2005: Analysis of Human Interactions for the Design of a Virtual Post Production Office – Facilitating remote creative collaboration in the post production industry
C. Schremmer, S. Hansen, S. Pfeiffer, F. Mueller,
2005: Design Reflections for the Creation of a Collaborative Information Space to Connect Creative People over a Distance
C. Schremmer, S. Pfeiffer, A. Krumm-Heller, F. Mueller,
C. Schremmer, S.Pfeiffer, P. Subotic and E. Chang
Over the years, I have flown a lot – mainly between Sydney and Frankfurt or Sydney and San Francisco. Today, for the first time in a long time, I had a flight with Qantas from Sydney to San Francisco. And I must say: it was the most productive and most comfortable economy flight I had in a long time.
This is gonna feel awkward, since it’s not one of my usual technical posts. But I just have to say “Thank you” to Qantas. When I fly to the US, I tend to catch a US airline because they usually turn up as the cheapest. This time, Qantas was the second cheapest, so I decided to spend the extra hundred bucks on getting a modern airline. Yes, get that US airlines: no matter which of you I take, I always feel like I am thrown back into the last century. Legspace is rare, seats are uncomfortable, food is crap, service is poor, oh … and have you ever heard of personal entertainment screens? Yes, I know, your planes are from the last century. But honestly: I had a personal entertainment screen on my Singapore Airlines flight when coming to Australia for the first time in 1998! Couldn’t you at least upgrade the inside of your planes?
Anyway, back to this flight. It all started with the question: would you like to sit in the centre isle in front of the baby bassinet? Oh, I usually take a window seat to get some peace and quiet – but hey, I’m not going to say “no” to space! And, man did I use it!
I settled in with a good book and a little nap until the first meal and after that felt strengthened and awake enough to start hacking. With my new MacBook Pro, I was bound to get a few hours in before the battery would die on me. Not the 7 hours, that Apple claims, but that’s because I was going to do lots of compiles of Firefox. Anyway – without a seat in front of me, without the personal entertainment screen pulled out, and with the nice thick cushion that Qantas supply on my lap, protecting me from the laptop heat, I almost felt like I was back home in my living room.
On top of that – and unfortunately for Qantas, but fortunately for me – the plane was only two thirds full, so I had the middle seat on my left empty, which I immediately used to extend my table space. I had continuing catering service for the next 4-5 hours of compiling, applying OggK patches to the new Chris Double Firefox codebase, and fixing compile errors (all configuration based – I have yet to get to writing actual code). Ongoing catering service, no need to cook for myself, uninterrupted coding time, good music from the inflight entertainment service – I think I’ll move my office into a Qantas plane! Not been this productive in ages!
Everywhere around me the lights were out, people were watching movies, but I was working and really enjoying it. And then, the battery was empty, half way into the flight. Bummer! But I didn’t give up this easily. Thought it’d be worth asking if there was a way to recharge without occupying a toilet for two hours. And as with everything else, Qantas inflight personnel made an extra effort to please: they found me a empty seat in business class and hooked up the laptop for an hour to recharge. Totally, utterly awesome! I got it back after another nice reading break – cannot start watching movies, since that makes the brain go mash. I got another few hours of compiling in before my body forced me to catch a few hours of sleep.
Now, I’m about an hour away from San Fran and the laptop claims 40min of power left. Funnily, that number seems to go up rather than down, so I’m sure it will last until arrival (uh! It’s now at 1:24min – oh, compilation just finished!). Hopefully I will be able to find out, why some of the Ogg Theora/Vorbis/Kate videos that I created using kateenc and oggz-merge don’t play in the patched Firefox. After all, it would be awesome to be able to show it off in the upcoming HTML5 Video Accessibility workshop!
I got a shiny new MacBook Pro on the weekend, yay! After months of complaining about the slowness and the heat evaporating from my old Macbook, I’m finally off to better grounds.
But then there was the annoying task of setting up the machine with all the software that I’m using. MySQL and ruby turned out to be particular problems. I installed MySQL for 10.5, since MySQL haven’t published one for OS 10.6 yet. I ran “gem install mysql”. And then the pain started.
I got all the errors that were reported elsewhere:
“uninitialized constant MysqlCompat::MysqlRes” and “undefined method `real_connect’ for Mysql:Class (NoMethodError)“. I tried all the suggestions – including:
"sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86" gem install mysql -- --with-mysql-config=/usr/local/mysql-5.1.39-osx10.5-x86/bin/mysql_config -V --debug, but just couldn’t get there.
My laptop reports in the System Software Overview: “64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No”, so I assumed I had to use the 32 bit versions. However, that was a wrong assumption. Even though my kernel seems to be 32 bit, applications seem to be 64 bit.
So, eventually I re-installed MySQL for Mac OS X 10.5 (x86_64) and ran the correct gem install command:
sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" gem install mysql -- --with-mysql-config=/usr/local/mysql-5.1.39-osx10.5-x86 and things were fine.
Additionally, there was some fighting with the PrefPane and re-starting mysql. I had to kill it manually and I had to install the updated PrefPane of Swoon dot net to make it work.
Hope this helps somebody avoid the same pain!
I had the great pleasure to be part of the W3C presentations at Web Directions South. But I had the even greater pleasure to upload part of Doug Schepers’ talk as recorded by Laurent Lefort. It contains the shocking news that the W3C got acquired by Twitter and how standards will change through that in the near future. Here’s the video – enjoy!
This is not a technical post, but it made my day, so I thought I should share it.
For two years, the WHATWG has had an open twitter account: anyone who wanted to post a status message on WHATWG could just got to http://www.whatwg.org/#updater and update the twitter status.
For two years, the script kiddies didn’t find the account.
They discovered it about 12 hours ago. Check it out at http://twitter.com/WHATWG before twitter’s history eliminates the posts again.
Here are some of the “jewels” posted:
“WHATWG: We’re only half as evil as we seem.”
“The HXTML 2.0 spec has been finalized with only one tag which is <text>.”
“W3C issues announcement: Internet Explorer to be made obsolete. From fall onwards, IE6 and IE7 will be blocked from browsing the internet”
“I hope the script kiddies realizes that no one cares what is posted to the WHATWG twitter account”
“Our whole team of security experts was just fired.”
“i want <isitfriday> tag…” (me too!!)
“XHTML 2.0 FOREVER!”
“WHATWG announce working group on emoticons. Homer says (_8(|) ~doh!”
“WHATWG to start work on “Bible5″ http://bit.ly/TwZcX” (this is actually old, but still golden)
Silvia Pfeiffer, Conrad Parker “Accessibility for the HTML5 <video> element”, Proceedings of the 2009 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibililty (W4A), 2009.
Download it from the ACM Digital Library:
Six weeks ago, on a fatal Saturday, both my washing machine and cute little Mario died in one day. The washing machine was quickly repaired, but there was no hope for Mario, as the burnt smell of electronics indicated. It wasn’t going to start up again.
Mario had been the first server to run the code developed at Vquence. It was our development and testing server for more than 8 months until we moved to a server at The Planet – later to Voxel and now ultimately to Amazon.
After it was relieved off Vquence duty, Mario became what it was originally bought to become: a media server. Running Linux and MythTV, it was the beloved center of our living room for the last 2 years. But it seems the heavy duty VCR work as well as running Linux exhausted him.
Well, it is now replaced by an ordinary HP machine – I will miss the cute little shuttle.
If anyone wants the remains, let me know.