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Words I learned today that

Found at: dusted.dk:70/pages/phlog/2017-01-01.txt

Words
I learned today that the word crosshair is a portmanteau of the words "cross"
and "hair" as in "crossed hair", I don't know why I had to take me 30 years to
make that connection, but I'm glad I finally did. Language is interesting, but
I am not particularly skilled at it, and English is my second language. I find
it refreshing when I discover some rational reason behind a word, and I often do
that, more often in my own language though.
Icons
I'm typing this on my only windows machine (by connecting to my server via
openvpn and using vim there), and the only reason this is a windows machine
is that I've failed to have it play nice with Linux (though I only tried 
briefly in Oslo airport).
Anyway, it's a HP Stream 11, it was very cheap and it is actually a
very nice little piece of hardware for travelling and doing a bit of coding and
Internet surfing. It has really nice battery life and I was going to write about
Icons, not about my travel PC.. But, this laptop has windows 10, and one thing 
that struck me, is how ugly the icons are. For example, when opening a directory
the window displays a little blue help icon, and the questionmark is not even
centered, it looks like some one threw it together in ms-paint in 2 minutes.
The other icons are lazy at best, I know "simplistic" is what they were aiming
for, but lazy is a better term. We have high-dpi, high-resolution displays that
are capable of displaying a gazillion colors, and yet the images they chose to
put on them are white-against-black symbols unworthy of an apple se/30.
I remember the Windows 95 icons, they were great, I'm looking at them now.
They were crisp, colorful, simple and yet detailed and full of expression, they
were ICONS! Then came windows 98, and many of the icons were refined and even
more beautiful, little pieces of pixel-art. It was clear that effort had gone
into making them. Moving on to windows 2000, the icons became perfect, it was
the height of the classic windows-look, and while the operating system certainly
had its shortcomings, it was beautiful to behold. I feel lucky that work is
still using windows 7, where I have switched the GUI to classic mode and am
enjoying the last dying breath of what to me encompasses how a computer
operating systems GUI ought to look like.
I don't like how windows 10 looks, I don't like how the default ubuntu looks.
If there's one thing I've missed in the 12 years I've ran Linux as my primary
OS, then it is the look and feel of windows 2000.
The mess of skins and gui toolkits
Much bad can be said of windows, and I've certainly done my part in saying it,
but credit must be given where it is due, and it should be given to the visuals
of the earlier windows GUI. It was clean looking, and I've no dout, fast and
efficient, applications using it looked consistent, they looked like programs
made for windows. QT actually does a good job of producing such applications, 
at least for windows. But looking around in my own personal computing
environment, I realize that an enormous amount of work would have to be done in
order for it to become visually consistent. I'm using applications that I like,
and I refuse to select them based on their visual appearance or the frameworks
they employ. So I'm using GTK+/2/3 and QT4/5 all at the same time, and while I
get to enjoy exactly the programs I like, it generally looks pretty terrible,
with GTK3 taking the cake by no small amount, when it comes to being unwieldy,
it is all over the place with graphical oddities and getting the damn thing to
switch theme feels like attempting to invoke a favor from the depraved spwan of
Cthulhu and Satan. I long for simpler times. Stop wasting time trying to invent
new GUI toolkits or new versions of them, GUI is done, now stop wasting more
time (and everybodys CPU cycles and RAM) on having multiple differents ones.
Spend all that effort making software that does actual work.
Random Thought
I remember being entertained by the news that the Canadian immigration website
was overrun and crashed as Trump got the lead. Now, I don't think Trump will
become a good president by any account, but I'd like to know how many americans
are going to actually immigrate when he is reinstated (assuming he does not put
some kind of law in place, preventing americans from leaving, like the DPRK).
Work
I'm doing it tomorrow.
New Years
Was great, saw the fireworks display in front of Atlantis in Tartu, and it
looked fantastic, very grand, and so many people were out to watch it.
Ate a nice dinner with the SO, baked potatoes, steak and fresh salad with
mango & chili dressing (sold under Beauvais and Felix brand) and mozerella.
Spent the rest of the evening playing games (the non-digital kind) and drinking
glögg. Was a quiet and lovely evening.


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