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Month: April 2009

Pun: SQL Statement

From Shaun Kester A SQL Statement walks into a bar.  He approaches two tables and says, “Mind if I join you?” Thanks Shaun!

Pun: Damn Fish

A fish is swimming really fast and whacks right into a concrete wall! Dam. Note:  All puns found using the Google.

Pun: A Vulture

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.” Note: All puns found through the Google.

Tom & Jerry

The kids really like Spongebob Squarepants.  I find it pretty funny and I tolerate it.  It’s something “we both like”.  However, in general, we watch and don’t make any sounds. The kids love Tom & Jerry.  I can’t stand it, never could.  It’s just slapstick.  However, when the kids watch it, they laugh OUT LOUD every couple of minutes.  It’s quite disturbing.  It is very much like the Simpson‘s kids watching Itchy and Scratchy.  It’s just the mouse beating up on the cat.  It’s not funny.  Yet they laugh and laugh and laugh. I don’t love this lesson, although I…

Re-living trauma

When I was a kid, I broke my ankle pretty badly.  Ruined my tennis career (well, maybe).  I was in crutches for months.  As an adult, my ankle remained weak to the point where I would twist it ALOT.  The pain was so bad, it felt like lightning shooting through my body. The thing I noticed though is that when I am walking, I often will IMAGINE myself twisting my ankle and feeling that pain.  The pain is almost real.  It makes my heart pound and I feel panic.  All for imagining a twisted ankle that I don’t have.  I…

Amazon Customer Experience

My netbook broke last week.  The video became garbled and would not display.  This happens to LCD screens if they are stepped on or dropped or other traumatic event.  Sometimes it just happens.  So my new Asus eeePC 1000HE was unusable. This was a real bummer, because I have been using it non-stop.  I had purchased the netbook 59 days before it stopped working.  What to do? I tried looking around for a phone number or chat on Amazon.  I found a screen with information about returning a damaged called Problem with an Order?  This page forwarded me to the…

Plain Text in Outlook 2003/2007

It seems like Outlook 2003/2007 is doing something different than I expected. I thought that by changing these settings, that I would be viewing the plain text version of the email I sent.  This is NOT the case.  Microsoft is basically just stripped the HTML off of the message letting me read what is left over, even though there is a very real Plain Text Mime Type.  Why in the world would they be doing this?  There is a legit plain text version, so why don’t they show it? This is also making me wonder…Who REALLY gets the plain text…

Goals

I was thinking about a book I read 5 years ago called The Goal.  Basically, it states that you should focus on the worst, slowest, most painful part of your process and improve that.  Additionally, it does a good job of explaining that you/your company should have a focused goal. Yesterday, I said that a VC funded startup’s goal is usually not profitability, but rather hyper-growth.  All money is re-invested into the company in a sort of land grab stratgegy.  Obviously, this is alot easier of you have a great product and vision and dedicate the resources to growing it…

ExtJS 2009 – Summary

The video might take a little while, so here are my slides via Slide Rocket.  Some bugs again uploading it, so my fonts are busted.  Sorry. Generally, this is my summary of the conference: The alpha of the ExtJS designer is really cool.   It’s basically a ExtJS version of Visual Studio in a browser.  You can make Ext layouts and interfaces using a WYSIWYG editor.  Very promising. They are launching a Market Place where you can buy/sell/sponsor different plugins and extensions.  I think this is a pretty smart move and will help spread the love around. ExtJS 3.0 is…

ExtJS Conference 2009 – Day 2

My presentation is today.  I feel like I have slightly too many slides for the amount of time allotted.  Probably, a few of the principles will need to only get a passing glance.  Like Balance:  Use the whole screen!  Next slide! Jack Slocum just gave a keynote address.  No slides, 1 question, 5 minutes total.  Jack cracks me up.  He is a brilliant engineer, interaciton designer and CSS guru, (as well as overall nice guy), but public speaking is clearly not his thing. The vision of Ext is still a little bit murky for me. My best interpretation is that…

ExtJS Core – First Glance

I’m sitting in a conference room watching a demo of the new ExtJS Core, which is basically a “light” version of ExtJS that is meant to be used on public websites.  This sort of breaks my existing mental model for ExtJS. Previously, I thought of ExtJS as being great for applications and jQuery as the obvious choice for Websites and simpler apps.  I have been reading the manual and I definitely see how Ext-Core has borrowed alot of ideas from jQuery, but is clearly still a ExtJS product.  I mean “product” loosely, as Ext-Core is free (MIT License) for anyone…

Time Flies when you are watching TV

JetBlue has dedicated screens on every seat.  They are dialed into DirecTV and you ca nchoose form about 40 channels.  The shows are pretty up to date, but possibly are recorded from the day before.  Flying JetBlue is so different than flying another airline. Reason: Time Flies when you are watching TV. As a result, I am less annoyed, less exhasuted and less miserable when I fly cross-country.  The seats are slightly bigger on JetBlue as well, which always makes me more comfortable. This is a lesson for software applications as well.  Do you have moments where your users are…

Preparing for a presentation

How long do you prepare for a presenation? I usually like to start thinking about the presentation 1-2 weeks in advance.  Hopefully, I have a decent slideshow prepared, but the details rarely come into focus until this 1-2 week period. I’ve been thinking about the ExtJS conference that I am speaking at next Wednesday.  I want to tie together UX principles with ExtJS specifics, probably by using the Marketo application as a case in point.  The hard part is flipping between Powerpoint and the application.  It’s one hour, so I need to choose which slides carefully.  Right now, I have…

5 pennies or 1 dime

Ask any 5 year old:  Which is better?  5 pennies or 1 dime. Any 5 year old will tell you the 5 pennies are better.  There are MORE of them, of course.  They don’t care that the dime is more expensive. OK, now consider your software product.  Which is better?  5 small features or 1 giant one?  (assume the same proportions as the pennies/dime) Surprisingly (or not), most companies think too logically.  They think the 1 giant feature is better than the 5 small ones.  They are wrong.  People will always enjoy a long series of little improvements over one…

The UX of Dreams

How does one USE a dream?  I have alot of dreams and I think of it this way: A dream is your mind’s way of telling you something you don’t want to think about. I used to have a dream about being chased; always in a different place, like Yankee Stadium, the subway, an office building, the woods, whatever.  It was always a different place.  I was being chased by a menace that I couldn’t see, but I knew the danger was there.  The dream always went the same.  I would do all these great moves, twisting and turning through…

The UX of April Fools

I just did a quick search.  I have never posted an April Fool’s Day message.  Quite surprising, since I love the tradition.  The internet is particularly good as a medium to deliver fake messages.  I was fooled yesterday about the IE8 news. A great April Fool joke is believeable.  It makes the listener say, “WOW, I can’t believe it!  But I will because it’s such important news!”  The IE8 news yesterday totally hit the spot.  I really wanted to believe everything in there.  I really, truly, honestly WANTED to believe it.  However, it was too good to be true, so…