Tuesday, July 27, 2010


5 reasons not to buy an iPad:
  1. No rich text editing with Safari (no google docs, no blogger, etc.) Huh? Why not? Pathetic.
  2. Apple doesn't allow other music players (I want WinAmp.)
  3. Web-browsing is slow. Don't expect the speeds/convenience of a desktop/laptop
  4. No find text in web-page
  5. Can't delete default apps (who's going to use iPod, iTunes, etc.?)
5 reasons to buy an iPad:
  1. Say goodbye to RSI
  2. There are some great games that use the new UI really well (e.g. Osmos, Labyrinth 2, Train Controller 2). Even old games are great (Civ Rev, Wesnoth)
  3. Reading with GoodReader, iBooks or Kindle is very good. I think I'm transitioning away from physical books.
  4. The device syncs perfectly with your gmail, calendar and contacts.
  5. There are some excellent apps (DropBox, IM+, GoodReader, Table of Elements, Desktop Connect, AirVideo etc.)
I realise that people go on about not having Flash, no camera, no USB, no multi-tasking etc. but none of those things bother me. I'm not even sure I'll bother jailbreaking the iPad. I just don't care.

As it is, I can play games, read, surf the web, instant message, and send email all really well. That's excellent.

As a word, the iPad is "very good." It really is a totally new type of computer. Fix those issues above (all could be done in a single update) and I could do pretty much all I want on it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Car smash bike

A friend of mine was hit by a car this morning while bike riding. When I talked to them, they didn’t sound like someone who’d been in a traffic accident, they sounded like a victim of a physical assault. Putting contemporary cultural and legal idealisms aside, that’s what someone is doing when they smash you with 1.5-2 tonnes, GBH. The offender often takes on the role of the assailant too; anger, blame, fear of being caught/punished, etc. We might be cultured to believe that this is an accident, but reality always seems to push that aside while it is happening.

I’ve never hit anyone while driving a car, but I know what it’s like to be hit.

First is the terror. The terror are the moments of evaluation; will this kill me, wheel-chair me, brake my bones, or bruise and wound me. It’s not always obvious what the outcome will be once you realise you’re going to be hit. One time I imagined my death, other times I’ve known that this is just going to hurt... a lot... for weeks.

Second is the fall and the roll. Thankfully, this is fairly automatic. You’re still terrified at this point.

Third is the ground. The sweet ground. Not moving. Awaiting. You’re going to be okay. The terror has gone.

Fourth is the pain. When it comes - and it will come - it’s always worse than you first imagine it will be. I don’t know why.

Fifth is the fear. Not wanting to ride on roads again. Avoiding any situation that requires a car driver to act rationally. The worst thing about this state is that it eventually goes away.

(Some people skip steps two and three when they fall unconscious. But they know the terror. Some people skip all of these steps.)

I hope my friend gets better soon. It’s a horrible experience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ToolTips and ShowDuration

This took me a while to figure out, so I thought I'd mention it for others searching. If you want to set a global ToolTip show duration in WPF, you can do it for each type of control as a style in the XAML file. E.g.

<Style TargetType="Label">
<Setter Property="ToolTipService.ShowDuration" Value="120000" />

This means that for the Window, all the Label ToolTips will remain for two minutes.

If you want good looking ToolTips, go here.