Archive for July, 2003

Nielsen slays PDF

July 15, 2003

Jakob Nielsen’s AlertBox, July 14, 2003 – PDF: Unfit for Human Consumption (Alertbox)“PDF is the monster from the Black Lagoon. It puts its clammy hands all over people with a cruel grip that doesn’t let go. “

Nice commentary, includes documented ‘PDF Usability Crimes’. Amen, Jakob.

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Pet bereavement

July 13, 2003

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Now that you’ve gone: “… many pet owners are too embarrassed to admit that the death of a pet has knocked them for six. Few would dare ask for a day off work or an extension on that deadline. It’s just not socially acceptable for adults to blubber publicly over a cat or dog. “

The above is from a short article from the 5th July 2003 Guardian Magazine supplement, with pointers to the Pet Bereavement Support Service.

Blog migration affecting others

July 13, 2003

I just noticed that Don Park has commented on the problems of blog migration, highlighting similar issues to those just encountered in my post below. Yes, there needs to be a smoother migration capability, but the ‘legacy links’ will always be an issue… at least ‘etiquette’ and polite forward pointers can help resolve these to some extent.

Why I moved my blog (again) and went downmarket

July 12, 2003

I’ve decided both to switch to less powerful blogging software and to keep my blog here at http://kmi.open.ac.uk/marc, i.e. my home page at work is now also my blog page. (Earlier ‘legacy’ sites of mine therefore have ‘most recent (top of page) entries’ that point to ‘the next site in the chain’, ending at the URL I’ve just mentioned. The most recent previous site in fact has a most-recent-post very similar to this one.)

Rationale: I know it’s tricky when I’m chopping-and-changing, testing out different blog environments, sometimes using public-hosted blogs and sometimes using my servers at work. Even trickier given that old blogs leave trails, e.g. Google will still pick up former blog entries. So my solution now, having used Radio Userland on both public and private servers, TypePad on a public server, and Blogger on a public server, is to use Blogger but have the entires written to a server at work, hence the URL above that I’ve now settled on. I enjoyed the power of Radio Userland, the aggregator and newfeed capabilities, but was not enough of a power user to warrant the effort, and have commented in my early blogs on the user interface and problems with the users’ mental models of blog publishing life cycle.

Blogger is, at the time of this writing, less feature-laden and a lot less powerful than Radio Userland, but it’s sufficient for the quick entries I’m now doing, and I like the no-brainer intergration with the ‘Blog This’ button on the Google 2 toolbar. That featue alone is enough to make a modest/lightweight user like me switch. I’m also a Beta tester of TypePad, from the folks who did Movable Type. That looks and feels great, but I don’t want to keep my blog on a hosted server, so for now I’m sticking with the Blogger -> own server solution. I may yet convert to Movable Type, which has a free personal use license to let me run their software on my own server, or even go back to TypePad or something else on the horizon, in which case there’ll be yet another ‘legacy trail’… but hey, you can’t see how these things work unless you use them for real, and a real test requires creating a public blog, so if that leaves a trail, then at least I can explain why and keep pointing to the correct/latest version.

July 12, 2003

A gorgeous sunny and hot Saturday morning– only one thing to do, and that’s head out for another wakeboarding session! Put in another hour, another dozen starts, another dozen dumps — ho hum. I did actually succeed in getting up on the board for about 10 yards, so there’s hope. Earlier postings on this new obsession of mine are just below, here and here. I’ve got about four 1-hour sessions left on my current subscription, so let’s see if I can make it around the lake before they expire.

As far as ‘debugging’ goes, I get lets of different advice from the friendly boarders there, but have tried not to introduce too many variables, i.e. there is one starting position that feels very promising so I’m going to stick with that. It is important to lean hard on the back leg and pull in hard on the tow rope– otherwise I just get pulled over and dumped flat on my face. Watching everyone else is misleading, because the ease with which they glide off into the distance doesn’t reveal the sheer power of that 20-mile-per-hour tow rope, which easily wrong-foots you. There’s only a second or two to ‘get it right’, and paradoxically, of course, it’s also important not to think about it too much! Onward and upward…

July 12, 2003

A gorgeous sunny and hot Saturday morning– only one thing to do, and that’s head out for another wakeboarding session! Put in another hour, another dozen starts, another dozen dumps — ho hum. I did actually succeed in getting up on the board for about 10 yards, so there’s hope. Earlier postings on this new obsession of mine are just below, here and here. I’ve got about four 1-hour sessions left on my current subscription, so let’s see if I can make it around the lake before they expire.

As far as ‘debugging’ goes, I get lets of different advice from the friendly boarders there, but have tried not to introduce too many variables, i.e. there is one starting position that feels very promising so I’m going to stick with that. It is important to lean hard on the back leg and pull in hard on the tow rope– otherwise I just get pulled over and dumped flat on my face. Watching everyone else is misleading, because the ease with which they glide off into the distance doesn’t reveal the sheer power of that 20-mile-per-hour tow rope, which easily wrong-foots you. There’s only a second or two to ‘get it right’, and paradoxically, of course, it’s also important not to think about it too much! Onward and upward…

July 12, 2003

A gorgeous sunny and hot Saturday morning– only one thing to do, and that’s head out for another wakeboarding session! Put in another hour, another dozen starts, another dozen dumps — ho hum. I did actually succeed in getting up on the board for about 10 yards, so there’s hope. Earlier postings on this new obsession of mine are just below, here and here. I’ve got about four 1-hour sessions left on my current subscription, so let’s see if I can make it around the lake before they expire.

As far as ‘debugging’ goes, I get lets of different advice from the friendly boarders there, but have tried not to introduce too many variables, i.e. there is one starting position that feels very promising so I’m going to stick with that. It is important to lean hard on the back leg and pull in hard on the tow rope– otherwise I just get pulled over and dumped flat on my face. Watching everyone else is misleading, because the ease with which they glide off into the distance doesn’t reveal the sheer power of that 20-mile-per-hour tow rope, which easily wrong-foots you. There’s only a second or two to ‘get it right’, and paradoxically, of course, it’s also important not to think about it too much! Onward and upward…

July 12, 2003

Another dozen or so attempts at wakeboarding over the last couple of evenings, following on from the saga I posted earlier. Still no luck. But I’m still enjoyin’ it, and going to keep trying. Very tiring however!

July 12, 2003

Another dozen or so attempts at wakeboarding over the last couple of evenings, following on from the saga I posted earlier. Still no luck. But I’m still enjoyin’ it, and going to keep trying. Very tiring however!

July 12, 2003

Another dozen or so attempts at wakeboarding over the last couple of evenings, following on from the saga I posted earlier. Still no luck. But I’m still enjoyin’ it, and going to keep trying. Very tiring however!