Tag Archives: systems

Systematically Failing

I have learned much about myself through introspective thought. My need to create a system to reign in the chaos around my life–and the subsequent failure of each system tried–has created a kind of numbing toward the inadequacies of all existing systems and their ability to suitably solve many of my problems.

Systems that implement a broad spectrum of principles to fit many individuals, I have learned, do not work when applied to my personal situation.

Ultimately, this is not a failure of those systems, but rather a failure of my self to accept a system that has worked for many other people.

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Systematically Systemizing

If there is anything to be admired about modern man’s brain, it is its uncanny ability to create order from chaos.

We see this sort of behavior daily. Traffic lights, filesystems, smartphones, and (even more simply) our written and spoken language. While the evolutionary benefit may have passed its time, the concept of getting one’s life “in order” still sits at the forefront even into the 21st century.

Even in the world of knowledge workers, we tend to put systems in place which make us assume that everything is optimized.

I believe that simply attempting to create order out of the chaos of modern life leads me further down the path to chaos.

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I’m Falling In Love With An Android…Phone

an android with love in its eyes

A few weeks ago, something happened to me that makes geeks the world over scream with happiness: my cell phone contract had reached its end with my previous carrier.  To normal folk, this might not seem like that exciting of an occasion, but to the geek species, this is almost like having a second birthday.

Suddenly faced with a decision that will once again lock me into 2 years of ridiculous fees, unchanging phone hardware and the prospect that I would have to use yet another phone that I would not enjoy, I decided to shop around instead of going with the only local carrier with decent coverage here in my area.

I said goodbye to US Cellular, and went out into the world to find a carrier/phone combo that met my needs.  Each one of the providers had a major flaw, but I decided I had to look past that flaw in order to find a device that was exactly what I needed.

So, Sprint became the clear choice, regardless of the fact that they do not have a retail store in our area.  Now to decide which phone I wanted to use.


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Audio in Modern Computing

With all the focus today on creating modern and more interactive interfaces with the computing platforms we use on a daily basis, it seems to me that we are focusing mostly on the senses of touch and sight, and neglecting the roll that sound could play in the way we use our computing devices.

I realize that most devices are targeted to work with a large variety of consumers, thus allowing someone to use a PC without needing to be able to experience audio-specific cues, but I have to wonder what sort of new ideas could come out of modern interface design if developers were allowed to use audio in a more functional manner.

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The Value of a Higher Education

I’ve been kicking back and forth whether or not to write this article, but this concept has been weighing on my conscience for far too long.  Being a student in Computer Science, I am beginning to notice the students around me more, and their level of competency when it comes to the narrow topics that are being discussed in class.  For the most part, everyone tries their best and gets things done, and as adults tend to actually attempt to understand all of the material.

But there are a select few students that either are just not getting it, or are relying on the “No Child Left Behind” mentality to simply skate through the college experience and earn their degrees.  One problem with this set of students is that they are going to be completely shocked and overwhelmed when they reach a real work environment, and not all requirements and steps are set in stone and handed to them on a silver plate.

This is where my problem with the state of higher education stems.
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Workflow Experiment – Decisions

Originally I had planned to do this experiment using the 32-bit variants of Ubuntu and Windows XP.  I have recently purchased 8GB of RAM, however, so I will need to use the 64-bit variants in order to take full advantage of this hardware.

What I need to know is which Windows version should I use?

  • Windows XP 64-bit
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Beta 64-bit

If I stick with Windows XP 64-bit, will I have issues with Adobe CS4?

Will I hate myself for even thinking of installing Vista?

Should I bother with Windows 7, since the beta will run out in August?

Do you have any experience with any of these Operating Systems, or some insight that might help me make the right choice?  Let me know in the comments.

The Fear of Using Windows – Part 3: Windows Alternative: Linux

In the last entry of this series, I discussed the true cost of owning a Windows-based computer.  Although the one-time upfront fee may sound like a great deal, in order to keep your computer running for years to come, you must invest a large amount of time, money and effort.

In this entry, I would like to discuss an alternative to the Windows operating system: Linux.
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