Bose QC15 vs Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b

 Apr 12th, 2014 

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We recently moved in a new building that has open offices. It get pretty loud sometimes with ~10 people in the same room. I wanted something that can isolate me from the noise and since I don’t like ear plugs, I decided on noise cancellation headphones. After reading some reviews I tried Bose QuietComfort 15 and Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b.

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Construction and case

Both headphones are well-built. However, ATH-ANC7b is made of better quality materials; it is sturdier and I bet it could take greater damage than Bose before breaking. Both sets have leather ear cups but the Bose ones are softer and more comfortable.

In terms of case, again the ATH-ANC7b case seems stronger; it is a rectangular case with rounded corners, nothing fancy. The Bose case has the shape of the headphones but I think that makes it less resistant to damage (more concave surfaces). Both cases have enough room to store an MP3 player, cables and extra batteries.

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Noise cancellation

This is the primary reason I got these headphones. Both of them need one AAA battery to cancel noise.

When enabled, the noise cancellation on ATH-ANC7b is pretty good. You can still hear human voices but it is able to cancel most of the background noise. The noise cancellation on Bose is… unbelievable. Enable it and you are locked in a bubble. No more noises, no nothing. It is actually scary how quite it gets – if you wear them without listening to music, you can hear the blood in your ears. But, just like ATH-ANC7b, you can still hear voices and non-background noise.

Music

I didn’t get these headphones for sound quality. Both, do a pretty good job at playing music with noise cancellation on. With noise cancellation off, Bose cannot play any sounds. It is astounding that such expensive headphones cannot be used as just headphones. That’s a very big minus for Bose.
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Office 2010 Web Apps

 Oct 17th, 2009 

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Most of you know Google Docs (GD) – the web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form application offered by Google. Probably in the attempt to remove GD’s supremacy and to promote their new Office 2010, Microsoft is preparing a free online version of Office called Office Web Apps.

For the Technical Preview four application are available: Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote. Each of them tries to reproduce the aspect and the functionally of their offline big brother. For Office 2007 users, the interface is well known. In the top side we have a Ribbon bar, the middle part is dominated by the working area and to bottom is reserved for an optional status bar.

In order to use Office Live Apps you need to have a Live ID and a Skydrive account. All these applications integrate with Skydrive and this is a curious fact because I would expect to be part of Office Live [very strange decision!].

The interaction with the live apps is not really fluid because it has a delay, especially in Excel, when you work with formulas – it takes 3-4 seconds to see the result. I understand Microsoft’s wish for adoption and interoperability with any browser without any addon, of the new product, but I think that a Silverlight interface would improve the usability or at least some drag/drop support and a right click menu.

Excel Live

OfficeWebApps_Excel01Spreadsheets – this is Excel all about. The little brother of the offline version is, for the moment, limited to some basic spreadsheet operations. The are no more and no less then 3 sheets [does anyone know how to add/remove them?] on which you can put your data.OfficeWebApps_Excel04

The simple tools available are: text format (color, font, size) and cell format (color, text alignment, data type). There is support for part of the formulas in Excel and one can use cell references to add dynamic data. There is some support for external data sources but it seems that data can only be refreshed if already exists – one cannot add/modify a data source.

OfficeWebApps_Excel03Unfortunately there is no support for locked sheets, hidden sheets and data validation. If you try to open an uploaded document containing some of the previous you will get and error message for edit.

Excel Web Apps gets another minus because there is no support for diagrams/charts. It would be nice to have at least support for charts in a new sheet. Maybe in the next version?

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I am thinking to migrate my expenses Excel document in Skydrive (Office Live Apps) even though it is quite limited.

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Subject: Problems with my new computer

 May 16th, 2009 

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Dear Mr. Bill Gates,

We have bought a computer for our home and we have found some problems, which I want to bring to your notice.

1. There is a button ‘start’ but there is no ‘stop’ button. We request you to check this.
2. One doubt is whether any ‘re-scooter’ is available in system? I find only ‘re-cycle’, but I own a scooter at my home.
3. There is ‘Find’ button but it is not working properly. My wife lost the door key and we tried a lot trace the key with this ‘find’ button, but was unable to trace. Please rectify this problem.
4. My child learnt ‘Microsoft word’ now he wants to learn ‘Mi crosoft sentence’, so when you will provide that?
5. I bought computer, CPU, mouse and keyboard, but there is only one icon which shows ‘My Computer': when you will povide the remaining items? Read the rest of this post »

Google Docs offline

 Apr 23rd, 2008 

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Today I found out that Google Docs is available offline.

For those who don’t know what this service is: Google Docs is a free, web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

In order to use it offline you must install a small application from Google Docs that allows running web apps offline. After this you must go online and perform a first synchronization.

While offline, you can write “http://docs.google.com” in your browser and get the same interface as online. You can edit documents offline, move them from one folder to another, preview/hide/rename them but, as you can see in the image below, you cannot create any new ones.

Google Docs Offline

When you get online, any changes that you have made to the documents are synchronised. The synchronisation is bidirectional; this means that documents edited online are downloaded and documents edited offline are uploaded on the server.

This seems a nice addition to Docs but still needs improvements. For example I would like to be able to edit the documents in another editor, not in the webinterface, and then put them back offline.