The Tech Obituary

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by hal, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Google Wave

    Still astray from the mobile paradigm, now it's the turn of Google Wave. This is an example that not everything in life is just good ideas. If you don't make them work, then they're nothing. Just like all of the so-called DaVinci's inventions. Nice drawings, nice drafts, nice ideas, but not solutions.

    Google Wave was meant as "a new way of communicating" (anybody heard that before?), in a fashion where messaging (namely email) was organized in "waves", this is, all related messages were kinda bonded in a single conversation. For one, ever you heard of something called "threads" (like the current one), and for the second, have you heard of something called MS Office Outlook? The intention of these waves was to offer a coherent view of conversation within an inbox, that taken to the Cloud it may sound pretty innovative, but it didn't do anything that could be implemented in a more simple manner (perhaps a Search Thingy), and for the other there were previous solutions like Office Outlook. OK, not everybody owns nor wishes for Outlook, but again, not everybody has the head so spinned up that a messaging follow-up is a hard task. Google Wave was born like an alternative to the Google GMail Inbox, and it promised things that, in short, GMail already covered, such as merging messages in conversations, the possibility of using video instead of text, but also the chance to incorporate other nature of comms such as phone calls, Google Talk, IM, wikis, etc.

    I gleefully signed up, only to discover something like 5 persons to communicate with, and the place was full of shortcomings. But I was wishing to embrace 'a new paradigm' of more integrated options. Besides, the promise of integrating calls was very appealing. But each of the pieces gathered didn't work any better than any individual alternative. Eventually, Google determined that Google Wave was going nowhwere, and it stalled all progress. For two years, Google Wave kept its partially functional form. Starting in January 2012, all Google Wave became read-only, and it was shut down in April, and all the development was sent to that digital landfill that is called the Apache server.

    Inside the experts' communities, it was the talk that Google Wave was frozen because Google was developing Google+. I stick with the assertion that Google stopped all Wave development cause it was going nowhere. Many of the promises of Google Wave can now be seen in other websites like Facebook, such as email (namely PM) and IM all integrated, IM both website-run and client-run, VoIP integration (via Skype), and all those automated signups that you can do in a lot of websites using the "Facebook login". But all of this integration has meant a great deal of investment, such as the clear example of the Skype acquisition by Microsoft. You don't reach that level of integration without that kind of money. Nor without that kind of ROI.

    Thank you, Google Wave, for your limited service. You could have meant the demise of Office Outlook. But things happen, or don't, for a reason. So long.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  2. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I don't even remember doing it; but I did have a few Google Notebooks open. I must have done it when it first came out and forgot about them. They were incorporated into Google Docs I think.
     
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  3. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Indeed, EdmundDantes, if you had Google Notebook, then you had Google Docs, and the data in Google Notebook should have been migrated to a folder within Google Docs. A reason given by Google regarding the phasing off of Google Notebook, was the redundancy of services offered, because Google Docs was already live. IMO Google Notebook had a place of its own, especially recalling its so simple interface, and the existence of a developer community. Typing down fast notes instead of jotting them in a stickie, is something that is better done in a limited resource such as a Notepad, instead of loading a full-fledge word processor, but OK, that's the way Google determined it.
     
  4. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Motorola

    The Brighthand's headlines take me to a corporation that I so respected. You know when did I go mobile? Back in 1992, and it was not with a cellphone. It was with a 2m-Band two-way radio. When I was an ambulance boy, we used two-way radios not very different from the current ones, but with an autonomy that spread hundreds of kms (not kidding). Standing in the northern outskirts of Mexico City, I could talk with another unit deployed at the Popocatepetl Volcano, that's more than two statehoods away. We used Yaesu and Motorola radios. The non-handheld radios, namely vehicle-mounted and station-mounted, were all Motorola and were even more powerful than the handheld ones.

    Along my career, one of the most remarkable activities I've embraced, has been working in Quality Systems. FYI, the Six Sygma System was created by Motorola. Six Sygma is more reknown for its implementation in the automotive sector, but it was actually born in the electronics sector.

    We could spend the whole evening enlisting the innovations that Motorola gave to the world. Last year, Motorola was split into two corporations, pursuing the sale of the mobile technologies portion to Google. Even though the other portion, Motorola Solutions, is considered the heir to the original Motorla efforts, I reckon the very corporation that we knew as Motorola is OPD.

    Godspeed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  5. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Hal,

    I felt the same way yesterday as I read the article. It has similarities to HP buying out Palm.

    My dad spent most of his life in the food business - with vending machines. He started as a route man filling machines up to a mechanic to a supervisor to a branch manager - and ran the most profitable branch in the company. Most of the business had vending machines in all the factories in the Mid-West until manufactoring collapsed - which was about the time my father retired.

    I say all of that because my whole life as a child to going off to college my dad always had a Motorola radio in his food van or pick up truck or for most of my childhood his company car. To a kid it was so neat that he could talk to the dispatcher at the office and with other employees.

    Of course I know Motorola had more products than that (I have a good Motorola walkie talkie some where in my closet) but for me that image of a Motorola radio under the dash of my dad's car will be the lasting memory of Motorola for me.

    Maybe a bit premature but I say it now - RIP.

