Archive for May, 2009

May 6th, 2009

Windows 7 Release Candidate – First Impressions

I wasn’t an early adopter of Vista. I took my time adopting. I wanted to give other people an opportunity to work thought the pains of bleeding edge software. Vista was full of obstacles for a great user experience. Now, granted I am a very specific type of Windows user. I have built a custom PC setup with hardware assembled over time, and Vista’s driver problems were the bane of my existence once I finally broke down and upgraded.

I’ve heard a rumor that Windows 7 isn’t going to have those same driver issues, but that remains to be seen. The installation experience was very good. 15 minutes for complete install. That’s a HUGE improvement over Vista. Still the problem though, that if you reinstall your OS, you have to reinstall all your programs as well, which is what really eats into the day.
I really wanted to share was a few funny experiences with Windows 7 RC when I first started playing. It’s all about the User Experience after all, right Microsoft? :)
First, everyone knows all about the Vista Permission user experience. Do you want to do exactly what you just told me you wanted to do? Approve or Deny? Mac vs PC commercials played this up a ton because it was just a bad user experience. In Windows 7 there is a new link. Change Notification Settings (ohh, this has some promise). I clicked on it and set my notification to “Never Notify Me!” Then I clicked OK. Guess what happened? That’s right, APPROVE? I couldn’t stop laughing both because it was too funny, and because it was so sad.
The second experience I’m still exploring a little. I tried to install Firefox. Things seemed to work as expected. No notification to confirm that I actually wanted to install it. That’s a start. Then when I went to access the program I got a bizarre error message. Account: Administrator doesn’t have permission to access this program. Really?! Well then who does have permission to access this program? Not a good user experience.
However, I do have to say the new “taskbar” (I think that’s what they are calling it) is a big improvement. The Pin files for common tasks is pretty nice as well. It’s basically creating a bunch of little shortcuts to things you do all the time, and I can see that saving lots of time once people get used to it.

The best feature of Windows 7 is the new Snipping Tool. It’s a quick and easy screen snapshot utility. Finally, you can select an area of your desktop, and save it out quickly as a jpeg. We’ve been screaming for this for years and currently there isn’t an equivalent for it on Macs (yet).

So far so good. I’m excited to see what other useful features are built into Windows 7, hopefully my hardware will be supported.

May 6th, 2009

Back to Blogger

I gave it a go. I was really excited about all the features and control that WordPress had to offer. I created my blog, I stared to migrate posts from Blogger, I even started a new design. The kicker for me was spam. WordPress just got so much spam comments that I just didn’t see the value in it. Blogger seems to do a great job of keeping all that spam off of my blog, while allowing people to comment when they want to.

Unfortunately I’ll have to live without a few really awesome plugins that I was using on WordPress. The WordPress Mobile plugin was extremely well done and did a great job of presenting my blog on a mobile device. I would LOVE to see this feature make it into the Blogger world. To be honest, it may already exist, so I’m hopeful.

I’m also going to miss the flawless code syntax highlighting in WordPress. The bloggger version is a little clunky and doesn’t work 100% of the time. It just takes more work to get things going.

Overall, I’m very happy with my Blogger blog and I plan to invest more time to keeping content up to date and providing new and relevant code snippets for my readers to use.