Monday, September 30, 2019

Interesting. I post to my blog often enough that Shortcuts shows the create a post link in “Shortcuts from Your Apps”. If I run this from the home screen widget it works great: but going “Hey, Siri: Captain’s Log Supplemental”, I just get a blank tab referencing handoff.
Behind the Scenes: Improving the Tag Experience for Evernote on Mobile

Kinda like where this is going. With my switch from Android to iOS, tags suddenly become less part of the pie rather than one of the largest pieces.

As a 90% interface, I find that the main win for Evernote is the raw performance the iPad begins to the table. Instead of sighing and waiting, it’s more like waiting for animations to finish than waiting on data to load. But beyond that I’d say it feels a bit lack luster, like it takes the worst of the Android UI and glosses it over with iOS conventions.

On the flip side they make it easier to print or export notes outside the app (yippee ki yay) and you can do some fancy formatting by entering a set of symbols that auto convert to rich text stuff, that I don’t think is supported on Android.

So yes, improvements are welcomed 😊
Start Trek: The Excelsior Is The Greatest Ship, Not The Enterprise

Personally, I’ve felt that the Excelsior class was a bit overrated, and the Miranda class much overworked. But I think this makes a good point.

The work horses of the fleet prior to Wolf 359 decimated Star Fleet, were mostly late 23rd century designs like the above and stop gaps on the way to later Enterprises. There’s actually a lot of good reasons for that, both in world and in terms of producing a television show back then.

Actually, when I think about it: the notion of giving Kirk an Excelsior class makes perfect sense. The NCC-2000 already had a Captain and crew by the time Scotty stuffed up the pipes, but presumably the design wouldn’t be going to waste and it takes time to build a star ship. Renaming another Constitution refit the Enterprise-A is more expeditious and political IMHO.

That said of all the starships to bear the name Enterprise, the A is my favorite.
Micro Center's flash drives might not be the most sexy performing drives ever to grace USB, and personally, I think their memory cards are better. But in terms of the cheapest there is, I've owned worse.

Plus when there's a coupon for a free one, you've got my attention, lol.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2 x64 (UWP) (C) 2007-2018 hiyohiyo
                          Crystal Dew World : https://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

   Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) :    32.740 MB/s
  Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) :     9.412 MB/s
  Random Read 4KiB (Q=  8,T= 8) :     4.671 MB/s [   1140.4 IOPS]
 Random Write 4KiB (Q=  8,T= 8) :     0.003 MB/s [      0.7 IOPS]
  Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) :     4.665 MB/s [   1138.9 IOPS]
 Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) :     0.001 MB/s [      0.2 IOPS]
  Random Read 4KiB (Q=  1,T= 1) :     4.438 MB/s [   1083.5 IOPS]
 Random Write 4KiB (Q=  1,T= 1) :     0.004 MB/s [      1.0 IOPS]

  Test : 1024 MiB [F: 0.0% (0.0/28.9 GiB)] (x5)  [Interval=5 sec]
  Date : 2019/09/30 18:53:36
    OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 18362] (x64)
  

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Family time: also known as the canine couch sprawl.



When the local definition of the weather is “Hot as hell”, and the feeling of baking in the sun’s rays both feel good and off home, I can’t help but blame it on growing up in Florida.

Coming from a place like southern Florida kinda leaves you with a permanently damaged sense of temperature, lol
Crunchyroll Announces Fall 2019 Anime Lineup!

Hmm, sounds like this fall will be more than a few fantasy series to watch.

Given how much they’ve been pushing content in various languages, usually dubs, it’s kind of nice to see the announcement is being made available in multiple languages. As opposed to native English and that’s all.
Ya know, I've never really cared about multimedia shortcuts on my keyboards.

As I sit here with my music player to one side and an Evernote window to the other, I'm kinda glad that my keyboard has a play/pause button. It makes transcribing the lyrics to a song much easier, lol.
About a year ago, I came across an interesting hybrid game called Omni Link; combining space combat, exploration, and far more importantly a good story. Much to my surprise it also had a couple of great songs to go with the journey across space.

My review on Steam was quite positive:

At first I thought, "Huh, this feels just like asteroids!" when I got to the helm. But it's so much more than that.
Omni Link is more of an RPG / VN hybrid with action in a vein similar to Asteroids for the space combat. You can explore and travel the star systems, but interactions are mostly combative or story driven. It's fun but the story is where it is really at.
I greatly enjoyed the story. Good times between Keb, Arcadia, and Dawn. Malthus livens things up quite a bit. Suzumi's rescue was especially good for the soul. All in all, I probably enjoyed the story more than I would have going to see a movie for the same price tag.
Music is freaking great. Honestly my favourite part is the sound track--I wish there was an add-on with the vocal tracks and some concept art.
Art is very well done. I love the intermixing of comicbook/manga style panels here and there, and the CGs that are scattered across the game are wonderful. Some of the moments are especially great such as the hug and the cowlick scene.
Action as previously said reminds me of Asteroids. Augmenting that however is your fleet. As you pilot the main ship, Dawn takes care of your support ships and they are quite effective. Meanwhile you can morph into whichever one you like for direct control agains the enemy: allowing you to be the quick scout, the gunboat, etc and delegate the other roles to the A.I. backing you up.
Towards the more typical VN parts things are a bit more sparse. Saving only can happen outside of the VN portions. No gallary, screenshots don't seem to work, etc. But it gets the job done. More focused on the space combat parts of the UI than providing an interface like renpy. No real complaints because the story is excellent.
/* Also Steam client needs to add a spell checker :'( */

I use vndb to track and remember the visual novels that I play, and there are not very many that I rate towards the top of the voting scaleOmni Link is one of the few I voted 9/10. Which pretty much means great victory on the story front.

One of the perks of using Steam is the ability to follow a game, and hope that someday a news post is made if updates or new projects occur. When I heard the developer was working on a new project called Crypterion: it didn't take long to add it to my wishlist.

Later on, when the Kickstarter project was announced, I was very tempted. Never been a fan of backing crowd funded projects, but given how much I enjoyed Omni Link: the odds are in my favour that fun shall be had. Hearing that there were still some CDs in existence from Omni Link's own crowdfunding, I rather went from "Remember to do that" to "Where's the sign up button", lol.

Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed the game's main themes, particularly the song "Love is Pretend". Pretty sure that a transcription of the lyrics is going to end up in one of my notebooks somewhere.

Today, happily this arrived in the post box:



This CD shall be going in a nice safe space :).


Actually, this kinda makes me glad that I still have plenty of hardware that can play CDs, and don't have to power on an old PlayStation, lol.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Rule of Acquisition 286, when Morn leaves, it's all over.

If I ran a bar, and Morn left without being forced to, I’d probably announce doomsday as well.
https://youtu.be/jFACcujmdE4

In all the years prior to getting a laptop, or hell before adapting fancier than vim methods of typing notes—I wonder how the - to + thing never occurred to me.

Generally speaking, if I tended to take more free form transient notes, I’d probably adapt the rest of that method to my notes. Typically my work notes revolve around pen driven swipe typing, and my home notes on handwriting to text conversion. Getting just quick unconverted handwriting usually means that I’m stuck in a meeting or footing it between server racks.
Bug: noun: when you slide a notification to the side with a Pencil, and tapping clear launches Apple Notes instead of clearing the notification.

