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(In fact, I have an analysis I can infer - Their complaint PROBABLY, in terms of usability/outcome, was "don't make me click OK to find out you're going to reject my input/don't make me WONDER if my input is acceptable"; both subtle counts-required and post-entry failure highlights have that problem. The end solution satisfied them because it made it unavoidably clear in realtime that there was a validation issue, and told them exactly how to pass validation; no uncertainty, no multiple tries.)
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Complaint-Driven Development at Coding Horror
There is an important thing I've learned from a decade and a half of writing customer-facing software (and software they pay thousands of dollars for). That is that you shouldn't listen to them when they say "it needs to have this button that does that". Because half the time that's just "the other guy has a button that does this" or "I learned from other software that you gotta do it THAT way". The important thing is to figure out what "it needs this button that does that" means in terms of desired outcome. Figure out what they're trying to do [or to avoid] at the above-implementation level, and then implement it well, consistently, and ideally elegantly. (I don't know the specifics of the feedback on the case you mention, but I suspect the principle could have been applied usefully.)
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Complaint-Driven Development at Coding Horror
"You know how game companies spent the last 5 years figuring out that free games with 100% in-app purchases are the optimum (and maybe, only) business model for games today? " Only, it's not remotely obvious that's true. Oh, it's a great model for *small* games, or some sorts of (typically annoying to play) MMO. ("Free to play" tends to shade to "Pay to win", which is not fun...) But the games I've most enjoyed and played the most of in recent memory wouldn't gain a damned thing from that. I can't imagine Fallout or Elder Scrolls or Civilization being improved or selling better on that model, for instance. "The new hotness" is not the same as "the only workable model" - just like iOS/Android gaming is not going to Be The Only Gaming.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2013 on You Don't Need Millions of Dollars at Coding Horror
"I've never filed my nails once in my entire life! Can anyone mansplain this to me?" As other people have said, it's useful for more than nails. Plus, ever get a little tear in a fingernail at the tip? Annoying as HELL, and a file's the best tool for that job. (Also, contra Mr. Crandall, I have an electronic front door lock - but they still have a key for backup. And you do NOT want to get locked out of your house because you didn't notice the low-battery warning or something.)
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2013 on Updating Your Utility Belt at Coding Horror
William Furr asked: What about the Bay Trail Atoms or an ARM system? Two issues with an ARM: 1) Many of them are too cpu-lacking to handle things that you can't fget/don't have a hardware CODEC for. e.g. a Raspberry Pi can do a lot of things, but the xmbc guys say it struggles with DTS audio because it's CPU-bound. 2) For people who don't think "setting up Linux is FUN!" the OS options for ARM systems are limiting. (And of course anything like real gaming flies out the window entirely...) Idle power is something you shouldn't worry about too much for a Single Device You Use Regularly; the difference between 14 watts and 2 watts idle is, yeah, 12 watts. And over a year that's 105 kwh. Or, at the US average of 12.5 cents/kwh, about $13.12 per year. Not worth expending money to "fix"; it'd take ages to "pay for itself", at the cost of greatly reduced utility.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2013 on The 2013 HTPC Build at Coding Horror
Also, Paul Keeble said: Further to that the core explosion stopped at quads because no one could utilise the additional cores and the memory bus couldn't keep up. Modern CPUs are a cache with a small bit of logic on the side that represents the cores. Did it? Last I checked both AMD and Intel ship 6-core designs, and Intel has 8s as well. They're expensive and mostly aimed at the server market, but it sure seems like the idea that nobody could utilize them, or that it "stopped at quad" is untenable, given that people keep buying them and thinking they're using them pretty well... Memory buses also keep getting faster. Can you give us a source for the idea that most of the content of a modern CPU die is cache rather than cores? It sure doesn't look that way from pictures of, say, an Ivy Bridge i7...
