August, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    Error messages



    Though I've stopped using MetroTwit for the moment due to memory issues, I do love the attention to detail Long and the team are putting in to this thing. The error message above made me smile...that's what software should. Delight and surprise even when there is a problem.

    ps – I know strictly speaking this isn’t an error message but even the error messages in MetroTwit are cool Smile

  • Steve Clayton

    Two geek stats that took me by surprise this weekend



    First up was whilst I was reading the latest edition of Wired. Atari announced the 2600 at CES in 1977 and went on to sell 30 million consoles. Ask most teens today about games console brands and they’ll say PlayStation, Xbox and Wii despite those enormous sales figures. It made me think a couple of things…

    Not only will those teens likely not mention Atari when pressed for another name but they will also probably not really think of the three premier consoles as being related to their parent companies (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo). The state of the art is temporary when you can sell 30m of something and be forgotten when the next era kicks in. Oh and branding, something I’ve always had a curios interest in really is an art when your product transcends the name of your company. All three in this category have done that and frankly, it’s not a great thing for any of them IMHO as the halo effect is a powerful thing if you can get brand association between your product lines and across the company. Kudos to Apple who have done that with the letter i rather than the name Apple.

    The second stat was early in a long and wide ranging op-ed for Bloomberg back in July titled How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late. He harked back to the Atari 2600 era and noted that manufacturing  employment in the US computer industry is around 166,000 - lower than before the MITS Altair 8800 in 1975. The whole piece goes on to explain the shift of manufacturing to China and others Asian locations but it surprised me both because of the scale of the shift but also that there were that many working in the manufacturing side of the industry back in 1975. There are a few other stats in there that are equally amazing – not least the size of Foxconn and their revenue compared to Microsoft, Apple and others.

    Anyway…just a few numbers I thought I’d share for the end of the weekend Smile


    (nb. the Grove piece names the Altair as the 2800 which I think is incorrect. pretty sure it was the 8800).

  • Steve Clayton

    Do I buy an Imation Link?


    I’ve been relatively quiet on the tech buying from since I arrived in Seattle (okay, I did buy a new Xbox 360 and just this weekend I ordered a Kindle)…and then I noticed this new device from Imation called Link. There are plenty of other way to do what this thing does but I like the simplicity and elegance of it. You plug the USB dongle in to your PC and it stream 720p video and 1080p stills direct to your TV via an HDMI cable.

    $149.99 – hmmm.

    via Wired Gadget Lab

  • Steve Clayton

    Repainting a 747



    Brilliant video. I hate to think how much it costs to do this 4 day job

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft’s FUSE Labs releases teamcrossword beta


    Team Crossword

    I got to spend some time with the FUSE Labs teams from around the world this morning, taking a look at their recent projects and listening to some insights in to how Kudo is being used.

    The team snuck out another project this week with Team Crossword. It’s not a major project for the team and was developed by 3 members of the team during their semi-annual creative week.  You can read the full back story on how it came about but it takes the Tully’s coffee bar idea I have seen around Seattle and puts it on the web.

    The interactive, team based crossword puzzle uses MVC 2, jQuery, SQL Azure, Visual Studio 2010, and of course, it's hosted on Windows Azure. The actual crossword puzzle data is provided by uClick LLC.

    Have fun with it!


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