Phone Storage Woes, Maybe

Read this article and then come back.

Nougat something or other, I don’t remember the article title.

Sorry… I used to be a teacher. Here, let me summarise for you:

Google is making Android updates go faster. This means less interruptions for updates. It also means more storage space is used on your phone.

“This will use more space on your phone’s internal storage.”

So, my thought? If phone manufacturers, and software developers are going to use more of our storage space, then I think they need to give us more storage space. Like, make a 64gb Nougat phone similarly priced as a 32gb Marshmallow phone. It’s not our fault the Android OS takes up so much space. Don’t tell me it’s a 32gb phone but the OS takes up half the storage space!

This has always irked me. But seeing as hard drives are generally cheap, it’s never been that big of a deal for me. Especially now with my 3TB hard drive!

The real problem with an OS taking up so much space comes into play mostly just with phones and tablets. SSD’s are still pretty expensive, so manufacturers put the smallest chips possible in their phones. The phones with more storage cost more primarily because of the storage increase. And this is a problem for two reasons:

One

Look at Apple. They have a 16gb iPhone… iOS literally takes up almost half of the storage space. It’s fairly similar for Android and Windows, but neither are so big as to render half of your storage unavailable to you. Until now. That is. Android will soon be so big (it’s going to have 2 system partitions) that a 16gb or even a 32gb storage chip will be left with only enough room for a few apps, some songs, and maybe 1 downloaded map (I’m not the only one who pre-downloads maps, right?). Bigger OS, less space for your stuff… on your phone.

Two

They’ve been playing this game for a while. There’s the technical aspect of system software needing storage space so of course it’s going to take up space on your SSD which means you won’t really have the amount of storage it says on the box because thats just how it works. But there’s also the side each one of these companies is exploiting. “The new and improved iDroid Phone, with 128gb of storage!” Only, you find out the OS, system files, recovery partitions, and backup storage takes up half of that so you only have 64gb of storage space available to you. You notice that you don’t have the amount of space you thought you were going to get and you complain. “C’mon! Every idiot knows the system files takes up storage space! Get with the program grandma!”

Three

Wait… I said there were only two. Oh well: THREE! another problem with all of this is that the industry doesn’t think of it as a problem. Microsoft got in deep water one year when a new Version of Windows was set to take up 10gb of hard drive space. With a 3TB hard drive, that’s not a problem. But with the 80-120gb hard drives of the time being normal (but quickly jumping to 320gb and beyond on newer PCs) 10gb of storage space lost to the system files was huge. Especially when mp3’s, video games, and other software quickly ate up storage. Microsoft made the next version “lighter” and has since kept the required system space as small as possible, for fear of backlash. Yet, Android is proposing a system that will take up more space on your phone. The benefit? You don’t have to wait 15 minutes for the phone to update. You know, because Android users don’t ever sleep, so the phone can’t update overnight or anything… It’s just strange that people don’t know, or they don’t seem to care about how much space Android takes up and how companies like Google just play off the ignorance of their customers. “That 16gb phone run out of space? You should upgrade to the newest phone with 64gb of storage. That’ll be $299.99. C’mon, it’s only 200 bucks. You can swing that every six months, right? 😉 

My plan has always been one that is very simple. I think what phone manufactress should do is put two SSD’s into their phones. One just big enough for the OS, system files, recovery partition, and maybe a little extra space for updates. Then the other SSD would be just for my stuff. A whole 64gb chip just for my apps, music, games, pictures, videos, and whatever else I want to put on my phone. We can already move many apps to an SD card shoved into our phone. And I can’t believe that having two “drives” in a phone would be any more difficult than doing it on a desktop. You’d just have to write the software to take advantage of the setup.

Ok. Rant over. I think that was a rant. It started out as a comment to the above article. But the app wouldn’t let me post the comment for some reason. So, WordPress to the rescue!

-Diggs out

My Fix for UWP

Here’s my fix for everyone’s issues with the Universal Windows Platform:

Don’t use it.

