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February 4, 2011 / jnolen

How we run FedEx (on Quora)

Interesting thread starting over on Quora about how to run an Atlassian-style FedEx Day.

If you’ve got other advice/experience/recollections about past FedEx days, speak up.

October 8, 2010 / jnolen

New Tool, New Look

So I just moved by blog over from TypePad to WordPress (.com). I’m not totally sure why i did it. I’m not promising that I’m likely to blog any more than I have been lately, which is certainly not much.

But TypePad hasn’t really been going anywhere for a long time, and I wanted to see what WordPress had to offer, and it’s certainly cheaper. So I just decided to port everything over and rebuild the page, and try to make it look better.

It actually wasn’t that much work — there was a handy exporter provided by TypePad and a handy importer provided by WordPress. There might be some broken links here and there, or missing images, but things seem pretty much in order. And WordPress.com offers pre-rolled integrations with several services like Twitter.

I’m using one of WordPress.com’s stock templates, with some slight tweaks. But I actually think it turned out OK. Surprisingly, there was a decent choice of quality templates in the gallery.

All in all, it was pretty painless for me. I hope the few of you still reading this can say the same.

July 30, 2010 / jnolen

Rands ♥ Atlassian

One of the prouder moments of my career at Atlassian:

The more I use Atlassian products, the more I love how they channel my inner nerd.

Right back at you, Rands. I’m also quite excited about his new book.

April 14, 2010 / jnolen

#munifail

Muni exists for you. Not the drivers, not the managers, not the politicians — you. And you have some difficult decisions to make about what kind of transit service you want to have, and what, if anything, you’ll do to get it. Complaining about Muni is easy. Owning it is not.

via SF Weekly, and well worth a read.

January 8, 2010 / jnolen

Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

Oh, internet, you complete me: Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

January 5, 2010 / jnolen

Great rant from Tim Bray about software development at in the enterprise

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2010/01/02/Doing-It-Wrong

If anything, he undersells the severity of the problem and underestimates the amount of energy necessary to change anything. But things should change. The amount of money and time and effort and sanity wasted here is just staggering.

December 11, 2009 / jnolen

Encyclopedias aren’t the only thing you can do with collaboration

In January, Timothy Gowers, a professor of mathematics at Cambridge and a holder of the Fields Medal, math’s highest honor, decided to see if the comment section of his blog could prove a theorem he could not….

Gowers’s goals for the so-called Polymath Project were modest. “I will regard the experiment as a success,” he wrote, “if it leads to anything that could count as genuine progress toward an understanding of the problem.” Six weeks later, the theorem was proved.

November 16, 2009 / jnolen

iPhone & the App Store

Update: As usual, Paul Graham said it better than I did.

So I thought of a pretty cool iPhone application last night. It doesn’t exist yet. It would be pretty easy to build, it would scratch an itch I have, and it would likely be useful to other people. Enough that they might pay a few bucks for it.

Here’s the bad news though: I’m extremely unsure whether Apple would ever approve an app like this. And consequently, I’m not willing to risk the hours it would take to write the app only to have it rejected on submission.

I know it’s easier to talk about an idea than to do it. And maybe I wouldn’t really have the follow-through to finish this project. But as it stands now, Apple’s totalitarian App Store policies discouraged me from even launching XCode to play around. Who knows how many other people there are out there like me. For the sake of the iPhone platform, this has to change.

September 23, 2009 / jnolen

At long last, your days are numbered, IE6!

Google has finally given Microsoft Internet Explorer the big kiss-off it so richly deserves. Read about it here:

Google, you clever bastards, from Charles Miller

More technical details about Google Chrome Frame, from Jim Ray.

Over the past 15 years IE has wasted countless hours of my time, as well as the time of every other web developer on the planet. Nothing else has done more to hold back the potential of the web. And no one company probably feels that pain more acutely than Google. But enough is enough — Google has taken matters into their own hands. I pray that this finally drives the nail in IE6′s coffin. And I pray that this finally convinces web developers all over the world to stop aiding and abetting Microsoft’s decade-long strategy to neuter the internet. Good luck and Godspeed, Google Chrome.

September 19, 2009 / jnolen

Adventureland

Perhaps September in too early to make this claim, but I just saw one of my favorite movies of 2009: Adventureland, written directed by Greg Motolla. Motolla also directed Superbad, which was one of my favorite movies of 2007.

Cash for Clunkers

The movie’s marketing campaign has traded heavily on Superbad’s reputation — in fact, based on the trailer you would expect another crazy, crude, teen-movie romp. And I’m sure I would have loved that movie. But I’m here to tell you that Adventureland is absolutely nothing like the trailer would lead you to believe. Fortunately, it’s better.

Adventureland is a romantic coming of age movie much more closely related to Say Anything than to Superbad, or anything else from the Judd Apatow oeuvre. And the comparison to Say Anything is doubly apt. That movie is a 1989-vintage romantic comedy by another writer known for his deep connection to music. Likewise, Adventureland is set in period-perfect 1987 and has the musical chops to back it up.

The period detail was one of the things I loved most about this film. It’s not as perfectly authentic as a Mad Men episode, but nonetheless, the era of Adverntureland feels real. It gave me the feeling of the 1987 that I remember. Interestingly, it felt more genuine to me than a John Hughes film actually of that period (like Pretty in Pink, which we just re-watched a few weeks ago). The clothes weren’t ridiculous (for the most part), the script didn’t rely on too-obvious, too-dated slang, and the design touches seemed just right. Ultimately, like all the best 80s movies, it’s the music that truly sets the scene.

The soundtrack is the best part of a really enjoyable movie. Motolla uses music incredibly effectively to draw social and character lines. How else can you mix The Replacements, Whitesnake, Hüsker Dü, and Exposé in one soundtrack and have it come out making perfect sense and feel like a unified whole. It was a trip back in time.

The only bad news is that you can’t actually buy all of those great 1987 songs on the “official” soundtrack. Fortunately, I found a great post where someone had gone to the trouble of tracking down each and every song you hear in the movie. you can get most of songs on iTunes, and so that’s what I did. I built my own Adventureland soundtrack, and I’ve been having a fantastic 80s day ever since. I recommend you do the same. (And go watch the movie.)

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