One of the worst infographics I have seen. Do not do yours like this.



Update 2011-04-28 16:32:39: I had a embarrasing numeric error in my post which I have now corrected. The result however, is in principal the same. My main grudge agains the infographic was the wording used in the comparison.

A few days ago (2011-04-21), published an infographic comparing PC and Mac users. It is one of the worst infographics I have ever seen. Why? Because the statistics is present say absolutely nothing and seem to be chosen based on troll factor alone! For example, take this comparision:

PC people are 36% more likely than Mac people to be late adopters. 43% of Mac people consider themselves early adopers.

I mean, WTF!

Fail #1: Not providing information on how many alternatives were provided. Does 43% early adopters among Mac users mean 67% 57% late adopters? Or were there additional alternatives – “somewhat early adopters”, “somewhat late adopters”. This could mean that there are 0% late adopters among Mac users.

Fail #2: Assuming that there were two choices, 43% early adopters mean, 67% 57% late adopters among the Mac sample. If PC people are 36% more likely than Mac people to be late adopters. As this infographic seems to be rather informal, this could mean several things. For example that

  1. 36% more PC people than Mac people responded that they were late adopters.
  2. The percentage of PC people considering themselves late adopters is 36% more then the percentage of the Mac people considering themselves late adopters.
  3. The probability of a PC user being a late adopter is 36% higher than the probability than that a Mac user is a late adopter.

In the first case, it would mean that If 100 Mac people answered that they were late adopters, 136 PC people would have answered that they were late adopters. However, the infographic states that 388,315 users participated and of them 52% were PC people, 25% were Mac people, and 23% were neither. In absolute numbers we therefore have 201,923.8 PC people and 97,078.75 Mac people. Using the information above, and the assumptions above, this means that there are 67% 57% of 97,078.75 late adopters among the Mac people, i.e. 65,042.7625 55,334.8875 late adopters among the Mac people.

Using the number of late adopting Mac people, we can calculate that 36% more late adopting PC people means that 88,458.157 75,255.447 PC people are late adopters. If 88,458.157 75,255.447 PC people are late adopters, 113465,643 126,668.353 PC people are early adopters. This means that of the PC people, 56.19% 62.73% are early adopters and 43.81% 37.27% are late adopters.

In the second case, it would mean that if we had 100 PC people and 100 Mac people, 43 Mac people would be early adopters. This gives us that 67 57 Mac people would be late adopters. If there are 36% more late adopters among PC people than among Mac people, this means that there are 24.79 20.52 more late adopters among the PC people. This means that of the PC people, 8.21% 22.48% are early adopters and 91.79% 77.52% are late adopters.

The third case is actually technically the same case as third case.

For both the second and third case, the wording regarding the PC people one of the least informative ones that you can use in statistics since it does not have any anchor point. 36% more late adopters among PC people could mean that if there were only 100 late adopters among the near 100,000 Mac people, 136 late adopters among the more than 200,000 PC people would still be 36% more than the number of the late Mac people. The actual percentages of late adopters would be 0.07% among the PC people and 0.1% among the the Mac people.

The kind of comparison made in the example (“PC people are 36% more likely than Mac people to be late adopters. 43% of Mac people consider themselves early adopers.“) has been used in several other cases.

There are more statistics presented in the infographic that are equally, or even more uninformational, but I’ll leave them as an exercise for the reader. However, if you do write about them, please comment below with a link, so I can point other readers to your posts. Also, if somebody from could tell me what the true numbers for the question above is, it would make me a little bit happier.

Android Gripes, Why do apps look worse on Android than iPhone, a programmer’s perspective

I just recently ported one of my apps to the android platform and was shocked when I learned the User Interface API. It is the worst UI library I have ever worked with (and I have worked with quite a few)! I would even go so far as calling it amateurish. It looks like it was designed by at least 3 to 4 different people without common design guidelines. The naming conventions are inconsistent and the static nature of declaring the UI in xml files might work for the web but for a dedicated device interface it’s a nightmare. This along with the fragmentation of devices (mainly different resolutions) it is close to impossible to create a nice UI on Android devices.


