Thursday, March 30, 2006

Here comes the judge...

After initially thinking I would be chief election judge in my precinct this year, I was told that the Democratic Judge would become the chief judje, as my affiliation is currently listed as "unaffiliated".

Got a call this morning that the Democratic judge had resigned, and I'm the chief judge again.

Training starts tomorrow and I get to see the new election equipment on the 17th.

GMail whoops

Two nights ago, I completed the moving of all my GMail to my iBook G4, where it will be sorted and a subset will be moved to my account. It had gotten quite slow and kind of unreliable. This morning, I couldn't get access.

I currently have the GMail account forwarding to my account, but not deleting mail so I can catch the few straggler accounts where the gmail address is my preference/id.

So I will be primarily be using my GMail address as a forwarding service. GMail likely does not mind much, it still provides visibility for their service while not having to keep my stuff.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Microsoft as earnest contractor? It depends...

Ross Rubin in his Switched On column, feels that Microsoft is being quite earnest in trying to please its' customers.

I would contend, that this earnestness exends only so far as determining which version of Windows the customer should be running. Sometimes, especially in the area of mobile devices, the devices should not be running Windows at all. But with Gates and Co., that is never an option, no matter how much sense it makes.

Early versions of Windows Mobile were nearly unusable, as they forced the user into the Windows "Start" menu paradigm, rather than Palm (who currently has its' own assortment of problems, like relevancy) who created a simple interface that was best adapted for how a mobile user interacts with a PDA. I still remember having to ask someone how to enter a URL into mobile Internet Explorer.

I see Microsoft repeating their mistakes again in the form of the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC). Rather than design a interface which is available in seconds, and mostly concentrates on staying out of the way, we will end up with Windows XP Tablet Edition with the edges sawed off. By the time it is done booting, your opportunity for using that spare moment in time will have passed, and soon, it just gets left at home.

In this arena, I think Nokia has the right idea with the 770 tablet. It runs a version of Linux and has no hard drive. It is optimized for casual use. Turn it on, use it, put it away. It fits in a coat pocket and weights about half a pound. And sells for $350.