Windows Update broke my Thunderbird, Picasa, NikonScan and EpsonScan

For about a week, I thought my EpsonScan driver was broken: whenever I selected a folder to dump my batch scans, it would just hang there on the “Browse for Folder” dialog box. Then I noticed the same problem in NikonScan…, Picasa… and Thunderbird. Suspicious, huh? I rummaged around and noticed that Windows Update had…

The missing link in direct manipulation

In his analysis of direct manipulation, Nielson says that the computational device is the "ultimate in directness": Not only is there a direct mapping from commands to goals, but a direct mapping from physical actions to commands. Direct manipulation interfaces, such as desktop GUIs, only give the first part of this mapping.

Java on .NET

Prompted by Tony, I have played with ikvm, which allows you to run Java programs on .NET. Significantly it facilitates mixing and interop between Java and .NET code, i.e. Java code can call .NET libraries and .NET code can call Java libraries. As a test, I tried running SISC under ikvm. Amazingly, “it just works”.…

Nothing But a Number

[Spatial Logics](http://www.luca.demon.co.uk/SpatialLogics.htm) allow one to reason about the behaviour and structure of concurrent programs. [SLMC](http://www-ctp.di.fct.unl.pt/SLMC/) is a spatial logic model checker for [pi-calculus](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi-calculus) processes. As a little excercise I used it for reasoning about [Church numerals](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_numeral) and processes that operate on them.

XHTML considered harmful

… in at least one common scenario. Here’s a summary: Problem: Empty textareas written <textarea /> break both Firefox[1] and IE6. Solution: Remove all mention of XHTML from your documents and XSLT stylesheets, and continue using XHTML-like XML without pain. For details and explanation, read on.