I have moved to WordPress

It's been changing times. I learned blogging here but now for greater flexibility I have moved my blog to WordPress. So I will not be updating this Blogger Version anymore.

So here's the new Dreamsmademe Blog

Thank you!

For the moment, competition is cornered, finished, done, over!

Apple unveiled new iPhone 3G. It was making everyone want to have one like yesterday. That's Steve's Apple marketing machine. News galore like no other mobile ever existed on earth before. Who's loosing, who's winning is too mach chaos to pick.

I love my Treo but there are reasons that everyone in the phone business should be worried, wet their pants, and get their plans sorted out how to stand a chance in this race right now.


Cos almost all iPhone competitors, For the moment, it's over, done, finished story. When Apple's marketing machine is on roll, everyone else is like a needle in a haystack.

Hail Ajax!

Flash is still on the news!

It is strange that I am being a designer who has no knack for code but still loves the JavaScript (Ajax) way of doing web. So as I have discussed little earlier here Adobe's Flash has more back slash nowadays from various fronts. I hail this!

Read more here @ AppleInsider

Is iPhone Killing the Web ?

In contrary to my early article here, there seems a different standpoint over the whole point of liberating the applications from the desktop.

As far as I am concern I like the portability, anyway there are pros and cons which leads to this debate. Interesting. Anyway I do not belong on either camps, whatever the best I will follow suite.

Full discussion goes on here @ PCWORLD

No Windows for Old Men

I found this nice article over who is gonna take control of the future of computing. Microsoft leaden PC era is surely becoming irrelevant as mobile era catches on. Whosoever gonna win this battle I am sure as end consumers we'll all gonna benefit it.

"Many pundits still insist that Apple’s victories in the market can only make the company another new Microsoft, and force it to inherit the malware crisis facing Windows. This is like political commentators of the 16th century complaining that the territories that broke free from England would continue to suffer the same problems they faced under the monarchy, despite those new countries’ purposely devising new forms of government to prevent that from happening."

Extracted from RoughlyDrafted Blog: Read more here.

Paradigm shift in Software Industry

As I talked about the Palm OS debacle in the early post this is overall a transition time for 25 year old Packaged Software Industry itself. You know Lotus 123, Aldus* back then and now what come out of Redmond in a nicely wrapped boxes. There are some interesting things going on in the industry.

Read this leading article and you may drill down further for additional discussion.

My take on this would be:

This tech shift is something we are seeing more recently than when Aldus/ Lotus saga ends and Adobe, MS catches on. It was anyway the good old packaged software business they were all in.

The paradigm shift happened when Google and the gang came up with the solutions for the problems which came with the net bubble itself.

But still since Adobe and MS likes had good money in their banks they could afford many mistakes and still thrive in this Google's era. The other reason is that desktop software's dead isn't anywhere near yet. Cos Adobe may be releasing a mobile version of Photoshop Lite but there are absolutely no solutions as yet for the gaming or high graphics industry unless you write Platform Specific. Not that people's mindset is all geared to keep all their valuable stuff in some remote servers that they don't have any control over. May be that's why Apple is releasing a SDK biting their own words like once Steve mentioned about third party software that "he doesn't want some Cingular networks to go down cos of some crappy software piece". Even when iPhone business model seems modern and good enough for the time being.

So as someone says there isn't much from here to the mobile web other than the dumb pipes and the devices will keep changing themselves.

The products are more likely will be the same, say gMail, Zoho Office, Google Earth or iTunes will still be the same when this transition ends.

So winners for the next decade most likely will come from the same gang who dominates today. MS, Google and Adobe likes from software ends.

This may change when it comes to physical products but Apple will still be there cos there's iTunes biz model is near perfect that other product vendors like Dell or SONY can't even get a hang of it yet. Anyway there are more chances to be a new winners too I guess, in the products category as well as in the software business.

After all may be Apple will be a sheer winner in this both ends. Since it has got it's products right and then with portable OS X and iPhone software bundle is too unrival to match. May be it's Apple who pushed the envelope eliminating Flash from iPhone for the mass adoption of the mobile web. Now no turning back again.

As I work for a software company we were too shady about what cult to follow. Flash was good enough, Google (Ajax) seems promising and MS .NET was the king of the king of desktop applications business model. Sun Java too did try to solve this big time problem but I don't know where they fit in right now. Enterprise software too, that they heavily profited on is shrinking by a sea of new comers like us, Interblocks Ltd, for their relevant field.

