Wednesday, June 5, 2013

shopping-blog.drewmiller.net

I am obsessed with getting a Haswell-based, touchscreen Ultrabook.  I want something light with a good keyboard and good screen.  So far there aren't that many options.  Here are a couple:

  • Zenbook Infinity - not out until Q4, and glass everywhere could be heavy or fragile.
  • Fujitsu UH90 - LOVE the red, no announced US release date.
  • Dell XPS 12 - not crazy about the tablet-y form factor, but the original had good reviews and this is being released in the next few weeks.  1080p seems fine for a 12 inch screen.
  • Acer Aspire S7 - I hate the idea of a keyboard with no function keys, though the chromebook is making me realize that it's not the end of the world (and I'm adapting to using CTRL-W instead of CTRL-F4 for closing tabs).  Release date is sometime Q3.
  • Sony Vaio Pro 13 - the keyboard has gotten mediocre reviews but otherwise this seems legit - super light is nice.
  • HP Envy TouchSmart 14 - no details since this was accidentally announced, and I haven't had excellent experience with HP build quality, but keeping it on the list for now.
  • Asus Zenbook Touch UX31 - Not much for details again, but at least has the minimum specs I want.

Things I've ruled out:


Is this really all that exists for 12-14" Haswell touchscreen Ultrabooks?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chromebook Pixel


I attended Google I/O 2013, and received a Chromebook Pixel LTE as the surprise hardware gift.  It is a beautiful piece of hardware; 2560x1700 screen at 12.85 inches, touch-enabled, with an unusual bur very nice keyboard and an awesome trackpad (but for no right-click).  If I can run windows on this thing, I'm pretty sure I would not feel the need to buy another computer for several years.  But I can't, and that's the problem.

Chrome is nice.  It's my browser of choice in all operating systems (including iOS), and I'm generally open to the idea of using it as a portal into nontraditional browser work.  But Chrome OS stinks.

The first problem I encountered was that I couldn't get into the good version of my company's mobile exchange site.  Boo, Microsoft, right?  But it works on Chrome on my browser just fine, so this was solely a Chrome OS problem.  I fixed this by downloading a user-agent faking plugin.

Later I tried to download some games from the Chrome Web Store.  I was able to "install" (aka Bookmark) them fairly quickly, but most of them took a looong time to load over a slow DSL connection in rural Wisconsin.  And that was every time I wanted to play; there was no caching to speak of going on.  The worst part though was that several highly-touted games in the store (provided by Core Online) - Mini Ninjas, Hitman, and some Tomb Raider games - are not supported in Chrome OS (http://www.coreonline.com/lara-croft-guardian-of-light/wrong_browser/).

On the plus side, you can install linux on this box.  On the minus side, linux sucks.  Yeah, yeah.  I know.  And hey, it only took me three separate times googling to figure out how to install Sublime Text 2 on Linux, and Chrome defaults to the wrong version when trying to install Chrome for Linux on the Chromebook.  Could be worse, right?  I could be using an operating system that can't run it at all.

P.S.  I thought I was going to have write how it was impossible to even complain about how bad chromebooks are while not connected to wireless, but it turns out that the "scratchpad" app works even when you aren't connected to the internet. So there's that.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

First!

Let's be honest - the will to blog comes and goes, and with me having a kid and a job in politics (which means I can't post opinions about primaries) I suspect it's going to go a lot faster this time than it did with the old blog.drewmiller.net or the super secret Drew Miller Confidential.  One thing I can promise is I probably won't be posting anything about general election politics either, because general election politics are obvious and boring.

For those who don't know me, here are my greatest media hits:


Looking back at my quotes in the last one, I am kind of impressed.  I am pretty sure whenever I did an interview in college I always asked that the reporter "make me sound smart."  You can only sound so smart when you're getting charged with rioting, though.