Bert JW Regeer (畢傑龍)

UAT Near Space Program

I am not sure how many of you guys are interested in near space balloon launches, however the class I am in has come together and started throwing together a Wiki containing the information we have gathered so far, as well as other interesting pieces. Hopefully as the project moves along the Wiki will be fleshed out more and more so that the next time the class is run we won't run into the same troubles again.

Visit the UAT near space Wiki for a peek at what we have been up to. Hopefully we can get some pictures of the build, and throw them up on the Wiki as well.

Safari 4.0 Developer Preview

Since I have an ADC membership I figured i'd log in, and grab the latest Safari 4.0 Developer Preview. I wanted to see what improvements if any they had made over the 3.x series of Safari.

Normally, when I install an update from Apple everything seems the same, until you start testing. JavaScript performance is better in this version, and pages seem to load even faster than before. It still eats RAM like there is enough of it in the world to go around. I very much like the speed improvements, they are very welcome to Safari.

Now, normally an upgrade does not break any part of my work flow, however in Safari 4.0 they have made a change that I can not appreciate, and will be complaining about loudly. That is, when you open a new tab, instead of just opening a blank page, and putting your cursor in the title bar, they open up your homepage. While that would be all fine and dandy, my homepage is my account. Which means that the cursor moves from the address bar, to the search box. Thereby negating any typing I have already done.

For example, a common workflow for me is to:

open a window click address bar <enter> Apple + T <enter> Apple + T <enter>

Thereby opening up three websites that I care about, and I am able to do it in quick succession without having to touch the mouse. However, with this new improved new tab opens up homepage feature it breaks that work flow, and I have to go for my mouse, and double click the address bar, to then enter the address I want to visit. They have slowed down my work flow considerably.

It is hard to break a force of habit, especially when this works across multiple browsers and platforms. I see two ways this can be fixed, one is to not move the focus of the cursor to the input box when a new tab is opened, but instead leave it in the address bar to replace whatever is in the address bar, or go back to the old style of displaying a white page until the user entered an address and hit enter.


Filled a bug with Apple, bug report number #6026993

Seeing off good friends

Yesterday morning (Saturday) I woke up early in the morning to drive to a friend who would be leaving to go to Baltimore, he is starting his work at the NSA on the 9th of June.

It was hard, to say good-bye. He had just graduated from UAT, and it will be different without him around every so often, his smile, his jokes, everything. He was there the first semester I came to UAT. At one point I got food poisoning, and not knowing who to call, I called him. He was there in the hospital with me, while I was hallucinating. For the whole time that I was on the IV.

He is an absolutely awesome guy, and I will miss him. There are so many good memories. DefCon, and his math skills, ToorCon and his leadership, student government, Maker Faire and other conferences.

It was his time to move on to bigger and better things, and I am really happy for him, his new job and the new life he is starting. I am also really happy for his girlfriend, who is moving with him. But I will miss them both something fierce. They were both really good friends of mine.

I understand that people need to move on, and that people have new things in life to attend, but the feeling that I am losing someone I am really close to hurts. The happiness I feel for them is greater than the sadness of them leaving.

My good friend may you have a pleasant journey ahead, to enjoy the new life you will be building and enjoy working at the NSA. I am sad to see you go, and will miss you very much!