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Archive for the ‘OS’ Category

Text in Windows 7

In OS on 21 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

WPF has been providing a feature that people wanted for a very long time.  Have you ever wonder why a screen with a very high resolution will give you application and text that are too small to use and read properly.  If you take a look at printed material, no matter how big the medium is or how high the dpi used for printing, a 10 point text will always appear as a 10 point text, the higher dpi will just make it appear so much smoother and nicer.  WPF set out to mimic that, thus a WPF application will always appear the same size no matter where you view it.  This is achieved by making the graphic display truly device independent.  A 10cm line will appear as a 10cm line no matter how big the screen or how high the resolution.

Windows 7 will finally bring this feature to the masses, you don’t need to run a WPF application to get this benefit for text.  And I hope that this will also be true for other elements in the Windows.  If this is true, that Vaio P will definitely be good to ship in Windows 7, since the current one under Vista shows text that are way too small to read properly (cause Sony choose to put a high resolution screen on a 8.9” screen).

Vista is fast on HP Mini

In Electronic, OS on 20 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

I’ve always been wondering why netbook can’t run Vista properly.  Somehow a lot of review have put it that if a netbook is using Vista it will take a performance hit.  A modern processor at 1.6Ghz and 1GB of RAM can’t run a modern Vista OS?  I know that Vista is resource hungry but I don’t think it is that resource hungry.  After some thoughts, I felt that the reason might be due to the slow hard disk that most netbook are using, since Vista is always doing file indexing on the fly and will thus cause a performance dip if the hard disk is slow.

After trying out Sony Vaio P at the Sony shop, it is confirmed that Vista felt sluggish on the Vaio P which is using a 1.3Ghz Atom but with 2GB of RAM.  But I still have my doubts. Then when I get my hand on a HP Mini 1000 (1012TU), I’ve decided to install a dual boot Vista on top of the XP to try out the theory.  I was thinking that if it is slow then I’ll just turn off the file indexing and see whether the speed will become decent.  However, after successfully getting Vista installed, I feel that it is fast, as fast as the XP that was originally installed and I did not do any tweaking and this is even with Aero turn on!  This confirm the theory that with 1GB of RAM Vista should be as fast as XP.

So why is it that people are saying that netbook can’t take Vista?  I feel that this is because the manufacturer want to sell the netbook cheap, the first netbook came installed with Linux but Linux is not something that people are comfortable to use (not all people, at least) and soon people are asking for a Window version.  But if HP, Dell, Lenovo and what not put Vista on their netbook, the cost will be much higher than those netbook that comes with Linux.  Thus Windows XP came into the scene.  Being cheaper than Vista, manufacturer can thus keep the price range of netbook.  To justify the choice, they make use of the negative image of Vista, since netbook comes with cheap setup, it can’t run Vista.  And it seems like they are successful in this marketing gimmick.

Reluctance of Microsoft to make it simple

In OS on 11 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

The latest information out for Windows 7 is that there are basically 3 editions for consumers to purchase, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.  However, the other editions are still available, Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic are available for OEM builder and Windows 7 Enterprise is for those Enterprise customer who wants volume licensing.  Although off the shelf consumer will only get to see 3 edition of Windows 7, when buying or using computer system, be it desktop or laptop or netbook, personal or belonging to the company, there are still 5 edition that user will see.  Thus this is definitely still confusing to the average Joe.

I would think that Microsoft should ditch all other editions and stay with only 3, Home, Professional and Ultimate.  Windows 7 Home is for home users and it will include special license that will limit some of the features, for example, Windows 7 Home found on netbook will not have Aero and some other features that are not available under the previous Home Basic.  Users who want these features can purchase a full Home license from Microsoft and these features will then unlock (as what Windows 7 upgrade will currently do).  Windows 7 Ultimate is also the edition for the Enterprise customers.  In this case there are really just 3 editions of Windows 7 and it serve the purpose of the previous 6.

Windows 7, Vista on steroid

In OS on 6 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

After using Windows 7 for a few weeks, the one thing that keep surprising me is that it is so much faster.  The start up is faster, the shut down is faster, opening of application is also much faster.  This is even when compared to Windows XP.  I can say that it is as fast if not faster than the Mac OS X in terms of start up and shut down of course.

The new taskbar is also much easier to use, as it is no longer cramp up by all those windows titles.  Only application icon is left on the taskbar.  The mixture of pin up application and already launched application also make the taskbar simpler and more efficient.  No longer does the launch bar needs to fight for spaces with the active taskbar.  Further you can move all this icons around on the taskbar to suit your personal taste even when the application has been launched.

All features of the Windows has also been made much more accessible.  For example you can now change the resolution of the display by simply right clicking on the desktop.

But speed will still be the one reason why I will switch to Windows 7 as soon as it is launched.  It is really like using a Vista that is on steroid.

Next generation Windows, officially known as Windows 7

In OS on 15 October, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I was just talking about the change in codename from Vienna to Windows 7 and Microsoft officially announced that the new name for the next generation Windows is going to be Windows 7.  Simplicity? Copied from Apple?  I hope they didn’t pay some expensive product consultant to come out with this name.  Personally I’m neutral to the new name, it is the OS itself that matter.  And I sure hope that the pre-beta that Microsoft is going to review is closer to the one that they are going to ship.

