Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple's Unveils The iPad

At a special event last night 20:00 South Africa time, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPad. I couldn't watch it online since unfortunately Apple didn't broadcast it but I did listen to an audio feed together with some photos from Engadget, Live Gizmodo all from my iPod Touch (on Wifi) while in bed with a stomach bug.

The iPad got multi-touch, very big screen, fast processor, comes in Wifi only, Wifi/3G models etc. For all the details you can read the references below - I'm not going to repeat here. For me it got some advantages / disadvantages:

  • Bigger then the iPhone/iPod Touch so browser is nicer
  • Comes in Wifi/3G models.. if you don't want to wait for the 3G model you can buy the Wifi only model and use a tool like MyFi that broadcast a Wifi signal from 3G (3G -> Wifi).
  • Very fast processor, most of the reviews are happy about how fast it is.
  • iWork: Office like package (try to compare it with MS Office) for word processing, spreadsheets etc. USD $9.99 from the AppStore.
  • AppStore: Buy all existing applications developed for the iPhone from the AppStore and run it on the iPad without modifications.
  • New SDK: New SDK for development of iPad applications
  • Games: Very good graphics, I love playing games on my iPod Touch / wife's iPhone.
  • Keyboard: A physical keyboard that you can connect to the iPad if your not keen on using the on screen keyboard (like me: I dislike typing on the iPhone/iPod Touch).
  • iBooks: New online store where you can buy e-books and read them the iPad.
  • Price: At USD $499.00 (about R3,773.09 base upon the current exchange rate) for the Wifi only model the pricing is very good.
  • Its not a PC, you still would require a Mac OS device to write applications for the iPad.
  • No multi-windows, only one application can run at a time... Just like the iPhone / iPod Touch.
  • Base upon new iPhone OS so got the same disadvantages
  • No GPRS - Not everywhere in South Africa there is Wifi or 3G.
  • No webcam build-in or microphone... doesn't see how applications like Skype/Fring will work if you want to do VOIP.
  • Wait: We're going to wait months before its available in South Africa.
So for me: I will not buy one, its got all the same stuff that the iPhone got already and you can phone with the iPhone (and use Skype/Fring), it got 3G and GPRS. I would like to see iBooks and the keyboard for the iPhone but that is something that I can live without.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 & My QBASIC Story

Happy New Year 2010 (that is Twenty-Ten :-)

I hope this year is full of joy, fun in your live. I'm having a full year with alot of work and my Java Certification exam in June 2010.

I reguarly visit reddit to see what is new in the programming world... I notice that there is a QBASIC interpreter written in JavaScript available online. By default it runs the Nibbles game (an old classic snake game).

QBasic was the first programming language that I used at the age of 14.. (I'm 28 now) when I was young, inexperience and programming was fun (yes it currently is still fun!) - writing my own dictionary, book library, help me with homework (especially maths) that is where my love for programming started that later became my career (another story how that started).

My dad bought me a old 386 SX, 40 MHz, 2MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive that ran MS DOS 6.22 with MS Windows 3.1. I learnt BASIC since it was the only books avialable in the schools library, taught you the old GW-BASIC in a cartoon style... GW-BASIC had line numbers etc where with QBasic it was the first version that didn't hand line numbers, had a proper IDE (no syntax highlighting or code completion yet), proper debugging in the form of breakpoints etc. In the language there was GOTO and GOSUB but mostly for back-ward compatibility with GW-BASIC where you get proper SUBs and FUNCTIONs in QBasic.

Later on I moved over to Library Basic so that I can compile my applications and not give my source away (yes even at that age I was very protective of my source code!)