In frustration I made a backup of my laptop hard disk, and did an erase-and-install with Tiger from the install DVDs that came with the laptop. Mind you, the Apple Hardware diagnostic gives this machine a clean bill of health. With the original 512MB DIMM, with nothing plugged in but the power cord, and with a fresh Tiger install, even following an SMC reset, I can crash it. So, this is apparently not Leopard’s fault.
Continue reading “MacBook Pro crashes part 3 – apparently a hardware issue”
It doesn’t take a lot of courage to predict that Amazon’s new Kindle electronic book reader will be a flop. This device looks like something that Sony or Apple circa 1994 would cook up. It’s getting a lot of press attention (such as the cover of the current Newsweek), but this is only because it’s Amazon promoting it, and because the tech press is obsessed with gadgets.
A closer examination, though, reveals that Kindle doesn’t solve the problems that caused prior e-book efforts to fail. It’s not better than a book in any way, and yet it costs more than a laptop PC and is nearly as complicated.
Continue reading “Another E-Book Flop, This Time From Amazon”
The Android mobile phone software platform from Google has some journalists and developers confused due to its license terms. The terms are open source, but not as free as the GNU General Public License. That decision has people wondering what Google’s up to. I have a theory about why they did this.
Continue reading “Journalists, Developers Puzzled by Android SDK’s License”
It turns out that as The New York Times says, Google is not building a phone. They’ve built (bought, really) a phone platform called Android. It’s Java on Linux, and it’s open source, but notably it is not J2ME based. Reportedly it will run J2ME apps, but the SDK makes the Android API look more like the BlackBerry’s Java API than J2ME. It’s a full featured API that isn’t a least common denominator of all possible mobile devices.
Continue reading “Google Gives J2ME the Finger, but Still Needs a Carrier Partner”
We developers and other nerdy folk are used to using strange and klunky applications that do something special, and we’re used to that trade-off.
Eclipse is an IDE so it’s hard to imagine it not being baroque and difficult to use, requiring weeks of effort to become productive. JBidWatcher has saved me a lot of money on eBay so I could probably put a dollar value on how much it’s worth to endure its bizarre UI. Azureus is fairly fugly also but it does a very good job and has a deep, sophisticated UI that’s fairly easy to understand, so despite the eyesore, it’s at least fairly clear. The common thread among all of these is that they are all written in Java, and that they are so valuable that it’s worthwhile to overlook the ugly UIs.
Now imagine those sorts of trade-offs, but on already difficult to use mobile devices, and aimed at consumers. Are you making a strategically wise choice by sacrificing usability and control over the user interface, and probably access to platform-specific features such as dialing the phone, in order to save money on development? Adam Breindel talks about this in When Building a Smartphone App, Resist the Siren Song of J2ME.
Continue reading “J2ME: Write Once, Be Disappointed Everywhere”