Thursday, December 22, 2005
Taxi driving perspectives
Monday Dec. 19, 2005: I'm in the back seat of Hassan M Osman, driver 84334
of Karma Taxi Corp. Osman seems to have learned to drive from somewhere in
Asia. I got in the car and he clearly didn't know where to take me so he's
talking on his cell phone to some dispatcher. Then before I can settle in
we're weaving all across traffic and through pink lights, oops that was red,
and around and through all forms of other vehicles. I think he just checked
his text messages and email on his phone. And there goes another big red
Thursday Dec. 22, 2005: I rode in another taxi. This time, he said he was up
driving since 6am, and had to get up again tomorrow to start at 6. (It was
currently 12am.) He had to pay his rent. Money was tight he said, so much
that he had to sell his medallion to get some eye surgery. I'm really
grateful for my education and possibilities in life. And I want to keep
working hard, he's doing it and so will I.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
The beauty of bygone days' chores
It was not long ago, 15 months or less, that I was bemoaning to all as a pledge in a cooperative house of the many chores I had to do. The sweeping, the dishes, the memorizing of names, girlfriends names, parents' names, home-towns, ages, and personal trivia, the organized functions...
So about a month into it last fall, I left the house, kept paying them rent, and got my own apartment. Then in the spring (when I finished job interviewing and ran out of excuses to waist so much money) I stopped the massive cashflow leak, put on a grimace, and moved back. It wasn't that bad. At first I was so pissed off for geting home at 11 from group projects, homework, and student organizations--only to find a heaping pile of 5 hour old crusty dishes from 45 guys, a dirty floor, and flour, sugar, fat and meat all over the kitchen. I put in the time cleaning this two hour mess, then did homework, and thrice weekly woke up early in the morning to work out with Jillian. Surprisingly, by the end of the semester, I strangely looked forward to the chores and brainless, but productive, hours involved.
I write this after moving out of that house, trekking over India with Jillian, moving to Minneapolis to work, then relocating to Chicago, and just capping off 140.5 hours of billable work since Dec. 1st. The funny thing is today--Friday--I got home relatively early (10:30pm) and just can't sleep. I'm too wound and post-stress-y to lay down. This is my free time, I want to sleep, but by golly I should relax some too! Not just drop in the bed unconscious. So I spent the last 45min taking out trash, bundling up garbage and doing dishes for my roommate and myself. It felt good. If I wasn't going to bed in a few minutes, I'd do laundry too, as it is a very important, but quite mindless chore.
Enjoyment is found, surprisingly, in completing the not-so-glamorous tasks in life. Some people could watch TV or movies, and in fact they may have more fun than I do with my garbage, dishes, and even laundry! But I don't have a TV, don't particularly want to watch movies more than every other month, and really feel good after getting chores like this done! (Another great one is paying bills. When I'm done gosh (!) I feel like I've finished something and it's great to know I saved and invested more than I spent for the month.) I think I might start reading a novel or two that I have on my bookshelf. I do quite enjoy reading, and non-fiction 24/7 isn't the best for my creative side. (After all, this blog is called Art View for a reason.) I'll blog too, if Jillian doesn't mind me flooding Art View with so many posts... (-;
Good night and may household chores find you great contentment and relaxation, Jonathan
Thursday, December 15, 2005
beep beep! .....I'm zooooooommmmming!
'listening to some techno by Critical Mass right now coding java and jsp at work
Coming Really Soon!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Prediction - software developers are blue collar 2020
I predict that software developers in 20 years will be the manufacturing employees of today. Jobs will be exported, it won’t be as glamorous of an occupation, and something else will rise to become the new white collar occupations. Probably nanotech or biotech or bioinformatics. I even speculate that children in 2020 may be outsourcing software development to make virtual reality add-ins, e-toys, or gifts for themselves and others. It will be easy and accessible for a child who grows up with a computer, broadband, and a mobile infrastructure to use a payment system to hire and pay designers and developers overseas to build stuff for them. On lunch money budgets.
Tight deadlines make happy creatives, and cool podcasts
37signals.com is a sweet blog to follow regarding design. Design. Lots of different kinds of design. And it's really cool stuff. Also they are a web development company that's releasing really cool stuff built on a framework called "ruby on rails." I met David a few weeks back at a rapid web development talk at Depaul and it was really cool! It'll be great to get some time from work to do some playing around with these new technologies! AJAX and more.
