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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Do you trust Oracle?


The death of Sun, and the submission to Oracle – as a developer – leaves me with doubts about Java. Sun was always a bit of a mixed bag. Some of their work was absolutely brilliant, and some – especially with software – was amazingly dumb. Never did really understand why this was the case. […]

Re-thinking the IDE – a starting point


Time for another user-interface rant. Use of multi-column lists One of my favorite annoyances is multi-column lists. When they first appeared in the early 1990′s, multi-column lists were cool. Add in user-sortable and re-sizable columns, and your application could offer better eye-candy than the competitors. The usual problem with multi-column lists was that the columns […]

Magnetic propulsion?


Airplanes have always always been an interest, since I was a kid (though theoretic, not actual). Simple basic facts about aeroplanes: long thin wings tend to more efficient (aerodynamically, not structurally) than wider/thicker/shorter wings. For much the same reason – propellers are more efficient than jets. Ducted fans are less efficient than propellers, but more […]

Using GMail for mailto: links in Ubuntu


Create the file $HOME/bin/mailto with the contents: #!/bin/sh gnome-open “$*” Make the file executable. On Ubuntu Linux (using the Gnome desktop), go to: System > Preferences > Preferred Applications Under Internet / Mail Reader select “Custom” and enter the command: /home/preston/bin/mailto %s (Replace “/home/preston” with your $HOME.) This should open GMail in your default web […]