Off the Top
Random notes and rants.





OtT Archives

Saturday, June 30, 2001
This morning as I was listening to Car Talk and Click and Clack announced their partners, which included Adaptive Path. I was so excited. I have been tangentially following the wonderful work that AP has been doing for NPR. The exposure this type of work is getting is fantastic. This helps all of us that perform this work or make an attempt to promote its need.

It has been old home weekend with going away parties for Todd and Carrie who are heading to Tel Aviv for a two year tour with the State Department. I promised to keep Todd up to date with what is happening with the 49ers, but I am sure the Internet will help make this distance more palatable.

It was also birthday celebration for Britt, who came down from the Philly area with her husband Jose Carlos. It was wonderful to see all of that group.

Lane is back posting, but with a bit more venom than before. It is very good to seem him back posting, which means his life has a breather (hopefully for him).

Thursday, June 28, 2001
I found an incredible education site about Pearl Harbor, which was built by the folks at Second Story. I was so impressed with the whole site and the layout and the depth to which the whole thing was built. I would take a pay cut to work there. Now these are people that "get it" and "get IT".

Marketplace has been running an intriguing series on Speed this week. Today's focus was the Bay Area and had a great segment about speed and growing companies at the right pace (Real Audio). Also a discussion on speed and problems that stream into panic.

Salon has a good reflection on the MS trial appeals findings released today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001
ESPN goes through a redesign that seems to highlight how much less content they are providing than before. CNN went through this during this past year also, which leaves finding news of interest much harder and providing an arena for MeFi like sources to point to information and provide independent comment. Watching major network television news over the last six months has really turned me to the Web and NPR for in-depth coverage and meaty reporting. The Economist is one of the remaining weekly publications with strong coverage and true breadth in a non-namby pamby write to the lowest common denominator style.

It is ironic that as the education level in the U.S. increases with more of its population having partial and even completion of college education the media is aiming the content of their productions to the lowest common denominator. Has the education in the USA made the products of its esteemed halls of higher education less capable of understanding a plot line? How did this nation go from news that provided understanding to news in tiny chunks that only aim to entertain?

We all learned something new today. As some of the folks I work with were preparing to demonstrate a nearly functionality that is the geographical visual component of an application they received their first requirement. They found they will be gutting 75 to 85 percent of their application and rebuilding the work done over the last four to five weeks because as they senior level folk in the organization were writing the press release they could not explain how it the application worked. After they thought about it they figured it would be easier to write the press release how they thought the application worked and rebuild the application to what the press release states. No joke.
Monday, June 25, 2001
Oddly enough, The Body Shop does not have on-line commerce for its customers in the USA. Their stores seem to be interminably out of what I am searching. The only place I have seen the Men's Deep Body Cleansing Gel in stock is in Amsterdam. It may be worth a flight to go get it.
Sunday, June 24, 2001
I picked up some pink lemonaide at the grocery store today. One sip and I was transported to my grandparents back porch over looking Spokane, Washington in the summertime listening to stories of their growing up and working very hard just to get by. The weather today was a wonderful match warm and dry. The only thing missing was the wonderful sunset late in the evening as the sun only dips below the horizon for a few hours.
The weather won today. Temperature in the upper 70s and very little humidity with large puffy white clouds. Who could stay in?

We stayed in for a few moments to catch Shrek. I am still stunned by the quality of the animation. It was funny and a cute story, but the animation was amazing.

Yes, the customer is always right. The customer can also learn too. Actually they have learned to a large degree, but one bad apple...

Search engine optimization by Paul Boutin, is one of the articles on this subject I have read recently. Now it is the task to find the others.

A few weeks ago I was tasked with a functionality project. I laid out the usability risks that would most likely need to be addressed and the (then) project manager said to ignore this as it would take too long. Friday I showed the 75 percent completed functionality to the users and the users said, "we can't use this until there is clearer information attached to the functionality". The users now want a meeting so we can build in the other needed information so the main functionality is usable, which was the main component in my list of usability risks. I hate being right, no REALLY, it bugs me to no end that the sponsor brings in managers that don't have the elementary skill set needed at a novice level to understand information flow and usability. Having managers that can use the knowledge and expertise (which includes bringing in the users early in the process) of those who understand what the process is and what really should be done so a project can move along efficiently is a major requirement. Pardon me, but I am continually baffled that people don't learn this, particularly after they have been seriously burned by this lack of understanding twice in the past year.

