Archive for MacOS

Response #2

For those that weren’t involved in a recent discussion I had over on a hack piece by Jonny Evans, I wanted to respond to several of the comments put up by one particular individual. It’s unfortunate as he seems relatively intelligent, though amazingly misinformed.

By the way, Linux Rants – what is so great about Android?  What does it do exceedingly better?  I know that it once did OTA updates while iOS did not – and Apple finally “copied” that, but what about graphics handling, gestures, web-browsing?  Is Android superior in those respects?  It won’t be on all devices, but what about on a device with comparable hardware versus an iOS device?

So, there’s comment number two from this individual, or I guess it would be more accurately described as a question.

So, what is so great about Android? What does it do exceedingly better?

I love that you gave me a starting point, but I’ll come right out and say that graphics handling, gestures, and web browsing are probably equal.

No, what’s really great about Android is it’s ability to evolve and adapt to the preferences of the individual.

My current phone is an HTC Thunderbolt. It’s default interface is the HTC Sense, which is OK. I preferred a different launcher, so I changed it. It’s default browser is the unnamed Google browser, but I preferred the Dolphin browser, so I changed it. I have my personal email (several different accounts) and my work email configured in different clients (gotta keep work and home life seperate…. kinda), but I have widgets placed on the same screen so I can check my personal email, my work email, and my text messages with a glance, never opening an app. I have the same thing configured on another screen for my calendars. My default “Home” screen only has a few apps on it, and a picture of my wife and kids (not the same as my wallpaper). There’s nothing that compares to any of that on an iPhone.

The form factor of the HTC Thunderbolt is similar to an iPhone, but if I wanted a hardware keyboard, I have several choices in that regard. I could get a Droid 4, or I could get a Droid Pro, or maybe even a Samsung W899. I might even get lucky and find myself a LG GD910. Variety is nice.

When it comes to software, again Android wins out. What happens when you want an app and it’s just not available in the App Store for your iPhone. Well, you could jailbreak it if you want to void the holy hell out of your warranty. I look for apps in the Android Market. If it’s not there, I check the Amazon App Store. If it’s not there, I search Google and manually download the APK and install it myself. I can do all of this without rooting my phone or really even going that far out of my way. I’m not subjected to the whims of a single company.

I think that’s probably enough for tonight. I really could go on, but my couch is calling me and there’s a cold beer in the fridge. Hopefully, that answered your question.

Response #1

For those that weren’t involved in a recent discussion I had over on a hack piece by Jonny Evans, I wanted to respond to several of the comments put up by one particular individual. It’s unfortunate as he seems relatively intelligent, though amazingly misinformed.

I’ve given technical reasons as to why Android *appears* as a cheap knockoff, when seen running “out in the wild” as they say.  Maybe that approach is not quite correct, but it’s not like I was ever on the debate team….However, what I mean by the “cheap knockoff” term is that when one uses Android, one will run across some functions (not all) that  imitate what was done in iOS from the get-go.  For one, many of gestures, such as pinch to zoom, side-swipes to go from a home screen to another apps screen, and swipe to unlock just don’t work quite as well – on many Android devices.
My EVO is one example, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire are good examples, although each implements the Android OS differently.

