Monday, September 27, 2004


Ctrl-Enter was first seen (for me anyways) in Quicken for dos. One would go through the fields of each transaction with enter, then ctrl-enter to commit the transaction. It worked very well, easy, didn't need the mouse. And there was always a bar at the bottom of the page that listed the appropriate key commands in each context. My world at the time was Wordperfect 5.1, Quicken, and Turbo Pascal. Plus a drafting application that I don't remember the name. I ran a small business, did the accounts, proposals, etc. When the gui came, it felt like a step backwards. Who in heaven or on earth came up with the tab key to switch focus? Obviously someone who hadn't done alot of data entry. Thinking about moving my pinky like that gives me carpal tunnel pain. Bah! I'll stop here before I become a bitter old man.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


This morning at around 4AM local time the power went out. All was restored just before 8AM. No hurricanes, storms, earthquakes. In fact it is a beautiful fall day, light breeze, brilliant sun highlighting the changing colors of the season.

Readers in Europe that enjoy a Sunday morning read found a dead CVS-Digest site. I'm running on a machine at home, without any of the normal server type safeguards such as automatic fail-over, backup power, immunity to pets chewing through network cables and the like.

Everything is back up and working. I wish everyone could enjoy this same glorious weather.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Civil Disobedience and the Laws of Physics

Two events transpired to bring to mind a funny story. My hometown is going to have a draft dodger's memorial beside the local cenotaph. And we got a call to work on a community freezer at a Quaker village.

Around 5 years ago we got a call from this village that their freezer seemed warm. The walls of the freezer building had become saturated with ice. This is common in large freezers. The moisture migrates towards the dry cold environment, hitting the spot where the temperature is below dew point, condenses and eventually freezes. The insulating value that may have existed at one time disappears. Much energy is expended attempting to cool the neighborhood.

The solution usually is to tear the thing down, and build from scratch. For the community it wasn't feasible due to the expense involved. We suggested that they could re-insulate the building using an insulating board as cladding. So far so good. In most of these situations, we just sit and wait since the problem is only going to get worse.

Now remember that community was founded on protest, particularly protest against the Vietnam war. People left their homes and moved to Canada to avoid the draft, and this group were acting on their religious beliefs. There was one individual who figured that protest could fix the freezer problems. He kept phoning us, arguing against our position. He questioned our experience, he even questioned the physical laws involved. He had positioned himself as spokesman for the community, and he was going to defend the community against, well, I don't quite know what. Eventually the food started melting, so someone else organized a work bee, where they reinsulated the walls, and things have been working just fine for the last 5 years or so.

I have a deep distrust of politicians and those who would politize debates. Most questions can be debated on their merits. But when political considerations come into play, I step back and watch strictly for entertainment. Solutions no longer are the issue, rather egos and power. All the qualities that our parents tried to warn us against seem to come to the fore.

What does this have to do with KDE? No, this does not have anything to do with usability :)

Monday, September 06, 2004

Change is good

I've built a new layout for the weekly digest. Please comment on anything you would like to see.

The one-page digest is getting too big. There is too much information to digest easily, so the new layout breaks things up into sections. If you want to see selected commits from one module, or Konqueror fixes, it is now easy to do. This will allow me to break up the selected commits into smaller parts; bugs are either important or simply minor fixes referring to, or wishlist implementations.

tink suggested grabbing the top ten bug fixer to add to the statistics. That is coming soon. Another possibility is per-module summaries.

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