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Notices for 3rd June 2007 to 14th May 2007

Sunday, 3rd June 2007

I was fortunate to encounter the Personal Audio Display Device 2293 classic Winamp skin back when it was still available. It has since disappeared from the Winamp skins gallery, along with many other classic skins, and I’ve decided to make it available. I’ve made various modifications to it including mp3cue support, and renamed it Personal Audio Display Device 2294. I was simply going to archive it in case I lost my copy, but decided I would share it with everyone.

Friday, 1st June 2007

I have been doing a lot of tidying up lately. So much junk, so much disorder. I had been saving all my original sketches for ThinkNerd designs, but have decided that they’re not of any value, so they’re going in the council recycling bin along with a ridiculous amount of other unwanted paperwork. What I did find was a note of an idea that I’d never used, and I decided that I’d go for it. So here we go: two new ThinkNerd designs. They’re suitably terrible, as you would expect!

I am also in the process of fixing all the broken links across the site (thanks to Xenu’s Link Sleuth). Boy do they build up!

Monday, 14th May 2007

Some of you will be aware of my fondness for graphical interface design. Something that disappoints me is the tendency for interface design to be focused primarily on copying the prevalent systems of the day without regard to some of the more obscure, “unconventional” systems. They’re not truly unconventional, as they’re often old enough to have set the conventions. Sadly, the current developers who do all the work that gets noticed (GNOME and KDE for example) don’t heed these systems much.

There is a certain irony, then, that KDE contained a RISC OS skin yet failed miserably to contemplate and incorporate the ideas contained with that particularly unusual operating system. There is also irony in the fact that, despite all the attempts to incorporate the Mac look and feel into modern graphical interfaces, most people fail to understand what it was that made the Mac what it was. Simply putting the menu bar at the top of the screen is a poor homage to the wonder that Apple created. (I am not sure it’s even the best way to operate menus.)

For now, however, I’ve focused on RISC OS 3.1. Launched at the same time as Apple’s System 7, it is radically different to – and in many ways years ahead of – the Macintosh interface, especially as the general concepts go back to the launch of the Archimedes in 1987. I’ve written up a page about some of the unusual aspects of the RISC OS graphical interface. It’s a fascinating insight into an alternative graphical interface that, curiously, shares more in common with the Amiga than any other system I’ve seen so far.

The article is far from complete, as there is much more that I could explore in time. Perhaps I will.