Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 472

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 487

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 494

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 530

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c03/h01/mnt/52932/domains/retiredblog.gkaindl.com/html/wordpress/wp-includes/theme.php on line 623
blog.gkaindl.com

blog.gkaindl.com

nerd nouveau

This blog is retired!

Obviously, I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while. I have to admit that I just couldn’t keep up with my self-imposed goal to regularly (read: at least twice a week) post long articles. Unfortunately, this fixation on long, detailed articles is so much reflected by the setup I’ve been using that I just couldn’t get myself to switch to a more relaxed style of (tumble) blogging.

WordPress, this gigantic behemoth of a blogging engine, my theme with its small text size that makes short articles look tiny and weird and the difficulty with which you have to post a simple link, photo or quote, despite the abundance of WordPress plugins out there, all of that somewhat ruined my interest into this blog.

Fortunately, I recently found the incredibly slick tumbleblogging engine Chyrp, which has given me new motivation to set up a blog that is more in line with what I want to do.

My new Chyrp-powered blog is arbi.trario.us. A little bit of additional info about this switch can be found in my first post.

Please be sure to update your bookmarks, point your feed readers to the new feed and say goodbye to the old times…

That’s it, this blog won’t be updated anymore. All the action will happen at arbi.trario.us from now on Don’t miss out on it!

Feb 25, 2008 at 3:24 | Comments Off | tags: ,

A new lawsuit source for the RIAA

Dear RIAA,

Over the past few years, I couldn’t help but notice your subtle steps against evildoers who violate the fair-use policies that you are so graciously granting to us. I completely agree that the use of illegal technologies such as file-sharing and wireless lan has to be dealt with elegantly and swiftly. So far, I have been especially impressed by the great amount of sensibility and sensitivity that your lawyers have exhibited in their struggle against the violation of our copyright laws.

While I was thrilled to hear of your recent success in court, the image of the starving artists I’m sure you are distributing your small monetary compensation amongst warming my heart, there are some clouds on the horizon: The evildoers are working on new file-sharing protocols that might make tracking down the vermin who use them much harder for your internet experts. There also seems to be a shift from illegal music downloads to movie downloads, making it harder and harder to find evildoers to sue for a little compensation. While I understand that you cannot live off producing good music alone, I have a suggestion to make for a new lawsuit source to tap into.

continue reading »

Nov 18, 2007 at 19:16 | Comments Off | tags: , , , ,

Amazon & iTunes, please cooperate!

iTunes and Amazon

When the iTunes Music Store was first announced, I was pretty sure the reason why I could never get myself to actually buy tracks was the use of DRM to restrict playback to iPods and authorized computers. However, when iTunes Plus came along, I still didn’t find myself buying music on iTunes. I’m sorry, I just need the haptics of the actual “holding a record in my hand” experience.

I believe that the iTunes Store is exceptionally well designed. You can easily lose yourself browsing through different genres, clicking your way from artist to artist and listening to the free preview snippets on the way. It’s fun, it helps you to discover new artists and albums, it’s hard to resist the impulse to buy. Still, I always find myself going to Amazon and ordering the albums there. Isn’t that almost a bit unfair, using iTunes’ clever store application to discover albums, but then buying them on Amazon? Maybe it is…

continue reading »

Oct 29, 2007 at 2:35 | 1 Comment | tags: , , , , ,

Can you hear me on Skype?

I’m by far not a heavy Skyper, but there’s one thing I’ve noticed during my occasional Skype calls to people I know or don’t know: Almost every call I’ve participated in so far started with something along the lines of “Hey, can you hear me? Is it working?”.

Now I think this is somewhat interesting, considering that nobody would ever say something like this on an ordinary landline call. Even on the cellphone, you wouldn’t ask unless you actually got the feeling that either you or the other party has bad reception: It’s definitely not a thing you would start your call with.

continue reading »

Oct 18, 2007 at 13:55 | Comments Off | tags: , , ,

Using an external iSight on a Windows notebook

One of the classes I need to take this year requires us to use a Windows-only (evil!) augmented reality framework, Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 (more evil!) and a webcam. For the first time during my studies, I’m actually forced to use Windows. But even worse, how could I get my iSight to work with it?

Fortunately, the iSight is a standard IEEE1394 (a.k.a. FireWire) camera that works without a third-party driver on Windows. However, what complicates things is that the cheap, old Toshiba laptop I could borrow does not have a full-blown, 6-pin FireWire connector like Macs do, but the small 4-pin connector that Sony has termed “i.Link”. The problem is that the small connector misses the power line, meaning that when the iSight camera is connected to it, it doesn’t receive any power and thusly doesn’t work. The solution would be to connect the iSight to a powered FireWire hub that is in turn connected to the PC, but who the heck has a FireWire hub?!

continue reading »

Oct 11, 2007 at 23:57 | Comments Off | tags: , , , ,

Why Leopard should be Windows

Hah, that title got your attention, right? Don’t worry, though, I’m not going on a technology-bashing rampage here, I’m just referring to the marketing name: “Windows” would fit Apple’s current software naming scheme so much better than “Mac OS 10.5″ or “Leopard” does.

