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brian.shapiro brian.​shapiro things go on as always

Niner since 2004

just testing this for a moment

  • Ping 23: Yahoo Partnership, Wave launches, Win7 for testers & Amazon milk ratings

    Foy is such a funny last name.

  • Windows Scenic Animation Overview


    So what, its also similar to animation in WPF, and Microsoft got that started before Core Animation. The difference is that when Microsoft started they decided to do it through a managed library.

    Maybe Microsoft should have done things this way to begin with, but anyone implying Microsoft is copying Apple is being a little dishonest about it, I think.

    The original vision for Longhorn was a pie in the sky idea that every app would be using the managed API
  • WPF Effects Library

    These are cool, but I wish someone released a library with pixelshader effects more designed for UI elements. Most of these effects wouldn't be routinely used in UI design. For starters, I'd like a good replacement for the Outerglow bitmap effect, and I'd also like a few other types of glow effects, like those mimicking the ones you see on the taskbar. Im sure there are others I could think of also. I don't know how to do HLSL yet myself.
  • Singularity IV: Return of the UI

    KevinB wrote:
    Just watching it here now, very cool.

    I notice in the dir listing that it is much more than a flat filesystem, you have listings for chan (channels?) and mem (memory?? very cool), very unix/powershell.

    the items marked with 'mem' seem to be normal data files, as opposed to things like directories. one of the items marked 'chan' was 'conout'..
  • Alan Cooper - Questions after his keynote

    I haven't read everything Alan Cooper said, or seen the quote in context, but I'll say this:

    Its true that some users will give you input that is misguided or not helpful and they think something will be good that would actually turn out bad,

    Many users have the understanding of design and programming that that the actual designers do, whether they actually can program or just instinctively understand the issues involved.

    Its the same thing with kindergarteners and their teachers, its very possible for there to be a child who can pose a challenge to a teacher, whether because he is particularly smart and can point something out, or because he just doesn't fit the teachers expectation forces the teacher to address issues that the child wants to be addressed.

    Move beyond the kindergartener and teacher analogy and look to college student/college professor where this is more pronounced. Often students at this level are intelligent and understanding enough that, even without years of experience, and knowledge of particular facts and details, they could understand certain things, including the larger picture, better than their teachers.

    Its also possible for someone who is not an accredited expert in a field to have better intuition than someone who is an accredited expert. Psychologists, lawyers, politicians, theorists, (software designers) etc., all have access to the same information everyone else does. Outside the experts is usually where geniuses any given field come from, though you don't need to be a genius to have some worthwhile understanding. Geniuses in a field usually are able to articulate all of the dissatisfaction and doubt that people outside the field had but were unable to put in the right terms. Experts in the field may have no real insight and just be working as hacks, doing what they think users want based on what they've learned; and may sometimes have even less clue on what to do than the users.

    You don't assume people who haven't been given some degree, or spent as many years doing design as you, or knows all of the minute details of the Windows API and programming in C++ are clueless.

    If you go back to talking about the software industry, even if some users have as much understanding as the designers, not all do---but all users might have some particular thing they understand better, or at the least some issue they have that the designer has to pay attention to--because their issues with their software don't always come out of stupidity but real problems. Even if those users can't encapsulate what the real problem is with their software or they can't encapsulate what the solution should be, at the bottom of their complaint or suggestion is usually something real that needs to be looked at.

    In the end, not only should designers understand the users, but understand what the user says they want, and why they say they want it, to understand how to create the software. And often times what they say they want is actually what they want. Designers should never dismiss what users say they want, if they find the user wrong, they should be able to convince the user in some way why they're wrong. If they can't do that, they can't deliver a good product.

    Maybe Alan Cooper is simplifying things when he makes that statement out of context. But thats exactly something I'm sick of, making simplistically bold statements.

  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    Karim wrote:

    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.

    Karim not everyone who buys a notebook wants to carry it to the park and use it on park benches or use it on his bed with the power supply unplugged. I have a desktop replacement notebook, I want a notebook so its semi-portable, so I can take it with me when I travel, so I can bring it to libraries with a scanner, etc.  In all cases I take it with me and plug it in somewhere else. I assume people who buy low-end notebooks with low battery life care about the same thing, and don't need it running on batteries most of the time.

    The only market for a mini-tablet is one where you can carry it around without having to plug it in.

    Otherwise its not worth getting. People won't want to replace their notebooks, they'll want to get something to complement it that has mobile capabilities.

    I'll repeat why I haven't bought a tablet, evne though I'd like the functionality: I'm paying more for a less powerful notebook, that would substitute for another notebook. Plus I would only use the tablet functions 5% of the time. With a device like Origami it would be nice to be $500 but if its $1000 its not so critical if it has high battery life. If you can have a device like this with high battery life and is portable, its still a good price range, as something to buy in addition to your notebook/desktop. Otherwise its not worth getting. Thats why battery life is critical.

    I also seriously believe that what Microsoft should be looking at this as is finding a marketable form for a tablet pc. I don't think current full sized tablet pcs will really take off in any major way, I think they need a design like this.
  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    Karim wrote:
    So finally the wraps come off...

    Biggest disappointment is the resolution.  It's basically a Tablet PC with 800 x 480 resolution.  The hardware scaling will help, but... at the end of the day it's still stuffing 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag...  Having 1024 x 768 on the VGA output will help: you can plug it into a monitor, use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and get some work done.

    Why do you want everything looking extremely tiny on a mobile device? Especially when its touch/pen based? Higher resulution makes sense if you're talking about scalable GUIs like those promised with Vista/XAML. But I don't want a tiny crowded interface on a mini-tablet, which is what you would get on XP with high resolutions
  • Seventeen Minutes With Bill


    i wear eyeglasses. im not really interested in laser eye surgery, because my vision has stopped deteriorating, i don't mind wearing glasses (for many reasons i like it), and there are risks even if they are minimal with surgery

    btw, bill gates should really improve his posture Smiley i mean its one thing not to have perfect posture but his is really bad
  • Seventeen Minutes With Bill

    I wish Microsoft execs would give each of its teams projects on related to other pgorams :


    Ask the Office team how they would change Windows as an OS if they could design it


    Ask the Windows team how they would change Office as a suite if they could design it
  • IE 7: What's new in Beta 2 Preview


    the entire favorites system should be tag based, imo (not necssarily killing folders in doing that). maybe they're planning that with the vista version.

    and preferably some way to incorporate some type of live favorites into the UI. i have internet bookmarks on del.icio.us , and in firefox, i can turn that into a link based menu. it still doesn't work that well though, and no firefox extensions really make it work well. but if microsoft can get something like this to work with IE7 then they will have at least one great advantage over firefox.

    it would also be nice if the save dialog box for images and files in general had right there input boxes for the files metadata and tags. hopefully they will work this into Vista common dialog box, and the Vista version of IE.

    im a little disappointed that theyre separating internet explorer from windows explorer interface wise (no more folder sidebar for instance) because ithought it was a good bedrock. im also disappointed some of the changes mean killing the idea of a search sidebar, which was not implented in the best way but could be improved to be.

    and i'll restate, i find aesthetic problems with parts of the interface and the icons, which is a problem i have with vista too.

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