Friday, September 21, 2007


I was really disappointed to read about Xobni. Bringing Gmail features to Outlook- and letting you 'pivot' your email by who it is from / to. I am disappointed because I have a great idea for an inbox assistant that I am conceptualizing, and this thing looks much better, if not really on the same track. The good side of it is that I will get a better sense of the market for Outlook plugins from watching their progress.

My idea is a little more focused on another aspect of email- the doing side of things, while Xobni is more on the analytical side. I still really want to try it, even though a few of the details are far from clear at this point...

I've also been checking out the trial for Sandy. It's another email type tool, except it's more of a command line using email. You send Sandy an email and she either updates your calendar, todos, sends a reminder or just remembers it. With the API support, you could think of it as a mail in interface to all of the tools you already use. I really wanted to like it, but it's not quite what I thought it was going to be.

Here's what my tool is going to do- help you get through your email faster and more effectively. I've been on the verge of declaring email bankruptcy a couple of times in the past months and I need this tool to stay at inbox zero (see below video for more on that).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Is CS "The Modern Liberal Arts Degree"?

Interesting thoughts on CS and Econ degrees on Marginal Revolution.

From the Comments:
I was a CS major at MIT and was heavily recruited by Wall Street firms. My friends who were studying economics did not do nearly as well right out of college. The CS major is a modern "liberal arts" degree; you can do almost anything with it. In my case, I am getting my PhD in economics. I think studying economics instead of CS as an undergrad just signals that you want a high-paying job without having to do any hard work.

Or maybe proving you can make it through one of the more challenging academic programs in the world means there is less risk in hiring you to do anything...Anyway, I don't have a CompSci degree, despite taking most of the 400 level courses, and I've never missed having one (that I know of).

I do really like the idea that CS is just a tool for getting involved in some other industry.

Another Comment:
This is all kind of funny to me. After graduating with a BBA Econ in 1999 I made a play at the CS world. Realizing I was not willing to learn any real programing I went to get my PhD in Econ. Now I sit all day... programing.

Funny world.

And you can now just follow along online...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Most frightening sentence on my resume

"Wrote Visual Basic for Applications code in a consulting role to support a multi-user client/server time reporting application in Microsoft Excel"

I feel the need to add a line specifying that I was not the architect on this project who decided that doing hub-spoke replication in Excel was not only feasible, but a good idea. I was just called in when it was determined that the original team had made a big mess when they tried to "scale up" to 50 users. At least it was only a month seven years ago. I suppose what really would make it scary is revealing the customer...but I can't do that to them.

This was one of the first instances I had seen of a non IT department wanting to do something technical, but being shot down by a nascent CIO office in terms of being allowed to do IT projects. They thus went with what they had on their desktops as the development platform.

Anyway, I think that project is getting dropped from Resume 2.0.