Scoble goes (again) into a non-issue discussion

Again Robert Scoble has started a discussion about whether Apple is better than Windows Vista (link).
Just like the other instances he is trying to compaire apples and oranges.

Apple
Apple is a hardware and software supplier. It produces software (application and a OS) which will only run on hardware produced and sold by Apple.

Microsoft
Microsoft is a hardware and software supplier, but mostly a software supplier. It produces software (applications and OS) which will will run on any hardware, produced and sold by anybody, as long as it is based on the old PC design.

In his new post Robert complained about that his new Dell which gave him a blue screen while booting. I’ve been using Dell, Fujitsu, Asus, Compaq, Tatung and HP machines and I agree that there are qualilty differences between the brands but also between the models within a brand. None is trouble free and every model I have used needed two or three firmware updates in order to solve problems with OS during it’s lifetime.
So I ask Robert; Is a blue screen the problem of Microsoft or the problem of the hardware supplier.

Windows Vista or not

This weekend I took the plunge and tried Windows Vista on my desktop PC at home. The result: I like it! It is quick, the graphics are refreshing new and most of the software I own works. I know that as with most systems if you do a fresh install, the speed of the OS is the first thing you notice. So comparing it with a 2 year old Windows XP SP2 installation with loads of updates and installs and uninstalls of not fair.

I have been trying Vista since it came out in Beta. I have installed it on Tablet PC’s and as a virtual machines under VMware. Most of the problems I had were due to some hardware features which were not yet supported under Vista or where VMware did fully supported of the OS.
There has been a lot of flag about the security messages a user gets when he or she is doing something the OS things to be a security issue. I cannot say that I find this a problem. I am used to locking down desktops and making it impossible for users to install software and making change the OS. That of course is in a business environment. But I think home users should apply some of principles at home as well.

061204-vista-1.jpg

Amazon Kindle

Robert Scoble has published his one-week review of the Amazon Kindle. The Amazon Kindle is an eBook Reader much like the Sony Reader and the iLaid from iRex Technologies.

Of the six comments Robert has, some of them are legit but most of them show that he is looking at this too much from a PC point of view.
What is an eBook Reader and what should an eBook Reader be like.
An eBook Reader is an device which should give an user the same user experience when he/she is reading a newspaper or book. That includes:

  1. Be quiet, no fans, no humming, etc.,
  2. Always on, always available,
  3. Size should be book-, tabloid- or full newspaper size,
  4. Weight should be light,
  5. It should be flexible like paper,
  6. User Interface should that of a book or newspaper.

As it is an electronic device, it should be able to:

  1. Refresh content, subscribe to e.g. newspapers and libraries,
  2. Connect Wireless and not be dependent on a connection with a PC,

Suggestions like:

  1. No Social network,
  2. No touch screen,
  3. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else,

are nonsense and show that Robert is trying to make an eBook reader yet another PC.

The Kindle looks like a nice device but is still no replacement for the user experience of an actual book and newspaper.

iPhone

One week after the introduction of the iPhone the excitement has lowered to a more normal level. Prices on Ebay have dropped as most people now understand that the iPhone is a nice gadget but it is not worth paying twice the market price.

What can be said about the iPhone.
It does most of the things it was promised to do. Most of the people who bought it like it, some of them don’t and have even returned it. But the conclusion is, it still is a GSM phone which has a nice User Interface. Dave Winer [link] wrote on his blog ‘iPhone is a Tablet PC’, which it is. Engadget [link] already reported of somebody who wrote some routines on a Smartphone which gave it exact the same look and feel and User Interface.

So what will happen.
The iPhone will reach the market share it was aiming for. Other manfacturers will copy the user interface and produce simmular devices for half the price and more importantly more open and custumizable.

Vista RC1 on a Tatung TTAB-B12D Tablet PC

Since Vista was released in Beta I have been looking for a moment to install it and to try it out. I specially wanted to install it on my Tablet PC.