But with iPhone, Apple may have saved us from lot of trouble. Platform specific gaming and heavy graphics 3D industry may not be shaken by it. But for most of info oriented software industry it just proved us that Ajax is not only promising but it is actually very practical for the next decade. The best part? We no longer needed to be tied down by either camps, the desktop nor the net. After a decade of Sun's famous slogan now we can actually "Write once, Run Anywhere"

So I call it, FREEDOM! Finally.

*This reminds me the good old days, I still remember the days I learned it, an Aldus Freehand® v3 or V4 package was lying down somewhere in the stuff room, in Advantage SL, my first ad firm where I worked.

What can be better than Palm OS?

Being a tech guy there are moments that you feel happy and sad at the same moment. Cos while some raise your expectation way up some makes you miserable.

Here I explain why in my original PalmAddicts article. Read and enjoy if you do speak the same language!

Palmos It saddens many of us that Palm had long since abandoned their Core OS sending it across the board. Palm -> Access -> Palm likewise without ever rewriting it to the new 3G era. Then they married with MS Mobile for the sheer doubt of dying itself out in the crowd. It saved them no long term purpose. Since Apple and the clan came in showing us what we've been missing in our user interface and design ends desires. Now they may be up to repeat the same in function and feature wise when they release the supposed to be native development tools for the iPhone. (SDK)

In the abyss of all this I miss the opportunity to credit the Palm's original developer who came up with the initial Palm Launcher idea for applications handling. I still love the simplicity of it. The rest had all been a history that we forgot. And now I wonder whether my next gadget could still be from Palm.

Palm's abandonment of it's OS in full time paved way others to smack on them in their own lawn. The smartphone business itself. Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and the Sony Ericsson clan leap forward their beauties flooding the market that I almost felt like ashamed and an old fella to carry my Treo to a restaurant. But strangely none seemed to get it correctly in the OS end until Apple came along.

Strange thing is that with all the modern sophisticated functionality and the bells and whistles my Palm still does what it does beautifully. Thanks to it's wonderful software base Palm still shines without having done anything for its survival for the last 5-6 years. After Treo 650 what they did all was cheating themselves, not us, consumers.

Surprisingly they still hold the crown for the biggest apps list yet. Palm's Launcher doesn't even have a decent find features for this 30000 odd growing number of application base which originally written to lie on it. Anyway people still use it in full time. I still live my life and write this stuff with a four year old Treo.

The need arises, while Palm lies in their sleepish form, a few good developers tried to fill in the gap writing their own code borrowing features from various systems on the top of the Palm's own Launcher. But to me none succeed much doing so because they focused on features instead of the Palm's simplicity. Palm's own age old launcher dominates including mine. Is it not that I never tried those # number of launchers. I have virtually tried them all. But I keep none on my device because they all seem to make things complicate on my Treo, deviating from Palm's original concept we all liked. The simplicity. They couldn't implement what Palm didn't offer either. So say WiFi, modern day browser or 3G never seen on Palm, after what, a lifetime had passed with these techs?

Myriad of tabs, buttons, lists, menus, colours, shadows, icons, bars, pop ups, strips, scrollers, skins, themes, plug ins, backgrounds, gadgets, gosh! You name it. It all appeared on this tiny launcher. It's a utter mess when one try to create your Core Duo 20 inch something flat panel on this tiny 320 by 320 beloved. So I stopped trying it.

Most launchers inundate users but never seem to fix the initial problem of Palm's simple yet effective age old launcher solved, until when Apple shocked the industry with their revolutionary OS X engine iPhone interface. It's simple just like good old Palm, but has the modern sophistication .

So as time went by, though many killer apps for mobiles initially emerged in Palm front. I sadly watch they quickly get ported elsewhere better in a blink of an eye loosing my edge. Now people talk big over iPhones nice touch screen, threaded SMS etc, boy, I used it for years silently on my Treo.

But now Palm front is lacking that wow factor, hopes are dire, I feel odd. Within me I know it is still better than most of the rest. Anyway now there are new kids in the block who tries to out-smart everything I knew about mobile computing. Apple seem to lead the gang with what Palm missed. From NextStep, Newton, Classic Mac OS to OS X now Apple has got the most flexible mobile platform on earth at their disposal for the modern era. Even industry mogul MS envy that.

For the moment what lacking is the a way that all the best mobile developers had no chance to port their beautiful apps to this new crown. But soon with the release of Apple SDK for iPhone I am sure we are about to see a flood of new killer apps for iPhone that no one seen elsewhere. Not even on my beloved Palm front.

