AUG
31
2006

That's not how history happened: Eric's 64 bit operating system opportunity for Linux

This started as reply to Richard's post, but it got too big so I've supersized it. :-)

You would think that Eric would know his computer industry history a little bit better. The transition from 32 bit to 64 bit won't resemble the past. Even Eric's account of the past doesn't resemble the past.

AUG
9
2006

Better media and IO-slave integration (+patches)

In this fairly long article I discuss my attempt to simplify file and device management in KDE, while avoiding some of the draw backs of the current media:/ io-slave.

The Challenge

AUG
6
2006

Systemsettings usability work for Kubuntu's Eft

One of the more unique features of Kubuntu is that it ships with a replacement for the standard KDE Control Center program, called systemsettings. Instead of using a tree in a sidebar on the left hand side of the window, systemsettings shows a large menu of grouped icons for the user to choose from. A lot of people like it (and some people don't), but pretty much everyone agrees that it can be improved even more.

JUL
24
2006

(Internet) Radio shows: Linux, gaming and KDE

I'm a glutton when it comes to radio shows. I just can't get enough. And thankfully there is a lot of high quality and entertaining radio being produced out there in internetland. So in this post I want to talk about and give some links to some of my favourites and some of the more interesting episodes.

MAY
25
2006

"Search" functionality in GUIs

I've been meaning to post about this for literally half a year now. But a recent thread on kde-core about improving the GUI for searching in KDE applications has finally pushed me into action.

APR
6
2006

Hard disk failure? My unscheduled upgrade to Dapper

This was my Wednesday. 5 in the afternoon GF phones me.

GF: "Your computer isn't working? It is not turning on. It is acting weird. What's wrong?"

ME: "How the **** should I know."

I was already not having a good day and my ESP wasn't working well enough to diagnose a machine 10km away and won't even boot up correctly.

APR
2
2006

Kubuntu Dapper: KDE for grandmothers

It has been a long time since I've posted something here. I've had things that I've wanted to post but pretty much all of my time has gone to working on the Guidance tools for the coming Dapper release of Kubuntu. Thank gawd Dapper has been delayed. I can (am!) really use the extra time for polishing and debugging. It looks like Dapper is going to be an awesome release and will work a lot smoother than the current release (Breezy).

DEC
20
2005

Guidance & Xorg: Cards

Work was having a clean up and I got my hands on a bunch of old videocards: 2x nVidia TNT2 (one with TV out, with is handy), 2x S3 (old school AGP, so I'll have to reassemble my old Pentium 2), 1x Diamond something (AGP 1.5v & 3.3v) and a Rendition chipset based Diamond card (PCI!). This expands the number of chipsets and configurations that I can use to test the displayconfig part of Guidance. I whacked the PCI card into my other computer along side the AGP card that was already in there and it quickly exposed a problem in displayconfig. (Only one card appeared on the hardware tab).

DEC
15
2005

Guidance, desktop/web usability evolution

GUI updates in Guidance
I was going through the usability report about Guidance a month ago and saw this comment at the end of the report:

4.3 Checkbox feedback
When the user checks or unchecks the checkbox "Start during boot", the corresponding entry in the list on the left side is updated (e.g. from "yes" to "no"). This is hard to notice, since the mental focus is on the checkbox, not on the list. Therefore, a stronger visual indication about the change is helpful.

(Report is here BTW, http://www.openusability.org/reports/?group_id=166 )

NOV
29
2005

Guidance usability tidbits

Jan Muhelig from OpenUsability.org did a usability review of Guidance with Sebas back at Malaga. The report is now up at OpenUsability for those who are interested. I like to think that I know something about usability. I've been studying/reading about it since the mid-90s and applying it to the software that I design and construct. I thought Jan had some very good comments that we'll be soon putting into a future version of Guidance. After working with the code for so long you get blind to its usability faults. :-) It is really good to have someone who is still "fresh" go in and have a good look at what can be made better.

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