Job, iPad, Chrome Extension

Well, it has been quite a while since posting last. Since then Christmas with the Fam has gone and past and we've started a new year. Jordan has been bugging me to make a post recently (not that she has really been doing any of her own) so I decided that I'd provide a little update on some things that have been going on that I think are interesting.

First and foremost - I've got a new job effective this coming Monday! I'm now the Senior Business Analyst for the Online Services group at FTD. I'm quite excited about the change and can't wait to get going in the new role. I was in the support group for nearly 3 years (2 months shy) and it was time for a change. I'm still dealing with the online services group but serving a different function.

Also, Jordan didn't post this when it occurred, but she also got a permanent store in December. This means that she isn't trekking all over Chicagoland to a different store each day. This actually occurred sooner than either of us really expected but is a great imporvement for her. She was having to drive an hour plus to get to the stores she was floating at previously.

Other than that there hasn't been much else going on - just plugging away at work.

On the technology front there was the big debut of the Apple iPad this week. I'm still torn if I'm going to buy it. If you've followed it at all you know that the expectations before it came out ranged from 'Jesus Tablet' to Dominator of Worlds. The reality was much more down to earth and many many many tech followers are very dissapointed about the thing. Personally, I think the form factor and technology shows great promise and I know I'll be buying some tablet eventually. However, the iPad has a few limitations that are painfully lacking:

  • Multitasking - this sounds like a nerdy thing until  I provide an example. I can't have IM open AND browse the web... something so basic and yet it cannot be accomplished without multitasking. This is my largest sticking point.
  • Touchpack -dialkeys
  • No Flash - Again, techy sounding until I ask if you watch video on Hulu, the NBC website, or listen to Pandora on the web. None of these are possible on the tablet - this is an ABSOLUTE deal breaker for Jordan who probably uses 40-60% of her time on the web watching TV shows.
  • Touch Keyboard - I was expecting some new input method for text on the tablet. I don't want a hardware keyboard, all Apple did was take the iPhone keyboard and make it ginormous. This isn't a solution. Someone did put out a decent solution a few years ago and it was **GASP** Microsoft. They called it Dial Keys and you can see at the right - I would have much preferred an input method like that.
  • Enormous Bezel - the huge black border around the screen - some will say it is so that you can hold the thing - I ask them why the iphone doesn't have it... because it isn't needed for that purpose. While the tech to bring the screen to the edge may be difficult and the space might be needed for internals - I don't really care, I expected better design from Apple
  • No camera - I expected a forward facing camera for video chat - not a deal break by any stretch - but would have been nice

Despite all of this I'm considering purchasing the device. The reality is that no one has a device on the same level of what Apple showed this week and I think that over time it will grow just as the iPhone did. Plus they blew everyone with the entry pricepoint at $499, if I buy one it will be at that price.

Finally, I've been working on an extension for Google Chrome. Once Chrome started supporting extensions I've moved over to it entirely as my primary browser. There are still some items that I prefer Firefox for, but in general I find chrome to be faster and prefer the UI. The extension is called TbSvr (Tab saver) and I use it as a quick bookmark replacement extension. It is still in early development but it has given me something to do on weekends when Jordan is working and keeps me fresh on javascript. I also enjoy seeing how many people download it.

If you're reading this blog on using internet explorer - do yourself (with regard to PC security) and web developers (Microsoft doesn't follow many standards on the web) a favor by downloading Firefox or Chrome.