Nokia Lumia 1320 review

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May 082014

I don’t normally review products but i was lucky enough to get hold of a Nokia Lumia 1320 and in so many ways it is so bad i couldn’t help but to review it. And it is beyond iPhone bad when iPhone couldn’t even copy and paste or put files in folders.

i am actually struggling to type this review on the actual device. When using it one of the first things you’ll notice is how basic the keyboard is and how quirky it operates and the fact almost half of the characters you’ll use regularly are on another page – just try typing lots of URLs and numbers, yikes! Even the enter key randomly puts lots of carriage returns from a single push.   i dare not type multiple paragraphs in this review as it just works so badly. The keyboard also isn’t transparent and takes up 3/4s of the screen. The web browser doesn’t let you change its homepage and you are stuck with whatever crap happens to be preset. Games with in-app purchases are risky to play as you cannot tell which purchases cost real money or play money. The camera wont take photos the right way up and the camera roll is also full of upside down photos, even after you correct them. But the worst thing of all is the screen. As clear and bright as it is, i use the phone exclusively in landscape mode and 2/3rds of the text is printed sideways. The phone definitely marks a new low in the Nokia range of phones. I had enough typing in here as the phone just makes my head spin.


$1 Australian Economy

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Feb 192014

Even at $1… no-one yet wants Australian Citizenship!!!! and I wonder why that is?

2014/04/14 200 000 jobs

2014/03/05 200 jobs

2014/03/05 100 more jobs

2014/02/25 5000 jobs

2014/02/19 800 jobs

2014/02/19 540 jobs

2014/02/18 1000 jobs

2014/02/10 30,000 jobs

2014/01/31 600 jobs

2014/01/23 200 jobs

2014/01/17 250,000 jobs gone since start of GFC





 All, Rants, Technology  Comments Off on UX
Jul 292013

UX (User Experience) is a term that’s thrown around left, right and centre these days with little thought to what it means.
I guess you could look up the World’s source of truth – Wikipedia and you’d quickly find what the community at large generally argues UX to be.  Mostly UX related articles talk mostly about emotion and look and feel (they tend to ignore the usability part feel bit for most part – and few mention it).  If you ignore usability you will soon get angry or aggravated users who won’t want to use your system.  A system that looks great but works like shit, is less valuable than a system that works great that looks shit, however its important to strike a good balance between the two.

I had the luxury of working with a client to perform a UX survey  of over 5000 of their users and what was interesting, the majority of feedback we got went somewhat against current market trends. They didn’t disagree that products shouldn’t look great but they didn’t like the fact that most Web Apps were slow, cumbersome and just plain tedious to use when performing everday tasks.

Our core audience were divided into two main categories of users. The first category which made up about 1300 users, were the ones that used the system daily but irregularly throughout the day to perform minor tasks. Generally their volume of data was low and they were more focused at doing a specific one-off task for the day before leaving the terminal.

The rest (the bulk) of the users where larger volume users who typically spent a great portion of their day, or long periods during the day entering data among other related tasks.

Interestingly the most requested feature of the test system was to have the ability to open and work on more than one form at a time.  A close second was the ability to print directly to a printer including from mobile devices and thirdly, friendly keyboard control was requested. Then followed a variety of adhoc features and functions.

In looking at the market for such systems and frameworks that provided as a minimum, the most requested features it became quite obvious that there weren’t a lot of choices – from our perspective we wanted something fast, secure and reliable (these btw were requested but not among the top 3).  Probably the closest we found was a commercial product called bindows which does a pretty good job of what it set out to do – that is provide a Windows look and feel for the Web App.  After some consideration of multiple open source frameworks (including Microsoft’s MVC, Backbone.js, CakePHP, Dojo, ExtJS, FuelPHP, jQuery, MooTools, Node.js, Twitter Bootstrap, Yii, YUI, Zend and some others), tools and technologies we chose the following for which to start our project:

– JavaScript + jQuery as they are good and established client-side technologies that could easily be expanded as required in addition to being able to find additional resources easily.

