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    Blog has moved to, see August, 2004 on new site

    Blog entries for August, 2004

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    Entertainment Weekly says we're to the end of the summer movie season and it's true, the local theater looks worse than usual. Is it just me or is this a really bad streak:

    • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
    • Benji Off the Leash!
    • Exorcist: The Beginning
    • Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie

    I concede that "Hunt for the Blood Orchid" is sort of a cool title, or at least it beats "Anaconda 2" or "Return of the Anaconda" or "Anacondas: Now Plural"

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    I have another job listing posted for desktop developers. This is the last round of desktop hiring in the current planning horizon, so if you've been procrastinating, now is the time.

    2004-08-21 (SATURDAY)
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    Garrison Keillor:

    What would you tell a good-hearted citizen who is seriously considering casting their vote for Ralph Nader?

    The thrill of Naderism is in telling your Democratic pals that you're thinking about ralphing and seeing them get all flushed and earnest and wring their hands and roll their eyes and moan. Actually going into the voting booth and ralphing is no great pleasure, compared to the remorse you'll feel if Mr. Bush is elected and fresh horrors begin to unfold and the nadir is reached and the Bushies keep going down, down, down. I say, Stand tall for Ralph, wear his button, wave his flag, put on his cologne in the morning, be as ralphic as you like, but in that private sacred moment, make your X for the Man.

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    Ronald, looks better, but definitely need to lose the jargon. Someone explained "PCM" to me once but I forgot. "ALSA" is also still in the titlebar. Should the app be called volume control if it also has this other stuff such as microphone and Options page? There is a Preferences->Sound, should some stuff go there? When is the microphone used, maybe the control for it could just appear in that context? I don't know what a "Mixer" is either, or why I would want to change between two of them. (I'm not pretending to be ignorant for dramatic effect here, I really don't know, or know what PCM means... and I would rather not have to learn.) Should this thing really be a dialog, and lose the menubar? If there is a menu, why not put Options in it (Edit->Preferences). Another thought, it would be nice if when using the volume control applet, the sliders in this app moved accordingly, so the relationship is visible. I'm not sure which of these knobs the simple volume control applet controls.

    Is it possible to turn off the speakers when headphones are plugged in, and have the volume control applet control whichever one is present? Then the three-slider thing could just go away. A lot of stereo equipment works that way I think. Certainly an option to consider would be volume applet for output, a sound record app (and GnomeMeeting etc.) has the settings for input, and options are in the Preferences->Sound dialog.

    If keeping three tabs, tab names could be better than "Output" and "Input" I bet, maybe "Volume," "Microphone," "Television", "Other Inputs" for example. Given a sane number of these things, having them all on one page doesn't seem crazy.

    I don't know what "Lock" or "Record" check boxes do, or when I would use them. In the current gnome-volume-control there aren't tooltips either. But I'm guessing these are things an app that uses the sound card such as a recorder or GnomeMeeting could transparently get right, or present in a more logical context?

    More questions than answers ;-) I guess the core thing is, start with some user tasks, not with the list of flags and values the kernel exports. Maybe have a look at Mac and Windows, can't hurt.

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    On the ninth day of traveling. Getting a little sick of it. We went on a really cool sailboat ride around San Francisco bay tonight though. Back home far too early on Friday morning.

    Red Hat joins the blog aggregator movement, check it out. The master aggregator merges sub-aggregators for executives, other employees, and the Fedora Project.

    Following those links I just saw Tom hacking on GDirect.

    Please test the new Metacity magic to try and automatically figure out whether to focus newly-opened windows and report bugs... this really needs to work well for 2.8.