Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Playing in the mud

The moment before Eric got dirty

A couple of weeks ago the desktop team at Novell had some managers visiting from out of the country. We decided to take them up the hill and show them the true meaning of playing in the mud. The excellent photo above was taken by Eric Ward who shortly after this moment was covered by muddy water . Here is Eric's flickr collection of the activity.

Calvin and Jared playing

Here is another set of photos from the event from Boyd Timothy. I alway underestimate how much time is required to clean up a vehicle after doing this. I wonder how much time Eric spent cleaning up his camera.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Accessibility work at Novell

Michael Meeks posted a couple of weeks back about some new work Novell is doing in the area of accessibility. Things have progressed to the point we need some talented GNOME and Mono hackers, i.e., we have some job openings.

Part of the team will be focused on implementing the UI Automation spec for the Mono WinForms and Moonlight projects which will include building interfaces for both the client and provider sides of the spec. The other part will be focused on helping the current efforts going on in the ATK/AT-SPI worlds. There is already some great work going on there and we want to dedicate some resources to help out (like DBUS AT-SPI!). See Michael's blog for a diagram of what this might look like when we're well into it.

Contact me if you are interested or know anyone that is or should be interested. I'm throwing together some wiki pages to outline the effort if you would like to take a look (subject to being relocated to a better location). We have brand new work that needs to be done, and we have work that needs to be done on existing projects so depending on the type of work you like to do, we've got it!

The best part is you'll continue to be involved in the GNOME community and get paid for doing it!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gnome logout

Gnome Session Dialog
Opensuse 10.3 logout

I just finished updating the gnome logout UI for Opensuse 10.3. The new dialog comes from some usability research that was done at Novell for the SLED 10 SP1 update.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Banter 0.1.10 Released

Banter 0.1.10 Group Window
Banter Group Window

Banter is now approaching our first stable release. We've removed some functionality for this first release that was causing some stability problems (evolution integration and gecko based widgets). The notification badges now work (although they need a little more love) so when someone tries to chat with you and you are away, you'll know. If you click on the badge, it will open a chat window and show you what you missed.

Text,audio, and video chats are still in and much more stable. The audio works to chat with devices like the Nokia n800 and also with the Google Chat client on Windows.

Banter 0.1.10 Chat Window
Banter Chat Window

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Smashed Garmin

Broken Garmin
Smashed Garmin

I was mountain biking today at the mouth of Slate Canyon and decided to open up my rear shock after I had started down the hill. I only made it several yards one handed when I hit a rock, locked my front brake (while trying to hold on) and went over the front. I bruised my hand but other than that I rolled nicely out of it. My bike survived as well because it landed on my Garmin Forerunner 305.

Garmin Training Center
Garmin Training Center

The most amazing part is I connected it to the base and synced it to the Garmin Training Center and it uploaded my ride until the moment of the crash. I can only guess that had I turned the Forerunner back on, it would have recorded the rest of the ride.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Apple iPhone

Calvin and Brady in line for the iPhone

Brady Anderson and I went up and waiting in line all day to purchase the new Apple iPhone that came out today. The line was crazy long and we waited for hours. I never would have thought we’d get one except the Apple employees kept coming out and assuring us there are plenty of phones and everyone is going to get one. Sure enough, after hours of waiting in line we got in and bought our iPhones. I don’t think I’ve stood in line for anything that long. We were in such a rush to get in line we forgot where we parked and had to spend an hour wondering around the parking garage looking for Brady’s car.

It was also Hackweek at Novell (the first one we had). That morning I was working on an idea I had called “Giver”. I recruited Scott Reves (in the photo) to help out. Giver was basically a way to share files between computers that would auto-discover the other computers and let you drag and drop files to them. The other computer would notify the user that person X wanted to send them files. If they accepted the files were transferred directly from computer to computer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hackweek Day One

It's hackweek at Novell. The entire OPS (Open Platform Services) division at Novell is hacking on whatever they want to this week. I'm hacking Giver. It's something I've wanted to build for a long time but now it's going to get done.

