It was quite a long dream ... I spent weeks in my rural hometown. In the house where I was staying there was a wasps' nest. I told someone about a childhood experience with wasps and it occurred to me that, in a sense, they were only harmful because I'd stumbled into them.
My grandparents took out a massive loan to convert their farm into a spaceport. We had engineers inspecting everything. Later I was in another spaceport where we were trespassing (for no particularly good reason) and watching little bullets whiz around, and the thought crossed my mind that the action in Star Wars Ep IV was far less intense than in Ep III, which didn't make sense. Note to Lucas: if you remake the second trilogy to add more action, I shall be very sad ;-)
One of our teammates had uploaded a major chunk of code into an old robot that nobody used or thought was working, and when the others went looking for the code I kept trying to tell them the data they were missing was stored in that robot, but they kept digging around anyway.
Then we were setting up engineer workstations at the spaceport, in an office that had been built around an old tree, and asked for the workers' feedback on the setup. Some people thought they were too close to their neighbors, but others in identical arrangements thought they were too far away. We reached a compromise. The dude next to the tree wasn't happy. :D
At some point we transitioned to another dream entirely. My relative had convinced me to follow her and her friend to a church in another town. They stopped at a restaurant and ordered these big hamburgers with massive amounts of toppings. In the local economy these cost only five dollars.
I think I ordered the same thing but I didn't like it, too much ketchup and generally sloppy but it cost $12 for some reason. Digging through my wallet all I had was a $5 and a $7 and a $25, and a handful of ones; and as soon as I spent the $7 I knew they were going to want to know where i got it from — or rather, they'd assume I was trying to pass counterfeits. I knew they must be legit, because they were really authentic-looking and worn, and obviously I'd gotten them from somewhere myself. Oh darn.
The Administrator and IETest passwords areNatch.
p.s. Happy National Blog Posting Month. Out of a misplaced sense of journalistic integrity I am not back-dating posts to fill in the days I missed already. :P
Argh!! I just missed the offramp! This is like the 3rd time!!
I just finished an informal "interview" at blist in Pioneer Square. My brain stalled out when it was my turn to answer questions, but even so, I think there's a >25% chance of getting an offer by Christmas. Before last week I'd never heard of them, but it sounded like they were doing something interesting, which would be a welcome change.
Pointless Sectionskip pointless section
The computerized recipe file, to me, is practically the Holy Grail of usability -- a marketing cliché older than the IBM PC, a diversion to distract your 1970s-vintage housewife just long enough for you to plunk down fifty grand on a box that smells like solid-state cologne and comes with 512 bytes of memory.
She tries to love the recipe software, she really does, even when that means upgrading to 16K. But after data-entering enough recipes to fill two boxes of Elephant diskettes, you are both horrified to learn what happens to floppies when you decide to use a giant horseshoe magnet as a bookend.
She doesn't even get angry. But a month passes before she forgives you for throwing out all of her cookbooks.
blist will save your marriage.
But blist is not only a really smart UI. Consumer applications for blists are also a free demo for organizations who are traditionally dependent on IT to build and manage database applications for them. Need a timecard application? Drag 'n drop. Need a gradebook for your school? Copy an existing design shared by the community. Need a warehouse management system? Tricky -- you might need an analyst. This is everything Access was supposed to be.
The other end of the system is a massive-scale database fleet on a par with AWS or Google, capable of providing enterprise-class service with the same economies of scale. I'm a hippie-geeky idealist like my dad, so it pays to be skeptical, but I think these guys have the experience to pull it off. The CEO, Kevin Merritt, is a nice guy. He's also got a track record. Even without attending the Steve Jobs School of Mass Hypnosis, he's got me excited about this thing.
And they understand that the UI is crucial -- with only a dozen or so employees, they already have a full-time UX person on staff.
I think I want this.
Elephant. Never forget.
- Okay, sorry, Elephant wasn't around back then. But there are plenty of other holes you could have picked at besides this one. Oh wait, it's the only one with a footnote. Never mind. As you were.
- It always feels weird to speak of "traditions" relating to IT.
- I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong.
You can contact me at email@example.com. Junk mail is accepted if the subject line is absurd enough to make me laugh.Apparently, someone read this and took me up on the offer, because my spam has been improving of late --
- Two Geeks are making $100,000 per year with a ROBOT
- We congratulate! You our client!
- If only we could vote for Ronald again
- Work it out I did, making my little calculator run for several days from its wall charger, while it calculated some of those coefficients.
- To: erictrue You're a moron (Yes, I checked, it was spam :)
- You better not call me an IDIOT or a jerk
- To: erictrue Switzerland To Be Devoured By Black Hole
- Dear firstname.lastname@example.org June 00% 0FF
Are you even listening?
And so you were taken from this place to another place, where you had absolutely no damn idea what it is you're supposed to be doing. It's OK, you'll be all right. Just don't pick up the phone
booth, or else you'll die.
PICK UP THE PHONE BOOTH AND DIE
a NyQuil nightmare by R. Noyes
Release 619 / Serial number 960409 / Inform v1502 Library 5/12
Standard interpreter 1.0
The Town Square
You are standing in the middle of a pretty town square in the center of a nondescript New England town. Like most any other nondescript New England towns, there's not much to see or do here, but
maybe you'll find something amusing and enjoyable to do.
A shiny metal phone booth sits in the center of the square.
You grunt with all your might and heave the phone booth onto your shoulders. For a moment or two it looks as if you're not going to be able to lift it, but heroically you finally lift it high in
the air! Seconds later, however, you topple underneath the weight, and the booth crushes you fatally. Geez! Didn't I tell you not to pick up the phone booth?! Isn't the name of this very game
"Pick Up The Phone Booth and Die"?! Man, you're dense. No big loss to humanity, I tell ya.
*** You have died ***
In that game you scored 0 out of a possible 100, in 1 turn, giving you the rank of total and utter loser, squished to death by a damn phone booth.
Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, give the FULL score for that game or QUIT?
(Note: this post was written in February 2007 -- which shows how far behind I am...)
"These vehicles are horseless carriages."(Not to be confused with The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner.)
"How do you know that the carriages are horseless?" asked Alice.
"Because they haven't got any real horses drawing them."
"I didn't know that real horses could draw. Can they also paint?"
"Alice! You must know what I mean!" Celia cried. "A horseless carriage is what the people of the future call a carriage that isn't being pulled by a horse."
"Is that similar to a pianoless lampshade?" asked Alice.
"Whatever's a pianoless lampshade?" asked Celia.
"Why, it's a lampshade that isn't being played by a piano, of course."
"Alice! I'm getting rather tired of your loopiness!" Celia replied.