November 19, 2006

Bulk view

Nov 13 to Nov 19

This week, I concentrated on schoolwork and got quite a lot of things
done. Mark and I submitted my CAS project report and request for more
funding. I wrote an essay modeling the effect of open source on
developers in developing countries according to actor-network theory,
and I’m relatively happy with my analysis. I’ll post it after I get
feedback from the professor. I also worked a little bit on my
statistics assignment, although I’ll probably go for the extension on
that assignment. (5% reduction for an extra four days? Sold!) I worked
on my research prototype too, exploring different ways to geolocate
IBMers for my search engine. And I’ve just blogged about the
integrative summary due tomorrow…

How I managed to find the time for all the other things this week, I
don’t know. At Tuesday’s UsabilityCamp and Wednesday’s Mesh planning
party, I met so many cool and interesting people. I also got told that
I must be the best branded student at the University of Toronto, and
more than a few people remembered me as a tech evangelist. ;) I’m

I read a good book, too. Robert G. Allen’s book “Creating Wealth” is
well-written and advises people to get into real estate, providing
many concreate examples and strategies. I find “Creating Wealth” to be
a better read than Robert Kiyosaki’s books, like the “Rich Dad, Poor
Dad” series.

I started a new hobby: jewelry-making. I had picked up beads and other
materials at the Toronto Bead Fair last Sunday. On Tuesday, I made a
four-stranded bracelet with faux pink rose pearls. It’ll look even
better once I figure out how to do knots properly. I wore the bracelet
to UsabilityCamp, making the malong I wore look even more formal. I
made matching earrings, too.

And Friday – Friday was fun! To celebrate Simon’s 26th birthday, I
conspired with his friends and family to toast him at a surprise party
with cheese and champagne. I had to drop a few hints to make sure that
he’d keep the evening free. His surprise and happiness was well worth
the agony and excitement of anticipation. =)

Saturday was odd, though. Simon and I ran into one of those cultural
crossed wires, which I’ll probably blog or LJ or e-mail at some point
when I understand it better. Things are better now, but I still need
to think it through.

Oh, Happy Feet was a *delightful* movie. I’d watch it again. =)

Terrific week for growth, even though some of that hurt a lot…

On Technorati:

Random Emacs symbol: pre-command-hook – Variable: Normal hook run before each command is executed.

Hooray Internet collaboration!

I hadn’t heard anything from my KMD2004 groupmates all weekend, so I
was rather worried about the integrative summary that we were supposed
to pass on Monday. I couldn’t find any drafts on the wiki or the
shared workspace. If I had to write everything from scratch by myself
just to make sure that we’d get it in before the deadline, I was going
to do so. They could always make it up to me for the next assignment.

I wasn’t looking forward to working on a Sunday night, but I hadn’t
had the time to work on it during the previous week. Besides, I could
consider Saturday as my downtime day for the week.

I sent my groupmates e-mail telling them I was going to write the
summary, and I gave them my MSN and Yahoo! instant messaging details
just in case they were online on a Sunday night. I started a document
on Google Docs (formerly known as Writely)
and sketched the outline just like I’d blogged my way past a writer’s
block for my background article.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quick response of my groupmates. MJ
sent me an instant message on MSN. I asked him to reformat the
appendices to have consistent citation styles while I worked on the
summary. Dave came online after a short while. After some trouble with
the invitations, we managed to get everyone on the same page.

I set up a group chat using Bitlbee, the IM to IRC gateway that I use
to chat within Emacs. We coordinated our actions using instant
messaging while I fleshed out the summary. Dave couldn’t work on the
document right then, but he could look over my work to see where the
article was going. I added some notes about the structure of the
document so that we had a coherent, logical flow.

My computer crashed twice because I ran out of memory. (OpenOffice +
Firefox + Emacs = not good!) Good thing I was drafting the document in
Google Docs, which auto-saved the document every few seconds and
allowed people to keep reading it while I rebooted.

I sketched the document and condensed my paper before fatigue set in.
I left the paper in their capable hands, and I’m sure it will get done
by tomorrow.

I couldn’t imagine doing this without real-time collaboration tools
like instant messaging and Google Docs. Imagine what it would have
been like, having to e-mail documents around? It would have been such
a hassle for me to keep people up to date.

Hooray for Net collaboration and awesome groupmates!

On Technorati: ,

Random Emacs symbol: menu-bar-mode – Command: Toggle display of a menu bar on each frame. – Variable: Non-nil if Menu-Bar mode is enabled.

Mmm, chocolate

I’m munching on a special chocolate mix from Choco Sol. The slab of
sun-dried, bicycle-powered and volcanic-stone-ground chocolate
contains cacao, agave, amaranth, vanilla, cinnamon, ginko biloba, gotu
kola, and ginseng, and is supposed to be good for memory and