Browsing the archives for the computers tag.

My desk

Written on June 20, 2009 by
blog, eye catching

When I got into work yesterday this is what my workspace looked like. It’s littered with post-it notes for things I need to get done soon. There’s a monitor on the right that I use when I’m working on a computer that comes into the office for maintenance. The picture of me with Shaw’s mom in the corner of the aforementioned monitor. My sweet Duke Nukem mousepad. My desk fan. Just take a look:

…wait…. what’s that on the left side of my desk? I didn’t have anything there when I left on Thursday…

Odd… perhaps a coworker left something for me. Let’s zoom in.

Oh! It’s just chief science officer Spock aiming his phaser at a helpless Lieutenant Commander Hikaru Sulu who is trapped in a half filled water bottle with a sign that reads “Help me”

That’s not canon at all…

–ringl

Mr. Spock has intentions to harm you.

Comments Off on My desk

something new

Written on January 20, 2009 by
blog, technology

I found this and immediately closed the browser window. I’m pretty sure I would have been lost for the rest of the day going through all the possible combinations.

Now some of you skipped clicking on the link and kept reading on. That’s not going to do here… just open it in a new window or tab and go through it once.

Watched it? Good!

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that once something gains popularity it’s inevitable that someone tries to cash in on the fad. And often those copy-cats are necessary in order to progress an industry or technology. Competition, at its core, is a great process.

But I’ve recently been wondering how great competition is for innovation. And while I’m really just talking about making something completely, never-before-thought-of new, I’d be negligent not to mention the innovation that is taking a technology and improving upon it to the point that it’s hardly recognizable. It becomes something completely new while its foundation remains worn and (t)rusted.

Of course, innovation to me isn’t just making something new. Microsoft tried to make something (nearly) completely new when it released its Vista operating system. The overall effect was that there was nothing left that windows users recognized. It became a cold and sterile experience that many seasoned Windows users and devopers fought against. On the flip side of that coin Apple has been seeing huge successes with Mac OS X. When Apple put out OS X it was radically different than its predecessors in that it was built off of BSD, a Unix-like operating system that has seen consistent use due to its reputation of dependability.

Now these two companies are competing. And for us, the consumers, that’s good. Apple is continuing to improve its operating system and is listening to customer demands. Microsoft is now beta testing Windows 7 and so far experiences have been so good that people are nicknaming it “Fix-ta”.

But here’s where I’m having difficulty. All of this competition seems like it will never produce something truly¬†new. Even in the link above people are just adapting newer technology to mimic something old. Heck, even the file-systems on modern computer operating systems are made to mimic a stand-up filing cabinet (metal drawers that tell jokes?). And the hype for new technologies tells us that we’re seeing is something never seen before. Whereas in reality it’s something we’ve been using the entire time, but polished up so that we notice it.

Of course, there is a need for new technologies to have some bit of familiarity just for us to be able to adjust to using it. I couldn’t have made a very good transition from the two-button + D-pad nintendo controller to the 8 button, dual-joystick plus a D-pad Xbox360 controller without some sort of stepping stone to prepare me for that next step. It’s like the difference between driving a big wheel versus piloting a shuttle to the moon and back.

And with the sudden surge of focus on simplistic control schemes and intuitive, touch interfaces, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the most complex tasks are simplified to flicking a finger across your phone’s display or the waggle of a wii-mote.

And I can’t decide if that’s a good thing.

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