When I say these functions do not work as well, I mean that they are sluggish, are not as effective for certain situations, such as locking up a Music app on many Android devices.  I typically have to hit the power button on my EVO just to get back to the music app, which is annoying.  It works much better on an iPod Touch.  Typical web-browsing and scrolling is better on the iDevices, thanks to the better graphics handling and more efficient use of resources.  Not to mention that objective C has better memory management capabilities than higher level programming languages like Java, which is used in many Android app (though, not all).  That’s not to say that these features may not work well on another Android device, or on ICS-specific tablets and newer smartphones, but that has been my experience thus far.  The reasons why this experience is lacking, to me, boils down to the slew of technical differences in integration I have hinted at.So, given these deficiencies I and others have seen, plus the fact that Eric Schmidt sat on the Apple board as iOS was in development phase in 2006/2007 and was, indeed, feeding this info all back to the then-Blackberry-like Android OS, Android (for Google’s part)  developed was after the fact of iOS and PARTIALLY copied (or imitated) iOS, is FREE……So it’s close enough to being a copy and it’s cheap and it is not as finely tuned.Granted, Android has not taken on Apple’s iOS path for grouping apps and has maintained an open file system, but even a cheap knockoff can be better at some things.True, Apple took ideas from several players, but it’s not like they had people sitting on those companies’s boards.  Any company can look at another company’s tear-downs on the FCC website and get a handle on the design approach and decisions.  Since both iOS and Android are descendants of Unix, or more BSD in the case of iOS, there will be some commonality, but the public-facing features like the UI and gestures are what matter and Android could have been done much differently.  It could have been implemented as a cloud-based OS to start, for example, and would have then been nowhere even close to iOS!  It could have been more like desktop Linux (certain minimal builds of Ubuntu can run on a rooted Android smartphone).  However, what Eric said was “Hey, let’s do what Apple’s doing.  Let’s beat them at their own game, let’s use capacitive touch-screen based smartphones and let’s incorporate all of the cool gestures….)  Wow, how original!  What Eric Schmidt did was pretty much about as under-handed as you can get.  Oh, and going the write-once, run anywhere route is just a cop-out – granted one that makes sense for Google, given their ad-based revenue stream, but it was a quick road to *market share*.  If you want to debate Steve Job’s little theft from Xerox, that’s fine, but Xerox had gone into an agreement to give Apple access to certain IP and cared nothing about actually turning the GUI into a computing product for mass consumption……

So, there’s comment number one from this individual.

A little context. This comment was a response to a request by me to explain how Android was a knock-off of iOS. His “technical reason” why Android appears as a cheap knockoff was a lack of vertical integration with the hardware. Let’s define “knockoff” here as well:

knock·off  (nkôf, -fn. Informal

An unauthorized copy or imitation, as of designer clothing: “the place to go for quality knockoffs” (Women’s Wear Daily).

OK, so a knockoff is a copy. Claiming that Android is a knockoff of iOS because iOS is vertically integrated with the hardware and Android isn’t just doesn’t make any sense. That’s pointing out a difference, where to show that Android is a knockoff, you’re going to need to point out areas where Android copies iOS.

One will run across some functions (not all) that  imitate what was done in iOS from the get-go.

Like what? Be explicit.

For one, many of gestures, such as pinch to zoom, side-swipes to go from a home screen to another apps screen, and swipe to unlock just don’t work quite as well – on many Android devices.

First, your experience on a particular Android device doesn’t not constitute proof. It’s an anecdote, and is relevant only to you. I could point out that my iPhone3Gs was the worst phone I ever owned. How does that affect the experience of someone other than myself? As to the gestures themselves, they’re definitely not originally iOS either. Most of those gestures date back to the early 80s.

When I say these functions do not work as well, I mean that they are sluggish, are not as effective for certain situations, such as locking up a Music app on many Android devices.

Again, this is more “proof” that doesn’t in any way show Android to be a knockoff of iOS. Claiming that one system does or does not work as well as the other is anecdotal and subjective. Your example of a music app is irrelevant and lacks context. Personally, I use WinAmp as my music player on my Android device. Is that the music app that you’re talking about, or was it a different one. How can you claim that Android isn’t as good as iOS based on an app that can be replaced at any time based on user preferences? Personally speaking, I think that points out a strength of Android.

Typical web-browsing and scrolling is better on the iDevices, thanks to the better graphics handling and more efficient use of resources.

Again, based on what? My personal preference is the Dolphin browser on my phone, but I prefer Firefox on my tablet. How is “typical” web-browsing better on an iDevice than either Dolphin on my phone or Firefox on my tablet. I’d point out that “better” is again subjective. Both Dolphin and Firefox have a plugin interface, allowing me to increase the functionality of the browser. Safari on iDevices does not allow for that.

Not to mention that objective C has better memory management capabilities than higher level programming languages like Java, which is used in many Android app (though, not all).

Again, you’re pointing out differences in the two platforms. You seem to be failing to understand what a knockoff actually is. Whether Objective C has better memory management is also up for debate. One comparison I read reached this conclusion: “Each solution has its own benefits and disadvantages. Although Objective-C’s retain/release runs smoother and faster than Java’s garbage collection, it places a much larger burden on the developer and introduces a much larger risk of memory leaks.” The claim that Objective C has better memory management is still very much in contention.

