Older blog entries for calum (starting at number 24)

Aw CHI the Noo

Just back from CHI 2004, the biggest annual usability conference, this year staged in Vienna. Jiri Mzourek, Matthias Müller-Prove and I presented an HCI Overview paper about usability in open source software-- specifically, NetBeans, OpenOffice.org and GNOME.

Bumped into Ron Bird, who I haven't seen or heard from in 10 years when we worked at the now-defunct Reuters Usability Group in London. Also bumped into Seth, from whom we skilfully managed to avoid taking any questions at the end of our presentation :)

Coolest talk by far was from the guys at Carnegie Mellon who invented the ESP Game which, if a not unreasonable number of people play it, could end up generating accurate textual descriptions of every image on the web within a month[1]... neat idea or what?

[1] Sort of.

Tsk... can't believe Luis went all the way to Nuernberg and doesn't appear to have visited the toy museum!

Paddy's Day in Dublin

Sunny, windy, expensive, streets too crowded to see or do much. And he was Welsh anyway. At least we got a day off though...

Wireless GUIs

Been working on a draft UI spec for some wireless enhancements to JDS. Barely has the electronic ink dried than Mark has implemented and committed some of it-- what a guy :)

Apparently our household has acquired an EyeToy. I may never be allowed near PES3 again...

Finally joined the wireless age today... albeit in the least impressive way possible. I now have a bluetooth V90 modem so I don't have to trail a cable roud my flat any more :) The Windows driver software for my USB dongle was a pain to configure, though... hope it proves easier on Linux, but somehow I doubt it...

Wow. I haven't written anything here since September :/

Work continues apace on the Java Desktop System... we seem to be working on about 96 different releases at once, and consequently spending lots of time porting features between them when it would be more fun to develop new ones... but hey, it seems to be working so far. Right now I'm putting together a bunch of recommendations from our most recent usability study, which will hopefully make it into the version after next.

Had a brief chat the other day with Seth about moving the HIG to a GNOME-friendly 6-month release cycle... sounds like a good idea to me, although as always I dunno when I'm ever likely to have time to work on it :/

Sounds like we'll will be sending a fair old crowd to GUADEC again this year as well, which is cool... and I think I've managed to get out of doing a talk this year, which is even cooler :)

10 Sep 2003 (updated 10 Sep 2003 at 15:12 UTC) »

Hrpmh, moving house. Don't you just hate it?

Oh, and just to comment on Seth's recent HIG clarification, it's probably fair to say that right now I do bugfixes and general maintenance to the HIG on Sun time, and write any new bits on my own time :)

4 Feb 2003 (updated 4 Feb 2003 at 01:24 UTC) »
Isn't Sky News marvellous?
  • Seven people die in a fancy aeroplane doing something they knew was really dangerous to start with: 48 hours' continuous news coverage, and still going strong.
  • Thirty innocent people die when a bomb goes off in a bank in Nigeria: 10 seconds of coverage, squeezed in before the adverts.
6 Sep 2002 (updated 8 Jul 2003 at 11:34 UTC) »

Not a lot to report work-wise so far this month, just the usual fun and games in the lead up to a code freeze. Testing, bug reports, all the stuff you always think your test team is supposed to be doing rather than your designers and engineers.

There are piles of French and Germans and Americans and Scandanavians and English and Russians at Sun who are always hanging around in the corridors together and having a bit of a laugh. And the women do much the same thing because that's just what women tend to to. It's the same when you wander out of the office for lunch... the walls and benches are lined with all manner of Europeans nattering away in their own fair tongues...

...but where am I supposed to go when I need to speak to someone who knows the subtle difference between mockit and clarty, and understands that a choob isn't for keeping your Smarties in and a stoater isn't a cat who's advanced from catching mice? :o)

Oh, didn't post at all in June or July, did I...

  • June: had my 31st birthday, watched the World Cup
  • July: er... nothing, really

Just back from a three-day break-ette on Guernsey, but back into the swing of things now. Oh, and the wee banana boat made it through its NCT this afternoon, so that's me unleashed on Ireland's roads for another two years, provided Mr.McNealy keeps funding my board and lodgings...

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