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Five things about me

I finally got tagged for the "5 things you probably do not know about me" chain letter blog doohicky. Thanks Bryce - sorta. Here goes, I will play along, but I do refuse to pass this on.

  1. One of my first brushes with fame as a lad came in a local parade, where I pushed a wheel barrow behind a horse-drawn float. There was only 1 incident where I had to use the shovel, but it was at the end of the parade, in front of the grandstand full of people. I was known as the "pooper scooper" for a while after that. By the way, those are the same grandstands you would sit in if you attended the National Tractor Pulling Championships.
  2. I cannot count the number of times I have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I know all of the lines by heart. The kids enjoy the movie too - not sure if that is a sign of a good or bad parent. I would happily go see Spamalot once a week.
  3. I got started down my career path in 8th grade when I bought my own Ohio Scientific computer. In my senior year of high school, I was programming an IBM 360 for college credit.
  4. In the late 80's / early 90's, I was very active in the college hockey community. My antics varied, from developing "The College Hockey Computer Rating", to consulting for the NCAA, to editing the BGSU Falcon hockey fanzine "Beulah's Bugle."
  5. I also play ice hockey - goalie. I am not very good but I enjoy it.

If you really want to know more about my "personal side", then check out instones.org - our family blog.

Drupal 5.0 beta

I just upgraded this blog site to Drupal 5.0 beta. Working great so far, very easy to upgrade, love the new admin screen (which I contributed to 0.001% of the design of - I reviewed it for Dries and said "great job!").

I am typically many Drupal versions behind - the code that this is replacing was installed in 2005 and not really upgraded. So for the first time I am "leading edge."

The upgrade is also part of a move to a new hosting service and cleaning up my user-experience.org site. More content migration coming.

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I voted

Consider this the virtual equivalent of the "I voted" sticker: in this case, I just voted for 2006 SIGCHI officers. March 27th is the deadline.

SIGCHI members should have gotten an email from ACM 2 weeks ago. You will need the following in order to vote: the URL of the voting site, your 7-digit membership number, the 10-digit unique PIN (assigned by ACM), and the SIG you are voting for ("SIGCHI", of course).

You can learn about the candidates ahead of time (PDF format for the information, one file per person, arg). Once you get through the hoops to the ballot, you can also do "just in time" reading about each candidate (good use of pop-ups so that I do not lose my existing ballot choices).

In case you are wondering how SIGCHI got here, the call for nominations was in August. The slate was announced in November where additional candidates could have been added by petition. Thanks Kevin for chairing the committee - and thanks to other committee members. And an even bigger thanks for the people running!

Books to read

I have more books than usual on my "need to read" shelf.

This blog entry is less for you and more for me. I need a nudge to go beyond just skimming them.

Access by design
Subtitle: "A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers". Appears to be a nice update to all of those "visual design meets HTML" web design books from the 90s.
Return on customer
The value of your company is determined by how happy your customers are.
Search engine marketing, Inc.
Mike Moran is amazing. Search technology meets marketing for the long haul (vs. sleazy, short-term marketing).
High performance MySQL
Most is over my head, but Jeremy is a former student of mine, so I want to see what he has written.
The art of project management
"How not to annoy people" is the first chapter I read.
The simplicity survival handbook and Simplicity
I love books that talk about UCD "from the outside". For Jensen, making things simpler to know requires us to be user-centered.
Perspectives on web services
"Perspectives" writing style is good, but end-user and UI designer perespectives on web services need to come next.
Web application design handbook
I do not do much with web apps on ibm.com today, but want a reference manual for when the time comes.
Emotional design
I have heard Don talk on this topic several times, knew a used copy of the book would be worth the price.
Radical innovation
I met one of the authors at a local conference, want to read the IBM stories.

Blogger twins

The BloggerTwins cannot spear fish nor cook fish; they can't sing and dance; and they are too young to be the Skipper, so their last chance to become reality TV stars is The Amazing Race. Check out their site and join me in supporting them in their quest to bring geekdom to primetime!

Return to flight

I will be out of touch for a little bit - if lucky, I will see a return to flight. No matter what, it will be an experience.

Starting a new site for myself

I am starting a new site. Using Drupal.

New: blog (I have been blogging sporadically on other sites until now).

Old: Content from user-experience.org, uuslash.org and other scattered stuff, all to be mooshed ("mooshed" is a technical IA term!) into this one new site. And yes, some form of usableweb.com will eventually make its way here.

Still very much a work-in-progress, as you can see.

Over time, I will add more current blog entries. On occassion I will also "back blog" - create an entry dated in the past and written as if I had posted it long ago. So if you see an entry older than this one, it is probably a back blog.

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