the last (and only) PC I bought off the shelf. I think I’m on about the third or fourth laptop in the same period. But I’m not responsible for the hardware in my new role… that’s provided and maintained by someone else… I really shouldn’t care that the DVD drive can be reused in another build. So this time it’s about my perception of the hardware.

OK, so that leaves the Mac vs. PC debate. I’m used to working with Windows, I’m not used to working with OSX. I know what I can and can’t do with a Windows box. I’m a little vague about what I can and can’t do with a Mac. I know that in both cases, once I have a laptop, there’s very little I can do to upgrade it – maybe memory and if I’m feeling brave, the HDD. I know I can install software on both – I might just have to do a lot more Google-ing to find the Mac equivalent. So I guess there’s not really any real difference in these scenarios.

That just leaves perception…. in my experience there are 2 kinds of Mac user. The ‘power-user’ who knows how to use a computer and uses a Mac because of conscious choice. This includes the raft of developers that I know who do use Macs and are extremely happy with them. The other is user is the ‘smug one’ – he may not know how to drive any computer, but he’s got a big shiny box so he must be special. I’m referring here to those people that are often found sitting alone in Starbucks with their backs to the wall so they can proudly display the silver lid and glowing apple logo. Ironically that also means we can’t see the screen is on ‘dummies guide to email’ or something equally appropriate. It is these ‘users’ that have damaged my perception of Mac use…. the ‘style over substance’ brigade that think that everything that comes out of Cupertino is on par with the Ten Commandments.

So where does that leave me…. well after discussions with my manager and for an easy life… I’m taking the Mac.

I’ll see you in Starbucks.