« December 2005
February 2006 »
I'm helping you!!!

If you've ever used Eclipse, you know that by default it "helps" you type your code. As if, before using Eclipse, I somehow struggled through hundreds of hours of laboriously typing closing braces and parentheses, and I've just been waiting for 15 years for someone to find a way to save me that time. Thank you, Eclipse!

In reality, every time Eclipse causes a mistake as I'm typing I just want to scream "I AM TYPING NOW! WE CAN'T BOTH BE TYPING AT THE SAME TIME! PISS OFF!"


Normally I would never install a random Active-X control provided to me by a completely unknown website, but in this case the sheer Web-2.0-ness of this message has made me think twice. I mean, what if the song lyrics I want to see are so rich that a mere non-Active-X-enabled browser is just insufficient to view them?

(It's worth clicking through just to see all of the animating, transparent, pulsating nonsense that they put into this thing.)

The better half

In Santa Clara, old ladies need your help getting down the steep steps of the train so that they can be on their way.

In Palo Alto, old ladies shove you down the steep steps of the train so that you're out of their way.

A rainy day haiku

rain frees my race slicks
my four wheel drive turbo can
powerslide all day!

Okay, faithful readers, I don't ask much from you, but now I need your help: I need a new cell phone. Most people I know hate their phones, so if you like yours please recommend your plan and the make and model of your phone to me. Tell me anything you like and hate about it.


Bear in mind that I have some special requirements not supported by a lot of modern phones, like:
  • I want to dial someone's phone number, and then hear and be heard by that person through the phone
  • When someone dials my phone number, my phone must ring, and then when I answer it, I should be able to hear them, and be heard by them, through the phone
  • The above two use cases need to be supported in the following circumstances:
    • Outside
    • Inside
    • In the car
    • In Santa Barbara
    • In an airport
    • In the San Francisco bay area
    • In Washington
    • In Virginia
If a phone existed that could do these things, I would definitely buy it. Money no object. Thanks in advance for your help!
Nice knowing you

You might think it's strange to know exactly how, and at what time of day, you're going to die. For me, the certainty was upsetting at first, but now I see it as calming in a way.

You see, today I realized that at some point, probably in the next few months, I am going to forget to look both ways before stepping off the Santa Clara commuter station platform, and I am going to be completely greased by the 9:13am Caltrain 226 southbound bullet train.

I can't believe how unbelievably dangerous the non-overpass-equipped Caltrain stations are. It's amazing to me that more people don't get killed trying to get on their trains, especially in the morning before we've all had our coffee.

Where balloons come from

You may be one of the people who, like me, wonders why more and more crap from Microsoft makes use of the face-stabbingly-irritating tan balloons that pop up from the Windows XP system tray in the lower right corner of the screen. These balloons inform you of critical information like:

  • You haven't participated in the survey yet!

  • A new piece of hardware was found! Nothing can be done about this fact!

  • Your wireless networking alert level for the next 30 seconds is: Orange

  • Your caps lock is not on!

  • Your computer is constantly out of date! Throw it away!
And so on. Well, it turns out that THIS is where they come from. My favorite part is where the author (who is apparently part of MSDN) unironically refers to the text that you would choose to put into the necessarily transient little balloons as "your important message."

Heartening footnote: Since this is a blog entry, the comments following it are filled with vitriolic spew about how stupid the little bubbles are. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks they're awful.

Less heartening footnote: There are Microsoft employees who post vitriolic replies of their own defending the balloon, and saying that it isn't distracting. You can't more literally not listen to your users than that.

The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.