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Slashback: Cooperation, Gravity, Petite 199

Posted by timothy
from the all-good-things dept.
Slashback with more (below) on KDE/GNOME cooperation (hint -- they're not renaming it "GNOMKDE"); the desert parachute nuts, a tiny P4 machine, and another chance to Ask Kevin Mitnick, at least if you're near Pittsburgh. Enjoy!

This is only making my biggest case look even bigger. Andrew Pakula of StealthPC writes: "A little while ago you posted about our Pentium 3 little pc, the size of a CD-ROM. ... Many of emails people sent us however were for people looking for a Pentium 4 little pc but at the time we didn't have anything to offer them with that power.

Well now we do have a Pentium 4 version, slightly taller than the Pentium 3 version it is still very, very small. You can take a look a look at it here. There are several pictures of it there as well as on the images page."

Just don't tell him your full real name. If your question didn't rise to the top of the recent Kevin Mitnick interview, here's your chance: Arvonn Tully points to this site (an activities listing for Carnegie Mellon University) writes "If you look at the bottom of the page you will see that Kevin Mitnick will be coming to Carnegie Mellon and lecturing on March 18th."

Those two are really joined at the XML! JP Schnapper-Casteras of the Free Desktop Accessibility Working Group writes about the post last week titled "KDE And Gnome Cooperate On Interface Guidelines," to clarify the extent of that cooperation: "We're going to co-locate, NOT combine the documents. This means that means there will be separate guidelines for GNOME and KDE in different chapters / sections of the same document. The current overview implies that KDE and GNOME will become stylistically similar, which is not the case. We're simply creating one site and mailing list where HIGs for all desktops can reside."

Lucy in the sky with a junker that's just begging to be dropped. Last September, we mentioned the fellows who like to abuse technology by dropping unusual things (manned automobiles, for one) from the backs of cargo planes for skydiving thrills. If that interested you, you will enjoy (and boggle at) the group's DVD documentary/video montage Good Stuff. I watched it with jaw unhinged; if this doesn't make you want to skydive, nothing will.

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Slashback: Cooperation, Gravity, Petite

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  • by $$$$$exyGal (638164) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:05PM (#5275463) Homepage Journal

    Why can't scientists drop bowling balls [slashdot.org] ?

    --naked [slashdot.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:18PM (#5275536)
      Or Anvils *Loony Tunes Theme*
    • by WatertonMan (550706) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:21PM (#5275555)
      Funny. A few friends of mine dropped some bowling balls off a rather tall building on campus when it was discovered that the doors to the roof were left unlocked. It bounced rather high several times. (They did have someone below checking to make sure no pedestrians were around).

      An other friend bought some bowling balls at a thrift store back in High School. They rolled it down the street to hit a curb where it would fly high up in the air - much to their amusement. They did this about 6 times until it smashed through the curb, flew off into the air and went through someones roof. Fortunately no one was home. But it taught them why dropping things isn't always a good idea.

      I've been hiking in the backcountry where some stupid mfer was rolling boulders down a mountain thinking no one was around. Unless you know exactly where you are dropping things and have scoped things out, dropping things from a plane isn't too smart. (IMO)

      BTW - there was an old B-movie staring Charlie Sheen where they do a cool stunt. Someone is locked in the trunk of a car and dropped out of a cargo plane. The stunt man dives after it, gets the keys out of the ignition, slides to the back, unlocks the trunk, gets the person out, clips them into their chute and then they tangent open together. Horrible movie but very cool stunt. Too bad today it would be handled via CGI. It seems like real stunts are becoming a thing of the past.

      • by FFFish (7567) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:32PM (#5275632) Homepage
        I've been hiking in the backcountry where some stupid mfer was rolling boulders down a mountain thinking no one was around.

        Oh, shit, I'm sorry, man. I've always worried about that. A little. After it's too late.
      • Silly Putty Physics Experiment

        http://www.sunbelt-software.com/stu/putty/index.cf m [sunbelt-software.com]

      • In case you care, the movie was Terminal Velocity.
      • Legend has it (i.e., I wasn't there, but this is what I've been told) that some friends of mine (who shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons) once took a bowling ball up to the top of a local residential road that travels down a long, steep hill for about a mile or two. At the very bottom, it intersects with a major four lane road.

        The aforementioned friends aimed the ball very carefully right down the center line of the road, then gave it a gentle nudge down the hill, hopped in their car and sped off like maniacs. Since nobody stuck around to see what happened, and since there was nothing in the local news the next morning, we can't be certain, but if that ball stayed on course, it very well could have reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour by the time it reached the busy intersection at the bottom of the hill. If a car had been in the way, it would have been hit by the equivalent of a lightweight cannonball. But of course, since the news didn't mention anything, we have to assume nobody got hurt...

