A very long, strange week (and an even longer post)

The last few weeks have been very strange. We've been working on something big for a while and a couple weeks ago, news of what we are working on reached the public. I'm not going to comment on the accuracy or lack thereof of what has been written, I'll leave that up to you to decide for yourself. What I will do is tell you that my team has been running around on a cloud for a week now and it feels great.

The counter to this is that in the same amount of time, I received two pieces of bad news in my personal life. First, my sister called and told me that she "found a lump" and was going into surgery (she is doing well). Second, a very good friend recently decided that she would stop treatment for the cancer she has.

My friend is in the medical field, and has been in treatment for some time, so I trust her judgment that this is the best path for her - But nonetheless, it's hard to hear. So I spent last weekend and the early part of this week in Omaha visiting my sister and my friend being depressed by that news and oddly elated by work.

A little background: My family has a history of cancer. My father died of brain cancer after a lifetime of *never* being sick or hospitalized, my mother had cancer and the effects of it more or less her whole life. My first loss to cancer and coincidentally my first experience with death was my grandfather who died of lung cancer when I was 8. I've grown numb to the emotional aspects of losing someone to cancer and I have a pretty good idea of what is going to kill me.

So what is happening with work? With the exception of the last couple weeks, work has largely been a bit of a pain in my butt. Something about 16 hour days, needing to work miracles on a shoestring, and having to daily defend every idea we have from being screwed up by people who really should know better. In short, work has been sucking of late. (That being said, we barely spend a dime, miracles are being worked every day, and I never get tired of arguing a good idea.)

The articles that were written about the product that we are working on, "TheSpringBox" were fantastic reviews when you consider that our product is still very beta and is not supposed to be public at this time.

Better yet, the feedback that was written in those articles was just glowing and indicates that "real" people might really like what we have built. Even the very critical Digg crowd had a couple nice things to say and the criticisms are all things that I completely understand given the view they have had of the product. (Although we did find out some insights that are being addressed as I write this)

No need to take my word for it, take a look at the clock in the upper right of this blog - that is one of our widgets, the RSS reader is ours as well.

So the next few weeks will be both interesting and challenging. I'm sure that work will return to being a pain, but for the time being I will enjoy the break. In the meantime, I just wanted to thank everyone that I work with for doing such fantastic work.

As to my personal life, well, that's harder. I wish that I could fix everything for my sister and my friend, but I know that I can't do that. I wish both of them my best and I'll try and do whatever I can whenever I can.

Hmm... just got dugg.

Something that I have been a part of (with some really great guys and gals) just got dugg. (For those of you who don't know... visit Digg.com.) It was a bit shocking to see this climb. I was watching it thinking we dodged another bullet, but then - just like the IBM commercial, the numbers just started climbing.

I have to tell you, it feels really good. The team is buzzing and everybody is excited.

With the 8 people a day that visit this site, I'm sure that I'm not contributing anything to that flow by posting this but I had to say something.

I work with some really great people!

Thanks guys.

read more | digg story

The Commodore 64 was much better

So, I found this video on Digg today where William Shatner is getting practice for his priceline gig by selling the Commodore Vic-20. The commercial is pretty good. William goes over the many featurs of the Vic, the games, the learning aspects and the true versatility that this system offers over the Atari 2600 game system, all for 300 bucks!

My personal preference is the 64, truely a better machine. The 64 was more powerful and more popular. Using the 64 ate up many cumulative hours of my life, and trained me somewhat for the career that I would eventually take. My 64 had a "Koala pad" which was basically a very early version of a wacom tablet. Yes, I could sketch on my 64 even if those sketches looked like giant icons. I think the max resolution was 128x128 pixels.

Recently there was a news item where a man captured and imprisoned a girl for 8 years. The police have the man's computer - a Commodore 64. Still in use by him for day to day computing. Because of his unique choice of computers, they will likely not be able to retrieve any useful information from his "hard drive" (um... 64k does not a hard drive make)

And a link to a whole slew of 64 commercials (just for fun ;-)