The absolute best way to improve your coding skills!

The absolute best way to improve your coding skills is to read the absolute best advanced MVVM book EVAR!

If you’re programming WPF or Silverlight, don’t pass up the opportunity to give Advanced MVVM a read. Written by one of the best WPF developers in the known universe, it’s sure to be useful and worth the mere pennies that he’s charging for this gem.

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AT&T brings back performance just in time for the iPad

So for the iPad: to 3G, or not to 3G. That is the question.

$15 for 250Mb, $30 for unlimited.

Windows Mobile 7 Announced

Very Zuney indeed. My immediate impression: Not bad, but I’m cautious because it’s a Microsoft product.

Happy Friday! Here are a couple funny videos I saw this week

I love the Intel commercials! Pretty funny, especially from an engineers standpoint. [thanks Teresa!]

Possibly NSFW! Drops an F bomb, but hey, so do people at work…

[Thanks Karim!]

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How to deal with data loss

I bought my friend a 1 terabyte external hard drive for Christmas so he could back up all his stuff.  I invited him over last week so I could get some of his files off the hard drive.

Before I copied it however, I was going to remove all the .DS files from his file system (he uses with his Mac) so that there wouldn’t be any copy issues with our FAT hard drives (I have Finder show all the hidden files so it becomes an issue).  So I ran the command in Terminal to remove the .DS files.  Done.

Then I got to the file transfer and everything seemed to work great… except.. it went REALLY fast.  I copied over his whole folder structure in seconds.  That can’t be right.  So I started opening up the folders to make sure the files were there…

And we both slowly started coming to the realization that I just deleted everything on his drive.  All 350 GB of it.


I went back and checked the command that I used in Terminal and noticed that I missed the “-name” part of the command.  Damn.

How ironic that I buy him a hard drive for him to back up all his stuff on, then I invite him over and delete all of it!

I bought him dinner.  That’s how you deal with data loss.  Sorry man.

Posted in Tips, Useless | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Take that Engadget trolls!

Comments have gotten so heated lately (probably because of the iPad, Mac vs Windows wars) that Engadget had to shut down comments on their blog for a while.

“What is normally a charged — but fun — environment for our users and editors has become mean, ugly, pointless, and frankly threatening in some situations… and that’s just not acceptable. Some of you out there in the world of anonymous grandstanding have gotten the impression that you run the place, but that’s simply not the case.”

Goooo Engadget! [via Jamey]

I call BS

the information we’re hearing is that Apple is thinking much larger for another version of the product, maybe all the way up to the 15.4″ size that it currently uses for one version of the MacBook Pro. If you think that would be way too big for an iPad, we’re also hearing that this other tablet would be quite a bit different from the one revealed last week. Namely, it could run a version of OS X much closer to the traditional version that runs on Macs.

Seems weird that they would come out with a tablet that runs OS X.  Unless the OS was radically different, I don’t see them slapping multitouch on Snow Leopard (like Microsoft has done with Windows 7).  Traditional Desktop OS’s have never been popular on a tablet device.

I think it’s very possible in the near future to see larger applications of multitouch capability from Apple, but not running on traditional OS X.

Umm… that’s an interesting analogy…

Syrup on a burger?  I’ll pass.  Oh yea, and I agree that Windows 7 is not an operating system built for multitouch.

On the other side of the fence

It’s funny to hear what people say when they’re completely on the other side of the fence.  All the speculation was saying $800 dollars, and we were pleasantly surprised to see a cheaper price.  So what’s this guy smoking?

“If all of this isn’t enough to cause the iPad to fail then the price will certainly put everybody else off.  With a starting price tag of $500 it’s simply too expensive…”

Cocaine is one helluva drug…

Gunna have to go with Gruber on this one

Just saw Jilion’s HTML 5 video player.  To quote John Gruber on this one: “This is so fucking great.”

Sounds mighty good

Allegedly from the Apple town hall meeting:

– Apple will deliver aggressive updates to iPhone that Android/Google won’t be able to keep up with
– Next iPhone coming is an A+ update
– New Macs for 2010 are going to take Apple to the next level

All exciting!

How is the iPad going to fit in?

