Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thanks for the plug Mike! If any of you notice a peculiar resemblance between the design of and, well… they stole it from me. 🙂 Actually, I created 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] an absolutely fascinating article on Lance Armstrong, who would be an amazing physical specimen even if he hadn’t had cancer. 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?