2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,900 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Keyboards on Smart Phones, A Must for Me

For me, I must have a keyboard on my smart phone.  How am I going to type a real message (email or long text) quickly?  I know some people are fast with the screen but I’m not and I don’t think I’m alone.

While I’m not very happy with my WP7 phone I love my slider keyboard.

This is really important for work, every little bit of time matters.

WP7, My Feedback

I’ve had my phone for around a year now and I’m not really that happy with it.   Some features are good but overall I’m disappointed.

They released too early, the first OS was not feature rich enough.  With the Mango update it got better.  This should have been the first public version, they should have waited to release.

Consumers are not businesses, they won’t accept want a product that mostly works.


LG with the Keyboard, AT&T first generation


-Lock screen is the best I’ve seen, great job

-Keyboard!  I prefer/require a keyboard on my SmartPhones.  It’s more efficient for me.



-Poor UX for saving from OneNote. I back out so I know it saves, I might not have to be that is only way I save “saving” msg.

-No Gmail Support. Archive, spam

-No Screen Print!!!

-Lack of Play To Support. I should be able to easily say play to and it just works. Play to Receiver or my PC or my wireless speakers or my TV. The Play To UX is terrible and clumsy. AirPlay works way better

-Home screen doesn’t rotate when I slide open my phone

-No FB security options when posting updates. Maybe I want a public msg and then a friends only the next time

-Ear Hang Ups. My phone wakes up all the time and I don’t talk that much on it. I mute people, hang up, etc. My smart phone isn’t so smart

-Zoom UX is terrible. iOS amazing and works great

-Phone #’s are not tapable in emails

-Download email attachment is tedious, tap, wait, wait, then tap once downloaded, just open it and do it a lot faster!

-Maps referred to I-75 as SR-93 and while it is probably technically SR-93 nobody knows that nor cares.

-Selecting text is terrible for me, I can never get it to select what I want

-There is a problem with my Zune pass and now my music won’t play.  The first problem is have to plug it into my PC to fix.  The second problem is after I click close on the message it tries to play the next song that throws up the same message and so on and so on.

-Lack of Keyboard Support.  Example: down arrow from subject to body doesn’t work

-Zoom in Word didn’t work

-No XPS Viewer

-No Office 365 integration

Microsoft Has Got Big Problems on the Consumer Front

My background: I am a Microsoft Professional Techonolgist.  I write .Net code and manage a small business network along with provide support to family, friends and associates.  I have a MSDN license, a WP7 phone, my company uses Office 365, SQL Server, Hyper V and other Microsoft technology.  I therefore have a vested interest in seeing Microsoft succeed.

Microsoft has huge problems on the consumer front, they just don’t make appliances and that’s what we want.  They need to just work.  Microsoft has a amazing business product suite but they don’t get consumers.

They need employees to push consumer simplicity.  They need employees to push for consumer standards.  They need employees to push for completion of products (they frequently go 90% or 95% but never finish the last few % before moving onto the next thing).

One example of the lack of easiness

I was listening to music on headphones from my WP7 phone and I wanted to switch to my entertainment system, if I was using an iPhone it would just work.  There are appliances like the Apple TV and now speakers and receivers that support AirPlay directly.  Microsoft should have started pushed for a standard for this 10 years ago.

I know Microsoft is solving the much more complicated problem then Apple but please get with the program.

Related Thought

In my opinion, Microsoft took a business tool and stuck it in the home.  It worked in the 80s and 90s because Apple was too expensive but that is no longer the case.  While Apple is more expensive they are not that much more for certain products.  When a computer is $2000 or $5000 then most consumers will buy the $2000 and deal with it.  When it’s $500 or $1000 a lot of people will buy the $1000 if the benefits are significant.

How to Provide Support, A Few Thoughts

I’m terribly frustrated with “computer” support.  When I say “computer” I mean any piece of electronics, not just a PC.  I find it to be cumbersome, slow, frustrating and all around a bad experience.

Know your Audience

For starters, I haven’t see a single support company start a conversion say with “let me first understand your background so I know how to talk to you.”  That’s the first thing I always have to do when responding to support issues, who am I communicating with and word language would they understand?

When ever I contact support I’m treated the same a my grandma, this is terrible, inefficient and frustrating.

No Repeating

Don’t make users repeat themselves.  If I enter info into the phone system then that information so flow through.  Every company should log my hardware/software they are responsible for.  I call my about my HP1102w printer today and then next week, they should know the second time I call that I have one.

Verify is Different than What Is

There is a difference between “what is …” and “please verify your …”.  If you ask me to verify my phone number I will say it differently than if you ask me what is my phone #.

Pics with my Music Please

I love pics, I like taking them and I like looking at them. 

Every car stereo (deck) with a screen should support playing pictures when listening to music.  This feature should be easy use and there should be a standard that any deck manufacturer could implement.

The standard should support playing photos in order and by playlists.  Some ways to order would be by date taken, location, etc.

MP3 Data CD/DVD With Playlists and Ordering

It is so simple to me, I want to “make a cd” that is in a MP3 format so I can put hundreds of songs on a CD or DVD but I want to keep my ordering.  I use the term “make a cd” because it is what we did 10 years ago, you made a Audio CD and specified the order of the tracks.

It’s cool that data disks are now becoming ubiquitous in cars but I wanted this 6+ years ago and they should have figured this out 10+ years ago.  The engineers at every car stereo manufacturer should have recognized this and force the creation of a new standard to support this.

And the same holds true for thumbs drives that most new decks support.  I want to create and ordered playist(s).

Every car stereo with MP3 support I’ve seen re-orgs the data.  My JVC only supports by artist.  I imagine others support sorting by year or other meta-data which is sometimes helpful but it is not a playlist.

There needs to be a “M3U” standard that works on CDs, DVDs and Thumb Drives.

Do the engineers in the industry not listen to music?

Search helpers:

“burn mp3 playlist”