Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Feature phones vs Nokia 215 vs Smartphones

Feature phones are small, battery-savvy and reliable. I mean, really, really reliable. Their batteries easily last for a week. All that in a small case. But smartphones... Most of them feel like you have a laptop in your pocket. The small ones around can get neither the reliability nor the battery life. It's possible to get two days of battery called "impressive" and a lot less RAM than the OS is capable to work with, in other words - a "crash-happy" phone with an addiction to power sockets. I don't see fun in the "it happens" culture of breaking screens and applications. Their constant need for electrical attention... No, please, let me get a good phone instead.

So what about the "ultimate" feature phone Nokia 215. The battery lasts for a week. Never glitched on me yet. But there are just a few itsy tiny problems with it:
  • There's no way to enter a contact more than 17 symbols. Doesn't matter how you save it. Write your "Christopher Walken" contact as "Chris. Walken", and "Michelle Stevenson - New York Project Coordinator" as "Mice Stev NYprCrd". The contacts list is extremely poor and featureless. Such super advanced features as different ringtones - of course not.
  • There's no way to enter any notes. Lack of a dedicated notepad is fine. Many people write notes as SMS drafts. But to do that here, the sender number is necessary. If you write no number, enter a random number too large, or enter a number already existing in previous drafts, you'll get your draft lost, no questions asked. Wrote something important? Lost it. Something more important? Lost it too.
  • The maximum limit on SMS is ridiculously low. Too low to be necessary.

Nokia 215 is the most featureless phone I've seen for 15 years. It feels like they got a few students together, forbid them to learn anything about past feature phones, forbid them to implement features, threatened on their families if they dared to test, ... I mean, seriously, this is not a phone. It's an internal sabotage attempt from Microsoft, I'm sure.

So, maybe stick to a K750i, I've seen new on eBay for less than 100$. It's far from perfect but it isn't a disaster like the Nokia 215 is. Or give up. Learn to tolerate the flimsy ways of the smartphones, sacrifice your mind to "where can I charge my phone?" question, and struggle on. Hurrah.. the excitement.

To put my mind at ease, I did finally try the dreaded smartphone. An almost idle Android sitting in 2G mode with a 1500mAh battery survived for 9 days. And it's certainly full of features and the UI is great. Can't use it much though because the screen eats the battery fast. And it only crashed when I was using a browser, I wouldn't have used in a feature phone anyway. The test phone is huge (Lenovo A660) but, being thinner, it feels much more comfortable than a K750i. It has 512MB RAM and 1500mAh battery, specs I find in actually small smartphones (LG L40). So a small smartphone is a lot nicer to use than a feature phone and has no practical drawbacks to a feature phone, other than the cost. Smartphones just need care to be reliable and have a long battery life, all feasible and easy things. Turn the screen off after use. Don't overuse. Don't run anything in background. There's no addiction to power sockets. No crashing under light use. I've been living a lie. Cries about their battery lives and reliability, which permeate everywhere, have been far exaggerated.

Unfortunately, after a year of use, my smartphone showed its nasty side. The sound it hears from the microphone went bad. And often it decides not to play sound at incoming SMS and calls. If this was after 5 years, time which my K750i took to start glitching, it would make sense. But 1 year, really? Maybe I was unlucky, but I am skeptical once again...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Soft, foldable chair for indoors?

My deepest apologies to devoted readers regarding my absence. This post is worth the wait.

I've been looking for a soft, foldable chair for indoors. Found no such thing. There are garden/camping alternatives.

1. Some cheap quality padded chair:

2. Custom-fit padding to a foldable garden chair. Yes, this means finding and figuring out how to attach the padding in a way not to appear cheap and sad. On top of that, only few garden chairs will still fold after padding.

I give up. This is my best. 5 years is plenty time given.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Undo works too often

I hate how in many applications "Undo" feature is so powerful, that I actually start to trust it. Today, I was using PowerPoint and hit "Ctrl+N" instead of "Ctrl+B". My presentation suddenly goes empty, and I instinctively hit "Ctrl+Z". Nothing happens and an hour of work flees down my spine... If you're going to make "Undo" not work for an action, make it a less scary one, not the "New..." command! :/

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Using Google to search quality

This post is a continuation to the previous post.