        My friends aren't the smartest people.

        • About 10 years ago in Detroit some morons dropped a bowling ball off a highway overpass and it went through a windshield of a car and killed a woman who was a passenger. Now every bridge in Detroit has large fences to prevent anything from being dropped off the side.
        • by yellowstone (62484) on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:13PM (#5275833) Homepage Journal
          bowling ball up to the top of a local residential road that travels down a long, steep hill for about a mile or two
          Assuming for the moment that one were to actually try this, the bowling ball would almost certainly find its way into one ditch or the other in fairly short order, because
          1. Roads are very uneven, and full of random crud which would tend to deflect the bowling ball from a straight course, and
          2. Roads are typically designed to be convex (high in the middle, low on the sides) so that rain drains off. Even if the ball wasn't deflected by debris, it would tend to roll to the side anyway.
          Even if you don't have those problems to deal with, imagine how hard it would be to avoid rolling a gutter ball on a bowling alley 2 miles long.

          The reason there was nothing in the paper is that the ball is in the ditch, probably a few hundred feet from where they started it.

          • by AlaskanUnderachiever (561294) on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:28PM (#5275911) Homepage
            Doesn't mention where they rolled it. But in Anchorage, Alaska at least the vast majority of our roads all have two nice "ruts" per lane that would be deep enough to guide a bowling ball nicely for a mile or two. I've personally seen them be up to 4" deep. And while it's nice that a road is "designed" to be convex, they rarely stay that way for long in any area with heavy traffic and poor quality asphalt.
      • Unless you know exactly where you are dropping things and have scoped things out, dropping things from a plane isn't too smart.

        United States Air Force, are you listening?

      • i think dropping an avil would make for nice pictures. maybe get a wiley coyote to jump with you...
      • They rolled it down the street to hit a curb where it would fly high up in the air - much to their amusement. They did this about 6 times until it smashed through the curb, flew off into the air and went through someones roof.

        I've been hiking in the backcountry where some stupid mfer was rolling boulders down a mountain thinking no one was around.

        No, I knew you were down there.

        After all, I have been stalking you since you ... I mean, your "friend" smashed a bowling ball into my car!!!

        I mean, who do you think you are? Bowling Girl???
      • BTW - there was an old B-movie staring Charlie Sheen where they do a cool stunt. Someone is locked in the trunk of a car and dropped out of a cargo plane. The stunt man dives after it, gets the keys out of the ignition, slides to the back, unlocks the trunk, gets the person out, clips them into their chute and then they tangent open together. Horrible movie but very cool stunt. Too bad today it would be handled via CGI. It seems like real stunts are becoming a thing of the past.

        Cory Doctorow's book mentions an interesting idea - "We don't have to beat them, we just have to outlive them". I think CGI animators are outliving real stunt actors.
      • Unless you know exactly where you are dropping things and have scoped things out, dropping things from a plane isn't too smart.

        Not just dumb, but illegal. Unless you have made every effort to ensure that no people will be hurt, and no property will be damaged (other than your own, I suppose), you're in violation of FAA regs.

        Of course, if you know everything's safe (relatively), then you are legally allowed to drop stuff out of planes! I have to admit I've been tempted to launch squadrons of plastic army men with little parachutes from a Cessna.

      • by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) on Monday February 10, 2003 @11:11PM (#5276559) Journal
        That movie was called "Terminal Velocity" [imdb.com], and seemed pretty cool to me when I was 14 and in a preview audience. Of course, I was 14.

        They dropped something like sixteen Cadillacs out of the plane they were using to get all of the scenes they needed for that last shot. It was pretty cool, but if I remember correctly, one or two of the cars landed on something that made it a bit of a mess to clean off of the Arizona desert. Nothing that killed anyone, but still a bit weird.
    • Some friends of mine and I had an ongoing semi-serious plan to stop dropping bombs in Iraq (this was approx 1998) and start dropping junked cars. I mean, we have a shitload of junked cars in the US - Why not get rid of them in such a way as to do some damage. Ya can't drop one of those things from fiddy-thousand feet and have it not screw a few things up.

      The bigger thing was the psychological aspect...
      "HOLY SHIT - They're dropping Buicks!"

      • Interesting- most bombs are 500 to 2000 lbs, usually. Around the same as a crushed car, right? Use crushed cars, and use a C-130 (that's the big transport plane, right?) and you could drop around 70k lbs of (non-explosive) materials. I think B-52s are limited to around 50k lbs (probably wrong, don't crawl up my ass about the number). So if you only drop kinetic bombs, you got nearly a 50% increase! Incorporate some kind of high explosive, and viola! bombs froms wrecks!

