Saturday, 4 July 2015

4GB of RAM Should Be the Minimum for Windows 10

Windows 10 Desktop

When Microsoft announced that any PC capable of booting Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 would be sufficient to boot Windows 10, many PC manufacturers and retailers were irked because it meant many users wouldn't be upgrading their hardware which in turn meant lower sales for them. Keeping the requirements for Windows 10 the same as those for Windows 7 and 8 makes a lot of sense because it means more people will upgrade to the new OS. - something Microsoft desperately needs and wants.  But Microsoft may have done itself (and Windows 10) a disservice by allowing 2GB of RAM as a sufficient minimum. That's because there's a difference between booting Windows and running Windows.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Preliminary Review of the 2016 BMW 7-Series

The New 2016 BMW 7-Series was unveiled recently. As I am yet to see the car in the flesh, I will be relying on the official videos. On the exterior, its strong and definitive beltline give it a defined stance which in turn makes the whole vehicle look athletic. This is a good thing because compared to its archrival, the Mercedes S Class which (in its current generation) is bland, the exterior of the new 7-Series has got character.
It has a few tricks too. It can park itself by driving into and reverse out of a garage or parking space. This is done with the aid of its key; a display key (a slightly larger key fob with a colour touchscreen display).

A Short Review of Person of Interest: Season 4

The fourth season of our favourite show wrapped up about a month ago. Ergo, this review is a bit belated. On the whole, Season 4 was a disappointment. It was supposed to be The Machine vs Samiritan. Instead, what we got was The Machine playing a defensive game mostly by hiding. Also, there were way too many filler episodes. It seems the writers and producers had a good idea but just didn’t know how to execute it properly. There were a lot of inconsistencies.  So I guess trimming the upcoming fifth season to just thirteen episodes is a welcome development. If it will be the final season is unknown at this point. Here’s a quick rundown of the major problems with Season 4.

(i)        Shaw’s character has been built-up and portrayed as a cold and precise killer. I would call her the grown up version of Hit Girl in KickAss. So I found it odd that she couldn’t successful shoot Martine at the beauty parlour (despite the superior firepower that she was packing).

(ii)       All of a sudden, Root is now an exponent of hand to hand combat. Where did that come from? Meanwhile, Martine who has sometimes been portrayed as a kind of black ops agent couldn’t do better than to engage in a girly fight with Root. The writers even went further to portray Root as an expert of sorts with the ease with which she snapped Martine’s neck. This is all very inconsistent.

(iii)      The Machine’s dialog at the end came across as very awkward and completely out of character. A Machine that had hitherto refused to (or accepted not to) talk with Harold is now calling him father. I’m not sure what to make of that but certainly, I was neither impressed nor amused.

(iv)      The episode with Carter was in my opinion, one of the worst. It served no real purpose. It neither added to nor moved the plot forward in any way. It seems the writers just wanted to cash in on Taraji P. Henson’s fame on Empire.

(v)       Also, I have to wonder why Samaritan didn’t fix the blindspots / deadzones in the city’s surveillance.

(vi)      Fusco has heard a Machine being mentioned twice now. It’s becoming unrealistic that he hasn’t asked what it is. – First in the Season finale of Season 3 during the blackout after he steps out of the anti-riot vehicle. The second time is in If Then Else episode of Season 4.

I shall miss Elias, excellently played by Enrico Collantoni. He was one of the very good characters, much akin to Gus Fring of Breaking Bad. Scarface Anthony also got some well-deserved character development. Even Reese commented that he never knew his name.

And let’s not forget where Season 4 ended: Finch, Root, and (a probably wounded) Reese were literally walking towards and shooting at Samirtan agents. A situation where the trio were both outnumbered and outgunned. I’m wondering how this will be resolved.
The season definitely had some great episodes though. I think many people would agree that the best was If The Else. If Shaw’s character had been killed off here, it would have been a glorious and befitting exit. Dominic got schooled by Elias. Despite his knowledge of strategy and big talk, he fell for a cheap ruse. I shall miss both characters though. I would have preferred their conflict to endure another season or two.  My favourite episodes:

(i)            Episode 1: Panopticon
(ii)          Episode 3: Wingman
(iii)         Episode 4: Brotherhood
(iv)         Episode 6: Pretenders
(v)          Episode 8: Point of Origin
(vi)         Episode 9: The Devil You Know
(vii)        Episode 11: If-Then-Else
(viii)      Episode 12: Control-Alt-Delete

And to Jonathan Nolan, CBS, Varese Sarabande and Ramin Djawadi: PLEEEEEAAAAAAAASSSEEEEEEEE, release the soundtrack (score) already. Both for Seasons 3 and 4. We need something to tide us over till the next season debuts. And whilst on the subject of musical scores, it would be better if the scores/soundtrack compilation for any TV series is released within a month after the end of each Season.


Thursday, 4 June 2015

WhatsApp With Rich Text Support

This is a concept illustrating the integration of Rich Text Support into WhatsApp. Rich Text Formatting (RTF) in instant messaging (IM) existed in the early 2000s but the feature was eventually dropped. However, with the present popularity of emoji and stickers, I think RTF should enjoy a renaissance. To me, RTF is of greater utility than stickers because it allows for better expressivity.

I am currently working on a complete redesign of the entire WhatsApp user interface. Stay tuned.

1. Chat Window: The "A" to the left of the emoji icon is the RTF icon

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Windows Phone 9 Concept

This is a concept user interface for Microsoft Windows Phone.  I have retained the “Phone” in the title because Microsoft’s plan to brand the software of their phones, tablets and PCs as Windows might end up causing the same confusion that they are trying to correct. 

This concept is an evolution of a previous concept started in 2010. Screenshots of Version 1 can be found on Twitter and on Nokia Ideas Project. Version 2 can be found here. This version, 4.6, represents what I believe to be the way forward for Microsoft’s One Windows strategy. From all indications, the One Windows plan is meant to harmonise the code base between the various types of Windows OS. However, I reckon that harmonisation of the code base represents only one side of the coin. The user interface (UI) must also be harmonized. While there is some similarity on the Metro Modern side of things, the traditional desktop side creates a chasm. This concept is an attempt to create a consistent and uniform user interface across all form factors whilst avoiding the dichotomy between Modern UI and the desktop.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Apple Watch: iamConfused

Apple Watch: iamConfused

So Apple’s foray into wearable computers has begun. Yesterday saw the unveiling of the Apple Watch. Surprisingly, it wasn’t christened the iWatch like most of us expected. Though it's a bit inconsistent with their nomenclature, it's okay. Using the ‘i’ prefix has almost run its course anyway. Until now, I have not given smartwatches much thought or attention. This is because they don’t do anything that a smartphone cannot already do (and do better). It was its circular icon grid and digital crown that caught my attention. But before I get to that, let’s extol its virtues.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Will Facebook leverage the connection to the rest of the world that has scarce or no internet access?

Facebook has a campaign that goes by the name The main aim of this campaign is to connect the five billion people in the world that to date have poor, inadequate, sparse and expensive or nonexistent access to the internet.