Glossy vs matte screens: why the PC industry’s out of touch | PC Pro blog

Glossy vs matte screens: why the PC industry’s out of touch | PC Pro blog.

The most interesting comment on the debate Matte VS Glossy screen I’ve heard so far:

I am surprised to see how few people have noticed the massive flaw in the non-glare concept.
With glossy, when there is a glare from behind me, I can rotate the monitor a teeny bit and be rid of the thing.
Not so with matte. For the light impacts a farrrr greater area of the screen, creating a sort of fog rather than that one little glare that could be pushed aside.
On top of the matte actually creating MORE GLARE (only of a different kind), the colors are kaka comparatively, especially during the day.
Glossy: iPad, iPhone. Nobody is complaining much about those, ya know.
Where I will agree is in the manufacturers being deaf, in this case giving people a better screen (on laptops) than their own sense would request.
Strangely though, it has become impossible to find a glossy screen on an external monitor, all while 99% of laps ARE glossy. Weird people.

Browsers: my experience with Opera

I’ve started to use Opera browser lately, and I’m quite satisfied with it. I decided to give it a try when I found I was having too many distractions during my workday with Chrome. 

Chrome has recently changed the new tab page in a direction I’m not very happy with. Each time I open a new tab page now I see something that resembles the Google homepage, with no possibility to tweak it. 

I see tools on the top right side to access Google apps, I see the Google callout for whatever action happens on my Google plus profile, and more recently I discovered they also introduced a little moving element to alert for you to discover what’s the today’s google doodle. 

I thought for a minute: “ok let’s try to change all this stuff into the settings”. But then I realized I was actually being offended by the way Google changed my new tab page. Thinking about my typical working day, the new tab page is very important to me. I think it’s one of the pages I view the most, a very important portion of what hits my eyes every day. Of course Google too knows that, and they thought to put the hands on something so important to me after attracting me with an awesome browser.

Ok, that’s fine. Chrome is awesome, they are moving the web ahead, not without some suspiciousness to me, but does this give them the right to do whatever they want on my new tab page? And even worse, how badly are they playing this card? Just to make me fall into their own social network? Not a nice move to me. 

You could argue that I can always choose another browser if I don’t like that. And In fact that’s what I’m doing. And I’ll probably come back to chrome very soon. It’s actually impossibile to not use Chrome for certain tasks, I expect that. Google docs may be one of those reasons. I expect that the complexity those browser apps may require tradeoffs on the javascript side which would make it very hard to support all possibile browser vendors. I’d understand that. 

What I don’t understand is the lack of respect. Do they ever think there’s a human in front of the screen trying to do his job in the browser? It’s like being invited on a buffet party, where somebody else decides what you can and what you can’t eat. Not funny. 

Coming back to Opera, I like that mainly because:

  • it looks like a clone of Chrome.
  • it’s using the same rendering engine, even developer tools are the same
  • new tabs arrange themselves nicely on tabs bar
  • they use favicons on the tabs bar
  • it’s fast
  • there are addons for few of the tools I was using before

Give it a try. Happy browsing!

Mike Perham on distributed databases

Mike Perham on distributed databases

This made me think.

I understand the point. Dealing with a distributed database will always be harder than to deal with a single SQL one. But I also think there’s some “cost” that Mike is not taking into account.

The cost of non linear throughput is only one of the several variables involved in the decision. Some projects have higher chances to hit the limits of a single machine database like PostgreSQL. Hence here are my thoughts:

  1. The higher the chances, the more it makes sense to start off with a distributed database from the beginning.
  2. The hardest it is to predict data growth, the more it makes sense to start off with a distributed database.

Databases which are built for scale have different characteristics from the ones built to run on a single operating system. To leverage those characteristics your architecture has to change inevitably. The cost to change things after may very high for several reasons. First off it may not be easy to migrate a huge 600GB Postgres database with little or no downtime. Secondly, you’ll be deploying at the same time an important change your app’s code. Not exactly the kind of operation a team dreams by night. You have to plan such change way before it’s actually required.

That being said I know there are tons of business being profitable with a single (maybe replicated) instance of MySQL or Postgres. If you are lucky enough you can architect your app to fit in that category. If you are not, then my advice is to pick a distributed database from the beginning only if storing a lot of data is part of your value proposition. Once you’ve coded all what’s due to deal with the eventual consistency issues and other oddities you won’t regret it.

Otherwise, if you are starting something new and you don’t exactly know where you are going, then use Postgres or MySQL and you’ll be on track much faster.