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Drag Gable?

I have no idea what might be in a Drag Gable, but I do know that it's almost completely pointless to spell-check a marketing presentation.

  • Draggable?

  • Maintainably?

  • Optimizable?

  • Visibilization?

  • Scalabilize?
I give up. ("Extensibility" is a word, though. Make a note of it.)


Yes, use the INTERNET

This is a very sad dialog to see when you're trying to rebuild your workstation after a hard drive crash at 2:00am.

If you don't immediately get it, ask yourself the question: What's the one piece of hardware that you would definitely need to already have working before you could search for an Ethernet driver on the Internet?

My country tis of thee
Observe: Two items from today's news about our illustrious hemisphere:
As if I needed any more evidence, apparently my fellow Americans really are totally retarded. I think what chafes the most is not the suggestion that Ronald Fucking Reagan is a greater man than Martin Luther King (although that's certainly awful), but that Oprah Winfrey has offered this country more than Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, or Alexander Hamilton. Jesus Christ.

(Yeah, I see him there at number 6. Not going to say anything, though. Just... back... away... toward... the plane...)
Reading on down, I learn about our neighbors to the north, who unlike us are not fundy nutcases who can't see any merit in a separation of church and state.
I hear Vancouver is nice...
Welcome to a late '90s coffee shop

I happened to have some track lighting lying around from my old office (if I stole the lights when I left my last company, imagine what I'll steal when I finally get fired from this job). So we installed it in the upstairs hallway over the weekend.

I can't say it's exactly what I would have chosen to put there, but (a) it was free and (b) still better than the wan, spider-infested globe that was up there before.

So even though I get this weird urge to buy dot.com stocks and drink overpriced coffee whenever I walk into the hallway now, overall it's an improvement.

Dress for safety

To all of you who mocked my blaze orange T-shirt today:

We'll see who's laughing when you get hit by a car while trying to cross the street in your tasteful clothing.

New depths of my shallowness

Looking at Gwen's insanely cute kitten pictures makes me realize why I keep putting off getting pets:

I'm afraid that if we get kittens, they'll be adorable for 6 months, but then, like the pet of certain friends I have (you know who you are) they'll grow up to be neurotic, destructive, unlovable adult cats that I'll hate for 15 years but will feel too guilt-ridden to neglect or get rid of.

This proves that I'm not ready to be a dad, doesn't it?

(incidentally, this is why I think my kitten subscription service would be such a hit.)

Downhill from here

A glimpse into the mind of a pessimist:

The Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year. It is the heart of cold and black, the day the sun cares the least for you. Some cultures celebrate the day because even though it is the darkest, tommorrow will be brighter; it is the turning point. But that small consolation does not stop the cold.

The Summer Solstice was this week, and it was the brightest day of the year. It was warmest, lightest, longest, your day to stay outside enjoying the sun's maximal attention. But I can't forget that it is the day that marks the down-turn, the descent into darkness that will last for 6 months. Every day darker than the last, until the year has ground to its end.

Happy Solstice!

Clipboard outsmarts self

Notepad is my last weapon against Microsoft Office. If they ever take it away, I don't know what I would do.

Do you find that on your Windows machine, you are constantly laundering your text-based clipboard data through notepad.exe in order to strip out the "smart" meta-data that Office applications send into the clipboard in order to confuse themselves with indentation, smart-quotes, over-wrought table formatting, etc?

Or is it just me?

gun blast from the past

Back when I worked in Santa Barbara, I came in one morning to find that my office window had been shot out. The glass was all held in place by the tinting laminate, except for the bullet hole. It looked kind of neat, actually. I was sorry when they replaced it. (Except for the terrifying creaking sound the glass made when the wind blew and the sun heated it. I guess that wasn't as neat.)

At the time, we wondered whether it was me or my office-mate who was the target. But I just found out that it happened again last night, so I guess I wasn't the target.

In a way, I'm kind of disappointed.

Someone please kill Adobe
When I finally got CS2 (Adobe's Not A Version Number We Swear name for Illustrator 12.0 and Photoshop 9.0), I was pretty excited. Certain Photoshop Zealot friends of mine (you know who you are) swore to me that my gripes about Adobe's falling quality would be crushed out in the most utter way possible as soon as I upgraded to the latest version.

Well, here we are. The latest goddamn version of their finest flagship product, the best that Adobe has to offer on this earth. I only wanted ONE bug fixed, the one where my clipboard stops working randomly and I have to close photoshop and reopen it. You know what? IT'S NOT FIXED. IN FACT, IT'S WORSE. I used to be able to restart photoshop to fix the problem, and now it's permanent. Plus, Photoshop now crashes because of their retarded "ImageReady" application, which is a complete pile.