On the flip side, 13.1 -> 13.1.1 has made iPad OS feel less like a buggy mess in the name of selling stuff. Also, I am likely more of a stylus using whore than most at the fruit company.
Willow was so comfortable that I had to take a picture, and disturb her comfy with some attraction.



Misty was more perturbed that I didn’t make a food offering along with the attention, lol.


20 great uses for an old Android device

I have to admit: that intercom idea is pretty neat.  Not that it’s appropriate for my life situation at this time, lol.
45 Dad Jokes That Are Actually Funny

Unsure if funny or sense of humor just getting old.
When leftovers and time to use stuff up collide, sometimes you make delicious.


The tilapia had been in my freezer a bit, and I already had a plan involving an onion and some peppers in need of using up. The leftover baked broccoli and the rice/black beans proved to be convenient, and heat up almost as fast as fish bakes.


Willow of course is disappointed the broccoli was facing her instead of the fish, lol. She’s more likely to attempt stealing fish then probably anything else, and usually behaves very well about looking without attempting theft.

Misty: “Pick me up human, you know that you must.”

The look she gave when I commented to Willow, about how glad I am she climbs up herself, I know better than to share.

In pretty sure that I was repaid in dog farts after that....

Somewhat sad thoughts about the fate of a great tablet

Possible use cases for the great Scarlett:

  1. An overpowered picture frame; home or office.
  2. Mount it on the pantry door for quick shopping list / music control.
  3. World’s most feature packed house clock.

These are all good ideas, if a touch sad considering it’s a great device aside from the cracked screen.
I find out kind of odd, I’ve almost always read on a tablet in landscape if I was reading for a prolonged period. Yet settling in for an afternoon of reading, I find self happiest in landscape.

Wide screen 10” form factor has never been my bag. The 16:10 typically found is just crap in portrait, and out approximates a form that was really meant for landscape video. Now the 7” and 8” tablets I’ve owned were different stories: despite the meh aspect ratio they’re usually sizes on par with a paperback. In fact I’d say the old “Thor” model HDX 7 was about the perfect size for reading.

Standard 9.7” on the other hand is like the perfect all purpose form factor, thanks to the greater squareness of the 4:3 aspect. Thus I’d still read novels in portrait mode and do everything else in landscape or portrait as I prefer.

The standard 11” of the iPad Pro, I’m finding it easier to focus on reading in landscape mode. Conveniently it creates a very book like pages side by side effect on the perspective. Much like how you might focus on an open book.

Kinda odd to me because of how similar the sizes are. Nerine’s screen is the size of Scarlett; such that if you just put bezels around the Tab S3 and make the screen that much bigger, you’ve essentially got the iPad Pro 11 right there. That is to say, it’s what happens if you take the most perfect multi purpose  size and blow it up about as big as you can make a tablet that’s going to be used often with one hand but most frequently with two hands.

Anyhow, back to my book 😜.

Misty: “How dare you suggest I should jump on the couch myself. Come on, human, you know that you want to pick me up.”
The Girl With The Guitar

Some relaxing music to go with the book reading and dog slobber.
Iffy UI: Sort -> “By collections” to see how you’ve organized your books.

Good UI: long touching a collection and being able to download them all at once.

Yep, I knew there was something that I liked about the Kindle app.

The downside to talking about books

Ahh, nuts. The downside to talking about books is when you find yourself torn about what to read.

I don't really re-read books very often. My long term memory tends to be better than most, despite my short term memory being more like reading a password, swivelling my chair, and having already forgotten it, lol. The things that stick in my memory tend to stick very long in my memory. When I re-read a book it tends to be because I'm starting to find specific details harder to remember.

Two good ideas for re-reading come to mind. Well, technically three but that's a horse of a different color.

One is Speaker for the Dead and Ender's Game. I first came across Ender's game about a decade ago, and rather enjoyed that how it portrayed its children's way of problem solving reflected my own childhood and peers. What really stuck with me about Ender's childhood though was the side story of his siblings. The books were written at a point where for most people, the concept of usenet and BBS's would have been foreign. Yet their activities as Locke and Demosthenes fortel of a world like my own where things like Facebook, blogs, and comments on news sites had become part of our real life. Plus there's the fact that the ending screw, was pretty spectacular; Ender's fate is far from returning home to a ticker tape parade.

The real draw for me however was Speaker. It's dialog heavy with its drama and mystery as we're integrated into Novinha's family and the community on Lusitania. How Ender has coped with being forced into genocide and the excellent characters, rather than cardboard we're presented with are a pleasure. But what's really stuck with me is the piggies truly are an alien species different from our own, one which makes a strong contrast along side the Buggers and humanity. While most critters populating science fiction are enough like us, the Pequenios are very much "Xeno"-- aliens, strangers. And I really liked that. The series' concept of utlaenning, fraemling, ramen, and varelse is particularly fitting to that tale, pretty much: those close to us, those familiar to us, and what the heck are you?


Second on my temptation is S.A. Hunt's The Outlaw King trilogy. Can't recall if I first came across it by the recommendation of folks on Google Plus, or through a Humble book bundle I bought. But I remember it as good stuff. The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree helped splice me into it: interesting characters, a nice setting (I like watching westerns), and a fantasy world that makes you wonder how it came into being. I think by the time I finished Law of the Wolf, my response to Ten Thousand Devils was "Shuddup and take my money!". I had come expecting pulp fiction and found enough depth that it left me wishing for more.


Third is Dune, but I know rather than revisit that old friend, I should pick up where I left off at in Messiah some years back. I think I've read Dune at least twice in the past twenty years, maybe even three times. It remains one of my favourite books. Also among the few that I have both a physical copy and an electronic copy.

For a long time, Dune was a curious film. One night when I was a kid, I watched maybe half of it with my mother. It's probably a poor selection for a late night movie when you consider the cut was about three hours long, and you probably need to watch the film twice to understand it. But I enjoyed it.

Quite a few years later, my mother lent me her copy of the book, and when I saw how many appendices full of information about the world there were: I knew that I was going to enjoy the book. And then I realized the film cut out at least half of the content, in fact you're probably getting just the most vital ~30% of it when you watch the '84 film. That's when I came to understand what the word abridgement meant.

Friday, September 27, 2019

I was a little sad to call it bedtime, causing a move of comfy tribemates.


As usual, Willow was very comfy.


A little unsure at settling in but Misty was happy to swipe my spot.


Willow's out like a light but Misty worries she may need to return my spot.
Watching Star Trek: First Contact for the first time in a year or two, and I’m reminded that it’s probably the only great next generation film.

Compared to what went before, it’s also quite pleasing to the eye how the time and budget let them reimagine the ships for the big screen. I remember in one of the art books, the designer of the Enterprise-E has commented they had Cadillacs for starships, and he wanted to build a Porsche. Yep, I’d say he pulled it off, lol.

It’s also pretty great how Zefram Cochran and Lilly fits into things. Which also reminds me of a later comment from Archer, that suggested Cochran kinda shaped up to deal with history, except for that one time he got really, really drunk and started talking crazy πŸ˜€.
Yep, Willow is a smart one. She’s all comfy, lol.


Apple’s usage of Swift more than double in iOS 13

And part of me has to wonder if this is a large contributor to why the leap from 12 -> 13 basically changes the obvious bug count to effectively zero, to I may need to start counting with a second set of fingers.

