Posts about 'Software'

Sadie, algebra and Dragon Box

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

It’s times like these when I’m excited to be living in the future.

I learned algebra in seventh grade, from Mrs. Doyle if I remember correctly. That seemed appropriate; even while not starting until the seventh grade, I was probably among the first 20% of Holliston’s class of ’90 to learn algebra. It was hard, but I figured it out, eventually moving on to geometry, trig and calculus.

Sadie is in first grade.

I got her the Dragon Box game for the iPad after hearing about it from Leo Laporte on one of his podcasts.

We played it together in the beginning, but eventually she just started playing it by herself, eventually making it all the way through and beating the game.

In the beginning, it was matching various pictures. By the end, it was factoring out common elements and solving for x as you can see in this picture.

I’m proud of her, because I think this is actually pretty impressive for a first grader. (humble brag).

I’m more interested in what other forms of self-directed learning are now possible for her. If you have any suggestions for similar types of experiences, please email them to me or send them along on Twitter.

I can only imagine what college will be like for her in 11 years.

Mark Bernstein, Eastgate and Tinderbox rock

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

I been a huge fan of Tinderbox over the years, using it since I got my first Mac in 2002. It has revolutionalized the way I conceptualize, the way I organize information, and the way I handle tasks as disparate as planning a new search engine and automating my weekly Shaw’s list. I’ve evangelized it here a time or two; I even bought The Tinderbox Way.

I upgraded to Tinderbox 4 over the weekend. Unfortunately for me, my spam filter chomped the email containing the license key, so I was SOL for the project I was working on. When I called Watertown’s Eastgate Systems, Chief Scientist Mark Bernstein answered the phone on the second ring and helped me out immediately.

Amazing things here:

1. A person answered the phone
2. The man who wrote the software personally helps the users

I make a living selling information and software, so I’m always happy to pay for software for my Mac. I’m glad to be able to help support people like Mark who keep putting out great tools.


I dislike Lotus Notes

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

Former Lotus Notes developer Dave Delay defends Notes against Internet critics.

In my opinion, people dislike Notes because their expectations don’t jive with the original intent of the product. At its core, Notes is a runtime environment for collaborative applications, but when people complain about Notes, they are usually not talking about core Notes at all. They are talking about the Notes Mail and Calendar applications.

I’ve been there. Many people didn’t “get” Abuzz; some were even puzzled by Life Times Voice. But, it’s still wrong to blame the users, especially those forced to use the product.

I have to use Lotus Notes every day at work, and it routinely costs me at least a half-hour a day in lost productivity, precisely because I have to use it for mail and calendar. I design and develop software for a living, and I find myself continually baffled by Notes. I feel for Mr. Delay, but Lotus Notes needs some serious usabilty work in the parts of the application most folks actually use.

[tags]Lotus Notes, Software, Usability[/tags]