Thursday, April 26, 23:50 CDT

Having downloaded the recent Opera, I have to say that this remains (despite the obnoxious banner ad thing in the free version, and the obvious fact that it's not open code) one of the best pieces of software I've ever used. And the mouse gestures? To my surprise, they not only work - they do so extremely well. Calling any computer interface intuitive is a little dishonest, but this is quite clearly one of the closest things I've ever seen.

Anyway, reading a little bit more about gestural interfaces leads to all sorts of cool stuff. Apparently, there're at least a couple of projects to implement a gesture based interface for the X Window system - LibStroke, a library that looks like it should soon have GNOME support, and wayV, where you can also find a bunch of links to nifty interface related stuff.

I look forward to trying more of this stuff. It seems like an advance (granted, it's been around for ages, especially in games, but it's not widely used elsewhere) in interface design that's both useful and potentially practical for a great many applications. Something that could (and I think will) actually improve the software we use dramatically. Sceptical? Opera is a paltry download - less than 3 megs - for an all-around excellent piece of software. And then there's Black & White, the playing of which is not exactly a hardship. Why not give one of them a try?

Apparently, there's a

Thursday, April 26, 21:59 CDT

Why I still occasionally read /.: Opera for Windows apparently now supports a gesture based interface - if you're not familiar with the concept, this means that moving your mouse in a certain pattern actually issues a command.

I once would've thought such a system less than practical, but after playing Black & White for a few weeks, and having used a Palm PDA for a few years, I'd say it's actually high time this sort of thing spread to more interfaces.

A strong contender for the coolest thing I've ever seen on an official book site: Neil Gaiman's journal on the American Gods site.

(The other contender for that title would probably have to be the copy of In the Beginning Was the Command Line on the Cryptonomicon site.)

Thursday, April 26, 11:59 CDT

Yet another nearly perfect day, and I'm done with classes... Life is good.

Think I'll head home and mess around outside for the rest of the day. Should probably take some stuff with me... Next week is finals, and then we're out of here.

I should really call network services and get the token ring card pulled out of this machine, but somehow I'm loathe to give up my bandwidth... Still, I suppose a week more or less doesn't matter much. It would probably good if I had less incentive to spend time plugged into this box. Or at least that's what I'm thinking after spending an hour last night trying to think of anything to do besides turning on the computer.

I downloaded an ISO CD image of Progeny Debian, a commercial Debian distro that looks sort of interesting. Might give it a try one of these days, or just get Debian's unstable tree on CD...

And now everyone in the room is arguing over what a capital cursive Q looks like...

Ok, I'm outta here.