Methods for Assignments

Posted in Career at 10 am

This is a list of the ways that we came up with at Hot Pepper to dole out assignments:

  • Shared spreadsheet
  • Web page
  • Printed page per task
  • Daily printed page
  • Single task e-mail
  • Multi-task/Daily e-mail
  • Via calendaring app (iCal, Outlook, etc.)
  • Whiteboard task list
  • Shared wordprocessing doc
  • Shared Outline Editor doc

The key here was to break up tasks into .5 hour minimum to 4 hr maximum elements, always include the Do date and the Due date, and the time budgeted to complete the task. Optionally each task was also given an ‘evil twin’ task of QA by another person.


Catching up with August 2005

Posted in Apple, Career, General, Life, Media, Tech, Transport, Web at 9 am

For the first post of September, we’ll be covering August and the last few weeks with QuickNotes™…

1) I’ve got a new laptop: 15″ PowerBook. Woo Hoo! It’s teh hot! Seriously, switching from the plastic-cased iBook to the aluminium wraped 15″ PB has given me a new appreciation for thermodynamics. (But still the PB is FAST! So much faster than the iBook.)

2) Tiger is okay, but little to write home about. The UI inconsistencies in OS X from the system and iApps perspective is becoming more obvious. But I could be just railing against the fact that part of iChat crashes on a regular basis, just after I switched back to using it instead of Adium because iChat can now do multiple accounts including Jabber accounts.

3) General instability is the call of the day. Some things are craping out way too easily. I’m letting Steve use my iBook while he’s out in Astoria for school, and I’ll be putting Panther on it.

4) Went and saw part of the Woodburn NEDRA electric drag races. Took some video and put together some movies for John Wwayland over at plasmaboy racing.

5) The new iTunes interface is an unecessary change unless it’s carried out to the rest of the iApps. The name for it seems to be “Polished Metal” as opposed to the older (and reviled) “Brushed Metal”. The iPod Nano looks cool but it took me days to find out it was solid-state flash and not hard drive-based. The ROKR iPhone is for SUKRs. Totally crippled and nothing new hardware-wise. Apple can’t build the whole widget, so the widget is a total compromise.

6) Our living rooom television died. Would like to replace it with a flat LCD, but they’re still more money than I want to invest in Home Entertainment. If anyone’s got a recommendation for a $200 to $300 television with *LOTS* of input and output jacks, let me know.

7) I’ve got a freelance project launching in the next could of days. I’ll point to it once it’s got a bit of burn-in time.

8) I’ve been seeing a new testing probe-bot that’s crawling around Contact forms. It’s already hit LazerQuick where we’ve patched it and just last nite it hit my feedback form on OrderSomewhereChaos. Nasty little bugger made me dive back into Perl code that I’ve not touched in 6 or 7 years. The mail is being sent to the (probably compromised) AOL account of “jrubin3456@aol.com”. They’re looking to find tons of spamming reflectors. I’m sure they’ll find *LOTS* of them.

9) Amy and I are off to see the final regular-season game for the Timbers! Mighty Mighty Timbers!


Classical Interrogation

Posted in Career, Media at 8 pm

“These results are supportive of research by Jensen (2001), which states that participants listening to classical music are more likely to disclose personal information than those listening to no music.” – Usability News, 6.1 2004

It would be interesting to have music playing in the background of a job interview, or some other highly structured interaction and contrast classical with other music forms.



Posted in Career, Media, People, Tech at 6 pm

Slow day today, though it should have been more busy. Got my machine at work set up to do some file sharing over the net, though it doesn’t work perfectly for plug-in file transfers, but I like the graphics that I worked up for it. http://orion.omsi.edu/

I also started a small page for a friend of a friend. It’s just starting out. Can you tell where I stole some ideas from? Why develop two sites when you can just make one? http://www.omsi.edu/~rosso/superboy/

I was also looking through some of the work I’ve done before… like the one I made for Amy. http:///sorry.it’s.private.com/:)

I renamed my hard drives to Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, after the stars that make up the shoulders of the constellation Orion.

I still haven’t put together the archiving solution for the page… It’s on the to-do list. Along with the Forest Puzzles to-do list and the Cave Inn to-do list and the Zoo to-do list and the PSU to-do list… Need I continue?




Posted in Apple, Career, Media, Tech, Web at 6 pm

I’m slowly transfering my work machine to be based on MacOS 8. I’ve had it the 2 gig sitting in my machine for quite a while but have been slow to transfer over my preferences and set it as my startup disk. I finally moved my TCP setup over and I’m starting to get Malph re-setup piece by piece.. I know I could just copy over the Preference files, but it’s nice cleaning things out by hand. Though time-consuming to be sure. But damn, it’s _so_ responsive. Of course I haven’t installed all my fonts yet, either… 🙂

Forest Puzzles is looking good. In fact, here’s the URL for it: <http://www.omsi.edu/~rosso/forpuz/> That’s not the final place for it, so don’t bookmark it. However Busytown has reached it’s final destination at: <http://www.omsi.edu/busytown/> which is aliased to a longer more logical pathname as the site structure goes. It’s still got to get through Paramount’s okay (they own the rights to the characters), but it’s looking good.

