Monthly Archives: March 2010

Doing It Digi-Style

The POD People blog has posted a new article on not worrying too much about the printed word’s inevitable yielding to the booming Digital Age. Are dead-tree books becoming extinct? Yes—but the tradition of storytelling via text has never been stronger, for both authors and readers:

In actuality, over the past couple of months—since my Sony ereader purchase—I have bought more books, and with that I have taken a chance on more genres, more formats, and certainly more authors.

Perhaps because with e-books there’s less risk involved when, upon reading something dreadfully bad (like Time Chaser, for example), you’ve no longer got a physical piece of junk to have to store somewhere or unload on some random, unsuspecting friend.

That, and the young kids these days don’t seem to mind pixels over paper. This time last year I was worried about making sure my e-books were available on the “right” reader, the device that offered the most paper-like reading experience. But it turns out I’ve been hearing from more and more friends and family who have, say, iPhones or iPod Touches, and they’re pretty enthusiastic about carrying their books alongside their MP3 / video collection. Pleasant surprise. Of course, I won’t be completely happy until they start making Stanza for tricorders…but that’s just me.

Samus’ Power Suit Can Run Ubuntu

Metroid sucks morph balls

Thanks, Sal, for the image and blog post title. Neither has much to do with window buttons, but that’s okay. I like them both anyway.

Regarding window buttons, I just got a peek at the forthcoming Ubuntu 10.04 release, and I no likie the left-oriented window buttons. The new layout brings to mind a long-standing GNOME usability quirk involving window title bars being so close to the default top panel (regardless of whether the window buttons are on the left or the right) that you risk accidentally closing, maximizing, or minimizing the active window whenever you interact with the panel. Particularly if you’re in a hurry. For this reason I always remove the top panel whenever I do a GNOME install. Two horizontal bars stacked together is bound to result in accidents.

Say what you will about Windows, but Microsoft has at least gotten their button placement “likely” over the years. What I mean by that is each corner of your screen has a likely purpose. The top-right area is strictly for minimizing, maximizing / restoring, and closing your program windows; the top-left is for menu entries; down below, your Start bar holds its own, out of the way and yet easily accessible, with the bottom-left of your screen reserved for the Start menu, and the bottom-right for notification items. A place for everything and everything in its place. If your cursor is in any given corner, it’s there for a particular reason. What the new Ubuntu layout has done is give multiple purposes for a single area. Great for consolidation fans, but, in my opinion, a disregarding of the hard-won convention that each corner of a user’s screen space is reserved for a specific function.

Of course, this won’t be an issue if GNOME moves its application menubars elsewhere. But for the time being left-aligned window buttons are just too close to the menubar for my taste. Here’s to hacking the config file and reclaiming my “rights,” so to speak. ;)

Celebrity Food Sculptures

The iCheese—Steve Jobs' head rendered in mozzarella

The iCheese—Steve Jobs' head rendered in mozzarella

This is certainly something you don’t see (or eat) everyday. Charming in this instance, but I wouldn’t want to be alone in a banquet hall after hours with four dozen of these suckers just sitting there staring back at me. The foodie / sculptor behind this little chunk of Steve Jobs had this to say about his choice of mozzarella over other cheeses:

Mozzarella has the right consistency, is pliable when melted slightly, and its pasty-white color matches the skin tone of many a computer geek like Steve and myself.

It turns out Steve isn’t the only celebrity to be immortalized in food, either. There’s also:

Anna Nicole Peeps (RIP)

Anna Nicole Peeps (RIP)

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt in chocolate

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt in chocolate

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson in butter

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson in butter

Chocolate Jesus

Chocolate Jesus

Somehow the chocolate Jesus has spoiled my appetite…