For quite a while now, Apple has given its consumer software names that refer to the principal concept in a metaphorical way. For example, their word processor is called “Pages”, since the concept of a page is the most fundamental one in a text processing application (Writing makes us think of books, newspapers, print in general, and that’s why the concept of a page is a fundamental one). Similarly, we have “Numbers” now, “Spaces” is coming in Leopard, and iLife applications like “iPhoto” or “iMovie” basically follow a similar line of thought.

Now, “OS 10.5″, however, is a technical term. OS stands for “operating system”, clearly a term not targeted at consumers, but developers. Conceptually, it’s like “Pages” being called “Word Processor” instead, or “iPhoto” the “Digital Image Asset Organizer”.

“Windows”, on the other hand, would fit into this naming scheme perfectly: Isn’t a “window” the fundamental metaphor of a graphical user interface? They are not called “WIMP” for nothing! After all, each of the programs we’re working with is represented by at least one window. To me, it’s intuitively clear that the name “Windows” follows exactly the same line of thought that “Pages” and “Numbers” do.

Of course, given the tradition of the “Mac OS” naming convention, I don’t see it being renamed anytime soon (and I’m happy about that). Still, it’s somewhat funny to see how much Microsoft’s flagship product would fit into Apple’s current naming convention. Kinda.

Oct 04, 2007 at 23:57 | 1 Comment | tags: , , ,

Categories ruined my blog

Yes. They really did. See, there’s a lot that made me not update my blog since July 25, for more than 2 months: Another vacation (this time longer - it was great!), lots and lots of work before that, traditional writer’s block and, well, those darned categories.

Fortunately, Wordpress 2.3 comes to the rescue at just the right time, introducing its shiny new “native tagging support”! As you can see, I’ve already eagerly updated my blog theme, ditching categories completely in favor of tags. Oh, and instead of a “Links” page (which, frankly, I never really used), there’s a tag cloud now.

continue reading »

Oct 02, 2007 at 0:19 | Comments Off | tags: , ,

Reinventing the Web for the iPhone

Since the much-anticipated iPhone launch last month we’ve seen a lot of websites crop up that are specifically designed for Apple’s shiny new gadget. High-profile sites such as Digg.com or 37signals’ free Ta-Da List have gotten the iPhone treatment. Even Google (or one of their iPhone-wielding employees on their 20%-rule day) has been working on an iPhone-specific search interface. On the developer front, there are already some tips on how to create iPhone-optimized versions of WordPress themes, and the first CSS/Javascript frameworks to easily provide the iPhone experience have been released.

As many people have noted, this is quite interesting, since with the advent of web standards, designing specifically for certain browsers or serving different stylesheets to different browsers has been rather seen as something to avoid. Now suddenly, everybody is pumping out iPhone-specific sites.

continue reading »

Jul 25, 2007 at 1:11 | 4 Comments | tags: , , ,

Designing Against The Fear of Losing Assets

Recently, after watching this excellent Scandinavian comedy skit on YouTube, I’ve been discussing about one of the references in it with a friend: The novice user’s fear of losing data.

In fact, we’re all afraid of losing our data. After all, that’s why we back up our data religiously (you do backup your data, right?). But what we were addressing in our discussion is not the fear of losing data through a hard drive failure or another technical issue, but the fear of losing it through one’s own inexperience or maybe even stupidity. It’s the fear of clicking the wrong button at the wrong time. But from our perspective as software designers, how can we alleviate this fear?

continue reading »

Jul 19, 2007 at 23:40 | Comments Off | tags: , ,

My Wii “Everybody Votes” channel stats

Since Nintendo has launched its “Everybody Votes” channel for the Wii in mid-February 2007, I’ve been playing around with it quite frequently. It’s basically a very simple, two-answer-per-question voting system in which banalities such as “Do you play an instrument?” or “Which type of weather makes you suffer more - Hot or cold?” are asked. There are world-wide polls as well as local ones that are specific to the country you live in. Apart from voting directly on an answer, you can also “bet” on which one you believe will receive the majority of votes from the other users.

There’s also a “Voter Stats” section that shows various pieces of aggregated data gathered from your votes, albeit in quite a cryptic format. Here’s what my stats screen currently looks like (click for a larger version):

continue reading »

Jul 14, 2007 at 22:35 | 3 Comments | tags: , , ,

About

Hi, how are you? My name is Georg Kaindl, and I'm a twenty-something from Vienna, Austria. During the day, I'm a CS student at the Vienna University of Technology, but at night, I turn into an independent software developer for the Macintosh platform, social nerd, lazy entrepreneur and intuitive researcher.

I like to write about everything that matters to considerate technology enthusiasts, but humbly retain the right to go off-topic from time to time.

My posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Contact

You can reach me by email if you have something to say that's not related to a blog post or that you don't want to have publicly available as a comment to a post.

However, you'll have to prove that you are human! Even though I personally like robots very much, I'm less of fan of SPAM. It's just a simple riddle to solve, but a SPAM bot won't cut it!

To get my email address, take the word before the .com in my domain name first (Hint: The word you are looking for starts with a "g" and ends with an "l"). Next, simply attach @mac.com to this word.

Boom, there's my email address. Simple, isn't it?

Powered by WordPress

Comments RSS

Entries RSS