Covecube

Covecube Welcomes Christopher Courtney

Posted in Covecube, StableBit on April 16th, 2013 by alex – Be the first to comment

Christopher Courtney has just joined the Covecube team to help out with technical support.

He is a MVP award winner and has around 12 thousand posts on the we got served forum and is a lead moderator there, so he’s definitely not new to answering technical questions.

Our support portal for stablebit.com is at: https://stablebit.com/Contact

Welcome Christopher, glad to have you aboard.

And a big thank you to Dave McCabe and Jim Collison of the Home Server Show (http://homeservershow.com/) who made this possible.

Happy Fourth of July 2011

Posted in Covecube on July 4th, 2011 by alex – Be the first to comment

For those of you in the United States, it’s Independence Day.

Here at Covecube we’ve made something special for the Windows Home Server 2011 on this day.

Here’s a Fourth of July Fireworks add-in!

Download: Covecube.Fireworks_1.0.0.1.wssx (121 KB)

SHA1: c4645bb4775bd5fae994444454f58db66af6b79f

Features:

  • Displays a spacial message every year on the 4th of July.
  • User can enable an option to vary the Fireworks intensity based on disk activity and CPU usage.

Requirements:

  • Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Small Business Server 2011 – Essentials

Happy Fourth of July!

Our Forum

Posted in Covecube on December 21st, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

We’ve launched a Covecube forum available @ forum.covecube.com.

Use this to discuss any current and future software releases.

For now it’s just BitFlock, but we’ll be adding more.

Future Projects

Posted in Covecube on November 23rd, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

Just a quick update on Omni-Backup and other future projects. We’re still working hard on bringing these to market as quickly as possible. Bit Flock was an unplanned detour. But given that the initial version of it took about 1 week to develop, it was worth it.

Function

Posted in Covecube on June 28th, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

Let’s explore the function area of the UX page a bit.

The Function page comes up when visiting covecube.com, and clicking on “Function” after the intro.

No intro version: covecube.com/quick

The Function area:

Shortcut: covecube.com/function

The Function area is meant to represent technology in general. As soon as the page loads you will see cubes, each cube represents an important technology. The cubes are organized by type of technology on a technological map.

UX Function - Cubes

The map is not comprehensive, but is meant to represent some important technologies. Clicking on a cube brings up information about that technology.

UX Function - Technology

On the left we have an excerpt for wikipedia.org and on the right important facts about it. The age in some of these may be a bit subjective. Sometimes a technology evolved from a few other technologies over some period of time. In cases like these, the rule of thumb was to pick a date when the technology came into its own.

The top chart is a dynamically updated graph from Google Trends. You can pan and zoom it using the controls to the right. Looks like Silverlight is on its way up.

The bottom panel is a little different. It is a combined technological score based on user votes, right here at Covecube. Every technology has 3 major attributes and each of those has 3 minor attributes.

If you want to see what each attribute means, just hover over it with your mouse.

UX Function - Tooltips

How Voting Works:

  • For every technology, you can vote once per day, per attribute. So you can vote on Silverlight’s Hip Factor only once today.
  • The attribute rating is a 1 to 10 average of all the votes for the past 90 days.
  • The overall score is a 1 to 10 average of all the attributes.

Alternate Versions of covecube.com

Posted in Covecube on June 24th, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

Together with the main site we’ve also launched a special iPhone/iPod optimized edition. This will come up automatically when visiting covecube.com with one of these devices.

Here’s what it looks like:

It even has a pretty home screen icon:

What’s neat about this site is that it’s AJAX and touch-aware. It supports the special webkit touch extensions that Apple put it, so you can easily swipe across different areas of the website without reloading the page.

In addition to the iPhone version there is also a Flash-free version of the home page available for browsers that don’t have Flash installed. It will show up automatically in those cases, but you can force the issue by going to covecube.com/lite.

We’ll be adding more versions of the site and improving the existing ones in the future. I’ll be sure to let you know of any changes right here.

covecube.com Launched

Posted in Covecube on June 24th, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

covecube.com went online on June 21 2010. It’s an intentionally simple site. For now, we want this site to be an introduction to Covecube and later be a central hub for all of our projects.

Let’s talk a bit about the home page, the idea there was to get across the spirit of Covecube. There’s a bit of symbolism there, a UX cube, software cubed, 3 facets of UX, and of course the whole thing is running in 3D.

We took a little bit of liberty with the formal definition of User Experience and changed it to get the point across. So what’s the point? I think when people generally hear about UX, they think, well it’s just another fancy name for UI… and we know what UI is, it’s pretty shiny things. Well we think a little differently. UX doesn’t represent the look of a technology, it represents the user’s opinion of the technology, based on their experience using it.

Think about it, technology is made to be used, to accomplish a certain task, and it’s effectiveness at accomplishing  that task defines a user’s experience with it. Three things, all equally important, define its effectiveness. Look, Feel and Function.

Look is not purely an aesthetic quality, it’s not just how good something looks. For example, if you create a piece of software where all your buttons are triangles, is that an effective interface? What if the triangles all look great? Of course not, users have certain expectations of what a button is. You can take some artistic liberties, but can’t stray too far.

Feel can best be described as Interaction. Think about it, is it more effective to use a precision device to control a pointer on the screen, which you have to navigate to a thin strip on the right side of the screen, then push and hold a button, move the device (in proportion to the size of the total content, which by the way is invisible and can only be estimated by the relative size of the bar)… or to take your finger and swipe the content in the direction that you want it to go? This is one thing that defines Feel. Also, it illustrates why we call this Feel and not interaction. It’s interaction with a human aspect.

Finally, Function. This is actually crucial to get right. How technical something is can make or break a product. When I say technical, I don’t mean how many check boxes you have in your applications, or how many buttons you have on that panel. I mean something entirely different. I mean how tech savvy the actual system is.  For example, say you want to build a program that lets a desktop computer roll back its changes instantly to a known good state. This problem has been solved, many many times over. We call this backup. But think about it, traditional backup is difficult, time consuming and error prone, all in all not a good user experience. What if all computers came with built in functionality that could rewind your computer to a known good state effortlessly. Why don’t we have this? Is it not possible to design such a system? No, it’s definitely possible. Some even have attempted this. The reason why this is not commonplace is because is’s difficult to do. There are countless examples like this, the point being, you have to try to provide the best user experience when designing the inner workings of something, and in order to do that, you absolutely need to have a full and thorough understanding of the technology that you’re working with.

Well, this turned out to be a little long-winded, I’ll try and keep it shorter from now on. No promises though.

Covecube Blog

Posted in Covecube on April 16th, 2010 by alex – Be the first to comment

Welcome to Covecube Inc. a brand new company getting ready to do some fantastic work in the software and online space.

We’re getting ready to launch our web site and can’t wait to start introducing our first product. These are very exciting times.