November 19, 2006

Mmm, chocolate

November 19, 2006 - Categories: life

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
concentration.

Excellent…

Hooray Internet collaboration!

November 19, 2006 - Categories: school

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.

Nov 13 to Nov 19

November 19, 2006 - Categories: weekly

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
famous!

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.