Oh, you want more?

Ok, stick with the way you do things already.

What? That’s not enough for you either? Who are you – my English teacher? Ok! Fine. Let’s get into this.

For clarification purposes, UWP is the Universal Windows Platform. This is where Microsoft has been working toward with Windows 10, the universal apps, and software as a service. People are upset that this closed ecosystem is going to ruin their games. But you know what….

First let’s look at Apple’s app ecosystem. It’s completely locked down. You get apps from their store. That’s it.

With MAC OS you can install any software from any developer for any reason and no one cares whether it came from an official source or the guy next door who makes kitten simulators.

This is also the way Windows works, right? Yes. Yes it is… Unless…

Before we get into Windows let’s look at Android. You have to get apps from the Google Play Store, sort of. If you want to sideload apps go right ahead. But don’t get upset if you get hacked or damage the phone. So in a sense, it is similar to Windows: you can install whatever you want. Nobody really cares.

So, Windows… specifically Windows 10. Here you have two options. You can install whatever software you get your hands on. Or you can install apps from the Windows Store. One would think you’d get the best of both worlds, and one would be right, unless one is a big baby who doesn’t understand the idea behind the Universal Windows Platform.

This platform, which I will be calling UWP from now on (which in my head I will always hear “UnderWear Protection”) is meant to be one that covers Windows 10 on PCs, Windows on mobile devices, Windows on IoT devices, Xbox One, and Hololens. There are many perks in using this platform:

  • You get featured in the Windows store from time to time
  • You can easily setup your app to run on one or all device types
  • You get to integrate your app or game into Xbox Live
  • Other perks I don’t know about because they haven’t released all the infos

The problem I keep hearing about is how people are upset that the UWP, and by extension the Windows Store, is a closed ecosystem. And yes, it is. But there’s purpose in that. If you’re just upset that your PC game won’t be able to use mods then don’t make your game a UWP app. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Your Xbox version can’t use mods either. You think Microsoft is going to open that up for you? Think again. And until you see Sony allowing PC versions of games running on the PlayStation to use PSN and their achievement system, quit your complaining about not being able to integrate Xbox Live unless you use the UWP. Just quit. Seriously. You’re a baby.

Now, I’m not a game developer. However, I do have both Minecraft for PC and Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (aka Minecraft Pocket Edition running on Windows, since, you know, Microsoft owns Minecraft, so… why not?).

Minecraft for PC (which I will call Minecraft) is great. It is the original, but it is also running on a platform that is nearly universal (or at least used to be): JAVA. This allowed people to mod the game, which led to Minecraft becoming even more popular. Add in multiplayer over LAN and servers plus all those mods and plugins and you’ve got an awesome game. Then there’s Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or Minecraft PE, which I’ll just call MCPE). MCPE is basically vanilla Minecraft, a few versions behind, missing features, and without the ability to install mods or plugins. But you do get to use Xbox Live. So that’s a plus. However, there is the question of “What was the point?” There was already Minecraft PE for Windows Phone. They didn’t make that a Universal app, though. They made another version of Minecraft just for Windows 10 (on desktops, laptops, and tablets – not phones). All of those devices (well, not all tablets are that powerful…) can already run Minecraft (and you don’t even need to install JAVA first, anymore). If you already had Minecraft on the PC, why make a MCPE app for PC, which is different than the Minecraft PE app for Windows phones?

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or MCPE for Windows 10) actually runs very smoothly, more so than the original Minecraft. It looks beautiful, runs well, and can play LAN games with MCPE for Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and of course Windows 10. It cannot run mods and plugins, but it can connect to servers which are running custom mods. So you can still play some cool games. You also get to connect with Xbox Live. Using Xbox Live you can make screen recordings to share with friends, and you get achievements. Even with all that, Minecraft for PC still exists… and it just got a new update… so…

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition did not replace Minecraft for PC. And it won’t. So, what makes these developers think that a UWP version of their game (if they even choose to make one) would replace the Win32 version of their game? Especially when THEY ARE IN CONTROL OF MAKING THEIR OWN GAMES!

