Friday, December 30, 2005

D-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter

My new Sony Ericsson w600i cell phone has bluetooth. So I bought the D-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter and it works great. My only concern is that it is so small (my son said it looked like a tooth) that it might be easily misplace. $20 after rebates.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

10 Good Books of 2005

Here are ten good books I read in 2005.

  1. Shaping Things. Bruce Sterling has a wide view. He looks at what can be given where we already are. I’m about to read this book another time and will probably refer to the  book, Laws of Form, this time through. This book is about design and what things are becoming. Highly recommended to anyone interested in considering the shape of the future. 
  2. DHTML Utopia Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM. AJAX was the dominant new "technology" in 2005 and this book was the first to really cover it with great examples and clear explanations. When I first saw Gmail, I knew we were looking at a new way of “doing business” on the web with JavaScript. This makes it accessible to any JavaScript coder.
  3. Who Was Marshall McLuhan: Exploring a Mosaic of Impressions. I order almost any book on Marshall McLuhan and many rehash old material. Nevitt was a co-author and friend of McLuhan and this was a great read and very helpful on my “McLuhan’s Laws of Media” web site that I’m working on.
  4. Jack Trout on Strategy. “Positioning” is one of my favorite books and Jack Trout co-author it. In previous years I had been reading a lot of Al Ries, the other co-author, so it was great to read this other brilliant marketing thinker.
  5. Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide. Some may consider Ruby as the “technology” of 2005. This is the introduction to this object oriented language that I believe gain a major presence. This is where my web server is going.
  6. The Ten Faces of Innovation : IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization. For more than two decades I’ve been reading business books. I’ve learned not to believe that they are a cure-all. Design is also important to me. So I’m intrigued by the entire D-school movement and innovation in business. This book makes me think a different way and therefore gives rise to new ideas. I’m enjoying a slow reading of it.
  7. Head First Design Patterns. New programming methods give us new ways of logically thinking. Now more than two years old, it is still good and a very fun read for what could be very dry subject. I’ve got a lot more to absorb.
  8. Home By Design. Sarah Susanka is better known for Not So Big House. She, like many, were influenced by Pattern Language. While this book is great inspiration, I’m still partial to Patterns of Home by Jacobson, Silverstein and Winslow which covers broader principles. Helpful in my home re-design.
  9. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and The Birth of Public Relations. Ries and Trout have convinced me that PR is often more important than advertising especially for a new venture or brand. This is my start at educating myself. Interesting history but uncertain of usefulness to this century. I need more education to judge this book.
  10. A Theory of Fun for Game Design. I’ve always liked computer games. I’ve sold more titles than anyone else in the 80’s and 90’s from my stores. And I wrote a few. Koster’s book is a great history of computer games, good design theory and good fun!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Non-profits and Open Source

David Weinberger writes that “the most powerful institutions in our society don’t like the Net much.” He sees hope that seven American univerisites will be making their software freely available. I was thinking that non-profits, especially unions, should consider the same.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Math of Sudoku

Added a section to my Sudoku Lens on Squidoo. This links to articles on the Math of Sudoku. Here’s the introduction I wrote:

No arithmetic is required to solve Sudoku. You don't add or multiple the numbers. In fact the numbers could just as well be hamsters or any other nine symbols.

The logic of Sudoku is mathematics. For example, there are computer programs to solve and to create Sudoku. So it is now the subject of a large number of papers. This is not the definitive list but a place to start if you want to explore Sudoku in more depth.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Comment on my Soduku Squidoo

As the creator of the Sudoku lens, let me tell you my experience.

I've now built four different lenses on Squidoo. I started not knowing what to expect with no particular business purpose. My first lens was on Marshall McLuhan, former patron saint of Wired. I didn't expect this to be popular, but thought it might be useful for my work-in-progress on McLuhan's Laws of Media. At first it was a way to publicly organize my research. This was rather static, or so I thought.

My Sudoku lens was built with a more public audience in mind. I had been working on a Sudoku site and had found some sites and feeds that really did not fit on my site. It also gave me a chance to see how my site could be used to supply content to Squidoo. (This is where I think the web is going: subscribing not surfing pages.) In particular I knew several good Sudoku game feeds.

I then built a Lens on Christmas Ales and Beers. I have a vintage collection and was interested in exploring what was on the web. So as I surfed I put together the lens. I also used it to test the format of lenses.


First, I was very surprised that my Sudoku lens was in the tip 10. It is a fun ride.

Second, I'm surprised at how often I go back to my lenses to read them and update them. The lens itself becomes a research tool for updating the lens.

There is a lot unknown about Squidoo. Improvements will be made as will mistakes. In summary, like blogs Squidoo is a very interesting new web format worth exploring for personal and business use.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Squidoo Out of Beta

I’ve been working with the beta version of Squidoo. This is an interesting site pushing a concept of Seth Godin. It is a cross between blogs and So far there are some very interesting “Lens” (Topics) that have been created. I just sent on about diabetes to my family tonight, for example.

Time to brag though. My Sudoku Lens is rated as the 9th most popular. A few links to my site and others.

Now if only they’d had comments and trackbacks, then maybe the site would be complete.