I think my cold has

I think my cold has finally passed, which is reason for some rejoicing. And since I booked the rest of my travel yesterday, without having to sell any organs, this weekend is looking pretty keen.

Speaking of travel, though, I think I might be going a little overboard:

Time for that laptop to earn its keep.

Tyla didn’t like Punch Drunk Love, but I did. I wish I had a richer “film vocabulary”, so that I could adequately express why I liked it; I don’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, or something.

Phil and Joe and, it is quite likely, Jacob spent some time this evening playing Haloover the Internet. I managed to convince Tyla that we could afford one, I think, but since it was after 6pm, it became pretty much impossible to join in the fun. Tomorrow I have a bunch of work to do, as well as preparing a handful of slides for my panel on Thursday, so it might not be worth buying one until I get back from San Diego. Of course, then I’ll probably be behind on work — in spite of the fact that I’ll be working every day of that trip! — so it might make sense to wait until…never. Alas.

There are few things sadder than a newlywed with mono. Poor Alice. (And, indeed, poor Zach.)

Confidential to mpt: I always had permalinks, but the UI sucked, in that you had to read the source to find them. You must be this tall to link to…who am I kidding? Long overdue, easy fix. And I don’t really understand why the volatility of Internet addresses disqualifies online-only documents as quotation sources. Books go out of print, too, and I think I’d have a hard time picking up half of the works cited in my Shorter OED as original uses.

(Of course, if any of my pages were cited by the OED, you can bet I’d do my damnedest to keep them right where the OED found them, maybe with some velvet rope and valet parking.)

Both dan_b — yes, I read your diary; far more frequently, in fact, than you update it — and another person who inexplicably found their way here were kind enough to point out that the OED has always accepted submissions, and that you need a fair bit of supporting evidence in order to actually get a word added. I knew both those things, as I’m sure did mpt, but it was kind of them to make sure anyway. I certainly didn’t make myself very clear on that whole matter, alas.

I’ve actually been thinking about mpt a little bit recently, because I’ve been a little lonely, and…ahem. Actually, it’s because Peter and I have been going back and forth a little bit about what the user-space infrastructure for handling system failures should look like, and how much should (by which we mean can) work out of the box. If I didn’t believe that it was a usability issue before — as, really, are all configuration and management problems, I think — my experiences helping partners, testers and way-too-early adopters get going would have left me with little other choice. I need to find some good references on usability of things that don’t have a “traditional” user interface; just developing a better mental toolset for judging how much a given tool will help the user go from “I want it to work like this” to “hey, it works just like that” would be a large step forward. Maybe there’s something in Cooper or Tog that will help. If nothing else, it would be a good excuse to get some of the embarrassing dust off of them. (I worked on Mozilla! That’s my excuse!)

And then I’d really like to find some automated usability testing information. Most of the “automation” stuff seems to focus on automated data collection, not on automated validation. Maybe that’s the state of the art, but it makes me a little uneasy; I saw Mozilla’s battle for performance lost a few tenths of a percent at a time, and I can easily imagine little UE fumbles adding up in a painful way, too.

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