December 2, 2004

Bulk view

Reflections on what I value

- I love teaching. I love getting people to understand and appreciate

technology. I want to help people develop a sense of control over their computers. I want them to be able to have fun while programming, to see the creative side of technology. I also enjoy exploring new ways of teaching, and I want to be able to experiment with lots of techniques while adapting to individual differences.

- I love learning. I want to keep computer science fresh in my mind. I

also like exploring new technologies. I like playing around with ideas, keeping a rough index in my head of things that may be useful to other people.

- I want freedom. I want to be able to learn whatever I want to. I

want to work on projects of my own choosing and teach lessons I want to teach. I want to be able to take off in the middle of the week for a conference or a meeting.

- I love presenting ideas, tools. I want to present to and receive

ideas from as many people as possible in as many places as possible.

- I like writing. I want to write about new technologies and new ways

of working, turning the spotlight on past work and contributing new knowledge to the world.

- I love working on open source.

This will be followed by a long reflection on teaching and other options tomorrow.

One-hour hacks

Do tell me what happened with your web development company. At the
moment, I'm wondering what caused you to initiate your one-hour hack.

Just Because I Can. <impish grin> Never underestimate an annoyed geekette with a block of free time.

Seriously, keeping track of how much time it takes me to actually implement things... Wow. Thanks to ../emacs/dev/planner/planner-timeclock.el, I can tell you how long something took to implement. That's given me a newfound appreciation for lunch hour and (formerly) free time. Lunch hour is another new planner feature, or a new website look, or a few new discoveries on the Net.

I don't think we'll be needing the web dev company any more. I think that at this point we aren't likely to see significant improvements with professional design, given that the company isn't into copywriting. I would've greatly appreciated the services of a real copywriter who can, say, review our documents and write for the web, but the web firms in the Philippines don't offer this as a service. I suppose I'll just have to trust my senses when it comes to the Net. The current Adphoto website is still too marketing-fluffy for my tastes, but I can tweak that when I get better ideas.

Emacs on Mac OS X

Sven Kloppenburg said:

using Emacs on Macosx myself, I can tell you that emacs 21.2.1 comes with macosx. If you want a more recent version, you can just checkout the CVS-Emacs and cd mac; ./make-package —self-contained to get an installable macosx-app that plays nice with planner.

btw.: a .dmg file is mounted by double-clicking it ;-)

Ooooh, nifty. I wonder if it comes with pretty widgets. I want my mom to have a menubar right away. <grin>

Thanks for the tip!

E-Mail from Richi's server

Web site design

After seeing the quotation from the web design firm my mom's thinking of using, I have gotten sufficiently annoyed about the current design. I will apply my one-hour hacking challenge to tomorrow. That is, in one hour, I will try to whiz through as many improvements as possible.

It's been enough time that I've forgotten what their design looked like. I'll sit down tomorrow and hack up something small and simple. Neat. No frills. Clean and elegant, though, and search-friendly. It won't get picked up by the search engines right away, but I'll see what I can do about that also.

If they think the design resembles theirs too much, I can modify it. <shrug> Still, better to have code I understand than autogen code I don't.

Some insights:

- Websites can be tweaked over time, just like software. I can improve

it incrementally. I should think of it like planner.

- I wanted a professional design firm because I wanted a real

copywriter to go over the stuff. I don't want people to just copy-and-paste blocks of text from the company profile.

- I also wanted someone to do the initial implementation so that I can

just do maintenance, which I enjoy. If I'm sufficiently annoyed, though, I can just evolve the site. One of the most effective ways to get me to do something is to make me annoyed enough with the current situation.

- Design: As long as it isn't horrible, it's okay. People will visit

for photos and information, not for website design tips.

- Future: Stock photos CMS, delicious-style tagging. But not now.

Small hack forward.