Death of a Polaroid

I was lucky enough to be bought “Death of a Polaroid” for Christmas. This magnificent photo album documents many of Nicky Wire’s Polaroid snaps throughout the history of the band. With many people (especially technology bloggers) wishing away printed books, it made me realise how electronic books will never be able to replace some things, despite what they might hope for.

Funny message from Samsung on my laptop

I found this funny, because hadn’t rebooted my system for more than a week (I always use Sleep) it recommended I restarted.

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What a great user experience! (and not really true since the Windows 98 days).

I had a dig around to try and find out what was causing this popup so I could stop it, and found a setting to only charge the battery up to 100%

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Interesting. Do any battery experts know how doing this improves battery life?

Photostream in Android with Dropbox

Windows Phone 7 has always had the ability to automatically upload your photos to Skydrive, and iOS recently gained this feature with iCloud’s photo stream. But how can you do this on Android? The answer is by using a great little app called Real Sync to synchronise with Dropbox.
 
 
Simply add your dropbox account, then set Real Sync to immediately mirror the contents of your SD card’s DCIM folder (you can add rules to ignore large files if you like).

How to make your Kindle work with a BT Home Hub 3

If you search around for WiFi connection problems relating to the Kindle, you’ll soon discover that Amazon seem to have played a bit fast and loose with the WiFi specification and problems with the Kindle are rife.

It was no surprise to me then that when I switched to BT ADSL that both my Kindle 3 and my Dad’s Kindle 4 wouldn’t connect to the Home Hub 3 router. I counted 11 other devices in the house which connected without any trouble; laptops, iPods, Xboxes and phones of different makes – so I knew the problem was with the Kindle. After not getting much help from Amazon (for what its worth, their support staff answer the phone quickly, and were pleasant to deal with) I decided I would just need to go through a trial and error process myself. This was time consuming, because the problem only seemed to manifest itself once the Kindle had put the WiFi radio to sleep, so after making a change to the router’s configuration and reconnecting the Kindle, it would always work, and only after 30 minutes or so when the Kindle failed to connect would I know if there was still a problem.

Anyway, the solution for me was to disable mixed WPA and WPA2 encryption, and set the router to use only WPA2. Contrary to other Internet sites, changing the wireless channel or turning off ‘N’ mode made no difference to me. This fixed worked on my Kindle 3 3G and the new Kindle 4 WiFi. All my other devices still connect fine (event a first generation iPod Touch) so not having the original WPA specification in use doesn’t seem to have any drawbacks.

I hope this is of use to someone – let me know in the comments if you’ve had the same problem.

Flash can’t even get this right

I have to wonder if anyone from the world of UX ever approved the update wizard that Flash Player for Windows uses. It seems to be designed to annoy users, especially since it is modal and shows above all other windows.

On the first screen, checking the checkbox will stop you from progressing and installing the update (contrary to almost every other wizard I’ve seen) yet on the second screen the checkbox needs to be checked in order to continue. What were they thinking?

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Most people will not read the associated text (they certainly wont lead the license agreement), and will check the box assuming they need to for the update to install. As Raymond Chen wrote (one of my favourite tech blogs) “Don’t require your users to have a degree in philosophy

Is this bad UX or am I just wrong? I’d be interested in hearing comments.