The reasons why this experience is lacking, to me, boils down to the slew of technical differences in integration I have hinted at.So, given these deficiencies I and others have seen, plus the fact that Eric Schmidt sat on the Apple board as iOS was in development phase in 2006/2007 and was, indeed, feeding this info all back to the then-Blackberry-like Android OS, Android (for Google’s part)  developed was after the fact of iOS and PARTIALLY copied (or imitated) iOS, is FREE.

This  particular portion of your response is just rife with error. Where Eric Schmidt was sitting at any given time does not prove that Android is a knockoff. As you pointed out, Google didn’t write Android, but purchased it in 2005 along with the company of the same name, which was founded in 2003. Long before Apple decided to play in the phone market. In many ways, iOS is much more like a Blackberry than Android ever has been, even in 2006 and 2007. Quite honestly, no version of Android that the public has ever seen has been overly “Blackberry-like”. The cost of Android only points out that Android is less expensive than iOS, not that it’s a knockoff.

So it’s close enough to being a copy and it’s cheap and it is not as finely tuned.

So, you’ve failed in pretty much every way to show that Android is a copy of iOS, but still make that claim. In re-reading your comment several times, it barely looks like you even attempted to show how Android copied iOS. The only feature mentioned was multi-touch gestures, which it’s easy to point out were not invented or pioneered by Apple in anything.

The public-facing features like the UI and gestures are what matter and Android could have been done much differently.  It could have been implemented as a cloud-based OS to start, for example, and would have then been nowhere even close to iOS!

Please explain how the UI of Android is even remotely close to the UI of iOS. It’s also worth noting that Android started out with many “cloud” type features, even though at the time it wasn’t called “The Cloud”. For example, the Google account was configured with the phone, and that account was used to tie Google’s mail and Calendar services to the phone. Also, that account was used to track purchases in the Market, so purchased software could easily be installed on a new device simply by configuring the Google account there. Believe me when I say, Apple is late to the cloud game when compared to Android and Linux in general.

However, what Eric said was “Hey, let’s do what Apple’s doing.  Let’s beat them at their own game, let’s use capacitive touch-screen based smartphones and let’s incorporate all of the cool gestures….)  Wow, how original!  What Eric Schmidt did was pretty much about as under-handed as you can get.

That’s a very interesting theory, but Android isn’t tied to hardware. It runs on a wide array of devices. Yes, some of them use capacitive touch-screens. Some of them don’t. You’re focusing on a single segment of the devices that Android runs on and making general statements about the OS based on that single segment. I’d love to hear you tell me how the Parrot Asteroid is a knockoff of the iPhone.

If you want to debate Steve Job’s little theft from Xerox, that’s fine

Well, it doesn’t really matter if Apple stole the idea from Xerox or not. Apple tried to sue to keep other companies (namely Microsoft) from using ideas present in their GUI, despite the fact that they were not the originators or really the owners of those ideas. Xerox didn’t grant Apple sole ownership of those ideas. Regardless, I had no intention of bringing Xerox up at any point, though it is worth noting that one of the primary features that both Android and iOS share (the icon grid) did originate there, not at Apple. Really, that feature is one of the few that Android and iOS share.

The Stupid Overwelms Me

Today I read what I can only say is the most stupid explanation for why people choose Windows over Linux (or Mac for that matter). I couldn’t even think of a response.

Its like this question – if you take a baby girl and a baby boy and place them on a deserted island with just food and water, would they know how to reproduce. The answer is yes they will because it is part of human nature and is natural. As is Windows is natural to a PC. Linux and OS X no matter how good they are, just aren’t a natural choice.

I don’t usually dedicate a whole post to something like this, but the sheer magnitude of the stupid demands it.

Android Copied the iPhone?


I’m getting a little tired of this myth. It never seems to die. The basic premise is, Android used to look like a Blackberry, then the iPhone came out, and then it all of a sudden looked like an iPhone. First of all, people need to learn the difference between hardware and software. An Operating System can not look like a piece of hardware. It’s just not possible. If you want to see what Android looked like during it’s prototype phase, you need to strip the hardware away. Otherwise, the thick of wit can’t get past the hardware keyboard.

Here are two different screen shots of the original Android interface. The picture on the left is the desktop, the picture on the right is the Application Menu. The original design of the OS had a few icons in a bar at the bottom, which the Blackberry didn’t have, but the iPhone did. Selecting the Applications button brought up the Applications menu, which shows all installed applications for the users selection.