The worst culprit ironically, has been Messages—especially when used with slide over and floating keyboard.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Over the past week, I’ve generally followed a rule: Scarlett, my Tab S3 shouldn’t be routine. Hurdles and bugs aside, Nerine the iPad has pretty much been a success.

Apple’s remarks about performance have been relatively accurate IMHO. If you buy good stuff and run it into the ground, the Pros are damned powerful; if you buy cheap shit than odds are the basic iPad is still faster. My systems range between Core i5 and Celeron/Pentium processors from the Ivy Bridge and Braswell era. Basically really good and really cheap shit πŸ˜›. Hardware has been very top notch.

Software, well if you are used to a traditional computer: I’d say that Android will feel more familiar than iOS/iPadOS the further off the beaten path you go. But at least thanks to iOS 13: I no longer feel like a Bluetooth keyboard is the only way to type a lot, so much as how to type punctuation heavy text or to input and edit text at a very high rate.

From the prospect of an iPad replacing my main computer, it’s been pretty swell overall. The fact that Android has pretty much filled that role since 4.2~4.4, and before that supplemented my main computer since 3.x, it’s also safe to say that I’m not normal.

For a long time now, I’ve had no qualms about leaving my laptop behind in favor of my Android tablet. If I was going to spend a lot of time compiling or expected to need to VPN with the office then I’d consider lugging my development beast along. Other wise I’d rock Android and save like four pounds 🀣.

Seems an iPad can replace my Android tablet well enough, in the ways that matter. Which means that it can also replace my laptop for whenever the development beast isn’t required, nor my desktop’s monster GTX.

Actually given the performance A12X has been providing, I don’t think I want to study how powerful the GPU is.
https://apps.apple.com/us/story/id1310534920

Interesting, having played and greatly enjoyed Life is Strange on my Xbox One, this tempts me to try it on my iPad.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Happiness or sleepiness, I’m going to say both πŸ˜„


Convincing Willow that if I let her eat the whole bag of treats, she wouldn't be able to walk, it's kind of hard to decide if the incredulous look on her face says "And then you'd call me fat!?" or "You mean, the bag is really that full!?!?"

Yes, you don't want to know how many treats she gets.
Annoying differences in culture, or slow points of progress.

Android land:

  1. Copy files over network to Pictures/Wall Papers
  2. Launch set wall paper thingy.

iOS land:
  1. Copy files over...fuck that's slow.
  2. Copy files over USB...gah still slow.
  3. Well fuck.
  4. Okay, Photos has no idea of how to import from my USB drive.
  5. Jack in to desktop.
  6. Launch iTunes.
  7. How the fuck do you make this music player push files to applications again?
  8. Clicks little iPad icon that's not the obvious one.
  9. Where the heck is it?
  10. Google it and find directions that are out of date.
  11. Screw it. *click Photos*, *drag and drop shit*. Nope that don't work either.
  12. Files -> On My iPad -> Wall Papers/.... -> share -> save image.
  13. Yeah, fuck if I'm doing that ~1,700 more times!
  14. Launch set wall paper thingy.
That's just the short version of things I tried, being a stranger in a foreign land. Of my various attempts it's hard to decide if I feel more trapped by the '90s or the '00s. So let's just say it's unlikely I will bother to change my iPad's wall papers very often (tm).

Also while I give kudos for being able to select multiple files and actually share them, *cough* save to the photos app, I would not recommend trying to select several hundred at a time and then tap share. You'll just end up swiping the process away a few times.


Android's nature of making defined shared places to stuff shit, and API hooks for Applications to resolve those is pretty intuitive to a nerd like me. Likewise the idea of making an application's private files not usable dickable, rather attractive for many reasons.

iTunes, if you can find the right screen, pretty much lets you explore an what private files an application choose to allow or means of importing/exporting things they (probably) think of as a database. Which owes to the tradition of not having any real concept of shared storage that multiple applications can monitor. But it's better than not being able to touch anything at all.


The only real forgiveness I have for these concepts, is once upon a time the bane of my existence was the amount of people that couldn't double click a file after downloading it from a web page. Countless games were held up for hours because of the challenge of launching a map installer. I had kind of came to grips with the concept of a file somewhere between DOS 3 and Windows 98. So as counter intuitive as something like iTunes feels to me versus a file system, I do recognize if you can't tell the difference between a mouse and a floppy disk, it's probably easier to use iTunes' model.

Or as I like to remember, remove choices, because most of us give up faster than I do 8=).
Thus far, I’m liking iPad OS 13.1 pretty well.

Here’s to hoping some future 14 or 13.x version makes the swipey typy stuff work when the system keyboard is in iPad mode rather than floating iPhone mode.

Can’t say that I’d mind if hover support was added to the Pencil, since being able to do mouse hover like goodness was a really sweet aspect of using Samsung’s S-Pen. But considering that is based off stuff that Android UI has had, like for freaking ever, and iOS is still pretty rudimentary about mouse support, probably won’t be any time soon.

Really, the keyboard part is what things livable for me versus iOS 12; the other changes are mostly goodies like not needing a third party file manager. Having to use the floating mode to type the way in used to isn’t how I’d like it to be, since it requires greater precision but I can live with it more than I can without it. To quote an old Toby Kieth line, “I ain't as good once was,
But I'm as good once, as I ever was.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/09/24/apple-ios-13-iphone-11-pro-max-upgrade-keyboard-problem-iphone-xs-max-xr-update/

Passing thought: Apple says this and no one cares. Someone reports installing application’s you should know better than to compromise Android, and everyone loses their mind.

I’m only half kidding, lol
The kind of welcome I get around here:



Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Reasons to be sad or glad: when browser benchmarks on your tablet tend to be 40~60 % more awesome than on your desktop.

As the Core i5-3570K ages, Centuari’s claim to fame points to the ample amount of memory installed and that its old ass 780 GTX card is both a beast, and probably draws more power at power on than many people’s computers... but that machine’s primary task is Direct3D gaming not surfing or compiling.

iPadOS is a definite improvement

Initial thoughts on iOS 13.1, iPad flavor.

My number one beef with text editing is resolved. Which is to say: it’s now more like an Android drag and drop cursor instead of a dinky 3.5” screen. The whole zoom and drag thing made more sense on the ridiculously tiny screen size than modern iPhone and pretty much any iPad size screen. Combined with the drag and drop centric nature of Apple things, this may be better than Android because of how free roaming it has become. Sadly you can’t drag and drop it with the Pencil πŸ˜”.

My number one beef with text input is only resolved if you use the floating keyboard. You can’t do swipe / glide style typing with the normal keyboard: you’ve got to set it to the funky floating view that has a more phone like layout. I’d prefer the freedom to choose whichever my task rather than having to go with floating just to be able to swipe words at my normal speed.

Blogger’s side bar for entering labels is now less buggy than Chrome for Android, which was about as glitchy as mobile Safari. So I’m thrilled with that!

I was already happy with Safari. Most people will be quite happy now that masquerading as an Intel based Mac is the default. The only time it should really make a decent at this point is with web applications like Google Docs that use pretty different stuff if you appear as a mobile browser. Me, I just feel saddened that it doesn’t masquerade as an ARM based Mac, and that those don’t technically exist. To be fair, I’d rather have iOS or Android than Mac OS on Macintosh form factors.

