Showing posts from February, 2012

Good Shoes and Microsoft Outlook

FLORSHEIM I think I've found my favorite pair of shoes in the latest black slip-on Florsheim shoes that my wife picked up for me a few weeks ago. At this point they are still not broken in and rub my ankles raw if I have them on for any length of time, based on past experience I'd estimate I have a good 4 weeks before they are "comfortable" enough that my feet won't hurt after wearing them. So you may be asking yourself, why is this guy think these new shoes are so great? Because they look awesome, mind you I'm not saying they make ME look awesome. They are simple with clean lines, they have a nice shine, and I really like the way they look. The reason I like the way they look is because I like anything that has a minimalist feel. I enjoy pieces that don't attempt to look good by having tons of extra "stuff" that just isn't needed. This is also something I've found very appealing in the UI for the 2010 version of Microsoft Outlook. In

Don't leave your users hanging

command prompt can show actions as they are taken If you create software one of the worst experiences you can create for your users is the "hanging" dialog. Recently I obtained a somewhat older MP3 player; to be specific it is a SanDisk Sansa Express 2GB. The device itself is on pair with most MP3 players that are not an iPod. One interesting feature is that you can record from the radio and it just so happen that the weekend past I had a need to record some audio from an FM station being used to broadcast at an assembly I was attending. To skip to the interesting point I found myself attempting to install new firmware to make it possible to listed to the WAV files created from the recording. After installing something to install something else (can you say inception) I found myself in a state of frustration because it "seemed" like the firmware update was going through just fine; however, the dialog box which indicates the progress had been "seemingly"

Why we have to "Ask Why"

I'm always interested to find personality traits that seem to be common to "smart" people. When I use the term "smart" I don't mean to imply that they have some knowledge that is unattainable by others, also I don't mean to imply that they are more intelligent than the average person (although I suspect that if we were going off IQ that could be true). To be clear, I don't typically include myself in the "smart" category, I tend to think that I just happen to have a good memory which gives the impression of being smart, as well as being prone to asking the question why, which I have observed as being a trait of "smart" people. When people passively accept information that is given them without asking the question why, the result is often that the person receiving the information winds up with only a cursory understanding of the subject matter. In some cases I would completely agree that the "right approach" is to onl

Perspective and Puzzles

Reversible figures and vase. From Wikimedia Commons I recently remembered a ted talk from a while back about optical illusions and how our eyes can be heavily influenced by the context of what they see, or as mentioned in the talk, "the light that hits our eyes is not what is important, rather it is what we do with the information once it hits our brain that matters." To help illustrate this point the image here shows a famous "illusion" in that depending on your perspective the black area is the silhouette of two faces, or the white area forms a vase, in reality both are true and it is a mater of perspective on which view is "correct". FYI, I believe depending on how my day is going one or the other is true. :) I've also been rediscovering the fun I have playing Sudoku . It's interesting how organizing numbers into patterns according to rules fosters a sense of accomplishment. Probably informs my career choice of