The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Down the memory hole

Every so often, one must wipe and reinstall his main computer. This is not fun. Even Parker finds it boring, and he sleeps all day.

Still, my main box (a Dell D620) now runs so much faster it's making me cry. So, several hours of boring work will save me several dozen hours waiting for the damn computer.

Heading home

Ah, family. I'm glad I got a chance to unwind with the Ps after my conference. But I do miss my dog.

Tomorrow: or, rather, tonight after 7pm CDT: check out Weather Now for, well, something appropriate to the season.

About this Blog

I'm David Braverman, this is my blog, and Parker is my 8-month-old mutt.

Here are the main topics on the Daily Parker:

  • Parker, my dog, whom I adopted on September 1st.
  • Biking. I ride my bikes a lot. Last year I prepared for two Century rides but, alas, my gallbladder decided to explode a week before the first one. I might not have a lot to say until later in the spring, but I have big plans in 2007.
  • Jokes. All right, I admit: when I'm strapped for ideas, sometimes I just post a dumb joke.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-leftie by International standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States. Less than 701 days remain in the worst presidential administration in history, so I have plenty to write about.
  • Software. I own a small software company in Evanston, Illinois, and I have some experience writing software. I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code. Posts in this blog about software will likely be cross-posted from the blog I'm about to start, Inner Drive Software.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than seven years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change under a President who's beholden to the oil industry.

This is public writing, too, so I hope to continue a standard of literacy (i.e., spelling, grammar, and diction) and fluidity of prose that makes you want to keep reading.

So thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

Happy New Year!

Weather Now is all new.

We're ecstatic to roll out a completely new visual design by Katie Zoellner. It's actually been lurking as a Beta site for several months. We didn't roll it out because not all of the features from our old site (see http://old.wx-now.com/) are complete. But today is the first day of a new year, which we thought an appropriate moment to finally give Katie's design some exposure.

(Nearly-)Total Internationalization

Notice the flags along the left side of this page. Is one of those flags from your country? Click on it. Almost everything on the site will automagically show up in your country's main language.

We're still working on a lot of the translations, and some of them are tragicomically wrong. If you find a mistranslation, please let us know. We have plans to add a few more languages (does anyone speak Japanese, Mandarin, or Hindi?), as well as to make the site better at guessing your preference.

Also notice that you can now change easily between International System (metric) and English measurements. The site will get better at guessing each visitor's initial preference here, as well.

Vastly improved flexibility

All of the data pages use XML and XSL to provide the data you're looking for. This gives us much more flexibility, and allows us to vary the content much more than we've done in the past.

Take the home page, for example. Each of the sections is independent of the others. Soon, you'll be able to mix and match them as you'd like, or choose from one of the themes that we'll offer.

Lots more under the hood

The Site now uses the Inner Drive Extensible Architecture™ throughout. The Idea™ underpins all Inner Drive Technology applications, of which this is our biggest demonstration.

Stay tuned

We have a lot more cool tools planned for the site, including a massive upgrade of the geographical gazetteer that holds all of our place information and some neat things to do with your mobile PC.

User interfaces in film

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen takes on the remarkable UIs that appear in film:

Break into a company—possibly in a foreign country or on an alien planet—and step up to the computer. How long does it take you to figure out the UI and use the new applications for the first time? Less than a minute if you're a movie star.
...
Countless scenes involve unauthorized access to some system. Invariably, several passwords are tried, resulting in a giant "Access Denied" dialog box. Finally, a few seconds before disaster strikes, the hero enters the correct password and is greeted by an equally huge "Access Granted" dialog box.

At least we no longer have large bipedal robots shouting "Danger! Danger!"

How difficult is an "off" button?

A member of the Windows Vista team explains (via Joel Spolsky):

I worked on the "Windows Mobile PC User Experience" team. This team was part of Longhorn from a feature standpoint but was organizationally part of the Tablet PC group. To find a common manager to other people I needed to work with required walking 6 or 7 steps up the org chart from me.

So after 12 years, you still have to go to the Start menu to stop the computer.

Something has changed

Anne and David I'm David Braverman, and this is my blog.

This blog has actually been around for nearly a year, giving me time to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Initially, I called it "The WASP Blog," the acronym meaning "Weather, Anne, Software, and Politics." It turns out that I have more than four interests, and I post to the blog a lot, so those four categories got kind of large.

I also got kind of tired of the old colors.

And, today, I finally had the time to upgrade to das Blog 1.9, which came out just a few days ago.

I may add categories as time goes on, and I'm going to start using sub-cagetories. But at this point, here are the main topics on the Daily Parker:

  • Anne. For reasons that passeth understanding, she married me, and now she's the most important part of my life. And now that I've dropped the clever acronym, she can be Topic #1.
  • Biking. I ride my bikes a lot. This year I prepared for two Century rides but, alas, my gallbladder decided to explode earlier this month. I might not have a lot to say for the next few months, but next year, I have big plans.
  • Jokes. All right, I admit: when I'm strapped for ideas, sometimes I just post a dumb joke.
  • Parker, our dog, whom we adopted on September 1st.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-leftie by International standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States. More than 848 days and 22 hours remain in the worst presidential administration in history, so I have plenty to write about.
  • Software. I own a small software company in Evanston, Illinois, and I have some experience writing software. I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code. Posts in this blog about software will likely be cross-posted from the blog I'm about to start, Inner Drive Software.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than seven years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change under a President who's beholden to the oil industry.

This is public writing, too, so I hope to continue a standard of literacy (i.e., spelling, grammar, and diction) and fluidity of prose that makes you want to keep reading.

So thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.