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UIs and Motorcycles

User interfaces are important; they are the system in question (from the user's point of view).

Upgrading Drupal

This website is built using Drupal. Last (southern hemisphere) summer holidays I finally made time to upgrade from V6 to V7. It proved to be a bit of a saga.

A Couple of Recent Photos

A couple of recent snaps: the reason the Labor Party ditched Kevin and a worrisome ATM.

HTML on the TV

Spotted the following images on Eurosport yesterday. Some poor editorial control has seen some HTML leaking into the scrolling news bar at the bottom of the screen. This happened two days running.

Hacking in another language

I recently had the opportunity to do some hacking in the Czech language. It turned out to be very worthwhile even though I couldn't achieve what I wanted.

We had some guests staying with us from the Czech Republic. One, who brought their laptop along, spoke only a little English. Hence we had some fun trying to get their laptop connected to our network and then the Internet.

First, there was the Czech keyboard. Some letters are in different locations. So when you're typing passwords you type the wrong thing without knowing it.

My Amazon Thinks I'm Geek

OK, it's not quite in the same league as My Tivo Thinks I'm Gay, but my latest personalised recommendations from Amazon contained an odd suggestion.

People Search

Spock is a new search engine that focuses on searching for people and the relationships between people. So you search for a name and get back a list of results - pretty standard stuff. It gets interesting when you click on the link for a person. You get a photo, tags and related people. The relationships are tagged and in some cases hilarious.

Phone Conference Neologism

With the school holidays, I was at work, Jamie and Tinkerbell were staying at Jamie's Mum's and Naruto was at his cousins' house. For the morning catch-up call I called Jamie and conferenced in the cousin's house, so we could all talk at once. Naruto was a little confused at first, he thought Jamie and I must be together, but then I explained what was happening. His response, "So it's like a tri-connection." Brilliant, much better than phone conference. I will use it from now on.

Patent #3

I received news today that my third patent has been filed with the USPTO. This is all done through my employer, so they own the rights, but my name is on the patent.

My employer recognises the patent system is hopelessly broken, but like most companies invests in patents (I get a bonus) to build up a defensive portfolio. I wonder if (when?) the patent system will collapse under its own weight. Certainly it will be a while (a few years) before my patent is actually processed and awarded (or rejected).

The Web is 15 Years Old

The World Wide Web is now fifteen years old. From such humble beginnings, who knew what it would turn out to be? This means I've been playing with HTML for 10 years now! It was so simple back then. Now there's HTML, XML, XHTML, CSS and the standards just keep on getting bigger. It's not too bad though as there are now many tools to help you. If only browser compatibility wasn't such an issue. Still.

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