Sometimes I get sad about the Clarion Community.

I’ve had a couple of mIRC channels running lately, apart from #cw-talk .. #gamedev (Game Dev) is a gaming channel, but a lot of the talk is about general programming.

And it’s sad, because even though there’s plenty of people jumping on with hairbrained ideas, they’re new people. Life. Wonky life, sure, but _life_. And the Clarion channel doesn’t have that.

The Clarion Community does have life. But not in terms of newbs coming in. I was a newb (i still am in a lot of ways) .. but that was 5 years ago. I think i’m one of the youngest clarion devs out there, and this year was the big 30 for me.

This isn’t a rant, nor does it have a solution. It’s just a _pondering_. Clarion is such an awesome development tool. It deserves to have a better life. And it will, I’m sure. Clarion 7 will bring at least a few more new people, even if it’s just because you can now .NET stuff.

If Dev Dawn ever makes it into the big league of blogs (the Reboot really does need some tightening before that’s gonna happen) .. then I’ll be pimping Clarion. I pimp Clarion now. But with readership .. I could have a lot more influence.

‘Nuff Said for the moment ..

A New Phone

Last week my almost 2 year old phone decided to reject any ability to contact the outside world. It could still be contacted, but refused to let me get out.

So, instead of looking into the problem, I just paid out the rest of the contract and got a new phone. New provider.

The Sony K800i is nice. Very nice. It’s got apparently one of the first 3.2 mp cameras, which doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. Or so I thought.

Then I started taking some photos, and BAM .. compared to my old NEC i-crap, it’s worlds apart. As you would expect. But still, it’s cool to see such a difference.

Installing the software could have put a dampener on the whole process. Apparently, I found out as I was experiencing driver troubles, you aren’t supposed to touch the cd that comes with the phone. Taboo! Instead, download the software package from the Sony site, install the unpackaged driver exe, and then, once the drivers are in, connect the phone (oh, this is USB config). Once that’s done, then you can install their PC Suite. Of course, you don’t have to, the phone runs like a USB key, so if you just wanna fiddle through windows explorer, it’s cool.

I wanted to see what their software suite had to offer over that. So I installed it.

What I’ve discovered so far is that it’s okay. The one *cool* feature is that you can tell the music copying software what bitrate to push across songs. That’s nice. Means I don’t have to worry about it. Of course, the 8-bit (lowest) mp3’s were, well, lame. As can be expected. Then again, maybe they aren’t lame. Back in the Bard’s Tale (IGN’s game site, since Interplay’s site doesn’t really exist anymore) days, they would have been more than awesome.

Anyway. Cool phone. I’m very pleased.

Google’s Groupings

The new Google Groups is out.

And I say this without hyperbole, this is a million times better.

That is, what I really mean to say, is that Our bases truly belong to Google. They are bringing everything together, piece by piece. And it looks good.


There’s a number of cool changes. Initially they might seem just cosmetic, and they are, but I believe driven from a greater purpose than "to just make it looks good".


There are 6 major components to the window.

  1. Let’s call this the User bar. It contains the most important feature of any Google app. You. YOU. ME. The User. There is probably a barnyard full of Google Professors working away at just this feature. Well. Maybe not a full barnyard. But the design choices as to our own individuality within the Google application frameworks are (I believe) something vital, and Google seems to be treating it as such
  2. The Google Main Page bar. We all know this. It’s gone through minimal changes since it’s incarnation.
  3. The Body bar (this "bar" naming convention might just be a little crazy).
  4. Your own Groups. Unless you are going a-searching, this’ll be where you click most of the time.
  5. The Profile bar. A newbie bar, any GMailers will be familiar with this. It’s basically a nice little widget version of the User bar up top. With less clicks, but with a Picture! Plus, there’s an activity list, which i assume (cause i have no activity) lists what you’ve done in any of the Groups in the past time period.
  6. Bottom bar. I included this, because it’s got the "Create a group" link, which steps it up a notch from the normal this is where we link our normal boring stuff like terms etc functionality.

Now. Let’s rifle through some more shots.


This is a nice little drop down menu. Basically gives you the same stuff as is on the front page, but in the menu. Which stays around regardless of where you travel amongst the groups.


Here’s a Group. Notice the nice gray coloring, and the other art direction. The big letters up top for the breadcrumb trail is cool. Big is okay, depending on where and how much it’s used.


This is just highlighting what I thought were areas of interest. The Group info particularly is cool. You get to see the number of Subscribers, the Activity level, and other stuff. One more thing, the Star has made it’s way across from GMail to here.


This is a conversation within a group. They’ve astheticised (nice word, if it is a word) the look. Clean. Lean. Simple. Which is all for the better.

I had a few more screenies, but they aren’t fitting properly, so I’ll just cut to the chase.

Following are two sets of two screenies showing some similarities between Google Groups and GMail. These are obvious, and I’m not saying "Oh wow, Google actually thought of making there stuff look that same", because of course they did. It’s just cool.

The "User bar"



And, the Star!



Okay. So it’s a pretty lame brief look.

Still, it’s a post. And a post is a post. Is a post. Is ..

Man, those Watermarks can be a bit annoying to look at.

Long Blank Stares

There isn’t much more frustrating that sitting staring at that compile window on a big app, waiting .. waiting .. waiting.

Welcome to another .. Choose Your Own Adventure.

Do you ..?

1. Take a walk outside. You never know what zany events will occur that will take your mind off the insanity of compiling. You might get into a blue down at the pub, or walk through the park and find a dollar on the ground. You might see a cloud that looks like a sheep, or perhaps wander into a forgotten antiques store and find a box of comics to sit down and read.

2. Go and have a rest. This one’s a perler. I mean seriously, what is it that the programmer needs but never gets? Sleep.

3. Watch some telly. Specially if you’ve got a few taped shows to catch up on.

4. Do other work. Now we’re talking, keep the mind active! This is probably the hardest (except for maybe the next one), but the best. You get to maximise your time.

5. Continue to stare at the screen, willing your latent psyd-kick abilities into play. Don’t screw up, or I WILL DESTROY YOU.

  • If you chose 5, congratulations! You have successfully traversed this Adventure.


It’s late, my mind is wandering, and this is almost as close to working as I can get while waiting for that Generating compile window to NOT BREAK.

There is no sleep for me,

None at all for this weary head.

Long ago did mortals rest,

The sun is shortly risen.


This screen before me,

It fades to blur.

Eyes focussed,

On something more.


Who caves first, Me

Or it?

Not sure I really care,

I’m such a git.

Heh heh. Nice last line.

Anyway, please don’t fret :), I have full use of all my faculties dear reader .. Well, I’m still typing, that’s gotta be something.

‘Nuff Said,