So, that's pretty awful. But at least Illustrator is better, right? Wrong. Today I opened one of my layouts from 9.0 for the first time, and the "Text Updater Wizard" corrupted all the text in my layouts. What the Hell??? What was the design meeting like where they decided that backward compatibility wasn't important? "Yeah, our users are just graphic designers. They won't care about a few pixels..."

I do not even want to know how much my boss paid to get us this steaming pile of bugs. I wish I could downgrade...

Which brings me to my conclusion: Adobe is clearly a dying company. Their R&D is outsourced, their designers are talentless, their quality is trash--- in short, the belly is exposed. If Microsoft doesn't bring an offering to deal a death blow to these products, someone else should. I was thinking Nvidia, since they have a bunch of graphics people (although I guess they're a 3D house, not a 2D house). Really I don't care who it is, but it's just a crime for Adobe to collect money for their crappy software.
I need coffee

Oh god yes.

No objects, just pointers

I hate to be a blog recycler, but I have found POSTSECRET to be a consistently amazing thing to read. New posts are up every Sunday; you can look at all the new ones in just a minute or two. Always worth the time to read (and you know how impatient I am--- that makes for a high bar.)

Fantasy Goat is not quite as good, but still often amusing.

So it's true
I have it straight from a real IKEA employee that the store in East Palo Alto (excuse me, "Ravenswood") actually is the most confusing IKEA ever built. I had always suspected, but I hadn't ever put my finger on why that store is so terrible.

The answer turns out to be that they built a contorted layout to fit it onto the tiny plot of land they bought, which is normally supposed to include a big open parking lot out front. But instead they built that horrific warren of parking garages, which directs you to the exit of the store rather than the entrance. So that's why whenever you go in there all of the escalators and stuff seem designed to prevent you from getting to the showroom.

They think it's killing their business--- that store grosses millions less than the Oakland store (!) and they may decide to close it in the next few years. Talk about your million dollar usability problems!
I can't hear you

So, there's this guy who sits in the cube next to me who is on the phone all day. I never work with him, but I do always hear him talking to customers and so on.

The other day I actually needed something from him, so I stopped by and we chatted about it. He agreed that he would get back to me.

A couple hours later, I see a hand wave in front of my face--- "Dude, it's ready, did you get my email? Hello?" I turn and he's standing right there in my cube. I don't have headphones on or anything. I realize at that point that he's been repeating "It's ready" for about the last 30 seconds, but I'm so used to ignoring the sound of his voice that I literally did not hear what he was saying. The poor guy had to occlude my line of sight in order to get noticed.

I guess this makes it a little easier to understand why relationships fail... :)

One less thing to be smug about
Apparently the wild rumors of Apple switching to Intil chips are much more than just rumors. (And if it was on Fox News, it MUST be true!)

Moreover, Steve just announced that it won't be some PPC clone, but an actual x86!!! Apple Hardware Division? Yeah, you're fired. I am dying to see how they intend to prevent OSX from running on commodity PC hardware... or if they'll even bother.

What on earth do they think they're doing? Apple's only chance now is to beat Microsoft in the personal OS space, by--- what? Offering more software at lower prices? I'm not saying Apple can't do it, but that's a pretty ballsy thing to do. History has shown that when you back Microsoft into a corner, you get your face ripped off.

(By the way, I don't actually read FOX News. That was just the first news-related hit from google that I could find to paste.)
My new addiction
I hate having my latent obsessive-compulsive tendencies exploited for profit. Since there's only small, inconclusive clinical trials behind an otherwise completely unscientific product, I really pity all of the people who are duped into buying it.

Including myself.

The trouble is, even though I am one of those people who is capable of believing that 1,000,000 endorsements can be wrong, I've become so desperate to avoid getting sick again that I tried it anyway.

What would have been best is for me to have taken it on my flight this weekend, and then just come down with a cold anyway. But that didn't happen, so now I am faced with the infuriating choice of deciding to buy it again based on my possibly coincidental experience, or else not buying it again and getting sick (also) by coincidence, thereby proving nothing except that I'm indecisive.

Maybe the real crime here is that you can market any product that makes any claim, as long as you put a small message at the bottom of the box that says "Not really." Even if this product is for real, they have no motivation to prove it by running expensive clinical trials because they're already allowed to make millions off of it. Airborne's reputation has nowhere to go but down. Who needs science?

Thanks, FDA, for encouraging an era of charlatanism and turning the clocks back on rational thought.
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