Tuesday, July 31

Truce or dare "We were nailed for tens of thousands of dollars," said Cary White, an IT manager at a financial services company in San Diego who acted on a letter from Microsoft. "We received a letter addressed to our CEO that they received a tip we were not compliant with Windows, Word and Excel. ... That was a fishing expedition."
"My company is to completely go away from Microsoft," White said. "We're not going to buy any more Microsoft products. It's my decision. They're alienating their customers. I don't trust them."

Does anyone trust Microsoft?

Friday, July 27

Twenty years later, a hiring boom is going on, plucking newly minted Ph.D.s from anthropology departments across the country, much to the distress of more tradition-bound academics, who think their graduates shouldn't sully the purity of their field by working in industry.

Stanford graduate Genevieve Bell of Hillsboro, Ore., says that when she left a teaching position at Stanford for a job at Intel, "as far as the faculty was concerned, it was a total sell-out. (Working in industry is) thought of as second tier."

Tuesday, July 24

Hazards of Design From an ethnomethodological perspective, what is most significant about the relationship between designer and user is the production of cognitive order in the distinct sites of their work. It is useful to compare the case of a paper note passed between intimates. Far from locating the meanings of that note in semantic conventions that might be applied to the marks on the page, ethnomethodology would draw attention to the relationship between the sender and receiver. The note will be written with a reflexive orientation to the practical circumstances and consequences of its being read, and it will be read with a similar orientation to its writing. In particular, the recipient's work of making out the practical force of the note will depend on its ascription to an author, and to the assumption that its author designed it to be read. An analysis of the reciprocal understanding of the writer and reader is thus central to any appreciation of the note itself.

corey My earliest experiences with computers including the Internet was.
Around 1995 August 16th 2:00pm we were in computer class at Byck
Elemetry School. We took a computer apart and put it back together.
We had a fun time. Than we learned how to use the Internet. The
First thing we did was we went to Internet explorer. Than we went to
Animals dot org. lernd about in danger species. So after we learnd about
In danger speciesthe

Mmmm....good research question.

Monday, July 23

TIME.com: TIME Magazine -- My Kingdom For A Door In every case Brill asked, How does the physical environment contribute to workers' job satisfaction and performance, both individual and team? "The single most powerful factor," Brill found, "is the ability to concentrate on work without distraction. The second is frequent, informal interactions between workers. These themes need to be balanced." Consider, says Brill, that at least half of all professionals' time is spent doing quiet, focused work, and two-thirds of people in open offices are disturbed by others' conversations. Offices that have no enclosures, he declares, are "ludicrous."

Joel on Software - The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code The trouble is, getting into "the zone" is not easy. When you try to measure it, it looks like it takes an average of 15 minutes to start working at maximum productivity. Sometimes, if you're tired or have already done a lot of creative work that day, you just can't get into the zone and you spend the rest of your work day fiddling around, reading the web, playing Tetris.

Joel on Software - The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code There are extensively documented productivity gains provided by giving knowledge workers space, quiet, and privacy. The classic software management book PeopleWare documents these productivity benefits extensively

Sunday, July 22

Tribblescape - Palm Zone The Oblique Strategies are a creativity tool designed by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Originally published as a deck of cards, they are intended to provide an extra creative push when working on artistic pursuits under a tight deadline. When experiencing artist's block, simply draw a card and apply its instructions to the work in progress.

Palm Freeware - www.mywirelesspalm.com More cool palm freeware, including the interesing adaptation of Brian Eno's "oblique strategies."

Saturday, July 21

We've seen ongoing discussions about the virtues and hassles of courseware such as WebCT on this list, and in general I am in favor of teaching people to use html and write their own pages.

I am also a paid staff member in charge of the department website, and in response to the new chair's desire that our office staff begin adding more "content" to our site (which is a good thing) I have been toying with the idea of installing some sort of content management system, or CMS.

Content management systems can be something as simple as blogger, which let an individual write journal entries in a form and click "submit" to upload the files, or something more complex like http://www.slashdot.org , "news for nerds" which allows multiple users to submit stories which are approved by an editorial staff. Each story can be responded to by users, and readers can filter the discussion topics so that they only see the comments that receive high ratings by peer evaluators.

Recently a new hire from UT Austin showed me a cool setup made with ColdFusion (yet another server program, but an expeeeeensive one) that allows users to create and link to pages, upload word documents, etc. all within the browser. The software automatically creates a site map of all of the content.

With that in mind, I'm trying to decide whether the office staff should learn html or an authoring package, or whether to install some sort of content management system that will allow website updates via the browser. The situation is slightly different than the classroom, simply because the staff don't have the time (or often the inclination) to spend a semester learning the web tools. There is also the problem of turnover, and reteaching new people. Finally, I have a lot of oter responsibilities in addition to maintaining the website, so I can't devote unlimited time to teaching html to the staff, and in the Fall we will all simply be too busy.

On the other hand, it only takes about an hour to learn the basics of dreamweaver, and much of their work would consist of updating existing pages.

