How Big is That?

Ever hear somebody mention the size of a file in bytes, K, meg, or gigabytes and wonder how really big that file is?

Here are the definitions of each of these:

Kilobyte Same as Bytes
byte 8 bits 1
kilobyte 1,024 bytes 1,024
megabyte 1,024 kilobytes 1,048,576
gigabyte 1,024 megabytes 1,073,741,824
terabyte 1,024 gigabytes 1,099,511,627,776
petabyte 1,024 terabytes 1,125,899,906,842,624
exabyte 1,024 petabytes 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
zettabyte 1,024 exabytes 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424
yottabyte 1,024 zettabytes 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176

Which reminds me of a poem I just wrote:

the yottabyte, is a lotta byte
the biggest of all the prefix
and to think! the biggest is just

The Power of the List

There is a lot to know about time, project, and work management. But, to me, it all seems to come down to one thing: the power of the list.

There are some great websites ( and books (Time Management for System Administrators) about time management and getting organized, but the two most important things you can do to get and stay organized are to "commit to the list" and to "commit to the cycle."

Doing these two things keeps me from bouncing around, forgetting things, working on the wrong priorities, worrying about what I should be doing, and feeling stressed by incoming work that is exceeding the outgoing work.

Here's what I do...

What's Up with Adobe Flash Player 10?

All of a sudden, I've had multiple clients calling me today with problems from upgrading, or trying to upgrade, Adobe Flash. They can't seem to uninstall it from Add/Remove Applications in the Control Panel and then re-install it.

So far, though I don't know the cause, I've found a quick solution...

"Reality Check" by Guy Kawasaki

I finished Guy's book "Reality Check" (RC) a little while ago and must say I really enjoyed it. I'm in the middle of starting about 5 major projects and found RC to be a great resource as I work my way through these diverse "starts".

The book is written in easily digestible chunks (the book was admittedly derived from his previous book "The Art of the Start" (TAOTS) and his blog) and the chapters are well organized in related sections.

While there is some repetition and cross reference between Guy's other projects, I found RC to be better organized and a much easier read then TAOTS. It is also more current and, I felt, a little better informed.


I do a lot of design work. I'm better at systems internals than I am at UI, but I know what I like in a UI and can usually mimic it (especially within the confines of a predefined UI set of rules such as Windows MDI or Google Android, if you follow what I mean).

Anyway, I'm intrigued by product design, architecture, photography, graphics layout, video editing, etc. and they all require an understanding of design and design principles (or at least the ability to mimic them) so I'm often on the lookout for theoretical works on the subject.

I enjoyed reading Matthew E. May's PDF "In Pursuit of Elegance" for that reason.

This short 6 page work is really just a preview to May's book of the same name. As he says in the last lines of the PDF:

"there is only one matter left to discuss in order to bring the search for elegance to its conclusion, and that is an understanding of a technique by which the power of the missing piece can be applied in such a way that it maintains its power and place in whatever we attempt—an unpacking, if you will, from the travels through elegance.

"And for that, I’m afraid, you will need to purchase the book."

What makes this PDF worth reading (for the price)? It raises interesting issues about the definition of "elegance" and provides some interesting examples. He does trot out some rather worn stories (hasn't everyone heard that Michelangelo said carving the statue of David was "simply a matter of removing the stone that was not David"?) and there are a few typos, but I did find it an interesting read.

The definition he uses, that "Elegance is at once symmetrical, seductive, subtractive, and sustainable" is a good one and is, itself, elegant.

Good enough definition that I might even buy the book, or at least get it from the library. (Hey, if you click on that link and pre-order before May 19, 2009 or buy the book after that, I get some Ama$on.)

First Impressions of the Android Dev 1

Well, I've had my Dev1 unit for a few days and thought I'd share my first impressions of the device and the Google OS. There are a lot of reviews already for the T-Mobile G1, so I'll mainly focus on the differences and my specific experience along with a basic run through of what I've seen so far.

Dell Introducing the New Inspiron Mini 10

Dell has introduced the new Inspiron Mini 10! Pre-ordering is available now and starts at $399. To get the faster processor add $50. To add a color to the case add $30. To get an optical drive, add $80.

They seemed to have fixed the keyboard problems that the Mini 9 had. They also have gone with a standard 2.5" SATA hard drive at 160gb, which means you can store photos, music, and movies, not just surf the web and check email.

HDMI output and SD/SDHC card slots are included as is a webcam (looks like the optional one that came with the 9). Overall look and design is very similar to the Mini 9.

Battery life is claimed at 3 hours and weight is 2.7 lbs.

Very nice specs, Dell!

Android G1 Dev Phone Settings for AT&T

These are the settings I needed to get my new Android G1 phone to talk to ATT's (AT&T's), formerly Cingular's, data network...

ASUS Has a Bamboo Laptop

A laptop made out of bamboo!? Well, that's green (actually kind of tan).

Slicehost, Best VPS Ever!

I switched recently to for my VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. VPS allows you to run your own virtual server out in the "cloud". Instead of dealing with all of the headaches associated with shared web hosting accounts and other hosting options, or the cost of a dedicated physical box, the VPS gives you everything you are used to having with a physical server, but running as a "slice" of processor, memory, and disk on a larger, managed, server.

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