Yesterday I got it running to the point where you can discover other machines and send the basic information about the file or files you want to "give" to the other machine. Today I'll wrap up the basic file send and from then on it's all about adding bling.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Video Chat on Linux

Banter Video Chat
Banter Video Chat

Brady and I stayed up until 2:00am last night hacking Banter. Our main goal was to get video and audio chats working but we also managed to clean up the chat window and integrate all three types of chat (text/audio/video) into the main chat window. After we got it working we just kept going making things run smoother as the night went on. Finally around 2:00am we decided we better get some sleep so we released Banter 0.1.6. I of course had the time of my system messed up due to a temporary boot into Ubuntu (thanks by the way) so I had to turn around and release an updated 0.1.7 without the time skew.

Check out more Banter goodness here

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Banter Contact Resizing

Banter Small Group Window Banter Medium Group Window Banter Large Group Window

I hacked on the banter contact resizing yesterday and got the first iteration with resizing done. It's a little rough but you get the basic idea. We're having some problems using the gtkmozembed widget with resizing and general use. Our contact widgets and chat windows are all HTML/CSS/Javascript based to support themes. Hopefully we can either hack gtkmozembed to get it working or switch over to Apple's WebKit.

If any HTML/CSS/Javascript experts are reading this, the banter project could use some help working out our ContactStyles (themes) and building several of them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I love my Jeep

Calvin in his Jeep

Boyd took this shot yesterday when we went for a short dig up at the base of Slate Canyon. Boyd took his newly purchased Jeep Liberty and I think is already planning out how he is going to add lockers to it. He tried to climb a hill I went up and found out he is "lockerless larry".

Monday, May 07, 2007


"...to speak to or address in a witty and teasing manner"

Several weeks ago at Novell we started the project named Banter. It's being called the next generation collaboration client. Think of it as software that combines all of your online "Web 2.0" services along with chat, video, and voice into your contact management system.

Unlike other projects I've worked on at Novell, this project is being done in the open from the very beginning. In fact, if you want to see what we are doing, you can visit the Banter wiki at http://banter-project.org.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

West Mountain Digging

This first video shows the importance of lockers. The climb was so easy we really didn't need them but without them a couple of parts were tricky.

Nothing looks difficult from a distance. This video shows the same hill being climbed; first of me in my Rubicon from a distance, then inside Brady's FJ. The climbs always look different from inside!

I had to cut out a lot of video to come up with these five, even then there was this 8 minute section that isn't as fun as the others. If you like The Who, the audio is "Don't Get Fooled Again"... the whole thing! Brady kicks his FJ and heads down the mountain... not because he can't keep up, he had to go get more Fuel and wasn't happy about it.

This was the funnest part of the day. This little hill wasn't difficult, but it was steep and seriously felt like a roller coaster.

We went back to the mountain taking a different road and it had a lot of loose rock. I went up to investigate why the road didn't make it to the summit... I found out! It's hard to see from a distance but my tires kept digging down and I just couldn't go any further no matter what I tried. The last attempt I actually smelled the rubber on my tires burning as I spun out on the rocks.

Boyd also has some great pictures from this and other digging adventures we have done here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Digging in the mud

Calvin's Rubicon Animation

Jared's FJ Cruiser Animation

Jared showed up to work today with a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser. The new snow this morning was a perfect fit to make it a little more fun! Click the image below to see all of the photos.

Boyd's Flickr Set of the event

Friday, February 09, 2007

My favorite cartoon

The other night when searching for music for my son I came across some videos on YouTube that I had forgotten about. I love this Tom and Jerry cartoon for two reasons.

1. If I were to sit my two boys down and tell them I wanted them to listen to Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. by Franz Liszt they would probably really listen for about 15 seconds and then lose interest. They can't get enough of this cartoon and run around the house humming the entire thing now. The same thing happened to me as a kid.

2. It's hilarious!

Tom and Jerry - The Cat Concerto (1946)

This doesn't have anything to do with cartoons but since we were searching for music, I also found a bunch of Heifetz videos. My father is a violinist and was always very fond of Heifetz (he still is). I was surprised to find such great videos of him playing.

Rondo by Mozart

Paganini Caprice No. 24

Hora Staccato

Wake Up Alarms (part 2)

Back in January of 2013 I wrote about wakeup alarms and compared the difference between Android and iOS.  That was back on an iPhone 5 and a...