        Of course, you lose the "dropping Buicks!" angle, but you do get (without the high explosive additives) "HOLY SHIT- They're dropping blocks of... what the fuck is that!"
    • Pffft!!
      automobiles, shmautomobiles, real boffins dropp watermellons [worldwatchonline.com]!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:07PM (#5275474)
    As an end user, who uses kde, and gtk apps, compatibllity is key. The kde team should write a wrapper for gtk to use kde widgets for gtk apps, so they look and feel the same.

    Geramik helps, but it would be kool to use the kde file dialog instead of the (yuck) gtk one.
  • Dedicated Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jpsowin (325530) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:08PM (#5275480) Homepage
    Those "little pc's" would be great for a bunch of dedicated servers in a compact space... I wonder if one could remove the CD drive and put a notebook HD in? That would be perfect...
    • Those "little pc's" would be great for a bunch of dedicated servers in a compact space...

      Hey, you don't mean a Beowulf cluster do you?

      Nah, you can't mean that. Not on /....
    • by dwdyer (5238) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:21PM (#5275557) Homepage Journal
      Nah, get one of these little PCs, stick it in a tower case, then you've got the whole damned thing for cold cathode lights, improbable-looking water cooling systems, etc.

      -W-
    • It's been done (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wee (17189) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:32PM (#5275634)
      Those "little pc's" would be great for a bunch of dedicated servers in a compact space... I wonder if one could remove the CD drive and put a notebook HD in? That would be perfect

      It's already been done [rlx.com], and done better than a stack of these little CD-sized guys. The RLX deals are pretty damn amazing. I've had occasion to see two different models in the past two years, and have been impressed each time. My favorite has to the be Transmeta-based blades, just because the consume like 9 watts when sitting idle. They're cool enough that you'd have a hard time telling they were powered on.

      What makes something like an RLX chassis better than stacking in "little PCs" is that RLX has some very nice mgmt software that comes with the whole unit. Basically, you dedicate one blade to do mgmt stuff, and the rest (whether you have one chassis or ten) can all be managed by it. You can have all the blades sitting there blank, and remotely (and programmatically) boot up and then re-image any number of them with Windows or Linux, in any configuration you've set up. (The OS images are actually just tarballs of previously-installed operating systems you've set up and saved. So you can dedicate one blade to OS imaging duty, put Red Hat in whater config you want on it, upgrade the kernel or whatever and then push that tarball out to a "test blade" if you want to see how your apps runs.)

      You also get more hardware with something like an RLX. The newer ones have dual fibre channel NICs, dual Gig Ethernet NICS, and a dedicated backplane network for "out of band" management, and an optional layer 2 switch for that chassis. That all means that you can make a cluster out of them really easily. And it means that you can do away with their hard drives, boot off the net and use network disk everywhere while still keeping them as "individual" servers. One more bonus: you don't have a cabling nightmare, and don't really need KVM for every server. They are also designed with heat output in mind. You can literally fill a 42U rack full of them (which is a total of like 330-something P3s) and still power it up. They're hot-swappable, too.

      I don't work for RLX, I've just seen them up close a couple times (we're demoing one unit now, and will get another soon). If you are thinking of making a cheap cluster, or just want a lot of PCs in a little space withut a management headache, you might do well to look into RLX.

      -B

    • Being the cheap bastard I am, I wanted a very small Linux box for my new internet server, but didn't want to fork out more than a couple hundred bucks. I found a really nice black AOpen mATX case (only handles the short PCI cards) at NewEgg, got an MSI MS-6368L mobo and a 1.1GHz Celeron (Tualatin) cpu, all for under $150. I already have the PC100 memory and 10GB hard drive from old computers long since disassembled. Loaded SuSE 8.1 on it and it screams. Way overkill for a firewall/NAT/webserver/email server/whatever box, but sure is a lot of bang for minimal bucks and sits happily in a small space in my bookshelf... almost dead silent too, except for the hard drive.
  • by Cokelee (585232) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:08PM (#5275482)

    WTF, IMHO a common HIG would be great. Geez, talk about getting my hopes up.

    Same document, different sections. Why the same document, compare and contrast???
    What is wrong with a streamlined HIG- why is it seen as a bad thing to ANYBODY?
    The approach doesn't have to be exactly the same, just the ideology behind the approach, that's what matters - SOME consistency.


