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Pidgin's UI Sucks

Update: Almost all the complaints in this post have been resolved in later Pidgin versions.


Apparently the Pidgin designers are retarded. The Pidgin UI has slowly been getting worse and worse as it tries to closely follow the GNOME philosophy of "our users are morons."

Let's take a look at the new Pidgin chat window. I've annotated it in red (craptastic text anti-aliasing by GIMP):

Pidgin's new chat window

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Restoring Files From Subversion (or: Subversion is Retarded)

One of the great things about a version control system is that you can resurrect deleted files and revert changes. This is a fairly common task - well, not excessively common, but it definitely happens.

In this case, I want to resurrect a directory that, even though I reverted the delete, Subversion decided to commit anyway. (Apparently "svn revert" doesn't actually revert changes like deleting the file. It copies it back, and then deletes it on commit anyway. svn status offers no indication this is the case.)

So how do you resurrect a dead file? (And the term is "resurrect," not "restore" - looking up "restore" won't find you a damned thing, you must "resurrect" it.)

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Age of Empires III: Suleiman Quotes

Some quotes from Suleiman in Age of Empires III.

  • It is a fine explorer that feeds his people! But beware the chokecherries. (Sule0294.mp3)
  • Remember: Small keys unlock big doors. And cannon. Cannon work also. (Sule0303.mpg)
  • Exotic food for my new colony! Did I warn you about chokecherries? (Sule0308.mp3)

The MP3s listed are found in the "Sound\Chats" folder inside the Age of Empire III install, in case you want to play them directly. (O

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I'll Have an iPhone, Minus the Phone, Please

With the recent announcement that the iPhone will include a custom YouTube application, my interest in the phone has increased 100%. Or 400%. Or 25%. Or -30%. They all wind up with the same initial and final value.

That's not to say I wouldn't want something like the iPhone, I just don't want the iPhone itself. In fact, if you remove the phone part and just leave everything else, I'd love to have that gadget.

Think about it. Strip out the phone part, and make it into a "widescreen iPod." The current 5G iPods already play video. Add in Wi-Fi, keep the browser and other apps, and you've got a device that can surf the web, read email, play music and videos; all in one handy little package. And, what the hey, keep the camera too. The only thing it can't do is be a phone - which is fine.

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Thoughts on Vista

I recently built myself a new computer, and slapped Windows Vista onto it.

The most noticeable thing about Vista is that it's shiny. Very shiny. Shiny, shiny, shiny. The icons have been "polished" to look gleaming, the various widgets are shiny, window borders are designed to look shiny, even the close button is shiny.

Of course, unless you're easily distracted by shiny things, this really doesn't mean anything. Being shiny doesn't make it more usable. (Which isn't to say that Vista doesn't have user interface enhancements - it does. They're much more subtle than Vista's shininess, though, and it's the shininess that stands out most when looking at Vista.)

Computer Woes...

Let's start with two weeks ago, when one of my hard drives on my main computer manages to crash. It starts making a "clicking" sound, and that's it - nothing can read it any more.

So I replace it and restore the latest backup I have. All that I've lost are newer versions of various installers and some downloaded movie trailers and whatnot. Not a massively big deal.

Last week I finally decide it's time to assemble a new computer. My existing computer is at least three years old and parts are starting to fail. (It's still got a dead DVD drive in it.) Order the parts, wait for them to ship, receive them, assemble them, discover the power supply I ordered won't work with the motherboard, visit local computer stores until I find one that does, and finally assemble and boot up the computer.

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Two Hours Into FF12...

So after a total of something like two hours of playing FFXII, I've apparently managed to screw up my save such that it's no longer worth playing the rest of the game.

Yes, that's right.

Within two hours of the game start, it's possible to completely and totally screw up your game to the point it's not worth playing any more.

Remind me again, why would anyone want to put up with this?!

Initial Impressions of Final Fantasy XII

So I finally started playing Final Fantasy XII. (My car has broken down, and I finished Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, so I really have nothing better to do, sad to say.)

The first thing I noticed was that they managed to screw up the Prelude music. That takes a certain kind of talent. Instead of starting at the beginning of the theme, it just kind of starts in the middle of a phrase in the middle of the theme.

So then it's time to start a new game. Here the Postlude plays. Generally, the Postlude would play at the end of the game. That's why it's called the Postlude.

From RFC 2616: Hypertext Transfer Protocol 1.1

From RFC 2616, in section 4.4.4, we see the following:

4.If the message uses the media type "multipart/byteranges", and the ransfer-length is not otherwise specified, then this self-elimiting media type defines the transfer-length. This media type UST NOT be used unless the sender knows that the recipient can arse it; the presence in a request of a Range header with ultiple byte-range specifiers from a 1.1 client implies that the lient can parse multipart/byteranges responses.

The best part of that badly mangled section has to be "the recipient can arse it."

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