Monthly Archives: April 2006

Last.fm + Pandora = PandoraFM

I just discovered Pandora and Last.fm last week (separately), and then found out (thank you Bloglines) that you can link the two via PandoraFM. Unfortunately, my iTunes library doesn’t really represent my currently listening habits since I’ve been listening to my Yahoo Music radio station for a while. I added a bunch of old and new stuff to my iTunes this weekend, though…

I’m posting this mostly just so I can track when I started using Last.fm and use if for comparison of time frames. If you want to check in on my still somewhat skewed listening habits, you can do that here.

Just when I thought they had me roped in, I’m falling further away from Yahoo…

Return of the Prodigal Sun – Pt. II

Coyote Ugly

Baby when the lights go out
Every single word can not express, the love and tenderness
I’ll show you what it’s all about

- When the Lights Go Out, FIVE 

So, Yahoo’s probably not going to be too happy about posting me as the first word in their link shout-out the other day. Why? Because, like the prodigal son (or Web 2.0 early adopting tech ship jumper) that I am, I’ve returned to Gmail. It’s not that Yahoo Mail isn’t good. It’s just a little Coyote Ugly (in the sense that I got drunk and went to bed with something that I thought was better looking that it really was). It’s certainly better than what they had before. I think people who have only had the experience of using Yahoo are going to be more happy with it than I was.

My reasons, as concisely as I can put them, are as follows:

  • Loading time. I said it was almost as fast as Gmail, but that is just long enough to make it, well, not as fast as Gmail.
  • No tags. I thought I wouldn’t miss “labels” (or would be able to go back to folders). I was wrong. The ability to add multiple labels to a single conversation has utility far beyond that of folders. And the ability to classify emails without actually moving them anywhere just compounds the usefulness.
  • Speaking of conversations… I have really only run into about 2 times in 2 years where having Gmail group my conversation threads together has caused a problem. Maybe people who use Gmail for their business might have more problems, but really, having emails from my wife grouped together because they have the subject of “hey” or “so…” isn’t all that bad when you consider the benefit of having all the Struts, JSF, Lazlo, etc… email lists grouped by topic. I know Thunderbird does this as well, and if I wanted a desktop-based email program, I’d probably choose Thunderbird. Grouping like that was practically visionary on the part of Google. I’m a little surprised that Yahoo doesn’t even offer the option in the new Beta.

There are several other things, like free POP access, free forwarding, the ability to send as though from a different email address, and – yes – relevant ads that don’t annoy the crap out of me. These are all small things that really only continue to tilt the thumb in favor of Gmail.

Maybe this post will help convince Manmohan Juyal that I am not the Yahoo Mail team.

The XMLHttpRequest Object

That’s what I like to see.

Thanks to AJAX Magazine.

Multitasking Really Works!

April Fools, fools!

intel_old_school_computer
Guess what? Your computer doesn’t multitask.

Yup. That’s right. All those applications in the Start Bar System Tray? They are not all running at the same time. Your computer just makes you think they are.*

What’s the point?

Don’t multitask. Yes, your brain can do about a million times more calculations than your computer, but do you think you can handle all that consciously? I’m guessing that the majority of the human population does not have that capability. Your computer can make you think that it’s running all those programs because it’s designed that way. But you and I all know what happens when you are trying to run too much stuff on there and your computer starts to run out of RAM… it starts to perform like Vince Carter in Toronto. The same thing is going to happen with your brain. But worse. You can switch back and forth between programs on your computer easily (especially with Alt+Tab), but when you are trying to do a million times as many calculations, it’s not as easy to make that switch. Maybe you have a memory that earns your mind comparisons to steel traps. I know I don’t. I can’t easily store the context in which I am doing one activity, switch to doing something else, and then resume the first activity without any productivity loss. Neither can you. Trust me. It doesn’t happen.

I know we all want to get on that phone conference, compose a blog post, and watch some TV (on mute) at the same time. There’s a reason this post has the title and date that it does. I’m just warning everyone, because there was a day a few weeks ago where I did so much context switching and psuedo-multitasking that I seriously burned my brain out. I had that fuzzy-type, can’t-really-think thing going on. I don’t want that to happen to you (or me, either).

* I’m making an assumption that you have not yet acquired a dual-core machine. I believe if you have more than one core, then you can actually run more than one program at once.

Multitasking Really Works!

intel_old_school_computer.jpg
Guess what? Your computer doesn’t multitask.

Yup. That’s right. All those applications in the Start Bar? They are not all running at the same time. Your computer just makes you think they are.*

What’s the point?

Don’t multitask. Yes, your brain can do about a million times more calculations than your computer, but do you think you can handle all that consciously? I’m guessing that the majority of the human population does not have that capability. Your computer can make you think that it’s running all those programs because it’s designed that way. But you and I all know what happens when you are trying to run too much stuff on there and your computer starts to run out of RAM… it starts to perform like Vince Carter in Toronto. The same thing is going to happen with your brain. But worse. You can switch back and forth between programs on your computer easily (especially with Alt+Tab), but when you are trying to do a million times as many calculations, it’s not as easy to make that switch. Maybe you have a memory that earns your mind comparisons to steel traps. I know I don’t. I can’t easily store the context in which I am doing one activity, switch to doing something else, and then resume the first activity without any productivity loss. Neither can you. Trust me. It doesn’t happen.

I know we all want to get on that phone conference, compose a blog post, and watch some TV (on mute) at the same time. There’s a reason this post has the title and date that it does. I’m just warning everyone, because there was a day a few weeks ago where I did so much context switching and psuedo-multitasking that I seriously burned my brain out. I had that fuzzy-type, can’t-really-think thing going on. I don’t want that to happen to you (or me, either).

* I’m making an assumption that you have not yet acquired a dual-core machine. I believe if you have more than one core, then you can actually run more than one program at once.

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