Interestingly, you can configure Safari to download files to a shared / connected server, but not storage providers like the usual cloud storage apps. I wonder if that’s a matter of implementing some interface or if Files uses something private or ACL based for that.

Using the Files app pretty much leaps from being the most rudimentary tools to being pretty complete. Zip file handling is more focused on the case where we pack and unpack small bundles of files than when we want to see what is in something from other people. General file management is pretty solid if you remember how much Apple likes long touch with pop up and context menus.

Connecting to my file server was easy peasy. Entered the server name, cream, and my login and it connected pretty instantly and seems to treat it as first class as internal storage. No discovery like you would expect from more mature software, and no need to fully qualify the address (e.g. cream.home) or stoop to entering the IP like bare bones software. I’m perfectly happy because it works great and I know the name of my server!

And it’ll probably be another ten years before I think the launcher has stopped sucking. But I’ll take the option of more smaller icons and whether or not I want widgets on a slide in rather than fixed position.
A difference in printing:

Android:

  1. Office printer too old. Use third party app.
  2. Configure printer.
  3. Just works(tm).
  4. Open file from cloud storage.
  5. Save as new file to cloud storage.
  6. Go print -> select this printer from OS print dialog.


iOS:

  1. Office printer too old. Use third party app.
  2. Configure printer.
  3. Test page is binary.
  4. Fuck it, i"ll just use LInux.


Debian:

  1. CUPS does everything.
  2. Download file from cloud storage.
  3. Edit file and save as new file.
  4. Upload new file.
  5. Print.

It's not very often that I print at work but there are usually two use cases. One is I sometimes have to print out Excel files as part of getting paid. The other is I sometimes need to print out my notes for sharing, either by paper or PDF.

For the most part, looks like printing from the iPad is not going to be a thing. Where as my Android was actually my least effort way to print stuff.

On the flip side, iOS apps more often offer the option to print shit than Android ones. For example, Evernote has a print option in its menus for iOS but on Android, you need to go through a browser or get a machine with any other client app.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Google Play Pass bundles 350 Android games and apps for $4.99 per month.

I find it kinda interesting how the trends have been leaning with the subscription concept. The real need for folks to make a profit is usually what drives decisions; most on the other side of the coin want a decent experience, and if you’re lucky would actually pay something.

Right now, we have a reasonably successful subscription model offered on Xbox. Google and Apple are both launching game subscriptions for their platforms. I’d sign up in a heartbeat if Valve offered a good one for Steam.

To me, personally I think its a great idea.

Over in more serious gaming land, most of the revenue model seems to be focused on sales early in the game release cycle. After a while, being in a subscription package is probably a way for publishers to gain more revenue not less. How well that translates into mobile, I do wonder.

Generally I’ve long since stopped caring about Android gaming. There’s good potential there but short of something Android powered and as universally successful as a PlayStation or Xbox, it’ll never become the gaming platform I’d like to see; read enough it to keep a Window license laying around. But more than a few people play games on their phones and tablets, whether or not the games are crappy or spectacular, there’s plenty of players.
Well, I can at least say Hey, Siri does the one thing I use OK, Google for.

My typical use case is something like this: “OK, Google: remind me at 17:30 to do laundry.” For a long time now my main beef has been that marking things done from the notification never works. Which bloats anything that displays reminders. Of late even trying to save a reminder has sucked: either the save button just because spins and saves it, or I answer the voice feedback and instead of saving the reminder it converts my answer into a web search. Glory of updates I expect.

When you consider my phone is an Android One device running on Fi, and this crap has been going on long enough that I’ve finally stopped using the feature a few weeks ago, it doesn’t bode well. Weeks of the voice thing, months of the spiny save button, and years of no concept of done. Kinda fed up.

“Hey, Siri: remind me at 17:30 to do laundry.”
It actually saved the thing.
The notification opened a reminders app and made me check it done.
Oh, wow it’s actually working!

SMH.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

It’s probably funny that of all the software that I use on my Androids, Chrome is the least likely to be following me over to iPad OS.

As a web browser, Safari meets my needs pretty darn well. Although to be fair, so did Microsoft ‘s Edge on NT, so I’m probably nuts πŸ€ͺ.

Bringing Chrome along wouldn’t really net me much benefit, aside from syncing my browser history across devices. I don’t really use bookmarks anymore, after being a first rate bookmark whore most of my life. History wise, I’m less concerned because of how my usages tend to vary: bench machine at work is where most of the history I care about recording happens, and good luck getting a version of Safari for GNU/Linux, lol.
comfy as can be

As time has gone on, my definition of success is being able to be fat, dumb, and happy for a while.


Qapla‘
Corky, snuggling up next to my tablet.



Passing thought: in a more perfect world, Apple's AirDrop and Microsoft's Nearby Sharing would probably have some kind of interoperability. 'Cuz at this point: why not?

For most of the rest of us used to heterogeneous more than homogeneous environments, these were never going to be our solutions to the problem anyway. But I find it kinda funny how that works, which is usually incompatibile solutions to the same problem and hardly a standard between them.

Despite how typical solutions work out, I'm also kinda glad for the flexibility. My first choice for solving this for a very, very, very long time now has generally been network file shares, be it between peers or my own file server. With the passing of time the options have only grown, and the amount of devices that call for cables or cursing the lack of Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Direct have shrunk.

It's probably funny that I consider e-mailing myself the lowest, most insulting way to move a file around but I'll actually Bluetooth a file without a quip. I'm strange.
I find it kinda curious how things work.

Traditionally, if you had a PC or a Mac: you operated on blind trust. Well, almost blind trust if you had faith in antivirus software. But by in large the architecture of these systems let your software do anything you can, so there isn't a gap between you uploading a file to Google Drive and some random time-waster uploading your super-secret.docx file to someone else's server. That's just how far the security architecture got by the time Unix and NT came into existence.

More modern platforms that rose up around touch screened phones aim for tighter security. Typically applications get strongly isolated from each other instead of being peers on par with the user, and restrictive access to your hardware instead of equal to yours. That's been real progress IMHO, and one of the things that I really like about Android.

Digging into iOS, I also find it kind of curious how this works out.

iOS seems to take a more shrouded approach to what applications can request, in favour of focusing your attention on what they are doing. You can view some top level data about what applications can touch, based on the privacy settings group. Which largely amounts to hardware features like your camera and common personal data like your contacts. Not so a technical view such as a friendly one. Trying to STFW about the perms apps have access yields rather different experiences if you swap the words iOS and Android around. So in the end, you're really trusting Apple far more than the application, IMHO. On the upside, it's easier for Apple to push patches to devices than pretty much anyone can push to anything Android based in practice.


Android on the other hand traditionally required applications to state their permissions in advance when the user installs the application. Thus the trust lays between you and the developer with a sort of contract like transaction. The move to runtime permission twiddling in Android 6 is a lot more like the current experience on iOS, and I assume adapted from what Apple was already doing at the time or had been planning. But it's easy to tell what an app can do, and all the more possible to look up online what permissions exist. No perms to access your camera? Then it can't. A little Google-fu and you can get a list of what apps can ask for, and grok at it to draw your own conclusions.

