Friday, October 07, 2016

iGoogle Widgets and The First App Store

iGoogle the father of Web 2.0 - iGoogle shaped and inspired many technologies. To name a few, The Web UI Frameworks and the Community App Store Idea. Even though the "Desktop" was just a webpage and the apps were web widgets. - 2010

The API access could be any web app or Google Service. I made a Online Desktop in its memory. The Cloud Desktop (2017). The code is still in 2010 version, see in google code archive. I have cleaned it and put it in a Google Cloud Bucket for test,

There are some more gadgets i made and these are at dapj Gadgets. I put a lot of effort into these. My gadgets will be Floating on this Jot Desktop Site. This is a Web Desktop on JavaScript and css.

iGoogle the father of Web 2


The Chumby Device posted earlier had this Chumby ARM Board. You could program the Widgets that could scroll or cycle thru the screen. Like News, Clock or Weather. The App Store was available but the device had to be configured unlike the Apps on the Phone today, which is much easier. This was the first App-Store that worked with a Touch-Screen.

Then ARM core deserves a lot of credit. but the 300MHz board you see below was an early step. The 1GHZ ARM that came a bit later makes the Tablet a powerful Web, Gaming, Office and Utility App Console.

Chumby ARM Board

The Desktop Computer wastes a lot of power but a HandHeld is green, sustainable. A 10" Tablet is the best way. So do not wait buy some Tablets and Netbooks and use your Desktop Computer when necessary.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

All flash Field Replaceable

Make all Flash Memory in Home Appliance, Gadgets and computers - Easily Replaceable and Field Replaceable. If possible replaceable by layman like batteries.

Many people are having problems and high costs of service, as equipment and devices made over the last few years have flash that is hard to replace and source.

The only flash that can be SMT and Soldered could be the ones loaded with "Static Software or Firmware". That means that area of memory that is subjected to very less write cycles. Even Firmware that is frequently updated should be on an replaceable module.

Make All flash Field Replaceable

I first experienced flash usage in a 8051 based Fuel Dispensing Unit we were developing in the late 80s. It was a SEEQ chip with 10K Full Erase/Write Cycles. it was a pin-2-pin replacement for 2732 UVPROM (kilo bytes). It later needed a piggyback timer.

Flash has developed immensely since, It lasts much longer and goes to Giga Bytes Storage. Giga Byte was BigData in the 90s.

Also Frequent software updates must be written as an overlay over the "Static Software".An External SDCARD as a database/code source for the updates.

Keep all frequently up-gradable parts of a firmware in a easily replaceable device called "DynamicWare" which includes the Interface/Internet areas and all that is susceptible, vulnerable, UI and young-and-growing sections.

So we have StaticWare Flash for OS, DynaWare Flash for Updates/Fixes/Apps. and External Flash for media/apps. The StaticWare alone can be SMT Hard Soldered into PCB, this should have enough smartness to upgrade device on Wi-FI with barebone GUI.

Gizmos and Gadgets that consume more batteries can be supplied with easily pluggable battery and spare battery with charger. This way the battery can be quick replaced when drained, rather than charging the device. This reduces system downtime.

delabs - 2014

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Usability of Front Panel Controls

I once worked in Tek for a very short period. I got to experience the 2235 and 2465 analog scopes and their controls. The 2465 was a 400 MHz Digitally Controlled Analog Scope.

I also used the Plugin Scopes and Calibration systems that were Tek Culture and Tech contribution to the Instrumentation world, it probably evolved into VXI-PXI as uC systems took over.

I also had a chance to look at DSO/Logic Analyzers and the just developed TDS Series.The older tek analog scopes made me understand about usability and panel layouts. Many controls are inevitable in a Analog Scope with Electromechanical Interface.

Usability or Ergonomics Review

In a Digital World that can be largely changed using the Monitor and Trackballs. The older BlackBerry phones are also good study for usability before Touch Screens came.

delabs Experiments

delabs Web Widget and Application Interface Usability Experiments 2003-2008

In 2003 i tried some experiments in Web Interface. I also converted some mini DHTML Widgets i made in 2000. These i later added to iGoogle too. In 2000 it was a Midi Player later an Alarm Clock when iGoogle came. Then a Metronome and Mini-Notes Holder and a Text-Database driven Music Player.

delabs Web Widget and Application Interface Usability Experiments 2003-2008

Talking of Touch Screen, i had seen a  Monitor in a Universal Pick-Place Assembly Machine. A Huge Pneumatic System, Not a SMT, there was no SMT then. This monitor had IR LED and Opto Transistor Array over the monitor. That sensed the finger Probably.

Capacitive Touch Screens and Accelerometers have given a new dimension to Ergonomics.

Then came Euro controls for Consumer Electronics. Like remote controls. Look at the National Panasonic VCR Remote on the right. It could be in the 90's. It is so easy to operate the VCR, you do not need a manual. Flap a Lid and you have many things to do, including control any brand of TV in tandem with the VCR.

Software or hardware it is the same thing. The way the Common man sees a Gadget, like a Lamp Switch or a Water Tap.

The HTML5 thing also is in the same direction, which empowers Web Designers to make Usable Apps and Sites not just Flashy Mazes where one can get lost for eternity. Some of the sites i built are like that, Labyrinth of Docs which only the Search can Reveal.

2003 - 2008 delabs Notes