Archive for January 31st, 2007

Tyra vs Naomi

And speaking about supermodels… The last 15 years have been a battle between Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. Their competition is one for the history books. Naomi was always more successful in modeling that Tyra, but now Tyra has a second career as a TV hostess while Naomi still models after unsuccessful careers as a singer and book author.

I never liked Naomi’s face. I don’t think that she looks beautiful. Tyra on the other hand looks very sweet and inviting. However, what Naomi has –better than any other model– is her body. She has perfect symmetry and athletic body (rather than just being “thin” as all models are).

The wonderful porn world of Miranda

Well, check this out. I was just chatting with a friend of mine and he misspelled “sec” for “sex”. Automatically, Miranda changed his last word to the symbol below depicting two individuals performing 69. The symbol does NOT exist in the smiley database as you can see. It is part of the “symbol” library that is enabled by default in Miranda — possibly after installing its most popular plugins, IEView or tabsrmm. Enjoy software responsibility.

69

On other news, a Miranda maintainer emailed me trying to defend the excessive plugin architecture of Miranda. Well, the thing is, if one plugin is a bit buggy, it takes the whole app down. And from the moment you have to install 10 plugins just to bring the app to a sane usable condition (himself told me that he uses 42!!!), you increase the risk of making the application unstable 10-fold. And my Miranda installation is currently unstable already.

The super-models of the ’90s

Once upon a time, I was a real woman.

Well, not really. Nevertheless, in my younger years I also was a a big fan of the new kind of stardom that arose in the ’90s, the supermodeling. While in the ’70s and ’80s there were only about 4-5 models that were pretty well known (Iman, Brinkley, Porizkova, Dickinson etc) and they were far from real stars (except maybe Brinkley, and only in USA). It was not until George Michael’s “Freedom” video clip in 1991 that brought light in modeling and made some models real stars.

My favorite model was always Tatjana Patitz (Swedish). She has a certain kind of mystery in her. Second favorite was Yasmeen Ghauri (Canadian now, but half-German and half-Pakistani). Third, the just Christy Turlington (American). Fourth Eugenia Silva (Spanish).

The big-5 of the ’90s were Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. The rest 15-20 models just trailed in popularity, but these big-5 were really big stars back then, same as singers and actors. Check a nostalgic video with the big-5 here.

Other models among the top-20 included Niki Taylor, Tatjana Patitz, Yasmeen Ghauri, Carmen Kass, Shalom Harlow, Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Tyra Banks, Amber Valetta, Kate Moss, Nadja Auermann, Stephanie Seymour, Eva Herzigova, Elle Mac Pherson.

A second-tier model celebrities, below the top-20, included Bridget Hall, Estella Warren, Estelle Halliday, Daniela Pestova, Emma Sjoberg, Kristen McMenany, Natalia Vodianova, Rebecca Romijn, Yasmin LeBon, Brandy, Milla Jovovich, Iman and just a few more. You can see all these models at Zothike’s web site, but for some weird reason the black supermodels are not in his list (I emailed him/her about this back in the day, he/she never replied).

In the current decade the “supermodel” thing has just vanished. There are only 3-4 new known models (Gisele, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova etc) while the “America’s Next Top Model” show has failed to bring supermodeling back into its previous stardom status. I guess you can say that the “golden era” of supermodeling was the ’90s. It will be missed.

How to NOT design an application

I tried to give another look at Miranda IM. Only to come across in a nightmare.

The application comes bare bones, but this is not a good thing in this case. You see, you can extend the functionality of Miranda via plugins. In fact, the whole application is one big container for plugins. It’s a nightmare. You want sounds? You got to download them (and I thought it had them, because all the sound options were checked). You want smileys? You need to download a plugin that ENABLES smileys and THEN download the smileys. You want rich text support? You first download an engine for it and THEN you download IEView (another plugin) and THEN you download a theme that enables rich text. You want two jabber accounts? You go to the miranda folder, navigate to the plugins folder, and then you copy the jabber.dll to another name and restart Miranda!

And all that, under a vast pile of options and checkboxes. We are talking about the heaviest application you will ever see, in terms of checkboxes and option that some are simply nitpicks while others that should have been there by default are unchecked.

To make the whole story short, I worked on Miranda today to make it as good as Trillian or Adium, or even Gaim, downloading plugins and undestanding how it works. I started working at it at around 1:30 PM and I stopped at around 6:30 PM, without taking my eyes from it. After 5 hours, I got an intense headache (I had to take an aspirin) and I still have a Miranda installation that simply doesn’t satisfy me.

You see, I had to install the tabrsmm and schriver plugins with IEView in order to use Miranda in a more sensible way, but they don’t do what I need either. When I use tabsrmm, I don’t have access to avatars (they simply don’t work, no matter what option I enable). When I use schriver, I can see avatars but not from all protocols and only few protocols can see MY avatar (yes, I have the right image setup alright). Additionally, schriver does not come with rich text support — at least none I can see.

One other problem is that you can’t simply create a new message for a person who is not in your contact list (Adium’s is really nice). You will have to go through an elaborate “find” window. The only good things about Miranda compared to Gaim is that it does save the window chat positions and it doesn’t show the buddy list in the taskbar.

I know Thom loves Miranda and I might use it simply because I spent the time to almost make it work for me too (plus I have a SIP plugin working via it) but most people are far from spending time to understand where to find what and then configure it to death. Miranda is all of what it could be wrong in application design. If my time was money, Miranda just cost me $35, and that’s according to the MINIMUM wage! How much is your time worth?

Update: Some screenshots to show the avatar problem.