Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Excertainment" is the new Entertainment

It appears that I have been tricked into excercising by Nintendo. If you haven't already seen Wii Fit, let me give you the quick explanation. You watch the TV and follow along with the trainer on the screen or play games by controlling your Mii by standing on the balance board. 

What I really like about Wii Fit, is that the user experience does a great job of making excercise, something that you normally don't want to do, fun and actually enjoyable. One unique thing that I like about it is the "Wii Fit Channel" which allows you to do your daily fitness test without having to put the game disc in the system. 

This might seem like a minor feature, but it is actually a very nice addition and makes it easier to stay aware of your weight and BMI. It is also a good example of a feature that directly supports a user's goals. The goal might be to "check my weight everyday". Sounds simple enough. Why would they go the extra mile to allow you to do that without putting the disk in? The about a real user in real life. Chances are users are adults. There is a good chance that those users also have kids. Imagine a real situtation where kids are always playing different games and you have to pry the controller away from them. The time it takes to take the old game out, find the case to put it in, find the Wii fit disk and put that in probably adds up to more time that the test takes. All in all the process of just weighing yourself would seem much more tedious if you needed the disk.

So, combine this with all the time of have be spending playing Rockband, and I might just get back into good enough shape to get my old college band (I'm the guitar player) back together.

Its really interesting to see how video games these days are really changing the way we think about them. When I got my first Atari 2600 back in 1981, video games were something that you played while sitting on the couch...though... my thumb really got a workout on that single red button.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Klok mentioned on and

A few months ago I was contacted by a writer for ComputerWorld asking for some information about Klok for an article about Adobe AIR. I hadn't heard anything in a while about it so I thought the article may have wound up in the editor's circular file. However, someone pointed out that the article is finally out. It is called "Running on AIR: Great Office Apps You Can Get Now" and can be found on PCWorld and ComputerWorld

Monday, September 15, 2008


I got word last week that Klok was selected as a semifinalist for the Adobe Max Awards. I'm not sure if I have a real shot at winning but I intend to keep my fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Klok - beta testing update; helpful workarounds

MISSING DATA WORKAROUND - If you go to the Preferences screen and click the button to choose a new data file folder you will be prompted with a directory browser. If you leave the default selected folder as is and click "ok", it will start working. I am working on this and will be fixed hopefully soon

Thanks William and Scott (whom both found and reported this workaround)
I wanted to personally thank all the folks who have been trying out the new version and reporting the bugs... please keep them coming. To summarize, here are the main bugs so far.
  • After upgrading from 1.0 to 1.5 , the project list appears to have been lost. 
  • When exporting the the timesheets to excel the comments are not showing up. Instead seemingly randon number appears in its place. I have a fix for this that will be in the next beta release
  • When minimizing to the dock on Macs, you cannot restore it. This is a tricky one for me since I don't have a Mac to actually debug this on. I will keep everyone posted on this one.
  • Holding down the Shift key while dragging doesn't constrain the time entries to 15 minute increments as it did in the 1.0 version. 
Once again, thanks to all of you.

If you are feeling generous and would like me to fix the Mac issue sooner :-), consider donating on the Klok website so I can buy my own Mac to debug with.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Klok 1.5 Beta - download server is back up

If you tried to download the beta this morning you have been unable to. My server was down for a bit and is now back up. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Klok -new version public beta

WARNING - Don't download the beta unless you are willing to try out a version of Klok that may still have bugs

So I am just wrapping up a new version (1.5) of Klok and was in the process of sending out emails to all the people who have volunteered to help me test it (Thank you very much, by the way) when I realized that, I really have no reason to limit testers to just those people who I have already talked to. So, what I would like to do is open up the beta to anyone who wants to test it out.

The new version includes:

New Features:
  • System Tray Integration
  • Monthly and Weekly timesheet export with comments
  • Ability to reorganize the project tree through drag and drop
  • Drill down ability on Pie chart reports
  • Configurable data storage location
  • Context menu actions on project tree view
  • Automatic check for updates
  • Window position is remembered between sessions
Bugs Fixed:
  • Can't "work on" more than 5 items in the same session
  • Editing the start or end time from the project view screen does not update the table on that screen until you switch to another project and then come back
  • Recent projects are lost when you close and re-open Klok
  • If you have a timer running at midnight, it stops at 11:59 - This still happens (for technical reasons to be addressed later), but a second timer will start at midnight and continue counting until you stop it.
If you are willing to test it out and provide feedback, feel free to download the AIR file and let me know how it goes.

If you use Klok to track crucial data, then please back up your data file before installing the new version. I don't anticipate a problem, however, you never can be to careful.

Since I don't have a Mac or Linux machine to test Klok on, I would really appreciate anyone who can test on either of those platforms.

I you happen to think a Mac is a better platform than Windows, please donate to Klok. I will be using the donations to buy a Mac of my own. :-)

Remember, this is still a beta, so there may be bugs. However, I think I fixed more than I created ;-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome V8 vs. Tamarin

In case you have been living under a rock with no internet access, you may not have heard about the new Google web browser called Chrome. It sounds great in the comic strip, but I can't help but wonder what let Google to build their own Javascript VM (called V8). Now I am no expert in the field of virtual machines so I would be interested in anyone that can explain why the folks at Google would choose to start their own VM rather than work with the Tamarin team. For those of you who don't know, Tamarin was the result of Adobe open sourcing the Flash/Actionscript Virtual Machine.