The iPad.  It’s a large iPod Touch.  It doesn’t run OS X.  It doesn’t multitask.  It doesn’t have a camera.  It’s not a typical computer. It’s a new way to think about a tablet experience.

Lots of folks have been criticizing the iPad for what it isn’t, instead of praising it for what it is.  What it is, is a great user experience.  A user’s experience of a product goes way beyond the functionality of the software and dives deep into the usability of the software, the design of the hardware, the design of the context in which you use your hardware, and how all of these things are brought together into one product.  All of these things have been thought out exceptionally well with the iPad.

The software serves a purpose.  Lets take for example the operating system that runs on the iPad.  The iPad runs a version of the iPhone and iPod Touch OS.  This operating system has been in use for almost three years now, and it works great for a touch scenario.  It’s an operating system custom tailored to be touchable.  How fitting it is then to use this operating system instead of Snow Leopard, an operating system that is not designed for touch.

The software is usable.  There are some decisions that have been made by Apple that don’t provide a higher functioning of their new iPad, like the absence of multitasking. This is a huge pain point, but this decision was a decision that was made to make their software more usable.  With apps running in the background things can start to run slow, battery life can no longer be measured correctly, app performance isn’t guaranteed, developers have to worry about how their application behaves while running in the background, the OS needs a new metaphor for task switching and task killing, and down the rabbit hole of issues we go.  I’m not saying multitasking shouldn’t be there, I’m just saying that it’s not there for a reason.  When they figure out a way to guarantee a perfect user experience given all the issues multitasking creates, they’ll give it to us.

The hardware is well thought-out.  The shape, size, weight, battery life, and bezel around the iPad’s screen were all created with function in mind.  How are people going to use this product?  How are people going to hold it?  What about a two hand experience using their thumbs?  What about a one hand experience with a finger?  Given the uses for this product, how long are people going to be away from an area where they can charge their device?  What’s the multitouch experience going to be like?  The capacitive touch screen is extremely high fidelity compared to other solutions.  The more accurate the touch, the less you notice that you’re using a computer and the more natural the experience feels.

Apple’s products create an experience beyond the software.  With their operating system they’ve made the statement that “hey, this isn’t your laptop – it’s not a replacement for the exact same experience that you can get on a laptop or a desktop machine.”  This forces us to use this product as it was designed – away from the computer, away from the point and click of the mouse, maybe even away from the high-stress multitasking madness of a typical computer experience (It’s hard to concentrate sometimes with 50 browser windows open).  They’ve thought about an experience that other people haven’t.  They know what users want, but they also know what is possible, and create their experience accordingly.

So what’s the function then?  What’s the purpose?  If it’s not a laptop, and not a smart phone, then what is it?  When do I use it?  What’s it for?

I would like to call the iPad a peripheral computing experience.  It’s a device that enhances and/or creates an experience beyond your typical lap or desk bound computer scenario.  I place smart phones in this same category, but I believe the iPad provides a different experience than a smart phone.  An experience that we’ve never experienced before.

I’d like to hope that we’ve learned over the past 15 years that tablets suck at being normal computers.  They’ve all failed miserably at mass adoption and have only lived on in niche applications.  The iPad is a new direction for the tablet that can actually work.  The iPhone and iPod Touch exist as proof that the iPad will work.  Apple knows this better than we do: we don’t want a tablet that can do things the same way a computer can.

The iPad fills a gap.  It fills the gap between what a computer CAN do, and what a computer is inconvenient to use for.  Lots of things can be stuck in this gap: photo browsing, reading (on and off the web), watching videos, listening to music, playing games, sharing articles or sharing information to name a few.  These are all things that CAN be done on a computer, but experiences that can all be improved upon – experiences that can take advantage of multitouch capabilities.  Hence the iPad.

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Best iPad Response

I don’t agree with the points they make in this video, but the subtitles were extremely well done!

Stay tuned for my official opinion of the iPad…

I see a tablet…

Some pictures seem to have leaked before this morning’s event.  Take a peak over at engadget.

Google voice on the iPhone

Google voice finally came to the iPhone as a web app.  Somebody wanna give me an invite?  🙂