Feb
8

More Snow in Nashville

Posted by Aaron West at 8:51 PM in Personal, Video

This is just a quick video of the snow that's falling here in Nashville, TN. It's the second snow we've gotten in about nine days and I'm loving it!

Jan
17

As of the date/time of this blog post I am no longer supporting Internet Explorer 6. That's right, I've joined the IE6 No More campaign. If you're reading this blog post because you accessed my blog and were redirected here, then you are using an ancient, ancient Web browser and you need an intervention. A nice one. =)

It's time to upgrade. It's time to see the light. It's time to get into the modern age of browsers. So please, take a moment right now to click one of the logos below and download one of the fine browsers out there. If you don't, a litter of puppies will die, a thousand fairies will have their wings pulled off, and a hundred unicorns will perish of african sickness. You don't want all that on you do you?

Update: Over the last several weeks other organizations and countries have announced their lack of support of Internet Explorer 6. All of this is further reason to get a better browser:

  • The French government joins Germany in recommending its citizens use something other than Internet Explorer. http://bit.ly/7Bap4c
  • Google to end support of IE6 on March 1, 2010. http://bit.ly/an3z93
  • From TechCrunch, a funeral is being held for IE6 on March 4. Browser to be buried without the body.
  • From Ars Technica, YouTube to kill IE6 support on March 13, 2010
  • March 4, 2011 - I learned Microsoft has created a site to EOL (end of life) Internet Explorer 6. http://ie6countdown.com
  • Microsoft announces they'll be automatically upgrading Internet Explorer on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Check out their announcement here.

Jan
12

This so-called "quadricopter" is too cool! I recently purchased two small mini RC helicopters (here's one of them) and they pale in comparison to this puppy. If you're into remote control stuff - or just cool tech - check out this video. Did I mention the AR.Drone is built on a totally open platform? It's initially going to be controllable via iPhone (and probably iPod Touch) but developers can use an API to build a Blackberry, DROID, or other interface.

Jan
3

This is just a quick post to let everyone know I've been posting content - what I'm calling "digital bytes" - on Tumblr. A friend recommended I use Tumblr a few months ago and I've been posting content ever since. I like how easy Tumblr is to use and how there's an iPhone app (iTunes link) I can use to post photos, videos, and links. The reblog feature of Tumblr is also quite nice. If I see something someone else has posted that I really like I can reblog their content, placing it on my Tumblr page, with a few clicks of my mouse.

I view Tumblr as sort of a mini-blog and will continue to post content I think is relevant and interesting. Check it out and be sure to follow me if you also use Tumblr.

Nov
23

Several years ago I read Understanding the Psychology of Programming by Bryan Dollery. The article was written in 2003 but you'd never know it unless you saw the date. It talks about how programming is a creative activity and how the environment of a programmer plays a large role in their creativity. I've referred to the article dozens of times over the last 6 years when conversing with other technical managers and today I want to share it with you. If you're a programmer or you are directly or indirectly responsible for the management of programmers you must read this article.

Understanding the Psychology of Programming

Contrary to popular belief, programmers more frequently resemble artists than scientists. If you want to maximize the creative potential on your development team, you've got to start thinking about the psychology of the programmer and be willing to back it up with management policy.

Read it here.

Nov
16

We're All Writing the Same Code

Posted by Aaron West at 8:00 AM in Programming, Personal

The presenter was on stage and had gotten past the requisite introductions and background information. It seemed like he was nearing the part of his presentation described in the conference schedule and I was looking forward to what he had to say. Before getting to that, he took time to explain why he prefers programming in his language of choice. His first point was his language was incredibly dynamic. He didn't mean his language had a dynamic personality or anything like that. He meant he could do a ton of stuff in his language and it was pretty easy to do so. Continuing, he discussed how his language is best suited for rapid application development. Using his IDE (Integrated Development Environment) he could whip out code fast, code that created serious value and integrated with many other services. He talked about the tooling and the community, how everyone chipped in to increase the value of the language and what the language provided developers. He went on for a few more minutes speaking with great conviction about his love for his programming language of choice.

What language was this gentlemen referring to? Was it PHP? ColdFusion? Ruby? He wasn't talking about ColdFusion, but I'm not sure the actual language matters.

Continue Reading

Sep
26

I posted on Twitter how I was digging my new Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX. I decided to take a few pics this morning showing comparisons between the superb Logitech VX Revolution and the Anywhere.

Let me start off by saying I'm a huge fan of Logitech mice. The first really good one that got me hooked was the MX Revolution (click here for the latest MX). It's not a notebook, go anywhere mouse, but it's rechargeable and it has a nice heavy weight to it that helps it glide along your mousepad. A year after getting the MX Revolution I decided to get the notebook version since I wanted to be able to use the same mouse at work and at home. I bought the VX Revolution and have been using it for nearly three years. It's hands down the best mouse I have ever owned. It's impeccably comfortable, well built, and has the hyper-scrolling feature that's made Logitech mice so successful.

