Some tech ramblings.

I haven't posted since well before Christmas. Head hung in shame at yet another year of mentioning, starting, and then not completing, my all time favourite Christmas movie list. Aw well - I'm not going to lose sleep over it. 

So Apple eh? .. the day after tomorrow, we finally get to see what it's going to be like. It's going to have to be truly exceptional to succeed. If nothing else it will drive things forward. After all the Newton did.

On the 2nd of December I briefly blogged about the Asus Eee PC 1201N. I was so pleased - an Atom 330 powered Netbook with Ion graphics - it could only be good. Until of course I found out that once again they've strapped a mirror to it where the screen should be. Netbooks are meant to be used on the go, in cafe's, airports, trains and in the park. So what use is the the most reflective screen ever made?

It's truly frustrating. On a daily basis I have to stop myself from buying one. It has everything I want from a highly portable "chuck it in my bag" tapper but I can clearly see myself, scowling back - it's like the rear of an old PS2 disk. No matter how dark or bright the surroundings or the background being rendered and no matter what the screen settings are. I do not want to see myself - I want to see the bloody operating system!

Have a quick read through the product description on Asus' own site that I've linked above. For Pete's sake, when has "glare-type" been a feature that you wish to promote? .. it's not a good thing.

Something which is good however is Balsamiq Mockups - I have been using it for about six months now to design the user interactions for OpSource Cloud and I have to say it's one of the most creatively enabling tools I have used to date. A high speed, no messing about, Adobe Air interface that lets you get on with prototyping without having to waste time setting things up.

I have a couple of minor gripes; the lack of a zoom facility is annoying and on some widgets (e.g. progress bars), there is no way of switching off the borders. These are trivial complaints compared to the massive value it has brought to us.  I highly recommend it for anyone developing human interactive software or hardware interfaces.