links for 2010-01-31

  • The prototypical user is presented as incapable of reading, barely cognizant of what they desire and are best served by products that offer a least common denominator feature set.

    This user model is well supported by empirical data. Sit in on any usability test and your subjects will flail about, click on the wrong things and ignore most obvious visual cues. We assume that users are idiots because we see them behave like idiots whenever we test them.

    The results of our current design philosophy are wonderfully simple apps that allow new users to perform one or two universal tasks in as streamlined a manner as possible. These are the Googles, the Twitters and the Diggs of the world. They focus on ease of acquisition and limit their functionality to the 20% of features that serve 80% of the population.

  • areMetal is a 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers. The OS is written entirely in Assembly while applications can be written in Assembly or C/C++. BareMetal is not intended to be a full-featured Operating System by any means. The two main purposes of BareMetal are for educational uses in learning low-level OS programming in 64-bit Assembly and to be used as a base for a high-speed data processing node.

    BareMetal boots from a hard drive and currently has a command line interface with the ability to load programs/data from a hard drive.

    As of version 0.4 BareMetal has Multi-Processor support for taking advantage of multiple CPUs and CPU cores in data processing applications.

    Current plans call for the ability to write data back to the disk, a C/C++ library for applications, and network support.

    The creation of BareMetal was inspired by MikeOS – A 16-bit OS written in Assembly used as a learning tool to show how simple OSes work.

  • (tags: tips apple mac osx)
  • The anonymous comments section of any major media site or popular blog will be so crammed with bile and bickering, accusation and pule, hatred and sneer you can't help but feel violently disappointed by the shocking lack of basic human kindness and respect, much less a sense of positivism or perspective.

    Maybe this, then, is the ultimate upshot of our endless, self-wrought swirl of sour disappointment, of never having our impossible needs fully met, of constantly being thwarted in our desire to have the world revolve around our exact set of specifications and desires.

    Our disappointment begins to curdle, to turn back on itself, poison the heart, turn us nasty and low. It shifts from merely being a national mood or general temperament, into a way of being. A wiring, deep and harmful and permanent. It's all very disappointing, really.

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