This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lunch at Logitech

Today I went and visited Engelbart for lunch at Logitech in order to talk about what we are going to do for this month and next month for the Hyperscope project. You know, it's funny, even after working with the project for about 8 months now I still get a little nervous when I go and see Doug. I have to admit, I'm still a little bit of an awe struck kid. It's still a little intimidating for me to really connect with Douglas. Sometimes it's like, who am I to tell Douglas Engelbart that some feature can't be done or there might be some way that we can do a certain feature in a way that will be more effective using current browser technology. It's always a bit of a trip.

Pet Peeve of the Day

You know what one of my biggest pet peeves is? I can't believe that on new cars sold in 2006 and 2005, that they don't have a line-in jack so you can plug your iPod into the car. I mean, radio is dead, CDs can't really hold the music that we really have these days and probably less than a penny, a line-in jack. I mean, who knows, it can't be expensive. We spend God knows how much money on a car and they don't give you a line-in jack. It just reeks of them wanting to control you and sell you some really unbelievably expensive MP3 player. Guys -- you lost. No one wants to buy your weird, strange custom MP3 players. We just want to use our iPod. Please, just give us that.

HyperScope Coding Update

Hi everyone! The last six months we were engaged in Phase I of the HyperScope project, which technically ended September 1st. However, it turns out that we had a bit more money for some development on Phase I, so this month (October) and in November I will be continuing to refine the HyperScope code base.

The goal for the next two months is to continue community evangelizing, keep integrating HyperScope into other systems through transformers and prototypes, and to strengthen the codebase we have now.

In terms of strengthening the codebase, I have two major goals:

I am going to start loading our existing bugs into a bug tracking system soon, and having much more transparency on this phase of coding so the community can jump in. There are two big goals that would be amazing for the community to help with, both which are fun:

I won't be directly coding these two things above; I'm leaving these to the community to hack on, since they are things that are pretty fun and which can be done pretty quickly using existing code. I will be focusing on strengthening our existing codebase with the performance and housekeeping stuff.

During the next two months we will also be having an ongoing dialogue about improving the first time new user experience. We won't be able to implement what we determine in these two months, but we should be able to make a bunch of progress and start innovating around this. Some of us will be taking part in a usability sprint at the end of this month put on by Eugene to help this aspect of HyperScope.

In terms of evangelizing, I will be talking at the Subversion developers meetup at Google this Tuesday night on HyperScope, so if you will be there make sure to drop by and say hi.

I've begun working on all of these goals since last week. Up till now I've only had a Windows box for development, and had no reliable way to really work on Linux and Macs; I would go to Internet Cafes and commandeer their machines for testing, but this is no way to really work to improve performance on these OSes. I finally bit the bullet and bought a Macbook Pro last week. I've spent most of the last week and today setting up virtual machines that have Windows XP with IE 6 and Firefox 1.5; Windows XP with IE 7 and Firefox 2; and Ubuntu Linux with Firefox 1.5. I now have a complete testing environment where from the same machine at the same time I can drive all of the major browsers across all of the major OSes. I have a bit more work to do today and tomorrow to completely move my environments over, but I'm almost done. It's really exciting to be able to have all 3 OSes running at the same time hitting the same development codebase of HyperScope, where I can play with performance or reliability tweaks and instantly see the positive or negative effects across all OSes. The new Intel Macs really change everything, and should majorly boost performance.

Once I finish this migration, the rest of this week will be starting to hit the housekeeping coding tasks and getting a bug database setup and filled with our existing tasks and bugs.

My Girlfriends Music Just Appeared in the iTunes Store!

My girlfriend's band, Bekka's Frogland Orchestra, just appeared on the iTunes Store a few days ago. I'm really excited about this because Bekka is an independent musician. She doesn't have a music label -- she sets up all of her own shows and promotes her own CD and band.

It's really exciting to see her music on iTunes. I think I was able to be the first person to purchase her music. I bought all nine of her songs for $9. What is interesting is that when she sells a CD, they ask you for $15, but iTunes is a bit cheaper. I actually sell Bekka's music out of the trunk of my car; I have a box full of CD's that I sell to people when I'm out and about. One person at a time, one fan at a time through things like Bekka's MySpace page. So go ahead, support Bekka, check out her music, give it a sample. Find it on iTunes by searching for "Frogland Orchestra". Buy a few tracks (it's on the cost of a pack of gum) and write a review.

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