Musing on Android Wear Thursday, 26 June 2014  
I have a Galaxy Gear 1 watch. I consider it to be a great gadget - I became comfortable flashing the "null_" ROM on it, and the fact that I can "adb" to talk to the device of USB is great. I dont like Android - simply because its a bastardised Linux kernel. I somewhat refuse to use Eclipse to create apps or edit files, when CRiSP serves all my needs. The lack of a proper shell is a real nuisance. The built in shell, and lack of root/su is really a two finger exercise to the people who pay for these products. (This includes all Android phones and tablets).

OTOH, I love the freedom of Android compared to the Apple products; I love Samsungs multi-window mode - I just wish Apple and Google would wake up to adding real features I want, rather than rejiggling the Setup menus on each release, and preventing me from either deleting or removing the built in apps. There are more and more Google apps, and I have a hard time telling what they do and try to avoid them. (Not all of them, but the "we know what you want - HERE YOU ARE!" is annoying; Apple and Microsoft are no different).

But I am talking about watches. Not long after the Galaxy Gear 1 came out was the Tizen based Galaxy Gear 2 (or whatever Samsung want to call it). A really good way to destroy customer loyalty by confusing and diluting the market. Fortunately, you can put Tizen on to the Gear 1 (see xda-forums - brilliant site). I dont know *why* I would want to do that; and a few months later (i.e. now), we have Android Wear. I feel I have walked into a department store and am trying to choose from the 300 brands of soap!

The Galaxy Gear 1 is great - fairly robust; let down by amateurish software and user interface (why do I get to choose from "white" or "orange" text? What happened to the other 2^24-2 colors?)

But heres the kicker. Because it has to be charged daily, I have to take it off at night. And, in the morning, I forget to put it on. (I have my old watch for night time - it has a luminous dial; having a watch blind you with a searchlight brightness everytime you move your arm, meant it lasted about 2mins in bed). So - I am a "loyal" or eager person for these devices.

But the silly design means I forget to take it with me. That is worse than forgetting your phone; if you leave your phone at home, you know it very quickly into your work day. So you just dont do it. But, leaving the watch behind - well, sorry, but that is flawed marketing.

All because it cannot last 24h of use.

The new Android range from LG, Samsung and Motorola look great - options at reasonable prices with high spec hardware (although varying screen resolutions). I see many complain of the price (which is lower than the silly extortionate price Samsung wanted when the Gear 1 originally came out).

Oh well...

I see Apple are finally going to come out with a phone with 128GB of storage! Yippee! I waited 5+y for that to happen, and now I can have 144GB or 160GB of flash at less than half the price Apple will charge for their device. I think Apple missed the boat.

It is very relaxing to use Android and use a variety of mechanisms to copy files to the devices, vs the sole use of iTunes. And even in iOS 7, the video player looks to be written by a child - totally unusable; totally ignoring playlists; a horrible interface for deleting videos. Unrecognizable icons.

I fear that computing has now peaked. The new generation of software is rapidly worse than the prior releases of software, simply because "change is good".

Posted at 22:50:42 by fox | Permalink
  Corrections... Wednesday, 04 June 2014  
I wrote the other day that I had solved the silly "Cannot run gmail in firefox cookie problem". Alas, I was wrong. I have to give credit to google here. There is no way that they would allow this problem to be fixed or fixable or provide a useful or informative message about the true problem.

I believe I know the true problem, and I am really impressed how such a technically gifted company can do this to their users. Well done Google.

On another correction or update note. I asked about how many function calls vs function exits exist in any program, and how they are not even close to the same. I mentioned that inlining can confuse the scenario - this is true. But equally, tail-function calls which get optimised into JMP instructions account for a potentially large bulk of the deficit. It would be possible to unoptimise the tail calls to get more accurate accounting, but I am not so bothered at present. It is a problem that needs solving to create accurate and bounded stack traces of an application.

Posted at 23:25:42 by fox | Permalink