Saturday, April 17, 2010

So You Think You Can Drive?

No you can't you dumb retard!

Driving in Oman sucks! People drive crazy and the police don't even care, it's like they're dolls paid to drive around in cars giving fines to those with broken lights and tints that are too dark!

Why do we even have police if they don't punish those that are not following the traffic rules?

Here are just a few examples of what I've seen the police do, or, rather, not do!

One time I was driving when I reached a traffic light and I saw the cars are still in the intersection area so I didn't go because I didn't want to stop the traffic 'cause the traffic might turn red and I'll be in the intersection. The cars that are before me went ahead and just stopped in the intersection. Next to me stopped a police car, THEY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE INTERSECTION EVEN AFTER THE LIGHT TURNED RED AND THEY WERE STILL STUCK THERE, AND EVEN WITH THE BIG SIGN THAT SAYS "DON'T GO UNTIL EXIT IS CLEAR"!

And just today, I was driving and a police car was behind me, all of a sudden a car that was on my left just shifted lanes in front of me, oh, no, wait! It wasn't in front of me, it was RIGHT BESIDE ME! I had to go to the right lane to avoid an accident. The police car was now in the right lane behind me so it was impossible that they didn't see what happened 'cause I shifted lanes right in front of them with a loud and long horn. You think they did something to the lady that was driving the car? OH NO! Why are they even in the streets?

It doesn't stop there, you'll see people go left from the right-most lane in the roundabout, people going over speed and flashing you hinting you to move aside so they can go ahead and speed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All-Super Bar

After reading this Windows 8 Concept I was inspired to come up with my own concept All-Super Bar.

The idea is really simple: The Super Bar in Windows 7 merged the Quick Launch bar and the task bar into one bar, the All-Super Bar merges the system tray with them too.

How will that work? Here's how:

You can still pin applications to the Super-All Bar, when you click on them they will run. However, instead of having a context menu pop up, it shows whatever commands and buttons the application needs, not necessarily in a menu; it could be a mini dialog box (kinda like what WMP's play, previous, and next buttons in windows 7).

The applications that reside in the system tray will appear in the same bar which increases their efficiency and usability.

The All-Super Bar will also replace the panel applets in GNOME.

The idea is still vague but it seems very interesting, instead of having 3 separate bars for not running, running, and hidden applications you just have one bar from which you can manage all your applications.

In my GNOME desktop I have DockBarX, the system tray, the notifications applet, the time applet, the logout applet, the show desktop applet, the Main Menu applet, and the Workspace Switcher applet.

I imagine a bar in which all of these are items on the bar.

The menu is an item that has the applications the custom menu I referred to earlier, the system tray items are added to the bar as individual items, the clock is an item by itself, so is the Logout and the show desktop. the Workspace Switcher can be different shortcuts for the different Workspaces, changing icons periodically to reflect the changes in that workspace.

Notifications will pop from whatever application in the bar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hard Work and Success

I've always heard this about successful and rich people: They work hard.I hear that and I think "Well, everyone works hard, it doesn't make much sense".

That is until I read Home based Businesses You Can Start In Your Pajamas in 2010, I opened the article thinking it would make everyone their own boss and I wasn't wrong; you COULD start one of the businesses mentioned there, however, what really surprised me was that as I went through the list, all I could think of was "Nah, too much work!", "Nope, too complicated!", "Not really my thing", "Not in the mood for that", "That's a big headache", etc...

What gives? If you have an idea you should act on it, imagine if Lary page didn't do anything about PageRank idea, we wouldn't have had Google and he wouldn't have been a billionaire. If Donald Trump doesn't follow up on his deals they won't happen.

Why Do We Still Drive?

Cars were invented over 50 years ago, back when electronics were just starting to become popular, back then, it would've been impossible for anyone to even imagine a car driving itself. Nowadays, computers are so smart they can drive, there are cars that can actually drive, but I think that's not enough.

I think the real revolution will be when future (flying?) cars are invented, we're gonna need a new infrastructure, one that controls cars, one where cars don't drive, but rather, are driven by a central system.

