Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Happy, Happy...Joy Joy

Things have been a bit quiet here lately, and even though I've been *thinking* about some cool new things, I haven't actually been able to *execute* said cool things because real life has a way of playing havoc with the best laid plans. Sorry about that.

I've basically been in support mode at work the last two months. Some massive changes in the company has meant a lot of support to end users, fixing broken apps, etc. Unfortunately, that means no new development, so no new "direct from production" tips to share. I am happy to say that there were no critical, impact-to-the-business kind of issues, so we weathered the storm pretty well. I'm also really happy because I'm starting a new phase in my career.

Even though I was strongly tempted by some evildoers, I just couldn't go to the Dark Side and in fact strengthened my resolve to fight for Good. Yep...I got a new job!!!

Starting on the 17th, I will officially be a Senior IT Specialist at IBM!!! I couldn't think of a better place to continue in the ways of the Lotus evangelist and now I've kind of "put my money where my mouth is". I'm joining the Lotus Technical Sales team here in the Cleveland/Pittsburgh area. In that role, I'll be doing pre-sales work, lots of presentations, proof-of-concept projects, etc. It's a bit of a different path than the one I've been on, but it should be an excellent opportunity for growth. My favorite part of the job has always been interacting with customers, so I can't wait to get started!

I still plan on focusing on the same things I always have on this blog, so don't tune out yet. I love the field of user experience and user centered design because it is ever changing and there is always new stuff to learn. Taking this knowledge and making incremental changes for the better is a great feeling and I hope that so far I've been able to provide you with some good starting points or at least piqued your curiosity to explore what you can do with your Notes UI. Stayed tuned, 'cause there's a lot more to come.

Woot!...I'm going to IBM! Yep...I'm excited... :-)


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Monday, April 02, 2007

Can You Read This?

I have to thank my mother-in-law for this post (thanks, Joyce! :-) It's very cool. Let me know how you make out. I'd be especially interested to see if people with English as a second language have a much harder time with this than native speakers.

fiyuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs ? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg . The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae . The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mn id deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe . Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

...And We're Back

Hi Everybody. Sorry about the unscheduled downtime. My provider was moving their data center and screwed up big time. I *think* all of my material is still here, but I still need to go back and verify everything. In the meantime, if you find any broken links or the like, please let me know.

Hmmm...perhaps it's time for me to consider a Domino-based blog template, eh?

For those of you still here...thanks for sticking around and not immediately deleting me from your feeds! ;-)

I'll leave you with some interesting links I've run across recently:

  • Michael Bierut gets honest...This is My Process. Sounds a lot like my approach (not sure if that's good or bad).

  • Ferdy Christant points out a cool open-source project intended to provide you with royalty-free standardized icons and desktop guidelines. Check it out at the Tango Desktop Project.

  • Kathy Sierra shares her Seven Blog Virtues.

  • Last, but certainly not least, a new blogger who is very well known in the Domino community joins us here in the blogsphere. Probably everyone knows this by now, but in case you missed it, Andre Guirard is blogging now. I'm thrilled about this, as I've learned many great tips and tricks from Andre over the years. Welcome, Andre!



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Friday, January 05, 2007

Five Things You May Not Have Known About Me

Alright, I'm game (I was tagged by Nathan and Curt). Let's see...five things you may not have known about me.

I'm so mean, I once shot a man just for snoring...no wait, that was someone else. Um...I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi. Dang...that was someone else too.

OK, OK...for real now. Hmmm...I'm pretty boring, actually, but I'll try.

1. Growing up, I was painfully shy. This was true all through high school and probably would have continued into college had I not met my wife, who is one of the most talkative people you will ever come across! I had to learn to get over being quiet if I ever wanted anyone to hear me ever again (although she still dominates the conversation to this day ;-) A few years ago, getting up on stage in front of a handful of people would have had me quaking in my shoes. Now, I'm totally pumped to get in front of the Lotusphere crowd. Funny how these things work.

2. I was inspired to become a "rocket scientist" (my degree is in Aerospace Engineering) by Mr. Scott from Star Trek. Seriously...I remember at the age of 6, when I faithfully watched reruns of the show, thinking that he had such a cool job. From that point forward, I never wavered from one of two choices for a career: engineer or doctor. I ended up going with engineering, with an emphasis on propulsion and spacecraft dynamics. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out as you plan. The aerospace industry is very cyclical, and I graduated from the University of Arizona during one of the all time lows. So, my first job out of college (after 5 grueling years of study and having no fun) was working in a video rental store in Las Vegas for $5.00 an hour. Talk about a downer! I guess the only benefit of my degree at this point is that I can say "it isn't rocket science" and really know what I'm talking about. :-)

3. Besides my family, my main passion is music. I love listening to and playing music, although the playing part is pretty poor these days. I enjoy many kinds of music, but I mostly gravitate to stuff that is more technical in nature. What most people don't know is the fact that I am a die-hard metal head. This is especially surprising to people since I am pretty mild-mannered and certainly don't look the part. However, metal is in my veins. I generally can be found listening to progressive metal, due to it's complexity and depth, odd time signatures, etc., but I like almost all genres of metal. For me, the perfect night out is attending a live show. Some of my "musical stats":

Favorite Bands: Symphony X, Dream Theater, Angra, Pain of Salvation, Iron Maiden
Favorite Artist: Frank Zappa
Band seen most often: Dream Theater (7 times)
Longest distance traveled to a show: 3990 miles one way (traveled from Cleveland to Gothenburg, Sweden to see Evergrey record their first live DVD)
Cool musical memory: Attending Mozart's incredible opera "The Magic Flute" then rushing from the venue to grab a bite of pizza before seeing Mötley Crüe open the Dr. Feelgood world tour (November 16, 1989).

4. As of Christmas, my wife Maria and I have been together for half our lives...yikes! We met while working at a movie theater the summer after high school and we've been together ever since. We dated for a few years, then got engaged and finally married during my last semester of college, over spring break. We had our first kid about 15 months later, then the next two each 22 months apart. Word of advice for the younger people out there: Don't get married when you're in college. All your friends are broke, so you get shafted when it comes to gifts. Plus, they drink all your beer, then leave when it's time for the big basketball game! ;-)

5. Although there is absolutely no one famous in my family, my wife's grandfather was Fred Waller. Fred was an amazing man and I would have loved to have been able to meet him. He was the person who patented water skis (although he was thought to be the inventor for many years, he was actually beaten to this by Ralph Samuelson). He was also the inventor of the Waller Gunnery Trainer, which was one of the first simulators and is credited with saving thousands of lives in World War II. After the war, he used this technology to develop Cinerama, which in some ways was the precursor to things like IMAX. He was a prolific inventor with over a thousand patents and overall a pretty brilliant man. He also directed many of the "Negro Featurettes" that played in front of movies in the 30s, working with jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. He won an Academy Award for his technical work and my father-in-law has the Oscar at his house today (I've tried to lay claim to this...it would be soooo awesome in my movie room!). He knew Rube Goldberg and Rube once drew him a custom contraption (also something I'd love to get my mitts on!). My son is about to start working on getting Fred into the Inventor's Hall of Fame.

Well, there you go...more than you ever wanted to know. We'll return to our regularly scheduled interface stuff now. Before that, I guess we have to continue the game, so I'll tag some bloggers that are writing some cool stuff. How about Jane Griscti, William Beh and Eric Mack.


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