Fast forward to the release of the first Android phone.

 There are some significant differences in the interface from the initial design to the release. First thing you can see is that there is a giant clock in the middle of the screen. Android added the capability to do widgets, which the iPhone doesn’t have. The bottom bar of icons (which the iPhone had) is gone, replaced with a single button to bring up the Application Menu. The Application Menu is virtually identical, but then it’s hard to change a grid of icons. One grid pretty  much looks the same as another. Android apparently also added the ability to put icons on it’s desktop. It’s unknown if it had this functionality before. None of the prototypes had any icons on the desktop, but that could very well have just been a display choice. Regardless, the iPhone wasn’t the only device to have icons like this. The Blackberry interface more closely resembles the iPhone interface than Android does, and did it much earlier than the iPhone did.

Based on actual evidence, it could be argued that the look and feel of the Android OS actually became less like the iPhone. Since then, Android has evolved significantly. iOS, not so much.

 

 

Less than Impressed

So, the new iPhone was announced today, if you were living under a rock and didn’t know. I found this comparison over at Engadget. I’m less than impressed with Apple’s latest offering.

Goodbye iPhone… Hello Thunderbolt!


It’s a red-letter day at my house. Finally, after 2 long years of AT&T, our contract is over. With an expired contract comes the freedom to change carriers and get new phones. I gotta tell you, this is a day that we have been waiting for for a long time.

Two years ago, we bought iPhones. Quite literally, the iPhone was the worst phone I’ve ever owned. Today, the Thunderbolts arrived.

To say that the Thunderbolt is a revelation compared to the iPhone is an understatement. It’s blazing fast. Let me say that again. BLAZING. The screen is beautiful. It literally makes the screen on the 3Gs feel dim and tiny in comparison. The camera takes beautiful pictures, which I’ve already setup to upload in the background (utilizing real the real multitasking found in Android).

Finally, I’m free of that iPhone. I’m never looking back.

iPhone 3Gs – The Worst Phone I’ve Ever Owned

Soon I will be celebrating the anniversary of one of the worst technology mistakes I’ve ever made. First, some back story.

My first son was born in July of 2008. At the time, I was using a an LG V. For a gadget guy, I actually haven’t own that many cell phones. I’d had the V for several years,and it was a nice, sturdy phone for me. Both my wife and I work, so unfortunately, we had to put my son into Daycare instead of keeping him at home.

Here’s where the problem came in. I didn’t like the fact that any time I was away from my desk (like when I was in one of my many meetings), I couldn’t be reached if I was needed by my Daycare. The building I worked in allowed for virtually no Verizon signal inside the building. Even just a couple feet from the window, and signal dropped to zero. The same was true for every other cellular network I looked into, with one exception. AT&T. We didn’t want to switch to AT&T, so we toughed things out for almost a year before it was just too much. So, after talking to my wife, we decided to switch from Verizon to AT&T so that I’d be reachable inside of the building.

So, since we were switching networks anyway, we decided to splurge, and get smartphones. Really, at the time on AT&T’s network, the only choices were iPhone or Blackberry. I really didn’t want a Blackberry, so even though I’ve never been a big fan of Apple, I sucked it up and we each got an iPhone. The 3Gs had just been released, so we picked up the most current model.

For a couple months, everything was fine. Then it happened. My wife got a job offer out of state, and we decided to take it. Our new city (as it happens, Phoenix, AZ) didn’t have the greatest AT&T reception. There were many “dead spots” in areas where we frequented. Even in our home we sometimes barely get any 3G bars. I realize that this isn’t the fault of the phone, but the network, but it’s here for context.

One morning, we were heading out to work, my wife grabs her phone, and it won’t turn on. Plugged in, unplugged, we get nothing. We take the time and go to the Apple Store, and talk to one of the “Geniuses” there. He plays around with the phone for about 30 minutes, and gets nowhere with it. Apple graciously replaces the phone for us since we hadn’t even bought it a year ago. Unfortunately, with the new phone, none of her apps transferred to the new phone. Any pictures were unrecoverable (couldn’t even crack open the phone and change out the battery), so we lost a good number of pictures and videos of our now almost 2 year old son. We were not pleased with this.

