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Is Technology Making a Difference?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Is technology really making a difference?

Of course we all love our iPods and Blu-Ray players and doing research before Google came along was slow, often times requiring you to get in your car and go to a library. Anybody remember using library tools such as card catalogs and Microfiche to perform research? Now we can do it from our beds, simply by entering a few words into our mobile device and get instantaneous results; fantastic, no doubt.

Today’s cell phones look like something out of Star Trek. Actually, they look better and have more options.

We truly live in marvelous times. But, what does it all add up to? Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, more productive and in some areas eliminate work altogether. And for the most part I think we can say it’s worked. So how come I, like you, still work forty plus hour work weeks? In fact, since World War 2 the number of hours worked per week has grown. In her recent book, “Willing Slaves – How the Overwork Culture is Ruling our Lives“, Madeleine Bunting states that from 1977 to 1997 Americans working full time have increased their average working hours from 43.6 hours to 47.1 hours each week. (This does not include time required to travel to and from their places of business).[1] How can this be? In addition to working longer hours, many families have both family members working. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that between 1950 and 2000 the number of individuals in the active labor force grew 227 percent from 62 million to 141 million.[2]

The whole goal of a software developer is to make someone’s life easier. If we’re successful our software or device will allow a user to be more proficient, saving them time and allowing them to get more work done. But does it really matter if the user is now able to get their work done faster if the end result is still working forty hours? What does it matter if you can get twice the amount of work done? Forty hours is forty hours. I’m sure that by increasing the amount of work we are able to get done each day that someone benefits, someone higher up, but it isn’t you and it isn’t me.

It seems like life just keeps moving at an ever accelerated pace. Like a merry-go-round that started off slow and built up speed. Perhaps it’s moving so fast now that we can’t jump off? Or maybe we still don’t feel we need to jump off?

Author Daniel Quinn in his book Ishmael gives us a parable that may explain what has happened. It’s certainly interesting.

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What to Get Your Geek for Christmas 2008

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Yep it’s that time of the year again, time to go shopping for that special geek you love. Here are a handful of gifts any geek is sure to love.

ATI Radeon HD 4870-X2 DDR5 2GB PCI-Express x16

ATI Radeon 4870 x2

This video card is smoking fast. Right now it’s the fastest card on the market. Pick up one of these, or two in crossfire mode and play Call of Duty 4 and feel like you’re right there in the action! I have one on my new rig and oh man does it make CoD4 look great!

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

For starters it’s Valve. Not enough? Well you get to kill Zombies! That’s always fun. Lots and lots of zombies. And you can play in co-op mode with 3 of your buddies. Setting out to do for co-op gaming what Counter-Strike did for team combat, Left 4 Dead is an ambitious survival horror game. Running on the Source engine, Left 4 Dead leaves four armed survivors of a world overrun with zombies, and they must fight their way out to escape the outbreak. It’s a blast. It’s like I’m Will Smith in I am Legend.

Captain Kirk’s Replica Chair

Captains Chair

“Kirk to bridge, someone………has…….stolen my……..chair.” And for the right price, that person can be you. Trekkies across the globe practically drowned in their own geekdom when it was first reported that Diamond Select, a popular sci-fi and comic toy store, was planning on releasing a life-sized Original Series captain’s chair for purchase.

Sony Photo Frame

Now you can display your digital photo collection in breathtakingly vivid color–on a Sony Digital Photo Frame. Choose from a variety of slide show options, and watch your photo memories come to life on this stylish frame. And when not displaying images, you can set it to one of its clock or calendar modes–making it a great addition to any home or office.

Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

Good intel and proper gear are the keys to victory. With the Logitech G15 keyboard, you get both. Now you can easily discover on which server your friends are playing Battlefield 2142, be notified when your World of Warcraft battleground becomes available and know exactly who’s talking in Ventrilo with the Logitech G15 keyboard’s exclusive GamePanel LCD. You can also create useful macros on the fly that play back with a single press of one of the six G keys. As every key features illuminated characters, with three levels of brightness, you can keep playing late into the night.

Iron Man (Ultimate Two-Disc Edition Blu-ray)

While I don’t have a blu-ray player yet. If I did this would be the first movie that I pick up. This movie was so fun to watch and the effects were just perfect. I would love to watch this on a nice 1080p screen. Hint hint Santa…

Any word of The Avengers movie?