Palm should have done this but I do not belong on camps. So I am happy to see this day dawned anyhow.

I will keep my Treo cos nothing beats it quite yet. May be will get a Centro to please my senses and I can still keep my Initially big list of applications I kept since 2000. Ewallets, browsing, productivity tools, GPS unit, music & video, some fun games (no dumb consoles please), email, threaded SMS, IR remotes, you name it. My Treo had it all and now everyone's AFTER them. Soon iPhone will get it all the way I want it so I can get in to a restaurant without been ashamed of.

If I were to have some Palm stocks I should be worried now, or may be the Centro will serve them a bit. But when I am having a Treo I am still winning. When their features match or probably outsmart, I will go and grab an iPhone.

I had a nightmare that when finally my Treo dies I may have to switch to MS Mobile or the Nokia clan without even having a choice. Boy, I was happy when I saw the new StyleTap platform for MS Mobile so I could still use some of my beloved software if I ever moved from Palm OS. Now even better they've got it emulated on iPhone too! Anyway Apple solved the problem once and for all raising bar for everyone. Thanks Steve Job for making this day possible. Thanks to thee, who someone brain child the original Palm OS. May be it was Handspring guys.

Now it seems I have industry's best choices up for the grab. I may never be up to the task running naked though on this, but I would say, Eureka!

Living broadband, Flash hell...

I don't know when this day came to be. But I knew that it would. I've known to Flash internals a bit. No knack for coding but I knew enough since I used to be a big time Macromedia Flash lover. The honeymoon all ended when Adobe brought it over. Their plans for Flash were big, actually too impressive, they want it to be the platform for the web, mobile and beyond. Likewise Sun had their own plans for "write once run everywhere" their beloved J2ME too. For that ask from any mobile developer, they know what the mess they are in.

In the desktop end I watched in horror, Flash Designer becomes Flash Developer. It almost had a free ride until Google Stuff (Ajax) and then Apple came in. Gosh! it was destined to be next Microsoft Windows or even worse. Actually Windows is better because it solved industry's bigger problem once and for all that many people face right now here and here.

I happened to be a Flash designer for some distant past. It was a wonderful time, when web was in its infancy Flash made possible things which we could not even have imagined putting on web. Finer graphics, animation, streaming content after all that Real Player and MW windows media hassle. Then the impossible partial refresh issue of a web page without having to reload afresh. Those are few good memories that I have which we could not resolve (until web 2) without the help of this once beloved Flash. I remember the things at Eye4U and 2Advance Studio guys did with Flash in 1998-2000 time. We were stunned!

And ever since everyone who had a sight of Flash abused and raped it in full time. Dial-Ups were dead hoc jam trapped. Then they had a free ride when DSL emerges because the bandwidth seems the best thing for Flash to eat. Web became all crap.

Living in a Flash for a lifetime was going be a fun or so I taught. You know, the initial web animations, banners, business scope of online advertising, then smart/ rich Flash Clients and our famous YouTube (until Apple liberated) were all based on Flash technologies. It was my hobby and then it finally migrated to my bread and butter too, the firm I work for, is too, converted it's one part cash cow ATM Client to run on Flash. I should have been happier.

This was possible cos Flash was originated as FutureSplash , a graphics software, a designer tool with industry's most hyped term at that time. Vector based graphics, further it had streaming media and animation capabilities too! It was a designer's Nirvana. Since Adobe had the graphics monopoly it was obvious that their next move would be to merge them all to be a single platform since they brought it from Macromedia. Wow! nice idea, except one fundamental error.

This is where it all went wrong. We, designers don't eat code for breakfast, nor that developers need more than a jazzed up little Notepad to do their wonders. Not until a new breed of Einsteins emerge out of this rubble who have knack to do the both.

So here we go, Flash have big fundamental errors to start with going in either direction. Below are a few that comes to my mind.