So has anyone encountered this situation before or are you using a content management system to keep your pages updated?

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions,


disclaimer: the words "content," "user," and "management" are all symbolically enclosed in invisible, postmodern quotes indicating that I know they are problematic :)

I, Cringely | The Pulpit The best solution I think would be for Gates and Ballmer to simply buy a small country and declare Microsoft's sovereignty. Belize would be nice. It's a small tropical country in Latin America where the dominant language is English and the CIA 2000 Factbook says the Gross Domestic Product is $740 million. Microsoft could easily buy Belize ($2 billion is $400 per acre and would probably be enough) pay off the $380 million national debt, then throw up luxury condos for 20,000 programmers. Gates couldn't be king, because Belize is part of the British Commonwealth and already has Queen Elizabeth II to do that job, but I'm sure he could get a title of some sort. Prince Bill?

Once Microsoft is not only outside the USA, but is itself a sovereign nation, all anti-trust bets are off. As a diplomat, Gates couldn't even be arrested for speeding on visits back to Redmond, a result that might make the move worthwhile in itself.

Cringeley is nuts, but I love reading him.

I, Cringely | The Pulpit Microsoft now receives as much as 33 percent of gross income from the sale of a simple desktop PC. A 128MB Celeron 633, fully equipped without monitor is $250 without Windows Millenium, and $375 with it."

I'm assuming those are wholesale prices, but my goodness, that's disgusting. As crappy as the linux desktop is, this certainly is disturbing. If I were an OEM I'd hire 10 smart hackers to get the Linux desktop user-friendly. Poor Eazel.

Wednesday, July 18

Gram Parsons' Guitar Tablature How Much I've Lied

Gram Parsons' Guitar Tablature How Much I've Lied

Gram Parsons' Guitar Tablature How Much I've Lied

Gram Parsons' Song Lyrics A friend came around.
Tried to clean up this town,
His ideas made some people mad.
But he trusted his crowd,
So he spoke right out loud
And they lost the best friend they had

On the thirty-first floor your gold plated door
Won't keep out the Lord's burning rain

Gram Parsons' Song Lyrics Blue, so blue, my love is burning blue.
Any brighter flame would be a lie.
Blue, so blue, my love still burns for you,
But I know that I'll only make you cry.

Evan Dando has some great Gram Parsons covers.

Saturday, July 14

Note to self: never rent and watch "The Sixth Sense" late on Friday night when you're home entirely along. Shudder.

Tuesday, July 10

I'm reverse outlining my prospectus by inserting short paragraph summaries in brackets, i.e. "[literacy is tied to specific cultural contexts]"

After I've done that, I then run a macro that combines all of the bracketed comments into one long list, which I then play with. I'm doing this so I can locate areas most needing expansion and work on my overall structure and argument. BBedit has a built-in macro that lets you "copy lines containing" but in windows you have to do the following:

You can use the EditReplace function in Word to cut lines containing
the target string if you turn on Use Wild Cards or Pattern Matching.
Search for (^p)(*)(TargetString)(*)(^p) and replace with \1 should
delete any lines except the first one which contain the target string.

Would be easy to write a Word macro to do the copy bit but you would
have to tell us which word processor you currently have and which
version. Word 6/7 has a different macro language than Word 97.


Monday, July 9

Tips and Tricks These macros were created by Bernie Cosell for use with DCart32. Since DCart32 does not have the Batch processing capability, Bernie decided to write his own. They automate almost all of the restoration process using an external Windows macro tool. Bernie has let us post them here for other users to try. You will need to get the macro utility describe in the readme. Many thanks to Bernie for his hard work.

Metafilter | Comments on 8871 http://streamboxripper.cjb.net/

Friday, July 6

this is my journal Wiki capabilities?[ Questions ] [ LINK | PRINT | SEND ]
I'm looking to put up a combined wiki/weblog. The only existing option is PikiePikie, but i'm looking into combining stand-along weblog software with UseModWiki, which i'm already using. The other major alternatives are Zope, which has both though not combined AFAIK, and Manila, which isn't GPL (i trust Dave Winer, but what about his heirs?), and doesn't do wiki though that could probably be added.

Wiki/Weblog convergence? My little brain hurts.

Thursday, July 5

Just saw Cast Away with Tom Hanks. A little overdone at times, but not bad. Not as good as I wanted it to be. It gave me flashbacks to when I lived in Micronesia. And Tom Hanks is right, green coconuts are a natural laxative.

SourceForge: Project Info - Java Progect Manager A desktop application for Palm Progect Manager (http://progect.sourceforge.net), OS independant !!! Please participate to the forums !

You've Got Maelstrom: Dealing With Too Much E-Mail "I know you can put these things in files and have them organized, but it never seems worth the trouble," he said

Wednesday, July 4


The family is in Oregon for three weeks. I'm filling up our empty house with the sounds of NPR and bad videos.

They've been gone less than 24 hours.

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