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Showing posts from April, 2005

Everyone loves Garfield...

Completely and totally unrelated to software development, I found this:

http://www.garfield.com/fungames/comiccreator.html

And made this:



Okay, so it isn't exactly funny, but given that the tools given to people to use are quite terrible, I'd say it ranks somewhere from sort of funny to downright hilarious - depending on your personal luck with "the ladies."

As to how this relates to software development: Give people enough tools to get the job done, but not too many or users will get lost quickly (or use them for means they weren't meant to be used for). Given this tool is available free for everyone to use, you wouldn't want to grant too much power or people will start their own rogue Garfield strips. However, there are too few options to do anything remotely hilarious. It took me a long time to figure out the best way to pummel Jon was to use a pillow. That's frustrating. I could have used the other props. but the characters and objects are limited to the …

MSDN Library vs. "Grandma"

Dear Microsoft,Can you PLEASE stop using pictures of people on the MSDN Library CDs/DVDs? No offense, but this latest release has me realizing that I don't want to be looking at someone else's "grandma" for three months (the last one with that guy with the nasty goatee grossed me out for three months and this one is already making my stomach churn and my face turn green). While I'm at it, I don't want to be looking at anyone - about:blank suits me just fine. I'm sorely tempted to rollback several releases until I find a better-looking picture. But I know Microsoft wants to always look and sound impressive, so pictures of tech. stuff works fine by me. Come on, seriously, you've got plenty of geek toys lying around - Pocket PCs, Tablet PCs, that new mouse with the horizontal scroll - we're geeks and are more than willing to drool over cool stuff. Just no more people for a while...If you _absolutely_ have to use people, then stop making them lo…

Spyware strikes again...

I'm getting really fed up with the idiots out there who think they can install spyware junk on my PC even _with_ my permission. There should be a way to set some obscure setting in IE that says, "I'm a computer geek, I'm not stupid, go away. Go bother someone else who is vulnerable to such nonsense."

Take, for instance:

http://www.lyricspy.com/

Running that site in FireFox makes it show up just fine. Now load it in IE (er, assuming you have all the latest security patches installed) and you get a face full of some annoying Flash animation telling you to install their ActiveX (spyware/virus/trojan) control (um...no way) and a dialog box telling you to install the ActiveX control (still no way) and a whole lot of junk (the text on the webpage is busted - still no way I'm installing it). This isn't the first time I've run into this and I'm just picking that page out as an example.

In FireFox, just about at the same location in the source (if you can …

Really great monitor idea.

This is boiled down from a discussion on a list I own and moderate with over 5,000 software developers (I initiated the discussion):

Let's say you are editing code. What is the number one complaint I hear people talking about from IDEs and editors? Not enough text on the screen. Well, since everything these days operates on fonts, the natural thing to do is to first play with the fixed-width font size being used (variable-width fonts don't work for programmers).

So, now you have, if you are lucky, a font that can display maybe 140'ish characters across. The ideal width is roughly 200 characters. However, what about the vertical? Depending on the editor/IDE, most likely anywhere from 30-50 lines. The ideal height is 200 lines.

Okay, now what? Well, since screens operate on pixels, the next natural thing to do is to increase the number of pixels.

Okay, so you've got 1600x1200 screen resolution. Big deal. The font is so tiny you can't see it. So, you crank up t…

Logitech sales = clueless.

My Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 USB mouse died today. Well, it was working on dying for the past three days. At first I thought a hacker had busted into my system, but it turns out that the manufacturing of this mouse is so poor that the cord simply becomes disconnected over time...inside the mouse. This particular mouse is self-contained and sealed - meaning no dust, dirt, grime, etc. can ever get on the optical lense - the downside is that repairs to the mouse (e.g. fixing the cord) are impossible.

I could buy a new one, but from the reviews on Amazon and what-not are not too good - it seems Microsoft has started making shoddy hardware that dies in months or even days of purchase.

So, where did I head for a mouse. You got it - Logitech. I went to their website and started looking at mice. They have a lot of mice. So, I said to myself, "Surely they know their competitor products and can sell me a mouse". So, I hit the link at the bottom that said, "Contact…