# It is utter annoyance for the end users because (No one complained yet though)
1. Having to download the plug in
2. Then take much more bandwidth and time than the normal content
3. Crippling your poor processor and the memory when in use (until recently, still for mobiles)
4. If not properly done, starts to play before the full download messing your taste buds.
(you know, it's like eating your pie in a rodent way)
6. Blinks, sings, hoots, flashes, throw flowers at you when all you want is peacefully read
5. Version conflicts repeat things all over

#It used to have knack for designers because
1. All the strengths of Flash we commonly know of content, animation, streaming media, rich client creator)
2. Having the potential to be an All In One Tool for
- Print mass media document creation ( Rival PageMaker, Illustrator, InDesign, Freehand and QuarkExpress)
- PDF corporate document creator and archiver (Acrobat, FlashPaper)
3. Obsolete old favorites like gif animations
4. Give you the partial refresh of a web page (Pre Ajax era)

#And now it try to solve a problem we never had
1. Designers like their eye candy, they want it JLO, the Photoshop way
2. Developers will eat, sleep and drink their gibberish
3. Both will co-exist together fine, but we just don't talk the same language.
4. They will be happy with just a notepad
5. We, designers want Dreamweaver equivalent

Instead another day dawned. Ajax (JavaScript which is) solved it's own problems which created back then. I was happy to see when Google and Zoho people mastered it. Apple proved me right. Wow! We can live without Flash.

But I still see some major places that I would love to visit uses heavy Flash content. I regularly use my Treo for browsing for the last three two years. I am happy Palm did never bother to port Flash for their Treos as with they neglected everything else. But do I miss what miss cause that my Treo couldn't access Flash content? Nope, not in the least. It was because Palm never updated their Garnet OS to have 3G or a better browser. It was the best when it came a six years ago. Anyway I lived the Treo generation in full which is now shaken though. Anyway let Treo begone since iPhone will probably solve the biggest problem of mobile web.

Here GX-5 is one good example, some real good talents but still insists you to install and enjoy full flash content if you are on a desktop. I had abandoned this kinda sites altogether for long. But recently I saw if you are on a mobile device that we can have a simple html version instead.

I hope at lease people will follow suit. Adobe's vision for Flash may be great, but no thank you. I don't wanna MS DOS legacy saga repeated here like even after Vista arrives. We can't carry on the burden of legacy saga or a designer becoming a developer.

People do need full blown web in a whisk without the expense of TheirTube. So the answer is no SilverLight either but lies in the same hands of the good old wizard of JavaScript itself!

What do you guys think?

A shutter bug...

I had always been a happy little shutter bug since the day I saw my first digital camera way back in 90s. Even as an collage boy I knew that this thing was going to change the way we look at the world through the third eye. Today Digital Photography has been a gift from the heaven.

Colombo Evening - So far the nicest photo I've taken with G9

No more expensive film to burn, second thoughts on whether your shot was ok, or should go for another take, digital realm made photographers' wildest dreams a so called snap. Now I see even very reluctant hardcore film photographers are making their switch being unable to deny the worlds of benefits they can get from digital film. If ever, the only thing which hold them back was the price of replacing their SLR gear to D. But that's also changing swiftly now budget DSLRs coming in prices we have never heard of.

I can't see myself as much of a photographer though from my early days I loved photography. And I was carrying around a basic digicam from the day I could afford one. Much before most of my colleagues thought of getting one, they enjoyed my immature, mostly trip photographs. I told them then the day would soon come that we all replace our 110s with digicam with the power of SLRs. Now some of them carry cameras I even envy at like new Canon Digital EOS on in their backpacks. Viola!

After my first Chinese Digicam, I stayed loyal to my old Kodak DX7440 which still produces stunning images for my humble needs even after years of use. Anyway finally I thought of giving myself a little treat getting an updated digicam.

So here comes my new G9.

Road Worriers...

I don't know how this came to be this worse. We, our selves to blame. In Sri Lanka getting into a four wheel is a very risky job. We have all the posh cars in the world but got the worst kind of roads and driving manners in the planet.

Our road manners and ehtics, boy, this is something never heard of. Everyone wants to go first, fast, but all the city roads are narrow, congested, jam packed.

Heavy long body Viking buses are killers, they cut corners, go too fast, defens you with their zillion decibel f...ing horns, overtake you in bends, mostly all of Sri Lanka's fatal accident are involved with some kind of bus jerk.

Then comes the trishaw fellows, shame on them no one has a class, manners or the patience. Cut corners, takes 90° degree turns with no signals, trying to overtake everyone elase like they can do Ferrari's. Harsh language, no smiles make them even unpleasant. And the two wheelers, cheap Indian bikes. Riders thinks they want three wholesome lane to take a mere turn, act like they own the roads, give way is never haerd of.

To worsen this harassments, now some politico has decided to introduce registration not required Mopeds. The fly fish like 50 CC bikes that go in the middle of the road. No helmets, no lanes, no manners and zig zig driving make motorists insane.

So day today driving in and outer Colombo has become life and death struggle for average people.