Good Enough!

A blog about "good enough" things - for those who don't need, can't afford, or don't care about the "very best".

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Give Me That Old Time News

Long ago, on a cable system far away, there was a channel that wasn't used for anything. So, they chose to broadcast what looked like the output from a Commodore 64 or Apple II (remember I said this was 'long ago'), with the contents of a basic newswire feed. Just the facts, Jack. Something like what the AP or Reuters transmits to your local paper; what they read before they sit down, crank up their typewriter replacement units, and spit out however many column inches the editor demands.

I want that newsfeed back, with a little more text added to flesh out the details. I want it on my TV, for my local and national news, and I want it in an Atom-based format so it can be picked up by a program (browser, aggregator, news search engine, whatever). It does the job and little else... say it with me now - it's "good enough".

I am so tired of the local network news that spends half its time trying to give me a tease before the commercial in the hopes I stay through the commercial. Just give me the news, the weather, the sports in a simple factual style and I'll take it from there.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Are Pre-Paid Cell Phones Good Enough?

After a few months without one, it's time to get a cell phone again. At the risk of being called a "Luddite" or worse (see some of the posts of Russell Beattie) I'm going to say we just need a phone right now, not a mobile computer. With limited usage and no use for a camera phone or text messaging, our criteria will be a screen that's easy to read day or night, buttons that are easy to use, and easy to listen with. After those are met, the phone that will be "good enough" will have the lowest cost for us with the least lock-in, and currently that seems to be a pre-paid cell phone.

Please don't infer from this post that I'm against cell phones with George Jetson era features. If I needed them, I'd buy them, believe me. And I agree with Russell that the platform is incredibly important - if I ever decide to do more software development, the cell phone is what I'd aim for, despite having a mainframe background, because a lot more people use cell phones than use personal computers. I just don't need the features right now, and so I'm not going to pay for them right now either.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

'Twas the Season

Another Holiday Season™ has come and gone. Mine was, as usual "good enough" - I had fun, I got a couple of nice presents, and I enjoyed visits from relatives. One present I'll talk about in the context of this journal.

We bought ourselves a digital camera, which we'll enjoy as we travel. We didn't buy the best-of-breed, but rather picked a price point more-or-less and then picked a good camera in that range. I'm no camera expert, so we didn't have a long laundry list of featuers we wanted, just a few: made by a camera company (i.e. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Kodak, etcetera), optical zoom, relative ease of use, and a memory card that was fairly popular. You, of course, would have your own criteria. But as I've probably said too many times already - if you get what you want, at a price you consider affordable, that's "good enough".

That brings up another holiday issue, too. If you read all of the hype before and during the holiday buying season, there are any number of expensive new things you might feel that you should have bought. Well, it's not true. Ads and newspaper write-ups are the public relations game for the people that want you to buy their stuff, they're not interested in the stuff you want to buy. If you bought gifts you thought were "good enough" then good for you! You probably managed to have a holiday buying season that you figured you could afford, whether you paid in cash or you bought it on credit; and the recipients of the gifts will enjoy them just the same.

As this new year begins, I hope your new one will be "good enough" - for you and yours.