Pet Peeve II... being demanded to build functionality that does not scale and is not efficiently maintainable nor is reliable. Computing allows people to push off repetitive tasks to the machines that allow for ease of maintenance and growth. Most often I can build an application that will handle the input, maintenance, and growth of that information in less time than building static versions that are not maintainable nor scalable. This is where Web development went in most organizations 2 to 3 years ago. Being forced to live in the past will get ignored and rarely passes the laugh test.

Anil points to Google image search, which is really fun to play with. Getting Google to process this is a trick. I am trying to knock together a quick and dirty query tool to search Google normally or for images. Hopefully, I will have this by tomorrow (weather and wife permitting).

Saturday, June 24, 2001
Bryan is transitioning with a California Lexicon.
A luck would have it the Red Sox will be out of town on my quick trip to Boston next month. I guess I can still go take some pictures of great gems. There are so many other things to do while I am there.
Friday, June 22, 2001
I had a Matrix moment this morning. I was driving and was coming up to a police woman who opened the door to her car and put one foot in as to get in. I pulled up to a stop light as it turned red. As the light turned green I looked in my rear view mirror the same police woman standing next to her car opened the same door to her car and got in. I tried to replay in my mind what I was supposed to do. I looked at my cell phone just in case.
There is a construction company that has their Motto all over their equipment. It just made me smile.
Thursday, June 21, 2001
It was nice to see friends from grad school this evening. One friend is now a Congressman, but he is still just Mike to me. It seems everybody is thinking about jobs these days and what their next step will be.

I have been enjoying Launch for listening to music. Thanks Jeff and Dinah for pointing this out. I know I am late to the game on it, but it is so nice to have most every song played be something I like.

Jesse's illustration I pointed to yesterday seems to have opened a lot of eyes. The 19 months of talking about this stuff seems to have really needed a visual method to point out the stages when you consider items. The new overall manager I am working with stated we needed to storyboard, which really floored me. We went through the storyboard phase 12 months ago based on various user groups and placing the information and applications if functional relationships. It is so refreshing to hear somebody say this. There is so much work that has been done, based on experience and knowledge, that nobody only the other developers and contractors understand. Talking to somebody on the client side who has a basic understanding of doing things right is a new an novel concept on this project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Fast Comapany has an article in their Career Center regarding layoffs and the job market, which has a list of what counts in a job now. My favorite on the list is a "manager with a clue". The whole list is rather dead on.
I was pleased to find Macromedia finally posted information about their upcoming Web development project management tool. I have been hearing about this through the grapevine about how wonderful it is from early testers.

I stumbled across an illustration of the elements for developing a user exerience (in PDF), which was put together by Jesse. This is the visualization of what we have been trying to explain for the last 19 months. The visual design is one of the last components not the first. Identifying the user and the business objectives are the first steps. Hopefully it will finally sink in once the a visual representation is shown.

Christina captures the various descriptions of an Information Architect.

I am finding it amazing that in this current job market is can be difficult to find a well qualified individual to map the course for Internet and information applications for a large organization. Wierd.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Yes, it has been a couple of days between postings. It has been a cooling off period and a time to further evaluate where I am going professionally. Having just gone through a wild two weeks of professional evaluation, which was sparked by a very cool job offer. I did one of the toughest things I have had to do in quite a while, I turned down the offer. I may live to regret this decision, but it was 80% in the direction that I wanted to go with my career. Staying put was not a viable option either, at least for the long term. Through some long discussions with the company I currently work for I *may* be able to get back where I was heading when I joined the company. The project on that I am working on was to have been a short term project before turning all my efforts to build and guide an team of Internet information application developers. This is my hope again, but I will not go through another "fix it" solution with the same company. The toughest part was turning down a very nice signing bonus in this current economy.

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...

Jeff Burka forwarded a great link for Updating DHTML Web Pages for the next generation browsers.

Michelle hits the nail on the head with a post I have enjoyed for the last few days. A similar world surrounds me at the moment with IA, usability, and interface development taking back seat to just building web pages until something looks right.

Saturday, June 16, 2001
It is wonderful that heyjud site is alive again with current posts and photos. Can we pay to keep here there? This is a wonderful breath of fresh air to my heart and soul.

Joy and I went to Tomb Raider this evening with friends. As Joy stated it is a classic summer movie with action and wonderful scenes. It was pure fun.

