08 June 2004

Airport Express. Brilliant design, better concept: not just a smaller Airport, but a smaller Airport that makes it dead easy to stream audio via wireless to physical devices. And almost affordable, too. This could turn out to be one of Apple’s sleeper product launches.


08 June 2004

I’ve now managed to set up XBox Live. It’s very impressive – the service. Quite fun, but wonderfully implemented; will write more on it when I have time.

Notcon in retrospect

08 June 2004

Notcon was, in retrospect, very good. Just-organised-enough, very friendly (even though I appeared to be lacking courage to talk to people – really, it was because I felt stupid) and I found a good deal to ruminate on. Danny O’Brien’s Lifehacks talk was very interesting, even if I’d read the notes from ETCON already – a great speaker and some good topics. James Larsson’s Prawn Sandwich Clock was inspired, and the whole Hardware panel was a wonderful cross-section of geekdom: tinkerers, bodgers, and compscis-turned good. The cameraphone tricknology was really great – nicely implemented and all.

TheyWorkForYou has been praised and applauded all over the web, so it’ll only get a brief mention here, but it deserves more. I’m definitely going to be keeping tabs on it – who knows, might get me being more proactive about politics after all. A mightly impressive project, congrats to all involved.

Other stuff I enjoyed? A better-than-I-expected discussion about blogging, with all expected DaveGreenisms, and a talk about mashups that turned into an excellent copyright discussion. The social software talk was a real disappointment – it appeared to have been jumped by people wanting to talk and bending the rules to fit their project. A shame; hopefully there’ll be a subsequent event to catch up on that.

I guess the thing I really enjoyed was the backchannel. I had a fairly good SubEthaEdit document for the final politics chat (will upload soon), and enjoyed the IRC channel all day – often irrelevant, but some useful insight, most often into what was going on in the other room. I was, if you’re interested, twra2 – my old university alias.

In the end, the whole thing made me aware of the gaps in my knowledge and skills. The former, I can probably append; but I know there’ll be some things I’ll never do. I’m a content person, a design person, an information person. I am hopefully going to learn some PHP/database stuff, and maybe also some scripting, but don’t hold your breath. I’m still learning how to design – both what buttons to push, and what colour to make said buttons. A lot of the time, what I really want is to be artistically creative: the novel is progressing now, so is some music. Sometimes, I feel that I could also get the same satisfaction digitally. Anyhow; this is the path I have chosen, and I like it. I will learn a scripting language when the novel is done.