Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hey tepietrondi! About your photostream...

I use Flickr. It's one of the nice areas that Yahoo! has a grip on. It's fun to use, it's easy and simple. I like it especially because I am a Yahoo! Mail user, and Flickr works with my existing Yahoo! account. All was going well with Flickr until the following...

It seems that I have a problem with Flickr now... they cap the storage for free accounts. This is crap. Why? Because they are still storing my content, just not presenting it? Doesn't make much sense. And to present my content, I can upgrade and pay a yearly fee? Sorry Yahoo!, I have other things to spend my money on, like gas. Hopefully the next president has a plan to help fix this problem.

See also:

Special note: The image in this post isn't stored on Flickr, I stored it on Blogger, which also has a limit, but Blogger is not a photo sharing platform, it's a blogging platform. Strange huh? But I at least I know the image will remain available.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Keyboard layouts, ctrl and fn

For most of my time using computers, the Crtl ("Control") key has been located in the lower left most corner of the keyboard. As being a primary keyboard-shortcut key, I often use the control key in combination with others to quickly accomplish a task without moving the mouse. This saves time, and lets me get on with whatever else I am doing.

A new computer I am using for work is different. It is a IBM laptop, and rather then the control key being in the above mentioned position, the Fn ("function") key is in place of the control key. So, rather then me expecting Ctrl then Fn, it's Fn then Ctrl. This is really messing up my game. Why? I have to think. No longer can I use what has been burned into my mind, I have to think, "oh wait, on this computer my pinky finger needs to move one position to the right then what I am used to".

Frankly, this is redickulous. If I am used to a specific keyboard layout, specifically the location of the control key, I'd expect it to be universal. For some reason, IBM thinks they know better and put the function key in this location. And not only do I have to think when using the IBM, I find myself stumbling when using my regular home computers as well.

Oh well, maybe I will get used to it one day... maybe not. My point is, I think IBM should have considered me, yes me, and you, when deciding on their keyboard layout.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do you use a debugger?

Do you use a debugger? No... should I? Nobody has ever told me I've had too... or that I needed too... nobody has ever showed me how... what am I missing?

This question was posed to me the other day and it got me worried. I am a few years out of school, I consider myself knowledgeable, I can development, I can solve problems... but I've never done so through a debugging tool.

How have I ever fixed problems in code, or found problems? Print statements, or logging. I go into my code, add these statements, and I watch the output. So far, this has worked. When I fix the problem, I remove the added statements. Sure, it's not the best, but I never had to learn a new tool or skill to be successful. It worked. Its all I needed.

If there is something that makes my life easier in terms of software development, I'm game, just show me the value and don't waste my time.

Why I Tag

Sometimes I think about what I do any why I do it... actually I think about this a lot. One thing I think about time to time, is why do I bother tagging bookmarks via Delicious. Sure, sure, I need to save pages I've visited to get to them later. But, its likely all I need to do is to perform a new search, which is likely how I found something to start, in order to find what I need again, or for the first time. What I don't do really is utilize the social aspects of Delicious. I think its because I don't have too many young friends that are into the sharing bookmark game. A lot of people I keep in touch with rather just get an e-mail or instant message with a link rather then signing up for another service they need to learn.

So why do I bother, why do I waste my time entering and thinking of the right tag set per link? Why do I go back to old links and make sure their tags make sense? I guess the real value is that one day that value will be realized. I have high hopes. I feel organization of data in a personal sense and comparing that with everyone else creates perspective and sheds light on understanding. Someone, somewhere, cares what I think in terms of organization of bookmarks. They don't judge me, they accept my work as correct and try to understand why, they don't work to make me change my views. I like that. If someone is learning from this activity, I'm happy to help out, because for some reason, I think it matters.

This is why I tag, bookmarks, blog posts, RSS feeds, whatever. So one day, better decisions on information can be made one day. If this never happens, oh well, at least I have my bookmarks.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The how, not the what

In terms of software and the application, or use, of that work, I'd have to say that software is the "what", not the "how", in terms of being competitive. In terms of thinking big and raising the bar, the "what" is the commodity, how that "what" is used, applied, or implemented, differentiates. Based on this, personally, I think software itself is not a differentiator for a company or a community of users. How that software is used to solve a problem, or to streamline a process is the differentiator.

Based on this, why can't most software or all software be developed in an open, or community based environment? Where sharing and collaboration are the key for that particular "what". Then based on each company's, or user's, specific implementation or application, is that "how". By doing so, the consumers of the software are effectively on the same level of delivering service to their clients or themselves given the functionality of the software. These consumers are now focused on strengthening their core, being their business objectives or primary goal for achievement. They are no longer focused on competing at a software level, the "what". They are delivering their "how" through the "what" as a mechanism.

First a simple example, web server software. This software prepares content to be deliver to a client through a web resource. What organization thinks they are competitive because of the web server software they use? I'd hope none, as it's the content they serve through this software that potentially sets them apart.

I know, there are certain aspects that make one web server software package better then the other. But these are not competitive goals. If your core bottom line is down, it is not because of the web software you are using.

I realize there are more complex scenarios, but the basics almost always cover 80%. My point is, don't develop software and keep it captive thinking it will give you a competitive edge. How you apply that software and the data you put through it, the "how", is what will set you apart and make you rich, famous, or whatever.

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