Pete Zaitcev (zaitcev) wrote,
Pete Zaitcev

Playing the GNOME 3 Desktop Quest

Chris Siebenmann mentioned in e-mail to me that a new terminal window opens if one Ctrl-clicks on it in Activities in GNOME 3 (there are more tips in comments of his blog post). Previously, I found that right-click there brings up a menu that can open new windows, but this takes it to the new level. Owen Taylor, you are so devious!

Back in 1985 or so, a company where I worked obtained a very expensive and unique piece of equipment: an IBM PC with a hard drive. Someone installed a game on it, called "Leisure Suit Larry" one or the other, and the office took turns playing it. The game was a quest with "quasi-natural" command input. At some point in the game, the player has a dull knife that does not cut. Someone heard from someone that it needs to get sharpened, but nothing we tried worked. Nobody in the firm knew English, so I remember trying "make knife sharp", "knife sharp", "sharp knife", and any other permutation including "knife sharp do". The right answer was "sharpen knife".

GNOME 3 reminds me of that quest. Random inputs that make complete sense to Owen, same as the conjugation into imperative made complete sense to an English speaker, but entirely opaque and mysterious to people who are not in on the secret.


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