What bothers me is that CryptLoad wouldn't even appear on Google "rapidshare downloader" search first page. Live.com didn't have CryptLoad on the first page either, but it did have RDown. It's a bad Firefox add-on neither Google nor Yahoo found worth mentioning. Maybe better so? Live also was the only service which showed two linux-based applications on the first page. I thought it belonged to Microsoft...
CryptLoad did appear on the Yahoo first page along with bad results.

It's even worse for JDownloader. Yahoo had a link to JDownloader only on the 18th page! How can two of the best applications be so low?

I started to play with google search to find out, what searches can help find more relevant results. All I do is writing down the Google result count.

It's important for these Rapidshare downloaders, that they adapt to Rapidshare changes. If an application was good yesterday, it doesn't mean it's good today. So I chose Google option "past month". Now JDownloader has twice as many hits as the runner-up, and't it's good.
  Name (all time) (by month)
CryptLoad 834000 37200
JDownloader 405000 29900
Rapidshare Plus 320000 16400
Raptor 367000 14400
RapGet 346000 10100
letolto 167000 5140
RapidLeecher 62400 2900
RapiDown 46800 1180
Unlimited File Downloader 40300 994
Downloader.NET 28600 904
Rapget.RS 26200 171

Quality level
I found that COUNT_MONTH(rapidshare [application]) / (COUNT(rapidshare [application] doesn't work) + COUNT(rapidshare [application] error)) represents quality good. There's some sense in it - we want to count bad comments and at the same time make sure the development has not stalled. We need active changes but few mistakes.
letolto 2,887640449
JDownloader 1,811023622
CryptLoad 1,429669485
Unlimited File Downloader 1,39020979
Rapidshare Plus 1,237735849
Rapget.RS 0,501466276
RapidLeecher 0,464
RapGet 0,326649418
RapiDown 0,234872611
Raptor 0,161254199
Downloader.NET 0,03623537

I don't think letolto is accurate because a lot of complaints about it must be in gibberish, it's native language. All else seems right. Notice how "Unlimited File Downloader" is high. Spywares/Trojans/etc can have very good quality, so I also try to measure, how good the application is for users - praise level.

Praise level
It's not straightforward to filter out praising comments, I'll stick with the word "awesome". So praise level is COUNT(rapidshare [application] awesome) / COUNT(rapidshare [application] doesn't work)
Error is not included in praise level, because people can enlist errors yet like the application. In fact, for very bad applications, the reaction is less specific.
Rapidshare Plus  4,613953488
Downloader.NET 2,256756757
RapiDown 1,641242938
JDownloader 1,628272251
Raptor 1,608
CryptLoad 1,19941349
RapidLeecher 1,068965517
RapGet 0,817343173
letolto 0,621052632
Rapget.RS 0,316770186
Unlimited File Downloader 0,059815951

Here "Unlimited File Downloader" has plummeted down, noone praises it. Rapidshare Plus despite it's lacking quality really seemed praised a lot on the internet. I have no idea why RapiDown is so high or CryptLoad so low. I think I'm seriously lacking in my praise level estimation formula.

Final ranking
I can't come up with a good formula for this one. I'd just use quality ranking and ditch the lower part of praise ranks completely.
1. JDownloader
2. CryptLoad
3. Rapidshare Plus
4. RapidLeecher
5. RapGet
6. RapiDown
7. Raptor
I can't put letolto anywhere in this ranking due to it's internationality problems.

Best Rapidshare downloader

I was trying out various Rapidshare downloaders to find the best one.

Total and absolute failures

RapidShare Unlimited File Downloader
Rating 1.5 of 5 in download.com is way enough to label this crap and skip downloading. Well, what can you expect from a trojan...

RapGet v.1.41
Doesn't work and doesn't give a damn! How stupid is it to count errors, yet not tell what the errors are? Works with megaupload, sure, but not rapidshare. Shouldn't the name imply the opposite?

RapidShare Downloader.NET v2009 Preview
My love for unhandled exceptions is but an epic fail.

Raptor 1.1b
There is only one negative aspect to this app - it doesn't work! After downloading few-KB html files and renaming them as the expected result, Raptor feasts in belief of a work well done.