– PHP + C# for similar reasons than the JavaScript + jQuery options. In fact we chose PHP as our priority for server-side technology as it has a lot more hosting options – in particular with 3rd party hosts and on Android devices. Of course we have also proven we can switch the server to C# with little impact to the client.

– RapidOS lots of hard effort was put into this custom framework using plain JavaScript and jQuery to come up with something very solid, reliable, fast, flexible, secure and easily maintainable set of coding patterns in which to quickly develop our apps.

Our first product using the RapidOS framework extensively is RapidFMS and so far our clients love it.


Job Search Websites Top 3 likes and Top 3 dislikes

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Jun 042013

Which job search website do you use most and if a new entry came to the market, what are your top 3 must have requirements and also your top 3 dislikes of existing sites?  Please state whether you are an employer, recruiter or job seeker.


Freddy Pickwick and Ralph Cog

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Apr 182013

reminder to myself: write a blog entry about Freddy Pickwick who is a career fruitpicker looking for a job… Freddy Pickwick applies for an Apple picking job and gives a recruitment guy, Ralph Cog a resume outlining his job history of picking Oranges, Bananas, Strawberries and Apples – Ralph Cog is baffled how Freddy can be good at all of those… When Freddy describes his experiences on how he was able to pick the different fruits efficiently and to the satisfaction of his employers, Ralph only hears static… “I started picking Apples when I was 18 years old, I ssssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” . Ralph still is puzzled how Freddy knows how to pick all those types of fruit “so, you are more of an Orange picker?”…


Close-Minded Contract Agents

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Mar 232013

We are unsure why it is so, but *some* contract Agencies and their employees have a very limited view of the World and have sand-boxed their small minds into thinking that people cannot be good at more than one task – perhaps they themselves are only good at one thing? LOL

What they need to realise is that when you run a small to medium business it can be a godsend to be able to learn and know more than one thing, not because you want to work on everything, but sometimes it is a necessity due to budget reasons. If you are not one of those Agencies, feel free to give us a call.

What a typical 70 hour work week consists of for ‘each of us’ at the moment:

– Make initial contact with potential customers based on leads and discuss with them their very high level layman requirements in order to ensure that we are able to help them or not. If we believe we can help them we then arrange if necessary a meeting in order to meet them and discuss their high-level requirements and try to convert them into customers or likely customers (some of our products are sales of established products and some are new developments so the initial contact can be quite different depending on what it is).

– Perform some BA work in relation to customers for which we have converted and/or almost converted – sometimes it is pre-work, but other times just further clarifications or requirements gathering – depending on the state of the product or work, demonstrate it in person to show them the progress as well as clarify certain complicated aspects that may require clarification.

– Analyse, design and develop the products depending on which product we have to constantly switch between html/css/javascript/java (front end – java for the applets) to php/python/c#/java (backend) to vb6/java (desktop or android apps) to objective c (iPhone apps) not to mention the different SQL backends.  Some products use almost all the mentioned technologies – does anyone these days develop using a single technology?  I doubt it!  (Agents take note).

– Provide customer support and training.

– Schedule and manage after hours product releases with clients as well as system upgrades where necessary.

– Project manage the small team we have which includes ourselves – we are a very agile company but depending on the budgets for particular jobs we may be more or less formal in our approach.  All our jobs we manage to some degree of formality in that we track requirements/stories, we have our goals/scrums, we have our r&d/spikes and we have our standups/emails (when we are not in the office).  We are always on top of things.

– Design and prepare advertising material and it’s copy as well as attend promotional shows when we can.

– Payroll and Accounts, this is the less fun part but we have to do it and we know how to do it – properly!

We don’t all have the exact same knowledge of everything or the same level of knowledge of everything but we have a very solid cross over and we are forever increasing our knowledge in all areas.

If you ever get asked by an Agent why you know more than one thing or how you can be good at more than one thing – ask them if they only know one thing and why they only know one thing!  IT started as our hobby decades ago, still is our hobby today, but not only that… for decades we have worked in the industry at business sizes ranging from small to corporate as well as running our own – successfully!