Friday, August 19, 2011

OKRs for actually reaching goals

I've been reading a book about Google: "In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives"

and it's been very enlightening; it's definitely changed my view of Google for the better. I never really thought that much about Google - the best place for search, but that's about it. But Google really is an amazing company - early Google actually reminds me a lot of what it's like to work at Phidgets, which is good.

I've switched from Safari to Chrome, so that should say something right away. I've also been looking at Android with some interest. Apple has a lot more polish, but Google is less evil/more geeky, which I can appreciate...

At any rate - OKRs. Objectives & Key Results. This is the system that Google uses internally for setting goals. The key thing to understand here is that Google is a data driven company; they like to measure things objectively with real data and numbers. So, you set your objectives, and then your key results are measures of how well those objectives get met. i.e. for an objective of 'get fit', a key result would be 'go to the gym 3 times a week' - and then after a year or a month or whatever, you see how you did.

See here for someone from Google explaining it much better then I could:

Well, I really like this system. I think it would make reaching towards goals much less intimidating in real life. I think I will start using it!


P.S. Here is the chunk of the book about ORKs:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Julie & Julia

Well, I'm on vacation, and Steph got me into reading Julie & Julia - which is very succinctly about a Woman who decides to cook her way though Julia Childs's apparently famous cookbook 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' in a year - Blogging about it as she goes. And she has since turned it into a book, which has been turned into a movie set to be released in early August.

And I've become slightly obsessed, as I'm apt to. Now I want to do such a project. Hahaha... well you know me and my phases.

I also built an 'oven' out of stones and mortar on the 'beach' at the cabin... still waiting for the mortar to set, but that's neither here nor there...

Anyways, I admire her project - it takes a certain type of person to follow through with a project like that. I'm the type of person to decide on something like that and then not follow through. I do think I'll start making some recipes from my cookbooks though. I'm the type of person who buys lots of cookbooks - more often then not because of the pretty pictures - and then never cooks a single recipe from them. I always have the best intentions, but then I can't decide what to make, or I don't have the ingredients, or I'm just too lazy to bother.

And these days, Steph does the cooking anyways, and she rarely uses recipes. (Which isn't bad mind).

Anyways, I'm just going to choose a cookbook and start at the beginning, but I'm not going to presume to make it all the way through, or give my self any sort of timeline - I know myself better then that.

Also, we watched Yes Man, and I know it's a comedy, but I actually saw some wisdom in it, which was kind of nice, because I am a NO man, and I'd rather not be really.

Looking forward to Toronto.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tethering at the Airport

So I'm at the airport. It's 11:38pm. I have the internet via a bluetooth tethered iPhone - it's very cool. My phone's in my pocket and I have the internet :-). Anyways - excited to be going to Ontario. Boarding is 00:15


Off to Ontario

Well, tonight we're off. I'm pretty excited about being there. I am not excited about getting there. 12:45 flight to arrive at 6am (4am my time!). Tomorrow is going to be tired.

Cabin @ Tobomorey
Visiting with Daley/Heather
Seeing family at the party

That's what I'm most excited about.


Monday, June 29, 2009

On being drunk

I'm drunk. That means that I' Kanty rely yak ell. so I dot soon. ok? yes, Steph is awesome, sbu it's time for be d fow, so now it tbhe time, si kant elhy type well so much so this post is not so sgood. yes... hmm...... f=drinking is fun buy leaves my hard to advice electroni devices fo how \tpo operativ to convey my thoigbhts. an I think that's interesting as how I tyhink is fun to think about becouse it's very not drunk unless I'm drinking, in which c ase I'm drunk and ca'n't ty[e verhy wellm, so now i sjoould prob ly do bed as in bed gtheye is nothing to type on!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Well I started going through the iPhone course - I've gone through 2 lectures and finished the first two assignments, and I must say - it's been pretty exciting so far. We haven't actually written anything for the phone yet, but I'm starting to learn Objective-C, which is something that I've wanted to learn for quite a while.

The last time I tried to learn it was for Phidgets - I had to write some GUI app examples for OS X and used Cocoa, which is of course written in Objective-C. The problem is that while I kind of learned the language (badly), I never really found a good primer into Cocoa, which is the class library for GUI apps on OS X (on the iPhone it's Cocoa Touch). So I never properly learned how to deal with string, numbers, array, dictionaries, etc.

Needless to say, even after one lecture, I've decided that I need to rewrite the OS X Phidgets examples...

Anyways, on to lectures 3, where I'll learn how to properly manage memory. I've always wondered how to properly use retain/release.


Friday, June 26, 2009

iPhone OS Development

I want to learn to write apps for the iPhone.

I'm going to follow along with the Stanford iPhone Application Programming course which is being offered for free online though iTunes U. Also, now that OS 3.0 is released, I can get access to it without having to be a paid iPhone Developer or having to sign an NDA. I might sign up for the dev program, but it's $99 and I want to make sure I will actually use it.

So - write some apps first, follow along with the course, see what cool things I can do, use the emulator, etc. And then if I want to release something to the app store I will sign up then.

The first app I want to create is something to find/control Phidgets over the network. Since the Phidget webservice has built-in Bonjour support, this could actually be pretty slick. I'm thinking something like the Jaadu interface for automatically finding Phidgets. (Jaadu is an awesome VNC app that will find computers with screen sharing turned on).

I think a Phidgets app would be really cool and slick, though I have to admit that I'm probably in a minority, as it would only appeal to people who have both an iPhone and Phidgets. Either way, I'd like to get it on the app store and see if people grab it.