Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The evil of docx

So Microsoft has done it again. As the number of Vista user increases, the number of Word documents I receive in the new Vista format increases. And of course, Microsoft has created a new format that cannot be read, even if you have bought Office 2004 on the Mac. Does anyone other than me find this completely unreasonable?

The only answer open to me, and every other non Vista user -- ask the sender of the document to resend in an old format.

Frankly it just makes me angry at Microsoft. It can't possibly be helping the impression of them as a company. There is no reasonable explanation for another document format change other than an attempt to force upgrades to Vista.

Couldn't we all simply refuse to use this new document type? Do we need to start a protest movement?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fisher Price Disappoints

I hesitated before buying a Fisher Price product. I already have a bad impression of this brand as being associated with poor quality products. My latest experience, buying a "Kid Tough" Fisher Price digital camera for my four year-old has reinforced my negative opinion. This camera is a piece of junk.

The ergonomics attracted me to the device, first suggested by my mother. My daughter loves taking pictures but we worry about her holding our "expensive" digital camera because she has a tendency to swing it around... So the idea behind "kid tough" is that the camera is easier for small hands and built to take the likely bonks from dropping or swinging.

Three fatal flaws:

1) The camera provides an easy to use two-eye viewer for selecting the shot (think binoculars) -- BUT the image shown doesn't line up with the image the camera takes. Result - heads always cut off in photos.

2) Simple anti-jitter software would have helped an enormous amount -- come on! Kids are not going to stand still to take pictures! And with the slow shutter speed of the cheap ccd they used, every photo comes out blurry.

3) Speaking of cheap ccd -- advertised as 1.3 megapixels, don't miss the word "interpolated" -- which is to say, the photos are all very grainy.

No more Fisher Price for this household! It may be inexpensive, but junk at any price is a waste of money!