A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my first experiences with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. I noted that while its hardware is excellent, there’s a distinct shortage of tablet apps for Android. Most apps will work just fine, but they’ll make poor use of a tablet’s screen real estate.
But things are definitely improving. New apps are coming out daily. I’ve tried quite a few of them, and I thought I’d do a quick rundown of the apps I’m actually using on a daily basis.
More My personal top 10 Android tablet apps
While I don’t always agree with the way Apple conducts business, there are alot of things the Windows PC industry can learn from them. I often help people pick a new PC, and there are things I bump into every time that make the process of picking, buying and setting up a new PC unnecessarily cumbersome. Here are five things I think HP, Acer, Asus and all the others could learn from the way Apple does things.
More Five things the PC industry can learn from Apple
I’ve pointed out this brilliant piece by Wired before. If you haven’t read it you should. It’s about how netbooks changed the computer industry, and ended, at least for some uses, the arms race towards ever greater performance. But there’s another thing that makes these tiny laptops very important, and that’s innovation. Hardware limitations and new use cases have forced software and hardware developers to come up with new solutions. Since the launch of the original Eee-PC nearly two years ago now I’ve spotted a number of really cool innovative projects that would probably not have existed without the netbook phenomenon.
More Why netbooks are important: Innovation
With the recent success of this blog, I’ve been thinking about making a donation to some of my favorite WordPress plugins. Being a plugin developer myself, I know how even a small donation can be a real pat on the back.
Open Source software isn’t about money, but many developers spend countless hours perfecting their software and answering support emails. I’d like to thank some of them, and I thought I’d let you help me decide which ones. Please read on for my ‘nominations’, and post a comment to let me know which ones you think I should support.
More Which WordPress plugins should I donate to?
I’ve been using the Google Talk application for years. It’s a lightweight Instant Messaging client that was built upon open standards and doubles as a pretty good Gmail notifier. My reason for not using another Yabber client like Miranda was that that wouldn’t allow voice chat, which I often use professionally.
Things turned a little ugly when Google decided to add a web-based gtalk ‘gadget’ to Gmail. All of a sudden I found myself being logged into the same account twice, with messages popping up in either the web or the desktop client without any sort of logic. I was quick to disable the Gmail gadget, but yesterday’s announcement of ‘Google Talk voice and video chat‘ had a big surprise in store for me. It’s a web-client-only feature.
More Has the Google Talk desktop client been abandoned?
Bloatware is becoming more and more of a problem for Windows users. Some, often very useful, software will install so much rubbish on your PC that it becomes harder to use, or even downright slow. Inexperienced users will often find their computers unusable because companies bundle too much addition software, or add too many features into their product. I’ll count down some of the worst examples, starting with the absolute king of the hill…
More Bloatware top 5 – And how to clean your Windows
One of the minor gripes I have about my digital camera is that it stores the MPEG4 videos I records in Apple’s Quicktime format. Not only does this format not speed up time in any way, it’s also hard to process or convert to other file formats. I would have preferred AVI, simply because its far more common on Windows PCs and pretty much any software can load and save AVI files.
While googling for a good converter I came across MP4Cam2AVI. If you can decipher it, the name pretty much says it all. It converts typical digicam MOVs to AVI. And most importantly, it does so without decoding and re-encoding the actual image data stream. Unlike with other solutions the image quality is not affected, it simply changes the video’s file container to AVI. That takes less than a second on my PC, and if you like, MP4Cam2AVI can batch process multiple files for you.
Even though I’m pretty much stuck using Windows for work, I’ve always been fascinated by alternative operating systems. Years ago I had a dual boot system with Windows 2000 and BeOS 4.5, and a couple of years ago I played around with Linux on older machines. None of these solutions were very useful though. Having to switch back to windows to use Photoshop or having an old PC take up desk space isn’t very convenient. This is where virtualization software like VirtualBox comes in.
One of the few problems wth free software is the fact that the authors usually do not have huge marketing budgets to promote their work. This is why I didn’t know about Synergy until Matt Cutts blogged about it. It’s also why it took me ages to find a decent backup tool. I was just about to pay for a mediocre shareware solution when I came across Cobian Backup.
More Cobian Backup