I've been using the Ubuntu Unity user interface for a few months, figured it's a good time for a review.
Initially I resisted using it because I thought they were fixing what wasn't broken. Turns out that the experience is no better than the previous GNOME 2 / Xfce versions of Ubuntu I was using.
These are the things that I found especially irritating:
The window action buttons (close/maximize/minimize) are on the top left of the screen. It took me a long time to stop moving the cursor to the top right of the screen.
Some applications have no window menu bar (File, Edit, View, etc). Instead, there is one context sensitive menu bar at the top of the screen. It will show a menu for the window currently in focus when you hover over it.
If I have three applications open, I want access to all menu options. Nobody wants to click on a window of the application they're interested in, then move their mouse to the top of their monitor for a menu to fade in.
This functionality isn't consistent across all applications. Firefox does this, but Eclipse always displays a menu bar in the window.
Advertising is built-in. For example, when you search for something on your computer a bunch of ads will be displayed in the results. It's easily disabled, but I find it inappropriate.
I'm a huge fan of zombie shows and movies, so this was a pretty enjoyable season. There was a lot of good character development, and some interesting situations came up. There were some things I didn't like about it though.
A few episodes did seem like something from Lost, where some evil group of people is attacking a good group of people. Both groups of people are lead by an overly dramatic person who may be losing their mind, but like to give speeches.
Also, the idea that zombies have some kind of personality was already a main theme in the first two seasons.
I was bored today and decided to do some small updates to the blog:
Moved to valid HTML 5 and CSS 3. The template behind my blog is now valid HTML5 with CSS 3 for styling. Also gone is the table driven layout. The editor that I use to write posts (tinyMCE) seems to output some non-compliant stuff though. Something to possibly check out in the future.
Removed custom file handling. I had previously written some code that handled uploading and serving up files (images/etc) to/from Google App Engine. Kind of like streaming a BLOB from a traditional RDBMS. This had too many dependencies (apache-io with a custom library called gmultipart for Spring MVC compatibility). I scrapped it all. Files are now served as static content from the /static/ directory.
Upgraded to Spring 4. I'm not taking advantage of any new features yet, but figured it was time to upgrade anyway. Could be speed improvements or security bugfixes, I'm too lazy to check.
Switched to Apache Taglibs for JSTL. I think I was originally using the JAR from Glassfish. Was occasionally getting weird tag errors with it.
Slight GUI modifications. Modified the layout slightly, I was getting sick of the old look. The fixed width columns with lots of white space on the side seemed like too much of a cliche for a blog.
Also, something to note is that Google seems to have removed the minimum charge of $2.50/week for paid App Engine Apps :)
Last month I reviewed the first three seasons of the Sopranos (three, two, one). This month I finished watching it.
The last three seasons kind of blended together. More visits to the therapist to talk about feelings, more gabagool, more of characters complaining about their lives.
My biggest problem with the show is that all of the non-mobster characters seem totally inept, like they aren't capable of thinking for themselves. On some episodes the violence and mob deals seem to take a back seat... just so annoying characters (the wives in particular) could demonstrate how lazy, indecisive and dependant they are.
Another problem with the show is that the small video clips that play during the DVD episode selection contain spoilers.
Overall though, it was an entertaining show. The way that the mobsters dealt with problems was always interesting.
I tried watching some of the DVD commentary last night, didn't like it very much. Seemed like the actors/writers/etc just talking about how great they are at their jobs, meh.
I had to take a break for about a week part way through this season. The series seems to have more scenes in a doctor's office than I cared to see, having the main character talk about his feelings in excruciating detail. They could have let the viewer figure out what his motives are for some things.
Still pretty enjoyable, I liked the finale a lot. Also, the episode that Steve Buscemi directed was excellent. The contrast of the peaceful nature scene with the characters violent intentions was great.
The show originally aired on HBO, which I didn't have a subscription to. Later, a censored version was syndicated on one of the basic TV cable channels. I saw a few episodes, really liked them, and decided that I wanted to wait and purchase the full flavored version.
Fast forward about six years, Amazon.ca was having a sale on some TV DVDs, so I picked up the complete Sopranos series. Yesterday (Friday) the package was left on my doorstep, so this weekend I'm having a Sporanos binge.
The first season was great, a lot of character development with some mobster violence. The pace of the storytelling seemed very fluid, dialog seemed natural given the context of the world the show takes place in.
Sometimes the show would date itself, Nintendo 64 and CRT monitors are some examples. I also thought the box art was kind of cheesy, would have preferred a cityscape or something, rather than poorly cropped character portraits against a solid background.