Monthly Archives: June 2012

Microsoft surface tablet

My quick review of the Microsoft surface table announcement.

Reasons I want a Microsoft surface tablet

  • looks cool!
  • I like the kickstand.

reasons I don’t want a Microsoft surface tablet:

  • That horrible UI. Not just the dated 80′s faux retro bland monocolor boxes, or the must be different from Apple iPad swipe system, but also the general xbox 360 feel of it all. i just find myself consistently hating that UI and now that’s what they’ve chosen to use for their entire world of technology? At this point that UI is a sunk cost and I understand their reluctance to letting it go after working on it for so long, but they need to make a fresh design. I find glow neon effects are always nice and pretty, how about that?
  • Smart cover keyboard on the surface tablet from Microsoft is pretty cool to look at but to use will be dreadful. For those that remember the Sinclair spectrum zx81 with it’s 80′s microwave touchscreen controls, the bluetooth keyboard on the surface tablet will be the same. Cute, but not useable at all.
  • Continuing with the bad keyboard theme, what about motion? How sturdy is that thing while typing? Will the Microsoft smart pad keyboard be slipping while you type up that master thesis?

The Microsoft tablet computer is also confused as to what it is trying to be. It’s too flimsy and unworkable a keyboard for laptop work, and not very useful as a tablet either without apps. Useless really. And for that reason, it will do poorly in sales. Microsoft no doubt knows this and will repeat the xbox 360 strategy once again, which was to make an average product followed by regular and consistent iteration. That strategy works, in general, but it lacks impact like with Apple products.

Microsofts marketing strategy has been interesting in the buildup to the surface tablet announcement. Last week a future Microsoft strategy document was “leaked” which lead to sizeable discussion and hype building up. Then today we have the announcement. Perfect marketing and PR. I want one, but where to I go to buy one? Sorry. It will be released some time in the future. Well my credit card is going back into my wallet and I’ll have forgotten all about the Microsoft surface tablet by the time its gets its official release.

Apple release the products for purchase the SAME DAY as the announcement. Get them while they’re hot, and it works. Thats why Apple is sitting on $100 billion in cash right now. What they do works. Microsoft need to just copy it.

The question everyone will have is “what can I do with it?” this is something Apple answered on day 1. Get apps, make music, movies, create, do stuff. What can I do with the Microsoft surface tablet? Internet…okay. Anything else? No idea.

Congratulations to Microsoft for trying with the surface tablet concept, but this is not how to do it. They should have copied the iPad hardware exactly, one upping them in the areas that matter like screen resolution and speed. Created some awesome UI and software to go with it to make the Microsoft surface tablet truly an amazing, game changing, work or art.

But they didn’t and now they lose again. Flop.

Typed from my iPad.

Macbook Pro or iMac for programming?

Macbook pro with Apple cinema display or iMac for programming? Which is the best setup?

With the new Apple iMac and fresh macbook pro due for release any week now I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade my programming setup. It’s either macbook pro + Apple cinema display or 27″ iMac.

Windows is not allowed because I hobby program for IOS, so it has to be a mac unfortunately. Mac mini is out due to being underpowered and needing to buy a monitor separately, making it similar in price to just getting an iMac. Macbook air is out because the screen only comes in 11 and 13 inches. Too small for the multiple windows required for programming.

Macbook pro costs $1600.
Cinema display $800.
IMac $1800.

$2000 is maximum happy spend, $2500 would feel too much for what i’m getting and at that price It’s worth dropping the mac requirement and getting a very serious power rig on windows.

It’s a tough decision, but for future reference to my future self, here’s a few key decision factors to help me decide:

  • Macbook pro does not have home/end/page up/page down keys on the keyboard.
  • iMac has a glossy screen which means headaches if near a window.
  • 27″ iMac is not portable, so no programming on the beach or balcony or garden. No holiday programming either.
  • The desk can be moved, so screen glare from the iMac screen is a non issue. I think the key point for me is the portability. But is it that important?

    I still have a week to decide, but I’m leaning heavy on the iMac.