Simplenote to Evernote export

I though that I would try to use Evernote instead of Simplenote for a bit. Why? I’m not sure, I just want to try. I guess one reason is to minimize the number of places I use to keep notes. At the moment, I have notes in far to many places:

  • DEVONThink is moving towards being the repository for archived web content (now as PDFs).
  • Tinderbox is becoming the place for structured notes, e.g. work projects, shell snippets.
  • Simplenote has been my thought inbox and a repository for short diary entries
  • Evernote has mainly been used for recipes, wish lists, pictures of stuff that I want to remember, and storing home reference stuff (like measurements of windows)
  • Dropbox (Trunk Notes, PlainText, iA Writer iOS apps) is sort of experimental. Not using it a lot, but I would like to use Trunk Notes more than I do.
  • (for Taskpaper) is not being used actively, but I do have some old lists there. Now my lists are in Evernote and Simplenote.

Anyway, I thought my use cases for Simplenote can be handled by Evernote. The only thing against the move is that Evernote has no plain text format which is sort of against my nerdier principles.

I found out that Simplenote has a nice export service that exports to Evernote’s archive format. However, when I imported the Evernote archive into Evernote, I ran into some synching problems. After looking at the generated Simplenote export and a Evernote generated export I found how to fix the Simplenote export. Each note in an Evernote archive file stores the actual note content inside the tag as a embedded xml document. The embedded xml document definition needed to be changed from

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no" standalone="no"?>

Also, the embedded xml document needed to use an updated dtd; i.e., change


After applying these changes, the archive file was imported and able to sync just fine.

Theory is not practice

So, the previous checklist did not quite work out as smooth as it was supposed to. It was correct in theory, but not in practice.

First of all, after backing up, restoring to a clean 4.3.1 my 4.2.1 backup did not want to restore. iTunes gave me a “iTunes could not restore the iphone because the password was incorrect” error which is really weird since I do not encrypt my backups. Anyway, thanks to Jamie, I was able to solve this problem.

What I did was that I restored my iPhone as a new phone, let it backup, then I grabbed the key in Manifest.plist and put it into my old backup. Then I restored the 4.3.1 firmware again, and this time I was able to restore the previous 4.2.1 backup.

Next problem was Pkgbackup. It turns out that using Pkgbackup going from 4.2.1 to 4.3.1 with Cydia 1.1.1 gets your apt sources messed up. Thanks to the Internet Hive mind, I was able to find this post detailing how to reset Cydia.

Anyway, everything is fine now. Now, to take care of the iPad…

Checklist: 10 steps to upgrade your jailbroken iPhone

Every time I need to upgrade my iPhone (i.e. when a new firmware has been released and there exist a jailbreak for it) I forget the exact procedure and I have to do a bit of thinking before I can start. This time, I’ll write it down and post it to the cloud.
  1. Sync and backup iPhone to iTunes
  2. Remove iPhone from computer
  3. Do another sync with iTunes (as stuff may be transferred to and from the iPhone after the first backup: iTunes does backup, then sync. Not the other way around).
  4. Use Pkgbackup to backup Cydia packages and settings.
  5. Restore iPhone from new firmware.
  6. Restore iPhone from old backup
  7. Jailbreak
  8. Install Pkgbackup and restore your Cydia packages and settings.
  9. If you are lucky, you are now done.
  10. If you are unlucky and the new firmware breaks some of you Cydia packages, the best thing is to start from 5 and then manually install Cydia packages as you feel the need to.

Solarized by Ethan Schoonover

Solarized is a great color scheme for text display and editing on a computer screen. The great thing about the theme is that the colors work both on the specified dark background and the specified light background. The original distribution did not have a TextMate theme file, but I found a fork on github that has one.

The main Solarized page does a great job of documenting all features of the color theme, showing that the theme does not only look good, but that it designed with readability in mind. A really beautiful piece of art!