Bombastic Bunny

A blog about how things suck and how a smart person like me could fix them.

Netbooks are a Stupid Compromise, and Should Be Bigger.

31st of March, 2009

And by bigger I mean with 13” screens and regular sized keyboards.

Here is my mockup.

A mockup of a 13 inch netbook, fashioned after a MacBook Air

But first, let me digress into a history of netbooks and how it all happened. We need to understand this to figure out how, in a world of cheap LCDs, we ended up with a form factor so ridiculous.

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The 2009 iPod\iPhone Lineup

22nd of September, 2008

A bunch of Multi-Touch nanos.

The 2008 iPods are adequate. I would have liked the classic to be replaced with a iPod touch w\ hard drive. But I don’t think it’s time for a touch-screen nano yet, and the nano 4G is a nice evolution of the original mini.

Anyway, in the interests of predicting the future, I’ve decided what 2009 should bring. All new iPods would get a music sharing feature (ideally free with no restrictions, realistically like the Zune) and would bundle those newfangled headphones with volume control. The clickwheel is phased out entirely, and the iPod line is simplified to the shuffle, nano and a new “deluxe” model that basically replaces the classic. The touch, which is a retarded half-measure product, is discontinued.

Read on for the mockups.

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iPhone App and Firmware Ideas

28th of August, 2008

Apple's cute SDK icon

Who loves iPhone app and feature ideas? I do! I thought I’d write up a blog post about some. A few are mundane but have unique implementation details I haven’t seen elsewhere, and some are completely unusual and hopefully clever. I’ve provided mockups, mostly unaided by Interface Builder, so forgive occasional sloppiness. Anyway, let’s begin with the dullest of the dull:

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The Perfect Headset

28th of March, 2008

Motorola HS820 Bluetooth Headset

No, it’s not the one to the right.

Headsets, headphones, and handsfree devices have sucked through the ages and it’s high time someone did it properly. It appears that in this age of Bluetooth and A2DP, we are stuck with the following bad ideas:

The Bluetooth headset

This seems the most ubiquitous. It’s the type that attaches to one ear, is small, convenient, sounds terrible and makes you look like a prick. They aren’t too bad I SUPPOSE, but they are so dorky, somewhat unstable, and are useless for music. A headset should do voice AND music. So it’s out.

Sorry, Jawbone. There’s more, though:

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How the Playstation 3 Took Over the World: A recap

15th of January, 2008

Playstation 3 PlayTV system

This is a short recap article on how in only about 7 or 8 months Sony have actually done a lot of the things I wanted them to do in my little article about the ideal PS3 media centre, written in March. In the last month or two, a lot of these ideas have come to fruition, amazingly!

I believe that right now, the PS3 is the best thing anyone with a HDTV could buy. It provides all your viewable and listenable content, except TV (but as we’ll see, there’s something for that too!) I think Sony are doing a good job positioning the PS3 as a media playing device, and I wish they would market this with more panache, as currently nobody really cares about it.

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Ways OS X Could Be Better

31st of December, 2007

The Totally Brand New Leopard Desktop

“Maybbe apple need a time machine so they can tell them selfs not to b so lame”

I think this wonderful Engadget comment captures the zeitgeist of the morning of June 11, where Steve Jobs gave the boringest WWDC address I have ever seen. To recap:

Doesn’t quite compare to the Intel announcement, the theatrical death of OS 9, or even Leopard’s semi-underwhelming introduction last year, does it? Unless you’re a hopeless Apple apologist. Even still, when I bitch in chatrooms and message boards about how OS X sucks and we should expect better, people still say “WELL WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT THEM TO CHANGE ANYWAY??” As a result, I have come up with a bunch of ideas that can be seen as a mixture of what Leopard should have been and what new OS Xes should bring. Since Leopard’s ship has sailed, I will bill it as my featureset for 10.6 Liger.

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A New Mac Lineup

8th of August, 2007

Introducing another iMac Mockup.

Apple has neglected its Macs for a long time. Think about it. When was the last time the iMac got a significant (non-spec-based) update? 2004. Their lower end laptops? 2001. Higher end? 2003. Years and years for some of these models. In this blog posting I want to outline what I think should be done about it.

I write this two hours before an Apple event in which Steve Jobs is expected to show a new iMac. My guess is that it’ll have an uninspired design that mimics the Cinema Displays, with some specs boosted and pricing reshuffles, and at least one braindead move (my guess is a 2.5” HD for the sake of thinness.) It is this event that has inspired me to post something that’ll either look really smart in two hours or really obsolete and stupid. We’ll see!

