Microsoft customer

Continuing the previous rants, since Microsoft aren’t showing any prospective in short term for Windows Phone to close the gap with the other two platforms, I’ve decided to just end the agonizing about the biggest pain point for that OS, at least for me.

As non-deniers would know, platform is only worth as much as how much you can do with it. In Windows I can do many things from writing text notes, to browsing the internet, to designing skyscraper, to creating a movie.
Okay, I lied, I can’t to the two later tasks. But point being, there’s tasks that can be done. In the phone platform, that doesn’t change, especially since despite there’s more time wasted using web browser in the desktop, tasks in phone is increasingly done using applications. That’s the pain point often repeated by groups called whiners by the deniers.

Meanwhile, Microsoft aren’t showing they realize that they need to be faster and more aggressive in pushing the developers. Reach OS feature parity, show developers they have everything needed to build something like they have in iOS and Android without limitation, and deliver it faster than anyone else.

In the other hand, they kicked the supporters with slow release, lack of devices, and treating their own platform as 3rd class citizen.

So, since the CEO said they want to focus on service and availability in all platform, I decided to be the customer they wanted.
I’m still using Outlook for my mail and PIM like calendar and contacts. I’ll be using OneDrive and OneNote. I won’t be using Bing though, because in all their wisdom about “US and the rest of the world” the application for search and maps is not available.

Most importantly though, is that I will stop giving any expectation to Windows Phone. Let them do whatever they want and die when they choose to. I’m getting an iPhone 4s for the application and practical use need.

Like I said before, I really prefer Windows Phone’s interface. I read faster than I recognize icon, so there’s another win to Windows’ application list compared to iPhone and Android. I like the calendar and contact display better.

But if that’s the only thing they can offer (and the camera, which is kind of moot since I always bring my camera), they could have treated the OS like S40, an OS for feature phone and peoples who are content with whatever they get out of the box. Why promise apps if the famous and popular apps are not coming ? And if an apps become big in Windows Phone, you can be assured that it will move to other platform and could even get updated more frequently over there.

So, bye. I’ll be watching, but stop giving any expectation that things will be going for the better.

Make a feature phone instead

To start with, there’s Microsoft related news this morning, especially the rage from Microsoft’s lack of care to the platform. The situation now is like an answer to JFK’s famous quote:

Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.

The answer is: I’ve loved you, but do you love me back ?

For you who want to say just use iPhone or Android if I love them so much: no, we don’t.

I love my Windows Phone OS, just like the guys in Crackberry forum love their Blackberry OS.

I don’t like Android and would rather use WebOS(†) or MeeGo(†).

The problem is, you can be sure anything but the big 2 wouldn’t have the applications. Even if the application is available, there would be feature parity since it’s a drop and forget apps. Ask any web designer and online marketer what’s their opinion about companies making website just so they “have a website” and never update it. Those are the official apps in Windows Phone’s apps store.

Having the greatest OS is close to meaningless in the age where services are decentralized. I don’t want to use Google’s services such as mail, hangout, youtube or maps. But I want to use Flickr, Facebook, and other features provided by 3rd party.

Not having those apps is like having a lavish party of the century but without anyone coming, it’s just not that interesting.

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Galaxy Note 3

Recently, my brother gave me his Samsung Galaxy Notes 3. He got it from his client while he already have an iPhone and a BlackBerry. Another smartphone prooves to be too much to handle so the choice is either give it to someone or sell it away.

I think I’ll try it for a month. But after that I’ve planned on returning it to him because I intend of getting a BlackBerry Z3. Hopefully the price would be better at the time, although I’m not putting my hopes high for another discount.

So, how is my impression of the device ? Since I’m never a Google fans, I’d have to say there’s not much. I can summarize my concerns into two main points:

  • Stylus support. I can input text with writing, and more importantly, I can train my memories about Japanese characters because my ability to write kanji is terrible.
  • Apps support. Developers are still not pouring the best of their efforts to Windows Phone. I use VSCO and Flipboard routinely. I also like the Hatena applications (although the blog apps is only available in iOS). The apps are usually with more features and updated more often.

The rest are not that fascinating actually. The only other application I used routinely is Flipboard.

Yes, not much in the line of functions. The battery also drains really fast.

Physical size is big and the location of back button to the right is confusing because I also use Windows Phone where the back button is to the left. Memory card slot is hidden behind the back cover so I can’t easily slip my camera’s memory card either.

Well, for a one month companion.

Current setting

Yeah, I finally got myself the GR Lens A12 50㎜ f/2.5 macro. Yes, it’s mouthful as how the marketing department’s naming sense of cramping every description they can into the product name. Frankly I should’ve bought this in the first place instead of the A16.

Why ? Well, it’s not just the size and weight. My first serious camera is the Lumix GF1 and I’ve been using the 20/1.7 as my main lens. Then as I ventured to manual focus lens, of course all of them are fixed focal length lenses.
Which brings us to the problem. I’m seriously not good at utilizing zoom lens. I set it to the widest, longest, or just to 50㎜ like how I’ve been using the A16. So why settle with a bigger, heavier and slower lens while in practice I’ve been using it almost exclusively at 50㎜ ?

But reselling the lens in country where I never see a single soul using GXR is difficult.

Anyway, one of the feature that I try to use is the custom colour setting. Previously I use a variation of the bleach bypass setting shown in Ricoh GR official blog. The result is, well… quite garish, especially the blue sky.

R1014392

Muara Angke fish market. Ricoh GXR A16

So lets tone it down. My current setting is as follow.

  • Vibrance: 3
  • Contrast: 3
  • Sharpness: 3
  • Custom colour
    • Orange: 5 / 6
    • Green: 7 / 4
    • Sky blue: 3 / 7
    • Red: 2 / 3
    • Magenta: 1 / 1

Of course this is still not perfect. I’m still tweaking it and a difficult part of it is because I can’t yet find a colour setting that would fit my impression in general condition.

At least it works sometimes.

What happened to pet dog

New lens unit

Kind of torn right now with regard to if I should buy or not. I recently found second hand Ricoh GXR lens unit at an acceptable price; although by being acceptable, it’s still going to take away a good chunk of my saving, and I’m still waiting for the yearly bonus to buy a Nokton 40/1.4.

The two units are the A12 50mm f/2.5 macro and the A16 24-85mm f/3.5-5.5. While I would love the macro lens and it does get good review among the users… I think I will settle with the A16 unit because I want a large sensor zoom lens for now.

Arguments for that being, I want to concentrate the prime lens shooting with my R-D1s. Or even if I’m using the GXR, I have the A12 Mount unit. Since the AF is said to be slow, probably I can focus faster using the manual lenses.

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Semarang

Semarang river

Had a short trip to Semarang two weeks ago.

In it, I found myself thinking as I passed through places on foot. Oh, this place felt like [xxx] (places in Jakarta).
Not that exclusive actually. Had the same impression when going into the malls when going on vacation to Singapore too. Maybe places in the world still have similarity even if they’re not related historically.