In my book summer movies also include wonderful international films. Many of these films were seen at the Bridge, which Peter points out is back open under old management.

I hope that Peter is correct in his observation that San Francisco (which I have to take as the whole Bay Area) is a great place for film lovers. My knowledge of great films has either decreased as Washington, DC's good international film houses have closed, there are few solid international films or quality independent films produced, or San Francisco offered a great trove of wonderful venues that stayed on top of the quality films from not only the U.S., but the world. I admit I have come close to hoping on a train or jumping in a car just to see quality films that are playing in New York. The other possibility is that films have gone the way of music of late, in that there are now only a small handful of distributors that are controlling what we see and hear. I am tired of pea-brained individuals thinking the whole of the film-going and music-listening audiences have less intellect than they themselves and refuse to make it easy to get access to these media. Independent content is what the Web is about. Intellectual ideas, media, and art can have free reign on the Web, which is one of the many reasons that I love this venue for transferring ideas. As in economics the free flow of ideas will create a perfect marketplace. Hello Web. Hello Summer. Bring on the intellectual media that inspires my dull grey mass to a higher presence. Inspire me to use my gifts and spark my passion so I may pass on these gifts to others and we can all stand on the shoulders of giants and make a positive difference in the lives of those in the world around us.

But the Web can not provide that great ambience that the older film houses in San Francisco could provide (like the Bridge, the Alhambra, or the Castro among many). The environment of a movie house has always intrigued me. I am not talking about the press board multiplex theaters. There is a wonderful experience of going to a great movie house. The movie houses that are converted stage theaters with their art deco motif or wonderfully painted murals each set the movie goer with a sense of expectation. The question of a movie house, in which you spend the majority of your time in the dark watching the lit screen come to life. These move houses actually entertain you and pique your visual senses prior to the lights dimming. This is truly an experience that is not the main reason you go to the theater it is the movie playing. But, the wonderful movie houses give pleasure to the whole experience of the art of film. In a sense we need these theaters, as watching at home or on a monitor as it is downloaded off the Internet does not give that community setting, nor does it give the experience quality films deserve.

U2 was amazing. It reminded me of the first time I saw them with my friend Rob at the San Francisco Civic on the short tour for Unforgettable Fire (December 15, 1984). Rob and I and other friends were about six to eight people from the stage it was amazing. Thursday night we looked down to the stage rather than up at it from a box at the MCI Center. The intimacy of was similar to the first U2 concert. I would still rather have been on the floor, but still it was an amazing show.

Other things in my life are just weird at the moment. I love what I do for work and what I do for work is largely what I do for fun. I love to wrap my mind around how to get information in a usable format and how to add value to information by making it more accessible. The problems of communicating in different formats while keeping some consistency as a paper version of a document and a digital version are not used in the same manner, if this is news to you (as it is to many, so don't feel badly) we should talk. There are many ways to do things properly so that they are usable, maintainable, reliable, and repeatable. Ignoring these components is a waste of time and money. Not understanding information architecture and how to work with information and business processes to optimize the use and efficiency of the transfer of information will do you more harm than good. The basic for business is understanding a knowledge based economy and understanding how to capture information and experiences so that they become knowledge.

The checkbox? The pencil mark has been erased. The next step... Hopefully I can get back to focussing on what I need to do.

If you have not found it yet, check out BMW Films for the mini-flicks made by great directors staring BMWs and others you may recognize.

Thursday, June 14, 2001
I have the check box inplace with a pencil mark in it. Monday it should be pen.

Off to U2

Wednesday, June 13, 2001
It was a day for a no in one check box with at least one more box open and three new check boxes being built.

It was also a day for wondering if my paycheck will clear. I called the company I work for and asked for another one of the directors. The receptionist asked who was calling, then asked what company I represented. Not only is the company not big, my name has been on one of the doors (maybe my name is not there).

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
What a day. For those of you playing at home... today was a very good day. It was very impressive, but with one minor drawback. So, you can not place a check in your decision box just yet.

Yesterday I was part of an interview with Federal Computer Week. But as a contractor I could only have anything I attributed listed as a "spokesperson for the organization".

I nearly forgot to say hello to Boeing, which keeps visiting this site. Hello Boeing.

Monday, June 11, 2001
Following a string of links from Christina's weblog I found a killer visualization tool for displaying the size and contents of your database. The Software is SequoiaView from the Netherlands. The best part about the software is the free price. It is a product of a student project in human interfaces for information.