    Sent from my Samsung Epic 4g using Tapatalk
     
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  6. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Scott, don't you find it amusing that people figure a very different timeline for the Silicon Era? Most people think that the mobile paradigm started like 8 years ago or something. Two-way radios predate cellphones by DECADES! Of course, they were confined either to vertical markets (logistics, military, law enforcement) or advocated communities (truck drivers, mountain-climbers, ham radio amateurs), but I mean, the comms fashion was already there. When I was a kid, back in the mid-80's, cellphones were already a reality in Mexico, however just as expensive as everywhere else. In Mexico there was a widespread community of CB radio users, that now I wonder why did we allow it to fade. There were corporations that sold and implemented these equipments that allowed to link a landline to a CB radio, so a phone clerk could transfer a call to a car via CB radio frequency. Not very smooth implementation, but I saw quite a number of users with it, until technology marched on and they disappeared.

    I understand your nostalgic view of Motorola. The things that make you feel at home as a kid, are the things that make you feel at home forever. Ever since I received the gift of memory, say mid '70s, I remember my dad (a doctor) carrying a pager in his waistband. An accoustic pager, essentially a one-way radio. A call center operator sent messages every now and then and my dad left the dining table and left for the hospital. Eventually my dad stopped using the accoustic pagers and started using the digital ones with a screen. And then he stopped using pagers at all.

    Guess the brand of those pagers :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
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  7. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Steve Jobs

    When we think of a technological graveyard, we mostly think of corporations, of products (whether goods or services). Investments and objects. But allow me to include an institution. Once upon a time, there was this boy who was untimely born to two unmarried students, and given in adoption. This boy turned into this skinny guy who collected and sold empty bottles to earn some cash. His dad was something of a DIY and encouraged him to solve problems and malfunctions, tinkering and welding things. The guy got into LSD. The guy traveled to India and changed his perspective about life. And he spent a summer season picking apples.

    Somewhere along these lines, a different kind of person was created. Built, is perhaps a better term. More technically-savvy than himself usually admitted, incredibly outstanding for business, and with a vision of the future. And he and two associates outsparked a venture flagged by a symbol inspired on that merry summer picking apples. I am not an iTribesman, but I don't have to be one in order to give him what he deserves. Steve Jobs came to the world, to change the world.

    Farewell, Mr. Jobs, (literally) rest assured that there are bitten apples scattered all across the Earth.




    <However, you never got to burn Adobe Systems to the ground and gleefuly pee on the ashes> :D

    <But you did change the world. Wherever you are, take a seat and enjoy the view of your legacy.>
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
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  8. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Mobipocket

    Mobipocket was an ebook reader platform. The Mobipocket Reader was a commonplace for many Palm OS advocates. There were versions for many more platforms, but its fame was earned in Palm OS. The desktop version incorporated a bookstore and resources in order to get news, feeds, and download webpages. I remember it sported an integration that many current platforms would envy.

    In 2005, Amazon acquired Mobipocket as a founding step towards the whole Kindle happening. AAMOF, I kinda remember that the ebook format that Amazon considers native with the Kindle is .mobi, which happens to be the original Mobipocket format, but I could be wrong. The contemporary advocates of dedicated ebook readers can confirm or refute my assertion over here. OK, after Amazon acquired Mobipocket, and used it as the core development towards the Kindle, it stalled all progress in the Mobipocket platform and webpage. The webpage is still up, but the ebook catalog has been plundered, currently you can only find a dozen free ebooks, some medical titles, and that's it. I wonder if a desktop reader can still access newspapers and magazines. The whole software section was plundered as well. For most of it, Amazon replaced the whole support aiming it to the Kindle. Considering the current success of the latter platform, I cannot say all this move was a mistake. Incidentally, there are lots of ebooks offered in .mobi format all around the Net, so if a user doesn't feel like messing with format transfer, getting Mobipocket at least for a desktop usage is still likely. Not in the Mobipocket webpage itself, though. The excellent Spanish website Softonic offers most of the Mobipocket versions for many current platforms.

    I miss Mobipocket a little. So long, my good friendly reading platform.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  9. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Tome Raider

    Another reader app. It originally took its name as a funny reference to the Tomb Raider franchise, in that you could plunder through the books and written treasures of your taste. Developed by YadaByte, that I gather is a British-based website. Tome Raider was a rather advanced reading application in its own time (ca. 2003), and it was arguably the best ebook & general contents reader for several years. Mobile locally-stored versions of the Wikipedia and the IMDB were created for it, however, as YadaByte stopped all progress for Tome Raider, the side developer of such contents eventually stopped as well (in a grudge, BTW). The latest version of Tome Raider is v.3, but beta installations of a further version were announced. At the MobileRead forums, Tome Raider was announced by the developer himself as going open source, but if it ever happened, nothing notable was ever done with it. Eventually the Tome Raider's own domain was fed to the site squatters.

    NewsRaider, an application all separate but sibling to Tome Raider, has been phased out as well. I understand it worked as a news reader, working on feeds different from RSS. Currently its own website is site squatters' meat.

    The developer has stated his will to offer Tome Raider for open sourcing, but he asks for developers to carry on. IIRC, the .TR format had an excellent compression ratio if compared to competing formats. If you feel like fiddling into aging tech, (I think) you can get in touch with the developer at the MobileRead forums.

    In the meanwhile, we can all take Tome Raider as OPD. Godspeed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  10. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Bits 'n Bolts Software

    Timely announced by Lauren, and thoroughly discussed and mourned in the same thread. The creators behind BackupMan for Palm OS. Yesterday it was a full year after their demise.

    Farewell.
     

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