Category Archives: Uncategorized

Karensrecipes.com

Thanks for the plug Mike! If any of you notice a peculiar resemblance between the design of Karensrecipes.com and allrecipes.com, well… they stole it from me. 🙂 Actually, I created karensrecipes.com as an exercise to learn more Java, specifically servlets, JavaBeans, and JSP tags, but not as a design exercise, which is why I admit that the design is a complete theft. I learned alot… but not enough. I’m currently working on v2 of the site (which has a completely new look).

Article on Lance Armstrong

found [via veen.com] an absolutely fascinating article on Lance Armstrong, who would be an amazing physical specimen even if he hadn’t had cancer and needed Home Care Assistance. He’s inspiring. Quote from a Nike commercial in 2000 in response to the allegations that he must be on some type of performance enhancing drug:

“Everybody wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?”

Frankly, I’m sitting on my ass coding. 🙂

Back to school…

currently blogging from a dorm room at Elmira College where Karen and I are helping Julie get setup for her sophomore year. I got to install the computers!

Couple interesting things about the city of Elmira, NY:

a) Tommy Hilfiger got his start here.

[updated] b) Mark Twain wrote his best books just up the hill from Elmira College [source].

c) um yeah… nothing more.

I spent 10 minutes poking around Elmira’s network… Elmira College uses Imail as their web-based email tool… along w/ some templates from HKSI. Students login to the campus network whereupon a batch script of some kind is run (presumably setting up IP/security stuff) which gives them a mapped drive to store data on some server, which I thought was cool. You don’t have to worry about your PC/laptop crashing because you can always backup homework or papers to your mapped drive and maybe more importantly, you can access your homework/term papers from any computer on the campus. Wow have campus networks have changed since I’ve graduated (and it’s only been 5 years!) Oh yeah, and each student gets their own website (none of which appear to be available publicly).

How come the faculty don’t have their own sites! How cool would it be to be able to read about what your professor is currently researching or thinking about?!

infinity imagined

Finished Interface Culture by Steven Johnson today (it’s 93 outside and humid, which means it’s reading weather). I’ll leave it up to the reviewers on Amazon’s site to give you more information about the book…

I like books.. fiction, non fiction, but books that make you think… think about things to create, think about things as you’ve never thought about them before. Interface Culture was one of those books. His central premise (I think!) is that interface design is an art form, just like a Dickens novel or a Renaissance painting and because it is an art form, it has social and cultural impacts, some of which we can see with the naked eye, some of which we can discover and some that can only be seen in hindsight.

A second theme I found was the idea that emergent technologies, things like personal agents and Apple’s V-Twin search technology, while brilliant, most often end up being applied in areas never imagined by their creators. For instance, Thomas Edison created the phonograph in 1877. But get this: he thought the phonograph would be used mainly for recording phone conversations. These applications were explained as exaptations, which is my official word of the day. 🙂

Finally, though not an official theme, I found numerous mentions of the idea that some, if not all, radical and sometimes breakthrough inventions are initially rejected by popular and mainstream culture. The Mac, with it’s icons and graphical user interface, was seen as simple and labeled as cartoonish… it was not seen as a “serious business application”. Soon, the icons, trash bin and menu system took over the entire business world and every computer we use today uses the same metaphors that the original Mac did in the early 1980’s. Just goes to show that maybe the heated debate about technologies like Flash as an interface device or wireless devices might be the tip of an amazing iceberg… who knows?

nyc is fun

Just got back from our weekend in NYC (pictures here). I had a great time. Drove down to NYC in a rented 2002 PT Cruiser, got to Yankees Stadium 2.5 hours before game time (4:05pm start). Yankees Stadium staff closed Monument Park before we could get in, so I didn’t get to walk through that, but we did get to hang out on the lower levels for the first couple hours, took alot of pictures. Yankees lost 8-0 to the A’s which made me secretly happy inside. Eric Chavez & Miguel Tejada hit home runs for the A’s, Alfonso Soriano, though he didn’t hit one out of the park, showed some stellar defense. He’s amazing.

Drove to our hotel in the Upper East Side, Hotel Melrose (which used to be the Barbizon Hotel, I stayed here a couple times when I did work for FAO.com last year). I love this hotel! Fun place, reasonable rates, nice area. We learned that the Melrose Hotel, up until the late 1970’s, was an all-women’s hotel.

We walked along Lexington and got down to Rockefeller Center where we had dinner in the Rink Bar located in the bowl where the ice skating happens in the winter time. It was probably 75 degrees with a beautiful breeze… great night.

This morning we got up and had muffins at a local cafe, walked to Central Park and sat on a bench next to Conservatory Water, trying to pick out people that live in New York (in contrast to tourists like us), watching radio controlled sailboats, and drinking in the warm sun. We walked right past the Metropolitan Musuem of Art and then decided to check that out. I was naturally impressed by the fabulous pieces of armor men wore in the Medieval times, but most interested in the stained glass and glass mosaic pieces, probably because Karen could offer insight as she justed finished a glass mosaic class.

Finally, we walked all the way down to 34th and went ‘shopping’ at Macy’s, something Karen’s wanted to do forever… New York city is a cool place.

nyc: here we come

Tomorrow morning Karen and I are getting up early and driving to New York to hang out for the weekend. We’re going to the Yankees vs Oakland baseball game in the afternoon (my first time at Yankee Stadium!) and then exploring various places in New York City we haven’t already seen (hey look! nycvisit.com is written ColdFusion, too bad the developers didn’t put in any effort to catch errors, nor did they turn off debugging). Should be fun!

Last year I taught two Windows 2000 certification courses @ PREP Community Computer Center. They maintain a mailing list for people interested in community computer centers across the country… got this interesting link today from that list: http://www.networkforgood.org/npo/fundraising/donations/, so if you’re a not for profit organization, sign up! Free online donations!