Friday, January 19, 2001

Well, Scot Hacker is looking for someone to speak about BeOS at the upcoming Comdex in April, and I volunteered. He replied that I’m currently the #1 candidate, but he’s keeping it open in case somebody else volunteers. That would be cool. The panel’s on Tuesday morning, so I may be able to fly up there in the morning (or maybe the night before) and come back that afternoon or evening.

The problem is that I and my parents are thinking of leaving for our European vacation that week. We’ll try to work out something, though, ’cause Comdex would be cool. Nice to have “spoke at a panel at Comdex at the age of 24” on my resume.

We had our Friday lunch today at work. We ordered Chinese, but were kind of stiffed: we ordered enough for 60 people, and they brought in way too much. Our “enough noodles for 15 people” translated to four heaping trays of the stuff, where 15 people could barely share one tray. And, of course, they charged us for it. Lunch for 60 people cost us USD $800.

However, that meant that there was a huge amount of leftovers. I hauled three trays of rice, General Tso’s chicken, and noodles to the trunk of the car (I took Mom’s Celica instead of my truck today, so Dad could use the truck to haul some brush). My parents stopped by, then we went over to Gold’s Gym and exercised together, which was very nice.

It’s amazing how much more pleasant it is to exercise with other people that you know. It doesn’t make the exercise any easier, at least for me, and I don’t find it more fun than exercising alone. I don’t quite know how to describe it; it’s like some part of my brain says “Yes, this feels good.”

In any event, we all drove home and dove into the Chinese food, and ate about a sixth of it. The rest went into the freezer.

The Wacom Intuos 4×5 graphics tablet that I ordered from came in, so I tried hooking it up. I spent about an hour downloading fiddling with different tablet drivers until I found one that worked.

As frustrating as that was, it was easier than it would have been in Windows; I never had to reboot. At all. After plugging the tablet in (with the computer running), I’d install a driver, restart the input_server, try the tablet, and repeat. In Windows I know I’d have had to reboot every time, though I wouldn’t have had to search for drivers in Windows’ case. Still, when the worst situation on BeOS is still easy to work with, I’m happy.

In any event, the graphics tablet is pretty cool. You can use it like a mouse — that’s what I’ve been doing — or switch it into “pen mode” for applications that support tablets. Just in mouse mode, though, it can be used in drawing applications, and I can get a feel for what it’s like to draw with it.

The feel of the tablet is more natural than a mouse, but a little awkward for me. It’s still imprecise, though I get the feeling that a little bit of practice will greatly improve my accuracy. I can foresee this becoming a really useful drawing tool (I beleive that Illiad draws User Friendly with a Wacom tablet).

What else. I’m thinking about getting rid of the frames on my website. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be too difficult; the main bit of work will be putting a navigation bar at the top and/or bottom of each page (you knkow, “[Home > Library > SF Books]“).

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