In the end though it still boils down to trust. Does a flashlight need access to your contacts or detailed location? Probably not :P. Do you trust Apple or Google to keep an eye on things? Well, if not there's always a flip phone.


At least modern operating systems aren't as really nilly as DOS and the old Mac system software was, in letting apps have total control over the hardware. Because let's face it, most programmer's aren't super genius about every aspect of your system.
Making a brief foray into iOS games, ironically begins with RΓ©publique.

It's been quite a while since the game came out (2013 - 2016) but it's quite nice to see the graphics quality. Scrolling through the app store, there were three real reasons I opted to play: more serious gameplay than I'll usually go for on touchscreens, far larger than your average app (~3.2G), and should show whether or not the GPU on this thing is worth while.

Beyond that, I'd say try the game 😜

I also found it kind of funny, the selection of banned books you can find laying around. More than a few are recommendations from family and friends over the years, and for better or worse ones I haven't gotten around to reading, lol.
One thing I’ve observed is that iOS seems to prefer what your doing and expeditiously updating stuff rather than staying in constant sync.



Which I imagine is thanks to the history that iOS has, back when background sync largely meant go buy a DROID and the size of iPhone batteries over the years.

Personally, I think that makes things like photo upload less dependable but overall I prefer battery life. Normally I’ll put my tablet on charge when I go to bed; don’t think my iPad has tasted charging cable since I unplugged it Friday morning. Plus it had to recharge ~1/3 of my Pencil on Saturday.

Current charge level is when I’ll seek my charger during the day.
Pretty much my greatest worry with the iPad migration has been whether or not I’d simply lose my mind in the transition. First few hours were borderline headaches trying to absorb the system quickly, but that comes naturally with such migrations.

Thus far, I’ve been able to use it without going crazy. Now that most stuff is moved over, I’ve made it about two days with it filling in as my primary device and I’m still sane, and haven’t wanted to pitch the device out a window even once. Pretty good signs.

Friday, I opted to leave Scarlet the Tab S3 home and bring Nerine the iPad along. This worked out the way I expected. Only real interruptions to my work flow was not being able to swipe words with the stylus, which arrives in the end of the month release if you don’t want to mess with third party keyboards. Second is not having my Exchange account setup, which is simply solved when I get off my arse.

Friday night and Saturday was more like tablet life as usual, and iOS seems up to that well enough. Really does help that most of the apps I rely on target both platforms. Face unlock also has wide enough a sensor range that I don’t have to lean very far to unlock it at my work bench, and most times it has failed at home involved a dog in the way, lol.

Overall I think that this is going to work. Versus someone finding me mumbling in the corner or half catatonic with rage.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Mysteries of iOS:

Added Pluspora to my home screen, and this opens stand alone with no real browser UI and its own multitasking entry. Reminds me of what Chrome used to do.

Added Blogger to my home screen, and this just launches Safari with the appropriate tab being created. Like any normal web page.
When indignation turns to comfort.




The look of indignation makes me think the bribe, I mean pretzel stick, wasn’t  enough treat.
If Misty was a highway dog, she’d be very “Your life or your muffin” about it. And now I’ve got a Johnny Cash song in my head.


Friday, September 20, 2019

Not sure if getting old, or just learning from comfy doggos about early naps.




Aslo, I'm pretty sure that used to be my bed...
As I begin to settle into my main machine running iOS, these are the Android apps I'll really miss big time.

Beyond that, pretty much everything I use tends to be cross platform. Much like how most of the desktop apps I use, compile and run on both Linux and NT: most of the apps I use run on both Android and iOS. Many of them are also similar enough that the deltas are local convention, much like how Windows and *nix builds often relocate where editing application settings go in their menu bars.

But of course there are a few Android apps that I'll miss, because they aren't cross platform.

Aqua Mail


There's not many mail clients that I like. In fact the next in line are the Berkeley mail program and the Mutt, both of which run in unix terminals; one of which could still be used on a teletypewriter with paper in place of a display So it's safe to say most mail clients are kind of meh in my eyes, and I've used a lot of them since the '90s.

Aqua Mail on the other hand is a superb client. Between how well it runs on my Tab S3 and my Chromebook, I wish I could transplant the damned thing to my Linux and NT machines as well. Be it my personal e-mail accounts or business accounts, it's become the gold standard in my sending e-mail.

FolderSync Pro


The cornerstone of managing my wallpaper collection for a long time has been FolderSync Pro. Over time it's great abilities to pretty much file sync anything to anything else have been pretty awesome.

Each of my Android devices have at least three jobs.

  1. Every night, move photos to my file server under Camera Uploads/{Host name}.
  2. Every week, sync my interal storage to my file server under Backups/{Host name}/Internal.
  3. Every month, sync Pictures/Wall Papers with the master in my cloud drive of choice.

Combined with alternate methods of syncing my photos offsite, FolderSync Pro basically makes it so I have to worry more about powering on my file server after a power break than I do about my device's local files.

Photo Wall FX


Been using this so long that I don't even want to check the receipt. Nor do I want to see when it was last updated, it's kinda orphanware now. Over the years, I've amassed a lot of wall papers. The way I have my Androids rotate between them at random is Photo Wall FX. In addition to that simple goal, it's generally been good about scaling and cropping the wide variety of images to fit my screens.

I've actually been worrying a bit, how the lack of updates and quirks with Android's evolution interact. When Google stops allowing old-ass apps on new-ass devices this would be the first one I'd notice gone.

ArtFlow Studio


When it comes to drawing with my S-Pen, I end up in ArtFlow. It's the most full featured drawing app I've met, and over time got good enough that I stopped bothering to look. 

By full featured: I mean whenever I go do something the process is like I'd expect from an app targeting desktops. To get any better than Art Flow, you'd have to talk to people that draw for a living instead of making this doofus glowy and happy.

Juice SSH


Since most of what I do depends on a Linux terminal environment, like literally if it doesn't involve reading web pages or responding to e-mails, I'm likely to be found in an xterm or on my tablet.

Juice SSH has been a long companion, I've been using it for at least 6 years now. First on my Android 4.x tablets and later on my Chromebook as well, where the performance beat the tar out of the Chrome SSH thing. If it were better at copying terminal contents ala xterm, Juice SSH would be nearly perfect.

Samsung's Calendar


Ahh, I remember the day I first realized how great it was. See, I used to have to take my mother to doctor's appointments and cover her copays. But my momma was the kind who used a paper calendar. I stopped using a paper calendar when I was still in grade school. Thus whenever we had an issue of something that was on her calendar but not on mine, friction occurred. 

Easiest way I found to solve that is when making the next appointment on our way out, just duplicate the event and update it with the new appointment. Actually it works so well, I do the same with my own health care.

So, I'm standing in the middle of the doctor's office and looking at my Nexus 5, and I'm like, "What the !@#$, why can't I just duplicate today's event and change the date, like on my Galaxy SIII?". In the years since a preference for Samsung over Google has become stronger. I mostly ignore Google Calendar on my current, non SamWiz phone.

Nova Launcher


Honorable mention goes to Nova because not only is it the best Android launcher I've used in the post ADW world, it beats the tar out of Apple's concept of a launcher 😜
Think that I’ve finally decided on a host name for the new iPad Pro. Not sure what is probably worse, that most names up for consideration were anime references or that the swimsuit cinched it.