The site, Lesbarkeit von Strukturnen that I found this link from is a great resource for "InfoArchitektur".

Best news of the day was MeFi is starting to an Open Source Version in PHP and MySQL. This, upon completion, will be available for anybody to use. This bodes very well for me as I had been mapping out and early coding just this thing so to help Dinah and the year-round idea for a SXSWb site.

Christina posted a great site for Manhattan Time Transformations. This is an amazing tool which I can think of a ton of applications for. Speaking of mapping tools Multimap for the UK is a slick mapping tool. It seems to use as its road mapping the AA maps. This very cool part is not only can you get an actual aerial photo for many places in the UK, the aerial photos can overlay the road maps. Genius.

My Contextual Design arrived today in great shape. I am so happy. It has been a very good day today all around and this just topped it off.

Sunday, June 10, 2001
Errands and naps have filled this weekend. The weather has been really wonderful. We went to Joy's company picnic yesterday and took "the nephews" and a friend of ours. It was a blast hanging out with all of them. The guys were great as they are quite talkative at four, coming up on five.

Joy and I watched a video out of our collection last night, Prefontaine. Growing up in Oregon in the early to mid 70s Steve Prefontaine was a hero. All of us in elementary school would hear the P.E. teacher encourage us to run like Prefontaine and the best runner was nick-named Stevie. Anybody who was attending University of Oregon was asked if they knew him. I saw this moving on a plane flight across the country a couple years ago. The movie is completely inspiring and there is a conversation with the driven Pre reminding him that he achieved his success because he never settled for anything but the best from himself. No better words were needed for me this weekend.

We finally have our insurance combined, which was a very tough task. The difficulty was not on our part. Joy has been using the same agent-based insurance for nearly 10 years and I had been using a national company that provided services, now available through the Internet and over the phone. The addition of the new car, we put the car initially under my provider as it was just a phone call on a Saturday evening. Over the next five weeks we tried to add me and the new car to Joy's coverage (this is not a his and her view of the world at all). The agent she used, now with new associates, misquoted the cost of the new car twice and never followed up with getting coverage information to us. I had personally gone in to deliver a check to these folks to speed up the process two weeks ago as it had taken four weeks. They cashed the check and we did not hear back as to whether we had coverage as they said would happen. (I have not had to take time out of my day to drop a check off and personally meet the insurance folks in years, it is usually a painless proposition). We had filed a complaint with the national firm that this agent represents, as we did not have any notification of coverage after trying to get this moving forward for more than five weeks. Six days after filing the complaint, which requires the agent to call us and help us through our issues, we received a letter stating the new car would not be added to the policy and none of the extensive list of possible reasons were checked. We never heard from the agent. Yesterday we went back to my old company and everything, including Joy's four policies was quoted and added within 45 minutes and was charged to our favorite plastic that gives us airline points. We also received a much better price for everything.

Friday, June 8, 2001
Tres bummed. I dozed through the DC Weblogger Gathering. I am insanely short on sleep at the moment.

Stupid things have been keeping me awake and even waking me up. I dream these stupid things and I wake-up from a nightmare and realize it is not a dream, but just replays from the day, then I am really pissed. I really should not care about what I do, but I doubt I can not quell my passion. When someone makes me hate my passion or keeps me from performing and producing something everybody can be proud of (it is a group effort and everybody plays a part), it is time to say goodbye. The moving trucks are warmed up for that part of my life, now it is just how long before the move (days or months) and where to go.

Fun of the day was getting to work before 7:45am (I usually am in right around 10am) and greeting others with, "the boss wanted me to track the exact time when everybody arrives". Some people looked shocked with that then the realized the source. It was nice to be able to leave by 4pm. There was very little traffic at either end of the commute, but the traffic patterns change on the Rock Creek Parkway during these times, which is a nice little surprise when your usual lane disappears. Don't worry, next week it should be back to the Metro, as I am getting my general strength back from the evil infection in my respiratory system.

I am continually amazed with how many developers and programmers still don't understand the limitations of the browser and the Internet. Conversely, there are many that do understand the assets and liabilities that must be avoided or worked around. As long as people are willing to listen, I walk them through the possibilities.pi

Thursday, June 7, 2001
I was told again today that making something easy for the user is not important, if they don't want to spend the effort to get to public data, tough. I nearly got it in writing.

