Reflection Design

17Feb/091

Where did your time go ? – ManicTime

1068015_16571819 Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Ever wonder were your day went, when you are sitting at the computer ? How much time you spent developing that website for a client ?

Through the time I have tried various little tools to keep track of what I am working on, for how long and possible find out how much time I have wasted on Facebook on a given day. Most of them worked just fine, but in the long run I never used them for longer periods of time. Various reasons for this but mostly the applications just did not fit my workflow, required too much constant interaction or simply didn't have the features I really need.

I recently discovered ManicTime. Great little application that sits in the background recording your computer usage with little memory footprint.
It allows you to afterwards pull out statistics, tag time periods with specific tasks and/or see most used applications for a given time. Basically everything you need from a time tracking application.

The interface is simple to use and fast to learn. Simply put this little piece of software allows you to get a perfect overview of how you spend your time on the computer. Personally I will be using it to keep track of hours spent pr. project I am working on as it allows me to tag periods of time with specific project tags, and thus get a collected time usage for each project 🙂

You can download it for free from here: Manic Time

5Jan/091

Keep your HD in silent zen states – or else …

It was recenly found that shouting at harddrives decreases their performance. Simply put harddisk drives do not like being shouted at anymore than you do.

Brendan Gregg demonstrates in the video below, how shouting at the diskdrives decreases the performance of the drives. Of course the expenation is not that the drives dislike being shouted at, or loose their focus and start worrying about being good enough, dresses up in goth clothes, hates the world and becomes an underacheiver... uhmm no.

Sound is vibrations, and shouting at the drives simply causes vibrations that affect the drives an decrease performance. Simple as that, but still interesting. At least i found so 🙂

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDacjrSCeq4&fmt=18[/youtube]

Also a funny sidenote i found this video of Justin Long (from various Mac commercials).

JUSTIN LONG in Hunger Relief by Justin Long
Filed under: General News 1 Comment
24Dec/080

Merry Christmas!

So today is christmas. I watched Muppets Christmas Carol as my personal tradition on Christmas Day, and now i am a few hours from a nice christmas dinner with my parents. Cannot wait to sink my teeth into the perfectly cooked duck! 🙂

Merry Christmas everybody!

Filed under: General News No Comments
22Dec/080

Rounded Corners Part 2 – No images

For this 'tutorial' i decided to simply link to a nifty page with instruction on creating a box with rounded corners without using images.

But how then ? Simply by using CSS and javascript. I remember i used this method on my simple website back in the dawn of time and it worked wonders. Since then the method from this site has been redone not once, but twice!

So head on over to Nifty Corners Cube by Alessandro Fulciniti and find a new method to produce those lovely rounded corners.

20Dec/080

Facebook and Twitter integration

I recently discovered Twitter for myself. By discovered i mean started using, as i didnt see much usefullness in the service earlier plus didnt know anybody using it. However seeing that twitter seems to have survived the initial 'shock and awe' phase of all new webapps i started testing it out.

You can follow my tweets on 'swoopdk' should you be so inclined 🙂

Integration is the key

With the myriad of social websites as well as MSN and other services have at least some of them integrated centrally is key. I know i would never go about updating a status message on several different networks, simply just a waste of time. Seeing as Facebook has become extremely popular here (Denmark) i wanted to be able to update Twitter from FB Status message, and vice versa.

The reason is simple, i want to give people the twitter option, but at the same time only want to update 1 place and have that update migrate automatically.  So much easier 🙂
So immidiately after getting twitter installed i started my integration search.

Twhirl

Before i even started i wanted a desktop application on my laptop for using twitter. The choice fell upon Twhirl. Simple easy interface, nicely designet and does the job perfectly. I have it running on all my computer now, and it updates with a small discreet beep when there is updates.

Now i never open the twitter homepage anymore unless i need to set something up, or change my profile. Could propably also be done via twhirl but it doesn't happen that often.

Facebook Twitter application

There is a nice official Facebook application from twitter that updates your FB status with the most recent tweet. When i first signed up there was some trouble with twitter, and it would not allow me to login. However it seems to have resolved as its working now. However it says that facebook limits the number of updates pr. day, but not how many the limit is. So if it's not working that is propably the issue. Here is the FB App for Twitter

FB2Twitter

I havent figured out if the Twitter application does the other way around, but doesnt seem to be the case. But in the days i could not login into the FB Twitter application i stumbled across another application, designed to update the other way around, thus from Facebook to Twitter. FB2Twitter

Instructions are simple with 2 steps.  And it works wonders! So now we have two way integration between Facebook and Twitter. This allows me to simply update my Twitter and in a short while the update will migrate to Facebook.

Integrate more!

As a closing bonus note i installed twitter updates on my website as well. I am running WordPress, and there is a lovely plugin available called Twitter Tools. Now my twitter updates can be displayed on the widget sidebar on my site, and when i am logged in as admin i can post tweets directly from the site. It updates every 15 mins which should be suffecient for most users 😀

Happy twitting people ! 😉

Filed under: General News No Comments
20Dec/080

Review – The Day The Earth Stood Still

I had mixed feelings going in to see this movie, as i heard reviews were bad but on the other hand i am a sucker for some good sci-fi. The Trailers left me curious about the movie, so at least they did their job.

Synopsis

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is 20th Century Fox's contemporary reinvention of its 1951 classic. Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an alien whose arrival on our planet triggers a global upheaval. As governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor's appearance, a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson get caught up in his mission - and come to understand the ramifications of his being a self-described "friend to the Earth."

source: MovieWeb

The Movie

In general i thought the acting was good, and throughout the movie Keanu Reeves is very emotionally blank which would fit quite well for a logical intelligent alien. However the acting of Jaden Smith was lacking in my opinion. It was mostly some dialogue that didnt seem to fit his child character. He switched between being an uncoorporative child to seemingly adult behaviour at times, which confused the role alot.

The storyline is quite simple but none the less effective. Especially as the situation gets more and more dire, and a happy ending seems further away. Through out the movie the actions of the government in the movie annoyed me, and it seems a little bit too stereotypical that despite several chances to learn the error of their approach they continued on the same path right until the end.

The theme of the movie is thought provoking and shines through in the scenes with John Cleese which i really enjoyed. Perfect actor for his specific part, and most enjoyable scene that also makes you think. if even just the slightest.

All in all i enjoyed the movie, but it had its lacking parts. So i decided to give it about 3 out of 6 stars, 6 out of 10 chips and a cola :p

Review from around the web

Rotten Tomatoes - 20%

IMDB - 5.8/10