Fascinated

In less than 15 minutes I have another meeting for work. My youngest juts asked me why I have a meeting on Sunday? The answer is pretty easy to understand. My project has team members in Seoul (S. Korea) and Hyderabad (India). Sunday afternoon is their Monday morning.

To conduct the meetings we use one of several apps that allow teams to communicate across the globe in real time, with video, and chat features.

I grew up in an era with rotary phones and long-distance charges.

I remember when we had a touch tone phone and one of my brothers accidentally called Japan. There as no forgiveness of the charges. The call was going to added to the bill and there was nothing we could do about it.

What we do on the calls is important, but sometimes I’m distracted from the work we have to do and I’m just fascinated that we can have the conversations.

Beethoven’s 9th was about uniting the world. Today we’re living as part of that when we use the technology we have to communicate around the globe.

I’m fascinated by the fact that we are communicating. What I’m doing was part of science fiction only a few years ago. Remember when we thought iPods were cool?

When we communicate we’re sharing information about cultures, shared understanding, and working towards a common goal.

While what we’re doing is really important, some days I find how we do it to be the most fascinating.

White Board Quotes

When you walk around the building you find white boards being used for different things. Sorry for the glare. This was found next to our help desk folks and reads:
“When you hold the power button down to turn something off, it feels like you’re choking the life out of it and watching it die.”

What’s the best thing you’ve found on a whiteboard at your work?

Michael Invented Pong

Actually according to Wikipedia:

Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games. It is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. The game was originally manufactured by Atari, which released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey, which later resulted in a lawsuit against Atari. Surprised by the quality of Alcorn’s work, Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney decided to manufacture the game.

Pong quickly became a success and was the first commercially successful video game, which helped to establish the video game industry along with the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey. Soon after its release, several companies began producing games that copied Pong’s gameplay, and eventually released new types of games. As a result, Atari encouraged its staff to produce more innovative games. The company released several sequels that built upon the original’s gameplay by adding new features. During the 1975 Christmas season, Atari released a home version of Pong exclusively through Sears retail stores. It was also a commercial success and led to numerous copies. The game has been remade on numerous home and portable platforms following its release. Pong is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. due to its cultural impact. Pong has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows and video games, and has been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions.

So, Michael didn’t invent Pong, but it is available to program on the Kano which her older brother recently gave her.  #ProudDad

 

Rediscovering RSS Feeds

There was a day in the internet when the who experience online felt new and exciting.  In those days one of the ways I used to get the content I wanted was through an RSS feed.  An app or website would go fetch the latest feed from the list I had given it and the newest articles would appear in my reader without me having to visit the websites and work through each of their navigation methods to get at the content they contained.

This week I found a blog that’s only posted on Wednesdays and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to remember to put it into my routine to follow it.  What blog you ask?  Well, the Etymology blog at the Oxford University Press (OUP) of course!

I was able to find an RSS feed reader and can now subscribe to the blog that inspired this resurgence.  It’s been years since google killed Google Reader.  I wondered if any other sites other than OUP were still using RSS.  It turns out, most of the content I enjoy has an RSS feed reader.  Now I can go on living my life and making the internet work for me.

While I am enjoying Vivaldi as my browser, I’ve also become aware of how much of the internet requires a browser.  The browser should be one component of enjoying the world having this marvelously beautiful interconnected system, but it shouldn’t be the total of the experience.

As far as apps go, I’m agnostic.  A good RSS feed reader simply needs to let me store the various feeds and be able to read them effectively.  On Linux right now I’m using Akregator.  It’s not a perfect app, but it’s solving a problem and I’m loving the solution.

The internet works for me again!

Vivaldi

Vivaldi was a great composer.  His Four Seasons were awesome.

Four Seasons 1st Movement

Now, he’s a browser.  ArsTechnica did a great write-up on the features and functionality and I took the bait.  It’s a great tool and really gives power users control over their workflow online.

I enjoy having the web panels on the left hand side.  This allows me to have a compact version of the web page for my social media/messaging applications in a way that lets me get right to the content.