Also I just found (from the above blog) a podcast series about great entrepreneurs of the web. http://www.venturevoice.com/ That's what I want to be in 6-8 years!
Sunday, December 11, 2005
But thanking... now that's a present day priviledge I have, and exercise often.
Jillian, the self-admited spaz when learning new computer software, has actually brought alot of patience into my life. I've learned to be more patient and understanding when explaining things or trying to help her fix something that is broken--and should work, "now!" I really appreciate it. If I stay calm and confident that together we'll get things working, she ends up fixing it faster and with less pirate sounding, "arghhs." Here's to me learning more and more with you, Jillian.
Negroponte's $100 laptop
Might this technological invention have parallels to the 80's server and mainframe market? Peter Gordon from The Standard thinks so.
...the US$100 laptop is most definitely a computer project and it will be as
revolutionary as the original PC or the Internet, and for the same reasons.
The PC industry now exhibits many of the same problems that the mainframe
and mini-computer industry showed back about 1980: legacy designs, attempts to
maintain proprietary standards, slow-moving bureaucracies as much if not more
concerned with legal and political issues rather than innovation.
The PC brought simplicity back to computing: almost anyone could program them, almost
anyone could use them and almost anyone did. The initial versions of new
innovative software spreadsheets, operating systems, databases were often
written in a couple of weekends: many of the resulting companies or their
descendants are still with us, while many of the mini- and mainframe computer
companies have vanished.
I didn't live (with an adult brain) through the 80's enough to know the truth of that, but I do believe open source is going to be revolutionary, and education is the world's most powerful enabler for positive change.
A little too rosey:
The US$100 laptop will open the industry up once again, for three
reasons: first, there will be lots of them, perhaps as many if not more than all
other PCs put together, creating a tipping point for almost universal adoption
of the computer technology and, second, for open- source (i.e. non-commercial,
non- proprietary) software platforms.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Video Web Design Tutorials and Technical Stuff for Jillian
The descriptions are lite, but the content is pretty detailed. You will need a broadband connection to take full advantage of this. It covers dreamweaver, style sheets, and now embeding audio on webpages.
>> wow. Srah rocks! 382 miles.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
California and Chicago
Just before 10 tonight, in Chicago, I left from work a very tired and happy worker. I got some code to finally listen to me and do what I was telling it to do for 3 days, or 32 quasi-billable hours of work. This is always a good way to start the commute home. Plus I was going to get a cab, and be in bed in 30 min. Then I crunched my feet on 7 inches of fluffy, white snow that was at least 20 degrees warmer than the entire city was yesterday! This special treat appeared in the last few hours! It was 30 (deg. Farenheit), reflectively bright, crisp, fresh and downright playful outside. It was awesome!
I laughed with several other wannabe taxi passengers as none of us could hail a cab. I wandered around and found one who was stuck in the city the last 2 hours because the highway was practically closed down. He drove me to the train station, about 3 blocks and I wished him luck and gave him a big fat tip. I kept laughing about the nice, beautiful surprise outside and pretty soon a train arrived and wisked me towards home on rails above the snow. I walk and run and jump in the snow (in my dress clothes) and get home in total by quarter after 11.
California may be big and powerful, but tonight I really enjoyed snow that is definately not going to land there any time soon. The surprise weather made people so much more friendly, talking and laughing amongst each other about this unexpected dumping. The bus driver, taxi driver, and other people on the street (myself included) got a mental mindset vacation. If it's always 70 and sunny, I suspect that may be harder to come by.
Note. This article in the Onion: According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, California is an economic region with an annual gross domestic product of $1.36 trillion—an amount equal to one-sixth of the U.S.'s total gross national product. Considered internationally, California's GDP ranks fifth in the world, behind the U.S., Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
chicago's cold and I feel extra important in the evenings
Tuesday a.m. I repeated the question for about 46 minutes.
But then each evening as I stay late at work for a push to get our project done on time -- i take a taxi home, and walk a block to my house. And get it all reimbursed. And that makes me feel special and somewhat important inside. a cheerful driver from some other country shuttling me around and keeping the cab warm.
well, i'm grinning now and need to relax to sleep. jonathan
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Database market (FOSS)
In a FOSS related comment (free open source software), the $10 billion database industry is dominated by 4 players: Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Sybase. Says Terry Garnett, the acting CEO of Ingres, as well as being the managing partner of Garnett & Helfrich Capital:
The systems are proprietary and expensive and leave customers with
virtually no way to get out from under. Meanwhile, the companies supplying those database products are looking at approximately an 80% profit margin.
