this blog is girtby.net

Posted
13 January 2006

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Cultcha Linkpimpin'

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3 Comments

Working The Numbers

Cover for the Conet Project CDMixing topics is apparently one of the top ten design mistakes of weblogs, but I just can't help myself. So if you'll (continue to) indulge me...

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Posted
12 January 2006

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Nerd Factor X

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1 Comments

Outlook Delivers Tommorow's Meetings Today

For a long time now I have encountered a really frustrating problem with Outlook calendars. This is an attempt to explain what the problem is, and why it happens. There is no fix or workaround, but maybe you have some ideas?

Lets say you work in Melbourne and you have a colleage based in Atlanta. You collaborate closely on a project so you want to schedule a regular meeting to discuss it. You both use Microsoft Outlook to manage your calendars.

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Posted
11 January 2006

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Nerd Factor X

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5 Comments

Windows For Smarties

Julian comments on the recently released Google Greatest Hits Pack, observing that it is ideal for distributing to friends and family who crave low-maintenance computing. I agree this is a nice package but an even better solution is to get them a Mac.

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Posted
09 January 2006

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Nerd Factor X Provocation Or Something

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2 Comments

Ripley's Design It Or Not

Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and Gentlemen, step this way for the most amazing and horrific of sights ever witnessed by human eyes!

Now my friends, you may have travelled the Internet and seen many astounding and amazing sights. You may have used software so strange as to defy comprehension. You may have suffered web sites so unusable as to drive a civilised man to the brink of insanity. You may have seen normal UI widgets tortured and twisted beyond recognition.

However, let me tell you my friends that nothing will prepare you for the sight you are about to witness.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the freak software that I will present to you today is anti-virus software with the UI of a media player!

Step right up folks, only $2 each!

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Posted
04 January 2006

Categories
Nerd Factor X Verisimilitude Me Use Brain

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1 Comments

Making Connections

Here are some thoughts on innovation and how it can be fostered within the confines of large organisations. As will soon be apparent anyway, this is from the perspective of a R&D worker for a large technology company.

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Posted
13 December 2005

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Verisimilitude Provocation

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2 Comments

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem

I appreciate that tensions are high in Sydney right now and it is important to maintain a cool head. However, statements like this just infuriate me.

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Posted
09 December 2005

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Nerd Factor X Linkpimpin'

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0 Comments

ip access-list 100 deny from future

I am all over this one. The Financial Times has a shortish but worthwhile article entitled The Future ends at the Firewall (via O'Reilly)

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Posted
09 December 2005

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Nerd Factor X

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2 Comments

Pimp My XSLT

Deeply nerdy stuff here. I attempt to impress you all with my l337 XSLT skillz.

Slicing and dicing iTunes playlists. Lets say you want to extract a list of files for the songs in a given playlist. Maybe you want to see which files are stored where. I dunno. Anyway, how would you do it?

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Posted
01 December 2005

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Verisimilitude Provocation

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0 Comments

Silence is Offensive

SA Premier Mike Rann obviously hasn't spent much time on FidoNet, otherwise he would have heard the unofficial network motto: "don't offend, and don't be too easily offended". Falling squarely in the latter category, he declares to the ABC that he's offended at the idea of a minute's silence:

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Posted
28 November 2005

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Nerd Factor X

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3 Comments

Punctuation Insensitivity

So I'm trying to decide whether my recent encounter with rogue punctuation is an extension of Julian's arguments about case insensitivity, or a counter argument.

I'm sure you all read Julian's blog, but allow me to briefly summarise his argument. Basically he says that when capitalisation rules are ignored, the meaning of words is unchanged. So whether I write JULIAN or Julian, it is obvious that I am referring to the same person. Obvious to humans, that is. And hence it is desirable for computers to be using similar rules when dealing with information obtained from humans.

There is no longer any excuse for making humans learn and handle the quirks of the way computers store upper- and lower-case characters. Instead, software should handle the quirks of human language.

It's hard to disagree with this. But it does pose the question: are there other types of transformations besides case changing that should be considered semantically neutral? And if so, should we expect software to deal with them?

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