Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

August 2009

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The BlackBerry Storm 8 Months Later

August 18, 2009

I really wanted to like this Smartphone.  I've tried so hard.  People ask me on a daily basis how I like the Storm.  I can't tell if they ask out of general curiosity, or pity, but I lie either way and say it's great.  It's terrible, but I have my reasons.  Primarily, I really hate to admit failure in my investment of time and money.  Secondly, I really did hope things would get better with upgrades. It's now been 8 months.  There's been a few OS upgrades, and there is reports of a new model possibly surfacing in November.  It's time to set things straight.

Official review from someone that used the BlackBerry Storm extensively for 8 months:
Run, don't walk away from this BlackBerry.

It had so much potential, so much promise... so many bugs.   When I wake up to the alarm on my BlackBerry Storm every morning (that it decides to work), I glance over at my night table and all I can think about is the "F" word.

Frustration.

No wait...  Failure.  No, maybe Flop.  Or maybe... nahhh can't say that here.

As soon as I depress the screen (multiple times for it to register) to activate snooze for the 5th time, I know all I have to look forward to with my hand-held headache is a full day worth of cursing as my little black and chrome friend refuses to work, lags out, hangs up, or just turns off for no reason.  Sometimes I don't even get to hit snooze.  Those are the mornings I wake up on my own due to the failure of the device overnight.  Those mornings are my favorite.  And by "favorite" I really mean the phone is lucky to still be in one piece at that point.  Those are the mornings that some type of battery or hardware failure occurred overnight and I am greeted with a white screen and an icon of a battery with a blue lightning bolt through it.

Those are the special mornings that I get to take the next couple of hours trying to get the phone to take a charge, pulling the battery, and holding buttons on boot screens, until finally I hit the perfect combination of random events that tell my BlackBerry Storm to come back to life.

Speaking of battery pulls, it's a daily occurrence.  Sometimes multiple times a day.














IE6 Needs to Go

August 11, 2009

I seriously dislike Microsoft products for the most part.  Especially their browser.  As a web designer, Internet Explorer has been a thorn in my side for the better part of a decade.  But, as sad as it is, the world needs Microsoft.  What we no longer need is IE6.

If you've read any of this blog, you know that I am a big proponent of using the next best thing.  Moving forward with technology, ideas, solutions, and standards.  Right now, supporting IE6 specifically is the biggest hurdle I have to overcome on a daily basis.  It's old technology that doesn't support current web standards, yet 15-20% of web users still use it as their primary browser.

No one wants to build a site that doesn't work properly for 1/5 of their target audience, but the time and money wasted on building a site that holds up in today's markets and is IE6 compatible is ridiculous.  It's 2009!  Designers and programmers should not have their creativity and ingenuity handcuffed because people still choose to use a browser that doesn't support advanced CSS or XHTML.  The research, the hacks, the workarounds, the extra lines of code, the extra processes that slow the site down... they aren't worth the money spent by companies and developers. Especially when their user base can upgrade their IE browser for free.  Yeah that's right, it's FREE.

Afraid of upgrading your IE browser? Upgrading your OS to Vista left a bad Microsoft taste in your mouth?  I don't blame you.  OK, here's another solution then.