I hope you had a great Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate.
As 2014 draws to a close, in this post we take a look back at what and who we lost and what we have to look forward to.
I’ve been spending my time trying to figure out the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch tablet I got for Christmas. As it operates differently than my Apple, it’s going to be a challenge getting used to it.
IT People we lost in 2014
Jack Kinzler, 94. He was known at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, where he was the chief (1961-1977) of the Technical Services Center, which he founded.When Skylab launched in May 1973, it lost a heat shield, rendering it uninhabitable. Working with fishing poles and parasols, Kinzler fashioned a substitute shield that could be deployed without a risky spacewalk, earning him NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. His other contributions to space include the designs of the flagstaff, plaques and golf club heads used on the Apollo moon missions.
Aaron Allston, 54. He wrote the novels kicked off the sweeping Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi sagas. He also wrote two hardcover sequels to the film Terminator 3.He wrote several role-playing game rulebooks and supplements and helped developed the fantasy world of Mystara, a setting for many early adventures from Dungeons & Dragons publisher TSR.
Douglas E. Smith, 54.He created the game while a college student. Smith dropped out of his classes to finish the game’s 150 levels, crowdsourcing some of their designs to neighborhood kids. First called Miner, it was rechristened Lode Runner when it was published by Broderbund.Smith later worked on such seminal Nintendo games as Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana.
James Nolan “Jim” Weirich, 58. chief scientist at agile development firm Neo Innovation, was a renowned Ruby developer. His most popular utility, “rake,” brought the functionality of Unix’s “make” command to Ruby. In addition to teaching and speaking at conferences, he would often perform his original song, “Has Anybody Seen My Code?” on the ukulele.
Georgy Adelson-Velsky, 92. He was part of the team that developed the first chess program to defeat Kotok-McCarthy, another early chess programs. His program was further developed into Kaissa, which, in 1974, won the first-ever chess tournament exclusively for computer programs to compete against each other. Kaissa continued to be developed as late as 1990, when it placed fourth in the second annual Computer Olympiad, an event that continues to this day.
Products we lost in 2014
Microsoft lost quite a bit Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 were no longer supported. I know from my students, Windows XP no longer being supported was one of the biggest complaints I heard.
Be aware of those of us out there that have resisted Windows 8, and are still using Windows 7, support will be pulled for this product in January 2015 as well. I guess this is forcing us to move up to one of the new Windows products…See the New Products in 2015 for more information.
Some say Windows 9 has been killed, but I’ve heard a few things. One that Windows 9 will be only for those who haven’t upgraded to Windows 8.1 or 8.2, so by upgrading to Windows 9, it will give you functions to most of Windows 10 and bring back some of the stuff we liked. However, other say there is or hasn’t been or won’t be a Windows 9. If this is correct, then how can it be killed? Hmm think about that oh brainy ones out there…
MSN or Windows Live messenger was killed this year as well. This was to be expected as it merged with Skype last year.
Office Clip Art has died. This means Microsoft office no longer has clip art – it will direct you to a bing (a Microsoft website) webpage to do searching for images.
Remember the iPod Classic players? Those were discontinued too. At least you can show your children – or those who have children – right?
Captchas or those annoying boxes that distorted text at a bottom line of a webpage so creators knew you were a person. Now, we have a box that has to have a tick in it that says “I’m not a robot”. Boy, a genius would have figured this
solution out instead of the years I’ve wasted yelling at the computer because it had one thing typed (which I couldn’t figure out) and it pronounced something else. The grey’s I’ve gained from this are here to say but the Captcha is gone. Hmm I wonder who won this battle then?
Symbian from Nokia. You are probably saying never heard of it. It was Nokia’s operating systems on Nokia mobile or smartphones. This was thrown out because they decided to go with Microsoft’s operating system. Great give the headache’s to others, so I guess the sharing is caring has been done.
Facebook has retired some apps – one being the poke app and the picture app. Personally, I don’t know anyone who used these, and besides why would they keep them after buying out other companies that did or do this better?
Google’s Orkut, which was its first Google social media program closed this year too. I’ve never heard of it but its supposed to be huge in some areas of the world out there.
Flappy Bird was pulled because some the creator felt guilty some people got addicted to it. I’ve never played it but I did hear about it getting shut down though.
Aereo TV Service was 2 years old but after court hearings, it was closed. I haven’t heard of this one so I can’t say much more on it.
Verizon SugarString closes. Verizon, for those who don’t know, is a carrier in the US. They wanted to get involved with tech news and put their own stamp on it. They sure did that where almost all topics were fair game – except the topics about net neutrality and the US surveillance programs. The company took a huge hit and decided to retire the tech news ideas. Sounds like a smart idea to me.
New or Anticipated Products in 2015
Windows 9 now this has been one of the talked about platforms. In September, there were rumours that Windows 9 would be for those Windows 8 users who haven’t upgraded to make them basically equal to Windows 10. I wrote about it here in my blog labelled “Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?“. There have been many theories as to why there is no Windows 9, but only Microsoft knows this. I know in the past when a piece of software wasn’t favored, they completely changed the naming, so maybe it was a step in that direction for Microsoft instead of the “Legacy code” of Windows 95 or in Japan 9 is not lucky so we’ll skip it. There are many other theories out there. ExtremeTech wrote an article on Windows 10 and so has PC World and The Independent are among many others out there.
Soon after the September rumors, Windows came out with their announcement of Windows 10 will be out in 2015. This one I’m not looking forward to because my Windows 7, as I’ve discussed above, is being discontinued. *sob*
I think wearable tech, like the Fitbits, are going to be more common than anything. I know here in Australia, Victoria Bitter or VB, has now introduced a wearable watch so workers can be caught up on the cricket no matter where they are.
If you are looking for a new tablet combo with keyboard or new laptop then look no further if you like Android. The Logitech Type-S is a thin and light protective keyboard case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet. Personally, I still like the look of the Surface 3 though.
There will be the newer LiveScribe pens that will be out. However, I have last year’s model and wasn’t very impressed at all. To me it was really hard to sync and it took some fiddling for it to record as well.
iFusion dock for your Apple iPhone. It’s a charger for your iPhone within a handset you use at work. Interesting but is it really worth it? I think not.
If you have a family history person in your life, this sounds like the perfect gift – Photo iPad Scanning Doc. The iPad sits on top and you put the photo through the scanner and it saves to the iPad. If it’s a person like myself, and on the go and can do great scans this would be a winner. But how good is the scans I wonder?
Apple & Samsung will be looking to release new products or so we hope. I wonder if they will bring any new and drastic changes like what the iPhone did when it first hit the market? We can only hope…
Microsoft Office is going to have another version released in 2015. Again its to be touch friendly however we can only hope they’ve learned their lesson with Windows 8 and make it not so drastically changed.
Who’s looking forward to the New Year?
Hope you and your families have a safe New Year.