Archive for November, 2009

Chrome OS. Could you live in the cloud?

Posted in technology with tags , , , , on November 19, 2009 by bytor

I’ve been following Google’s press conference revealing more about their upcoming Chrome OS. Their focus seems to be on a lean stripped down web based OS which is basically a browser that runs everything inside it. It’s designed for netbooks with only solid state storage. All data is stored in and synced with “the cloud”.

Could I adapt my work patterns to this paradigm? I’ve thought about it a bit, and realised I am already beginning to go that way. Google state they expect Chrome OS to be used in “secondary” machines. I have recently ressurected my old nearly dead laptop by installing Ubuntu. I use it as a secondary machine, and I have hardly any local data or programs on it. Firefox, and a few web apps like Spotify for music (there is no stored tunes on the local machine) and some twitter clients.

I don’t do much document processing on this machine, but I dare say I could use Office live if I were running Windows, or Google docs for the few documents I do work on. I think to completely live in the cloud the online versions of MS Office would have to mature, but that will probably be sooner rather than later.

I think for what Google have stated there aims are for the Chrome OS it could easily work. I think I spend about 80% of my computer time use web apps of one sort or another and would welcome a fast booting web-focussed machine as  a secondary (although probably primary in terms of hours used) machine. I would still need a fully featured off line machine for the other 20% or so (creating some more complex Office docs, photo storage and editing etc, but even these might easily transition to the cloud soon).

I will watch the Chrome news with interest.

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Doctor Who – The Waters of Mars micro-review (minor spoilers)

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , on November 16, 2009 by bytor

waters of marsI just finished watching the latest Doctor Who special and the last before the two part Christmas finale which marks the end of the Tennant reign. I loved the trailers for this special and have looked forward to it eagerly. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. It was not bad, just not nearly as good as the trailer hype.

Liked:

 

  • The Mars biodome – shades of Silent Running. Could have been a great atmospheric setting for many scenes. Instead criminally underused.
  • Ensemble cast of trapped workers in an alien environment with some monster(s) on the loose. Always a good potential – see “Alien” and many others.
  • The exploration of the idea the the Doctor was getting fed up being a slave to cosmic events, and wanted to take more control
  • The actual infected people. Great make up.
  • Adelaide’s ultimate act
  • The trailer for the Christmas special

 

Didn’t like:

  • The underuse of the outside/biodome setting.
  • The shallowness of the characters. We never really got to know any of the supporting characters. Even with Adelaide I didn’t feel I really connected with her. There was a hint of tension between her and the 2nd in command Ed but this was never expanded upon.
  • The stupid robot (reminded me of the dumb robot guards in the Phantom Menace)
  • The over the top uptempo music for the running scenes.
  • David Tennant’s portrayal of the change in character of the Doctor seemed forced and black and white with little subtlety.
  • The use of the newspaper/website reports to “fill in” the backstory of the characters seemed a lazy way to do it.
  • It wasn’t nearly as frightening as it could have been. Previous episode “Blink” was much more frightening.
  • The explanation of why the water was infected was lame and confused.

Overall I think I can only give it 6, maybe 7 at a stretch. I was hoping it was going to be a 8 or a 9 out of 10.