I’m switching over to Netscape 4.0 as well. I’ve been sticking with 3.0 for a while, because I use the mail client to read my personal e-mail (and Eudora for my business mail). I really feel that Communicator is way overblown. I wish you could install just the parts that you want. For me, it’d be the browser and the mail client. OpenNS 5.0 perhaps?? Maybe I’ll try to find a different e-mail client, though Eudora is such a landmark, it’s hard to think of another one to use. Wait, didn’t Bare Bones come out with one? Time to do some research.

Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space has been a constant soundtrack for my life lately. It’s really a beautiful CD. VW recently used the title track in a commercial. This fits in with the concept that TV commercials are more (avant-garde) musically than commercial radio. Isn’t that sad?

This week shaped up to be pretty active and productive. These are two words that haven’t been part of my vocabulary for a few weeks lately. Winter doldrums? Hopefully I’m looking at an upturn here. I’ve certainly got enough projects that could use some work. And a partner who could use some attention.



Jason and Paul of Clevland

Posted in Career, People at 6 pm

Been slow on keeping up, but I think I’ll make some more head way now.

I had been hitting a mental block at work. The Forest Puzzles project has just had me burned out, and it was standing in the way of a dozen other project. As of last night and today, however, I finally got some work done on the damn thing. Now I just got to get some photos scanned (which I’m dreading (and putting off) because my flatbed scanner is the most cantankerous piece of equipment I’ve ever dealt with.) Just today I got the final signatures on a new scanner (and a CD Burner!) that should be here in a couple of weeks, god and the finance department willing.

In the mean time, though, I’ve got to finish these photos up and pray that the scanner will be kind to me tonight.

In brighter news, I’m on verge of starting up a project for RODesign. It’s nice to have some outside work that I can throw some energy into. I sometimes feel like I’m beating my head against a wall with some of the politics (no worse than anywhere else, mind you) of an organization.

Today Jason of Clevland and Paul arrived and Amy and I picked them up at PDX. I had to rush off to work of course so Amy’s entertaining them this afternoon. I picked up some tickets for the Thrill Ride IMAX film here at the museum for Friday night. It should be good as both J and P are big rollercoaster fans.



Postcard Postoffice

Posted in Career, Tech, Web at 10 am

Took a warm bath last night. It was nice. Did a little reading. (The Art of Human Computer Interface Design is a 600 page large format tome of a book. I really gotta get it finished soon.)

I’ve just about finished of the Busytown site. It’s a part of the Busytown exhibit which OMSI built about the Richard Scarry characters. It’s a very playful site, though there’s not much depth. It’s somewhat of a side project. It does however have a cute little postcard postoffice facility that I’m thinking of re-purposing for the OMSI site. I’m thinking it needs cool shots of the OMSI logo, the building and famous scientists. If you know any good repositories of famous scientists portraits, drop me a line. I’d appreciate it.

I think I’ve just about got the the archiver for this journal thought through. Piece by piece, it’s coming together in my head…



Behind Schedule

Posted in Career at 10 am

Now that I’ve got this thing, I feel like I don’t have much to say.

I’m having troubles with a client at work. Their project is about 2 months behind schedule. There’s about 2 days worth of work left to do on it, but it feels like it might as well be a month.

This project has dragged out so long, I’m burned out. The worse thing about it is that I’m really proud of the design and style of the thing. It’s really a very cool project.

But I’ve got to finish it. Those last couple of feet to the finish line have been the hardest. Perhaps it’s because the finish line has kept moving. That explains a lot.

And I didn’t do anything on yesterday’s to-do list, except for the banners on the online page:




Air Travelers

Posted in Career, Life, People at 11 am

Much to do today: Call Karen about the peeling wall in the shower, Call WM about an IRA rollover. I want to add a better looking list of OMSI’s web offerings on the Online Activities page. Note to Amy: I found the original PSD files for Air Travelers.

Still need to call my parents and e-mail Teeg today. It looks like my friend Maurice will be visiting from The Netherlands in April. That should be fun!



Quake Army Knife

Posted in Career, Media, Tech at 10 am

Ah Monday, day two of my workweek. Slow morning, though I’ve got a dept meeting at work at 11:00. Gotta get going.

I installed and played with a demo version of Quake last night. I think I’ve got a feel for how the game works, now I just gotta check out the tools for building custom maps. There’s a util call QuArK (QUake ARmy Knife) which looks like a good place to start. I wonder if I’ll have to pony up the money for the full version of Quake II to make this work. I hope not.