Archive for September, 2007

Apple, Usability

Something’s wrong here.

Kiara was complaining today about a user interface problem in her mom’s new Audi:

Owen and I played with an iPhone in the AT&T store today. He thought it was pretty cool; he figured out how to scroll through pictures of Antarctica.

A four-year old can figure out how to look at pictures of Antarctica on the iPhone. I can’t figure out how to get to Minneapolis on my mom’s car’s navigation system.

We live a five minute drive from Minneapolis.

Social Software

I hardly ever use PGP anymore. This isn’t why, but…

Aloof Architecture:

To put it bluntly, any psychopath can mimic the ritualistic protocols of business. It seems to take a real human to sustain the gamut between relevant and trivial interactions over an extended period of time. We use conversation to confirm the humanity and credibility of the people around us.

Back when I was using PGP all the time — and unsuccessfully trying to convince others to do so — I apologized to a friend for forgetting to digitally sign a message. “That’s okay,” he wrote back, “your wry wit is signature enough.”

By the way, and perhaps speaking more to the intended point. If you followed the link, did you notice that post by James Governor? Go read it.

Books, Design, Open Source

Blender Book

There’s a Blender book! It’s published by No Starch, no less. Good people.

I haven’t done much with Blender, but I’ve been slowly moving toward doing so — more on that later, hopefully — so I am excited to see the book.

Blender is professional grade open source 3D content creation software. Perhaps you’ve seen Elephant’s Dream? Done with Blender. (Haven’t seen it? Do.) And the mark of professional grade software? A steep learning curve. :-) I doubt very much that I’ll ever have reason to become expert, but should I myself thrashing around in Blender not knowing what the heck I’m doing, the book will be welcome.


Missed this in the retrospective

At work we just had a couple project retrospectives, which the more depressing among you might know as as post-mortems. I usually try to avoid that term, but it might have been appropriate in this case. They came way too late and were run differently than I would have hoped, but that’s not the end of the world. We cope. At least we’re having them, right Mr. Bright Side?

To prepare, I skimmed through everything I’d written about the project on a private blog I keep at work. Just one of the many positive uses I’ve found for that blog, although it did leave me in a bit of a bad mood, which wasn’t how I’d have liked to go into the retrospective. Oh well.

Unfortunately, in my private blog I’d failed into mention something I wrote here, about a misapplication or misunderstanding of the idea of iterative development.Pity. That would have been useful.


Flickr goes Pirate

I didn’t notice right away, but someone did: Flickr is available in Pirate. Today, at least.

My Flickr home page in Pirate

Nice. Almost makes me want to wallow in self-pity. Flickr does this, Bloglines has their plumber, Twitter of course had their lolcats. And me? I catch flack for using the word “oops” in an error message.

No, really. It was very controversial.

I won’t lie to you, though, I actually considered celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day in our course registration app in exactly the same way Flickr has done. I thought better of it, though. However tempting it might be, I’ve found it best not to tick off college registrars. :)