Thursday, October 22, 2009

fall 2009 and some geek thoughts, reflections

Well, I've decided to blog on a more regular basis (at least once a week) and thought I'd start with a nice old op-ed piece on this years tech/geek news and trends and possible future ones.

Microsoft tries to redeem itself for Vista by accelerating development of Windows 7 and to everyone's delight, it appeases most with its updated UI and performance.

Netbooks became a household name and have started to grow out of its own genre.  Nvidia Ion chips are now starting to appear in the latest netbooks ( Asus and HP were the first to offer) and seem to do a great job in playing back HD content.  Touchscreen are starting to appear more and more in both netbooks and normal laptops.

Add on top of that the prospects of Microsoft and Apple's 'new' tablet offerings. Nintendo in spring of 2009, released its updated DS model the DSi (a touchscreen based portable console) to its category dominating DS Lite. Android devices started to finally hit market with HTC offering some very tasty hardware (HTC Hero, upcoming Leo) and Motorola making a comeback after its somewhat fall from fame (razr made and then broke them, moto q was a disaster) with the new Android based Cliq and Motoblur (both touchscreen/slider based phones).

Windows 7 teases us with the Surface Addon Pack that turns select multitouch touchscreen pcs/laptops/tablets into a mini Microsoft Surface.  Google announces its making its own OS for netbooks/devices. Apple updates its iPod lineup and releases the much anticipated Snow Leopard.

2009 sure seems to be the year of touch and user interfaces.

I have been using Windows 7 for quite some time now.  It really is a very nice upgrade from Vista and mind blowing for XP upgraders.  The visual upgrades in the UI are very nice and really it bring up to speed in comparison to OS X Snow Leopard.  The new taskbar and window tricks are very handy. Again, a very nice upgrade from XP and worth it. Performance is on par with Vista (vista really wasn't that bad after SP1). Media Center is given a very nice modern upgrade to the digital/hd world and adds support for Clear QAM tuners and future Netflix streaming addin.  64bit versions can now support up to 192GB (for Prof and Ultimate Eds).  If only Microsoft can do the same with their Mobile OS.

Windows Mobile 7 is slated for mid 2010.  Currently 6.5 was released to more mehs than yays.  Most updates seem more of last minute tweaks to make a stylus based UI more finger friendly.  However HTC appears to have more a grasp on UI design than Microsoft themselve with its Sense UI.  Early peaks at Windows Mobile 7 are very promising; hopefully Microsoft can keep its OS hit streak on. I personally can not recommend any current Windows Mobile 6.5 or 6.1 phones to pals/relatives.  With Windows Mobile 7 just a half a year or so away, I feel it would be a waste of money (however these are just my thoughts).

I still have been using my iPhone 3G Jailbroken/Unlocked on T-Mobile.  Sure, I don't get 3G speed but for what I pay in data and voice ($5.99 T-zone Web unlimited plan) is well worth the slower EDGE speeds.  Motorola may finally have risen from its ashes.  Previous epic failures included the Moto Q and Rockr may be things of the past for them.  Their latest and upcoming Android offeres are looking very nice, actually impressive in design and build.  I am tempted to dip into the Android kool-aid.

Lastly, the Apple Tablet has been a burning rumor this whole year.  Will we finally see a leaked shot? Rumors still point it to an early 2010 release but no real spy shots have been seen.  Will it be an e-book reader too?  No matter what it is, it will be the buzz of the tech blogs.  Its also very nice to see the competition in the e-book reader heat up.  The Barnes and Nobles Nook looks very impressive and may give the Kindle a real run for its money and perhaps break the e-book reader scene into the mainstream.  Price is definetly a key factor.  Sony's offerings look good, but the price and glare factor may put them behind the competition.

Hopefully I haven't bored you to much. Keep it geeky!