Saturday, November 22, 2008

Poppin Pete in SF

It's the 10th Anniversary SFHipHop Dance Festival weekend !
Went to last night's show and saw some killer pieces.
This afternoon, one of the visiting dancers, Popping Legend "Popin Pete" gave a 1 1/2 hour class to give us the basics and flavor of the 'Popping' style.
I came away with a greater understanding of this style and just how difficult it is do it with a 'loose groove'. Beginners like me, tend to make it look wooden and stiff. I think our minds are too focused on the 'pop' and not on the entire movement. This makes it look jerky and robot-like. (Robot-like is fine when that's what you want, but it's not fine when it's the only thing you can do :-) ).
The class was great. Thank you SFHipHop DanceFest for arranging the class !
There's another show on tonight, different than yesterday's program.
I'm really looking forward to experiencing it !

video of Poppin Pete in Beijing

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not enough bicycle parking in SF

Went to my favorite SF Cafe on Guerrero st to do some work. All the usual poles were already taken by locked bikes....

sometimes necessity is the mother of invention (as they say)...

I got my spot !

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor User Interface #01

Now here's a rough shot of the menu of choices I get when I press Windows XP's 'Programs' menu option. I always cringe when I get this because I have to read at least half the screen to find the program what I want to run.
Q: Why does it take so long to choose ?
A: Because the entries are NOT in alphabetical order !

The order seems to be haphazard and random forcing one to read the hopeless jumble. I thought I heard from somewhere that this was a smart menu that knew to put the most frequently chosen programs first.. who knows, maybe it's true, but it doesn't work for me !

I've always felt that one thing that a successful User Interface does is to rely on things that we internalized by the time of our 5th birthday... well, OK, our 6th or 7th birthday since that's when we (English speakers) learned about alphabetical order.
This Windows XP menu fails that test.

Give me alphabetical order Puh-leeze !

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Local Coffee Shop Scene

Went to my local coffee shop '33 Revolution' (they also sell vinyl there) on this fine Sunday afternoon to do a little Android SDK learning work. To my pleasant surprise they had a local band playing. Jazz/Funk. Played a lot of my favorite tunes from the 60's-70's, Maiden Voyage, In a Silent Way, a nice funk version of Footprints. Great atmosphere ! Support your local independent coffee shop (just say NO to starbucks !).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zepp by Coit Tower

Noticed what looked like the 'Airship Ventures' Zeppelin cruising by Coit Tower today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Business Mistake #01

I once worked for a small company that had some early success and became a bigger company. In the smaller company days, as is usual in these situations, the company was a strong team, focused and driven for success. Somewhere along the way to success, the Execs moved away to another building. Same with Customer Support. Engineering had it's own separate building and soon there was born an elite Engineering project that moved further away to their own separate building. Amongst the engineers, cutoff from strategic (and sometimes tactical) direction and cut off from the customers, loss of focus and lack of purpose sunk in.
The ultimate symbol of a disintegrated company appeared one day in the purportedly heartfelt 'goodbye' e-mail that was sent out to the entire company by an executive (whose name was not known to any of the regular engineering staff by the way). I attempted to read the e-mail attachment but could not. The attachment was written in some proprietary format and no one in the engineering department had the software required to read it with.
It was clear, the leaders of the company lived in a different world and communicated amongst themselves in a 'language' that only they could read.
Big mistake.