Band of Brothers (Blu-ray)

This is a movie series that everyone should own. It should be required viewing material for all. It leaves you humbled and grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have.

Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition Quad-Core Processor

Conquer the world of extreme gaming with the fastest performing processor on the planet: the Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition: 3.20 GHz core speed, 8 processing threads with Intel HT technology, 8 MB of Cache and 3 Channels of DDR3 1066 MHz memory. This is the fastest processor that money can buy. It’s not cheap, but with great power comes… a really big price tag.

iBUYPOWER Gamer Supreme 962i Intel Core i7 920(2.66GHz) 6GB DDR3 500GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260


I just purchased a new computer from ibuypower and am loving it. They don’t have the best customer service, but they do build great computers and for great prices. The computer I got is smoking and for about half the price you would pay on Dell. If you’re in the market for a new gaming rig and you don’t feel like building it yourself, the take a look at ibuypower and see what you think.

Online Job Searching (For Web Developers)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I’ve been in the job market twice this year and thought I would share with you some of the sites that I have found useful when looking for a job. Perhaps you know of some good sites that you would like to share too?

Smashing Magazine Jobs
This site has a small selection of web design/development jobs. Most are looking for front-end work like: XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, Flash and ActionScript. You can sort by fulltime or freelance positions. Most of the listings are from the companies and not recruiters.

Authentic Jobs
Authentic Jobs is another site that features a short selection (maybe 100 listings is all) of web jobs. Authentic Jobs is a targeted destination for standards-aware designers and developers and the companies seeking to hire them.

Krop
A pretty good selection of design and tech jobs, but the Ajax enabled search on this site really isn’t working for me.

Dice
Dice is a huge collection of tech jobs. It’s certainly a place to use when looking for a job. Do note that most of the jobs are posted by recruiters though.

Craigslist
I think Craigslist is actually one of the best places to look for jobs. It has a good selection and most of the post are from the IT directors and not technical recruiters.

Good luck and happy job hunting.

Out of Office Reply

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

I’m unavailable, can’t be reached, no emails, no instant messages, no voice mail, i’m 404…

Sorry guys for the slow week, but I just had an addition to the family. My wife and I just had a baby boy! His name is Landon Sean Angeletti and he’s fantastic. I’ll be back in action next week. I’ll cya then.

Mark

The Last Guide to Security You’ll Ever Need

Monday, March 31st, 2008

computer-security
I have subscriptions to both PC Magazine and PC World magazine. The thing is I only read about half of each magazine when it comes in the mail because they both dedicate so much time to two subjects I care nothing about: cell phones and security.

I have a cell phone, it works – well kinda – so I don’t care about them.

The other is security. I too have a security plan in place that has worked for the last ten years, so I don’t need a review of every anti-virus, spyware, malware, and firewall software that comes to market.

But, seeing the amount of coverage these magazines dedicate to security I’m thinking it must be a hot issue. So I decided I would share my security plan with you all. I fully disclose that this may not be the “best” security plan out there. I’m sure that if some C2-level security specialist read this he would chuckle, but like I said, it’s proven effective for me over the last decade and it’s probably a lot better than what most people currently have in place.

All the software I use is free so that is why you will see these products listed below. Oh, that and the fact they all work extremely well.

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Adobe Flash Apps Coming to iPhone

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen said Adobe “will work with Apple” to make sure that Flash applications can run on the iPhone. [more here]

Well it’s about time…

Now we just have to wait for the iPhone to support 3G and include GPS. When that happens I will be on board. Some say it may happen as early as June or July.

My question for you guys is: if you or I were to build a Flash app for the iPhone, what would you like it to do?

Technology – What’s it Good For?

Monday, March 17th, 2008

How great are the technological advancements of today?

  • I work for a company is San Francisco and live in Colorado.
  • I run a blog with people in Belgium and England.
  • We can hold conversations with people in Tokyo, Melbourne, London and San Francisco simultaneously.
  • Using RAD software we are able to write, debug and deploy software in a fraction of the time it took just a handful of years ago.

Ah, these are truly wonderful times we live in…Or are they?

According to a study by The United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) US workers are putting in more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world. ILO statistics show that the average American worked nearly 2,000 hours in 1997 — up from 1,942 hours in 1990, the equivalent of almost two working weeks more than their counterparts in Japan.

WHAT? HOW CAN THIS BE? What about all the technology? Isn’t the whole point of technology supposed to make our lives easier?

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