I wanted to do a clean install so I equipped the Tablet with a new hard disk and tried to install beta 1 from DVD. After some time I got the famous blue screen. No success.
As it was a Beta 1 version I left it as it was and waited for the Beta 2 version.

When the Beta 2 version came out I tried the same routine and the same problem came up. I tried doing an upgrade install, the same problem.

The the RC1 version came out. The first install I did was on a virtual machine under VMware server. That worked like a charm. Then I tried to install it on the Tablet. Again a blue screen.

I guess the Tablet doesn’t support the Vista releases. The compatibility checker showed no problem but that is no guarantee.

Microsoft

This has been quite a week for Microsoft; Scoble leaving, share prices going down and than now Gates leaving!


Robert Scoble; http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/

I have been reading Roberts’ Blog for some time. Him leaving Microsoft was not really a suprise to me. There were some signals in his writing; the time he stopped blogging, the moment he unsubcribed to all his RSS feeds (wooh!), his questioning what to use of blogging was, which indicated to me that he was looking for something new something fresh. The passing away of his mother might have made the step easier. Whether PodTech will provide him with the new stumula, we will see. Good luck Robert.

Microsoft stock prices going down. Everybody could have seem that comming; the success of Google, Flickr and all those ‘small’ new firms, Vista being delayed, etc. It is just the short term vision of the stock market, they are just looking for a quick buck.

Today Bill Gates announced that he was leaving Microsoft (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5085444.stm). I didn’t see that one comming but I think it is a good thing for Microsoft. Microsoft has always been to much Bill Gates and not enough Microsoft. There are so many talented people working at Microsoft, maybe they can dust off the ‘old’ image and move Microsoft into new areas.

Robert Scoble

First spinoff of Philips ink invention

The Sony reader which was presented at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas is the result of an invention by the Dutch firm Philips. The reader uses a display technology which is called ‘Electronic Paper Display’.
Looks like a cool gadget and I think it can be used in more ways then just for reading books. What about combining a bigger version with an online subscribtion to your newspaper(s). This is a solution which the company iRex Technologies is proposing. See this link here.
You can read more about the Electronic Paper Display at this link from Philips.

Tatung TTAB B12D, two months later.

I thought I report on the use of the Tatung TTAB-B12D Tablet PC.
I bought my Tablet in September and I have been using it since then. For work I have a Dell notebook which I still use. I try to use the tablet at the same time, but data synchronization is difficult.
There are two setbacks when using the tablet, One: the battery use is limited to 2-3 hours which is not enough. I tend to use the tablet a lot in situations where I don’t have power. You don’t want to run out of power in a situation like that. I bought an Electrovaya high capacity battery which I expect to set next wick. That should make the difference.
The other thing is the heat control. The fan is too loud! It has two speeds, three to be precise! Off, slow and high speed. Once you are working with the device, the fan goes to high speed quite often. That is quite annoying when in a meeting.
One other annoying thing is the lacking support for Dutch language. Handwriting recognition for English is great, but other languages would be nice.

Conclusion: I still love it and want to use it. Buy one if you can!

Tatung TTAB-B12D

Last time I wrote that I received a Tablet PC. I have to say that I love it.
I got the machine from Germany, so it came with a German version of the Tablet OS. Allthough my German isn’t too bad, I prefere the English and Dutch language version. This meant that I had to do a new install. That took me about an evening with all the patches to be downloaded. After that I installed all the standard stuff I use for my work; Office 2003, Visio, Mind manager, RealPlayer, OneNote plus the extra’s from Microsoft.

The machine comes with a 60GB disk and 512MB memory. The screen is 12.1″ with a max resolution of 1024 x 768. The battery gives you about 3-4 hours of time without AC. Extra’s are fingerprint scanner, firewire, USB and Wireless (b&g). It comes with a keyboard/stand which acts as cover for the Tablet when you don’t use it.
Handwriting recognition works fine for me. The only drawback is that the Dutch language is not supported. As I understand it will take sometime before that is solved. Maybe Vista will be out sooner.