An extract from my notebook:
Subaru and Starbuck are pretty cool.
Nerine is refined and powerful.
Mayumi is playful and not complicated.
Also Nerine looks best in a swimsuit ^_^

There’s at least three different TV related references involved there, and you probably should feel bad if more than one or two ring a bell. And thus Nerine it is.




Plus or minus, this time it isn’t a Marvel reference....hehe

Thursday, September 19, 2019

When you’re tempted to go get a midnight snack but your doggo is so comfortable....


Comparison of technology:

Where I come from:

  • Have "alarm sound I want.ogg"
  • Send to Android via {Bluetooth or cloud thing or usb or thousand different ways}
  • Stick in Alarms folder.
  • Oh, cool the whole OS knows that's an alarm tone!
Where I am going:
  • Have "alarm sound I want.ogg"
  • ffmpeg -i "alarm sound I want.ogg" -acodec aac "alarm sound I want.m4a"
  • Ahh fsck, I may as well install iTunes.

Of course if I was a normal asshole, I'd just put my alarms on my phone like everyone else. As opposed to my tablet. But hey, who said I am both normal and an asshole? 😜

As for Apple's part in this, their side of this was really simple and straightforward. Give or take feeling like I just teleported more than a decade back in time to the stone age of needing a wire to transfer files. At least USB-C is thinner than my null modem cable.
Thus far, I think I’ve come to the following conclusions:


  1. Google is better at building a larger “System “, but will kill you with a hammer to a few major sore spots.
  2. Apple will favor doing well whatever they focus on, but will kill you with paper cuts to many minor spots.

I’m also pretty sure that those responsible for the design of iOS, it’s been a very long trend of people that love gestures. I’m still learning to swipe friend in elvish.

For the most part it has been a pretty good experience getting to learn my way around an iPad. It very much reminds me that Apple is a products company that learned how to do software and services, rather than a software company.

Random things I love about iOS:


Password management is freaking awesome. Rather than bake it into the line edit widgets like Google did, Apple puts a button over the keyboard that lets you easily bring up the password UI and search for stuff. It is the best freaking way I’ve ever met!

The whole slide over thing beats the hell out of annoying floating windows and bubbles. Those suck. iPad slide over makes up for how chunky switching apps feels. I will sorely miss the double tap a button and switch to last app trick from Android, but will love and abuse the multitasking features of my iPad 😁.

Siri seems to have the best level of tweaking I’ve ever seen. Really, I’m not fond of voice assistants but being able to use it with apps is great. Go into settings and you pretty much know what shortcuts an app makes available; kind of like how Android had shortcuts you could toss on your home screen, apps make such shortcuts available to Siri. I’m less inclined to throw my Google searches at a voice thingy than I am to want hands free use of an app.

By being late to the iOS game, I’ve probably missed most of the things that would really piss me off.


Random things I hate about iOS:


Compared to Android the launcher has zero value. Because who wants to make it easy to organize your apps automatically when you can just make people drag folders of crap across four screens.

Dragging and dropping is even more pervasive on iPad than PC, and that is no surprise given the same company made macOS. Which is fine, and probably a great paradigm for touch centric devices. But I find that it is painfully slow. E.g. dragging and dropping a hyperlink to Safari’s Tab bar is neat, but it feels more like waiting for a car’s cabin to heat up in the morning than something smooth and fast.

More than a few things are counter  intuitive but fairly obvious. I’m pretty sure that in the course of time, I’m either going go insane or be a happy enough expat.

I despise how clunky and slow editing text is on my iPad Pro compared to my Android tablet. It’s less issues like keyboard management and more that it is a tap happy affair created by folks that love slowly dragging and dropping everything instead of quickly tapping and sliding a cursor pip around. The two finger track pad trick built into Apple’s keyboard is really a useful trick. It’s on par with using a scroll wheel to move your cursor left/right and being able to suddenly mouse around: but I only learned this trick by poking around the user guide in a browser. Otherwise I’d have no clue it existed. Beyond that, I really wish Apple would steal Google’s cursor stuff from Android!




Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Of course the first test of the iPad Pro’s camera I make, is a picture of Willow, lol.



Since my phone is usually tossed in a corner somewhere, when I’m home most dog photos I take are taken by my tablet. Because that’s the camera I have without walking into another room πŸ˜›. Having a camera that doesn’t suck versus my Galaxy Tab S3’s was part of the logic in going for the 11” Pro, alongside my distaste for replacing all my USB-C with that Lightning bull crap.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

If you've ever wondered how effective a trident would be as a weapon, all you need to do is get a finger caught between a dish and a fork while loading the dishwasher. Enough to go owey and break a layer of two of skin is all it'll take to convince you.

No, you should not make like Roman gladiators while doing this.
Forbes: Is Google Chrome A CPU Hog? Chrome Vs FireFox, Safari, Microsoft Edge.

A number of years ago, before Chrome was really a thing I came to much the same conclusion: the web is a resource hog!

I had a 64-bit Linux machine that would be constantly swapping if I was using more than a few tabs. Tried changing between Opera and Firefox without any luck. It wasn't the browsers being pigs, it was webpages making like Hungry, Hungry Hippos with memory. Javascript, images, network calls, heavy styling, etc. 2 GB of RAM just was not enough anymore. In the end, I put more memory in the machine and it sucked a lot less.

Yes, modern browsers are hogs, but not as much as modern web applications!
I think the decision is largely made at this point. The fruit company is my tablet computing destination, whether I like it or not.

The dire lack of Android tablets with a stylus, the Q/A that matches Chrome OS's rapid release cycle, and the shrinking number of companies making a 'real' Android tablet that is worth my time, has had me considering jumping ship for a while. Google's pox upon multitasking making its way to my Tab S3, is pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back.

Most of the software that I run on my Tab S3 supports both iOS and Android. Alternatives exist for the more systemy stuff at the edges, like the corporate printer or dealing with my file server. Pretty much if I find an analog to FolderSync Pro, the only thing I'll really be losing software wise is free editing support for Microsoft Excel and Word. Before ending up with a Samsung that bundled MS Office, my long term solution was OfficeSuite Pro which has enough compatibility to handle documents at work. So for the most part I'm not worried much about software. It also helps that by living in Android land so long, iOS has been working its big boy shorts for while now instead of their update notes sounding like a baby's toy.


When the 1" crack in my Tab S3's screen becomes terminal, I'll have little option but to replace it one way or another, and I have had a very long time now to contemplate what that will be. For now I'm just happy the what the hell moments related to the crack are few and far in between versus my heavy tablet use.

In Android land: the only things that are viable replacements are the Tab S4 and S6, which are old and new successors, respectively. Negatives to both are they will also come with Google's pox and they're widescreens. DeX isn't going to fix what Pie did to multitasking and I greatly prefer 4:3 and 3:2 tablets.

No Chrome OS device exists yet that aligns with my requirements, and the only ones worth paying for are too big to replace my Tab S3. And that just leaves iPads. Which for as little love as I have for Apple, and my lack of caring for iOS, solve the problem Android has been most screwing me with the longest--there's a lot more freaking iPads to choose from that support a decent stylus than their are Android devices with a decent stylus.

It's always been hard to find an Android tablet with a nice stylus, and Samsung while expensive has filled that role pretty swell. But they're kind of becoming the only vendor to choose from, both in terms of an Android tablet that meets my requirement for stylus, and Android tablets in general.