    • by bstadil (7110) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:22PM (#5275562) Homepage
      WTF, IMHO a common HIG would be great Fewer acronyms would be a good start.
    • why is it seen as a bad thing to ANYBODY?

      Grudges. KDE [kde.org] is based on Qt [trolltech.com], which wasn't Software Libre when the first version of KDE was released. (Which is why GNOME was started [gnome.org].)

      Also, as an example, I came in on the scene only five years ago, after Trolltech [trolltech.com] made Qt GPL. Oddly enough, I'm still annoyed at theKompany [thekompany.com], because I installed Kivio [thekompany.com] on my laptop so I could build circuit diagrams on my laptop. Come to find out, I have to buy the electronic schematics before I can use them in Kivio. Granted, they have the right to charge for extraneous material(which these extra stencils are), but I find, as a (P)oor (C)ollege (S)tudent, that free as in Beer is really, really advantageous. So I'm annoyed. I was really looking forward to built-in Python scripting, and, IMO, Dia [gnome.org] needs work before I can use it with much comfort.

      For the complete set of electronics symbols, at an average of $6 per stencil set [thekompany.com], I'd probably be paying out $60 this week. And if I wanted any other users on my laptop to be able to use those stencils, it's another $60 per person.

      And, as a final answer to your question, I gaurantee you I'll get at least one down-mod for badmouthing either GNOME [gnome.org] or KDE [koffice.org] office components. (Though I might not get modded at all as this is a rather old article now.)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You're crazy!!

      Let me tell you about our project. We strongly believe that Okay buttons should be blue, with 5 pixels of padding between them and the window border.

      I understand there are some misguided people in this world who tolerate and even support white Okay buttons and.. it hurts to say it.. 3 pixels of padding.

      Now, you know, and I know, these people are MORONS who deserve nothing less than FLAMING HOT DEATH, but still, they get together in their little "cliques" and plot new ways they can sneak their white 3-pixel agendas into the mainstream.

      I want no part of it.

      That's why it's best if we simply write our own documents, and not contaminate them with the festering ideas of these addle-brained mouth-breathers. If they are smart, they will simply drop their inferior competing project, which serves no purpose and crashes often, and join ours, with its blue 5-pixel perfection.

      The choice is clear.
  • good stuff (Score:3, Informative)

    by SubtleNuance (184325) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:21PM (#5275551) Journal
    I dont normally give free adverts (or any for that matter), but Ive used Stealth's pointing devices/keyboards in an iron foundry (read as; incredibly harsh environment) -- they are they only thing to stand up to the abuse. Good quality stuff.

    I 'll bet these little PCs are built equally well.

    • Iron foundries are nothing. My dad once had to spec a pc to record measurements from some analytical equipment in a pickling house. The PH of the air in that place was incredibly high. In fact it was so high that the network connection failed because the environment box wasn't sealed properly when the A/D connectors were replaced one time, the air got in and corroded the contacts between the RG-45 cable and the network card!
  • Skydiving (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Tandem skydiving was fun but there's too many accidents for me to jump all the time.

    Fatalities:
    http://www.skyxtreme.com/safety.html [skyxtreme.com]
    • Re:Skydiving (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shishak (12540) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:40PM (#5275677) Homepage
      I don't have a 100% accurate statistic handy but about 95% of all skydiving fatalities are pilot related. People downsizing their canopies too quickly (smaller = faster = more fun). Hook turning that new uber canopy into the ground at 70 MPH.

      The fact is, Skydiving equipment is very safe. When used properly, kept well maintained it will rarely fail. If it does you always have your reserve. It is the skydiver that screws up and dies. Complacency = death in this sport.

      My first reserve ride was on a borrowed rig and it was all my fault. I deployed too quickly on a hop-n-pop and had my main wrap around my legs. Let me tell you, going to reserve at terminal hurts like a mother, but I'm alive :)

      Take your life into your own hands, SKYDIVE!
      • Oh Stewardess, does anyone speak 'skyjive'?
      • I deployed too quickly on a hop-n-pop and had my main wrap around my legs. Let me tell you, going to reserve at terminal hurts like a mother, but I'm alive

        Hey, far better to take opening shock at terminal than to have to deploy you reserve with the main still wrapped around your leg! That happened to some poor static-line student at Walterboro on Feb. 2ncd, the canopies entangled and he landed on the runway. See the Incidents forum at dropzone [dropzone.com] if your interested. He lived, but he's in pretty bad shape.

        Blue skies

    • Re:Skydiving (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Been there. Done that.

      Did a tandem jump. They bolt you to a person of far greater skill than you. My partner had done 4500+ jumps.

