Scrolly UI reinvented by Microsoft and its influence on the market

February 16, 2010 at 5:02 AMalex

As you've might heard, Microsoft announced its latest generation of mobile operating systems, called Windows Phone 7 Series. One cool thing is that it was something unexpected as where Microsoft would go with its developments, how much iPhone would influence on their UI, whether it would reminicent the Zune Phone idea to some extend. The importance of that annoouncement could not be underscored as it clearly indicates the trends of nowadays interfaces.

Most importantly, systems are moving away from unauthentic 3d interfences whereever possible to the specific areas such as games, TV, AR, i.e. places where it naturally blends with the actual reality and humans expect those interactions natually to be supported by the computers. One can observe that by looking at latest web site designs, e-devices (kindle etc.), mp3-players. Moreover, people would like to offload the thinking about the process and rather concentrate on what is in their current focus and context, therefore, UI is presenting a very few choices to a user at a time in bold annotated graphics, which is clearly seen on iPhone and Zune. People then naturally interact within a context of a device through tough-based interface with system reacting to a user activity immediately through animation and other visual effects. Note that no complex visuals are required at this point as humans are accustomed to a very simple response, usually just affirmative reaction, or, a simple denial of an operation. Furthermore, response on a user action is as simple as visual or audio activity executed by the system. A person is interested in a very few contexts at a time, such as phone communication, social communication (facebook, communities), audio (music, podcasts, lectures), visual (movies, clips), planning (calendar, notes). Microsoft came up with the list of those contexts, which are available in the main menu. Very clever idea is to get rid of task bar at all as it is becoming an obsolete concept nowadays. Widget architecture is a very straight-forward way to extend the device's functionality, because it would give very rich functionality to developers hands and at the same time allows to isolate system's core modules for platform stability.

All at all, the direction where the system interaction with human is moving is clearly set by two major players on the market, namely, iPhone and Microsoft, and with the hardware manufactures's support, the future of the mobile devices looks very promising.

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128 bit operating system

July 26, 2009 at 4:46 PMalex

A few days ago, I finally started moving to 64 bit operating system and started thinking about 64 bit software components most of the time. This brought a set of problems with current components which I'm dealing with such as different utilities, drivers, and others. Do we have to have this kind of pain when we will be switching to 128 bit components? Do we ever need to think about 128 bit? Let me put forth some thoughts about it.

Currently, there are few places where we have exposed 128 bit constructs in order to alleviate those problems which we're currently facing. One of the most common is a need to identify something uniquely, and a structure called GUID was invented. It allowed us to overcome shortcomings of the auto-incremental ids or situations where we don't have control over the authority which can assign unique identifiers and guaranty their uniqueness to the appropriate probability. Another widely accepted application of 128 bit is encription where the long keys are increasing the strength of the ciphers. There are rudimentary appearencies of the 128 bit registers in processors such as IBM AS/370, and some recent developments from Sony related to physics simulations in consumer market devices.

Let's  think for a moment where we can use 128 bit systems, which would allow us to store and manipulate humongous amounts of information? Nowadays, we store all information in databases, and if Oracle's 128 developments will go mainstream, we can address even more abmiguous plans! Actually, Oracle does support 128 databases in terms of storage. Although, there are no 128 operating systems yet available on the market. Another trend is that it brings some possibility to store entire internet in your computer hard drive and being able to access and manipulate all this data momentarily!

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How to always have drivers around

July 24, 2008 at 11:54 PMalex

Consider that when installing the devices on new computer or just connecting a printer to another computer, one could not find the appropriate in the miriad of the CD-ROM disks. You will save a lot of time by creating a folder called Drivers on drive C: of your primary computer and every time you buy a new device, copy all drivers for operating system to that folder. This way you would always be able to locate the approriate driver very quickly.

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Vista ReadyBoost

February 17, 2007 at 11:54 PMalex

You asked... Vista ReadyBoost requirements etc at

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