Continue Reading

Aug
21

New Personal Cards from Moo

Posted by Aaron West at 8:00 AM in ColdFusion, Personal

I haven't had personal cards (as in NOT business cards) for a few years and I've been wanting to try out the MiniCards from Moo, so I ordered one of their stock packages. I spent a little while working on my own design but couldn't come up with something I really liked. I chose these super colorful cards costing $20 for 100. I'm finally advertising my Google Voice number, my Twitter name and my new Web site that, incidentally isn't live yet. It will be soon. The downside? I didn't have these at CFUnited last week.

If anyone is interested in trying out Moo cards, let me know. I have three 15% discount cards I'd be happy to give out.

Jul
8

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Troy Malone, Chief Evangelist for Pelotonics, an online project management and collaboration tool. Troy and I discussed how the Dealerskins development team uses Pelotonics to manage projects, how we discovered Pelotonics and how it compares to similar tools like Basecamp. The interview lasted about half an hour but the Pelotonics crew have distilled it to 3 minutes of audio snippets of just my answers to Troy's questions. To listen to the interview press play in the embedded video at the bottom of this post.

If you are interested in what Pelotonics is and how one company (Dealerskins) finds it useful the interview is a good start. For more detail on the product and how you might benefit from using it check out the additional links below.

Why Pelotonics?
Pelotonics Tour
Pelotonics Info for Basecamp Users

An Interview with Aaron West from Troy Malone on Vimeo.

May
30

My Extreme Haircut

Posted by Aaron West at 11:02 AM in Photography, Personal

I've had long hair for the better part of 15 years; it's been part of who I am for a long time. But, I decided I needed a change recently so I secretly scheduled an appointment with my stylist. I say secretly because I wanted to surprise my wife with the new cut. The four braids of hair I cut off were just long enough to send to Locks of Love, so they'll be mailed soon. To chronicle the experience I took before and after photos and shot some video. Click any photo thumbnail below to launch a fullscreen photo browser or play the time lapsed video. What do you think of the new "do?!" Note: All photos and video were edited using only Adobe CS4 products.

Continue Reading

May
10

Canon Powershot G10 Image Flaws

Posted by Aaron West at 11:15 AM in Photography, Personal

Canon recently announced an issue with their Powershot G10 cameras where horizontal banding was found in some captured images. The service notice states occurrences of the problem are rare but I've found the flaws in several of my images (example below). Fortunately, Canon is offering to repair all affected cameras for free and they've made it pretty easy to determine if your G10 is one of them. Hit this link for all the details.

A second service notice was also announced but is much more difficult to replicate since it only occurs in RAW mode with the ISO set to 1600. This issue can be corrected on your own by loading new firmware but be sure and hit this link first to see if your G10 is affected.

Canon has sample images showing the flaws from the two service notices, but here's one of my images showing the horizotonal banding defect. Click the image to see a full screen version.



Thanks to Engadget for covering this issue.

Apr
1

It's been 9 years since I started using ColdFusion and 7 since I began serving the community as a member of Team Macromedia for ColdFusion, now the Adobe Community Expert program. After all these years programming in ColdFusion and being intimately involved in the CF community I've decided to hang up my hat and take down my Adobe Community Expert badge.

Continue Reading

Mar
29

I'm not a designer but I definitely consider myself a thinker, strategist, and decision maker. All of these roles have relevance in Scott Stevenson's blog post Measuring the Design Process. After posting a link to Scott's blog post on FriendFeed Deke Smith and I started discussing our thoughts in Facebook comments. The discussion got interesting so I decided to move it here in case others want to chime in. Here's where we are so far, feel free to post your own thoughts in the comments.

Continue Reading

Mar
16

RIAdventure 2009 has been over for a few weeks now and I'm missing the sun and relaxation already. It was great to get away from the office and shut off the phone and laptops for a full five days. I enjoyed hanging out with those that came along and I want to give HUGE props to Joshua Cyr for arranging the trip. He was like a travel guide making sure everyone knew what was going on, where we were supposed to meet to not miss the shuttle ride to the ship and as always was a joy to hang out with. I'm definitely looking forward to the possibility of a second RIAdventure in 2010 but in the meantime I have some photos to help make the weight a little more bearable.

For those curious what RIAdventure was all about you can view all the Flickr group photos here. I've also posted my photos to Flickr as well as three videos (of a super awesome Segway tour!) in my RIAdventure Cruise 2009 set.

Here's a slideshow for those that don't want to manually click through photos on Flickr.

Mar
9

Here's a really useful trick I just learned from the latest episode of TWiT. Load Google's search page in your browser (or if you're a keyboard jockey like me, use LaunchBar to conduct the search) and type "current time." You'll be presented with information similar to the following screenshot though targeted to where you are. In all of Google's limitless knowledge they're able to tell you the current time (localized) as well the time in major metropolitan areas near you. Awesomeness.