Friday, 2 July 2010

In This Heat...

You see, I've been wondering, for a while now, and used this as a spark for my once-every-ever-so-long post here, why Google Wave is such a failure and nobody ever uses it, no, checks it even.

My boyfriend and I (hereforth refered to as 'us' or 'we') have been avid users of said Wave facility for a while now, initially inspired by my Google fangirl-ism, which I am somehow notorious for among certain crowds (such as said-boyfriend, whose 'bro' is some kind of ├╝ber-hotshot-Macintosh-employee). And, several well-known failings of The Wave notwithstanding (such as its surprisingly low info-stamina, which has forced us to switch Waves several times until now), it's been very good to use so far.

And I still stare at others, especially ones who had access to it from the Beta stage, because... well, they don't use it. And, yes, I perfectly understand how the fact that it was 'closed' when it first started out, and one was only able to Wave with one's acquaintances if they happened to be lucky enough to have access to it at that point - a failure kind of explained through Metcalfe's law - impeded it.

Not having people to Wave with, they got used to 'not checking it', the way they check other things, like it is a somewhat regular thing to check one's email now - made increasingly easier with so many things out there which notify you if you have a new email - but I supposed that this would cease to be an issue since they implemented an email-notification-when-a-Wave-is-updated feature. So, well, there's no doubt, now, that someone may try to use it and not be seen by their Wave-ees, or that any Wave might disappear into obscurity and be forgotten.

And, yes, many everyday needs don't make use of a good amount of its features, but, then again, it would be much better if, say, my mother didn't forward all those emails that simply contain links to pages that... well, would. But, then again, my mother doesn't have Google Wave (partly since I have been careful not to introduce her to it, now that I could, say, invite her there).

Which brings us to something else. You see, gmail (which my mom now has, thanks to... well, yours truly, once again) was once an invite-only kind of email. And I looked at it sideways for a while, way-back-when, due to its Beta status, which lasted for a long, long time too - long enough to allow me, not only to see it for the non-problem which it was (since I normally have a quasi-allergy to anything beta and avoid it as much as I can), but to get used to it enough to fail to realize it when, after many-a-year, it was actually over.

But gradually, after a friend pestered me enough (while I was reading for my first Undergraduate degree, which meant that... well, I had enough spare time to be pester-prone), I got myself a gmail address, and even failed to realize that... it stopped calling itself Beta, for a while before I actually did. Throughout all of this time, however, I used my gmail, since I could interact with others, whether they had gmail themselves or not.

I think that it would be a good idea to have the ability to view one's actual (sad, sad, simple) emails from a Wave client, as well as the ability to see actual Waves, from other Wave users (and, no, with this I don't refer to the ability of adding any email address to your Wave, and send them nieh-nieh notifications of what they're missing and what they'll be able to see if they get themselves Google Wave). One page to rule them all, one page to bind them, and don't you drop it into Mordor, because asked for it and I want it.

Therefore, I postulate that the current failure of the Wave may lie right there: one can't send an actual wave to someone without this facility, even with limited capabilities, and a call to 'join Google Wave to see more' or something (invitations, anyone?). And, well, the capability of receiving and reading one's actual 'simple' emails, even with... a check-box which we would have to check, or something, for this. This would be the only way for The Wave to re-become what email would be like if it was invented today.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Why Linux?

(The post title here is kind of a double entendre, get it? I'm explaining why I chose the thing, while it took me a while to do so, and I'm asking it why it's doing this to me, like "Why, Linux?")

I've always had this 'thing', you see: whenever somebody pesters me about something, even if I know it's 'better', or at least want to try it out, I avoid doing so with all my might, until they stop pestering me.

And back until a short while ago, Linux used to be a thing that some people were so enthusiastic about, and they had just discovered this brave new world, that they kept going on and on and on about it, and comparing it to other OSs, and all that. Which, of course, got to me.

Now, enough time has passed that pretty much whoever was going to bother, even with Ubuntu - the 'easy', 'dumbed down' distro - out there for a few years, that everyone, pretty much, and their brother, has Linux.

