Express in Bits Blog

Install Adobe CS5, what an experience

Posted in Do not Panic, Opinion, Reviews, Trouble shooting by xding78 on May 8, 2010

If you have Adobe Flash Catalyst prerelease version installed already, make sure to Run – Adobe CS5 Cleaner Tool first. Here is why.

I’ve got a Web Premium package. I put in the installation disk, wait for installation initialization. Everything works fine except for that there is a red cross next to Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.

CS5Installation

Catalyst is one reason that I’m so interested in CS5. But I decided to install the rest first.

After the installation, I uninstalled Catalyst with Revo Uninstaller. Revo did find a lot of stuff left behind by Catalyst, some are very deeply hidden. “That shall do it” I thought, but I was wrong.

I ran the CS5 installation again, THE SAME THING HAPPENED!!!!

I then went to Google for advice, here is the solution I’ve found:

Run – Adobe CS5 Cleaner Tool first 

According to this article not only that I have to uninstall all the newly installed CS5 application but also that I have to run several tools and restart twice in order to clean up Catalyst completely.
Why so complicated!!??

Anyway the Adobe CS5 Cleaner Tool does work very well. It magically removed all the trace in a blink. The same tool can also be used to thoroughly remove CS4 and CS3. Long live command line scripting!

What makes me wonder is that why this procedure is not integrated into the installation process?
why not offer to remove the prerelease Catalyst for me instead of blocking me from installing it?

I was always on Adobe’s side when Apple publicly criticize Adobe Flash. Now I think perhaps Apple does have a good point. Move aside the business stuff, there are some serious technical issues. Anyway if they couldn’t even make the installation user-friendly what else to expect?

The very user experience starts from installation.

Adobe might blame Windows for the installation issues; if so, though, why don’t I have this problem while installing hundreds of other applications on Windows? Then how to explain the much worse experience on Linux and Mac? Even on the most Adobe-friendly environment, Windows, things like this happened. What to expect on other platforms?

It just keep reminding me HOW IMPORTANT user experience IS. You might just lose your most loyal users in one installation.

Advertisements

Good experience with IE 8

Posted in Opinion, Reviews, User Experience by xding78 on February 14, 2010

I started to really explore IE 8 and Bing from 1.5 hours ago triggered by the positive news of the coming marriage between MS and Yahoo.

Accelerator – dreams come true!

For years I wish there is a browser provides a shortcut of different services. For instance, the most common one would be Dictionary.com, IMDB.com, or Wikipedia.org. Let’s compare the following scenarios and find out the benefit of using Accelerator.

Scenario: from Wikipedia –> IMDB

I’m searching characters of TV series on wiki, I would like to check certain actor/actress on IMDB.com.

Old fashioned way:

  1. copy the name of the actor/actress
  2. start a new browser window/tab
  3. make sure mouse is at the address bar of the new window/tab
  4. type in www.imdb.com
  5. paste the name into the search box of imdb

With Accelerator:

  1. select the name of the actor/actress
  2. wait 1 second for the Accelerator icon shows up or right click
  3. select IMDB icon from the dropdown list.

Of course, to be honest, in order to be perfect, Accelerator has a long way to go, especially to manage the Accelerator at this moment takes quite some efforts. And it is confusing. There are at least two types of Accelerators, Default Accelerators and Accelerators. The default Accelerators appear directly in the dropdown list. Non-default Accelerators can only be accessed through the 2ndary dropdown list “All Accelerators”, as shown below.

Untitled-2

InPrivate – A little more privacy

There is a very interesting article about InPrivate, IE 8: InPrivate Browsing Mode Details. It’s interesting because according to this article, InPrivate is been used because users want to browse naughty stuff. That is quite a statement. I don’t really agree. Oh, yes, there are so many reasons why we don’t want big corporations know what we are doing. Anyway, here is the summary of what InPrivate can do:

  1. InPrivate™ Browsing lets you control whether or not IE saves your browsing history, cookies, and other data
  2. Delete Browsing History helps you control your browsing history after you’ve visited websites.
  3. InPrivate™ Blocking informs you about content that is in a position to observe your browsing history, and allows you to block it
  4. InPrivate Subscriptions allow you to augment the capability of InPrivate Blocking by subscribing to lists of websites to block or allow.

Who decided that only password is forgettable? How about Usernames?

Posted in Opinion, User Experience by xding78 on February 7, 2010

Since the first year I was on Internet, I’ve been kept wondering why there is never options like “forget your user name?” Why that all the administrators automatically assume that I could only forget my password but not my user name? Why?

