Saturday, April 29, 2006

April 06 Tech Update: The “Would You Stop Whining About Vista Already” Edition

Yes I am aware that it’s the last day of April and almost the last hour of it as well when I posted this update. No I am not procrastinating. It’s just slow for AT this month. You see the cycle of news is thus..

January: ATIA News
Rebury: Debunking CSUN rumors
March: CSUN Press Release heaven
April. Zzzzz
May: Make fun of what has and has not come out yet from CSUN
June: Debunking NFB and ACB rumors
July: More Press Release Nirvana
August: Hibernate until Xmas.

Closing The Gap used to be in there somewhere but it’s kind of a non entity now that it’s all about the edjumacation thingys. So there’s more mainstream tech to discuss then juicy AT news. Sorry about that Chief! Now let’s bring down the cone of silence and begin shall we?

Steve’s Word of the Month
Mission Creep
Definition : This is a term that comes into play when an organization’s goals begin to falter and wear over time. So it sounds good on paper but the actual process tends to make one lose the original focus of the Mission Statement. See below..

As a bonus for Steve I give this one too.

Open Source Parking
Definition: It’s like .com squatting but for Open Source initiatives.

Lightning Round!

JAWS 7.1 Mark II: The second update to the public beta of JAWS 7.1 has been posted. Get more on that here…

CSUN: Both Blind Cool Tech and the Blind Access Journal have some CSUN coverage up. And of course Main Menu has been playing some wonderful stuff from the poorly overcrowded sessions as well. Have I said I wasn’t impressed with this year’s management? Oh wait.. I just did..dammm.

CSUN Blind Access Journal

Voice Mate: Well start searching ILA and Ebay because the Parrot is no longer in active production. And honestly it’s been surpassed by the whole host of devices like the Book Port, mPower, Pac Mate, Easy Link and Maestro. At least you don’t lose everything when you change out the batteries.. no you step out of that line Pac Mate.

Tid Bits: Lots of links to training courses on Skype and others in Dean’s latest post. Shout out to Dean by the way..

Florida Lighthouse: Here’s a story via Blind News about what could be the start of a very scary trend. That is the closing of your local Lighthouse of the Blind. I may not like some of the politics of our business and I may say that some heads of these organizations are way over paid when It’s the lower staff doing the work but.. I don’t wish for anyone to lose any service that they count on at all.

Internet Explorer 7. Windows Media Player 11: The new public beta 2 of IE7 is out now. There will be a beta 3 this summer but it’s being said that beta 2 is super stable. Windows media 11 beta should arrive in less than 2 weeks. If your planning on submitting yourself to the torture that is the Vista public beta then skip both of these programs as their Vista version cousins are far more secure and feature rich than the ones being released for Windows XP.

And another related article can be found here..

Windows Updates: For those who work with others with no broadband connections I inform you that 5 updates around 15 MB were made available this month. And if your person your working with has Windows XP Media Center it’s another 5 at 17 MB. Good luck!

Artificial Eyes: In Korea they think they have created a good simulation of how an insect’s eyes work. That sounding icky I found something more human like on the subject.

LCD Glasses replace Bifocles: Computer styled glasses have been around for awhile, however, these may just replace the commonly used bifocles.

Linux attitude: Let’s see. Last month I found us an article saying that the long hair and sandals demeanor is what turns most off to Linux. Now this month it’s a snotty “holier than thou” mentality. For me it’s just that we let DOS for a reason not to ever go back to command line thinking again.

Web Surfing at Work Legal: Take this Dan Brown. Never poke fun at the power of the internet![One day I may explain this in joke]

Firefox update now including Mac: Mozilla and Mac. Two great tastes that you would have thought would have come together sooner. Now just update your Firefox every 15 minutes as it seems to be the hacker’s paradise lately.

McNealy One Liners: Sun’s biggest star may have stepped down recently, however, his off the cuff remarks may be missed most of all. Check out these one liners and be warned you need to keep all liquids away from keyboards. There are some real gems in the link below.

~ “Vistarific!”

Oh if I had a dollar for all the remarks and flack I got over the Vista delay in March. “Oh Ranger I thought you said it was coming out no matter what”. “Oh Ranger I guess you were wrong on that one eh?”. “Oh Ranger your so wise and virile”. Okay maybe not that last one.

Here’s the deal. As much as some may fear Vista and they may believe that they got a last second call from the governor as they walked the Green Mile.. I can honestly say your wrong. Here’s why. A release of Vista in August would have meant that we would have jumped right into a product that everyone would have been forced to support via drivers and technical help. The delay in Vista’s release now gives us a longer public beta cycle where people who have NO BUSINESS LOADING AND RUNNING VISTA will be clogging up every AT list imaginable with their whining and complaining about what is essentially a pre release of an Operating System with very little AT support. And each one of the phone calls and emails I get for help will be forwarded to each and every one of my detractors. So .. nanny nanny boo boo. Who’s laughing now nubies. :]

For the record the public beta is available for public consumption on May 22nd. You need a very good connection speed and a DVD burner on hand just to download the gigs of files by the way. That alone will preclude many that I fear will attempt to run Vista at the start. Or change that to I hope that will preclude most that wish to attempt. Yeah that’s the ticket.

One of the wildest Vista stories of the month came from the Windows Super Site. In a scathing review of the February Community Technical Preview [a.k.a. CTP] Paul ripped into what was promised by MS and what we may actually get some 4 years later.

In a follow up review of the next CTP, 5365 for those counting at home, he defends his views and even discusses the reaction he got from friends at Redmond.

So the question I get often is “should I buy now and upgrade later?”. Answer is “sort of yes”. What I mean by that is that computer makers are still running under the guise that Vista was coming out in August. So many machines may run Vista just fine if you buy one today. It just won’t come with the hollofoil logo. Here’s what I mean about Vista Compatible Logo machines.

Again I say its’ not that Vista won’t be AT compatible. It will because well we have no choice for it to be so. Resistance is futile. But the biggest problem with Vista will come in the training of low level to mid level users who let JAWS do things that Windows already does. New hotkeys are a given but learning where that file is and how to get it? That’s going to be the fun little romp. Check out these articles to see how paths have changed.

Vista Arrow

Vista Processes Changes – End Task

And if that’s not scary enough that article up above on the CTP 5365 release talks about a feature where the screen turns black and takes your focus to a dialog box that can not be tabbed to regain focus until you tell Windows what you want it to do with the task at hand. Sweet.. pain in the butt.

So what about Boot Camp and the inevitable OSX comparisons? Well I found out some info on that too.

All is not completely lost though. There is a small faction at MS who do want change. Partially because there is a new head at the Windows division but more so in that almost every department but the Windows division is on target to deliver their product on time to meet the original August ship date. Office 12, IE7, Windows Media Player and a whole host of others have already turned in their work early and were let go for 15 extra minutes of recess. Windows on the other hand will be all alone in detention.

The cool kids at MS are actually kind of hardcore in their new philosophies. I conclude by showing you that MS can be all about the cheap for students.

Free tools from MS

Windows Live Mail for Students

Not bad for the evil empire eh? Next month the free continues as we all bow down before the goodness of Vista Beta!

No comments: