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Comment: Blog Author Ignores Usability With Page Layout (Score 1) 415

by meheler (#40244967) Attached to: Microsoft Ignores Usability With All-Caps Menu in Visual Studio

Author of notorious blog "I Programmer" ignores usability and readability by cramming entire articles into a fixed-width page and using only 1/4 of that fixed-width for content.

The all-caps menu is irksome and MS has gotten plenty of vitriolic feedback about it. Why does /. feed that horrible blog's hits with this pointless article?

Comment: I did it for 2 years... (Score 1) 275

by meheler (#38206956) Attached to: Does Telecommuting Make You Invisible?

And the answer was yes, in my case. I ended up moving back to the city the office was located in, 2,000km from where I like to call home and where I telecommuted from, and now live here again going to the office, paying nearly twice what I was in rent and other living expenses. The alternative was to languish and fade away into obscurity.. I felt I needed to come back as I was regularly getting mindless projects. Now that I'm back, I'm working on exciting projects again. *shrug* Also, health and productivity were suffering as I rarely left the house as the line between working-for-the-man and me-time blurred.

I'd like to try and strike a balance but the distance factor of where I'd like to be (i.e. where family and friends are) and where work is, makes that difficult. I find it terribly boring to work from home, which I have the option of doing, and just go into the office anyway day after day, so long as I'm here.

Comment: Games, Hardware Support (Score 1) 1880

by meheler (#38025264) Attached to: What's Keeping You On Windows?

My computer is primarily a gaming machine and nothing even comes close to Windows for that. Battlefield 3? Skyrim? Better have Windows or forget about it. I have a MacBook Pro which never gets used because I find it boring, and I dual-boot Ubuntu when I feel like playing with it. But Linux is a toy to me, when I want to actually use my computer, I use Windows. Same goes when I'm writing code. When I intend to do something with what I'm writing, I'll use Visual Studio. If not, then I'll play with gcc or xcode as they, too, are toys to me. That might change in time but I can't see any reason to.

Comment: Re:PS3, XBox, die die die (Score 1) 568

by meheler (#35437106) Attached to: How the PC Is Making Consoles Look Out of Date

There is a market for simple games which work well cross-platform (minecraft as an example), and there is a market for bleeding edge. The latter, as it stands right now, means DirectX and Windows. More specifically, it means DirectX 10/Vista(well, Win7)+ as many developers (including a very very large developer who shall rename unnamed) are even planning to drop DirectX 9 support on future cross-platform PC titles and instead implement lower-quality OpenGL display for XP and Mac. In the future, pretty things which can't be achieved using SM3-era techniques won't be available even on XP as I'd expect the XP GL implementations to share much of its code with the Mac GL driver and as such not make use of the capabilities of GL3 or 4.

This is particularly true with the push for stereoscopic 3D gaming which, while there is some competition out there, means nVidia 3D Vision/DirectX only. There is 3D Vision Pro for OpenGL on Quadros using quad-buffered stereo, but that is impractical and pretty much requires application support... and good luck with finding games supported well by alternative 3D implementations (even ATI's). Having attended GDC, I saw a huge push for 3D gaming. And TBH, it's warranted.. the effect is awesome. Personally, I hate 3D movies as they give me a headache, but the ability to tweak the convergence point and depth of stereoscopic 3D with a realtime-rendered viewport to your comfort level puts it right in that sweet spot.

I think the fact is that gaming in general just continues to grow. Gamers love Angry Birds (though I can't figure out why) and Farmville (this one eludes me even moreso), but gamers also love Battlefield and Crysis. It's expensive to develop a bleeding edge game, equivalent to the cost of producing a summer blockbuster, yet developers continue to do so because it's a good investment.

I'd be happy to see the latest hardware and games work well on alternative platforms, but it's not a reality at the moment. With Apple steadfastly refusing to allow 3rd party video drivers, while keeping the system OpenGL locked at 2.1ish (with some proprietary extensions), that just isn't going to happen soon. Linux at present isn't even worth mentioning as a gaming platform and seems unlikely ever to be. When you're talking about gamers who invest hundreds on just their video cards, dropping the cash on a Windows upgrade is a non-issue. Windows just works, with top level support for the latest hardware.

Fact is the next generation of consoles are years away. Game developers do not have even preliminary specs from the manufacturers and are even questioning whether it'll happen, or if we'll see something else which moves more toward a unified entertainment platform. Until that happens, the consoles will be in a state of "3+ years away" and never getting closer. Then when they do come out, it'll be 1-2 years before anyone but the hardcore console gamers even bother with the systems due to cost.

Anyway, I share your belief that this is could be the last generation of consoles. And to that I say, good riddance. I'm playing Dragon Age 2 right now and while it's a great game, the clearly-designed-for-clumsy-controllers interface is an annoyance. I have a mouse with a scroll wheel, I have a keyboard, and I have a screen that has been capable of higher than 720 vertical scan lines for the past 20 years. Anyway..

Space

X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the down-to-earth dept.
Kozar_The_Malignant writes "The secretive X-37B robotic space plane has returned to Earth after a seven-month mission. This was the vehicle's first flight. Looking like a cross between a Predator Drone and the Space Shuttle, it landed at Vandenberg AFB in California, which was to have been the military's shuttle launch facility. Speculation is that the X-37B is an orbital spy platform."
NASA

NASA Delays Discovery's Final Launch To February 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you-brought-a-blanket,-keith dept.
Velcroman1 writes "NASA has postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery's final mission to no earlier than early February — the latest in a long string of delays that have kept the spacecraft grounded for more than a month. Discovery is now slated to launch no earlier than Feb. 3, with the delay allowing NASA engineers more time to analyze why small cracks developed in the shuttle's huge external fuel tank. The cracks have since been repaired, but NASA wants to make sure similar issues don't pose a future concern."

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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