November 6, 2006

Twenty-Four Seven

I finished watching season two of 24 on DVD, and despite some outrageous plot devices and a few technical slip-ups (“that uses Huffman encoding so you should be able to use it anywhere”) I liked it a lot. At the end of every episode I laugh out loud at how they manage to create a cliffhanger every hour, on the hour.

It may just be that Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, is the perfect embodiment of some of my most important values: freedom, loyalty, and progress. Elisha Cuthbert, who plays a blonde version of my first wife, doesn’t hurt either, and the constant Kafkaesque shifts in the characters’ realities make for gripping, if somewhat far-fetched, spy drama. The final season of West Wing just came out on DVD, so I’ll watch that, intermixed with Paul Phillips’s movie recommendations, before getting season three of 24.

Being a guy who bleeds Microsoft blue, I faithfully downloaded Internet Explorer 7 when notified it was available by Windows Update. I was excited to try out the tabbed browsing that users of alternative browsers are always crowing about. I still can’t see much advantage to it other than speed, and the implementation by Microsoft has a couple very poor design decisions. Now I need to train myself to close tabs in two different ways: the X on the tab for all but the last one, and the X on the window to close the browser itself if I am done with the last tab. It’s just silly for there to be no X on the last tab; it should bring you back to a blank page or the home page as you opt.

The second problem is there doesn’t seem to be any way to get all new pages to display in a tab by default. Why on earth would you want it do default to a whole new browser window once you have these tabs? And if you use the nifty little arrow on the Favorites menu to open a new tab, it takes three clicks (plus the click to drop down the favorites menu) to actually see the new page! As Bill used to whine in design-review meetings, “Doesn’t anybody actually try to use this thing?” I guess it’s unreasonable to expect such a megacorporation to maintain what Charles Simonyi used to call “the craftsman’s fine hand” but come on! This is the flagship product! Guys, just call me any time and I’ll make your design decisions for you at only double my usual rate.

I found and plugged a leak in my Chuzzle game and I am now very close to even on the non-illegal Skilljam non-gambling site, non-illegal because you gamble with Chuzzles rather than cards I guess. Look for me at the final table of the World Series of Chuzzle. Oh yeah. I guarantee a win.


Tommy said...

Tools -> Internet Options -> General -> Tabs Settings -> "Always open pop-ups in a new tab"

Gene said...

I've only seen the first two seasons of "24" because I was so emotionally exhausted I couldn't deal with season 3. I watched the first two season over, uh, about 70 hours. I have no idea how people bear to watch one hour and then wait a WEEK for the next episode. Pure torture. I think I'll wait till after the holidays to tackle season 3.

And while I agree that Jack Bauer is indeed your classic man of action, he does have a tendency to kill people and torture people and do all sorts of extralegal stuff. And while in the context of the show it's all justified, he's not exactly a template of how I hope government employees do their jobs.

Jules said...

Thanks for coming back..after the long hiatus I was starting to wonder that the "powers that be" had chased you off the net forever..

Unknown said...

But will we see you on the World Chuzzle Tour?

Anonymous said...

If you're having trouble contacting Mr. Gates, you could look on FT.

I read somewhere that he plays on there under the name "Magic Aces".