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on The PC is Over at Coding Horror
If I dropped a SSD in it, do you honestly think you could tell the difference in real world non-gaming desktop usage between a high end 2009 personal computer and one from today? Yes. But I'm a developer, and I notice my build speeds. (Plus, gaming, which you explicitly bracket. Gaming is real stuff - even for people who don't buy $600 video cards.)
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on The PC is Over at Coding Horror
Pauli said: MP3 = LOSS at any bitrate. 320 kbps is great for earbuds - that's it. I will not waste time comparing cds to mp3. There is none. Buy vinyl and a decent table if you want to hear the recorded track in it's purest form. Until you jarheads start MAKING digital music (and some crap I hear these days sounds like 2 notes over and over... 010101010) you will always need to convert to analog to hear it. Uh huh. Purest form. Right. Well, except for the noise, and who cares about wear? Tell you what, how about we get a CD and Vinyl of the same thing, decently mastered*, and compare output waveforms, or do some ABX testing (with "fake record noise" added to the CD so it's as dirty as a record is in the real world). Vinyl is not pure - it's just distortion you're used to and prefer. Then you can posture to me about vinyl after you pass the ABX test. Problem is, audiophiles have historically been very bad at that: (* In fairness, some things these days are mastered with so much compression that they just suck, and the one indirect advantage vinyl has is that people mastering for vinyl never ever do that, but that's irrelevant to the format itself.)
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
Interesting that they use retail packaged USB3 externals. Is there some reasoning behind that?
Michael: HDMI interfaces can support resolutions well beyond 1920x1200. (Not all of them do, of course, just as some sources still only output 720p... but that's not in the HDMI spec itself, it's a limitation of the source.) Some monitors and video cards and driver combinations don't auto-negotiate resolutions like that properly (requiring futzing and manual setup), but there's nothing about the HMDI interface, signaling, or cabling that makes it incompatible or not supported. The HMDI spec (and the fact that a cable adapter alone will work) assures us that the video signal from an HDMI port is identical to that from a DVI-D port. The HDMI spec, in fact, requires full compatibility with DVI 1.0 (HDMI spec v1.3, Appendix C). So I think it really is fair to say that "HDMI is the same as DVI" in this context... with the single caveat that some drivers for video cards aren't very good at detecting resolution capabilities of some HDMI sinks. But it's not a limitation of HDMI itself.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on Three Monitors For Every User at Coding Horror
Jan- For example, the HP 2338h costs $239, and has HDMI, and 1920x1080 resolution. That is not $100 more than the competition (especially factoring in HP's industrial design and build quality - you can get a very cheap no-name for about $80 less... and exactly what you deserve along with it). HDMI is not an expensive thing. HDMI and DVI-D are signal-compatible, as Duncansmart says. On Jeff's post - HDMI is indeed aimed at the AV market as well as the computer market, but note that HDMI shouldn't really be thought of as a replacement for S-Video or Component; it's a digital signal at every level, lacking even DVI's (in the DVI-A flavor) analog capability. Pure digital, which is why DVI-D/Mini-DVI and DisplayPort/Mini-DisplayPort adapters are cheap and easy. (And on the DP-DVI adapters... it's kinda odd to call the cable "analog", since DP and DVI-D are digital data. There's no analog conversion process. I suspect the cheap one simply requires the DP provide a DVI/HDMI signal, which DP is capable of. I suspect also that the expensive one has it use the native DP signal and processes it into the dual-link DVI.)
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2010 on Three Monitors For Every User at Coding Horror
Sosh Sosh: As far as I know, all available research suggests that the vast majority of people (other than a subset of SuperGeeks) run everything maximized whenever possible, and essentially page-flip for their application/task changes. Apart from modals, and things like chat clients that don't maximize, UI can usually be placed at screen edges, for a very large number of applications. Back on the main topic, I notice that a multi-monitor setup makes Fitt's Law significantly less useful in both Windows and OSX; neither does the taskbar or dock/menu on the second screen without hackery, and you end up with windows, typically, maximized with one edge floating in space; your mouse won't stop on it. Awkward, huh?
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on The Opposite of Fitts' Law at Coding Horror
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