Tag Archives: beta-test

Firefox Beta 4.0 Annoyances

Jordan LeBlanc wrote an email to me recently, which appears below. He tried out the beta version of Firefox 4.0 for his Mac, and he wasn’t very happy with the results. He did the right thing in reporting the bug that annoyed him. I’m not sure, though, that I agree with uninstalling and ceasing to use a beta for that reason alone. The whole point of being a beta tester is to continue to update the builds, continue testing it and continue reporting any problems.

Hey Chris:

Just wondering if you have spent any time using Firefox 4.0 beta on the Mac, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?

I took it for a test drive today and I am sad to say that after 5 minutes, I uninstalled the darn thing. It showed promise — it was actually really fast – more so than Safari 5, and perhaps even slightly faster than Chrome. But — and this was the killer for me — it kept placing a 2nd icon on my dock for no apparent reason! At first I thought it was pop ups, but when you click on the icon… nothing happens. When you use dock expose on the Firefox app, it only shows one window. It is just some weird, random and useless icon that keeps appearing no matter how often you close it. After 5 minutes, I decided it was too much of an annoyance, and I uninstalled the beta – but not before I provided feedback about the issue via the “why Firefox made me sad” feedback menu.

It’s sort of sad, because Firefox used to be an amazing browser back in the day when it was designed to be fast, bloat free, and have a small footprint. If I remember correctly, that was the whole point to Firefox! If you wanted something slow and bloated you used IE or Mozilla’s full client. IMHO, Firefox started going downhill when they lost sight of that vision, and began adding all these crazy add-ons and themes. It has become the very thing it had been created to challenge.

Guess I’ll be sticking with Safari and Chrome for the foreseeable future. Firefox just isn’t what it used to be.

Have you tried out the beta version yet? What are your thoughts on it overall? Do you have any specifics praises or concerns that you want to share with the community?

Top 5 Tips for Game Developers

David is an active community member who goes by the handle Paru-Sama in our chat room. He is a budding game developer, and has some tips to pass along to those of you who are thinking of getting into the same field.

  • Play Video games. – You can’t go for a game developing career if you don’t have any idea what a game is or how the player plays it without experiencing it for your self. Game play and originality are the key factors of designing a game
  • Learn Scripting and Calculus. – The video game developing career involves A LOT of math along with the complications of scripting/coding. C++ is a powerful programming language, but I don’t recommend it as your first. It is very difficult to learn so I recommend learning easier programing languages that are made for beginners, such as Visual Basic.
  • Enroll in a Digital arts and Graphic Design or Multi Media course if you’re planning on being a Graphical Art Designer. – This is (In my opinion) the most enjoyable part of being a game developer as it employs your visual creativity and originality. 3Dmax and Maya are two of the tools used in this course. There is also a program called “zBrush” which is a 3d sculpting program. This uses your dexterity instead of your calculating abilities to build 3D models. There are also other graphical programs used in this course such as Photoshop from Adobe.
  • Try out open source software developing kits. – There are game developers that allow the community to twinkle with their games by giving them tools to make maps, mods or whole games . One popular game developer that does this as a strategy is Valve. If you buy a game from them, they will allow you to download the “Source SDK.” This is a software developing kit based on their game engine (called “the source engine”) which will allow you to map for a game that they already created – or make a game of your own.
  • Apply to be a video game beta tester. – This job is what the names says. You can get paid to play games in their early state as long as you give the developers some feedback about their games. This isn’t like you play a demo game and they pay you for it. It requires you to have a sharp eye and ears to spot some bugs and glitches. It also requires an ability to criticize the game. The feedback you give will help them improve the game’s gameplay.

If you’re a game designer, what other tips do you have for the Geeks in our community who plan to enter this field?

Steam for Mac has Finally Hit Beta

Steam for Mac went into Beta today. The program appears to be similar to the Windows version. It retains the same dark color scheme of Valve. You can access all of your games in the Library, and browse the Store.

In early March the company said Portal 2 will be Valve’s first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows when it ships during the holidays this year. According to Portal 2 Project Lead Josh Weier: “We’re always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac.”

I know that many of you in our community are avid gamers, and a large majority of you have lamented over the fact that Steam wasn’t available for the Mac. Are you looking forward to this release?

Better yet, are any of you in the private beta testing group? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts so far on the new client.

How to Sign up for iPhone and Mac Beta Software Testing

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

The word beta supposedly means that a product is not quite there yet – it’s still baking, so to speak. We see this word everywhere these days. The nature of software is that we’re in a perpetual beta state.

I know that some of you like to beta test software. Now, I’m not talking about being able to get your hands on software before others do. Sure, that’s part of the perks. I’m talking about those of you who really love to test the software, report the bugs, and dig into it to see where it works – and doesn’t work! Did you know you can sign up to help beta test software?

Check out iBetaTest. Sign up for an account, and let them know what kind of user are you. Are you a developer? Are you more of just a power user? iBetaTest is the new best friend of both beta testers and developers. This service is making it easier to bring the two very instrumental groups together.

iBetaTest is an on-line service designed to bridge the gap between iPhone application developers and beta testers. We’re here to provide iPhone developers with a community dedicated to quality control, and at the same time provide Beta Testers with what they crave the most: exclusive access / first look to the apps not yet seen (and maybe even some cash).

Now, if you want to test only beta software for the Mac, check out MacDeveloper. MacDeveloper helps companies and individual software developers alike improve the quality of their products by providing a platform to have their applications properly tested from a well informed, and energetic Beta Pool.

MacDeveloper is an opt-in service for testers who love what the Mac community offers and genuinely want to test. We feel the platform is an excellent alternative to Bundled software avenues. At the same time a developer’s software is being tested, they’re also giving back to the community who supports them.

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Microsoft Slows Microsoft Down

Microsoft Slows Microsoft Down.PNG

The screen shot from Windows Vista proves it. Any comment, Brandon? Of course, I’d expect a lot of these kinds of bugs in beta builds – especially when one beta is combined with another beta. The search “engine” is light years better than it was in previous verisons of Windows, or so the Search team tells me. I haven’t yet tried to copy my PST over into Outlook. I’ll be using Vista more and more on the road, as it’s now my laptop OS.

Windows Vista Feedback

I spent a few hours with Windows Vista last night, per Jim Allchin’s request to send him feedback about what I discovered in terms of discrepancies and oversights. I took that task seriously, and stayed up late to compile this far-from-comprehensive list. I sent it to him at 1am, and I hope he doesn’t have a filter that keeps him from seeing it. I realize this list is lengthy, but… these reasons are exactly why I’m afraid Vista won’t be as polished as originally anticipated. I warn you, this list is long – and it’s only going to get longer, the deeper I dive into Vista Beta 2. This list is longer than the interview! If you think this list is long, check out my follow-up list of 65 More Windows Vista Mistakes.
Continue reading Windows Vista Feedback