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Archive for February, 2012

Thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl, a month and a half later

Posted by Chance on February 15, 2012

So during my lunch break I decided to rewatch the Fiesta Bowl on iTunes.  I don’t know if anyone cares about my thoughts on a game that happened quite a while ago, but here goes anyway.

  1. Only about 10 minutes of it was somewhat enjoyable.  I think OSU had the ball for about 18 minutes, and not all of that time was very good.  But for those 10 minutes…man.
  2. The announcers really talked about Andrew Luck a lot.  I know he’s talented, but it got over the top when the announcers said that the only thing he did wrong was calling heads or tails.  Then again, Stanford had the ball most of the game. 
  3. At the risk of sounding cocky, once Stanford was held to a field goal in OT, the game was already won.  I fully believed we could score a TD from 25 yards out.
  4. Most of the time, the end-around to Blackmon doesn’t work that well.  It worked great against Baylor in 2010, where he ran something like 70 yards for a touchdown, but most of the time since then I don’t believe that play has gained much yardage.
  5. I really wish the pass to Colton Chelf would have been a touchdown to end the game.  It would have been a climactic finish, but instead I was sitting around hoping Squinky wouldn’t have the last laugh as the announcers state that only a “collapse” by Oklahoma State would give Stanford a chance.  At the same time, it was great that Sharp got the winning point.
  6. Gundy made some great calls that makes him relatively worth his pay – the call in the 4th quarter to go for it on 4th down, and icing Stanford’s kicker. 

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Linux is awesome, but its a proprietary world

Posted by Chance on February 7, 2012

I mentioned in an earlier post how I decided to run Linux as my home OS. However, I recently switched back.

I wasn’t completely happy about switching back – I didn’t miss the antivirus programs and frequent and slow reboots.

Ultimately, though, Linux took too much time and effort to do everyday tasks.  And I wasn’t the only one using the computer. My wife has some computer smarts, but she doesn’t know the ins and outs of Linux.
I wanted to do basic tasks like watching flash videos on Firefox. Other things weren’t so much an issue of Linux, but issues of software availability on the platform. I had to work hard to get Adobe Digital Editions to work with our Nook, and I couldn’t upload pictures directly from Picasa to Facebook. Skype worked with my webcam – most of the time.  And, when I saw a show (Fiesta Bowl 2012) on iTunes available for purchase, I loved the idea of something so simple as simply buying an iTunes video and being able to watch it on my computer. I don’t have to make calculations in my head about what it would take to get such a thing to run in Linux.

So, I decided to make the switch back to Windows.  I sort of miss having an OS with which I can tinker, but having an Android phone has helped in that respect, as I still have something I can play around with.  It’s also nice having an OS in which I don’t have to tinker to get things to work.

As I’ve said before, the strengths of Linux and those of Windows are why I would like to get a Mac someday.  At its core, a Mac OS is Unix (like Linux, only proprietary), and it has commercial support.  Until then, my Windows machine works fine.

Ultimately, though, I wish someone Linux would take off in the commercial desktop world the way Android has.  I don’t know all the details of hardware vending and propriety drivers, etc… works, but Android doesn’t have the issues Linux does because phone manufacturers are willing to adapt it to their phones, and software developers are willing to make apps that make them money.  I’m not sure why such a system has never happened for Linux, at least on this scale.

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One button, two buttons, three buttons?

Posted by Chance on February 4, 2012

Coding Horror posted on the idea of one button for the iPhone.  The

iPhone 4S

author, Jeff Atwood, likes the idea of the one button for its simplicity, but hates that it has to be overloaded (having multiple functions) to achieve so much functionality.  This means that it has different behaviors based on what screen you are (home vs. inside an app), and how the user has to long-press, double press, triple press, etc… to get different behaviors.

My wife has an iPhone, and I have an Android.  I actually like the single button on the iPhone based on its simplicity, but I also like the 4 buttons that Android offers.  Although toddlers are not the target audience of a smartphone, my 3-year old can operate an iPhone much more easily than an Android phone.  I see Jeff’s point though, it becomes complicated when the button has to be used in different ways (i.e. hold, double click), and this could get even more complicated if the iPhone continues to gain additional capabilities (i.e. Siri).

I do like the Android way of doing things, although I would tweak it.

4 button Android phone

Of course I like the home button (which will be standard for smartphones for some time to come), but I love the “Back” button, and the “Search” button.  But I’m not a fan of the “Settings” button.  This button is seemingly powerful, but it takes getting used to.  When I started with Android, I kept forgetting about this button, whether on the home page, or in an app.  With an app, it’s even worse, because sometimes it does something, sometimes it doesn’t.  And the behavior changes based on what screen you are on in the app.  I believe that it is up to the app developer to make the options visible within the app itself.



Apparently Google agrees with me on this issue as well. The capacitive buttons will be replaced by software buttons. This time there will be a Home, Back (which will be on the left- makes complete sense), and a sort of Task Manager button.

What happened to the Menu button? On apps that offer the function, it will be represented by three vertical dots.  They don’t always appear in the same place, meaning you may need to hunt for them. This will likely cause confusion for a while, but as developers update their apps for ICS as they did for Honeycomb, getting to settings and other functions will hopefully be less fraught.

Android ICS phone with software buttons

Or, another way of putting it.

ICS/Google is moving away from using a menu button in favor of having a settings button within the apps UI. But legacy apps (apps not updated for ICS) will have an extra menu button pop up on the G-Nex so you can still get to the settings.

This is perfect.  In the event that there is not a settings dialog in the app itself, a software menu button will appear indicating that settings can be changed.

I’m not running ICS (which is Android 4.0), but I think I like this setup the best, at least theoretically. I’m not sure about the “Multitasking” button in lieu of the search button, but then again, it may make multitasking easier.

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