Category Archives: Software

iOS 7 – No Thanks

Yesterday I upgraded both my iPad 2 and my iPhone 5 to iOS 7.  I was really excited before it was released and thought it would just be another great Apple iOS upgrade.  In the past I have always liked the upgrades to the iOS as new versions came out.  There was never a time that I didn’t like it…..until now.  Today I reverted back to iOS 6.1.4 before Apple stops signing it.

 

Things I don’t like

  • Why is the text thinner?  It makes it harder to read.  I mean the text for all of the icons, the time, menus etc.
  • Why is the size of the time displayed at the top center of the screen smaller?  Was it done so they could replace the “bars” of the cellular signal with stupid dots?  The dots take up twice the width of the bars and look worse.
  • Why do you now have to swipe to the left to delete mail instead of to the right?  Zero reason this should have been done.  When you swipe to the right it just opens the message.  If I wanted to open it I would tap it.
  • Why did they make everything all white?  That is annoying as shit.  It is worse for your eyes and it looks like a damn Windows phone.  The menus are all white, email is white, the keyboard is a lighter grey and white.
  • Why do things need to be flat looking?  We spent all these years making things look so pretty and real in Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, etc.  It looks more appealing.  I would be OK with the flat look if everything wasn’t all one color or different shades of the same color.  It looks like crap.
  • Why is there no weather graphic when you pull down notification center?  There is only text telling you what the weather is like.  What is this, a DOS version of iOS?  Are pictures of clouds and rain or the Sun too much work?
  • The “recent apps” thingy is junk as well.  Now when you double tap the home button, instead of getting 5 or 6 icons of your recent apps you get 2.  Yeah, 2.  2 big square representations of your apps and to get rid of them or “close them” you have to slide them upward.  Great, now I have to scroll side to side 3 times more to see the same amount of apps.
  • Why when I choose a picture to use as my lock screen can I not make it as small as it used to be on iOS 6.1.4?  It keeps “bouncing back” to a larger size when I pinch it down to  a smaller size.
  • Why is the folder window so small.  I realize now you can scroll left to right to see more items in a folder.  However, it would easily hold 6 more app icons on the screen had they make the folder window a bit taller.
  • The little read badge icons that show you how many unread messages you have or how many app updates are available are harder to read.  Why?  Because there is no white border to cut down on the harsh contrast between the red circle and the app icon that it’s on top of.  In addition the number is too thin; Hell, all the fonts are too thin.  You would think that someone with ZERO design experience thought of this.  WTF?
  • No drop shadow behind the text of the app icons as well which makes it even harder to read on some of the shitty backgrounds and colors they give you to choose from.

Things I like

  • Control Center.  Perfect.  Wouldn’t change anything.
  • AirDrop.  Love it.  No need to “bump” phones.
  • Keypad buttons.  Round looks good.  They are nice and clean.
  • The clock app actually showing the real time on the icon itself.  About time.   I wish the weather icon was the same way.
  • The new compass app.  Awesome.
  • The fact that you can now move the damn Newsstand app into a folder so you don’t have to see it anymore.

I will not be upgrading anytime soon.  If I have my way, I’ll just keep using iTunes 10.7 and iOS 6.1.4 until they make major changes to iOS 7 or I switch to an Android phone.  Side note, iTunes 11 looks like shit and has less functionality and is less intuitive.  Whomever worked on iTunes 11 obviously also worked on iOS 7 too (probably not, but I’d like to think so).

I feel like if Steve Jobs was still alive this OS would have never been let out to the public looking like it does.  Jony Ive sure seems smart with his British accent and all but I’m starting to think twice after seeing this OS.  No thanks Apple.

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Filed under Daily Grind, Mobile Devices, rant, Software, Village Idiots

Windows Phone sucks

Let me start off by saying that I have been an iPhone user for the last 2 years. I love the iPhone. I have tried a couple phones with the Google Android OS as well. I thought that they were pretty cool. I would say on a scale of 1-10 that the iPhone would be an 8 and Droid phones would be a 7 (maybe a 6 for certain phones). Well on that same scale I would give the Windows Phones a 4.

