As is so often the case, I am amazed by just how useful a well-conceived and well-implemented graphic user interface can be...
I tell you ... we really are poised on the brink of a new world when it comes to computers and their graphical user interfaces. These range from mind-blowing concepts that are difficult to wrap one's brain around, all the way down to something that is intrinsically simple, incredibly useful, and of interest to a large number of folks.
As an example of this latter case, I just ran across something called the Visual Thesaurus (www.VisualThesaurus.com). When you enter a word, the interface presents you with a graphical depiction of that word in the context of related words and phrases. For example, I just entered the word "Pen" to be presented with the following:
Now, this is pretty neat in its own right... but what you don't see here is the way in which the display is updated when you click on one of the surrounding words and the various words and links dynamically move around the screen and alter their positions for maximum ease of use.
The downside is that that the online trial is rather limited as to the number of words you can look up. If you want to use this in earnest there's a subscription fee of $2.95 a month or $19.95 a year. Now, a lot of work has gone into this interface, so I certainly don't begrudge them reaping the benefits...
...on the other hand, like most folks I've sort of gotten used to getting this sort of thing for free, like at www.Dictionary.com and www.Thesaurus.com, which I use all the time (in exchange for being presented with annoying adverts).
...but on the other hand, this Visual Thesaurus allows you to navigate from word to word incredibly quickly, which would save me a lot of time (due to the fact that I spend the bulk of my time writing, I really do spend a lot of time looking up words)...
...but on the other hand... I am currently (and sadly) without any disposable funds (although I do seem to be well-equipped with bills and invoices from other people)... so this will have to join the "I want" pile and wait for better times...
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=49, R=316|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=147.00, A=168.06, Δ=+21.06, R=831.94|
|Note:|| Urrggh... it was cold and wet last night...|
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up