October 7, 2005

Bulk view

More thoughts about Google and projects

I’ll keep Google internships in mind, as I really have AJAX and other
fun Web stuff on my to-learn list. I mainly work with slightly-marked
up plain text, though, so my “strong visual design sense”
is… err… somewhat skewed.

I’m particularly interested in taking blogging beyond the browser and
embedding it into people’s everyday applications, because the people
using the personal information manager I maintain tell me they’re
absolutely addicted to that ability. We’re seeing people do really
cool things because they can hyperlink tasks and notes to e-mail
messages, files, web pages, chats, even BiBTeX entries… anything
they felt like writing a plugin for. ‘Course, all of this lives inside
the wonderful little world of Emacs.

I’m curious about what would happen if someone brought this into the
mainstream. If Google Desktop’s done the heavy lifting of getting
metadata from various applications, and if there’s a way to recreate
that state when someone follows a link, then tada! personal knowledge
blogging becomes part of every application Google Desktop knows about,
allowing people to richly annotate the stuff on their hard disk. With
another set of rules for controlling the publishing of data, people
can even share their notes on the Net. Even more fun.

IBM (T.J. Watson center) seems to be doing something similar with
personal chronicling tools for enhancing information archival and collaboration in enterprises. They hooked into Microsoft Windows, too.

Possible hiccups:

- Google Desktop is still a Windows-only thing. I’m on Mac OS 10.3, so

no Spotlight for me! Beagle / Dashboard on Linux looks promising, though,
as I think that also exposes the event stream for GNOME applications and
allows people to write stuff that acts on the content.

- I have no HCI background to speak of yet. But hey, that’s why I’m

taking a master’s! (It’s a wonder I got into U of T at all, but I
guess my research supervisor took a chance on the fact that I enjoy
learning and sharing what I’ve learned)… I like working with
users, and it would be good to learn how to formally analyze a
system.

- I’m one of those weird people! I use Linux. To be more precise: I

use Emacs and Firefox, and whatever runs underneath those two
applications. I can’t stand shell scripting in Windows, though,
(even with Cygwin!) and the Mac feels different enough to be
strange. Maybe if I focus on web stuff… (Yes, we’re back in the
browser. Fun Web 2.0 stuff is happening in the browser, though.)

And to think I asked for a Mac Mini because I wanted to try out crazy
experiments like Quicksilver and Onlife… I’ll need another
computer—Windows, this time—just to cover all the bases!

Enthusiasm

From Year to Success:

The source of the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word
enthousiasmos, which ultimately comes from the adjective entheos, “having the god within,”
formed from en, “in, within,” and theos, “god.”

I hope to live life not only with excitement, but with enthusiasm and
passion.