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The Sony Clié UX50

28th of June, 2007

A Sony Clié UX50 Browsing Soaringrabbit.com

This is a blog post I feel compelled to write, but I’m not entirely sure why. The UX50 kinda seems like that to me - it’s a compelling thing, but it’s ultimately pretty pointless and I don’t nearly have enough to say about it as I thought I would. I’m not even sure what the UX50 represents - is it the end product of unbridled technological fetishism gone wrong? Is it a “convergent” device that almost got it right? Would it be better if it was updated and sold again today? All of these questions I’m unsure about, but I feel it’d be an interesting topic to explore on this blog which is usually full of my opinions on how to make things better. For this one I’m not sure.

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So so.

15th of June, 2007

Sakura making a fairly mesmerising expression

So I realised every second entry on this page starts with so. So I’ll stop that.

Anyway, (Anyway is a lot more sophisticated), I guess this moment signifies the official opening of what used to be a secret blog thing! I’m still not totally comfy with Wordpress yet, so forgive some sloppiness with the custom template I made.

The main thing I want to say here is that this blog is totally open for anyone to read now, and don’t feel bad commenting on months-old stuff. This blog is primarily a repository for what other people might more formally call “essays”, so don’t think I’m all about up to the minute reports on anything. Why, my next entry is about a four year old PDA.

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How the Playstation 3 Could Take Over the World

29th of March, 2007

Playstation 3 XMB Interface

Without playing games.

Well, that helps. But after watching the Apple TV come out and having a fair idea of what Microsoft are trying to get at with Windows MCE and Xbox 360, I think Sony are in a good position to sweep them all away, if they do some work with the firmware, make some deals and maybe put out a hardware box or two. I’ve written out some ideas in two sections, small and large ideas. I don’t think Sony would necessarily succeed if they did all this, but they sure would make people sit up and take notice.

Small stuff

These aren’t groundbreaking, but if Sony did all this the PS3 would be more and more appealing to those who want it to be a do-everything entertainment centre. Nobody does this perfectly yet, and I don’t think Apple ever will, so why not go for it?

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Riiiidge Racerrr!

26th of February, 2007

That Picture of Kaz Hirai Engadget used to use a lot

Before you ask, it was the one that costs $499 US Dollars, and yes, it wasn’t hard to get. But I like it. Veronica bought a Playstation 3 on my command\advice when she was in New York (I think) as we both wanted to play some PS2 games, we wanted to try the new Sonic the Hedgehog game, and we knew that if she brought it to Australia we could probably eBay it for about as much as we paid. I decided that it’s so particularly interesting as a piece of gadgetry that I should write about it, as I think it’s pretty cool really.

The Setup

Firstly, this bastard was a pain to get going. To begin with, it’s pretty big, though the box isn’t a crate or whatever. We set it up in my room, on my desk, but encountered just a few problems. Firstly, it didn’t like my 240v->120v stepdown power convertor that I use for my Japanese Dreamcast, instead beeping with anguish when I pressed the “on” button. I did some research and read some labels, and I soon noticed.. my converter was rated for 30W, but the PS3 wanted more like… uh.. 400W. That’s right - while the Dreamcast is hungry for 20W of power, the Gamecube about 40 and my iMac about 180W (With screen!), the PS3 wanted as much as a high powered gaming computer. Well! I then ordered a 500W stepdown converter from eBay ($90 AUD!) which is already bigger than a Wii by itself, but it supplied ample power for the damn thing and it finally turned on.. with no picture.

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iChat 4.0

16th of January, 2007

iChat logo

So, iChat. I personally think it’s the greatest instant messaging client out there, bar none. It achieves this great sense of simplicity and integration with the rest of OS X and has so many smart ideas in it.

For those of you not in the know, it’s often ignored on the OS X platform in favour of Adium, a multi-network free IM app specifically for the Mac, without the audio\video features but with more comprehensive IM-related features. I believe Adium and iChat are perfect examples of the difference between corporate and open-source UI design ideas. Both are polished and nice, but Adium overflows with features and buttons and choices, while iChat restricts you to what Apple thought was best. In my mind, iChat wins out overwhemingly as far as user experience goes, and it has done so many more innovative things with even rudimentary UI features like “tabs”: In iChat 4.0 (Leopard iChat) you get this slick sidebar that’s far more informative and usable than the plain Adium draggable tabs.

