mattgadient.com

Of iPads, Microsoft, and Dishwashers (random)

Before I get started, this is a random post – not a “how to fix” thing, though I suppose it borders on a couple “review” things. It’s not terribly specific though.

If you came here through a search, you’ll probably have to dig (sorry). On the other hand, if you’re cyber-stalking me, this probably won’t disappoint you any more than the usual stuff (hurray!).

On the iPad

I was always of the camp that thought “iPad” sounded more like a feminine product than a brilliant piece of technology. It didn’t click with me any more than the iPhone – it sounded cool and had neat features and everything, but I didn’t need it. I had a computer (and in the case of the iPhone, I already had a phone too).

However, lately the notion started to grow on me. I’ve been lugging the laptop all over the place, and just when I thought “I couldn’t be any more lazy than I am now“, I realized the iPad might make my life immensely more convenient. We’re a privileged generation.

So anyway, I bought an iPad. And it’s pretty nifty. It’s now the 1 device that pulls email from all my accounts (Apple Mail is great). I can work & browse the web comfortably while in bed. And using AirPlay to stream video to the AppleTV… just awesome.

 

I think the best part is… I probably wouldn’t have considered the thing if it weren’t for Microsoft.

Wait, what?

On Microsoft

Microsoft is dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure smart people work there, but the company as a whole is clueless.

You’re probably wondering how I’m about to connect the dots between Microsoft and the iPad. It’s actually a short trip. Windows 8.

For anyone who’s followed Windows 8, you’ve probably learned (or heard) about Metro – the new Windows UI. Microsoft decided that they’re going to bridge the desktop/mobile markets with a single UI. When you start up your Windows 8 machine and are presented with the Metro interface, instead of the desktop with Start/Taskbar, you’ll be interfacing with what looks like a smartphone.

The desktop you’re used to seeing when you start up Windows will now be changed to this:

It’s like using a tablet, but with a mouse instead of touch. Brilliant thinking, Microsoft!

Just in case you think I’m making it up, or that it could never happen, I’ll run you through the logic at Microsoft:

  1. We have the largest desktop marketshare.
  2. We’re doing terrible in the phone/tablet arena and can’t break in.
  3. If we provide a consistent UI between PC/mobile, Windows users will be more inclined to use a Windows-based tablet/phone because they’ll be comfortable with the UI.
  4. Since a Windows Desktop doesn’t transition to a phone/tablet, we’ll bring the phone/tablet interface to the PC.

The reality of the situation is that they’re just not going to make it in the tablet/phone area, just as they failed in the music area (Zune, anyone?). And Windows deskop PC users are going to get the joy of inheriting a UI that not only wasn’t intended for a desktop, but also failed at the thing it was actually intended for.

Joy.

Windows PC users are about to get a bolted-on, force-fed, tablet/phone UI on their desktop. And I thought it was a little funny. Because Windows 8 is all about upgrading your PC to a smartphone.

Maybe that’s more sad than funny.

Anyway, if I had to be exposed to a tablet UI, I wanted to see what was out there. So I looked at the iPad. And the iOS UI is better than the Metro UI by miles.   …and then I started realizing that maybe I need Windows (and PC’s in general) less than I did before. The iPad’s fast. It’s got a pile of apps. The thing’s really versatile.

 

So good job, Microsoft, the Metro UI got me interested in tablets, just like you wanted.

Only problem is, it wasn’t yours it got me interested in.

On Dishwashers

Getting away from the computer-area of things, I recently fixed a few washing machines, and wrote about bearings here, and spiders here.  I was actually about to throw up a “what-manufacturers-should-do-to-avoid-some-of-these-problems” post, when I realized that the new models already took the suggestions I was about to make.

So I guess they’re trying. And since they’re making some of the mechanical changes I was about to tell them to make, I can’t rag on them for being idiots as much any more. Oh well.

In any case, I think I’m in an appliance-phase. And I’ve moved from washing machines to dishwashers.

Most people buy a dishwasher because they need a dishwasher.

Not me, I go against the grain. I bought one because I found it interesting.

 

…and they are rather interesting. They have fewer complexities than a standard front-load-washer, but still… did you know that Bosch models don’t use a heater to dry your dishes? They use condensation drying. After a final hot-water rinse, the stainless steel interiors cool faster than the dishes. So the water evaporates from the dishes, condenses on the stainless steel interior, and runs down the drain.

As far as top-of-the-line models go, did you know it’s possible to get models with a built-in water softener? I mean really. That’s pretty crazy. Now to be fair, that only solves problems for rich people with hard water who don’t have a water softener in their house already (a rare set of circumstances), but I think it’s a bit neat none-the-less.

 

In any case, the dishwasher I grabbed is in the process of having a website built around it. At the moment, it only covers a few of the comparisons I made while trying to determine what to buy (more to come), but if you feel like checking out the site’s progress, you can read about the Bosch 300-series dishwasher here.

…and as a note: If you’re looking for a dishwasher, once you’ve hit the price-point where they offer stainless-steel interiors, any upgrades beyond that tend to revolve around looks & features (until you get to the crazy water-softener price-point anyway). If you’re grabbing a dishwasher, don’t go super-cheap, but there doesn’t seem to be any functional need to go super-expensive either.

 

Well, that’s enough random for this month.

Back to irregularly scheduled programming.