Tag Archives: technology

Tech Links

OOPS. I periodically publish a tab sweep. Sometimes (like now) I draft and forget to publish it. This post should have been published in mid-June.

MuPDF is a better PDF reader because it opens large PDFs faster than evince.

Geeqie is an image viewer that offers side-by-side comparisons of images.

Apple announces Swift 2 with new language features, open source. I looked it over, and I think I still like Ruby better. But it’s clearly an improvement over [[Objective] C].

A gallery of everything new in iOS 9. The Podcast app might not be quite as aggravating as before. And they’ve realized that iOS 8’s version of a shift key was a disaster.

Cute: the old After Dark screen saver implemented in CSS.

Datamation: The best features of Libre Office Writer. After using Word 2013 with it’s worst-idea-ever “Ribbon” I’m thinking of switching.

Tech Links – May 29

Three open-source Python shells.

Don’t catch Exceptions. I must have known why I always do rescue => boom to catch exceptions. The reason is that Ruby makes that shorthand for rescue StandardError => boom. Nifty.

libgrader: find quality gems for your next project. It knows about two of my favorites gems: pericope and titleize. (Unlike awesome-ruby.)

Sequel: the database toolkit for Ruby. (Here’s an introductory screencast at RubyTapas.) I keep thinking I should do something with sqlite. Well, really I think I should do something with a database, but I’d rather put it on Drobox than try to figure out how to have a mysql server out on the internet and not regret it.

The reason? Once you’ve used a join you’ll never be content using a spreadsheet for a database. Here’s a quick introduction to joins.

Mac audio graphing tool FuzzMeasure updated. I didn’t remember that it had a name of its own. I thought it was just SuperMegaUltraGroovy. Anyway, every time I look at this I think to myself about the software I wrote in the mid-90s and all the cool graphs I’d like to have implemented.

Resistance is Futile (iPad 2 edition)

This is pretty much how I feel, too, especially the final thought:

Motorola and Samsung…they’re both large companies with a lot of buying power and strong brand recognition. The problem is, they don’t understand the game that Apple’s playing in the mobile space, so they’re playing it wrong. They’re so caught up in catching up that they’re not even trying to innovate in this space. Maybe HP or Rim will figure it out, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Which is unfortunate. If Apple’s doing this kind of amazing stuff without any viable competition, can you imagine what they’d be doing with strong, viable competitors nipping at their heels?

I’ve been struck by how much better Apple products are than their competitors. Who, honestly, would pick a Dell or an HP laptop over a MacBook? And that’s the space where Apple is least advantaged and has a clear premium price.

In other markets (music players and phones) the Apple “premium” is much less clear. For tablets, it’s negative: the superior product is actually less expensive.

Why is this so hard? Surely there are smart, design-oriented marketing people out there who don’t work at Apple. Why don’t some of these hapless technology companies turn them loose. I’ve worked at some of those companies, and, sure, the engineers need firm direction to produce something that doesn’t stink. But why can’t people look at Apple and say, “Let’s try it that way for a change, instead of continuing to flounder like we’ve always done?”