      For us, they videotaped us reading the "I am about to fling myself out of a pefectly good airplane" disclaimer on the permission sheet to ensure that there was no coercion or anything.

      I did the jump and was...disappointed.

      Perhaps I over rationalized the thing, but it wasn't any fun for me.

      First, unlike those free fall rides at amusement parks, there's no real "stomach" drop sensation, which makes sense because terminal velocity is 120ish MPH, and you're already going 100+ MPH in an airplace. You'll get the "Drop" if you leap out of a balloon or do base jumping.

      Second, there's no real sense of speed. You don't really know you're doing 120 MPH. All of your points of reference are pretty far away. I guess you'd get it if you zipped past someone who had already pulled their chute, but the mountains are to far away, and the ground is too far away as well.

      By the time you get the chute pulled (and encounter odd stresses in interesting places from the rigging straps), you're going much slower as you float to the ground, though the ground comes up pretty fast in the last 100 feet.

      Everybody else just had a blast, but for me it wasn't much more than sticking my head in a fast, cool, dry wind. I thought the thing in Vegas where you leap onto the column of air generated by a propeller was more interesting (dunno if that's still there or not).

      I do believe, though, that's it's safety is pretty good with an experienced partner. If you're at all inclined, then go for it. If nothing else it's a fun day out with your friends.

      Me? I'll stick to motorcycles, thanx. Whitewater rafting is also a blast. That's LOTS of fun.
    • Getting out of bed in the morning used to be fun too, but since there's too many accidents, I think I'll just sleep in tomorrow.
  • by ovidus naso (20325) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:27PM (#5275603)
    As spotted on linitx.org: 7in x 7in P4 mobo [commell.com.tw]
    Should be much CHEAPER to build a system than the one refered in this article...
    • This looks like a great board.. Integrated USB 2.0 and Firewire are great, especially with only one PCI slot to work with. But, how about a case to put it in?

      There are several good options for Mini-ITX motherboards.. If you don't need a lot of CPU power, the VIA EPIA motherboards - with the C3 processor - are a good option. They are low heat, which will help if you can find a small case.

      But, this P4 system could be quite challenging, given it's high power and heat dissipation requirements. Anyone have some good suggestions for a case for this thing?
    • That looks good, thank you very much. If only they'd ditch the printer port, it is
      getting pretty hard to buy a printer these days that isn't USB. Might save a little
      space on the M/B into the bargain.
  • by rsidd (6328) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:29PM (#5275614)
    is the rearrangement of the "OK" and "Cancel" buttons, so that "Cancel" is now on the left and "OK" is on the right, in contrast to GNOME 1.x, KDE (all versions) and Windows. Whose bright idea was this? Perhaps someone who's used to answering questions like "Do you want to do this, no or yes"?

    This is my single biggest peeve with GNOME 2.x, which is otherwise looking very nice. Well, if they're cohosting their Human Interface Guide with the KDE folks, hopefully someone will get a clue (the clue being: stay compatible with the rest of the world).

    If the GNOME folks ever built a car, very likely they'd put the brake to the right of the accelerator, because that's the way it "should be" for some theoretical reason of their own.

    • I think it was Apple who decided that OK should be on the right. The idea is that the buttons should work like the 'Next' and 'Back' buttons do in wizards - take you to the next logical step, or go back to the previous one.
      When you think of them in that context, OK and Cancel really should be ordered the other way around.
      Of course, it's still hard to get used to for your average Windows user (like me).
    • by Fluffy the Cat (29157) on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:07PM (#5275808) Homepage
      1) It standardises the position of "OK". There are significantly more boxes that only have a single "OK" gadget than there are only having a single "Cancel" gadget.

      2) People tend to leave the mouse in the bottom corner of dialog boxes while they're reading them. Dialog boxes should ideally be designed that most of the time the user wishes to choose "OK". Having the "OK" button on the right reduces the time taken to respond to the dialog.

      I find it significantly nicer with this arrangement. I'm unconvinced by the "Do it the same as the rest of the world" argument - doing it right is more important.
      • I'm unconvinced by the "Do it the same as the rest of the world" argument - doing it right is more important.
        I'm unconvinced that the GNOME folks should go against the grain of companies that have spent millions on CHI studies. Perhaps that's why I prefer KDE ...
      • People read left to right or right to left (depending on where you come from).

        For left to righters.

        the bottom right hand of a dialogue is the last bit you read (you expect things to finish there)

        So, you read the message and look for the bottom right hand paragraph to see what to do, and are presented with an oddly arainged set of choices.
        this is bad.