On a much better note... Mozilla released version 0.9.1 today. It is damn fast and very stable. I have no clue who is going to incorporate this as Netscape is no longer in the browser business as of yesterday.

My parents dog ran away. If anybody sees a black pomeranian that may (or may not) answer to Annie let me know (tjvanderwal2k at yahoo_dot_com). The correct dog would be in or near Stockton, California. Thanks for looking.

DC webloggers get together tomorrow. Could be a fun event.

Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Zeldman points to an innovative site, which is great in IE (I have seen similar items in IE before, but just not on the Internet). It will really be amazing when this works for Mozilla and its variants.
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
Much of today was spent asleep. I met Joy for a quick bite of dinner and that has wiped me out. I am drinking so much water I could start an aquarium inside me. Tomorrow I try heading to work and see how that goes. This thing has me baffled, tired, and light headed.
Monday, June 4, 2001
MeFi has a discussion running on IA, as the ROB Report (see MeFi thread) is discussing the Internet down turn and part of the focus is on the need for IAs. It is a discussion I really want to follow.
Another day with remnants of the beast of illness still around. I talked with the doctor again today as a result of dizziness and light-headedness. The doctor said one to two more days of rest and drink more water, at least 3 liters a day. I am not taking being home too well. The doctor complained that too many in this area never take the time to heal and hoped I would heed the advice.
Sunday, June 3, 2001
Ah it is the time of year for the French Open from Roland Garros. The clay courts bring back remembrances of when I had returned from living in Europe in 1988. The French Open was a link back to what I had just left and what seemed more normal than the place was I was holed up (a Central California Valley suburb, which did not really have an urb to be a sub of). I would wake early in the morning to watch and feel comfort. I was going through severe reverse culture shock. I had left in December 1987 on a journey that would have me spend my last semester/term of my undergraduate career at Oxford. I did not have culture shock heading over, first stopping in France before my trek to England. Upon returning from what seemed like a well reasoned world that was encompassed with narrower streets of communities and cities that survived around an existence tethered to the local stores for fresh bread and other necessities. The communities revolved around personal contact with store keepers who remember you and walking to and from these touchstones of existence. I returned to large streets and separated homes, which were not within walking distance of much of anything. Once you got to where you were going the people behind the counter were not proud of their stores as it was just a job. There was no fresh bread, no farmer's market, and none of that wonderful light during the day nor the golden rays shining through windows of cafe's, restaurants, or homes in the evening. It was the French Open that eased me back to this American way, which I watched in my French Open T-shirt that my aunt brought back from one of her trips when she strung rackets for one of the best women, Martina.
Joy and I watched My Dog Skip this afternoon on HBO. Both of us were really moved by the movie and it filled us with an appreciation for the wonderful things we have in life, like each other and friends.

I went for a walk this morning to get coffee and the local paper and wore myself out in the three block walk each direction. I have not had a lung infection since I left San Francisco so I have forgotten how much I get wiped out by them. Not breathing properly can really take it out of you. Yesterday I took the car for its bath, which was not really taxing as it was sitting in the car and then sitting waiting for the wash. That took it out of me for the day too.

Saturday, June 2, 2001
The report that Palm is in trouble is sad and somewhat silly. The Palm softening of sales seems somewhat tied to the current overall market conditions. The price points for their own products are more in the range of techies, managers, and executives, whose wallets have been feeling a pinch (as have everybody elses). The Palm hardware sales may be a little soft and they are sitting on stock of hardware that has been replaced with newer models. (This is somewhat similar to the Osborne computer problems, but nowhere near the magnitude). What Palm has going for it the best handheld operating system out there. Not Windows nor Linux can touch its speed, light memory-weight, easy use of resources, nor the depth of great software. (Linux may have the capability to offer the depth of software over time). The use of handhelds relying on the Palm OS is some where near three or four devices per DC Metro train car in the mornings. I find this somewhat amazing. The Palm did not become "drawerware" like other devices have over time. I really like what Sony and HandSpring have done to the Palm OS devices and Palm is now back in the same ballpark.

The next step, everybody seem to want to take, is wireless, which has been a rather large disappointment to date and the outlook for it does not look rosy either. The bandwidth does not appear to be opening up as promised, nor is G3 heading toward the full blown projections that were purported. I believe this helps Palm as its efficient use of resources and processor leave much more room for growth than the other platforms do to compensate using the handheld to supply what is not efficiently available from the wireless network. The Palms relative size to smaller cell phones offer it an improved screen and surface area to provide mapping on other graphic tools that can enhance location based services.

