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I have been really surprised by my usage logs that nobody in eve is using the Skill Ending Date Calculator on  This is simply because it’s the tool I use the most.  Perhaps it’s use just isn’t understood.

The basic idea behind it, and it’s really basic, is that it tells you exactly when your skill will be complete, to the second is you want.

In EVE when you train a skill it counts down for you how time you have remaining.  This is listed as days, hours, minutes, and seconds.  How many times have you counted on your hands to figure out  which day, hour and minute the skill will end?  Well don’t, use the Skill Ending Date Calculator.

Fill out it’s four fields, Days, Hours, Minutes, and Seconds (no field is required), and click the calculate button.
At the bottom of the page will be the completion time in  five separate time zones:

UTC (EVE Server), Eastern US, Central US, Mountain US, and Pacific US

And of course I will add any other time zones requested by users.  It’s that simple and you don’t need to do any of it in your head.  You may then setup a reminder in your favorite task list.  Which reminds me of an item I would like to do–email a reminder to the user so they may import into thier commonly used task list.  Once the login class is complete, I can store the skill time for the user and send them periodic emails to remind them to change their skill.  Sounds like it will be an interesting winter of programming.

If you are an EVE player, give the Skill Ending Date Calculator a shot, I think you will like it.  If you have an idea for an EVE tool send it to me, I will see what I can do.

I really enjoy Alton Brown from the Food Network. His show “Good Eats“, has really taught me a lot about preparing foods over the last few years. I also own his book, “I Am Only Here For The Food”, which is an excellent read and gets into all the reasons why things work the way they do in the kitchen. It’s exactly the way I like to learn–why does it work that way–not just that it does.

Dinner is winding down and we are finishing our plates and Alton’s show is on the T.V. The episode is called, “What’s up duck” A good portion of this show is about thermodynamics–now don’t go changing the channel now, it not what you are thinking. Basically Alton is describing, with examples, the different methods to thaw frozen food, yes in this case duck. The opening question is, “Which method thaws frozen food the fastest (and safest?)?”
a. The refrigerator
b. On the counter top
c. Under cool running water
d. In a 200 degree oven

Well go ahead guess, you’ll get your answer soon enough.

On the show some actor has just made four or five small frozen ducks, and he is quite proud of them. Alton suggests that one goes into the refrigerator, on in sixty degree water, another on the counter, and the last in a two-hundred degree oven. While we watch Alton and this actor play this out my son asked what they are doing or what are they showing us, “How to melt ducks?”

At this point I really couldn’t contain myself and was rolling on the floor laughing. Needless to say after that and having to clean up dinner I didn’t get to see the rest of the show. It doesn’t really matter it will be on again. Most importantly my five-year old son delighted me with his keen observations of the world around him. It may not seem like much through this writing, but it was, you just needed to be there I guess.

Oh yeah the question. The fastest way to thaw the duck is using cool running water. I guess warm or hot water would be even faster, but everyone will be sick from your bacteria laden foul.

As I log into My Yahoo! account I am greeted with a message that a new updated version of My Yahoo! site is available as a beta site. Since Yahoo! usually lets you go back to the old version again, I thought I would check it out. Basically it has become the typical AJAX’d to hell big font “Web2.0” site. Fooy. I don’t get the new interfaces with all this Javascript, big-ass fonts, and bubbly edges, they are just such bloated pigs. The new font resolutions make it really difficult to use anything but a full-screened browser, which I hate to do. The UI is windowed for a reason. The My Yahoo! beta reminds me a lot of the new mail interface Yahoo! designed a few years ago. No I don’t use it either, it was just to slow and clunky of an interface back then, though I haven’t tried it again.  Another part that irked me is that many of the modules I had on My Yahoo! page no longer worked on the new site.  Why would you offer a new layout if many of the items which are used, aren’t available any longer?  I don’t get that.

FogCreek Software’s FogBugz has done the same thing with their latest release, 6.0. Changed to this really fat font and some other layout changes. I understand UI changes always take some time to get used to, but even after three weeks using the product, it still doesn’t feel natural. Funny, reading Joel Spolsky’s blog, when he returned to New York after his first demo tour for FogBugz 6.0 he himself the UI has been stripped down way to much and it’s just horrible. It happens, anyone in development knows it. At least he is being smart about it and re-doing it from step one.

I have to say that I am happy that so far Yahoo! hasn’t forced me into using their new interfaces for their products. I don’t think that I am that stubborn when it comes to changes, I just expect at least to have the same functionality that I did in a previous version. Don’t make me take two steps backwards in functionality when you introduce a new product.

I would really like to know why web designers are thinking this new larger font is the way to go on web pages? I am seeing it more and more, and I still find it less appealing and usable.

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