        And for my second point, it is always better to cancel and retry than acidently do something. so by your argument cancel should be bottom right.
      • 1) It standardises the position of "OK". There are significantly more boxes that only have a single "OK" gadget than there are only having a single "Cancel" gadget.

        Eh? I've heard this arguement both ways and, no offense, but I really hate with the "Cancel OK" order and see no merit to that arguement.

        In a dialog with a single button and no closing confirmation the button serves neither an acceptance or a denial function... it means "get this dialog out of my way." All changes made on a single-button dialog are implicitly (or are they?) saved the minute you make them, and it doesn't matter what the button is called.

        If you think about that for a little bit, you might wonder why there are ANY dialogs with only a single button. Doesn't that seem restrictive? If all dialogs had an acceptance and denial button then there'd not only be positional standardization but numerical and functional standardization. Note I'm not talking about popup-message type dialogs... they are often significantly different in shape and size to put them in another category altogether.

        Assuming all larger dialogs have an acceptance and denial state I think natural reading order makes most sense for button order... right-to-left in my case, so "OK Cancel." (OK being first because it's often more reversable than redoing all your work.. your milage my vary there.)

        Even if people do tend to leave the mouse in the bottom right corner they don't read in a mouse-dialog direction... and that offsets any advantage that an 80 pixel mouse distance delta might give you with "Cancel OK" (assuming most people want to hit OK rather than cancel for the reversability reason I mentioned.)
      • I don't find the "standardize the position of OK" argument convincing. This could also be "fixed" by moving the OK on a one-button dialog box left so it is in the same position as the two-button one.

        The truth of all this argument is that OK-right was the design used on Macintoshes, which most post-Mac Unix software copied. There were some theoretical arguments for why this was better and thus selected by the Mac, but they are not really strong.

        Like usual it was Microsoft that ignored prevailing standards and set their own and reversed the order (they also added the yes/no/cancel type dialogs, which had the annoying effect of reversing what yes/no meant when exiting a program compared to the Mac standard).

        However imho the cause is lost. Microsoft set the standard and everybody (not just Gnome, but Mac) should give up and follow it. The alternatives do not have strong enough arguments for the this standard to be ignored.

      • Every developer who designs dialog boxes with only a single "OK" gadget on it should be sentenced to 7x24 hours Celine Dion, or something similar horrible.

        For a user, these boxes often bring unpleasent messages. I don't want to confirm them with "OK" and no chance to stop. Either it is a warning, then one needs a "Cancel". Or it's a message, then a simple "Close" suffices.

      • 1) It standardises the position of "OK". There are significantly more boxes that only have a single "OK" gadget than there are only having a single "Cancel" gadget.

        IMHO it's not the position of the "OK" button which should be standardized but what you do, and I think it's the correct thing to position the "aknowledge but change nothing" action in the lower right corner, if you change nothing and it was wrong you can get the dialog again if you change it that's often not the case (think: you haven't saved do you really want to quit?)

        2) People tend to leave the mouse in the bottom corner of dialog boxes while they're reading them. Dialog boxes should ideally be designed that most of the time the user wishes to choose "OK". Having the "OK" button on the right reduces the time taken to respond to the dialog.

        designing your dialog boxes the way 95% of the people are used to should save much more time, you should only change something if there's a real and significant advantage compared to the old standard (which in this case is not there, you also could argue that we read from left to right (which is often invoked to defend cancel/ok) and therefore the ok/cancel order is more natural as the affirmative action is the leftmost which is the whole point - there's no "right" way to do it, it's only a question of choosing A (and satisfy the apple-worshipping crowd) or B (to satisfy the used-to-windows crowd))

    • At least not in the
      Not called for by the circumstances; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground; as, a gratuitous assumption.
      sense of the word as the decision on this matter was a reasoned one.

      Sure, some decisions may cause a bit of short term pain for some long term gain but being able to make those decisions is part of what good leadership is about.
    • Cancel, OK is the standard on the Mac, where 'accept' action is normally on the right, and almost always the default. (If accepting is destructive, the accept button may not be the default, but it is usually still on the right.)

    • God forbid they actually force you to read the buttons before you go clicking around blindly.
    • The solution (Score:3, Interesting)

      by marm (144733)

      Adjust the button order programmatically depending on what environment the app is running in.

      When running in KDE, GNOME/GTK+ programs should adopt the KDE button conventions (and possibly other UI choices).

      When running in GNOME, KDE/Qt programs should adopt the GNOME conventions.

      For KDE apps at least, this is relatively simple - much of the KDE user interface style is already programmatically enforced. Switching button order on dialogs (that inherit KDialogBase, and that's most of them) is a one-liner, a few more lines if it's to be run-time configurable. Similarly, changing menu and toolbar conventions/layout involves using a different XML file to merge with - hey presto, all the menus and toolbar buttons in all KDE apps are arranged differently.

