Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Windows UI Fail... Setting a New Password

I turned on my work PC this morning to be greeted with the 'Your password has expired, please enter a new one...' screen. OK, hit enter to be taken to a new screen with three text entry boxes. The top one labeled 'old password' was already filled out for me - good. The next two were labeled 'new password' and 'confirm new password' or something very similar... I can't remember verbatim.

The text entry cursor was already set to the 'new password' box so I typed in my new password and hit enter...

'ERROR: Passwords Don't Match'

Of course they don't match - I've only entered one you stupid machine. OK, press enter to try again. This time my old password was not filled out for me for some reason, so I entered my old password but this time, using my experience of how stupid computer UI's can be, rather than hit enter to complete my old password I pressed tab... this took me to the next text entry box... new password.... tab... new password again... then enter.... ah, now it's finally accepted it.

So what's the lesson here ? How on earth are new users meant to know that you need to press TAB to move to the next text entry box, and that if they do hit ENTER instead... as they do all the time... Windows will throw an error back into your face.

Gah, are UI designers still so clueless as to let this happen after all these years ??? So annoying and yet so easy to fix.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Jult 2018 Update

Aah, here I am again... trying to kick-start this blog into shape. The plan of course is to write in here more often and actually include some stuff that I'm doing or mooching about with.

So here goes... again...

My latest hobby stuff is writing a stochastic path tracer, which is a kind of ray tracer. It 's all the fault of Peter Shirley and his 'Ray Tracing in A Weekend' books on Kindle, which are a decent little kick-start into the topic. My weapon of choice for doing my own version of a path tracer is Qt on Linux... which should give a lot of options for platform and capabilities. It's going OK so far - in the limited time I give it - but I'm still partial to over-engineering various non-critical parts of the code.

Although I'm aware of it at least this time, I'm still letting myself do a bit of faffing, just because why not... it's all good practice writing code I've not necessarily done before in any sort of anger. The upshot of the work so far is a simple JSON scene description importer and a ppm file exporter. No actual path tracing yet of course... that will come soon... honest.

I quite like Qt so far - pretty simple and at least it's not going to go pop when some vendor decides to pull the plug - I'm looking at you Objective-C Cocoa. Take a look on my github for blow by blow details. Hopefully I'll have a bit of time this week and maybe some pictures to share on my next update.

Backplate Musings

My original plan for the LINK_01... my first homebrew computer... was to ultimately have it built using a single PCB. But the more I think a...