User interface done right: McNeel Rhinoceros 3D

I was ranting recently about some stupid UI design decisions in a certain piece of CAD software.

There is, of course, no requirement that sophisticated, powerful tools be hard to figure out and use. A case in point is McNeel's Rhinoceros 3D, a popular CAD / modelling program based on NURBS mathematics.

Part of the beauty of this program is that it does not force you to use any particular user interface paradigm. Almost every command you can think of has a menu item, a toolbar button, and a command-line syntax.

CAD in the Cloud: How it might work

I'm a bit amazed by the recent hype over cloud computing. Google Docs, Salesforce, Amazon EC3, the list goes on: the tech blogs are falling over themselves to keep up with the latest software-as-a-service and cloud offerings. Listening to Google's PR team, one might think that we're about to give up on stand-alone computers altogether.

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