It's all about looks

Vista is all about details

Reviewers of Vista always focus on the same thing, the graphical changes of the user interface that aero provides, the new security features (including the UAP that, quite frankly isn't that annoying) or maybe some of the other big changes made to Windows. But have you noticed the details, there are a lot of them spread around the OS and it will make your work a lot smoother without you ever even noticing them.Here are just a few of them found in the file handling:In XP, if you copy a file, say foobar.txt to the same directory you will get a file named Copy of foobar.txt. Normally not a big problem but when you have a long list of files it ends up somewhere along the files on C or in the bottom of the list. In Vista you will get a file named foobar - Copy.txt. And it drops down just beside the old fobar.txt in a sorted list. In fact all filename prefixes are now more or less suffixes. It goes for the shortcuts as well resulting in fobar.txt - Shortcut.Reading some of the error messages, it's evident that they try to show you a way of solving the problem, not just reporting it. Try to rename the foobar - Copy.txt to foobar.txt (there should already be one there). Now it politely asks if it's ok to rename to foobar (2).txt and explains that there are already a file named fobar.txt.When you copy catalogs or a bunch of files and there are a conflict with one of the files you cancel the copy in XP, and end up with half copied content with not much way of knowing what has been copied or not (besides comparing 354 files). This is much smarter in Vista as you can ignore the problem but continue with the other files. Conflicts can be handled one by one or in one go with the option to do that for the rest of the x conflicts.Have you ever dragged and dropped files from one folder to another and ended up starting an app? Or dropping it in a subfolder? Now it's easier to find a spot between listed files with the drop cursor. Speaking of the file list, you can select a file all the way out to the last column, were talking Fitt’s here.By the way, Fitt's has been improved on the desktop icons as well - Instead of just a small invisible frame outside the icon, as in XP, you get a big square to land on, not just the visible icon. And for visibility, hovering over it will display the square for you, enhancing the visibility.There are lots of these small improvements that aren't noticed, and shouldn't be noticed, the less you notice them the better the implementation. What you notice is that you don't miss when you click on icons on the desktop any more. You don't end up searching for that Copy of... file anymore.

Smarter hardware and more power

 I want smarter hardware! I want more functionality added to the feature list. I want more code, more memory and faster micro processors added to my hardware!What? You say. Have you gone mad? Didn't you get upset about all hardware that fails around you in the last post?Well, I did. And I'm still mad, but when I can’t stop the flood of upgrades coming out. Why not put it to good use? Hear me out on this:The next hard drive I buy don't have to be bigger. Use the doubled capacity smarter. Make sure I don't lose anything when the drive fails on me. Add functionality to the controller to monitor the disk better, keeping it cool enough, and safe enough.The next router/access point, use the faster processors and extended memory not to pump data faster but more reliable. Don't lock up on me when anything goes wrong, use the feature space for monitoring, failover and stability.And SonyEricsson, for god's sake, lose the connectors you are using right now. We need something more _reliable_. Instead of adding features make sure that those there work and can be found in a natural way. Don't just push the lates feature to the top so people find it. I don't want my phone to freeze up as soon as I try to load an iCal file that has something you didn't expect. Be graceful and explain what did go wring and offer to solve it.More power to the people!

Failing hardware

What is it with hardware right now? It seems to be failing all around me. First out, I wasn't able to charge my mobile, not a new problem with SonyEricsson phones with its ridiculously flimsy bottom connector. But hey, let´s try the USB connector, it can charge. Well as long as I can get the crappy connector to stay in place it charges.Then the next thing that failed was my router/access point, after some restarts, crash recoveries and firmware upgrades it works again, sort of. But it was nearly driving me crazy.Finally, my external hard drive started to act funny (well actually not funny at all) and reported CRC failures. One thing about hard drives and CRC, it's not good. After hours of recovery and painfully slow transfers I managed to save most of the stuff. But why, without any kind of warning?And by the way, I'm not particular harsh on my hardware. Au contrary, I'm really careful with my stuff.

Up and running again

My ISP decided to upgrade to .NET 2.0. So they did. Actually I had been given notice but as long as my mail is ok it's not that critical. Anyway, it turns out dasBlog was unable to run on .NET 2.0 out of the box. Not even the tweaks and fixes I found around the net were able to help me. It turns out that upgrading to 2.0 also meant tighten security and dasBlog needs full trust to execute, not medium. And no, the <trust level="Full" originUrl=""/> solution didn't do the trick either, as this was something I wasn't allowed to tamper with.I had nearly given up and it seems that dasBlog is slowly dying; it may be that it never makes it to .NET 2.0. However, that’s when I found ThinkJot. ThinkJot is dasBlog for .NET 2.0. A lot of, mostly unused functionality, has been stripped and it now runs in medium trust. It's not as it sparkling of development effort (nothing new since December 2005) but at least is operational again.