Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Tweaked Slinky

Calvin's Desk Toys

I have some things I keep on my desk so when people come into my office they have something to play with when they are discussing things. It seems to relax people a little. One of these things is a metal Slinky. The Slinky sits on top of a coaster I got at BrainShare a couple of years go. I don't drink but it was used as a ticket to get into the Novell Open Source Bar. Brady and I went for fun.

The Slinky Pad

The interesting thing about the slinky on my desk is that it's tweaked. There are several coils in the middle that got damaged years ago and no longer stay together except when sitting vertically.

Tweaked Slinky Coils

Most people that come into my office pick up the slinky and play with it. Almost every engineer that comes in notices right away that the coils are tweaked and is instantly conviced that they can fix it. The worst offender is my boss Jared. I have been in 30 minute conversations with him where the entire conversation, he is bending and twisting the slinky convinced that he can make it right. It can't be done...I know from experience!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"The Man Diet"

(I lost a lot of photos from my blog but this is close to what I had here although several months later) The daily workout
A lot of people have been asking me what I have been doing to lose so much weight. I thought I would post it here since I can’t think of a better way to explain it.

About six months ago I decided I was going to loose the overweight programmer look and attempt to get back in shape. I started working out by running on a treadmill each day for about an hour. After two months of consistent working out I had nothing to show for it. I had lost no weight, I was not any smaller, and I was getting sick and tired of working out.

At a family gathering, my brother-in-law gave me what I now call “The Man Diet”. I call it that because Men do not want to read long books about what you can and can’t eat. Men don’t want complicated diet programs that require you to measure points. Men want a very simple set of rules to follow and he gave me only three.

1. Don’t eat anything that starts with the letter “C” (except Fruit, Veggies, and Meat)
2. Don’t eat anything white (except Fruit, Veggies, and Meat)
3. Only drink water

Don’t ask a lot of questions, just follow the simple rules.

At the same time I got this advice, Brady Anderson (from the iFolder team) mentioned that he measured his heart rate using a monitor like those made by Polar. I purchased a Polar F11.

On November 8th, 2005 I started on my new “Man Diet” and my Polar exercise program. I work out six times a week and my exercises vary in length and difficulty each day. I’m not going to attempt to explain heart rate zones here, visit Polar or some other fitness site on the web and read up on it. Basically I have four 45 minute workouts in the 60-80% zone, one 35 minute workout in the 80-90% zone, and one hour and 10 minute workout in the 60-70% zone. My exercises consist of riding a stationary bike (in photo), running on a treadmill, running outside, swimming laps, and using an elliptical machine. Each session consists of only one of those activities and I do it solid for the duration of the exercise. The Polar monitor lets me know if I am going too hard or not hard enough. The surprising thing about starting to monitor my heart is I was actually working too hard previously. I had to slow down and get my heart rate into the correct zones.

I have been following “The Man Diet” and working out as I described since November 8th and as of January 8th 2006, I have lost 35 lbs. The new pants I purchases last week are three sizes smaller than when I started.

I hope that story helps anyone else that is attempting to do the same. I was as shocked as anyone when the lbs started coming off. I feel better and younger than I have in many years.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

iFolder Usability Testing

Calvin being "tested"
Anna Marie Dirks has set up a usability test lab that is amazing. We had five people come through yesterday and test the new Linux UI. Boyd is making changes between sessions and we are having new people come through today to run through the tests with the updated UI.

If you haven’t visited it, you should visit and check out some of the usability videos for iFolder, Linux, Open Office, and other open source projects.

Wake Up Alarms (part 2)

Back in January of 2013 I wrote about wakeup alarms and compared the difference between Android and iOS.  That was back on an iPhone 5 and a...