Monday, December 17, 2012

An open letter to the Google Chrome Team

Dear google,
Before I start, I want to get something off my chest. I love you, Google. Your software and services have always made me happy. Until last week. Maybe that's what makes me so angry... you've always been there for me, and right now I feel like you've let me and my users down.

I can't count how many people I've recommended Google Chrome to... Hell, I can't stand using other browsers... but last week, I did the unthinkable. I started telling my users to use Firefox and Safari.

Why? Because you failed to keep up with the times. You're a 32bit program in a 64bit world. Apple has dropped Java from OSX. Sun has released a 64bit only version of Java. Java is required for a large portion of my users' daily tasks.

The reason I first tried Chrome was for it's speed and security. I stayed because it was able to deliver everything I wanted, everything I needed, and more. But the greatness of the past does not guarantee greatness in the future...

Safari now does all the things that I love about chrome... the difference? It also does the things that Chrome currently can't.

Google, you have a pressing need. Chrome 64bit needs to be released before you lose more users. Users who love your product, but will find an alternative if necessary... users who hold grudges. Users who change loyalty quickly, but don't easily regain trust in software that fails them.

I know my customer base and I fear for the future of Chrome.

Google... I'm begging you... Get with the programming.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The sound of silence

Today I had a scare. I was filled with a sense of panic. For several moments I thought I was going to have to rebuild my music collection.

I've got about 10 GB of music. That isn't as large a collection as many folks I know, but it's a fair amount of music. Today I was syncing to my iPad and I was getting errors from many of the tracks.

For each track that wouldn't sync, I noticed the ID3 tags and album art were missing. They were still full size and the length was showing up properly, but the songs would not play.

At first I thought it was just one or two tracks... It was a lot more than that.

So I thought to myself... "Self, you're a pretty competent tech user. Whe are your backups?"

Well, I have Windows 7 Ultimate, so I checked for previous versions... Nothing from more than a month ago... And those were just as useless.

Ok, what about Carbonite? Negative. The online versions were the same damages versions.

I could try to recover them from my iPod... But my iPod often skips and distorts... I'm pretty sure it's not a reliable source.

Where else can I check... Ah! My MacBook Pro! - Maybe... Perhaps... YES!!!

All the tracks I tested play fine!

Now to back them up in like 30 new ways.

That was a close one....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scrolling

I've searched lightly on Google for an answer to a question that has been plaguing my mind lately, and I've yet to find an answer. My goal here is to spark a conversation. Before I ask you the question, I want to discuss scrolling.

For as long as I've used a computer, scrolling has been an important feature. Whether coding in basic, working in a word processor, or browsing the web, scrolling is an important feature. We've been given handy widgets on screen that we can manipulate with the mouse, but the advent of the scroll wheel made the job faster and easier. And, since we were all used to "scrolling down" by clicking the down arrow on the scroll bar or dragging the slider down the page, it was only natural that scrolling the wheel towards you would do the same thing.

I think a great deal of this has to do with what we call the top and bottom of the page. Page Up and Page Down mesh perfectly with scrolling as we've known if for years.

But it wasn't natural. My mind always thought it was backwards... I "scroll down" and the page itself moves ... UP.

Apple recently decided that scrolling should be "natural." And although it took me some time to come onboard, I agree. Natural scrolling makes sense! You move the page... not the scroll bar. To make things even easier, Apple has hidden the scrollbar by default.

This brings me to my question... A question that I've yet to find an answer in my own mind. When we want to have someone scroll towards the bottom of a page, we say "scroll down." To have them scroll towards the top of the page, we say "scroll up."

Is this still the correct way to refer to our scrolling? We're now moving our two fingers up the trackpad to "scroll down" which moves the page up. Conversely, we move our fingers down the trackpad to "scroll up" which moves the page down. Should we also change our vocabulary? Has this revolution in scrolling just confused things? Should we say "Scroll towards the top of the page?"

It seems only natural to question this advancement. What do you think?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hands-free

I'm so glad that someone finally turned this:

into this:

because hands free devices are too difficult to figure out... I wish I could just have something hold my entire phone to my head...

Wow. Just wow.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back That Ass(et) Up!

So I was working on tomorrow's post for POV Comic and I needed to pull some elements from a few of my past comics (to use in the background). When I tried to open one of my Adobe Illustrator files I got an error message. I hadn't opened this particular file in CS5.1, so I thought it might be a compatibility issue. I quickly fired up Illustrator CS3 and tried to open the file again - different error - same result.

It was at this moment that I almost got very sad. Note that I said ALMOST.

I keep 3 types of data backups. That's right... three.

  1. I use a mirrored hard drive configuration to protect against hardware failure.
  2. I use Windows 7 Ultimate and take advantage of the "System Protection" options which keeps "Previous Versions" of all my files.
  3. I use Carbonite - Just in case of Fire/Flood/Theft etc.

I've never had to fall back on Carbonite, but it makes me feel a lot better knowing that it's there. I have done some test recoveries from Carbonite and they've all worked well.

Today, I was able to use the "Previous Versions" option in Windows 7 to recover a working copy of my Illustrator file and that made me quite happy.

If you're not using a data backup solution, I highly recommend that you start! There are plenty of easy ways to keep you files backed up... Don't wait until it's too late!