Have you seen the movie Babylon A.D.? No? OK, imagine cars flying between buildings like you see in sci-fi movies, here's a picture to make your imagination's life easier:

Now, imagine if cars had sensors, buildings had emitters and a central system that controls all cars. You ride in your car, you choose your destination, your car sends that information to the central system, the system calculates the shortest/fastest path and starts moving your car, since it knows where all the cars in the city are, it can avoid accidents very easily.

Why let humans drive when computers can do the work? Why risk people's lives by allowing people to drive? People sometimes drive crazy, computers don't! People sometimes get drunk, computers don't!

So if ever someone who reads this blog and designs a future car, please consider this! ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Microsoft Imitating Emacs

If you've used both Emacs and Microsoft's new ribbon interface which can be found in Microsoft Office 2007 onwards you'll probably be able to relate to what I'm saying.

Emacs is known for it's multi-key shortcuts: Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C to exit, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-F to open, etc..

Let's take Paint in Windows 7 for example, to save as you press Alt, F, A (Alt shows the shortcuts, F opens the file menu, and A is for the Save As menu item), Alt, H, RP to crop the image (Alt shows the shortcuts, H opens the home tab, RP is the shortcut for Crop).

However, the way they implemented it is a lot more intuitive than Emacs's; you can learn them in no time, you just press Alt and all the shortcuts appear in front of you, not only that, having the shortcuts organized by menus and tabs makes it a lot easier to get used to the shortcuts; you press the shortcuts for the menu and then the shortcut for the item in it.

All this supports what I said previously about open source's initiatives.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Little Details

As Jeff Atwood said:
Ah, yes, the stereotypical programmer response to most projects: it's trivial! I could write that in a week!*

I thought it was just me, apparently it's not. It turns out that all programmers think that way, they see Twitter and they think "A table for users, a table for tweets, a user page, and a settings page."

Let's face it, we all think that way, and the surprising part is? It's true; you CAN create a usable version of Twitter over the weekend, you CAN create a usable browser in a weekend, and you CAN create a usable version of Stackoverflow in a weekend.

Why does software take us so long to create then? There are two reasons: The little details and the little details.

  • The little details: The first little details refers to the little details of writing code, for example, the little silly bugs that take ages to find, spelling mistakes, forgotten variable definitions, wrong passwords, wrongly placed files, difficulties with the programming language/framework being used, etc.. All these are problems that a programmer faces that take much of his time but there's no way to predict them.
  • The little details: The other little details refers to the little details of a website/software that a programmer usually doesn't think about when making the one-weekend claim.
The best example of this is the reason why I wrote this blog post: In the project I'm working on now, it took me barely 30 minutes to create both the interface and the tables (what programmers usually start with in a project). What comes after that is what usually takes long. Because of some previous experience with Flex, I decided to implement the login system next, so I googled for a way to do it with Flex and Zend and the way that I found required the use of Cairngorm, having used it before, I didn't mind using it now. So I started changing my project to use Cairngorm, separating the different screens into views, adding the model, the controller, the VOs, etc... I started creating the PHP files. After about two hours I had a working login system. Next I wanted to populate a tree control with some data from the database, now because I didn't know how to do that in Flex it took me about 6 hours just to do that, as simple a task as it is.

Programmers don't like planning ahead and dealing with charts and stuff, we like writing code, and I don't see any way to change that any time soon; programmers will still want to write code before they plan, it's in our blood.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Internet

I know I've blogged about how we can't live without all the technologies we have today but this post is dedicated to the Internet.

It's amazing how many things you can't do when you don't have access to the Internet.

You can't check your email, you can't play Tinker, you can't work on the software you're writing 'cause the documentation of the framework are online, you can't get the story you're reading--Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--because you can't find out what lynch means, you can't find a solution to the problem your phone is having, you can't find a background for the website you're designing, you can't check your Facebook account, and you can't remove the tag from the photo of you your friend just uploaded.

It is scary how dependent we are on a single fragile technology. With Google Chrome OS coming, moving everything to the web, one can't help but wonder what will happen if ever something happens to the Internet, will our lives ever be the same again?