Blog of me. I’m Alexander Jones.

25 June 2008

What is Nokia is up to?

They have the open source Maemo platform, which they’re already using in moderately successful devices such as the N800.

In January, they acquired Trolltech, whose technologies (which power KDE) are more-or-less competitors to those already in the Maemo platform (those used by GNOME). Seems like an odd position already.

And only yesterday, they announce that they are acquiring Symbian and handing Symbian OS et al over to the newly-formed Symbian Foundation, i.e. they’re opening up the source code.

You know the grey goo doomsday scenario? Seems like Nokia is just swallowing up as much stuff as it can and turning it into open source goo.

While I guess it’s a good day for software freedom in general, I can’t help but feel a little dejected by the lack of focus on and commitment to Maemo by Nokia. But with OHA Android, LiMo and OpenMoko all looking to win the hearts of developers and consumers alike, perhaps Nokia is right to feel the need to have three independent, (if incompatible) software stacks in its arsenal.

11 June 2008

The fastest way to shut down a MacBook Pro...

...Pour half a pint of water right into the keyboard.

As you may know by now from my tweet last night or my Facebook status, I clumsily poured half a glass of water onto my MacBook Pro last night whilst revising for my exams. The screen went dark almost immediately, and there was a worrying hiss as either the water furiously boiled off my very hot components, or expensive bits of silicon were toasted by stray current. I don’t actually know for sure if it shorted out, as with my lightning fast reactions, I had the computer inverted in my hands, emptying water out of it, whilst yanking the battery out. The power connector had fallen out by itself as I had picked it up, so hopefully that counts for something. It’s really quite likely that it did short, though.

A bit of towel-drying and hair-dryering later, I took what panels (or rather “panel”) I could take off easily, and it’s now sat upside down in an L shape, propped up atop a box in my room. Gonna wait till Friday or so to power back up and see if we get signal.

Thankfully, I have accidental insurance with a 10% excess, so it’s not a total disaster. And I’m smart enough to not keep any important data on the disk, so I’ve not lost anything should the disk be hosed. Can’t be chewed with the ball-ache of repair/replace, though. Pants! :(

Follow-Up: It turned back on with no signs of fault after about a week of drying in various orientations. As of February 2009, it’s still working, even though I’ve dropped it and put a massive dent in the case since!

07 June 2008

“The conversation has been moved to the Bin”

Interesting to see that Google have localized localised Google Mail for us Brits, now opting to call the place where unwanted messages go to die the “Bin” now, instead of the “Trash”. Weird that, but it makes sense. Nobody says “Trash”. Maybe we should be doing it in GNOME, too?