Atta Ikede

September 28, 2008

No more blog vacations

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:56 am

I haven’t blogged in a while.

I’ve realized that if I don’t blog every few days, it’s hard to get back into it. With writing, as with most things, practice makes perfect and if I ignore the blog for a few weeks then I find it’s much harder to organize my thoughts and compose paragraphs upon my return than if I maintain a steady rhythm of posting.

You’d think that writing would come easily for me given that I write specs for a living, but actually, I think spec writing is killing my vocabulary and whatever grasp of sentence construction I had.

Specs are usually terse, heavy on point form and low on expressiveness. The important thing in a spec is to get your main points across to an audience that isn’t necessarily going to read the whole document, for whom English may be a second language, and who come from different departments that may have product or department specific “languages”. Honestly, writing a spec is to an essay what a cheap walmart dress is to a Marc Jacobs gown. It’s an entirely different beast.

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September 8, 2008

My Blog Stats

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:36 pm

If a visitor finds my blog using a search engine, WordPress tell me what the visitor was searching for. I don’t get very many such visitors but there is a solid trickle of a handful a week. Do you know what most of these visitors are searching for when they find my blog?

Grannies. Yes. In fact somebody visited this blog today after searching for “short haired grannies”. I’m serious!!

On one hand I find it a little bizarre that somebody was conducting online searches for short haired grannies. On the other hand, I obviously spend time thinking about short haired grannies and have even written a few paragraphs about them! I suppose that if i’m going to be writing about such topics I deserve an audience that is interested in them. lol. In that spirit, here is a photo for our mutual enjoyment:

September 5, 2008

Earthquake

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:46 pm

I dunno for sure .. it’s possible my crazy neighbour got into a wrestling match with some guests or something … but my apartment just shook. I have a tall floorlamp in the living room and it was wobbling around for a bit afterwards as proof that the strange thump/shake was for real.

I pretended nothing happened for a few minutes and then went online.

It does look like something happened in the east bay at around 9 pm PST earlier tonight. The location is pretty far away from northern San Fran though (which is where I live) so it’s possible that I felt some unrelated thump. That being said, i’m far enough away from Alamo that *if* i felt something it would have been something so weak it would have only shaken my floor lamp…

Sigh. Irrelevant! All I know is tomorrow morning, I’ll be going to the hardware store and buying some fasteners so i can nail down a few things in my apartment. The tall Ikea cabinet especially needs to be nailed to the wall or something… if it fell on me i’d be dead. It has glass doors!

September 1, 2008

Jumping into the money pool

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:14 am

One of my projects at work right now is an image upload feature. it’s nothing special – just normal functionality to add and remove photos. The developer and I discussed what to do about photos the user wants to remove. I suggested we delete such photos from the image server because they’re unwanted, but the developer preferred to keep them because disk space is cheap and it’s good to keep the photos for audit purposes, and who knows, the user may want to resurrect those photos later.

I kind of felt that the audit benefit was small .. of how much use would a bunch of junky old user submitted photos be? … but since it doesn’t hurt to keep them so I figured his point makes sense and that’s what we decided.

Thousands of software people around the world have similar discussions about features that collect user data. What really happens when a user clicks delete? Sure, I know there are some cases where that content really is deleted – even some of my previous features worked that way – but that’s gotta be a tiny sliver of all the data we put out there. It’s so easy to keep everything, and there’s always the “audit trail” factor, which means that I think it’s rational for us, as users, to assume that nothing gets deleted.

For whatever reason, this thought has stuck with me for the past few days. What data trails am I giving to companies? Am I ok with that?

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