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Don’t Send a Pin to Do a Text’s Job

9 Apr

Modern messaging clients are pretty amazing. They let you send things like picture, audio, video, and all of them natively viewable within the thread. They also let you sent one other thing, your location, you can send it as your GPS co-ordinates, or as a pin on you map app. Please don’t do that.

Please Don’t Send A Pin.

Here’s why you should not send a pin when someone asks for an address.

  1. The person asked for an address, so just send that. That should be the end to it really.
  2. You have no idea what phone/OS/messaging client the person using, and if it can properly handle a map pin.
  3. There is a much greater chance that it’ll recognize address written in text as an address and handle it as such.
  4. If the destination is a packed neighborhood, a pin can easily direct you to wrong house.
  5. If it’s your address, it should be on the tip your tongue/finger and you can just type it.
  6. Address written in text is universally readable, a pin is not.
  7. I can easily copy-paste address written in text into contact, a pin I cannot.

Of course if the location is inside a forest/national park type of place where an address is non-existent, feel free to send a pin, but know when not to. Most of the times, if asked for an address, don’t send a pin, send the address.

GameDev Checklist

29 Nov

Good heavens! Is this what you call a AAA game?

We all understand making a game, that is designated AAA, is difficult. And they cost a lot of money. So I am just going to skip over a lot of thing I don’t like such as poor graphics, poor optimization, frame rate lock. Because either they are too complicated for me to fully understand and talk about, or the discussion would be too long for me to stay interested at this late hour.

What irks me are some little things. After all these years in the history of video game, it should be fairly easy to gather how these things should be.

  • Let me skip the intro videos! Maybe not just by hitting a button just one time, you don’t us to miss the videos by accident, I understand that. But do something like long press a button. But please let us skip it.
  • Let the game run at any resolution or aspect ratio. Seriously! Why are you so intent on punishing people for having something extra? 21:9 is a runway success among gamers, but even at 2017 we have games having trouble with it. You may want to do this much for your paying customers.
  • Save games. What is it with save game files and game developer/publishers! Why do they feel the desperate need to hide save files in the most godforsaken corner of my hard drive? I first played NFS Most Wanted in 2006, and even now I can install it and just pick my profile and career, same for Elder Scroll Skyrim. But that amazing comfort is found in less and less games as the save files are moved from the relative security of My Documents to locations that even an moderately advanced users have trouble finding, much less an average one.

As I said before, I believe these issues are extremely annoying and similarly believe them to be extremely easy to fix. I myself fail to see much real benefit from doing these. They don’t accomplish much except for making the life of the gamer harder. So please have some heart and stop doing them!

Firefox Search-box Results in New Tab

24 Dec

Firefox debuted and rocketed off to become a favorite browser among power users because of how customizable it is, and to this day it stays true to that reputation. Different users use their favorite differently, and I would assume there might be someone who would want a search result gotten from the search box to show in a new tab instead of current tab as it still might have page user is interested in. Thankfully there is a way in Firefox to achieve that.

  • You would have to go to the page “about:config”
  • Agree to the scary warning.
  • Search for “search”
  • Find the entry for “browser.search.openintab”
  • Double click on it to change the entry to,

 

Happy searching!

Bigger is Better

29 Jul

True that there are aspects of life where that is not true, but for most matter that is quantifiable, bigger is indeed better. It may help clear up if I paraphrase different is not better. Neither is different worse.

On to more quantifiable examples.

Let’s consider the number 7 and the letters f, g, and h. The letters are the 6th, 7th, and 8th letter of the Roman alphabet. Now, are any of those bigger than the number 7? Decidedly not! Are they smaller? Or equal? None of that. That’s because they belong in a different category, which makes it impossible for them to be compared with 7. Now the number 8? That is bigger than 7. It has all of 7 in it and 1 more!

Xbox Music, for all new stuff it does, is not better that Zune, or Windows Media Player. It’s just different. The only way it can ever be better is if and when it encompasses all the features of its predecessors and have more. It’s as simple as that. Until then, it’s just a different media player, one that I’ll keep being hostile towards. Unless of course it can do what others does.

And this goes for every software out there, and maybe not just software. Do new stuff, make new stuff. Just not for the sake of it. The necessity should drive the change, the necessity cannot come from a change.

Devil Is In The Details

22 Apr

There have already been plenty of reviews of Windows Phone 8.1. This is obviously not a review. Just a list of details, major or minor, only doable by someone who regularly uses the OS.

Good:

  • Keyboard now suggests/offers emoticons!
  • Updated boot animation is good.
  • Updated icon for outlook account and exchange.
  • Parallax implementation is good.
  • Does call grouping in call history.
  • Map nicely integrates POI from Foursquare. More important stuff appears first when zooming in.
  • More tiles across the device spectrum.
  • Manual checking of app  updates.

Bad:

  • Xbox music sucks. SLOW.
  • Slower performance.
  • Podcast app has no browsing.
  • Outlook account is still called Hotmail.
  • Office apps not updates one bit.
  • Still no contact picture in call history.
  • Setting still a mess. No icons.
  • Transit direction is not using the transports’ (either of bus and train) names to denote them (NYC), only the direction.
  • No need to give that pop-up when I check for app updates.

Neutral and Time Needed:

  • Cortana sports integration is woefully incomplete.
  • Worsened battery performance.
  • Worsened memory management. IE is unloading tabs too frequently.

I want to see:

  • Cortana to have batch operations. (Turn off all alarms, Move all alarm forward by 3 hours, )
  • More options for Action Center quick actions.

These all may seem pretty small time stuff to a lot of people, but a lot of these small stuff can get in the way of a great experience. So here’s hoping someone is paying attention somewhere.

Laundry List for Windows

15 Oct

Microsoft has been enjoying an almost monopoly in enterprise and consumer computing for almost as long as personal computers has existed. But as Android and iOS gains popularity, Microsoft needed to take necessary measurements.

The Metro Modern design language is in my opinion Microsoft’s doorway to dominating next generation of computing. But as it stands, compared to the desktop environment, it is still woefully lacking. This post is intended to be a “laundry list” of tweaks I believe Microsoft needs to do on Windows for a improved user experience.

Windows Desktop

Add podcast support into Windows Media Player. OR Update Zune.

Desktop can get Metro Interface elements like this.

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Internet Explorer zoom settings should be independent of the Metro IE.

Desktop apps should be able to integrate with charms bar too. Do more than just screenshot share.

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Microsoft’s Next Boss

2 Sep

On the wake of the news that Microsoft is acquiring Nokia, I believe its safe to bet that Stephen Elop is going to be appointed the next CEO of the software giant. He was already one of the most anticipated person, but him leaving Nokia to lead Microsoft would have left Microsoft in a bad strategic position. But now that Elop is back, with Nokia (as we knew) with him, everything falls into right places.