Archive for September, 2002

Configuring the Red Hat Linux desktop

Monday, September 16th, 2002

"FootNotes" ( has an article about the upcoming version of Red Hat Linux.

Essentially, the article links to Owen’s page which details concepts implemented in the next release.

9/11: One year later

Wednesday, September 11th, 2002

It’s one year after the 9/11 attacks.

Usman Farman ("ibr0w") is probably the closest person to the incidents that I have known. He was actually there when it happened. CNN also has a story.

In case you’re wondering, Usman was a co-worker at VA Linux Systems (now VA Software) for a while. He worked on redesigning (before it got redesigned again).

Also, someone else I know, Paul Summers ("Simba"), was in the area, and he immediately went to "Ground Zero" to help out.

I’m sure that even people who were not directly in any of the areas attacked directly will remember where they were on that fateful day.

Mozilla: Painful back problem

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002

Mozilla has a painful back problem. On the contextual menu, back is not always the topmost item, and it is totally omitted in many cases. This makes browsing the web a lot harder. If you’re browsing around and an image fills the screen, then you cannot simply click back to return to the previous page. For browsing photo galleries, getting back to the previous page with the broken context menu is much harder. One would have to move the mouse all the way back to the back button instead of performing a simple right mouse button click.

The other alternative is to lift one’s hand from the mouse (or trackball) and move it over to the keyboard to hit the non-obvious (to many users) keyboard shortcut, which is annoying and takes a lot of time. Shifting back and forth between the keyboard and input device is a really bad idea, especially when an application uses keys where the hand that touches the mouse (usually the right hand) is needed to hit keys on the keyboard (in this case, the arrow keys, combined with the control key). Even left-handed mouse users need to lift their hands from the mouse to hit the keyboard shortcut, as most people use the control key on the left side of the keyboard (where it is sometimes the only control key on the keyboard, especially in laptopss).

Personally, I thought this was a mistake that would have been cleared up a long time ago, but it seems that this brain-dead, crack-monkey behavior was intended.

In Bugzilla, the bug is marked as "WONTFIX", even though it has over 160 comments and 60 votes.

Right now, this is the most annoying "feature" of Mozilla.

As comment 163 puts it, "In other words, a geeky fixation on extreme sub-categorization trumps usabilty." Matthew Miller (the author of that comment) is 100% correct.

There are also several duplicate bugs on this topic:123376,135997,136050,137655,138744,140317,143378,146442,156932,157089,167504, and then, of course, 135331, which is the bug I linked earlier (I suppose it is the "official" bug of the back & forward missing from many menus).

Someone really needs to fix this. It used to work fine in Mozilla. This is a major usability regression. Sigh.

In other news, some random stranger gave me a wake-up call at 6:30 a.m. (That’s why I’m posting this detailed bug, and also at the time I’m posting it.)

Waiting for Gustav

Monday, September 9th, 2002

According to the people at the weather center, a large subtropical storm is headed directly towards North Carolina today. There should be landfall sometime between today and tomorrow, and we will probably see some of the effects up here, in form of rain. CNN has the scoop, with a nice picture.

I think this is actually going to affect South Carolina and Georgia as well, at least, by the looks of things on

The Interference in the studio!

Monday, September 9th, 2002

Trae‘s band, "The Interference" has a new song posted on their (newly redesigned and great-looking) website.

It’s their first original piece done in a studio. You should check it out. Both OGGs and MP3s are available from their website.

Wander over to the page for the free music.

Speak-n-Spell sing-a-long

Monday, September 9th, 2002

Here’s a novel concept: Take on-the-web dictionaries, extract the pronouncation audio clips, add some cheezy MIDI files from usenet, and bake until done. What do you end up with? Dictionaroke!

It’s great fun to go through and listen to the songs. You’ll want to check out "She Blinded Me With Science", "Green Eggs and Ham", "Oops! I Did It Again!", "Star Wars Episode 4", "Take On Me", and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Many of the others don’t work, but, thankfully, most audio files seem to download fine.

Oh, this humor is a bit geeky and strange, but most of you reading this would get a kick out of it. The owner of that site had a strange idea and really had too much free time. Thankfully, it’s funny and amusing.

The “nearly perfect For bfordham” concert

Monday, September 9th, 2002

I went and saw ZOEgirl, Toby Mac, Jennifer Knapp, Third Day, and Michael W. Smith in concert this past evening.

I went with a few friends. We ended up being a bit late, and missed most of ZOEgirl. It was fine, however — I think they target a completely different audience. The rest of it (what we listened to) we all thought was great, however.

Bryan Fordham would’ve loved it. (:

We had a fun time. Unfortunately, no pictures are available (it said "No Cameras!" on the ticket).

Next week, I’m going to see Delirious.