iOS 7 – Hating the new notification centre

I’ve had my iPad 2 for a couple of years now and this is the third major iOS update I’ve had to put on. I don’t mind upgrading the iPad’s operating system as it means I get all the latest bug fixes, features and security updates (at least, that’s the idea) but I always do it with some trepidation as the last two times were both major pains. The good news is that this upgrade didn’t require a system restoration after half-failed upgrade procedures like both the previous ones did. The bad news is that now I have iOS 7. Talk about a bunch of solutions looking for a problem.

I can only assume that iOS 7 was designed by committee. It has that feel to it. Beyond the childish new graphics (which I understand may appeal to some users) there are just a whole lot of new features and tweaks that don’t add anything useful. Luckily the Apple developers must have understood this as they have included the option to turn most of them off. How’s that for confidence in your design? Better yet is that the New Shiny Things like the wobbly background and pseudo-multitasking seem to chew through battery life at an alarming rate. I recommend turning off as many of the new things as possible and get back to actually using the device instead of just gazing at it adoringly.

Unfortunately, one of the new features you can’t disable is the new notification centre. The old version of this utility let you swipe two fingers on the top the screen to see a small summary of any reminders, email, etc. that were awaiting your attention. The new version is similar but requires you to pull down an entire screen, completely covering whatever you’re doing, just to show you less information. My current notification tells me that I have an all day event tomorrow. It doesn’t tell me what the event is and tapping, swiping or swearing at it doesn’t take me into the calendar app where I could check. It’s a real step backward and it’s difficult to understand how the beta testers saw this as an improvement.

New keyboard

My old Logitech G15 gaming keyboard has served me well for the last several years but its dim and flickering lights finally reached the “no more!” stage. The search for a replacement began …

I had always liked the feel of mechanical keyboards. I learned to type on an actual typewriter (yes, I’m that old) and the first computers I used also had the clunky old mechanical keyboards. It’s trendy now, but back then it was the only option. Over the years I kind of got used to the mushy feeling modern keyboards, but since mechanical ‘boards are making a comeback thanks to the pro-gaming crowd I now had some better options.

I narrowed the choices down to the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate but after trying it out it was was obvious that it was just too clicky to be using late at night right next to the kids bedrooms. Luckily the fine folk at Razer had already come up with a solution: the Stealth edition! It seems to be the exact same keyboard but with slightly quieter keys (for the techies: Cherry brown switches instead of the Ultimate’s clickier blue ones).

So far the new keyboard seems very nice. I do miss the clock that the Logitech had, but it’s not a big deal. The typing feel is very good. I just want to keep typing stuff now so I can enjoy it. 😀

New server

I’ve moved the blog and photo sites onto a new web server. Hopefully this won’t mean anything different for most of you out there in Internet-land. Let me know if you seem to be having any problems with the site though.

New monitor, new blog

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new blog!

I thought since I have my shiny new monitor that this was as good a time as any to start writing stuff down (I know, I know: any excuse). 🙂

The monitor is great. It’s a little bigger than I was expecting (24″ doesn’t sound that much bigger than 17″) but that’s the kind of surprise I like. Terrific for games, which should go without saying, and also great for work. I can fit two full size A4 pages with space to spare. Graphics and video work are much easier with space for the work files as well as the multitude of toolbars and palletes that those programs seem to have.