The article reference that Palm needs to be where IBM is for the business world is a little short sighted. Palm is a much younger company than IBM, but it on the same projected path that IBM has used to attach itself to the business community. The relatively error and maintenance free properties of the Palm OS make is a dream match for corporate and enterprise uses. This can not be claimed by any other handheld OS to date.

In all Palm's future is secure in my eyes. Palm has some growing and refocusing, but as far as the OS is concerned it really does not have a strong competitor. They may need to take better advantage of that advantage in their own hardware offerings, which would make the whole of the company stronger.

(Warning!!! Discussions only for the strong of stomach...) I am still feeling run down. I really want the evil beast out of my chest, which is happening as I keep coughing up pieces of it. My search on Google (also can be used in verb tense, as in to google, googling, or past tense I googled) for "lung vacuum" did not produce my desired results. Bummer. The color of the day is brown turning to white with intermittent greening. Thanks for asking.
Little did I realize the serendipity of the arrival of Zeldman's book and the point in time. June 1st was the 6th anniversary of Zeldman's Web site. In Internet terms that is nearly prehistoric. I am impressed with Zeldman's ability to stay on top of the changes, if not leading where the Web design and development world is going. He guided my path down this pixelated road and inspired me at many turns. I have nothing but thanks for is work and inspiration, as well I wish him nothing but the best and great blessings (which may be redundant as he has definitely been blessed and has been a great blessing to those of us who have read him and even had the pleasure of meeting him).
Friday, June 1, 2001
I added a couple new links today. I was impressed with the content and they seem to be updated daily. No, I have not removed the periodically updating links (like glish) as I am anxiously awaiting their return. I should mark them in some way to let you know which to hold off on viewing. Today's additions are: Queso and widepipe.

Anil is back up and running live. The same is for MeFi. The world is turning back to normal.

Yesterday I received my copy of Zeldman's Taking Your Talent To the Web. I have skimmed, read large chunks, and used it as a reference all on the first day. It is a wonderful read, like everything else Jeffery does. It provides background as to what are the limitations of the Web browser based environment and how to work around them or live with them. His code samples are great too. This may be my one book to own (who am I kidding, as if that would ever happen), okay my first book to recommend. I know I get all gushy about every new book, but Taking... covers a lot of ground and relays experience is a wonderful way to read about the Web.

Today is June 1 and the new posts here are Blogger free. The technology behind the scenes is TextPad and FTP. This may be automated in the near future, depending on hosting changes. Problems with the Blogger system that caused my making modifications to the templates. My last posts would be lost and this log is part of my memory. Sorry Blogger.

Home sick and I am getting more work done than when I am in and healthy. Allergies have caused a nice lung infection. The doctor scolded me for going to work like this. But, he said he understands, but made me promise that I would rest.

Finding frustration with lack of technology use where it would easily make things more efficient. CVS is my issue again. Not only is there no connection between ordering prescriptions, there is no connection to find what store has the item in stock other than customer or occasionally the pharmacist calling on the phone to each location. This is a large organization with the beginnings of a solution, but still has the same frustrations as the manual systems. They do not need B2B, just an inventory tracking system that can greatly assist in pleasing the customer and will also help easy the load on the pharmacist who plays operator. Once this is complete it could easily provide a look-up for the customer using the automated phone re-order placement.

I agree with kottke that the New Yorker site could use great improvement. I understand not posting all of their content on line, but not having searchable function that will help users locate other articles from the past is silly, among many other short comings. Hopefully time and effort will improve this, it is a decent start which more can build upon.

The Power Point news flood, also noted by Kottke, and peterme. I have been Power Point free for more than a year now. I have always been amazed at how much time is spent noodling around with PP presentations, which is largely due to not building a template and using that template properly. The New York Times yesterday had an article on kids using PP for school presentations. I hope they put the proof of their work in the notes. I live by bulleted lists as process points and to dos for projects, but I have learned the processes that go on behind the bullets from years of experience. It seemed odd to use PP for kids, which does not allow for knowledge to sink in to the presenter's head (as witnessed at many a conference where presenters are sticking to scripts and the bullets and have little depth behind that).

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