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I have been giving this a lot of thought: instead of web-logging about myself, which doesn’t exactly project a lot of value, (well, I do personally benefit in terms of recording a diary, but I am thinking about the benefits for everyone) perhaps I should focus on the topic of technology & usability instead.

Maybe I’m there.

There are plenty of things out there that are concocted and convoluted with a little bit of everything: layers and layers of complexity overshadowing our views and observations. Perhaps it’s time for that analysis. The not so obvious ones will come out. The subtle will be revealed.

Come and understand technology in a different way – in a perspective that we also understand ourselves a little better and connect with our values even more.

That sounds like a worthier way to spend some time on.

Computing Goes Mobile

When Apple claimed “we love music” as they first introduced the iPod, little did we know an underlining strategy behind the new Apple.

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A crude plot of Apple products by weight. Static computing to mobile computing.

From Macs to iPods, a major defining moment in moving towards mobile device strategy is the load-shedding of weight and a carefully chosen function: playing music.

Although “playing music” has only a small fraction of correlation with computing, the idea that you can bring the entire collection in your pocket (such mobility!) was at the core of this new strategy. A tightly integrated hardware & software company can always add more functions later as demonstrated with the introduction of iPhone several years later.

Laptops for a while have been the standard bearers of “mobile computing” but perhaps they were not mobile enough. The next level of mobility was going to be “pocketable” device

It's not a new concept. Portable music players have been around for many years but they are certainly not usable enough and pocketable enough. Apple took the leap and focused on improving these 2 key elements.

I think I'll write about this (mobility) more & explore what the future will hold.

Mobility is roughly = f (function, weight, size, battery life)

Attending Emerson’s Operational Benefits Seminar

Attended the Emerson Operational Benefits seminar with Hazwan. 1 whole day. Arrived early and chatted with Rosley. Bumped into Hizwan, Ira (formerly Emerson) and my former senior Husni Raof.

The lunch was pretty good. Le Meridien at KL Sentral. The Emerson folks were not as friendly as I expected they would be. They all sat at their own table and didn’t really mingle with customers and potential customers. Too bad.

And that’s the thing too: they saw us as customers. Not users.

Felt about missing the interface meeting. I returned home straight away anyway. Waited for wife at the hospital lobby.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance Training

Confused between whether I should go for a training at Prince Hotel (First Aid) or RCM (Reliability-Centered Maintenance) at Convention Center. After a clarification or two, I finally settled for the latter.

The PF-curve is a profound concept. It basically alerts us to do something about an equipment before further degradation occurs. Every engineer who works on Equipment Strategy must know PF-curves like the back of their hands.

Food at Ten On Call was really good. The training was also awesome. Somehow my former supervisor was around the top floor of the convention center and my current boss & I greeted him. It was awkward a little but hey, that’s life. Also ran into Kam & Tahir… Imran as well. Came to know about Khairi Y. also leaving the ExxonMobil camp. Hmm. What else is new?

Returned to Sg. Merab & ironed my shirt for tomorrow. Phew.

Data Rescue Software Works!

I was helping out dad with Data Rescue software the whole day. Managed to rescue 95% of the photos accidentally deleted. Cool software!

Logo looks a lot like Chevrolet’s.

Went to Friday prayer with Ayoh & Adik. Although we were quite successful with Data Rescue, we didn’t have as much luck with synchronization software. The Nokia phone was simply behind time.

My first generation iPhone reached 3 years

On 28 February 2011, my first generation Apple iPhone reached 3 years old.

With only a slight degradation in its battery life, it continues to serve me very well. The screen is still as bright. The touch screen is still as responsive.

Money well spent.

Why I No Longer Use Blackberry

I have officially left the Blackberry world. Haven’t missed all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. But I personally think that RIM has developed the phone & its ecosystem with some inherent weaknesses:

1.Endless settings. You can set every push notification, text, & calls to a gigantic combination of vibrations, clicks, sounds, tones, and so on. This is no longer the 80s where all pushbuttons on the starship have so many different colors, sounds, for every different operators! User don’t invest their time configuring this all that much. Pick a few simple ones and move on.

2. The Mean Number of Clicks between Main Menu and Function. It’s quite baffling if it takes many steps before the phone computes the actual function. For instance, I usually need to bring up an additional menu to act on something that I already selected. This means, for a two-step access, I now need 3 actions to get there. Every step in a mobile phone is one step too long.

3. Functionality & contents of apps. I’ll put it this way: software is more flexible than hardware. I was struggling to get more apps and functionality out of the phone. More cool stuff please… where are the developers?

If you can cope up with the above, by all means, it is a great smartphone! Stay with it.

In order for RIM to hold the fort, this is what I think the existing strengths that they should focus on:

1. Push Notification. This is the single most powerful concept that RIM has brought into the smartphone world. It’s less intrusive than alarms but more annoying than in-app notifications. The key is to get this right is the balance between being informative & annoying.

2. Blackberry Messenger. Uniting Blackberry users! If you have data connection anyway, this is a heaven for those who prefer texting, saving you from the expensive (to users) small-cost high-margin revenue of SMSes to Telcos. Telcos should be quaking in their boots with the rise of direct messenger service in between users through the data plan.

3. GPS. It doesn’t matter if it’s only real time 2D dot on a Google Map – I just found this feature very, very useful in planning & modifying a journey.

What’s your experience with Blackberry devices?

Nokia & Microsoft Announce Partnership using Apple’s iMovie

This video clip basically announces the partnership of Nokia & Microsoft.

And this video tells us about Apple announcing its first unibody MacBook Pro.

The background song is called “Pendulum”, a loop that’s provided in Apple‘s iMovie. So when Nokia & Microsoft wanted to introduce their partnership, they turned to Apple.

That’s like the stagehands, camera crew & actors in an Adidas commercial caught wearing Nike apparels.

Go figure.

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Dell Adamo Flops

I don’t have anything against Dell. I just think that the brand is highly overrated.

What’s more amusing is the level of review it was getting: the moment Adamo was announced, some so-called experts immediately tout it as the MacBook Air killer.

By Nov 2010, Dell Adamo is discontinued.

Then they released Adamo XPS.

I have a simple question for ya: how do you place this on your lap?

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