• Sometimes, you don't need expensive instruments

    All you need is 6 drummers and an apartment to really get grooving.

    And, maybe, exact timing.

  • Someone, please get a needle

    Could anyone please deflate Comic Strip Blogger I'm listening to Adam Curry's interview of CSB on episode 586 of The Daily Sourcecode and I can't get the image of a blowfish out of my head. Remember the one in the fish tank from "Finding Nemo" that blew up everytime he got excited?

    When I first noticed how people picked on him about a year ago, I thought "Come on folks, cut the guy some slack!" But over time, CSB's babble has been getting next to unbearable to me too, and now Adam is offering him an even bigger soap box.

    This guy is nothing but a walking, talking image neurosis. In the interview, Adam's EU-resident "savant" is frantically babbling to just get his point across without looking right or left. In the part where they talk about Nokia, CSB calls his former employer "bastards that just have good marketing". Adam barely manages to throw in that he is really satisfied with how his E61i works and how using it is generally enjoyable. Oblivious to that short intelligent intermission, CSB continues his argument how Nokia only has good marketing. I really wonder why CSB hasn't yet started his own podcast where he can rant uninterruptedly for hours. Asked about what his problems with Nokia actually are, he staggers shortly and mutters something about "personal reasons". That's what I call a hidden agenda. And that from the guy that questions everone's intentions and doesn't hesitate to call people hypocrites.

    Marc Yoshimoto Nemcoff did the right thing when he took apart CSB's overly inflated ego in Daily Source Code episode 585. Unfortunately, seeing how Adam is going to engage his regular callers even more, that beating CSB took (and reacted to with a sickening slimy "Okay, Marc, we're friends") obviously won't reduce his presence in future episodes.

    But as Adam closes his pocast, "that's what the fucking fast forward is for". I'm afraid I'll have to use it more often in the future.

  • How MMO rules would help evolution

    Sometimes, you wish a Massive Multiplayer Online Game was more like the real life.

    And sometimes, you wish it was the other way around

  • Happiness Reality Check

    In Happiness boosts productivity, I announced that I would interview my team about things that make them unhappy. Alexander reminded me in his comment not to forget to ask about sources of happiness, too.

    In two meetings, we collected the following issues and discussed necessary consequences.
    h3. "What makes me happy working here?"

    • Challenging tasks: Having opportunities to demonstrate the know-how and creativity necessary to solve problems that don't arise every day is a great motivation booster.
    • Colleagues: Working with like-minded people that not only share expertise but also a sense of humour is, well, fun. A team BBQ is highly indicated.
    • Open atmosphere: The relaxed way we treat and communicate with each other creates an environment where work can be fun and where you can learn from mistakes instead of having to cover them up.
    • Technical infrastructure: Working in the data center of one of Germany's biggest ISP and hosting companies is a huge opportunity to develop new skills. And learning always leads to a great sense of achievement.
    • Online team chat: To have a channel for "stuff" helps communicating small chunks of information without cluttering up mailboxes. It's also nice to joke about colleagues without them noticing.
    • Off-topic talk: That it's okay to have some watercooler talk helps to get the mind free for the next task and prevents burn-out.

    h3. "Things that I really don't like"

    • Short-term solutions: Time pressure often leads to ugly workarounds that don't actually solve the problems but just cover them up. We're going to educate our customers by making them aware of more thorough solution alternatives.
    • Office noise: Loud conversations from people walking by or from adjacent areas are really bad on concentration. We'll try to get walls installed that block some of the noise.
    • Repetitive tasks: routine work simply is boring. We'll use our technical abilities to automate them as much as possible.
    • Interruptions: Our problem no. 1 is that we get interrupted so often by telephone calls, or worse, people coming to our desks asking "May I disturb you?" We'll define a "disturbed of the day" that we'll forward all interruptors to. Everyone that doesn't want to use our ticket system will have to talk to that person, while all others will be able to stay "in the flow".

    Our two "happiness at work" meetings were wholeheartedly welcomed by my team. We agreed upon having such meetings in regular intervals.

  • Michael Dell runs Linux

    If you've given up hope that Dell will ever ship Linux with its systems, take a look at the list of computers used by Dell's Chairman of the Board&l=en&s=corp. At the top, you'll find that at home, he's using a Dell Precision M90 with the following software on:

    • Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn
    • VMWare Workstation 6 Beta
    • OpenOffice.org 2.2
    • Automatix2
    • Firefox
    • Evolution Groupware 2.10

    I'm impressed, his software is even more up-to-date than mine!