So, here I come in. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu, back at the Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) stage, as a second-booting OS, along with Windows 7. And, you know, other than managing to install my printer and sound card drivers for some reason, I was using it, loving it, getting used to it enough that it was now my primary booting OS, with me using win7 only to print something that needed printing and to talk on Skype if I really, really wanted to, enough to reboot for it.

For some reason, I've been forced back to win7 now, though, because... one (otherwise) fine day, Ubuntu 10.04, which I'd now upgraded to and used for a few days (but there was no jackalope here, just a reportedly lucid lynx, and the bunny-with-horns was my friend by now!), decided not to be able to connect to my WiFi, just barely detecting that it's there, but having no viable reception of it to allow it to connect.

My problem here, you see, other than the fact that any Linux distro relies so desperately on Internet access (which I otherwise love it for, being the 'team' OS that it is), is that I've lost loads of the savvy people that I used to hang out with a lot as a student etc, and I have nobody at the tip of my palm to ask about things.

And, yes, I've used the Ubuntu forums, finding them more than helpful there, with loads of people immediately trying to help as best they can with my problem. The thing is, however, that they're not here, and although I tried to explain this as best I could there, that's nowhere the same as... well, having a geeky guy come over to your place and fidget with the thing enough to find out what's wrong - and fix it for you.

So, here I am now, posting from my... (wait for it, I'm becoming one of them now!) Win-blows, and having no idea what to do, all alone in this place that feels like a damp and empty place compared to the otherwise community-oriented and supported place that my Linux is...

(oh, it has more music in that world too, they even have a separate Last.fm app which you don't have to launch your browser for - and they're soon putting up a Linux version of Steam, I hear/read, so when gaming is no longer an issue, and since I've solved my Photoshop and Premiere issues with different apps there - I'm using GIMP now! - I was hoping to move there for good...)

Oh, and I recommend that you read this post listening to a song from my teenage years which I was singing to myself (well, the refrain, that talks about doing what they told me), because of the fact that  I did it, after all, but it sux that it took me so long.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Apple Mensa Puzzle

The iPad is to netbooks, what the iPod is to mp3 players. No, let me explain: They both existed beforehand, and other, non-Apple brands continue to make those similar products, often better than the Apple versions of them, but Apple is the one that made them popular, that made the world realize that they exist as technologies. Oh, and they're cutely designed, but shockingly overpriced compared to what you could still pay for something... better, in the same category.

Of course, that concerns those non-tech-savvy idiots, people whom I don't really care about, and my mom. If those people want to completely waste their money, just to buy themselves an iPod or, heck, an iPad, I don't give a rat's nether region. And, well, if it makes my mother happier, just to buy one of those things with the snazzy design and the friendly-to-everyone features, then, for the time being, it's her money to waste however she wants to - and, frankly, I don't want to lose her, so I hope that's a long, long time.

The thing is, I really don't see the reason why that would ever involve me. I had an mp3 player ever since... back then, when having an mp3 player pretty much involved having a Discman that played mp3 CDs as well - and I have an affection for Creative's related products ever since. And I had a netbook, thankyouverymuch - an MSI wind, to be precise - since almost two years before I ever heard, or anyone whose name is not Steve Jobs, for that matter, or doesn't work really close to someone whose it is, had ever heard, about iPads.

And, to be frank, I felt a warm feeling in... I won't tell you where, when I saw the video of the iPad being smashed by otherwise annoying American teens (I'd said ever since I first heard about the thing that, if I had loads of money, I would only spend some to buy one just to have the pleasure of violently destroying it), and then cooked in a microwave oven, just as I did when... well, that's a different Apple peeve of mine, but when I saw the video of that iPhone 3G running Android. Boo-yah.

Oh, and, just to mention cause I have to, one of the companies I've liked for many a year is Nintendo (in a way, they brought me up - no, it's not their fault that I turned out like this, I fathom), and they, very eloquently, characterized Apple as "the enemy of the future", and proceeded to 'declare war' on them. Boo-yagain.