Windows 7

In OS on 13 October, 2008 at 7:00 pm

It been a while, Microsoft has changed the codename of the next generation of Windows to simply Windows 7 instead of the previous Vienna.  With the PDC 08 coming real soon and Microsoft promise of letting the attendee have the first public bit of the OS, more and more information on the OS has been released.  It will be interesting to see the new features that Windows 7 is going to offer.

So much for Apple’s ease of use claim

In Electronic, OS on 5 October, 2008 at 5:39 pm

I was helping my elder sis setting up her iPhone 3G.  She actually had her iPhone 3G for a while already but wasn’t able to download any application into her phone.  I was a bit puzzled when I heard that but it became clear once I sat down in front of her computer.  Her iTunes can’t run, somehow iTunes seems to crash every time it start up.  Data Execution Prevention (DEP) of Vista prevented iTunes from illegally accessing the system memory.  A bit of search found out that this kind of incompatibility happened for quite sometime already, since the days of iTunes 7.x but my sis is actually using the latest 8.0.  OK, so this might be some Vista problem, but a company as big as Apple can’t get their act together to make their software compatible with the latest OS?  And the OS has been out for nearly 2 years already!

Luckily my sis has another laptop with XP instead of Vista, thus I managed to install iTunes 8 on that laptop.  iTunes managed to startup with no problem this time and we quickly get to the part whereby iTunes ask to register the iPhone.  We were thinking “Why not” and so we started the registration process but the problem quickly came in the middle of trying to submit the payment method.  No matter how many times we try to click the submit button, iTunes just stay at the request for payment method page.  Finally we’ve got no choice but to choose “Cancel”, but that doesn’t help as well. iTunes needs to be restarted.  We tried to re-register but were told that the account is already in used.  We tried the apple account and everything seems OK.  Thus I decide just to carry on.

Since the iPhone 3G has some problem with the WiFi (all other devices can access the WiFi in the house with no problem but the iPhone just don’t like the WiFi, it can connect to the WiFi with no problem but it won’t display any website, keep saying that the server is busy) and that I’ve read somewhere in the papers that the original firmware that comes with the phone cause a lot of problem, I decided to help my sis upgrade her iPhone to the latest 2.1 firmware.  It seems simple, iTunes 8 detected that the phone needs the latest 2.1 firmware and there is this “Update” button.  So I click the update button and iTunes prompt an error, something like “unknown problem, code 9006”.  Good it tell me the problem is 9006 but what is 9006!  My goodness this is Apple software!  I quickly realize that iTunes was trying to download the firmware, I click on the downloading page and saw that the download goes until about 10Mb and the error appear.  I decided to try again, this time 12Mb and I tried again, 9Mb, and again 15Mb.  So it seems that there is some problem while trying to download the about 200Mb of firmware update and since there is no way the iTunes going to help, I’ve decided to keep trying.  Fortunately the download went through after several more retry and luckily the download didn’t stop at 199Mb.  But the thing is that automatically resuming an aborted download has been around for so long already, can’t iTunes just help to do that?

Sure enough the 2.1 firmware helps to make the iPhone agrees to work nicely with the existing WiFi and web surfing is now possible.  What a relief.  So we decided to try the Apple store and download some free applications into the iPhone.  Again problem strike, clicking the “Install” button produce nothing, then I realized that it is again trying to download something but the download status quickly disappear.  This time though I can’t get the download to work, but then I realized that there isn’t any error and I decide to check the iPhone “tab”.  Under the “Applications” tab, sure enough the application that we are trying to install was listed, but from the page you can see that the application is on the PC but it wasn’t sync to the iPhone.  When we were trying to setup the phone, we choose not to automatically sync the PC to the iPhone.  So we need to manually sync the downloaded application to the iPhone but iTunes didn’t tell us that we need to do this, after it download the application, it just stop there.

Yeah, so much for Apple’s claim that their software are easy to use and that their products never fail.  They are also human and they also make mistake, just like any other software or hardware company.

Vista launch press coverage inaccuracies, corrected

In OS on 2 February, 2007 at 6:00 am

With all the big hoo ha and bashing of Windows Vista on the web, a web post finally do some justice.  A point that I especially like is:

“Any “expert” that says that you should not buy Windows Vista for security should be locked up and never allowed to write ever again.

As  a developer I know for a fact that patching an inherent flaw within the software architecture does not solve the problem entirely.  This is especially true when security is concerned.  This is like when a weak point is found in a defence wall and breached, patching the hole later on does not give you a stronger wall.  The whole structure of the wall has already been weakened and thus future breach will be possible.

The "Wow" starts now!

In OS on 2 February, 2007 at 6:00 am

This is an event that I need to go.  Its sort of a wrap up for the journey that was started on September 2005, when I attended the Professional Developer Conference at L.A. and first saw an updated Windows Vista that is very similar to the one launched worldwide on 30th January 2007.  A journey that “wow” me, not because of Windows Vista itself, but because of the new platform that software developer can now leverage on.

Its a Wrap!

Vista Fiesta!

In OS on 31 January, 2007 at 7:53 am

Finally!  Some information on the Windows Vista launch date in Singapore!  Its Fiesta indeed!  2 days after the world wide launch of Windows Vista, the Wow is coming to Singapore!