Anyway, since this is one of my favourite applications that seems to get all the fundmentals “right”, I have some ideas on how to make it perfect.

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Airport TV: An Improved Apple TV

14th of January, 2007

Airport TV header

I really think the Apple TV fails it. Do I think that it’s a bad idea in general for Apple to make a TV product, though? No way, I think they could do it well, and they’re almost there - the implementation is just wrong. Instead of making a weird custom Mac mini, they should be looking to make an Airport Express successor. I called it Airport TV here.

So what’s this Airport TV idea? Why is it different? Well, Airport TV has no hard drive, it has no IR port, it is not an ordinary AV component and it is not super expensive. Airport TV is $129, and it does a few things differently.

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Macworld ‘07 Reflections

13th of January, 2007

Apple iPhone

“Opinion of the event largely hinges on the iPhone and if it’s released. I expect reaction to be positive from people who enjoy shiny Apple gadgets, and negative from Mac developers who wanted more from Leopard.”

Hey, how good am I?

Alright, I was surprised that there were no Mac announcements at all. But overall, I really enjoyed this keynote and think the iPhone carried things along just fine. It was a lot better than I had expected in terms of being an innovative gadget with a really great interface.

Well, maybe we did get a small Mac announcement. There was a revamped Airport Extreme, which is no longer beautiful, keeps the stupid name, but happily adds future-proof 802.11n support and lets you use the USB port for sharing hard drives. How cool is that? I’ll use it for Time Machine later. Too bad about the $180 price, though.

Anyway, on to the important stuff.

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Macworld ‘07, or, Why Leopard and iPhone Will Suck

6th of January, 2007

MacWorld Expo logo

So, MacWorld approaches, a bit over 3 days from the point I’m writing this. As per my predictions post last year, I will try to give my ideas on what Apple will do next week. It looks like my predictions for last year were pretty good, just a bit early - maybe what I write today will be the same.

So far only one thing has been confirmed due to leaks - ThinkSecret leaked an image of the new spreadsheet app for iWork, which I think looks pretty cool (pinstripes ^___^) and should hopefully be a decent Excel replacement for basic users. There’s huge anticipation but nothing definite about an iPhone, and the rest seems down to conjecture (Leopard ideas, iTV ideas, iPod video, whatever.)

I’ll write this in sections for each piece of software or hardware involved. I’ll follow up on what I got right and wrong in the blog entry following this one.

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Vista Is a Great Operating System.

3rd of January, 2007

Windows Vista logo

This was originally written on the 10th of September, 2006 as a forum post on #lemonade. I’m putting it here to build up content and also because it might be somewhat interesting to some people. Some things have been revised.

so i herd vista lieks macs now. I decided to download Windows Vista RC1 build 5600 and give it a shot, and I came out very impressed. It was running on an iMac Core Duo 2ghz, Radeon X1600 Mobile graphics, 1gb RAM.

In summary, Vista is not very buggy and glitchy at all, fixes a lot of things that needed fixing, adds a lot of neat new programs\functionality, and looks pretty good while doing it. It is clearly an important upgrade that you should all start thinking about as it really is worth installing - while I know a lot of people are gonna say “XP UNTIL I DIE!!” on its release, I get the feeling these people will convert quicker than the “98\2000 UNTIL I DIE!!” people did on XP’s release, as it really is a big leap forward.

So the main desktop and general experience

It’s quite fast, and looks pretty good. I do question some of the decisions like to use translucency heavily, but it is at least not that bothersome. System startup is really slick, you see this pretty animated glowing Windows logo, things fade into place, it’s a nice experience starting up and shutting down (though it should be noted, sometimes it took forever to shut down and had to be forced off.

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God Damn You Mr. Wordpress

3rd of January, 2007

Godzilla getting busy

So I decided to make this blog thing.

Yeah, pretty egotistical and kind of a waste of time but I don’t really have any reliable place to express my ideas about computery things, and aren’t weblogs good places to do that? I certainly can’t be bothered to make a new web page a la my Opera page for every new thing that comes to my mind, so expect things here that are along the lines of ideas for computer software and hardware, with a heavy slant towards Apple and Opera stuff, as those are the companies I think have the most potential to make great things.

I’m starting this early January 2007, just a bit before Macworld so I’ll post a few things related to that in the next few days after a padding post regarding Vista. I’d love comments if people would like to make them. I guess we’ll see how it goes. But for now, Godzilla.

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That’s it! There is no pagination on this blog, the last entry on this page was the first to be written.