Rapidshare Plus
Is hanging up a feature now? When not hanging up, it simulates Raptor in it's entirety.

RapidLeecher 5.1
I've had nightmares better than this application... And, no, it doesn't work.

People tell it's a trial, spyware, and cannot be uninstallable. Do I want to install? Some other day.

Rapget.RS v0.9.7.1
Doesn't work. Has status "ready" for hours, never progressing. And, yes, I did press the "Download" button.

Working applications

RapidShare letolto 2.4
OMG, the interface, the horror... It really looks functionally good, but the interface is ass. First, the default language is gibberish (of course), so you have to be a real magician to find out where to change it to english. Too bad whenever you really need english, the text is left untranslated!

CryptLoad v1.1.5
Nevermind the fact that it takes forever to load and eats 70MB of RAM when idle, this one actually works. It's simple enough, and I couldn't find major faults. It dislikes spaces in file names. But it's auto-updating, so whenever RapidShare changes, this program will make sure to update itself (much unlike other crap). The link collecting feature is also nice. On the bad side - why doesn't it allow leaving files in list after downloading? I mean - this app is still crap, but it works.

JDownloader 0.3668
It took me ages to find this app's homepage! You thought writing "rapidshare jdownloader" in Google should show the homepage as the first result? Nope. And after I went through the trouble(!) of downloading the latest version, I find out that... it's quite good. It has auto-updating, link collecting, nice interface and doesn't remove files from list after downloading. Man I must be testing too much crap, if I call this one good...

P.S. It appeared to me that all(?) of the apps used the URL to identify the service. Whenever a link changing service is used (such as linkto.net), these applications fail miserably!

Summary: If your computer is not aging, get JDownloader (my favorite) or CryptLoad. Otherwise, you can try "RapidShare letolto". Everything else is even worse!

This post continues: Using Google to search quality

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Washing machine brand reliability

I wanted to buy a washing machine that has only two things:
1) Works
2) Cheap

It's actually not easy, because cheap washing machines fail a lot. And so do expensive ones! There's no use for features when the device doesn't work...

I believe that generally companies either produce qualitative product or crap. It's all about brand names and factories. So I googled to find which washing machine brands are the most reliable. Example queries:
"worst washing machines"
"washing machine worst brands"

Whenever some site had a strong opinion about a brand, I put a plus or a minus for the brand. Whenever it had strong opinions about multiple models of the same brand name, same thing.
AEG            +++
Baumatic -
Beko -
Bosch +++++-++
Cda -
Dyson ---
Electrolux +
Frigidaire -
GE +--
Gorenje +
Haier -
Hoover -----
Hotpoint -+------
Indesit --+-
Kenmore ++--
LG ++---
Matsui -
Maytag ++----
Miele ++++++++
Neff +
Onida -
Philco -
Samsung ---
Servis ---
Siemens +++
Tecnik -
Tricity Bendix +
Videocon +
Whirlpool ++-++---
Zanussi ++++-+
The "who owns who" game... Quality reviews for a 3 year old washing machines don't neccessarily represent current quality. I didn't keep track of dates (though ignored the "have it for >5 years" reviews), so I'll pretend all reviews are for recent models.

Current situation:
Electrolux brand names: AEG, Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kenmore, Tricity Bendix, Zanussi
Whirlpool brand names: Kenmore, Maytag, Whirlpool
Candy brand names: Candy, Hoover
Indesit brand names: Ariston, Hotpoint, Indesit
GE brand names: GE, Hotpoint, RCA
Arcelik brand names: Beko, Blomberg
Fagor brand names: Brandt, Fagor, Mastercook
BSH brand names: Bosch, Neff, Siemens

Popular brands grouped by owners:


Kenmore ++--
Tricity Bendix +
Frigidaire -

Whirlpool      ++-++---
Kenmore ++--
Maytag ++----

LG             ++---

Indesit        --+-
Hotpoint -+------

GE             +--
Hotpoint -+------

Dyson          ---

Samsung        ---

Servis         ---

Hoover -----

Miele is the most reliable, noone seems to even doubt it. Bosch-Siemens group follows. Hoover is the worst brand. Lack of positive reviews for Samsung surprises me. All else is visible in the list above. And, no, there is no conclusion.