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Bit Stories 2008-07-02: Recording Screwups, Moblin.org, Linux, MIDs, and NetMeeting

Here’s this week’s show! Have a listen, and check out the download/subscribe links and detailed show notes below.

This week’s show is only 30 minutes long and weighs about 28MB (it’s a 128kbps MP3). You can download the file directly, listen using the streaming player above, or (BEST OPTION!!1!) subscribe to the Bit Stories podcast feed in your favorite podcast aggregator (like iTunes). If you subscribe to the feed, you’ll get each show delivered automatically as it becomes available – probably once a week or so, with the occasional bonus video or audio segment thrown in for fun. Plus, we’ll love you forever if you subscribe! :-)

Bit Stories Podcast Recording Setup

Here are some free form notes from today’s show:

  • Yet Another Audio Setup

  • Embarrassing Confession: We recorded the last two shows using the built-in mic on my MacBook Pro, instead of the elaborate mixer/condenser mic that we have set up. Because I’m an idiot. The saving grace? It sounded pretty darn good! :-)
  • Have developers let the Tablet PC community down?
  • Brian paved and reinstalled Windows XP on his Samsung Q1 UMPC
  • Why XP instead of Vista? Not quite enough horsepower.
  • Josh has done the same thing (gone back and forth between XP and Vista) on his Asus R2H UMPC
  • Speaking of mobile device operating systems… Moblin.org
  • What the heck IS Moblin? Is it an OS?
  • Moblin is a stack of tools to help create OSes and applications for Mobile Internet Devices. It’s sponsored by Intel, and hosted by Intel Software Network
  • Ubuntu Mobile Edition (UME) sneak peak is out there, if you have a Samsung Q1 Ultra
  • Brian feels that he won’t be able to use a Linux-based MID because of the lack of mature ink/handwriting input support
  • It’s really hard to do an ink interface well
  • Will Atom-based devices ever have the horsepower to do handwriting well? Is this a hardware or a software problem?
  • Do open source projects do better when there’s a common, widespread demand and need for the result (like a web browser)? Do enough people in the open source community need and/or want good ink and handwriting support to motivate them to write it? Would enough people use it and care about it to make it worth their time?
  • Since Mobile Internet Devices are all about the Internet, having a good browser is going to be essential.
  • Windows versus Linux on these small, pocketable internet devices.
  • In general, lack of UI “polish” in Linux applications is a deterrent for non-geeks to adopt it.
  • Brian’s “essential” applications on his Samsung Q1: Microsoft Office, Firefox, and Microsoft Money
  • Is Firefox the exception to the “Linux applications don’t have a good interface/user experience” stereotype?
  • How easy is it going to be to “install any app you want” on the upcoming Linux MIDs?
  • The challenges of adapting applications to devices on smaller screen.
  • UMPCScrollBar – a great little app that lets you scroll windows around the smaller UMPC screen, so you can get to the “Install” and “OK” buttons that get pushed off the bottom of the screen.
  • Intel Software Network’s mobility community makes tons of resources, tools, and smart people available for people writing applications for these devices. Take advantage of us!
  • Without great software, Intel products are just a bunch of really tiny hot plates. :-)
  • Have we discovered the REAL reason Intel has chosen not to deploy Windows Vista? Is it because NetMeeting is no longer there? Microsoft stopped distributing NetMeeting in 1998 – TEN YEARS AGO. But Intel lives and breathes NetMeeting – old habits die hard. (Update after the show: according to Wikipedia, Microsoft released a hotfix that allows you to download and install NetMeeting on Vista. Guess we were wrong! 😉 )
  • Macs do Screen Sharing, based on VNC, but there’s NO way on a Mac to participate in a NetMeeting call, because it’s a closed, proprietary Microsoft protocol.
  • Google Docs is GREAT for live collaboration.
  • PowerPoint is a great presentation tool, but it is NOT a collaboration tool! It gets abused WAY too often. PowerPoint abuse starts early – Brian’s 7th grade son is already doing it!
  • New recording time – Wednesday morning instead of Friday afternoon. Hope this gets the show out faster, and Josh and Brian perkier.
  • Josh’s morning voice – he’s not a morning person. Brian gets up at 5:30 AM.
  • Stuff we didn’t get to this week: Brian dips his toes into the world of Twitter and FriendFeed, and next week is iPhone 3G day! Come stand in line with us!

The show is picking up steam – we’re hitting our stride, and cranking them out. Many, many thanks to our listeners – we love you guys! We love connecting with people through the show, and getting to know who’s listening. But the only way we can do that is if you talk to us, so leave a comment, email us, or find some other way to say “hi”, and let us know what you think of the show! :-)

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InstaResearch: What the heck IS a MID anyway?

Had an interesting conversation today in a meeting with some of Intel’s web marketing folks – the people who run blogs.intel.com/mobility, to be precise. We were talking about who actually had hands on experience with a “MID”, and that quickly moved on to the question of defining what, exactly, a MID is. And perhaps more importantly, what it is not.

So what did I do? I took advantage of the 1200+ people who follow me on Twitter, and did some “InstaResearch”. In other words, I asked my Twitter network:

What the heck do YOU think a MID is? Not just defining the acronym, but what IS it? What is it NOT?

Within minutes, the answers came pouring in. Here’s what people had to say:

@sunraven01 – It is NOT a device that only provides connectivity inside a provider’s walled garden.

@sharong – as close to omniscience as humans will ever get

@psteinb – Something that fits in my pocket and can give me access to ALL aspects of net platform

@Jerry_Makare – MID, Meat-In-Dumpster: An acronym used to tell dumpster divers that meat products are located within garbage receptacles. Yum.

@clint – Midi file!

@sharong – MID to me is more than just browser-its integrated feeds, its connectedness.M is also more than handheld-could be clothing

Update: a late(r) entry from Tablet PC guru Loren Heiny:

@LorenHeiny – “What’s a MID?” To me: The iPhone & iPod Touch are MIDs, though the iPhone is more a phone and the Touch needs more connectivity

@LorenHeiny – Why r the iPhone & iPod Touch MIDs? Because they provide some of the best browser experiences. Something I think is key to a MID

It’s interesting to note that everyone besides @clint, @sunraven01, and @LorenHeiny are people with whom I work at Intel. 😉

I’m going to withhold my own opinion/definition of “MID” for a little while, but I’ll blog it soon. Instead, I want to gather more opinions, and extend my InstaResearch. So I’m going to ask YOU – What the heck is a “MID” anyway? Is a UMPC a MID? Is a MID a UMPC? Is the iPhone a MID? What about the Nokia internet tablets like the N800 and N810? What about Tablet PCs? Smartphones and PDA phones and BlackBerries?

Post a comment and let me know what you think. I’d offer a prize for the person who gets the “correct” answer, but I’m afraid the whole point of the exercise is to illustrate how broad the definition for MID really is. So no prizes, but bonus points for creativity. 😉

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