Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Windows Programming

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Writing software for Windows is a little like building a house.

In the beginning there was an API that consisted of two-by-fours and nails and such. A lot of work went in to getting the moulding to fit just right and to make sure the paint was smooth and sag-free.

Later, there came vertically-oriented pre-fabricated panels that you could use to throw together a house lickety-split. You gave up a little control over the details, but that was OK because you got so many more houses built.

Then a system of horizontally-oriented pre-fab panels was introduced that allowed you to create rooms with cabinetry with hinges on either the left or the right of the doors. And it accomodated chandeliers. But you gave up the ability to put shelving in the garage. And it takes so much sawing and bending and hammering and swearing to use the vertical panels and the horizontal panels in the same house that you’d have been better off using two-by-fours in the first place.

Windows Presentation Foundation has no NumericUpDown control.

Yes, I know there are solutions, but the opportunity for the correct one was missed.

I hope you’ll forgive this tortured analogy. It’s both a little fable and a rant.

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Apple Announces Its New 17″ MacBook Pro

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

chiclets imageAt Macworld 2009 yesterday, Apple announced the latest version of their MacBook Pro with 17-inch screen. It’s got the aluminum unibody design that was introduced last fall.

For some time now, the Macbook Pro 17″ has been on my wish list to be my next computer. However, the non-removable battery, the awful chiclet* keyboard, and (still!) no numeric keypad – despite plenty of space – are all definite minuses.

In spite of the necessity that the battery must be replaced by Apple at a cost of $179, the fact that it provides up to eight hours of run time, especially with such a large screen, is very impressive.

*Apple’s chiclet keyboards join such luminaries as the Tandy CoCo, TI-99/4, IBM PCjr and more recent inductees ASUS and Sony.

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