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Websites with a Flash-only landing page and its impact on an iPhone

July 1, 2007 Comments off

Hong Kong has a number of websites which I would term as “Flash centric”. Whether Flash is truly needed on those sites is something of a personal taste. On the desktop world, its undeniable how ubiquitous Flash is

However, with the recent launch of the iPhone which doesn’t support either Flash or Java. I would personally rethink this option. I know that the iPhone won’t be launched in Asia till 2008 (I’m assuming mid-to-late 2008) but as the recent launch has shown there will be a huge interest in it particularly when Apple gets more applications on to the iPhone via software updates and people learn more about its quirks.

Whilst looking at two websites of fast-food chains today, KFC and Pizza Hut I realised that they were entirely in Flash so if an iPhone user wanted to visit these sites via an available Wi-Fi hotspot they are out of luck. Readers are reminded that the Hong Kong plans to provide free Wi-Fi access in all government facilities including libraries, public enquiry service centres, community halls/centres, parks and Government buildings plus they are lot of free/paid Wi-Fi operators already setup.

Website creators and design houses need to rethink the Flash-only landing page model. The iPhone represents one device which prevents its users from interacting with the property leading to a potential loss of a sale.

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Categories: General, Mac OSX

Low Cost MacOSX image editing/illustration tools

https://i1.wp.com/www.pixelmator.com/images/screenshots/bigshots/Pixelmator.jpg

I came across PixelMator via TUAW today. For the price of US$ 59. It seems to be a very slick tool for someone who is looking for some sophisticated image editing tools without paying for the cost of Photoshop. As TUAW says

The demo showcases some impressive Pixelmator features, including working with multiple layers and objects, opening Photoshop files and moving layers from one image to another, taking a picture with an iSight camera and embedding it into the current working image, and even some slick blending modes.

LineformAnother low cost application is Lineform which at US$ 79 is a steal for its features and its UI design. It’s the winner of the 2006 Apple Design awards

Categories: Mac OSX

Interesting software for Mac OSX

May 24, 2007 Comments off

Still life with roses and satinI have been using MacOSX for some time and of the things I have found unique to this operating system is that their is some awesome software available at low cost available for it. A piece of software in particular I would like to mention is ArtRage which is not exclusively MacOSX, it’s also available for Windows but as the image on the right shows, with the right creative talent one can create stunning masterpieces. The artwork is by Karachi based painter Waheed Nasir who was the featured artist in December 2006 on Wacom’s Community site. Artrage is available for US$ 19.95 and it has a free edition too. Feature comparision between the free and paid version is available here

I also like the OmniGroups OmniGraffle application

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For instant messaging, my choice is AdiumXDownload

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Categories: Mac OSX

Amazing Multi Touch demo from Jeff Han

March 28, 2007 Comments off

Watching this wordless demo was definitely a jaw-dropping experience for me

Is this part of the secret features of MacOSX Leopard 🙂

Categories: Mac OSX

Early thoughts on NewsGator Online Beta

February 28, 2007 1 comment

My RSS newsreader of choice is NetNewsWire. I had purchased it a few months before Brent Simmons sold his company to NewsGator and as a result of that purchase, I was able to obtain a premium NewsGator Online subscription for 2 years which allowed for synchronization of my desktop Mac with the web-based reader.

The web-based reader NewsGator Online whilst functional was not known for its performance, an area touched upon by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch in a recent post which analysed market share of various online readers

Newsgator online, a feature fantastic service long plagued with deal-breaking performance problems, is trailing in third place with a mere %3 of views. The company’s desktop feed readers, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon, probably have a much larger percentage of views as they are older, more stable products.

After reading an editorial on ajaxian wrt newsgator perceived slowness, I wrote to a few newsgator employees and investors about some ideas I thought which might improve performance

I had discussed these in my community blog a while back

Brian Kellner (GM consumer) wrote back to me that they were going to launch an ajax version of their online reader which would reduce page refreshes and was optimized for client side caching. Today, I received instructions on how to access the beta site. The email from Brian indicated that it was okay to blog about it (yeah, no NDA unlike the Joost invite I got)

I fired up Fiddler and tried to analyse the network traffic. As someone who lives in a different continent to NewsGator servers in a city with tremendous local connectivity, web traffic analysis via a sniffer is a regular excercise

Some early disappointments

Looking at the traffic sent out by Newsgator Online beta via Fiddler , I see that there is a lot of request/response for content with type image/gif and image/jpeg coming from http://www.newsgator.com without any cache-friendly headers (Expires, Cache-Control)

Some Suggestions for performance improvement

Always send images with a Cache-Friendly header

Move the images to either a separate domain or a new sub-domain. Currently because the images are sent from newsgator.com, there is an unnecessary Cookie: header sent from the browser for all images. It should be easy for newsgator to buy a new domain and use that exclusively for image/static content serving.

An example of a request for http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/reader/img/folderopen.gif generates a request of size 1025 bytes (dominated by the Cookie: header) for a response of 677 bytes which is further divided into an actual payload (image size) of 353 bytes and 324 bytes for the header. Remove the Cookie header and the request becomes only 334 bytes. One could tune the image server a bit and reduce the bytes used by the response header

Also, one would expect all html/javascript to be sent via Content-Encoding: gzip for all responses of those Content-type but there are quite a number of responses of those content type sent without being gzipped.

I can understand some reluctance with gzipping Javascript since there are quirks with IE (though if I remember correctly, IE6 SP2/IE 7 handles this correctly). Even use of jsmin would give around 25-30% reduction in size

On the bright side, page refreshes are reduced a lot in the beta.

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David Pogue iPhone FAQ

January 12, 2007 Comments off

David Pogue of the Missing Manual fame has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Apple iPhone

FAQ is available at David’s blog

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Categories: General, Mac OSX

Was it MacWorld or iWorld ?

January 11, 2007 Comments off

As someone who regularly follows the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) emanating from his Steveness, I was looking forward to yesterday’s keynote with particular interest on what would be announced for Leopard (MacOSX 10.5) and iWork (whether a spreadsheet app would show up or not)

Though I was personally disappointed with the keynote (only the AppleTV and iPhone) was announced (I thought the one more thing would a Quad Core iMac 🙂

I can see why Steve Jobs decided to keep the entire focus on the iPhone. I don’t know how the impact of having the phone exclusive to Cingular would be and the phone is arriving in Asia only in 2008. The lack of 3G of the phone might also hurt its chances in Asia.

What I think is going to be very intersting is that the phone is stated to run MacOSX, now it’s not clear if this means that standard MacOSX programs will run on it. If it does then its a major thing.

But this does mean that developers will have to seriously ramp up Safari/Webkit testing since this browser/rending engine is getting some serious uptake.

MacOSX + Parallels/Vmware Fusion is the way to go for software development/QA. I had already purchased Parallel’s last December when they were offering the one-year upgrade protection plan. Haven’t decided whether to go for an iMac or a Mac Book Pro. I am inclined for the 20″ iMac with 2GB RAM.

However, this post is being edited with Windows Live Writer beta 🙂

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Categories: Mac OSX
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