I also find it kind of funny how this works out. In the old days when Android tablets were quite new, I found the iPad excessively overpriced and Android underappreciated; Apple has at least solved that with their expanded selection. Likewise, most new iPhone launches were followed by me scratching my head and wondering how people lived so long without essential features; iOS release notes stopped feeling like a slow as hell iteration several years ago.

And then there's the fact, that I've never actually owned an Apple product. I'm more at home with an xterm than a Mac. More than a few of my friends have soft spots for fruity products, and have since at least as far back as the iPod and PowerBook. Me, never have. But I suppose there is probably a first time for everything.
omgubuntu.co.uk: PineTime is a $25 Linux Smartwatch, Coming Next Year.

While I'd say it sounds more like a hack your pen than a consumer product, I have to admit it solves my number one beef with smart watches: cost.

You see, unless I can leave my smart phone at home there's not much you can offer me that's worth several hundred bucks. I don't live an active enough life to need the cool fitness features and it's unlikely you're going to replace my instant messaging any better than Google's failed to do so. Thus in the end, I still need a phone.

Most of my life between ten and twenty, I typically wore a watch. I also grew up in an era where a calculator and stop watch function was about as smart as most watches got. Then I got a smart phone around age 22, and shortly there after I just stopped wearing a watch.

I kind of believe that form follows function, and a traditional watch doesn't have enough function to me that it'd be worth spending for a really nice one. My smart phone is more than I really want to carry but is far more functional than a dumb watch. It's also got more features than a watch cool enough to sync to an atomic clock. In short, I'm not the kinda person you can market smart watches to, I'm the one in the back rolling his eyes. For some use cases smart watches are really nifty. They just don't fit into my life. A smart phone is more practical for my life than what current smart watches offer.

On the flipside, I find the PineTime kind of interesting. Because it's cheap and it'll probably be the easiest to roll your own software for. But multiply the price by ten, and not even that would be attractive for a mook like me. Most really good watches, and most smart ones, cost more than that.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Passing thought: I've had hard drives smaller than Nvidia's driver download, nevermind flash drives smaller.
Willow is disappointed that I positioned the tuna where she can't get a sniff, and Corky tries to console her.


The response to their treat for the night is a rather different one.


That my friend's jumbo sized iPad Pro casually outruns my desktop, is a little perturbing from the perspective that my Core i5 is getting pretty damned old. But at least, it still does its real job pretty well and that job kind of demands a massive GTX card.

That old reviews of the Air 2 suggest similar browser performance to my Snapdragon 820 on the other hand, is both comforting and annoying.

Trying to make some comparative analysis from old data is also tricker. People's choices in benchmarks have changed over the years, and in the case of iPads usually moot as you traditionally had no real choices, hahaha; meanwhile those of us in Android land, long had a lot more products to choose from.
CNET: Nintendo Switch's new SNES feature is ruining everything.

After reading this, I'm not sure if I should grumble or snortle for a number of reasons. But when I remember the difficulty of video games from my era, I kinda picture children today in tears.

My theory still is time oriented.

Big dollar games come out all the time. You play them. You move on. That's what the industry wants. Games these days begging easier, some of that is good design and some of that reflects that we won't be playing it very long.

By contrast the games I had as a child, all had long shelf lives. When I got my SNES, I played Super Mario World and Super Mario All Stars pretty often. Those were new, cool things when I was a little kid. When my SNES finally was retired, closer to the PlayStation 2 era than the N64, I still played them.

I remember a card game that I played around middle school age, called Yu-Gi-Oh. My Game Boy cartridge is sitting in the closet somewhere next to Pokemon Blue and Gold. You see, I used to play that Yu-Gi-Oh cartridge a lot. One day I figured out how the really simple A.I. worked. No matter what the long game looked like, the A.I. would calculate the best response to your move. Knowing this, it didn't take much crunching to decide how to manipulate the A.I. and defeat it. Always.

Why did I stop playing that cartridge? Was it because I lost my interest in the card game? Nope. In fact, I still enjoyed the trading card game for a number of years after that. I stopped playing the video game version because it was too damned easy. It went from passing time with some fun to wasting time with no fun. Thanks to removing the challenge.

By contrast, the only thing that really changed about how I play Super Mario Bros is the words I shout at the screen 🀣. When I revisited the game in my twenties, I wondered how I didn't smash it, and then remembered how hard it was to get new video games back then. Hehe.

Pie sucks at multitasking

Things that Pie has wrought: Google's curse.

Overview now has a more useful grid like view. Aside from the nauseating effect that happens when closing an app makes them all resort but at least it is really fast on the Tab S3's hardware. on the downside multitasking is now chunky and fundamentally broken.

In the previous version the overview screen was a chunky phone centric sliding flipper but apps had a button on the side of their card, so you could open them in the current side of the screen. Now each app has its icon on the top of the card, and you get a menu when you tap the icon. Containing app info (used to be long touch/hold), open in split view, open in pop up (floating window) view, or lock the app. Which is a lot slower but at least flexible.

So instead of very, very quick access to snapping an app to either side of the screen: you get very slow access to deciding if you want it split or floating. The ability to just turn the currently running application into a floating window has been removed. Which is both good and bad: the gesture was easy to trip when you didn't mean to but was also extremely convenient if you wanted something like a calculator floating over a web page. I'm not sure if the UI the device used on Oreo was a Sammy thing or a Google thing, but it was pretty nice.

Now here's why I say fundamentally broken in Pie.

Splitting the screen and hitting overview used to place the overview in the currently active side of the screen. So if you wanted to replace one of the applications, you just tapped it and hit overview. Vola, really fast and simple and obvious. And good if you decided both apps needed to change before you were done.

After updating to pie: the overview ALWAYS opens in the bottom or the right side of the screen, based on whether you're in portrait or landscape orientation. I have yet to find any way to invert the split apps--you used to tap the resize bar in between and have a UI to switch them. 'Cuz that is useful. Now you're stuck with the first app chosen being in the top/left side until you're done. You might think the first app would show up and you could just select it again? Nope, its card gets removed from the overview.

Likewise you can only stuff in apps from the overview grid that were running. I used to be able to hit a button and select apps from a launcher instead of requiring them to be already opened in the background.

But really, whose fault is it for destroying the multitasking functions? Google's. It's Google's fault. Why do I say this? Because my Google Fi phone running Android One and its pure Googely experience has virtually the same broken multitasking UI. The only real difference is my Samsung changes the string "Split view" to "Open in split view" and adds the popup and lock entries to the menu. Likewise on the phone sized screen it's a sliding view of the exact same cards rather than a grid view of them.

Suddenly I realize why DeX became so popular among users of newer model Tab S's that shipped with it. It's not because DeX mode is that more PC like: it's because Google fucked Android's multitasking experience. And I fear, if I was to dig up the CDD for Pie, it would say OEMs aren't allowed to fix it anymore, lol.

Of course my model being older, DeX is not a feature that was integrated into it. Much like how my model was the first to get USB-C charging but alt modes for driving a monitor didn't show up until the Tab S4, which does have DeX. Reasons to buy an iPad, += 1.

