Archive for January, 2008

Losing the faith

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

It’s weird how tests of faith seem to come in as many different forms as faith itself comes in. Recently my faith in technology as the future of mankind has been on shaky ground. Developing Traskpro has been strangely cathartic – almost like opening my eyes up to what software development can be: fun, rapid, iterative, and responsive to user input. Working for a large software company seems to be the polar opposite of my experience with Traskpro. It’s slow moving, overly precise, and so large that changing direction takes years if it happens at all.

This start contrast (combined with the weary weight of too many hours put into work and Traskpro) is leaving me depleted – worried about the future I strive so hard to bring about. My vision of the future seems at times so within my grasp – mere years away if everything goes right. Then I realize that nothing is going right: the world is a glacially slowly moving monstrosity. While technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds it’s the rest of the world that’s too slow to adapt to it and seemingly unwilling embrace its change.

So what is the point? If the world won’t embrace the change technology offers is it worth the effort to produce the technology? Should radical technologists like myself simply give up? Should we all go back to farming goats and continue our tried and true biological ways?

Living the Traskpro life

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

I’ve been so busy and productive of late that sadly Futurist Now has suffered from it – barely a post a week on average. Aside from the normal work stuff I’ve been slammed with tons and tons of development work on Traskpro. I’m becoming extremely proud of Traskpro – it’s becoming a very robust solution and I’m all but running my life out of it now.

What makes Traskpro so great? What do I do with it?

Amazing ehh – give it a whirl or check out the Traskpro blog – you can do all these things and more! With Traskpro’s flexible design you can track almost any kind of information – all for free!

Now what would a big Traskpro advert like this be without a few power user tips? Traskpro uses the URL to determine what tag you are viewing – this means that you can bookmark frequently used tags for quick access. I am able to use this feature by setting my internet home page to my “work” tag at work, my “personal” tag at home, and the high priority view on my iPhone – whenever I open a browser I immediately see a highly contextual view of tasks related to my current environment.

Further to URL bookmarking when setting a sort preference the sort preference is added to the next page view URL. This allows you to bookmark not only a specific tag, but also to make it so whenever visiting the bookmark the sorting options can be left intact – useful for power users looking to really take control of a large list of tasks.

Not as glad to be back

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

A scant 5 days ago I was glad to be back in Seattle. Unfortunately I can’t same the same about being back at work the last few days. Aside from work it’s been showing (glad it started after I got back safe and sound) which always puts me in a bad mood. It’s cold, wet, and nobody here knows how to drive in it!

Glad to be back

Friday, January 11th, 2008

CES was an exhausting blast of a time, but I sure am glad to be home. I got home last night a little after 9 and hung out with Scott for a bit prior to passing out in my own bed. Skype was glad so see me last night, but I could tell he was a bit angry with me for leaving. By this morning that all seems to have melted away into his normal cuddly self.

I’m off through Monday which is nice – having 3 days to relax after CES is key to not collapsing into a sick little mess. I’m mildly terrified of the email nightmare I’ll be walking into when I get to work on Monday, but that’s the price I pay for taking a week off.

Tase me bro!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

When going to CES one expects a rough week involving countless interviews, hour after hour of writing, and defending oneself from PR reps from round the world. One thing you don’t expect is to get the living daylights shocked out of you. First and foremost watch the video below for a chance to see me get tasered. After all, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to see some poor sot get tasered – particularly when they signed them self up for it (full waiver and everything).

Yes I’m OK. Yes I was a little numb for a while. And surprisingly I’m actually more pro-Taser than I was before this whole thing started. It’s effective at dropping you for sure, but really doesn’t leave lasting harm, and assuming you don’t have any weird medical problems it’s surprisingly safe from what I’ve read.

Oh yeah – and you can get the file here if you really want it. A longer version with far more details including what lead up to this will be posted to Gear Live in the next couple of days.

Update: The Gear Live video (which is over 7 minutes long and has a lot more lead up, comedy, and wonderfulness) has gone live. check it out, or better yet give it a digg.

2008 CES: I’m here!

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

I’m also exhausted – I could barely sleep last night with the excitement and ended up getting about 4 hours of sleep. That coupled with both of our flights getting delayed to get here has left me simply exhausted.

Had a great dinner with Chris from Bloghaus and partied a bit with some of the Monster Cable guys – but now the time to sleep has come. I’ll post more of my adventures shortly in the hear future – I promise! If you simply can’t wait you can always check out my Twitter feed for the minute by minute, blow by blow of my CES experience.

Prelude: CES

Friday, January 4th, 2008

It’s the Friday before CES starts and I’m finishing up the last details so as to be ready for a flight that leaves frightengly soon. I finished up work yesterday, set my OOF (Out Of Office) and checked out – for the next 11 days I don’t even have to think about work; something that hasn’t happened in a really long time.

So far I’ve actually made good progress. I made it up to Broadway to pick up some Gear Live branded business cards for CES, have done 5 loads of laundry, packed most of my stuff, and cleaned up. I still have a little work to do, but over all I’m feeling much better about leaving – thanks to Traskpro

Amazingly with all the CES stuff I did today I even found time to do a few usability tweaks to Traskpro. Now tags can be entered separated by spaces, commas, or semicolons, and tags can be marked as high or low priority by tagging them ‘high’ or ‘low’. I got some great user feedback from two of my users and hopefully this will make entry more intuitive for new users by sticking to the arching design goal of flexibility.

Not too sure if I’ll be doing much personal blogging from CES – I will be pretty busy this year between doing video production and writing up the sights and sounds of CES. Check out the Gear Live coverage of CES, or you can click to see Gear Live filtered to only my content.

Twitter added to sidebar

Friday, January 4th, 2008

I’m again experimenting with adding my Twitter stream to Futurist Now. People detested the old post style integration so this time I’m trying a live feed view in the sidebar. Leave a comment if you love it or hate it.

I can configure the number of tweets to display – how many do readers find useful? If I just put a single one it shows real-time context without visually overpowering the main content column. On the other hand more gives a better context of what I’m doing, but adds a huge block of text to the sidebar.

Ringing in the new year

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I sit here on the couch on this first glorious day of 2008, TNG blaring in the background, and Traskpro coding and MySQL queries swirling between my brain and laptop in the foreground. Taking a cue from my beloved father I’ve got a 6 shot Hazelnut latte slowly working its ay into my system.

What do I have planned for the rest of my day off? More of the same. Bliss!