Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ship It

We just shipped the server side of one of my products, the Wolfram Lightweight Grid System.

I am reminded of the immortal words of Steve Bjork, famed CoCo game programmer, when he said you know your program is going to be good because you start to hate it. He seemed to capture that feeling you get when the thrill of seeing something cool come to life is long gone, and you're grinding through all the details that need to be nailed down so you can ship.

Check out some of the screencasts. Also, check out Roman's blog post for some of his longer-term perspective on parallel computing within Mathematica.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Speedlink: Harvest

Harvest is a time-tracking webapp that has a broader scope than Time Tracking Tool, and so far I like it a bit better for my needs. The web interface is just a tad more efficient than that that of TTT.

Harvest is geared for businesses and generating invoices for billable hours, so it has this concept of Timesheets that let you pick tasks from your projects. This matches how I work pretty well, even though I'm not directly billing anybody. On my timesheet I can see at a glance where my time has gone for that day, and how much time total I've spent so far. This is the number one thing I need on an ongoing basis because my schedule is so irregular and I task switch so often between home and work.

I haven't looked into what support it has for planning, and tracking how estimates match actual figures, but I imagine the support is not there.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Speedlink: Time Tracking Tool

Time Tracking Tool, a program that I'm evaluating. This is pretty close to what I'd want to use. It has the Play/Pause notion, as well as a task hierarchy. When you activate a task, it shows the time you started, to help remind you if (when) you forget to pause it when you leave the computer. That's probably the chief drawback to the whole problem, when you get distracted from a task (phone call, someone stops by your desk to ask a question), by nature it's hard to remember to tell the computer what's going on.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Stephen Lifts the Lid on Wolfram|Alpha

We finally have said something public to say about Wolfram|Alpha. The tagline for the proudct is "Computational Knowledge Engine", and Stephen's blog post introduces the concept this way:

Fifty years ago, when computers were young, people assumed that they’d quickly be able to handle all these kinds of things.

And that one would be able to ask a computer any factual question, and have it compute the answer.