That’s the point I really wanted to make. If I was a game developer I definitely want to go where my audience is playing games. But if my game is an iOS game, then it makes perfect sense to make a Windows 10 UWP game. However, if my game has always been a Win32 application, then I’ll probably just stick with that. That is, unless my game doesn’t do anything all that special and never utilizes mods, plugins, and other customizations… Then, why not make a UWP version and prep it to work on Windows 10 tablets, desktops, phones, the Xbox One, and possibly even HoloLens?

So basically, like I already said, if you have an issue with the UWP

DON’T USE IT!

-Diggs out

Really, Facebook?

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw something interesting. It was an ad, but it was something I had heard of before. It was an ad for an online learning website, specifically for learning website coding.

However, when I clicked on this Facebook ad, I was taken to the page below…

facebookblock

So Facebook showed me an ad and then blocked me from following that ad because the ad was taking me to a malicious website….

Really, Facebook? Really?

Why even allow the ad if you know the ad is going to take people to a malicious website?

C’mon Facebook! Google+ might be backing down, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off.

Dear Internet Explorer Team

Dear People Responsible for Internet Explorer,

You suck. You have no idea how much I have tried to incorporate IE into my daily routine. You have no idea how hard I have worked to convince people that IE is actually a good web browser. You have no idea how much I want to use IE. And most importantly, you have no idea how many times IE has let me down.

I understand that some devs choose a platform and stick with it. They will pick something like the Blink engine Chrome uses, dig into Chrome and Google APIs, and incorporate other snippits and code bases that all work well together. Then, all their web apps, web pages, and other documents will be coded as such. But for the love of Pete! Why does everyone support Chrome, and only Microsoft supports IE?

I’ve run into at least 4 websites that just don’t like IE in the past week alone. These aren’t super apps or technical previews either. These are simple websites, on which something as mundane as a text field is completely useless. I click in the text field but nothing happens. I type in the text field and instead of typing in the text field, either nothing happens or the web page has a seizure. Sometimes links don’t act properly, with menus and navigations structures fluctuating or simply not working.

The thing that irks me the most is how EVERY ONE OF THESE WEBSITES WORK JUST FINE IN GOOGLE CHROME! So what the hell are you doing, Microsoft? Why does IE suck so much? If IE is based on the same web standards as every other web browser out there, why does yours suck the most? IE is on the most computers in the world! Of course, it has sucked so bad in the past most of the people with a Windows computer has replaced it with something else…

Sincerely,

Every IE user who has had to switch to another browser for at least a handful of websites

P.S. – I really do love IE. Why can’t it just fricken work?!?

Best Digital Piracy Analogy

So I’m just sitting on the toi- couch. And I’m taking this survey asking about technology and media. One question asks what I think of digital piracy.

“Do you consider digital piracy to be as bad as shoplifting?”

Negating my past actions (being from the age of Napster), I “Strongly Agreed.” For some reason this question made me ponder the actual thought of what shoplifting entails and how digital piracy compares to it. I thought back to every argument I’ve ever had with stupid teenagers (and some stupid adults) on this topic. I could never really make my argument stick, though.

I once came up with an argument which involved a never ending supply of chairs. You’d take one and it would duplicate. Just like downloading a song or movie. But the reality of such a situation makes the whole analogy fall apart quickly.

I’ve tried taking the “morals” route, but most people don’t care about what’s right and wrong in this case. After all, who cares about paying a few bucks to a multibillion dollar Hollywood studio who seems to be out to get all of your money for their trivial attempts at entertaining you?

Alas, I finally figured it out! Here’s the best analogy that shows digital piracy is in fact wrong, if not the same as stealing.

