Saturday, July 27, 2013

Learning, Windows 8 (8.1), Apps, Life and More

I am a Learner, a constant student, inquisitive and a creator. I have learned to use Windows 8.1 because I wanted to. I have also learned to use my smartphone, my iPad, my Nexus 7, all because “I” wanted to. I leaned to write in Fortran in the 70’s because I wanted to. I believe it is this attitude that really drives all of us to learn anything, something. We do not learn if we are really not interested.

I think this learning thing all started with learning to tie your shoes and other ‘early’ on training that was necessary to go into life. It didn’t stop there and it continues on thought out life. Look what I can do now Mom.  

There is the possibility that we might be able to work with something we are not interested in, however we never learn it. The tool remains a foreign object and in this form we are always frustrated, or in the case of a chain saw we can get hurt. It is this mind set that does not like change. In some cases we are nothing more than automaton’s, human robots. We do not evolve and we stay stuck.

I am going to assume (I know the other meaning) that you are reading this perhaps you are a ‘learner’s’ or doer, or worker in the true sense. To be good at what we do we need tools and we need to LEARN them. More than learn we need to KNOW!

I want to discuss our recent apps phenomena. 

I like apps. I think they are very powerful. I believe that this is the near future for technical progress. I do not relate completely to the far future (2260’s) as I had not seen anyone in Star Trek refer to the use of apps. I do not remember seeing Captain Kirk or Spock working with Microsoft Office (or any Apple, Android software). Hmmm….. I wonder if they make it to the far future?

Now for the problem. I like apps on the phone or on a small tablet however on a computer, or larger tablet, they are a lost cause. Apps that cannot be resized on larger screens are a problem. I am not referring to resizing them to a 1/4 or 1/2 screen, I mean my personal choice of size and placement on screen.

Take my Windows 8 (now 8.1). Love it, however the apps are not quite right. At home I have two 23” monitors, I do not need a 23” Weather app, photo app, or news app. Even solitaire is a bit out of line. Now the world can, from 200 yards, see that I am killing time.

Why not consider an app window that one could size and place apps at a spot they want. Let’s see. I want the weather app, a news app, and a sports app, of reasonable size, that I could visually quickly scan to see changing events. I want them right here on this screen, somewhat like placing apps on my smartphone. I also might want to quickly preview changes in Facebook or Twitter.

As I said, just like on my phone, I should be able to have multiple screens. One of those would be my work screen which in effect would be my desktop or home screen. With the advent of a second (or third) monitor I could open the screens up to be shared on each monitor. I should be able to fly directly to the screen of action when I need to, not scroll, or swipe back and forth. Touch dots, that’s what we need.

This is possible with Touch however the apps are not quite right. The same application could be applied to larger tablets; 9”, 10”. There are now “18” to 20” tablets being built, a little overkill (my thoughts) for a tablet but that’s OK.

ALL tablets should be working devices and I should never again here ‘entertainment’ device. My computer is an entertainment device, the statement is meaningless. Why have a device for a single purpose?

While apps are not the final frontier they have to get us there – or at least be a stepping stone. Can you hear me Apple, Google, Microsoft? Give us from freedom to do our own thing!

Commander Scott (Scotty) we need some help here in the 21st Century. Please have a talk with the engineers.