Open source software is here to stay, and it's definitely going to take some huge mammoth sized chomps into high profit margin commoditizing industries. A few more snippets:
Garnett plans to increase the current staff with at least 100 new hires
worldwide. Ingres now has the ability to sweeten the compensation programs with
Ingres stock, though it will be at least several years before those shares
What about open source database competitors, such as MySQL?
According to Garnett, MySQL does not represent a threat, for two reasons. First,
the Ingres customer is often a large transaction-oriented firm, such as those on
Wall Street, as opposed to being more query-oriented. Transactions are Ingres's
MySQL may have gotten in a bit of a bind on the transaction side.
Oracle recently bought InnoDB, the development company behind what many
developers consider to be one of the most crucial pieces of technology in
MySQL's 5.0 release. Although InnoDB is only one of several storage engines that
ship with MySQL, if you want to do transactions with MySQL, InnoDB is an
important option. Garnett was adamant that Ingres had full ownership and control
over all of its code.
In summary, Garnett's team appears to be well qualified
to take Ingres to the next level. His company has the financial resources to see
the program through over the long run. And remember, Computer Associates
converted its software to run on Ingres. While Garnett's group owns more than
50%, Garnett said that Computer Associates also owns a "substantial" piece of
the company and as such wants to see Garnett's plans come to fruition.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Broadband as a driver in social progress and economic development
Some interesting tidbits:
* The US has 94 telephone lines per 100 people.
* Developing countries may only have 5 lines per 100 people.
* A 1% increase in phone lines leads to a 3% increase in GDP
* Nov 2003: 35% of US internet users had high speed access, May 2004: 42%, Dec 2004: 50%, 2005: 53%+
Dr. John Rudledge of Rudlege Capital, LLC (Economic Advisor to Reagan and Bush) talks about what is broadband. He suggests it is a verb, not a noun. It means you're faster than everyone else. Once the "Pony Express" was broadband, now it is wireless and cable internet, for some it is optical fiber to the desktop. He continues, "I think of broadband as the Central Nervous System of the economy.... America is not competing for jobs, but capital. Capital makes you productive and allows you to earn a paycheck. We need to learn to compete for capital with other countries in the world who know the importance of telecom capital. ... China's current energy use 20 years in the future (with no conservation) uses more than total world production today. ... Because of that impending clash, they are shifting resources from oil and gas industries to IT growth [and efficiency.] ... The US is in 16th place in the world telecom speed tables.
Christina Heakart (?) is the Gen. Mgr. of Marketing for Microsoft TV. She points out that the entire broadband revolution is limited to people using PC's. It's helped businesses and homes (with PC's) into the digital age. In 5-10 years broadband will bring it to the TV. We will see the ignition of enormous new amounts of new commerce, new ways to communicate, unite community, and new content. ... Bring the TV in as a full citizen to the digital age. TV will become 2-way and no longer 1-way.
Leo Hinderly, Jr (Managing Partner of InterMedia) claims broadband is not available to all and is in fact discriminatory--favoring urban and wealthy areas; rare in rural and poor areas.
Once again, John Rudledge says there is not (or only recently) a broadband policy in the administration. Most pressure for reform has come out of congress. "5 years ago 40% of telecom equipment was made in the US, now it is down to 20%. R & D is going as well. Because the manufacturing factor is going, the intellectual aspect is getting more and more important. This year, China will make more engineers than America + Germany + Japan."
Christine advocates the free market to "wave it's invisible hand" that will allow economic models to emerge for the digital divide to reunite. Most people that are poor don't have PC's. They have TV's but not PC's. It doesn't matter if they have broadband in the home if they can't use it.
Then they go into a lengthy Q & A where I stopped watching. I'm tired and can use my sleep to arrive at work early and refreshed by 7. About Christine's point with poor not having PC's -- the open source community in Chicago has been working on creating free machines in exchange for volunteer hours building refurbished PC's out of donated hardware. I've been volunteering there, and I encourage you check out their website at www.freegeekchicago.org With some digging, you can even find some pictures of me, I suspect.
Time to blog again
I'll probably make posts in international issues, technology, social trends, futurist ideas, and business. We'll all learn a whole bunch.
I invite you all to comment, and Jillian to post as well.