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Showing posts from November, 2005
las vegas

It was all about cold weather, TV, lots of lights and travel for the past week. It was a long weekend for Thanksgiving which got appended by one additional holiday and with one additional sick leave, I got almost a week off. Weather is playing tricks here – one day it stings any exposed part and couple of days after I can walk out without a jacket.

First two days went in Harry Potter’s latest episode and lots of TV. Finally I ventured out to West side of US – Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Las Vegas was as expected – lots of pomp and glitter. You can feel the Presence of Money like God. We stayed in Fremont Street which was like a relative cut off from the family with new money – it must be still doing okay with night lit up like day and all night music. It is a crazy town with all sorts of people doing all sorts of things – crazy ones and those who want to go crazy for some time before retuning to normal world.

Drive to Grand Canyon was probably one of my best so far – really pic…

user interface prototyping

Read an article in Slashdot on tools for UI prototyping. This question used to come up many times during project initiation phases, but due to lack of time, never gets done properly.

I have used Microsoft Excel in the past and found it useful to give an idea to users about how the application will look. It has some advantages:-
• Need not write unnecessary code during prototyping. Sometimes things may wither at prototyping stage itself, so the time spent at this stage may not be that useful.
• Faster prototyping – the interest may wane if we linger on the prototype for too long.
• Easier to change – It should be possible to change the prototype (after all it is only a prototype, so it shouldn’t take a day to make the changes that the user specified). Better yet, it should be possible to change the prototype while sitting with users.
• Hands-on by users – It should be possible for users to comment or even change the prototype by themselves. Cell comment in excel may b…
spanglish and sideways

I watched two movies recently – spanglish and sideways. Spanglish for the second time - first time was in a marathon movie session in a flight. This movie has even Adam Sandler acting decently – I mean, the guy made too many bad choices (films like Waterboy, I couldn’t even watch the ads). But he gives a controlled performance, within limits and makes it bearable. I think Tim Robbins and Tom Hanks are of that variety – not overdoing it, but wins it by keeping it simple, the handicap of not being flamboyant is used as strength. Movies which are filled with lot of quirky stuff, strange characters and situations (which makes me think how they came up with it in the first place) are fun to watch. Supporting cast in this movie was very genuine and was given some meaningful lines – they were not invented to push the story forward or fill in time.

Sideways – I thought it was a real ride, stuff for which people should be going to movies for. Paul Giamatti is a real worker…

software plumbing

I used to be impressed by the dexterity of the maintenance men who come around to fix things around house – about how neatly they accomplish things like fixing a leak or checking the wiring etc. Most of them have ability to make the things work with a quick fix, common sense and knowledge of the tools to use to fix something and they don’t make a mess.

This post is not about the house maintenance, but about putting together a software solution to the immediate need, having the knowledge to select the best tools for the job and to reach a quick solution, not building a house from ground up. In “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, there is a passage about making a replacement part made from a soft drink can for a friend’s expensive motorcycle – when you tell them that it is made from tin can, they may not allow you to put it in. I think it is a natural tendency to buy the packaged/branded/expensive product from a super store and expect that it is the best solution.

T…