The reality is that when I need to retreat log in information, 95% of the time I forgot the username instead of the password. I could always manage my passwords very well since there is no constrain in setting passwords. Your password wouldn’t be rejected because somebody else happens to use the same password. However setting user names usually does have many constrains. First of all, if it’s unique, which means if somebody has already used the string I wanted to use as my ID I would have to make up another name. Which is why I’m maintaining much less passwords than usernames at a time.

Plus, what I really hate is that when I request the “lost” password, I receive an email with the exact password just in plain text. Great, now everybody sees my password!

So, PLEASE, give us the right to forget username!!!!

Project Cartoon.com really makes sense

Posted in Opinion, Project management by xding78 on February 3, 2010

Any one who has ever been working in (a) multidiscipline team(s) on a complex IT-related project must take a look at www.projectcartoon.com

So, does it remind you something?

I was working on a presentation and suddenly realized how those images are totally making sense and that these sketches are the best way to immediately make my point.

Windows Live Writer Try Out

Posted in Opinion, Reviews by xding78 on January 3, 2010

This morning I just wanted to check updates for Windows Live out of blue. I wish that now I could add a little image to my signature in Windows Live Mail. Anyway, I

found a very interesting new tool in the Windows Live family. In fact I am using it to write this very blog, the Windows Live Writer, WLW in short.

Ever since I setup this blog on WordPress.com I was in the constant quest of a convenient little tool to write/edit/publish posts without doing 10 things before I could even type a word. WordPress is very powerful, but let’s face it, it’s not exactly the role model of friendly user interface. Of course the “Dashboards” of WordPress web interface is very much oriented to managing the blog, not much to facilitate writing. Sure, if I want to do the tasks that change the blog globally, I’d surely use the Dashboards. But the most often-used task of a blogger is writing not managing. At least in my opinion, of course anybody could change the theme of his or her blog 10 times a day, it’s completely up to the owner of the blog.

First impression of the User Interface of WLW

After I install/configure Windows Live Writer, I see this:

image

That’s what I am looking for!!!!
Don’t you just wish life could be that easy??!!
Just open up an application and puff you can do what you want to do.
Finally!!
If anyone knows a better blogging tool for WordPress that does not involve in coding please let me know.

I couldn’t help trying out the “Insert Map…” feature cause it’s always something I wanted and I didn’t have enough knowledge to do it.

It’s very very very very simple!!! Just click the “Map…” icon in the right bar and specify a location. Here is where I live, Utrecht (the Netherlands) and I used to live, Eindhoven (the Netherlands).

Map picture

Although the interaction with the map is not straight forward, you need to select the map and then there will be an option “Customize Map…” available in the right bar. Click “Customize Map…” you will see a popup window through which you can zoom in/out/pan/tilt the map.

Setup/configure a blog account in WLW

Step 1.

image

Step 2.

 image

Then the system automatically load/setup/configure everything for me. It’s actually easier than setting up an email account.

How about other blog providers?

The following image says it all.

image

How about MULTIPULE blog accounts?

It’s DONE!

Unlike many popular emailing applications, Windows Live Writer seems to understand at once that people might own more than one blog. To setup a new blog account is just as easy as setting up the first one. What most intriguing is that when you have multiple blog accounts configured in Windows Live Writer, you can easily edit/preview/publish the same post and publish it to all the blogs. Here you go:

Layout 1

image

Layout 2

image

However, I do find several issues I wish could be fixed later:

  1. It takes quite long to publish. I can understand that there must be millions of threads of communication going on, but it’s TOO long!!
  2. How can I delete one blog account? It’s a rhetorical issue for many applications, some features such as add… is like one-way street, you just can’t go back.
  3. How can I synchronize the theme of a blog? After I setup one blog account in Windows Live Writer I changed the theme of one of the blogs, but nothing happened. What is missing is a “refresh theme” button. I hope that after I publish the post the theme can be synchronized.
  4. Some themes cannot be load. I have only tried WordPress, don’t know about the other blog providers

About the Chinese Blog Providers

I have a Chinese blog that hosted on a Chinese blog provider: http://blog.sina.com.cn, unfortunately it’s not supported yet by Windows Live Writer. I wonder whether it’s just a matter of time for this tool to support the Chinese blog providers or not. Which to Microsoft means at this moment that they won’t win the support of millions of Chinese bloggers. What a pity! Chinese bloggers blog everything, it has become such an important part of life. I think for many people their online identity/life is at least just as important as the offline one.