I have used an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and currently use an iPhone 4S. I have loved them all. I also think that with each iOS update the phones get better. I was given the opportunity to try out a Samsun Focus S with Windows Phone 7.5 loaded on it. I was able to try the phone for 30 days. I made it 24 hours and no longer wanted the Windows Phone. I moved my SIM card and my phone number to the Windows Phone and had turned off my iPhone and put it in a drawer. I now have my iPhone 4S back and am back using it again. Thank God. Below I list the reasons that the Windows Phone sucked. If Microsoft doesn’t make major changes to Windows Phone 8 it will fail just as bad as Windows Phone 7.5.

The reason for this phone sucking are partially due to Samsung and partially due to the Windows Phone OS.

✖ No visual voicemail. You have to call in and listen to your voicemail. This was on AT&T. Maybe it’s different with another provider.

✖ No good apps. No United Airlines app which I need for work. No good receipt scanning app. No “Words with Friends”. All the Navigation apps sucked. The included AT&T Navigator sucks. Bing maps suck.

✖ The way the camera is setup is garbage. The button is on the lower right side of the phone. You hit the damn thing on accident all the time. It will not macro focus. You cannot tap to focus. You tap and it takes a picture. In addition you can turn off the camera button so that it doesn’t work (when the phone is locked). That also doesn’t work. Seriously. I enabled that setting, and then locked the phone. After holding down the camera button it comes right up and I can take pictures. It’s easy to see that they didn’t put much thought into how the camera works at all.

✖ The way that the games are tied to XBOX live seems childish. I don’t own an XBOX. I don’t need avatars or online game scores or whatever else populating onto my phone in the “games” section. I would rather each game be a separate app like on the iPhone or Droid.

✖ The Windows Phone native Facebook and Twitter “tie-ins” suck. I had to disable them and download full apps. They didn’t look anything like Facebook or Twitter. Just a boring white page with jumbled large and small text trying to look trendy. It just looks horrible like that.

✖ The time shows up in the upper right hand corner of the phone. If you want to see the battery icon, your connection status, and/or WiFi status you have to tap the top of the screen to get all of those other icons to “slide down” out of no-where and you can see them. After a minute they are gone again, only leaving you the time. I realize that when you have no service, or a low battery the icons do show up. That’s too late in my opinion. At least give us the option to have all the icons on all the time.

✖ Microsoft tries to tell you that with this new Windows Phone you don’t have to scroll through pages and pages of apps like you would with your iPhone. With the Windows Phone you have to scroll up and down instead of side to side. No difference. They fit less on a page because they use huge square tiles instead of nice compact icons that have descriptive logos or colors like the iPhone and Droid phones use. Some people may like this. Not me.

As a side note, the way them rename their products ever year or two needs to stop. You have people who have a @hotmail account or an @live account and it’s no longer called Windows Live. They actually did start using the “Hotmail” name again. That’s a move in the right direction. Every now and then I get people asking me what the heck is a “Live” account. Heck they have renamed it from Hotmail to MSN to Live Mail and now back to Hotmail. Someone at Microsoft sure likes to change names a lot.

It is hard for me to imagine how a product like this can leave the building without someone going “uh guys…..yeah we can’t leave this phone like this”. How does nobody see the problems they are allowing it to ship with? Was it rushed to market? I guess I shouldn’t wonder since Microsoft has a history of releasing incomplete stuff to market and calling it “finished” or “final”. They did it with Windows Me, and Windows Vista. I hope they don’t do it with Windows 8.

For those interested, linked below is a much better write up on why the Windows Phone sucks.
http://www.wpsauce.com/2012/05/windows-phones-suck.html

I did edit this post to take much of the swearing out and some of the really harsh language. I did so because I felt it made the article a bit more crisp and drove the point home better.

