Recent blog entries for calum

My blog has now moved; see or for my latest ramblings.

Made my first trip to Croke Park at the weekend... got some football[1] tickets as an early birthday present. Unfortunately I was forced to support County Wicklow, as my girlfriend knows one of the players. They soon made me feel at home, however, by playing in a decidedly inept, Motherwell-like fashion.

All good fun nonetheless, but since I come from the land of shinty, I think hurling will probably be more my cup of tea.

[1] That's Gaelic football, not proper football. (Or Amercian football.)

19 May 2004 (updated 19 May 2004 at 15:25 UTC) »
Vienna photos
Have posted a few photographs (in no particular order, and unedited) from my recent trip to CHI2004 in Vienna, where Matthias, Jiri and I presented a short paper entitled Professional Usability in Open Source Projects: NetBeans, GNOME and OpenOffice.

It's official-- I am personally going to throttle the next person who commits a Foobar Preferences menu item to the JDS build tree with the tooltip:

[Configure|Set|Change] your foobar [options|preferences|settings]


*Sigh*... having spent the last few weeks upgrading the kernel on my laptop and getting everything working just the way I wanted, the hard disk fairies came on Friday and sprinkled their crash dust all over the innards of my trusty Travelstar.

A quick trip to Peats at lunchtime is called for I guess...

6 May 2004 (updated 7 May 2004 at 12:35 UTC) »
Java Desktop System Release 2 was announced this week, which includes some cool new enterprise management features and Java development tools. The only downside is that it's still based on relatively old versions of GNOME and the GNU/Linux kernel, but hey-- Release 3 should take care of that :)

Got my hands on The Official GNOME 2.0 Developers Guide today, for a bargain price thanks to an cock-up :) Whether or not, after ten years of being employed by companies to "design and implement user interfaces", Sun will be the first where I actually have time to do any of the implementation part, remains to be seen.

Don't buy a Hotpoint WD61. They eat your clothes.

Today's book game output:

To turn the car to the right, one turns the steering wheel clockwise (so that its top moves to the right).
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, 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.

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