      I don't know how easy this would be from a GNOME perspective - my guess is, at least for the button ordering, quite easy - the switch before GNOME2 was released didn't seem to take very long. As for menu/toolbar conventions, this depends on how many GNOME apps use GLADE rather than hardcoding their interface...

  • by generic-man (33649) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:29PM (#5275617) Homepage Journal
    It's a pretty brief blurb, but AB's Slash-like site actually has comments on the article.

    Direct link [activitiesboard.org]
  • Put a (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gearheadsmp (569823)
    LiveDVD in there (ala LiveCD) and you've got quite a big a workspace. Or better yet, ditch the optical drive, drop a bunch of ram in, and have the boot off net, downloading the entire OS into ram.
  • by Cokelee (585232) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:34PM (#5275646)
    Wow, tiny computer. Nice. Look a [sonystyle.com] n [hp.com] o [hp.com] t [hp.com] h [winbook.com] e [ibm.com] r [toshiba.com] tiny computer.

  • Other Small PCs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OrangeHairMan (560161) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:44PM (#5275701)
    Most of these small PCs I've looked at have been >$300 (the one linked in the story doesn't list a price), and haven't been fast enough for my needs, so I looked and found a better solution: Mini-ITX.

    These motherboards are only 100 dollars and a little more than 6 inches square. They have integrated video, 800MHz VIA C3 processors, ethernet, TV out, sound, and 2 IDE busses. And the fact that they use C3 processors, they only consume 10 watts, for the whole motherboard! You can get more info here:

    http://mini-itx.com/ [mini-itx.com]
    http://shop2.outpost.com/product/3349552 [outpost.com]
    http://www.via.com.tw/en/VInternet/mini_itx.jsp [via.com.tw]

    Orange
    • the one linked in the story doesn't list a price

      Yes it does [littlepc.com]... $1295 US for the base PC (60GB HDD, no OS), plus a bunch of options.
      • Haha, well you really think that a small link buried in a page of pictures would be noticed, and a PDF would be downloaded just to see the price, when I'm not in the market for it now? C'mon...this is Slashdot.... ;)

        But seriously, I checked the ordering page and it didn't have any prices...so....

        Orange
    • Mini-ITX systems are cool if you need something low-power but the Eden chip is not superscalar, dunno about the C3. The eden is far more common though not at the 800MHz/1GHz speed.

      Also the Mini-ITX types are missing a point entirely, they need to make a board with at least dual if not triple ethernet for network gateways. You want to keep them small, hence this rules out the use of PCI cards...

      • Mini-ITX systems are cool if you need something low-power

        You're right; they're not the best for playing the newest games or trying to compile Gentoo or whatever that's processor- or GPU-intensive. But it can play MP3s and be a dedicated server for small LAN parties, which is all I do with it. Yes, it is a niche product, so it won't always be the small system that works for everybody.

        Also the Mini-ITX types are missing a point entirely, they need to make a board with at least dual if not triple ethernet for network gateways. You want to keep them small, hence this rules out the use of PCI carrds...

        With one 10/100 ethernet built in and the ability to get PCI riser cards (you can fit two gigabit PCI cards on top of the mainboard with a riser from VIA) you could fill the need for three ethernet ports while only making it a inch or two taller. But again, the Mini-ITX motherboards are designed to do one task and do it well, rather than covering all the bases. I popped in one of these [thinkgeek.com] and use it as server for small LAN parties that I go to with friends. So, this board fits my needs, but may not fit yours. I'm just telling everybody about it because it is small, and can be fit into the same cases and form factors as the ones listed in the story, and costs one twelth less. :)

        Orange
  • by BitHive (578094) on Monday February 10, 2003 @08:52PM (#5275736) Homepage
    To me, a small mainboard means bad performance (i.e. memory throughput etc). Is this the case? I would gladly sacrifice expandability (PCI slots) if I was sure that the components that count (HDD, CPU, RAM) were still performing optimally. . .
  • Combined (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow.wrought @ g m a i l.com> on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:08PM (#5275812) Homepage Journal
    So Kevin Mitnick loaded both Gnome and KDE onto a Stealth Pentium 4 Little PC only to drop it out of an airplane?