Not long after that, I started noticing my phone behaving oddly. The phone would turn off claiming the battery was dead when the meter still was reporting over 10% charge. When I say that the phone “turned off”, I mean that the screen just blacks out. No warning. Apps were crashing left and right, and the phone was virtually unusable. Again, we took it to the “Genius” bar. The “Geniuses” played around with the phone for a little while, and then reported to me that the reason the phone was doing that was that there was a bug in the OS software that was telling me there was charge when there wasn’t. He suggested that I completely reinstall the OS.

Under the mistaken impression that these “Geniuses” might actually know what the heck they’re talking about, I followed my orders. I reinstalled the OS from scratch, completely rebuilding my phone. No change to the behavior of the phone. Still crashes apps, still dies before the battery meter makes it even close to zero.

We take it back to the Apple Store. The “Geniuses” tell me that the bug that caused the problem in the first place is still present in the current version of the OS, and that the next version of the OS will resolve the problem for me. All I need to do is wait for the next release.

Still, for some reason, thinking that they might have some semblance of a clue, I wait. Next version comes, and it doesn’t solve the problem. I rebuild the OS from scratch again, and it still doesn’t help.

At this point, I’ve given up on the “Geniuses”. They know what Apple tells them. I can’t use the word “Genius” without heaping derision on it when referring to Apple’s employees.

The phone is getting worse. The phone dies with 30% or 40% of the battery still supposedly charged. Apps barely run on the stupid thing any more, and many of the ones that I actually liked fail to load at all.

With about six months left in my AT&T contract, the phone has begun shutting down with 90% charge still apparently available. I bite the bullet and buy a Case-Mate battery extender. This thing is really the only thing that keeps phone working. It fools the phone into thinking that it’s plugged in. The Case-Mate battery only gives me about 3 hours charge, but right now, the battery in the phone is giving me less than 15 minutes. I have to keep the phone plugged in virtually all day, and when I can’t keep it plugged in, I turn on the Case-Mate so at least the phone thinks it’s plugged in.

Now, with under a month to go until this AT&T contract expires, I will be running (not walking) to the nearest Verizon store to replace this nightmare of a device as quickly as I can. I will replace this spotty network, and I will replace this disaster of a phone. I can honestly say that the iPhone was the worse tech purchase I’ve ever made, and the only thing it excelled at was making me miss my LG.

To the people that tell me constantly that the iPhone is “Magical” or “Revolutionary”, I tell you that you can take this phone. The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.

The countdown has begun.

There is an ending to my pain, and if I have my way, I will never own another Apple product again.

Top 1 Way iOS outdoes Android – BS

I just got done reading an article over at MSNBC on the Top 10 Ways iOS Outdoes Android. It really pissed me off. I want to do a break down of this article, and it’s stupid claims.

10. iTunes Media Store. OK, this thing is crap. It doesn’t sync wirelessly, yet the author still gives it credit for being seamless. When you buy media from Amazon, which you can from anywhere, it syncs directly to your device without having to find a computer and plugin. You  have access immediately, not after you do a time wasting sync with a computer that’s completely unnecessary. Stupid. The best thing the author can say about it is that it’s integrated. Goody for it.

9. AirPlay. First of all, AirPlay is useless if you don’t have more than one Apple device. It’s not an advantage of the iOS, it’s a limitation. It ties you to Apple products. This is a huge negative in my book, and definitely not something to call an advantage. There are other, better, more open solutions available, which he even goes so far as to mention. The fact that one kind of device will connect to one other device (which btw only like 10 people own), and only when you’re using Apple’s software is not an advantage over other services which will connect many types of devices to many other types of devices.

8. Find My iPhone. The author makes this claim: “It’s not like you can’t roll your own device-tracking setup on Android, but now that Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) is free it’s no longer the best paid option — it’s just the best.” He makes no attempt to back that up, and doesn’t even acknowledge that there are many free ways of doing exactly the same thing on an Android phone that are just as good, or better.

7. A better support system. The author has the gall to call the Genius Bar a “better” support system. I can’t say the word “genius” without heaping derision on it when I’m referring to the Geniuses at the Genius Bar. Every time I’ve ever needed to use their service, they’ve failed to resolve my problem. I’ve had better luck with the Geek Squad. To call the Genius Bar an advantage of the iOS is deluded to say the least.

