Archive for July, 2005

Dell bad feeling spreading

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Memo to Dell - Jeff Jarvis does matter.

Very interesting read indeed. The key part of this is here:

"The pay attention part: Lots of people (Dell?) are making the assumption that "average people" or "the masses" don't really see/read blogs so, we take a little heat and move on.

Big mistake."

Darn right. Not only that, people use Google a lot more to research things before buying (see, not the internet becomes a double-edged sword ... cheap, broad advertising gives way to the masses having an opinion and others bothering to read them).

Dell has some big problems to solve ... and I don't think that they are geared up for it as they stand currently.

IEBlog talks about IE7

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Very interesting read.

Here are some key points.

"In the web platform team that I lead, our top priority is (and will likely always be) security – not just mechanical “fix buffer overruns? type stuff, but innovative stuff like the anti-phishing work and low-rights IE."

"In IE7, we will fix as many of the worst bugs that web developers hit as we can, and we will add the critical most-requested features from the standards as well."

"I want to be clear that our intent is to build a platform that fully complies with the appropriate web standards, in particular CSS 2 ( 2.1, once it’s been Recommended)."

"I’ve seen a lot of comments asking if we will pass the Acid2 browser test published by the Web Standards Project when IE7 ships. I’ll go ahead and relieve the suspense by saying we will not pass this test when IE7 ships." (emphasis added by me)

Things I DON’T like about Windows Vista / Longhorn

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

OK, we've had Windows Vista installed for a few days and been using it quite a bit. Overall I've very impressed by Vista, both in terms of ease of use and stability and performance. For an early beta it's very good.

However, there are a few things that are nagging me, and they're nagging me enough to both document them and do it now before I smooth over them in my mind and forget about them.

NOTE: Just to make things clear. Windows Vista/Longhorn is a beta and things are going to change a lot over the coming months. I'm recording my niggles here both for posterity and so that they might be fixed/improved upon.

First niggle - contrasty colors. If I wanted contrasting colors I'd run OS X. There's no doubt that the quality of Microsoft's graphics and icons have improved such that they work well against black (or charcoal gray) but the darker look is a big shift for Windows which used to be light and airy. OK, most colors can be changed but the dark Start Menu and Taskbar is a sudden shock. A big part of me thinks that the color scheme needs a serious rethink before final release.

High contrast - does it work?

Secondly, where's the menu bars?

Where's the menu bars?

Yep, they're there, you just have to press ALT to make them appear.

All you need is ALT!

OK, big foul up. How many people do you know navigate the menu using the mouse rather than shortcut keys? How many people are going to press ALT to make the menu pop up? Is that screen jump irritating or will it become irritating? Hmmm .... I think that as far as I'm concerned it's old already.

OK, next point - where are the tooltips?

No tooltips?

I know what these do but what about new users? So far the folks who are using Vista are the "best of the best" - lack of feedback to the user is going to be a big problem.

OK, another point ... what's this called?

What's this called?

I know what it does because I've used it (here's a video [332 Kb] - WMV only I'm afraid - showing it change the folder views). But where's the cues? Where's the language to describe this? It feels "mystery meat" and vague. Also, a slider? Why a slider with abrupt jumps in the view?

OK, am I being too picky? Maybe. Well, OK, probably yes. Am I felling a resistance to change? I don't think so. I like change. My next experiment is to get some people onto my Vista systems so that they can have a go on them and see what they think. I'm especially interested in responses to menus being gone and changes in Windows Explorer.

Stay tuned!

Loads of Windows Vista Screenshots

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Here's a link to an album of Windows Vista screenshots I took just now ... the album was done in ACDsee and while it's not great it works (for now).

Images are big so be patient!

Enjoy!

Tiny customers ‘won’t get money’

Friday, July 29th, 2005

"Customers with outstanding orders from Time and Tiny PCs are unlikely to get their computers or their money back.
A source close to administrators Grant Thornton told the BBC such people would become "unsecured creditors" and drop to the bottom of the list for payments.

But administrators have put together a "limited" support package for customers offering warranty cover and repairs.

Tiny owner Granville Technology went into administration on Wednesday with the loss of 1,500 jobs.

The Lancashire-based firm collapsed after it ran out of cash in the face of losses of £2m a month.

It was the UK's largest PC maker.

...

The volume of calls has also forced the group to set up a second helpline on 0870 830 3288 and an e-mail address [email protected] to deal with queries. "
BBC News

Sad news for the worksers at Time / Tiny and also customers who have lost out in this collapse.

Another good reason to build your own PC ... parts cost less and there are a number of large vendors out there. Also, if you are worried about collapse, walk into a store, grab the parts you need, pay and walk out with them there and then.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone affected by this. If you've lost money in the Time / Tiny collaspe, feeel free to contact me to share your unfortunate story.