Archive for the ‘offline’ Tag

Installable clients for SaaS

The more I use smaller-screen devices, the more I get convinced that SaaS software and Web applications deliver the best user experience only when I’m using them through ‘installed’ frontends. Why else would I prefer using the Facebook app on my Android phone over browsing Facebook in a full browser window on my laptop? Or access Twitter using TweetDeck (an AIR application)?

The online-offline integration that such frontends offer takes user experience to a different level. That’s precisely why Picasa is such a pleasure to use on my laptop, as against just using it online. In fact, my mind doesn’t quite register an app running only in the browser as a bonafide app yet!

Why don’t we have more installable frontends for popular SaaS applications out there? Google Docs, for example? That the traditionally shrinkwrap software applications are Web integrated now is a different matter altogether. Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office, for example.

Food for thought, eh?

BTW, this blog post was written using the WordPress app on Android. 🙂


Easier offline install on Ubuntu…

In the course of a Google Buzz conversation, my friend Edgar D’Souza shared a less circuitous way of downloading Ubuntu packages on Windows than I had suggested in this blog post. Download scripts!

Here are the precise steps that he shared:

  1. Boot Ubuntu and run the Synaptic Package Manager.
  2. Search for the packages that you have determined you need (they will most likely already be in the main repositories). Mark the packages for installation.
  3. Accept the Also install prompts to mark their dependencies as well.
  4. Once you have marked all the required packages, select File > Generate download script. Save the download script to your USB thumb drive.
  5. Boot Windows.
  6. Install wget for Windows.
  7. Run the saved download script. If necessary, edit the file to make it more palatable to Windows.
  8. Copy the downloaded packages to the USB drive.
  9. Reboot into Ubuntu and go back to the Synaptic Package Manager.
  10. Select File > Add downloaded packages. Navigate to the USB drive and select the downloaded packages.
  11. Click Apply (to install).