Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If I was a book...

You're One Hundred Years of Solitude!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lonely and struggling, you've been around for a very long time. Conflict has filled most of your life and torn apart nearly everyone you know. Yet there is something majestic and even epic about your presence in the world. You love life all the more for having seen its decimation. After all, it takes a village.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

So I took the quiz and it labeled me as one of my favorite books. Not that I wanted to read it back in college. In fact, I think this book is part of the reason why I find Latin America more interesting than Africa. Just read this first couple sentences and you'll see why the book is wonderful.
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Speaking in Public

I am fulfilling one of my personal dreams by giving a speech this coming November. I am, of course, excited and a bit nervous, but with three months to prepare I should be okay.

If you are interested in gathering software requirements and happen to be in Chicago during mid-November then I recommend attending the conference. But most of you are neither, so I am just sending you the information because I’m excited about reaching a milestone.

Follow the links for info about my presentation and the conference.

In other fabulous news, Katie will be having her first birthday party next weekend. She is doing fabulous; just starting to eat real foods, learning to walk, and babbling bunches if still without meaning.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Family Networks

Even if Friendster is no longer popular, social networks are still a big deal on the web. If you pay attention to "technology news" you have probably heard of MySpace and FaceBook; both are very popular and strive for a slightly different audience. LinkedIn is the biggest business social network; I have a page there and it is typically up-to-date.

But today I want to talk about a new online networking tool built around families, Geni. This is a new site and has lots of slick features designed to make the site quick, responsive, and easy to use.

What you really need to know is Geni.com is an easy way to communicate with and keep track of your extended family. It allows multiple people to add and update information in the same tree. For example, Kristi (wife) imported a picture of her parents and my brother, Jill (sister) added some information about an uncle and pictures about her in-laws, while Tracy (cousin) added the name of a new niece and my aunt's former husband. The site is real-time and you can get notices on updates daily, weekly, or never. The ability to add, associate, and label people in pictures works pretty well too.

Caveat: If you are a genealogist and really into maintaining good records about your family, you might not want to make this your primary source. While you can export records in GEDCOM format, you cannot import them. I would like a few more fields for maintaining data. I have yet to see a way to print customized reports or change the default view on my personal tree. If you are new to genealogy and looking for a good resource, I recommend Personal Ancestral File (PAF 5.0). You can download it here for free, and get a pretty good report generator as an add-on for less than $10.