Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ubuntu Usability

I've been experimenting with Ubuntu for a few months now, and it is a great operating system. With netbooks on the rise, and increased notoriety, more and more average consumers are trying it out. As far as it has come, there are still problems with hardware and software incompatibility that will keep many users away. Putting technical issues aside, I wondered how usable Ubuntu was for an average Windows user. Usability could play a major role in the adoption rate of the Ubuntu OS. I worked with a team of my fellow Bentley students to perform a usability test on the operating system.

Six individuals participated in a usability test of Ubuntu version 8.04.1. The test aimed to assess Ubuntu’s usability and identify barriers that might hinder Windows users from converting.

Participants completed some tasks with relative ease (reorganizing files, using the word processing application). However, participants struggled to complete other tasks (connecting to a wireless network, changing the screen resolution).

A few participants reported interest in using Ubuntu, others hesitated to abandon their current Windows operating system and voiced concerns about application incompatibility and leaving their comfort zone.

This report presents the project’s goals, our usability test methodology, and our findings and associated recommendations.
Ubuntu Usability Test Report
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: usability ux)

UPDATE: Original PowerPoint Presentation: View ubuntu-testreport-final

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Favtape is a good website for playlist creation and consumption.

Friday, November 07, 2008


This guy is at the Museum of Natural History in Cambridge
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mofro Show

JJ Grey and Mofro at the Paradise.

Good show. The crowd was really into it. Bass was played on a keyboard. There was also trumpet, trombone, saxophone and harmonica.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Mitch Hedberg Album Released Today

Today, Comedy Central released a posthumous album from the great comedian Mitch Hedberg. It's called "Do You Believe In Gosh?"

They have it over at AmazonMP3

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Landmine Classic

Today's Landmine Classic Mountain Bike Race at Wompatuck was unbelievably difficult. It was way more grueling than the 100 mile road ride that I did a few years ago in Portsmouth, NH. I'm proud to say that I finished all 25 miles, even if just barely. I had to take Geena's car, which got all muddy , because my car had a flat, which I didn't notice until I had loaded the bikes on it and started driving towards Hingham...

I laugh when I think back to the beginning of the race, when I was actually trying to keep up with the pack and minimize the amount of riders who were passing me. Eventually, I gave in and just rode at my own pace. My reasonably good downhill abilities were not even close to being enough to compensate for my lack of endurance. It probably would have been better if I had known about the race for longer than 1 day before it. The deep mud didn't make things easier.

I was still doing OK when I met up with Geena at the second feed station around 9 miles in. She had biked to Wompatuck to cheer me on. She told me that I would see her again soon when I rode by it again on the way back through. It wasn't long after that when I started seriously thinking that I had to bail out of this race. I had gotten in over my head and I needed to cut my losses. I'll admit that I wanted to quit, and I thought that it would be a good time to do it as soon as I got to the feed station for the second time. Unfortunately, I had not remembered that the course ran for another 10 miles or so before I would pass by the feed station again. I was really hungry, tired, and my legs were cramping up on me frequently. I was foolish not to bring food with me. All I brought were some energy gels, and the feed stations only had water and more gel packets. I came upon this kid, Nate, who had just had his second flat tire of the race. He offered me half of his Cliff Bar when I told him how hungry I was. I felt it was only right to offer him my spare tube and let him use my pump to fix his flat. It also gave me a great excuse to lie down for a couple of minutes.

By the time I got back to the feed station, Geena had been worrying because the loop had taken me about an hour longer than it should have. I had already ridden 21 miles, so I decided to suck it up and finish the race. I was constantly cursing the ridiculous number of exposed roots and rocks that were sapping every bit of energy from my body the entire way. I was also daydreaming about the barbeque that I knew was awaiting me at a tent near the finish line. It took me a total of about 5 and a half hours to finish, but I'm proud to have made it. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Hopefully some of my competitors in the "Sport, Age 12-29" category didn't finish so I won't have come in last, but I'm not holding out much hope. If I do this again, I'm going to try a shorter race.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008


This is revolutionary. It's still early in development, but it is something I've been thinking about and seeking for some time now. These guys at Mozilla labs will certainly pull it off. I use a similar product developed by Aza Raskin called ENSO, which helped to spawn this new project.

Check it out

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I love free online services; especially when they are well designed and serve an unmet need.

LogMeIn.com is one of those services. The free account is all I need and I can log in remotely to any of my computers or a client's machine for computer systems support.

Olympic Cycling

Frenchman Julien Absalon dominated to win the Gold Medal in Beijing. They have some great footage here. He really utilizes his BMX skills. The course looks pretty fun.


Where are the American riders? I may have to start training. They do over 6,000' of climbing in 2 hours.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Music Video From Noberalice

I've been waiting for this for years, and it's finally here!

Check it out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SXSW 2008

I'm psyched about SXSW. I wish I could be there. It's neat that they have an interactive section as well as the music and movies that I already knew about.

Here's a video of Veronica Belmont checking out the interactive goods.

The bands I wish I was there to see... Spoon, Tapes 'n Tapes, Okkervil River, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Yeasayer.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A picture from my phone

I'm testing my ability to post to my blog from my mobile phone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bonus Spoon

I downloaded Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga from eMusic, as I have done for every other Spoon album. Recently I noticed that iTunes has a bonus track that you will receive if you download the full album from them. I don't see why iTunes users should get an extra special bonus track, and those of us who purchased the album from a different source should get the shaft. Google searches were turning up nothing until I finally found it at BalanceMyBrain

I want to share it as well, because I don't want anyone to feel left out.

Spoon - Deep Clean.mp3

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bill Clinton Sleeps during MLK speech

We all know the feeling. Someone needed to get him a cup of coffee, or he needed to take a walk. The worst thing he could do was sit there and fall asleep. It is fun to watch though.