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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eye Candy

So what's wrong with eye-candy?. In my last post I mentioned that Vista was offering mostly eye-candy as opposed to real features. Don't get me wrong, I like cool looking applications just as much as anyone else. But do you need Vista for that? You could of course get a Mac, they're all about eye-candy anyway. Not just their software but their general styling as well, but you do pay for it.

What about dressing up XP, that is easy enough to do also. Two things I use and really like. First an old one, the Google Desktop. Want all those gizmos on your screen along with that slick glassy look and a great search, then this does just that. Works great on my wide screen laptop because frankly I don't care for most applications to run that wide. Ever tried following small print all the way across a 17" wide screen? I just keep my application in a more normal aspect and let GD fill the right 2" of my screen. Well I'm a sucker for a lot of Google ware as it is. Gmail, Google Docs, Blogger and Picasa - both the program and the on-line photo sharing.

That brings me to my latest little piece of eye-candy. Pic Lens as a FireFox addon.
Those iphone commercials where they glide through pictures. Go there and check it out.

Such a cool interface for Picasa on-line.

I said two items but I offer one honorable mention. Opera. The latest version sports a new look if nothing else. And it just works. Excellent browser that still has a really nice feature of fit-to-width view. The look is by default a very pleasing and glassy modern black and dark red that I truly like.

Opera and FireFox are both skinable and there are quite a few offerings, or do your own is always an option (yeah in my free time).

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's Wrong With Vista

Microsoft is trying hard to polish up Vista's image.

Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft last week traveled to San Francisco, rounding up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave. More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista.

"Oh wow," said one user, eliciting exactly the exclamation that Microsoft had hoped to garner when it first released the operating system more than 18 months ago. Instead, the operating system got mixed reviews and criticisms for its lack of compatibility and other headaches.


At this point many of the annoying bugs that first appeared in Vista are gone. This still misses the point. What's wrong with Vista is what isn't wrong with XP. XP works pretty well. Vista offers mostly eye-candy and slower operation due to that. From a business user and sys admin's viewpoint there is no there there. Top that with the need for an outlay of money and a learning curve for the way some old features now have new names and locations and try to figure out the motivation.

I can't.