All entries for May 2007

May 31, 2007

It'll blow your socks off

I’m late into this but WOW! MultiTouch human computer interfaces – they’re absolutely right… Why do we seem content with single touch devices like mice?

I got here first thanks to Asim one of our U/G students (see previous entry), then via YouTube – a bit of Microsoft Surface (that was on the BBC website yesterday) and delving further into the YouTube comments came across Jeff Han’s work.

Check this out
Perception Pixel

another link to same:
http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid713271701/bclid713073346/bctid709364416

But the best demo is an ad-hoc behind-the-scenes demo by Jeff Han at TED (I think) of the latest version.

So you see, I just had to blog this straight away.

If you thought the iPhone interface was good … *It’ll blow your socks off *


May 23, 2007

I'd love to be proved wrong.

Writing about Manufacturing Engineering! from All Paths Lead to Kenya...

The video on Asim’s site looks great and in principle who can argue with the ideal but it is very idealistic. Do I mean unrealistic? I guess I do.

Very few manufacturing companies successfully implement and sustain complex IT systems. Keeping the data up to date is very difficult especially if, as in the demonstration, data needs to be reformatted. People have a natural tendency in my experience to select the path of least effort/resistance and in the case shown will sometimes elect to simply pass on a message verbally. Even if they have the intention of inputting the data a short while later will they? Always? or will the fast pace of manufacturing today leave them in the situation that they know that the original data is by now already out of date, so why bother?

I can see a version of this used in practice but I don’t think that many companies would be able to gain such a smooth and complete integration as shown by the presenter. For monitoring the plant I think it would work fine; as a component in a workflow environment fine; as an execution tool I doubt it…

... but I’d love to be proved wrong


May 20, 2007

Yes, it was the VC

A gaggle of big-wigs visited work today, Gordon Brown gave a very professional and polished, seemingly off-the-cuff address and revealed the foundation stone for the International Digital Laboratory ... IDL ?? So far everyone has been referring to it as the Warwick Digital Laboratory and this is how it and has been branded – the options as I see it are:
  1. Reprint all the publicity, business cards and redo the website
  2. bury the foundation stone so no one can see it
  3. ignore it (there is some deliberate cock-up)

Afterwards myself Steve and Ben went up the Union bar for a swifty. On the way we passed the local chapter of the Socialist Workers Party ranting on at GB and Jack Straw. Haven’t they got homes to go? Oh, I forgot, no they haven’t, not since COMMUNISM DIED TEN YEARS AGO!!!! We were the only ones up the bar – What is wrong with todays students?

Anyway, I almost forgot to mention that the VC gave a very short return address – nice one! and “Yes” it was the VC.


May 18, 2007

my desk at 8am on 18th May 2007

True to my word, I’ve taken a picture of my desk and I think I will try and 5S it… eventually
In the beginning

So that’s it my desk at 8am on 18th May 2007


May 17, 2007

My Desk is a mess!

This is a copy of a forum posting for my 3rd Year Lean students, I’ll bring my camera in an photograph my desk before and after (when I can get round to it!)

In response to a reply in the MURA 5S thread from Matt here’s how I would go about Standardising my desk. First a review of what the presentation I gave highlighted:
Objective – To consolidate the first 3 S’s by establishing standard procedures. Determine the best work practices and find ways of ensuring everyone does it the same ‘best’ way.
Key Techniques
  • Visual Management.
  • Shadow Boards

In terms of the objective I must realise that desk organisation is a personal thing and only I sit at my desk[1] – just reminds me: have you seen the film Equilibrium ? there is a scene when the hero (Bale) rearranges his desk and this is a signal that he has started to question the opressive regime in which he is involved.
Well, assuming that I had cleared out all the junk and identified a suitable layout I would:

  • Photograph my STRAIGHTENED desk and pin the image to the wall or even set it as the wallpaper on my computer
  • Stick some paper shadows of things like my phone, recharger, pen holder, mugs etc onto the desk surface. I would have to stick to a policy of never putting anything other than the specified item onto or overlapping the ‘shadow’.
  • I need to instigate a regular (weekly) audit of my desk to SORT any new categories of item and to confirm that I am not falling back into my old ways.
  • The hardest part will be to avoid putting paperwork into piles or at least limiting the size of the piles. This I could do by investing in a stack of in trays that would prevent over-filling.
  • I need a policy for dealing with the “that might come in handy” category of item.
  • I need to 5S my filing cabinets
  • I need to 5S my computer desktop which has become a virtual extension of my over-crowded and disorganised physical desk. (Like many men however, I know where everything is but no-one else would have a clue)

perhaps you could do the same for yours?

[1] If I were hot desking with colleagues this would not apply. A simple solution would be a clean desk policy

My Desk is a mess!


May 10, 2007

So that makes everything all right does it?

Over the last few nights I seem to have developed a taste for – or should I say rediscovered the taste of – vodka. I had been missing a late night Whisky, having run out recently, and remembered that we probably had a bottle of Wyborowa in the freezer. Rummaging around in the glasses cupboard I located a Chopin glass and poured myself a nice thick shot of ‘medicine’ Mmmmm.

Here is a photo of some Wyborowa in my Chopin shot glass on our Polish table (made for Gorecki but not collected by him, so we have it, Bardzo Dziekuje Pan Stanislaw)
Vodka shot

Why Chopin? you ask… He was Polish and they are very proud of the fact.

Here are two more raves for this week:
1) The people of Northern Ireland finally seem to have worked it out, good luck to them.

2) At last, he has gone, but so sad and disappointing that our ‘glorious leader’ felt the need to last 10 years in office so that he can satisfy some vain need to appear in the list of PMs that made a decade in their innings – FEEBLE AND POINTLESS – or perhaps he just wanted item 1 above to offset Iraq in his place in history.

On the BBC News website the banner runs

Hand on heart I did what I thought was right.

- This seems to be a consistent theme of his reign, but I can’t help asking So that makes everything all right does it?


May 2007

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