Monday, March 27, 2006

Fixing Windows

Sorry about this post taking so long to get out, but I spent much longer than I would've preferred on my Physics homework to get the A I needed on it (every cushion to brace my test grades count). Anyway, I didn't want to talk about Microsoft two days in a row, but this is really the best thing to talk about right now (I'm also still a day away from being caught up with my tech podcasts). It turns out that change was sparked within the company: Steven Sinofsky will be taking over for Brian Valentine on future versions of Windows, but no word yet on whether the latter will be fired or just demoted. Not sure if this comes from Gates, who's probably too rich to care anymore, but at least they responded to internal voices. The interesting part is that Sinofsky is actually all for the perpetual beta strategy as made popular by Google: habitually keep a product in beta while adding new features from a base version until it's actually ready for release rather than shipping one lump sum a number of years later with nothing new in the meantime. This kind of beta has ruffled some feathers among the CS community because it violates the project cycle as we've come to know and love it, but if it works then I don't see why not try it out. It would be worse for M$ to continue on this path rather than to try something new like the perpetual beta in addition to real-time focus groups (their nod to Live). Something I've neglected, unfortunately, to take into consideration is that each version of Windows carries the baggage of "legacy" versions so that old software is compatible with it, which Apple does not do in Mac OS X with OS 9 (or anything older than 9 for that matter) because they completely overhauled the OS (read: fixed up NeXT's OS) to keep it leaner and less buggy, which would explain their shorter release cycles. I suppose that Microsoft will have to bank on Sinofsky doing great things to fix Windows, though I'm not sure he can do much about support legacy software (not to say that he can't fix other important issues, because I hope he can).

Did you ever wonder why Intel-based Macs can't run Windows-based software? Well one reason is clearly the way that OS X maps inputs and outputs and such (i.e. the way it glues software to hardware), but a bigger issue is their Mach-O executable format, and someone has finally explicated how it actually works, which has puzzled me for about 5 months now. Many of the things are similar to how binary files are created in general, but the load commands and dynamic linker are kind of different. It's a good bookmark for anyone involved in cross-platform development (or planning on it ever). Someone participating in the beta for Gmail for domains snuck a couple of screenshots from it, and it looks pretty much like what you'd expect for it. Still, everyone likes a good inside scoop. BusinessWeek is resounding the thoughts of many techies about the next generation DVD format wars: they're going to go badly because consumers are going to be totally confused and this issue of trying to circumvent all piracy is going to be prohibitive. You'd think that with all this planning that Sony and Toshiba would've learned some more sense in designing an entirely new format. Lastly, visitors of a full-scale Apple store (i.e. not just a dinky mall outlet) will appreciate this article about its patented glass staircase.

Click to enlargeI've been one of the few sticking up for Daniel Craig as being James Bond, and seeing this picture (among other new ones out today) has made me really question his image as 007 as he looks so awkward holding those two hotties. If he doesn't ooze confidence and suaveness then he shouldn't be there, plain and simple. It appears that another bad idea was a sequel to Ice Age, according to a couple of reviews over at AICN. If those don't deter you though, IGN has a couple of new clips. They also have a featurette for MI:3 about JJ Abrams, who is probably my number one reason for wanting to see this movie. If you like Alias or Lost then you're probably an unknowing fan of his also. AICN also has a review for Bandidas, and it sounds like what I expected: just a fun buddy-action/comedy movie riddled with plot holes. The catch is that they put two super hot chicks in the mix. AICN also received a script review for Tarantino's portion of Grind House called Death Proof, and it's not too positive, but that doesn't surprise me. His movies typically don't bring people together with regard to whether they're great or not, and who knows if the reviewer even realizes what Tarantino is paying an homage to.

Now for some Monday Madness:

1. Do you use a bag/sachel/wallet?
I use a wallet, because a bag (or European Carry-All) would look pretty gay or metrosexual on a guy, and I'm neither. I don't really need a whole bag either. The most I'll carry in small luggage on any given day (not including supplies/binders/books for school) are my wallet, cell phone, keys, chapstick, and digital camera (and that's only for when I know I'll use it that day).

2. Do you use the same bag/sachel/wallet everyday or change depending on your outfit?
I love my leather Fossil wallet because it was a gift from a very good friend of mine and it's quite soft (though getting more and more worn, I'm afraid), so I just use that always. I do keep another wallet though at my place as kind of a bank with some extra cash (if my money was organized as computer memory, my wallet to wear would be the cache, the home wallet would be the main memory, and the bank would be secondary storage).

3. What do you carry in your bag/sachel/wallet?
My money, insurance information, driver's license, UT ID, credit card, debit card, birth certificate (artifact from before my license), and voter's registration card. I also keep a couple of small coupons (notably, Pluckers wings).

4. Do you check and change the contents of your bag/sachel/wallet before you go anywhere specific or do you take everything everywhere?
I just add more money as I need it, but will sometimes carry a coin purse if I know change can be used since I have all this change I want to use (but I don't have a Coinstar near me).

5. How often do you have a good clean out of your bag/sachel/wallet?
Not nearly often enough.

Post time was really closer to 1AM, but I wanted it to fall under Monday since it is a Monday post.

1 comment:

[Mat] said...

hey congrats on the dj part :)