First off, lets take a look at what digital piracy entails: a studio makes a movie. They put the movie in digital download form, or on one of those disc thingy’s. You take this video and put it in a format which you can place on all of your devices, stream across your home network, and share with your friends, or strangers on the internet. Technically, you paid for that copy of the movie (or a viewing license to watch that copy of the movie in its intended portal). You may not own the movie itself, but that copy is yours. If you want to back it up in case you lose the original you should be able to, right? If you feel you already paid $20+ for the DVD and shouldn’t have to pay again just to watch it on your iPod, Xbox, or computer you’re not alone. Should you be able to make copies and hand them out to your friends (when they had the opportunity to purchase the DVD just like you did)?

Lets look at WalMart now. Pretend WalMart began making products beyond their special off-brand toilet papers. Lets say they make their own media player: the WalPod. And it only costs $30! Of course, everyone will want a WalPod. Now, being WalMart they have a ton of money to make crap like this. But you decide you’re not paying $30 for something made by WalMart. So you, and most of your friends manage to find a way to circumvent the security protocols at WalMart and begin walking out with one everytime you visit. In fact, since you’re all doing it, other people start doing it as well. Pretty soon, it becomes all the rave to steal WalPods. Like I said earlier, WalMart has lots of money. However, even thought you might not think you’re going to hurt them, the reality is they are moving product (losing product?) and not making any money. They still have to pay people to work on the WalPod: designers, marketing teams, programmers, and such. As time goes on, they begin to pay these people more than they are making off the WalPod.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “That is obviously wrong, because you are taking something from them without paying for it. Now they can never sell it and lose out on the money it would have brought in if someone would have paid for it. Digital media is not the same thing.”

Well, you’re only half right. It is true that downloading a song leaves the original in tact and still available to sell. But that’s not the similarity between the WalPod and an MP3. The similarity lies in the end result, not the existentialism of the original product.

When you download a song, movie, tv show, video game, or other digital media you have just robbed that content creator of the money you would have paid to access/own that specific digital item. They might still be able to sell the original master file, but not to you. Nor to the other people who pirated that file.

The people who worked (and possibly continue to work) on those digital items will soon be out of a job if the parent company sees that they are paying the workforce more than they are making on that item. What’s worse, people will still have access to that digital media content and neither the parent company nor the content creators will be compensated for producing it.

If that doesn’t make sense you, then you’re probably a teenager… Or just stupid. Sorry.

Diggs out.

    My Issues With Early Adopters

    Here’s something I wrote a while back…

    Today, I went browsing the Internet looking for the release date for Windows Phone 7.8 for my Nokia Lumia 900. While on my search, which turned up no useful information, I once again ran into posts by people blaming Nokia for letting them down (by not allowing them to update their current generation Nokia phones to WP8). As always the commentors were furious, unforgiving, and redundant. Obvious issues with updating current gen phones and the state of OS updates and rollout schedules aside, there seemed to be a missing component to the whole argument.

    Lots of people like to remind these ardent commentors of the fact that technology changes very rapidly. As such, cell phones come out which use updated software and top of the line hardware, but are shortly outdated by a new version of software which requires newer hardware. Much like computers…

    I can recall a day when you would purchase a computer with the best processor, highest RAM, biggest hard drive, and most powerful graphics engine. The next week a new computer would come out which had twice as good specs but still costs about the same. And I got to thinking about all the other things which run similar cycles.

    You buy the newest vacuum cleaner, they come out with one that has better suction and more attachments. You buy a new car, the next model year gets better gas mileage and has more room. You buy a TV, video game system, blender, radio, or even furniture and the companies come out with new versions and models. That is how they make money. It is also coincidentally what happens as companies do research and development on their products. These companies aren’t trying to rip us off (mostly). They are trying to out-do their competitors by releasing better products. They are trying to give consumers more choice. They’re trying to provide us with more powerful devices that hog less energy and perform more tasks more efficiently. If they just did research and development forever without releasing a device, you wouldn’t have a device to complain about anyway.

    So, that’s my grief today.

    Bye.