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Stand Up Eight » Uncategorized
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Friday, July 18th, 2008

I’ve been playing around with HDR photos lately. The concept is intriguing, and the results are definitely unique. I’m trying to figure out where it fits on the continuum between gimmicky and artistic…

Linville Falls 1

Web 2.0

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I found a very informational/enjoyable clip explaining the horribly overused “Web 2.0” in an easy to understand way. The points it raises are thought-provoking.

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Getting things started

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

I worked off and on all through the holiday break to get my productivity workflow in order. I’m not where I wanted to be, but I’m a lot closer than I was before I began.

I’m trying to move everything into web services. I use multiple machines between home and work and I often need to sit down and get something done with minimal prep time. If I don’t have my laptop and my laptop is where my master task list is, I’m sunk. The problem is that each tool wants to do a bigger chunk of the workflow than I think it is capable of. There is no “one tool to rule them all”.

Here’s what I’ve got hooked up so far:

  1. Netvibes. I like the ability to add modular content via RSS and HTML and the ease of adding new tabs as well. This has all but replaced my news reader for my daily feeds.
  2. Microsoft Outlook Web Access. This is what I am required to use at work. I’m trying to get auto-redirects going to Gmail, but that has its own problems.
  3. Central Desktop. This is a Basecamp-like project management tool that we’ve licensed at work. I like it, but the licensing model is a bit restrictive (limits on number of projects, most of all) and I’m looking for an alternative. Enter…
  4. ActiveCollab. I’ve got several instances of this set up for different groups and I am really liking where it is going. It is now my de-facto tool for managing search committees, as it allows for many types of interaction (posting candidate docs, discussing interviews, etc.). I’m also testing it as a general purpose, low-level project management tool for intra- and extra-unit collaboration.
  5. Remember The Milk. This is my working to-do list manager. I have master task lists associated with projects (in the various tools listed above), and when I’m getting to work, I plunk down in front of RTM and get rid of a few next actions. It also integrates well with…
  6. Google Calendar. I keep a copy of this open not to reference my work schedule (which is still in Outlook), but rather as a quick reference calendar that I can use to set up reminders, tasks (via the RTM interface), or even just to see what day of the week the conference I’m considering ends on. I know that there are many OS-level calendars that can be up a bit more quickly, but they aren’t tied directly to my working task lists. I’m experimenting with a few other uses, but these are still very much in the mushy development stage.
  7. Google Docs. I used Writely before they were purchased by Google. I know I’m selling my life away to the big G here, but I like the ease of integration with my other tools. I’ve used Zoho apps, but I’m a little leery of their beta status and don’t want to get too invested until I know how much it will cost me in the future.

Quick and dirty overview, I know. I’ll try to keep you posted regarding how it goes.

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Friday, December 1st, 2006

I’ve had an account for a while, but it wasn’t until I had a project that I jumped into the Web 2.0 development service called Ning. I’ve got a buddy in Charlotte who likes food almost as much as I do, and every once in a while we try to compare notes about where to get the best burger/mexican food/steak/etc. I played around a bit and in around 20 minutes had a semi-functional site for personal restaurant reviews. Take a look, and then try your hand and making your own web service.

Personal Information (mis)Management

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

I think I’m finished. A combination of technologies have increased my ability to access multiple channels of information and effectively brought my productivity DOWN in the process. I’ve got RSS streams for every kind of data imaginable, and they all feed into my favorites bar in Firefox, where I can click on deceptively simple-looking drop-down menus to find “all the latest”, at least until I realize I’ve spent another day chasing my tail again and promise myself to do better tomorrow. Photos, audio files, design guidelines and best practices, and–here’s the clincher–ALL OF THOSE DARN NEW “WEB 2.0” SERVICES! How am I supposed to keep them straight? I’ve got media spread across who knows how many AJAX-interfaced servers… Each one gets around 21 seconds of attention before the siren song of del.icio.us/flickr/reddit/blink/furl draws me toward its ever-receeding flame of promised reward.

OK, OK, so it isn’t quite that bad, but I have definitely noticed an increasing breadth to the type and amount of web-based applications that are available. Working the good ones into my workflow takes considerable effort, and discovering which ones are any good is an increasingly daunting task.

Educause: Pachyderm 2.0

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

I’ve been following the Pachyderm project for a couple of years now, so I was excited to see a session here at Educause for the 2.0 version of the open source development platform.

Pachyderm is a tool originally developed by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to allow them to develop rich multimedia presentations without requiring programming skills on the part of the collection developer. The original output was of very high quality, but the code was not very clean, portable, or scalable. Enter the New Media Consortium (NMC), who wrote and received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to take Pachyderm to the next level.

The product has been totally reworked from its FileMaker and WebObjects origins and runs in Java. The interface is clean and fairly intuitive. There are still a few rough spots around the edges (the development interface could use a visual browsing interface that allowed for more intuitive browsing of media, for example) but overall the package is very impressive. It will be released as a public beta on Monday, October 26th. The NMC will host content for a year to allow testers to get a feel for the package and time for the development of installation binaries for multiple platforms (OS X and Windows in January, with Linux and Solaris close behind).

I can’t wait to start playing…

Educause: McNealy keynote

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Listening to Scott McNealy’s keynote at Educause. There are some interesting tidbits of information, but to be honest, I feel like I’m sitting through a two-hour sales pitch. There is only so much of “look how bad everyone else is and how great we are” as a theme that you can take.

Of interest:

  • >Global Education and Learning Community (GELC)

Educause: Blogfolios

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

University of British Columbia has a fairly advanced approach to electronic portfolios. They seem to be managing the gap between bootstrapping initiatives at local and institutional levels.

There is a wide array of purposes and experiences held by the participants.

Link to Presentation wiki

ThinkFree Office Online

Friday, October 14th, 2005

I’ve been very impressed with a free web-based productivity package
that allows you to create and edit MS Office document types (Excel,
Word, and PowerPoint). It runs in the browser and looks very well-done.

Check it out if you’ve got a minute:


Remodeling the political spectrum

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Remodeling the political spectrum: “With the rise of ideologies such as paleoconservatives, neolibertarians, and radical centrists, creating a political spectrum model that can describe them all has become more challenging. No longer does the simple left-right axis suffice, nor even the ever popular Nolan Chart. This article proposes a new model that attempts to accurately describe all known ideologies using a three dimensional spectrum.From kuro5hin.org on July 9, 2005 at 4:45 p.m.”

(Via Edu_RSS.)

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