10 October 2014

more keyboard redesigns from lenovo

lenovo has had a history of screwing with keyboard layouts on their products. from thinkpads back as far as the T40 series, they have moved and shuffled keys around for the sake of the rest of their machines’ designs.

i recall glenn making a comment about his thinkpad because the escape key was placed above the F1 key. for a programmer running linux (and using vi), pressing the escape key is a regular occurrence. it’s maddening to get the help screen every time you reach up to exit insert mode!

there have been several lenovo laptops i’ve skipped over because the keyboard layout is non-standard.

and here is another example of this case: the new lenovo yoga 3. first, let’s look at a keyboard from the yoga 2, which follows a standard layout:

lenovo yoga 2 keyboard

see how the row of function keys are above the number keys and the tildé/accent key is above the tab key? that’s important. now, look at what they’ve done to their latest laptop keyboard:

lenovo yoga 3 keyboard

they have moved the tildé/accent key to the other side of the keyboard! they eliminated the whole function key row. i can already predict how my keyboarding experience would be on this laptop!

but perhaps i’m not seeing this as lenovo sees it. perhaps they don’t intend to market it to programmers or people who use that key in that spot often. given that they completely removed the function key row, non-techies seem to be more the audience for this device.

and it won’t matter anyway. lenovo will have yet another and different keyboard design next laptop line they introduce.

08 October 2014

android L preview apps: starbucks, google, and others not ready

looks like i might have written too soon. the starbucks app which now actually gets me into my card so that I can pay does not allow me to refresh to check my current balance. i can’t really complain, since i can at least still pay for my drinks with the app. and i can always go online if i need to check my balance in real time. the app will, however, let me load my card, and i can still see my rewards.

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but the starbucks app isn’t the only one not working. i’ve had several of google’s own apps crash at various points on my android L preview. the my maps app, one i tried to use on a recent trip, started but failed to function properly. the photos app (which now seems to be a function of the google+ app) crashes when trying to build auto awesome movies with captured video. the google music app refuses to connect to the internet to stream tunes with the latest update (at this writing). also amazon’s ability to stream prime video to devices seems to start playing the video but then crashes.

the point of a preview is to give the companies time to get these things worked out. but the one company i am most confused about getting working apps with android L preview is google. i mean, they are making them all android L ready. shouldn’t they be working with android L? and it’s not like i have a one-off device. i’m on a stock nexus 5.

maybe i’m being too picky. the android L becomes no longer just a preview in a few weeks. with all these little crashes all over the place, i’m more than excited for the release of android L!

05 October 2014

nyc again

when i redecorated my house last year, i took a painting off the wall behind my sofa. i needed to replace it with something other than the painting since it no longer matched. what i really wanted was a good shot of new york city.

my trip to the big apple in 2010 didn’t include any i could use, i booked a trip back up north. (i had wanted to have come back ever since my initial visit.)

because my purpose was primarily photography, i did not plan for shows. i scheduled some extended time on top of rockefeller center. morning sunrise and evening sunset provided enough for the shots i was looking.

all of the photos in this post were taken with my nexus 5:

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last time i was here, i didn’t actually visit the statue of liberty. i got some tickets this time too. i think it would be worth visiting the island if you can make the climb up to the crown, bit you have to book those tickets well in advance (which i failed to do). and it was raining most of the morning. i stayed on the island long enough for the clouds to clear and get a few snaps.

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the ticket also included ellis island. because i was hungry and my legs were hurting (a little), i didn’t read the whole museum. many of the artifacts were still in preservation since hurricane sandy caused serious problems. i would like to return when i was less pressed for time and the items were no longer in storage. by the time i was ready to leave, the clouds had broken enough to get more pictures of the city from another angle.

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two other things i didn’t really get to do last time here was eat pizza at two places i heard were some of the best. (i know that is a highly subjective statement, but…eh.) i ate at grimaldi’s and lombardi’s. both were very good pies. can’t beat new york style pizza.

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one bonus shot was of james earl jones leaving an off-broadway theatre after one of his shows. i was headed back to my hotel on the first night when the crowd was waiting outside. that was fun.




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nexus 5 photo of my canon 70d display

oh, one note: although i didn’t plan for shows, i did try to catch a taping of jimmy fallon and the tonight show, but i didn’t get tickets in time. turns out it was dane cook as the guest, so i didn’t feel so bad for not getting tickets.

i wish i could have made it a three full-day visit. there were a few more things i would like to have seen. i did get to eat street-vendor food.

there will be another trip.