Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Yes and No

1186 words

Shortcuts via NSLog(); a comment on OSX's keyboard shortcuts. The world surely waited for my opinion on that, and here it is: Yes, Windows seems to have more keyboard shortcuts readily available. No, I don't think many people use them. Yes, they render the Option key useless on Windows computers. Yes, that may be the reason why Windows users have a harder time using special characters. No, it's not because they're stupid, narrow-minded or anything. Hopefully. Did I get carried away? OK, return then. Yes, OS X has a very rich world of keyboard shortcuts. No, I never saw anyone use them. Yes, it's a good thing that this is built into OS X nonetheless, thinking about people who have trouble using a mouse. No, not all of Apple's keyboard shortcuts are reasonable. Yes, wasting a keyboard shortcut for the Preferences menu item is downright stupid. No, Apple aren't 100% consistent about keyboard shortcuts themselves. Yes, OS X is even better in Cocoa. No, it's not keyboard shortcuts, but keyboard equivalents in proper mac-speak – sorry about that. Yes you can adjust keyboard equivalents in any Cocoa application using only the defaults system and you even have some extra Unix-ish keyboard equivalents there when editing text. No, strangely Control-T doesn't seem to work any more these days.

No Logo I saw the term FontBitch as coined by Scott Johnson. What a nice word, I thought, perhaps it describes me. Turned out it doesn't. Quite the opposite. After my recent changes to my CSS concerning fonts, these pages should be among the best scaling ever. Shout out if I'm wrong.

The FontBitch thing led to me coming across those little logo badges people tend to have on their web sites. [OK, I may be reversing the timeline here, considering that Scott posted the bit on badges today only and that's how I got started on everything.] Anyway, some of these badges are both pretty and mean well – tempting me to get a bunch of them. However, I resist. They won't go too well with my colour scheme and won't do better than a word anyway. And I really dislike all those 'XML' badges and 'coffeecup' badges with broken links. Seeing that my link columns tend to end half-way down the page, I'll add a little no-logo navelgazing box with the links seen here:

No Logos

OK, that's only three to to start with. Not a lot I guess. And not really true. I consider my site to be in the spirit of strict HTML 4, but it constantly fails to validate because I forget to close tags, have typos or so. Any other suggestions? I am starting to thing about that CC-license stuff, but I don't really understand the point yet.

Shell (via Bill Bumgarner) a list of things that dramatically increase tcsh's usability. If tcsh can do all that, why doesn't it do it right away? This kind-of reinforces my impression that one of the great issues in usability is making the right choices for the user.

Safari doesn't open links being sent to it from other applications in new tabs yet. However, it recognises URLs it has already opened and switches to the according window/tab instead of opening a new one. In real life you'd call this behaviour common sense. But as we're dealing with computers and software I'll call it neat.

Via: I already used via to attribute the source of a link twice in this post. I don't mind giving credit but, frankly, I find this quite annoying. Bad for the flow of the text.

Testing: Many years ago people made up this IQ thing. Allegedly it measures people's intelligence, or their knowledge of Western civilisation, or their computing skills, or the quality of their school, or how much they trained for the test, or all of the above. I can't really tell as I haven't done one. Anyway, other people thought this was a neat silly idea and came up with all kinds of different <your letter here>-Quotients to categorise people further and attach little numbers to them (and – as cynic voices are heard – for people with a not-so-grand IQ to compensate...).

The Guardian had a story about male and female brains, which apparently is a property of your brain not attached to your sex (thus the name). And they have two test to go with it: one for the well-known EQ and one for the cutting-edge SQ (Sorry Safari users...) I took both twice and, answering all questions (actually they call it quiz) truthfully, managed to have a difference of about 30 points between both results.

Strange, isn't it? Partly it seems that this is due to the questions, which try to carry a lot of detail and may be ambiguous because of that. Say 38. It upsets me to see an animal in pain. What is this question about? Is it about my well-being or the animal's? I'd answer Strongly agree but rather because I'd associate an animal in pain with some disgusting situation, unpleasant noises etc – i.e. because of my own discomfort, rather than the animal's. Should I be awarded the points there? And of course there are questions assessing I can easily tell if someone else wants to enter a conversation. What if I can but don't care? And the best question of all, the only one with a distinctly clear answer anyway, 9. I am at my best first thing in the morning. -> Strongly Disagree doesn't even affect the rating. Bummer!

Whine Many people seem to feel /have been offended by Dave Winer. I found myself disagreeing with him but haven't been insulted and don't intend to be. Still, many people seem to feel quite strongly about this and Mark Pilgrim even came up with a Winer number, a spin-off of the popular or not-so-popular Erdős number (nope, thats not an u-umlaut). Isn't that doing Dave Winer too much of an honour? As far as I can tell he's an IT person with strong opinions and a high esteem for his own ideas. Does that put him on-par with one of the smarter mathematicians? Will he matter in a couple of decades? Don't think so.

Privacy: An interesting report on the decrease of privacy and downright intrusiveness of employers. Today I saw a graffiti saying Orwell was an optimist.

Selling out is the subject of this interview with Dave Eggers, author of A heartbreaking work of staggering genius, a book that I really enjoyed and that doesn't seem to have made it to Germany yet. Brings up a lot of interesting questions about authenticity and snobbery. Can I like a band/author/artist who played/wrote/performed at/for/in <something too popular to be cool>? I guess you can't afford not to if you really like what they're doing. Surely, some people can't resist becoming crap once they're 'big', but others don't. So if we just kept our heads not quite as deeply up our own arses... whatever.

April 22, 2003, 23:21


Comment by Chris Adams: User icon

I thought Safari didn’t support opening links from other apps in new tabs either but it now appears to do that if you have tabs enabled and choose “open in current window”. This makes sense as it’s quite rare that you really want to replace what you’re looking at with another page and tabs preserve the same window mechanics. It’s still a stealth feature, though.

April 23, 2003, 9:55

Comment by ssp: User icon

Cool. Thanks for the hint, just the behaviour I’ve been looking for.

The setting’s wording didn’t suggest that.

April 23, 2003, 10:44

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