Monday, November 27, 2006

cyber monday thoughts.....

I spent more than a bit of time on a variety of websites in desperate search for a Nintendo wii for my son's birthday this past weekend. That effort was fruitless, but I also found the UI of many of these sites was driving me out of my mind.

There are some great applications of mouseover effects, but it's being overdone, and not in a considered manner. I'm pretty darn good with a mouse, but I often found a popup obscuring what I was aiming at in the website's zeal to provide me with dynamic content. I'd hate to think how my mother (who frequently calls with "I lost my toolbar" kinds of mouse accidents) would navigate these sites.

Just because we *can* do something technically doesn't mean we should do it everywhere!

Friday, November 24, 2006

this was unexpected...

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I am so glad I'm not a manager. Managing engineers (particularly those who are ex-quantum mechanics) must be very difficult. When will this task be done? Unless the task is as meaningless as a string change, the honest answer always has a probably in it. And I am particularly difficult to pin down - Heisenberg made a strong impression on me.

But as a product nears completion, you can feel a shift. The tasks are done, and you continue to polish til it is ready to go out the door, but part of the energy starts shifting towards the next release. As work begins in earnest on the next release, it becomes an annoyance to go work on the product that is done in your mind, but not yet in deed.

That's a good thing - we release a more stable product if development actually slows down before delivery, and that's how we build software. But a side effect of that is that when the product actually ships, it's more like a whimper to the engineer. When a product ships now, I sometimes feel like I've missed that moment of birth - it's an oh yeah, it's out the door now, rather than the excitement of being currently focused on that product and being completely overjoyed with its shipment. A release should still end with a bang, not a whimper!