if it is one thing that i really don’t like in the consumer electronics/computing industry, it is hearing about launches and product releases and not being able to immediately acquire them.
present company included, i think companies need to do a better job at getting “launch” products immediately in the hand of consumers.
yesterday, apple announced several new products, one namely that may shakeup hardware vendors, namely the macbook pro. now, it must be said that apple rules the market in hardware design for me. i think their innovation in computing hardware is solid, smart, sexy, and all the other buzzwords that people like. i have an iMac, and everytime i look at it i bang my head at why the pc manufactures have not come up with a similar all-in-one *smart* design (yes, i know emachines tried, but in the same form factor that made the first imacs fumble a bit). my imac has one cord. one cord. say again – one cord. no messy cables, no huge boxes, just one cord connecting power to a beautiful display and piece of hardware. don’t even get me started on their laptops — sweet to say the least…beautiful pieces of hardware.
note: i’ve been commenting on their hardware only. i LOVE windows. i think for me, it is the best platform. for my mother-in-law factor, the jury is still out. i think windows rules on several fronts, none of which i’ll argue here, for that isn’t my point.
there have been news about how long it will take before windows (and vista) show up on a macbook pro. i would love to see that…however, i think it will be a challenge. one question i have lies in how difficult apple has made the hardware choices to find/hack/whatever any device drivers to work with the windows operating system. if someone can do it, then i’ll buying a macbook pro, guaranteed.
the second announcement they made was around their software offerings. iLife 06 was announced. now having an imac, i already have iLife 05 and i think it is a great bundle for the home user (and arguably for the professional as well). namely the reason i have a mac is for video editing. there is no comparison between imovie and windows movie maker. imovie rocks. no question. iLife 06 brings enhancements in iPhoto and iMovie as well as introducing iWeb — a better software experience for lay users for blogging, etc. that was a smart move and helps drive revenue to their .mac offering.
now with both of these announcements i wanted to see them (and buy iLife 06). iWent to the apple store buy iCouldn’t find any of the announced products iLooked for! the apple store had nothing, and didn’t know when they’d get them. ARGH! it appears the hardware isn’t shipping until feb, but the software wasn’t their either. man iHate when companies do that! (again, present company included). don’t announce the availability — until it’s available!!!
i could go on with my thoughts of how apple is charging for incremental upgrades and not offering to exisitng same-OS users (see: frontrow, and photobooth), but i won’t. apple is a darling in a lot of people’s eyes namely because they hate microsoft. but in reality, they are no different. there is a cost to their OS (and by the way, they only support their OS on their hardware — clearly punctuated again by Jobs at the announcement yesterday), and they bundle their software, and they charge for updates.
well, iBetter get back to work…
i jumped on board with them early on and they are a relatively small organization not trying to bite off huge bits of the market — early on they resold at&t broadband basically. their prices are great, their services is superb (read: responsive, technical, helpful), and their technical service offerings are awesome (no ports blocked, static ips, ‘we don’t care what you do’ mentality, great hd service on tv, etc.). this has helped in past employment as a remote worker (vpn back into home, various client email settings and not having to change them, etc.) and has been a great experience to me.
now i read that cox is buying cableamerica operations that affect me. this concerns me for several reasons. first, change generally scares some people. it does me to — and i don’t know why. second, my service level changes concern me. i have nothing against cox as an organization, but others who have dealt with them and their services haven’t had good things to say. from the internet service standpoint, i’ve heard nothing but complaints: outages, blocked ports, no “home office” offering (must upgrade to higher priced business class—which is not really any more value), and crappy customer service/response times. i looked at current pricing and based on all my services, if cox were to take over today i’d be paying more money for less services and perceived quality. i’m not sure what their HDTV offerings are yet, but their site seems to list some offerings for my area — however friends have also questioned this service quality.
i hope the transition will take into consideration the customer. but often it doesn’t. we’ll have to wait and see. my father just started using qwest high speed and likes it — maybe i’ll have to give them another look…
okay, so it isn’t really a fix, but should be.
today the team released the SqlTableProfileProvider which modifies the profile storage mechanism from colon-delimited blobs (which provide for challenging backend reporting) to a method where each property is realized as a separate column.
is this the best implementation? maybe not. a quick look at the docs shows that the table has to be created in advance. one flexibility thing i love about the providers is just that…the flexibility. in the out-of-box profile provider you can implement new profile properties at will, and not have to touch the database. what this new implementation does is better store the data for reporting, however removes that quick flexibility — the table would have to be altered each new profile property.
a good start to better storage of that data though!
one gotcha: data isn’t serialized and must be compatible with the storage type.
go check out the SqlTableProfileProvider and SqlStoredProcedureProfileProvider
also be sure to check out this implementation ASP.NET 2.0 Custom Profile Provider as this is closer (and perhaps great — i haven’t tried it) to what I’d be looking for. the data may not be as easy to report on as above, but certainly simpler than colon-delimited.
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