Joe Ganley
Writing code since 1979
I have been a professional software engineer for over 10 years. I have written many kinds of software, but my particular strengths are interactive graphics applications, compilers and interpreters, and algorithms.

I also enjoy writing, woodworking, and home improvement. Also this.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My music wish

Here's the product I want to see: A unit, perhaps roughly the form factor of a 'boom box.' It connects to the internet via your home wi-fi network, and downloads music from iTunes (or wherever). The unit, and its remote, has thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons on it, and it uses Tivo-like recommendation technology to choose what to play in the future based on what you've liked (and disliked) in the past. You'd pay a flat rate per month for the music. I'm sure you could cobble together something like this today, but the key difference is that my box is dead simple. You unpack it and plug it into the wall, and it starts playing music. While some might want to fine-tune based on whether they are in the mood for a particular kind of music today, I'd be happy with just a few controls: On/off, volume, and thumbs up/down. For extra credit, it would have the ability to stock your iPod, or a similar unit in your car, with stuff it thinks you like. This seems like a great fit for Apple's product line, and I'd love to see it happen.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Evolution of my favorite film

Marginal Revolution has an interesting meme, tracking his favorite film over time. Here are mine, as best I remember:
1968 - Who knows? I don't remember seeing any movies before about age 4.
1972 - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
1979 - The Black Hole.
1984 - The Terminator.
1986 - Brazil.
1989 - Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
1994 - Pulp Fiction.
1999 - The Matrix.
I suspect there might be more between 1972 and 1979, but I don't remember. It looks as if The Matrix has reigned longer than any of its predecessors; hopefully this isn't evidence that I'm getting old and set in my ways. I guess we'll know for sure if I start complaining that modern music just sounds like noise to me.

Also, interesting trivia I just learned: The novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming, and the screenplay by Roald Dahl.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005


A few that I'd add to Life's Little Instruction Book:
  • Never pass up a chance to use the bathroom (from my childhood friend Jerry).
  • Always keep your helmet with your motorcycle, and your carseat with your child (from my brother Mark).
  • Never leave the house without your housekey.

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    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Organizational books

    I've read a few books on (more or less) getting organized lately:
    1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. I'm only about a quarter of the way into this, and it's fantastic. It appears to cover just about every aspect you could want of "keeping house" (I hate how that phrase has been stigmatized as both derogatory and feminine). It also accomplishes the difficult feat of functioning well as either a tutorial or a reference.
    2. Organizing from the Inside Out. This might have done me some good five years ago when I bought it, but by now I found it pretty remedial. If you're a real train wreck, this might work well for you, but I found it pretty basic stuff.
    3. Ready for Anything. Though I am not much of a follower, I appreciated Getting Things Done. However, this book was much more self-helpy, and I didn't think much of it.

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  • Features
    The Long Now Foundation
    The Long Now Foundation

    Man-Bag Buying Guide
    Man-Bag Buying Guide

    Copyright (c) 1988-2004 by Joseph L. Ganley. All rights reserved except where otherwise noted.