    Cool;-)

  • Carmack follow-up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101.gmail@com> on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:16PM (#5275844) Homepage Journal

    Following up on a recent story (Carmack Needs Rocket Fuel [slashdot.org]), John an interesting post [space-frontier.org] to the CATS board, which I'll reproduce here to save Slashdotting:

    Something a little weird happened on friday -- out of the blue, the local FAA guy that had been running us around about low altitude flight testing at my property outside Dallas, just called up and said that we can do flight tests to 3,500' if we call them on Wednesday, then again on Saturday before we fly. Someone must have prodded him.
    A couple of the OSIDA folks visited with us on Saturday. I was complaining about our current peroxide supply problems with FMC, and they asked if it would be helpful to have a governor or senator call someone. Yes indeed, I think that would be helpful!
    I'm not too worried about things getting worse on the clearance side. Especially in our case, where we really don't overfly anything -- we just go straght up, then straight down. We expect to come down pretty fast on the parachutes, so we shouldn't even drift very far.
    John Carmack

    So perhaps things are moving forward after all! All you "chem majors" can now stop e-mailing him. :)

    • Could this be a new consequence of the Slashdot Effect? We all know about the damaging Slashdot Effect, where websites are literally blown out of existence by the huge amount of traffic Slashdot can generate. However, it seems very likely that theCarmack's change in luck so shortly after Slashdot's article had something to do with the Slashdot article. Maybe the widespread airing of his plight got back to the officials who were blocking him, or perhaps there are Slashdot readers involved in the same offices that turned around and decided to help rather than hinder.


      Just an interesting observation, is all. Good luck to theCarmack.

  • by Exiler (589908) on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:21PM (#5275875)
    They're renaming it KGNOMKDE
  • Finally, what I've always wanted... A Six Pack [littlepc.com] that won't make me more attractive to women.
  • Noise ? Wireless ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IanBevan (213109) on Monday February 10, 2003 @09:37PM (#5276001) Homepage

    Does anybody know how noisy (or not) these little PCs are ?

    It also seems to me that they would be a lot more useful to many folks if they had 802.11 wireless networking. Their two featured models (p3 and p4) don't have spare PCI slots, nor do they have a PCMCIA slot (as far as I can see anyway) although I guess you could add it using the usb port. Perhaps an IRDA port would be good also ?
    • by stefanb (21140)
      Lex Barebone [lex.com.tw] has fan-less 533 MHz Mini-IXT boards, including one with three Realtek 10/100 chips, or two Intel 10/100 and one Intel GigE.

      There's also a Atmel-based 802.11b controller you can add as an option. Can't seem to find it on their site, but I've seen it at some European [bebensee.de] resellers.

      Not too expesive either: with the wireless option and the Intel chips, it runs at around 400 EUR (plus memory and storage).

  • We're going to co-locate...

    So exactly what does this get me as a developer. No doubt I'm missing the point here, enlighten me somebody...
  • by ashitaka (27544) on Monday February 10, 2003 @10:36PM (#5276354) Homepage
    OK. We've had a major earthquake. Our building is inaccessible. The off-site tapes won't be available for a couple of days. Even so, I still need to gather the requisite server hardware, tape drive, software (Arcserve - be gentle) and get it all re-installed and recovered to a point at which we can access our data and start producing documents again.

    Alternatively I could have a couple of these mini-PCs pre-configured, with a weekly or monthly backup of current production documents, databases, message stores, etc.

    In this case it would be one Win2K box with SQL Server, Exchange, IIS and iManage. It would be enough to get us running with a few laptops thrown together on a wireless LAN. I could have the firm running the next day.

    Any flaws in this plan?

    (Don't bother mentioning Linux. Our Novell servers have already been replaced with RedHat. The requirement for Win2K as the server comes from Exchange and SQL Server that cannot be replaced in our real-world environment.
    • Too small, you need their lqarger models (lower on the same page) or a shuttle [tech-report.com] or similar with enough memory and disk space. The issue with the really small boards is that it becomes rather difficult to shoehorn everything there. You may also find that you need to split the system across a second mini-PC.

      You will have to buy at least a single-user Exchange+Server licence so you can keep it preconfigured, i.e. to run replication on Exchange and SQL Server. However, remember that you can only move the multi-user licenses around when the primary system is dead.

      It is those little additional items keeping the systems legal that will cost you (more than the hardware). I've gone through this before so I sympathise.

  • ok great a little pc. but dudes if you're going to show me a black pc do it against a white background. half those images are damn near invisible.
  • experiment (Score:2, Funny)

    by myom (642275)
    What would happen if Kevin Mitnick would drop a Mini PC running Linux with a GNOME/KDE from a plane on a salt flat?

    Only one way to find out! ...post it on Slashdot and let us geeks discuss it until some know-all uses deragotary terms and presents his own theory.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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