An infographic on Microsoft’s failures

Here’s a little something I found floating around the web. Bit old, but still rather funny. Microsoft MBA: Over 30 Years of Innovation

Categories: uncategorized

LaTeX characteristics being adopted by Microsoft Word 2010

I have used LaTeX fairly extensively in my academic work for producing research papers, CVs, reports and so on. I have always felt that the final document produced by LaTeX justifies the steeper learning curve and somewhat obsolete method of document production. In a nutshell, documents produced using LaTeX look good. The page at [Dario Taraborelli: The Beauty of LaTeX] explains some of the reasons this is so.

But Microsoft Office 2010 has, finally, added some typesetting features to it’s Word application, even though they are turned off by default. Calibri and Cambria are excellent expert fonts – at par with Libertine or Hoefler, perhaps. Kerning is now supported, as are ligatures. Glyph variants can now be selected manually, even if it is still rather cumbersome. Line breaks and paragraphing is still not intelligent, though. And true small caps are not offered either. Font transparency can only be achieved using the trick of textboxes.

Nevertheless, it is a step ahead, like so many others. Text styling offered by Microsoft Word 2010 is almost at par with LaTeX. Large documents are now less prone to problems. Direct PDF output is also now a Word feature.

Unless LaTeX offers ease of use and greater features, I can see even fewer people who will want to move to LaTeX’s niche world.

Firefox 4.0, Safari 5, Chrome 6 and Opera 10.53

In recent days, the browser war has heated up. Development is continuing at a breakneck pace. Firefox 4.0 is in development, as is Chrome 6. Safari 5 and Opera 10.53 were released very recently.

Safari and Chrome are the undisputed speed kings, with Opera and even Firefox far behind. Still, Firefox usage is not expected to fall down. That, of course, would be primarily due to the the customization of Firefox.

  • Firefox: For power users
  • Safari: For it’s very, very useful Safari Reader – a utility that allows screen reader view of any article Safari detects. It even unifies multi page articles.
  • Chrome: For speed and simplistic UI
  • Opera: Falling behind the times – it’s difficult to think of even one uniquely compelling reason to use Opera.

Just a rant.

Old Blog Deprecated

Time has always been my enemy. All posts older than this are from superphysics.awardpace.com – that used to be my primary blog, but has since been deprecated because I could not put enough time into it.

Following this announcement, all new posts will either be news articles or just things I want to discuss: no standard blogging. However, the mirroring of the old information simply serves as a resource to those who wish to read it and use it.

Categories: uncategorized

Windows 7 – Why I'll take Ubuntu 9.10 over it anyday

I’ve written about this before – a view on why both Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 will co-exist. But the matter of fact is, I have a preference. I run Vista as my primary OS, yet I see no reason whatsoever to upgrade to Windows 7.

Much maligned as Vista was, two service packs down the lane and it has become reliable enough for my needs. But if one must really toss aside Windows Vista, Windows 7 is probably not the best way to go.

Exorbitantly expensive for all who need any less that full scale compatibility with specialist software suites such as Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Word 2007, Windows 7 is trumped by the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 in four critical areas:

  1. Price. Face it – Ubuntu 9.10 is free. And Windows 7 costs a fair amount of money.
  2. Performance. I have tried the release candidates of both OSes and I can say with complete certainty that Ubuntu is far faster at all common tasks than Windows 7.
  3. Security. Frankly, the only real method you would get a virus into Ubuntu (due to it’s Linux heritage) is if you made a deliberate effort to do so using WINE.
  4. Hardware support. Windows 7 has indeed improved in many areas or hardware support – but one fact remains: Ubuntu supports far more hardware out of the box than Windows 7. This is not to say that Ubuntu will support all hardware, but most. I have an averagely dated machine for testing, and Ubuntu picks up all the hardware, while the Windows 7 test run missed the graphics.

Windows 7, of course, has it’s trump cards too:

  1. Software. Windows has a greater range of software than all other OSes combined. Reason: Windows has been the desktop OS of choice for aeons and a lot of work has been put into it.
  2. Pre-configured PCs. If you’re buying a new PC, chances are that Windows 7 will be bundled with it. With that comes a lot of guarantee, none of which comes with a Linux box.

Note that the two Windows advantages apply to new sets. If you’re already working, or familiar enough with computers to adapt to Linux alternatives to Windows software, Ubuntu 9.10 is the way to go.

Eid Greetings!

Eid is a Muslim celebration that comes after the holy month of Ramadan, in which we fast from daybreak to sunset everyday. Eid is, thus, a day of rejoicing for all Muslims, everywhere in the world.

I extend the Eid Greetings to all readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike (non-Muslims must share in the happiness too 🙂

Eid ‘Mubarik’!

Categories: pleasantries

Scientechie is now on AboutUs.org

I just finished adding my blog to AboutUs.org. Please feel free to visit aboutus.org/superphysics.awardspace.com and edit it!

To be very truthful, I’m interested in seeing what kind of reaction I get: in terms of visits and/or comments.

Categories: pleasantries