6. Battery Life and Management. This is just an excuse. Apple’s multitasking is a joke, so it says that it’s a feature meant to preserve your battery. No, it’s just because Apple’s multitasking sucks. To call this an advantage is ignorant.

5. iTunes and Tethered syncing. It seems every item on this list is more aggravating than the last. iTunes and tethered syncing is an advantage??? First of all, iTunes is a POS. It’s an archaic remnant of a time when media players were the norm, and Apple needed something to compete with WinAmp. It wasn’t as good then, and it’s a catastrophe now. The author states: “Android is missing iTunes in the same way iOS is missing Android’s wireless capabilities.” No, Android is missing iTunes the same way I’m missing an extra hole in my head.

4. No crapware. This is not an advantage of the OS. This is an advantage of the vendor, and Apple’s clout over the carrier, but not the OS.

3. A bigger and better variety of apps. I always find this one amusing when I hear iOS users use it. It’s the same argument that Windows users have been using against Mac users for decades. The only difference is, for Android and iOS, the condition is temporary. Android will have more apps than iOS in short order, and then iOS users will change to saying quality over quantity. And when that argument falls through, iOS users will switch to the “We don’t need that” argument. It’s all be said and done before. It failed then, and it fails now.

2. A well-designed, intuitive user interface. Let’s be clear here. Apple didn’t design a user interface. They made an icon grid. The same interface that’s been present on every single GUI since Xerox invented it. That’s all. Androids UI is customizable, and it’s much more functional with the inclusion of movable icons and widgets. Apple’s UI is limited and static. Again, to call this an advantage is delusional.

1. Consistency. This is another “advantage” that always makes me laugh. iOS users think that having the same IU as every single other person that has an iOS device is an advantage. It’s a limitation. Someone else has decided what the best thing is for you, and doesn’t let you say otherwise.

This article really raised my ire when I read it. It seemed like every “advantage” listed came straight from Apple’s marketing department, and required zero thought by the author. Too often, that’s the kind of thinking that I see from iOS users and Apple fans. It literally makes me ill. I can say that the iOS does have one advantage over the Android though. It definitely has more BS.

Linux: It Just Works

Recently, a friend of mine and I were discussing his phone and his desire to buy the iPhone 5 to replace his Android phone. Personally, think moving from an Android to an iPhone is a mistake, but that’s not really the point of this particular posting.

During the course of the conversation, the phrase came up “It just works.” I’ve heard this phrase countless times over the years to describe one OS or another, and it’s always seemed weird to me.

For something to “just work”, the task that you’re trying to perform has to be within the subset of tasks the device is inherently capable of. For example, if I were to want to browse the web, in today’s day and age, pretty much any computer or smart phone I picked up would “just work”. They all come with built in web browsers and networking capability. So the claim “it just works” could apply to any of them. A secondary, counter example would be, if I were to want to dig a hole in my back yard. Now, short of using the case as some sort of digging device, none of those devices could claim to “just work”.

What this really boils down to is this: Whether a device “just works” or not is subjective to a particular persons needs.

For me (and I’d go so far as to claim most people), what I need in a computer is simple.

  1. I need a word processor. This doesn’t have to be Microsoft Word, or Lotus something or other. To often, people get tied up in names. I’d be willing to bet that Open Office or LibreOffice can perform most if not all tasks required of an average user.
  2. I need a spread sheet. Again, it doesn’t  have to be a particular brand name, and again, Open Office or LibreOffice more than meet the needs of the majority.
  3. I need access to the Web. Linux supports Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and other web browsers. All are capable of browsing the vast majority of the web.
  4. I need to view graphics. I have a digital camera and two kids. I want to see video and images of those kids on my computer. Linux more than covers these bases, and does so with ease and style. No issues there.

So, when it really comes down to it, Linux does all the things that the average person requires from their OS. On top of those things, it’s easy to use, stable, and close enough to being virus free that it makes the Mac look like a cesspool of infection.

Based on those facts, I think it’s safe to say it.

Linux:  It just works.

Microsoft bought Skype – Damn it

I have no idea what this is going to mean for the Linux, Android, and even Mac versions of Skype. I just don’t see this is a good thing no matter how you look at it. Here’s a collection of links. I’ll be watching this pretty closely. I’m already starting to look for alternatives.