Day One is on the path for changing how I record my life and share. This app is turning into how I prepare my drafts for writing in this blog and also for sharing to Twitter and Facebook. Ever since I came across those great notes for shifting Evernote content over to Day One’s format using its Command Line Interface and an AppleScript I’ve been able to make huge headways forward in my giant overarching project to get all my shared information migrated to Day One. I’ve been able to copy my Facebook entries, as well as my WordPress entries over to Day One and thanks to Twitter making their data download available, that as well. I’ve also found myself remembering friends lost, either from distance or death, and in some way, copying what they wrote into my blog. It’s a way that they can speak to me again and I can remember them.
I’ve also picked up a new app on my iPhone and iPad called Drafts from Agile Tortoise. So far I’ve used it here and there and I won’t have a good idea as to how indispensable it is until I’ve had a chance to really use it in-depth.
I’m finally done with my Mountain Lion demos at work. Last week was lost to me as I was doing 9, 11, and 1:30 demos for my coworkers to get them up to speed with the new operating system that they will be using. I took attendance and then crossed it against the staff list and discovered that the only people to miss my demo had a good reason as they were sick with influenza – except for one. One singular one without an excuse. Alas, with a 99% reach without the sick, I think it went quite well. The demo itself was just a cover of the 200-new-features-of-Mountain-Lion from Apple’s website where I demoed some of the new things that Apple was bringing. Some of the hits to Mountain Lion that I could see from the responses was the Dictation system, that we could use Millennium in Firefox on our Macs without having to schlep into Windows via VirtualBox, and the new way of automatically mounting network shares for users once they login.
It’s funny that I still have holdouts who consider Windows better than Mac in my midst here in the office. Each to their own and they are entitled to their opinions of course, but it is rather entertaining for me to hear them pine for sunnier days when they were using Windows XP or Windows 7. I even fielded a question of Windows 8, which because we don’t have a box with a Microsoft sticker on it, we can’t get the “University” price of $10 for a copy of Windows 8, we have to pay the full-scale price of $149 or so to get it. Since I already downloaded, installed, evaluated, and then degaussed my consumer evaluation copy of Windows 8 almost a year ago I can say without hesitation that $149 for Windows 8 is a waste of money. In fact, any money is a waste of money for Windows 8.
This past weekend while we were out and about we stopped by Best Buy, which was unnaturally busy – turns out they were trying to goose the locals with a replay of their “black friday deals” at the end of January. So in we went. Best Buy has the unfortunate desperation that K-Mart had before they collapsed. Nobody was shopping, the store was full of junk nobody wanted and the stuff they did want was available online for cheaper and didn’t require exposure to the obnoxious blue-shirts getting in the way. Best Buy had lots of different computers on display and they had a big one from HP I think that featured Windows 8 running on it. The display touted itself as touchable and so I stepped up and gave it a shot. The computer was just at the right level for me to really get irritated quickly with the setup, not actually high enough for me to comfortably manipulate the screen or the keyboard by just standing up next to the machine, but I wasn’t expecting much actually so I filed my annoyance away for that. As I started swiping and poking I found my way into an instance of Internet Explorer. Each time I went to that app it played a fanfare and I started stabbing my finger against the mute icon trying to silence it and then I found myself unable to navigate away from it. What I was able to do, with great effectiveness was reload that annoying fanfare noise over and over again. I accidentally brought up the sideboard controls on the right side that didn’t make any sense to me and I tried all the gestures that I thought would work. I tried swiping from the sides, then I tried pinching, pawing, swiping from the middle, going from side to side, up and down, down and up – nothing. That isn’t exactly true, I was able to reload that site each time I muted it, so at least I was able to do something even if it wasn’t something I wanted to do. As I stood there battling with this annoying as hell computer there was a blueshirt and another customer talking about not wanting to buy something he’d regret and whether or not it was junk or not just a few feet from me. As I struggled with Windows 8 I couldn’t restrain myself and started to get angrier and more expressive as I struggled with the damn thing. After a few minutes in I started cussing and swearing at the computer declaring in a voice that everyone who knows me would recognize: “God Damn This Piece of Crap! It’s JUNK!” and then I grabbed my sides and laughed and pointed at it and walked away. I noticed that the fellow talking to the blueshirt noticed my issues and walked away and I like the idea of the blueshirt giving me the stink eye, but I didn’t look to check. I don’t care so much about blueshirts, really.
So my professional evaluation of Windows 8? What’s the point? I don’t have to list its pros or cons, I don’t even have to describe anything that might be engaging about it because there isn’t. It’s awful and horrible and nasty. It’s confusing, and because Microsoft can’t innovate like Apple can, and that they can’t duplicate the gestures that Apple has created for their devices which has conditioned me to interact with touch devices, it’s all a lost cause. Windows 8 is going to be a huge botch. It may be that Windows 8 finally kills Microsoft as I can’t see this albatross of an operating system succeeding. Microsoft used to have a lock on the entire computer segment with end-to-end provision – you’d start with a Microsoft operating system, you’d use Microsoft Office to do your job, and it was always Microsoft behind the scenes touching everything. Microsoft fell asleep and Apple snuck in and is doing a far better job of it than Microsoft ever could. It won’t be too long now and then we’ll see news items talking about how Microsoft is floundering and how their market share is shrinking. The hallmarks for this are already in the air, as Dell is on the fast-track to nowhere all on its own. I can’t say that makes me unhappy to see that awful company go down the drain. Both of them, Dell and Microsoft, buh-bye. It entertains me deeply to see how Microsoft may invest in the companies that will be the private holding firms that catch Dell before Dell drops between the cracks and disappears. Failure suits Michael Dell, almost as much as Steve Ballmer.
It won’t be too long until Best Buy dies as well. That’s the other side of the coin after all. Microsoft and Dell flagging in the manufacturing space, leaving nothing but worthless Asus, Lenovo, and wretched Samsung in their wake. It doesn’t help that Best Buy is panicking as they drown, trying to burst out tentacles to keep ahold of customers any way they can. Black Friday deals that never end (which is just price-matching Pricewatch.com and won’t end well for Best Buy) and endless emails with effusive emotional outbursts about how much Best Buy values me as a customer. There is touching and then there is desperate. There’s a soft touch and then there’s the tentacles of Sarlaac. Oh well, K-Mart, Best Buy. K-Mart.
So back to work, uncorking the folly of the previous week. Lets hope this week can stand on its own feet and not need a walker to make it to Friday. I’ve got three-quarters of a bottle of Jamesons. It will have to last!