Month: October 2021


Surface Duo (one more time)

Continuing my obsession with Microsoft’s Surface Duo, interesting to read the thoughts of someone who took the plunge after a sharp price reduction:

When turned on, the Duo greets you with two separate displays, and that is exactly what you are meant to see. Unlike Samsung’s Fold series that gives you an iPad-ish display when opened, the Duo is never mistaken for anything other than two screens. In fact, it is built into how the device functions. Open an app and it will only appear on one screen, inviting you to do something else with the other.

Trying it out led to this conclusion:

Frankly, I think the problem isn’t the Duo itself, but it is how I interact with my technology these days. You see, I’ve always loved writing in Moleskine notebooks, but I haven’t done that in a good long while because my notes are more convenient when stored in the cloud. And because of that, I’ve been accustomed to writing my notes on my phone or my tablet. I’ve been accustomed to using one screen. The Surface Duo, for as excellent a device that it is, flies in the face of years of muscle memory. Sure, given time, I might be able to break that and really make the Surface Duo a useful gadget- and a strong part of me wants to give it that chance- but even at $400, and especially with an older version of Android and slow updates and lingering bugs and newer versions on the horizon, I just don’t think I can give it that chance right now.

A shame that Microsoft didn’t put their new form factor out there at a price that would encourage users to give it a try. Perhaps the Surface Duo experiment was the right idea (for users who were prepared to revise their working habits, at least) but at the wrong price point.

Overthinking it

I should have linked to this when it was originally posted, but never mind: I like it when Randy Milholland shares some parenting wisdom with his audience.

Watching Squirrels

Apple Sounds

If you’re a frequent visitor to the Apple ecosystem, the first minute or so of the introductory video for this week’s Apple’s "Unleashed" event is comfy and familiar, a tribute to the way the sound of Apple’s devices have shaped our experience of modern technology.

I wasn’t watching the event, because I’m unlikely to buy an Apple device pricier than my current iPad Mini 4 any time soon, but as someone who Switched to Apple rather than follow Microsoft further down the path through Windows 98/Windows ME1 it definitely worked on me.2

I’m glad M.G. Siegler’s passing mention of the intro’s music led me to seek it out.

[Via 500ish]


  1. Of course Microsoft would – quite legitimately – point out that they abandoned that path themselves in favour of Dave Cutler’s Windows NT/Windows 2000, so I’m blaming them for a mistake they corrected 20 or so years ago. Then I contemplate the frustrating experience of using Microsoft Teams on my work PC under Windows 10 and I realise how little they changed. 
  2. If I were a journalist writing a story I’d probably feel obliged to hunt down the views of folks from the Windows/Android/Linux side of the divide, which I’m guessing might differ quite a bit in these days when everything is so tribal. But I’m not a journalist, so I’m content to reflect how it worked on me and leave it at that. 

Flight

Watching videos of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second turned out to be exactly what I needed on a lazy Sunday morning. I never thought of moths as cuddly, but how else can you describe these?

Seeing how ungainly some of those take-offs looked, I couldn’t help but think of Douglas Adams on the subject of flying (from Life, the Universe and Everything): "The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

[Via MetaFilter]