I find it a great shame. Samsung has done multitasking for so many years, I first used it on my Galaxy SIII phone a very long time ago.  In recent years it became a standard piece of Android, which was a really good thing until Google pissed down the feature's throat and crippled its utility for real multitasking.
As I watch my tablet upgrade to Android 9, I find my mind flashing to when my phone updated closer to Pie's release--and the distinct feeling that "All my icons are different for no good reason. Other than that: it's hard to tell anything changed."

But it's worth noting, I use my Galaxy Tab S3 excessively every day, but my Moto X4 is only lightly used. Because unless I'm literally walking around in public or answering a text message in the middle of the night: there's a 95% chance that I'll use my tablet instead.

Both devices were released in 2017 and had Android 7/Nougat as their original operating system image. The primarily difference is my Android One edition got Pie around Christmas time and my Sammy gets pie to the face shortly after Android 10 launches.

That's par for course for Samsung's tablets in the past, except seeing three major OS versions on one tablet is odd for them; I had the upgrade to Android 8/Oreo to be the Tab S3's final operating system based on previous experiences with their high end tablets. I've owned a lot of those.

If anything actually changes that makes me give a flying floop, it'll probably rely on Samsung's UI customizations. Because on the more "Pure" load my phone uses, "Damn it, my icons are all different", really was the most noticeable difference. The bit about text selection might be more in my face on a tablet but wasn't necessary on my phone, nor is it on my big screen; especially with pen in hand.

Friday, September 13, 2019

First world problems: when you're an Alien fan and you see Covenant on sale for such a low, low price that your Blu-ray collection must now become complete again.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A few notes for my own reference, Octane 2.0 and Jetstream 2.

Scarlett: ~9,000 ; ~20
-- Snapdragon 820.

Stark: ~23,000 ; ~65
-- Core i5 3360M

Centauri: ~30,000 ; ~80
-- Core i5 3570K.

Which amounts to my Tab S3, Latitude E6430S, and custom desktop with their scores rounded to the nearest whole number.

I'd also run things on Cream's N3700 but it's VNC session and various services make it an unfair candidate for such a test. Likewise I left Celes and it's N3060 at work because my Chromebook has been gathering dust as of late in favour of making Stark work harder.
Never brothered read Intel's errata sheets in the past. After reading the documents for some of the hardware that I have to deal with, I think I could use a stiff drink and a few checks for BIOS updates.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Passing thought: it feels like just yesterday, all the things required their own separate chargy things.

Today, I pretty much have two special purpose chargers in my daily life. The classic barrel based laptop charger for my Latitude E series and the 3.5 mm -> USB-A cable that charges my I don't think I wanna look up how old headphones. Which is really one because my laptop is never fair from a charger, and those headphones get charged every so many months.

To be fair my Xbox controller, Bluetooth keyboard, and my other headphones could also be counted as special in my little terrarium. But that's because of they're the last things I have running off USB Micro B for their charging needs, and none require frequent rechargings. But I look at these like the Mini B of old, pretty darned universal: just dying out over time.
A few wild ass guestimates from the long term planning bin.


Remaining in beloved Android country: ~$650.

  • Galaxy Tab S6: $650.
  • I hate 16:10 tablets.
  • What comes next?

Turning to an iPad Pro: ~$780
  • 11" 2018 model: $650.
  • Pencil 2: $130.
  • CPU on par with my desktop.

Turning to any other iPad: $479 ~ $589
  • 7th gen: $330 ; Air 3: $450.
  • Pencil 1: $99.
  • Lightning cable all the things ~ $40.
  • I already routed USB-C all the things.

The best price to performance in my opinion is the Air but simply put, I pretty much reject anything that requires a Lightning connection to charge. To me the cost delta between a regular iPad and a Pro is a time based one; e.g. by the time an Pro goes to the old folks home, just as much will have been spent on regular models in the name of faster SoCs. If Lightning cables littered my home the way USB-C and USB-MicroB cables do, I'd probably go Air.

I've been extremely happy with my Tab S3, and before it a Tab S2, and before that a Note 8.0. Damned 1" crack in my screen and the occasional side effect of that becomes increasingly worriesome as time goes on. But other than that, it has been a perfect device for me.

Samsung's Tabs S4, S5e (barf), and S6 make me question their road forward. No one else makes a suitable device. And the level of bugginess my Chromebook offers, the odds of me taking a 2-in-1 or tablet based Chrome OS device as an upgrade path aren't very high. Unless Google changes in larger quality assuring ways, I can't really call a Chrometab any better than suffering i[Pad]OS versus a real Android device.

The real question, I suppose is when my Samsung finally heads towards failure versus when my budget converges with a replacement.

Every now and then my device acts a smidge funny. Like today, it decided to stop taking pen input for a while. As far as I can tell the crack in the screen has not been visibly expanding but events like this seem to now happen several times per month. When you consider that if neither Direct3D nor bash are involved, my tablet is my primary computer at home and my secondary computer at work, that gives worries, alright. Sigh.
Passing thought: I'm not sure what's worse, that you can still get a really pocket protectors or that I was tempted to buy tw^H^Hone.

Monday, September 9, 2019


The Mary Sue: 6 Parody Anime to Watch If You Like Making Fun of Anime.

Yes, you should watch all of these. Especially KonoSuba and Nozaki-kun. Try not to die laughing. But do watch 😁.
There are times when Willow needs a reminder that patience is rewarded.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Not sure that these photos capture the comfort and disturbed nature of these two dogs, or just goes to show how long my camera takes to adjust the colour balance in the dark of TV light.



My parsing of their expressions were that Willow is very comfy back there, and Misty is unamused by me shifting butt cheeks on the couch, in order to take a picture of them.
Eurogamer.net: We've all been calling the DualShock's X button the wrong name and PlayStation's had enough.

Calling it a cross would be the most logical in English, given we don't really have other words for two of the four symbols; and three are commonly known shapes. But in my mind, it'll always be the triangle, circle, ex, and square button because I'm strange πŸ€ͺ.
Digital Trends: Xbox One S All-Digital Edition review: No-Disc Dystopia.

Personally, I think the price point is the whole deal here.

In concept the game discs are a nice idea, if you can't handle downloading 60~80 GB in a single day beacause of your limited internet connectivity. In practice the disc is little more than a license key, for most games: you will still have to download enough data that it may as well be a small menary card with an activation code. For smaller titles the download might be a DVD or two worth; for big famous games it will still likey be Blu-Ray sized.

So really, all you are doing is making it so the disc must be in the drive to play, in exchange for being able to sell or trade the game in the second hand market. That's great if it is something you will play once and dispose of next week. For the rest of us, we will probably take whichever one costs less or won't require pants.

The reallity that the game will be complete and never in need of software updates is far more dead than releasing games on disc. Sadly IMHO, but at least we live in a world where publishers don't have to snail mail you a floppy diskettes in x weeks before you can get through that dungeon without a glitch making your sabatons fall off, and your character endlessly spin eastward for the rest of the game.

For me personally, the win of my original model Xbox One having a disc drive is the ability to watch movies on Blu-ray. All of my other devices are limited to streaming files from my server or external services like Netflix; most of my devices don't have an optical disc drive. And the one that does it's used for ripping discs for my private home streaming needs. I don't think you could walk into Walmart and expect to find a cheap ass Blu-ray player back when the Xbox One launched, so much as a free to good home VCR at the dump.