Monthly Archives: October 2003

iTunes for Windows

I love the headline at Apple.com – Hell froze over. Apple has just released their awsome CD Ripper / CD Burner / Music Organizer / Music Store for Windows. They call it the best Windows app ever.

If you’re interested in music at all, then you owe it to yourself to check out iTunes. I’ll be downloading it at work tomorrow to play with on my laptop. Since I’m running nothing but Linux at home now, I guess I’ll stick to Rhythmbox and buy my music the old fashioned way…

Social Software

As graduation approaches I’m starting to think more and more about what I’m going to do once I get my degree. My current job is not too bad. The people are friendly and the time off is great. I’d like to make more money, but who wouldn’t. Besides, once I get my degree I expect to get a raise.

A while back I posted about starting my own software company. That’s something that will happen, and soon. I already have several working programs that I think other people would pay money for, and I have a few more either in progress or at least in mind. It seems like I’m always trying to think up some new program to make people’s lives better.

My latest obsession is so-called social software. These are programs that bring groups of people together with similar interests.

The first example that most people have experienced is Amazon.com. You can buy books just about anywhere, but where else can you get detailed reviews from people all over the world, and recommendations based on your past purchases and ratings. Another popular social site is eBay. On eBay, it’s easy to see who’s a good seller or if someone is a deadbeat bidder. Everyone on the site works together to make a strong community.

Another example would be weblogs and discussion boards. I’m a big fan of Slashdot.org. At Slashdot, the editors take submissions from visitors for interesting news stories. The editors pick the ones they like, then all of the visitors discuss them. Site visitors are also sometimes given the ability to moderate other visitor’s comments in the discussion. This way, the meaningless comments are eventually eliminated and an interesting discussion emerges. Kuro5hin.org takes this concept a bit further. At Kuro5hin, the readers of the site decide what stories to run on the front page. Anyone can submit a story and then vote on which stories are interesting enough for further discussion.

For some people, social software goes beyond complex sites such as these. CC’ing a group of people in e-mail and then using reply to all can be a great way to communicate with a group. The group I’m in right now uses this technique quite a bit. We have discussions on everything from the design of our program, to who is bringing what for dinner at the next meeting.

Here’s a list of websites that I just added to my bookmarks about social software:

That should be enough to keep me busy for at least the next few evenings…

So many blogs

There are so many interesting weblogs out these days, it’s impossible to keep up. I stumbled across an article on one today that was particularly interesting to me: The Talent Show: My Alma Mater Salutes Hitler

That article was written by Tom Neely, a fellow 1993 graduate of Paris High School (although in those days we called him Tommy). Last I heard he was living in California, so the news of the nazi flag at PHS must have really spread.

His memory of Paris High seems pretty accurate to me. It’s funny that he mentions the “two Asian kids”, since at the time he was dating one of them.

Tom was always an amazing artist. I’m hanging on to one of his paintings so when he gets famous I can sell it and retire. Until then, you can check out some of his work at his website: http://www.iwilldestroyyou.com/. Did I mention he has a strange sense of humor?

A little off the top

It’s funny how I ramble on about things that don’t matter on this website, but when something really important happens to me I forget to even mention it.

Just in case someone is reading this who hasn’t seen me in a few weeks, I got a little trim.

The nice lady who cut my hair asked “How do you want it cut?” To which I replied “Short.” I think she did a pretty good job.

Of course, the next few days were kind of strange. Paige said it was like the phantom appendage thing that people get when they have something amputated. I kept reaching for my hair even though it wasn’t there.

Also, everywhere I went people said things like “Hey, you got a hair cut!” I guess they thought maybe I hadn’t noticed. Then they usually said something like “I really like it.” Then, afraid that I might be offended, most people quickly followed that with “I liked it long, too.”

I was a little worried that all of my technical skills were in my hair, but thankfully they were not. The rumor at work was that I got my hair cut because I was looking for a new job. Only time will tell on that one…

Wednesday Again

Wednesdays are the worst for me. I’ll drive around 200 miles before this day is over. I came to work at 8:00am this morning. I’ll leave work at 11:30am to go to class in Commerce, then come straight back to work at 2:30pm. I’ll leave work again at 4:30pm to go back to Commerce for our CSCI 440 class meeting. That meeting is over at 8:00pm, which means I’ll be home around 8:45pm tonight.

The good news is it’s October now and I graduate in December. Only 9 more Wednesdays to go.