For the record I didn’t hate everything about it. I really like how well Microsoft Exchange mail works on the phone and I do like the overall layout of Email on the phone. It would be nice to be able to have an “All Mail” folder that would change my view and aggregate all of my accounts into one folder. It’s easier to quickly move or delete mail like that. The touchscreen was very responsive and the on-screen keyboard was perfect. No complaints. The lock screen was informative and much nicer than the lock screen on an iPhone. The phone was thinner and lighter than the iPhone and I did prefer the lightness and the feel of the Samsung Focus S to that of my iPhone 4S.

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Filed under Computers, Daily Grind, Mobile Devices, rant, Software, Village Idiots, Work Related

Which Mass Storage Driver for Dell Optiplex 780?

Having trouble finding which driver you need to install for SATA on the Dell Optiplex 780? Yeah me too. So after much trouble and lack of documentation on Dell’s website I figured I’d post it here after finding it on a Russian web site. For the record I was installing XP Pro 32-bit (for work). Had this PC not been a ‘test’ PC it would be running Windows 7.

And yes I put in the freakin’ service tag at Dell’s website.

In the BIOS it comes by default set to ATA instead of AHCI.

You need to install the Intel ICH10D driver.

With the proper SATA driver installed you can reboot and change it to AHCI and it will boot. Without the proper driver and set to AHCI the box will simply blue-screen and constantly reboot until you switch it back to ATA or throw it on the ground.

Hope it helps someone else.

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Filed under Computers, Daily Grind, Software, Work Related

Internet Explorer 8 not so good

OK, so I decided to download and install Internet Explorer 8 since it was finally released.  I have been running Windows 7 on my work laptop and have had 30 days of goodness and it has been problem free.  I actually really like Windows 7.  You cannot install IE8 on Windows 7 Beta since it’s running a special version of IE8 that can use features built into Windows 7 that only Windows 7 has.  I digress….

Anyway, I downloaded it and installed it on my home PC.  I’ve been running IE7 on my home PC for years now.  My home PC is a Pentium 4 1.5GHz box with 1.2GB of RAM and it runs Windows XP Pro with SP3.  It runs awesome and is fast for all I need it to do.  It runs Firefox, Chrome, and Opera beautifully with no problems.  It also runs IE7 with no problems….other than the typical “IE just locking up” problem.  I’ve seen IE just become unresponsive on a number of different boxes and just need to be forced to close.  For the record Firefox has done this on 3 different machines of mine too but just not as often.

As a side note, my work laptop is a Dell D830 Latitude with a 2.0GHz Intel Core Two Duo processor and 2GB of RAM.

So, last night I download and install IE8 onto my home PC (P4 1.5GHz 1.2GB RAM).  The install takes about 20 minutes and then reboots.  OK, no problem.  After that I launch IE8 for the first time (after my PC finishes booting and settles in).  It takes about 25 seconds before IE8 comes up.  After it comes up it seems like no matter what site I go to it seems to take a long time to get there when compared to IE7 or Firefox.  Weird.  So I close IE8 and restart the computer and just let the computer sit for another 10 minutes after reboot to make sure it’s done with all it’s stuff.  I launch IE8 again….slow.  Still about 20 seconds before it shows up and can be used.  I then go to 3 or 4 sites, and then cl0se the browser.  I then open it up again, to find that it still takes about 20 seconds to come up, maybe 15 seconds.  Yeah in the grand scheme of things 15 seconds is not much.  However IE7 took about 4 seconds and Firefox about 2 or 3 seconds.

After letting my wife use IE8 for about 30 minutes just doing some web surfing she says “yeah I hate it”.  So I uninstalled it, restarted, and am now back to using IE7.

I am not sure why the biggest software company on the planet can mess up it’s browser and OS so many times.  I will continue to use Firefox for everything and only use IE7 for work required things that cannot use Firefox.

For the record, the IE8 Beta that I have been using inside Windows 7 Beta has been great.  It’s pretty flawless actually.  Go figure.  Of course, Microsoft should give Windows 7 to everyone that bought (or got a PC with) Windows Vista.  Windows 7 Beta has been much more stable than the production version of Vista with SP1 on it.  Pretty Amazing actually.

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Filed under Computers, rant, Software