Tag Archives: UI

KVM: Disabled by BIOS

I spent some time fixing this on a Dell Optiplex 755. I thought it was a BIOS update that was necesary and had to hunt for a DOS bootable that could run the EXE given by Dell. FreeDOS wouldn’t work. Finally found a disk given by Dell (with some other machine) that was a bootable. Even the updated BIOS didn’t solve this issue.

I then searched around the net and found this post that mentioned to disable Trusted Execution. Well, if you have an option that enables virtualization and then give another option that effectively disables it, what good is this UI?

This, however, sounds like something that I don’t yet understand. So I should go read what that is and how to make KVM run with it enabled.

Making Wireless Work from the Command Line

There’s an amazingly horrible piece of software that manages network connections on KDE: knetworkmanager. And with my recent upgrade to Kubuntu Gutsy from Feisty, it has been behaving as wildly as only a chimp could.

So I decided to simply not use it. There are a few workarounds, like deleting all entries from /etc/network/interfaces (on any Debian-based system), except the one for the localhost and then restarting knetworkmanager. It worked for me till I suspended and resumed.

So what I do instead is this (make sure you have entries in /etc/network/interfaces for eth0, eth1, etc. from the backup file in case you tried the workaround).

[If eth1 is your wireless interface]

$ sudo iwlist eth1 scan
< shows a listing of all available wireless networks found >

$ sudo iwconfig eth1 essid “name”

[where name is the name of the wireless network you want to connect to]

Another step to get a DHCP IP assigned might be needed.

$ /etc/init.d/networking restart

This should be possible even with restarting the dhcp, but I’m not sure which one yet.


Awe-Inspiring Apple, iPhone, UI rants

I’ve always been a huge critic for bad UI designs. I always like my experience of using anything to be simple, straightforward and without any surprises. Things should work and I should find things in the easiest of ways. If I spend my time figuring out how to do things rather than doing things, I’m using the wrong UI.

That mainly is the reason for me to stick to KDE. And no matter what Microsoft says or pours into their UI designs, I just don’t think they’re user-friendly enough. For example, their word processing application has two options under for changing settings: there’s ‘Customize’ and there’s ‘Options’ under the Tools menu. Now which should I use to change my default line spacing? I always end up entering the wrong menu the first time. The woes don’t end there. I have to go through each and every tab to make sure that’s no the option I wanted.

Apple has always stressed a lot on their UI. I’ve never used one, but I’ve seen people use it. They still have one-button mice (atleast for the laptops). I can’t imagine how just one button is sufficient for all the things I do daily. For example, in KDE, Alt + Left button and pointer movement moves windows. Alt + Right button and pointer movement resizes windows. And middle click pastes selected content. Even then, I’ve seen people do a lot of funky stuff with just the one button that an Apple laptop (iBook, PowerBook, etc). I’ll have to actually use one to see how.

So Apple announced the iPhone. The site mentions they don’t yet have FCC clearing, so it’s not yet ready to be sold and to be bought. I just hope it happens very soon. That’s one gadget I know I’m going to buy. I wasn’t very excited with the iPod, even though it was revolutionary and all that. But this thing — it’s just too cool. In brief, the device has a phone, an iPod, a camera, …, and an internet communicator. (For example, it’s touch-screen-based and you can use two fingers to zoom into and out of a photo you’re viewing.) Just go through the demos for watching videos, sending SMS, making and receiving calls, … just about everything. It runs OS X and it’s not going to cost a bomb, apparently.

Slashdot story here. Report from MacWorld, where it was announced, here.

Inconsistent GMail interface

GMail has recently made a few changes to their ‘standard interface’.
They were pretty annoying at first, as I was used to the older interface. Some against which I have the biggest grudge are renaming of ‘move to trash’ option to ‘delete’. This happened may be a month back. Now they’ve removed the ‘delete’ option from the drop-down list and made it a button instead.

So consider this:

Earlier: Go for the drop-down list and select the 3rd or 4th option in the list that starts with the letter ‘M’.

About a month back: Go for the drop-down list — and there’s no option starting with ‘M’. Suddenly, we see a ‘Delete’ option. Use that.

Now: Go for the drop-down list, don’t find either of the two options
there, then you realize there’s a button sitting next to the drop-down list marked ‘Delete’. Hit it.

And there’s more: I’m using a (pretty) old version of konqueror these days that isn’t supported by the GMail interface. So I get what they call a ‘basic interface’. This interface still has the same option in the drop-down list. To make matters worse, it is still called ‘Move to Trash’. Isn’t that great?

And there’s more. In the ‘basic interface’, they say we won’t have some functionalities. Notably missing from the list are:

- Ability to compose messages in HTML (which this post could’ve benefitted from)

- Auto-saving of drafts

They probably don’t want to implement these features, but please, document them!

Ah, I do like to work on the kernel, but sometimes I feel I can be a better UI person than the ones currently out there. Probably that’s the reason I tried addressing several issues I was facing with software a while back. Now that I (finally) have a (working) computer at home, I hope to get back to AudioLink development.