Monthly Archives: June 2009

Googling Someone

Wouldn’t it be weird/sad that in the future, “Google” as a verb has leaked into physical space vernacular where someone might ask, “Where have you been? I’ve been Googling you all over the place!”


The iPhone Bandwagon

For the past two weeks, ever since the announcement of the new version of the iPhone, I have been thinking more and more about getting into this relatively new technology any way that I could. I looked into the different ways that I could get started, and while some stuff has gone over my head, I was surprisingly still determined and excited to follow through.


I think part of the my excitement to get into the iPhone world is from hearing about my friend Alan Wells’ involvement with the free app that he helped develop, EcoFinder (link opens in iTunes), which allows people in the San Francisco Bay Area find places where they can recycle their stuff or dispose their waste often for free.

EcoFinder App on iTunes Store

I’m not saying that building an iPhone app is easy (because I’m sure it involves a lot of planning and doing and troubleshooting and waiting), but I am confident that it is something that I can take on and enjoy very much.

Continue reading

Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2

I caught up with my TED videos after a week or two of absence, and I came upon this interesting piece on the environment. I’m not much of a biology person (I’m a robot, bada-bump!), but I sort of want to try to live in an isolated manmade biosphere, making my own food and working to keep my biosphere sustainable.

But what’s more eye opening is how much more closely connected we humans are to our environment than I realize. I would love to know where exactly my food comes from, or how we really smell according to someone who doesn’t put on any chemicals, but like a lot of people, I am just not ready to make the leap.


What Am I Doing? (June 2009)

Site and Experiments Section

If you couldn’t tell from my posts for the past month, I’ve been crazy working on my website, especially the Experiments section. I’m just about finished with that section before I move on to the remaining areas of this site.

Programming Experiments screenshot

My latest addition is the Programming Experiments section. This is really important for me as I want to share and document my mini-coding experiments as I work on this site and future sites. These experiments won’t have the tutorial type of posts, but they will show as much of the related code that I use as possible. It’s not perfect right now, but it can be.

I have to admit, it takes a lot of work and time to build this “complete” website that I had dreamed of for many years, a site that is supposed to be representative of the public side of my life, including my career as well as my passions. Even though it’s taking longer than I expected, I have enjoyed the journey. I wake up every day excited and wondering if I would be coding and designing that day. I even considered making a shirt that just says something like, “I would code all day if I could.” Programming for me evokes so many ideas and possibilities, it’s mind-blowing!

Continue reading

Nighttime Ideas

I’m sure I’m not alone on this, but has anyone noticed that you seem to be more courageous, creative, and confident with your ideas at night, before you go to sleep, than any time during the day? But on the next day, when you remember those ideas, you don’t seem to think they were as good ideas as you thought. Sometimes that thought is valid, but not always.

Why does this happen? It’s as if you have had a couple of drinks and some actions seem to be more attractive and doable than usual. My theory is that similarly (not that you are intoxicated), you tend to be more relaxed at night, before sleep, and the future seems farther away so you come up with ideas that are more open and not limited to certain criteria of your problems.

Negative Carbon Footprint

We’ve heard of the term “zero carbon footprint” in the past few years to bring awareness to the sustainability movement. But even if we all go zero carbon right now, what happens to the years when we didn’t do much about the environment? Don’t we need to do even more than zero carbon and go into the negative territory to bring the environment back to its sustainable state?

I suppose I am sort of looking at this like the national debt. We have a debt, and at the same time we try to balance our annual budget. Even if we don’t have any more deficits, we still have a debt. We need to have a surplus every year to get us back in the black (even though I am told we intentionally will never pay back our debt, for certain economic reasons).

I know that right now, we can’t even get to absolutely zero carbon, so getting negative carbon is even harder. And I’m pretty sure that involves more than planting trees for every whatever product we buy.


Outside-In/Top-Down Design Process

Normally, my design process is based on the “form follows function” philosophy: you have a problem, you define the criteria/limits, and you build your solution up from that. But I’m beginning to notice that there are times in my design process where I would immediately come up with a “cool” solution, and then I look for meaning and useful characteristics of the solution to explain my “reasoning” afterwards. When I think of that, I am reminded of the “BS your way” approach to presenting your projects.

Continue reading