Awasu » 2005 » May
Monday 23rd May 2005 2:56 PM [Awasu News]

The Awasu 2.1.2 beta release (what's this?) is now available here.

Lots of Awasu goodness in this release. The main new feature is multiple workpads (screenshot) but there are also a bunch of other smaller, handy features:

  • Awasu now protects you against improperly configured WiFi networks causing all your channel feed URL's to change. No Awasu users have reported any problems with this but I like to stay ahead of the curve. The only thing better than learning from your mistakes is to learn from other peoples' mistakes :-)

  • Updating the search index when new content arrives can now be deferred to off-peak times (e.g. overnight). This can speed up normal operation of Awasu by quite a lot.

  • Several new UI and usability improvements.

Work has already started on the next beta and it's going to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned...

Saturday 14th May 2005 10:50 PM [General]

First there was Tater Vader but that's nothing compared to this! :o :-D

I challenge anyone to watch this and not collapse on the floor in hysterical laughter. Go on, I dare you!

Saturday 14th May 2005 12:22 PM [Awasu News]

The Awasu 2.1.2.alpha2 alpha release (what's this?) is now available here.

This release finishes off the implementation of multiple workpads and also introduces a bunch of smaller, handy features. In particular, it protects you against improperly configured WiFi networks causing all your channel feed URL's to change. No Awasu users have reported problems with this kind of thing yet but other RSS readers have been bitten by it and I like to stay ahead of the curve :-)

Also included is a feature to defer indexing of new content to off-peak times (e.g. overnight) which can speed up normal operation of Awasu by quite a lot.

There are a few loose ends to tie up and that'll be the 2.1.2 beta release. Have fun!

Tuesday 10th May 2005 1:09 AM [General]

If you're very observant, you may have noticed a new The best bits... entry in the weblog sidebar. It brings together some of our favorite weblog posts and so if you're new to Awasu, you might want to check them out. It was certainly fun trawling through the archives looking for the best bits, not to mention being a bit of an eye-opener!

I've written some weird stuff over the past few years... :o

Friday 6th May 2005 10:27 PM [General]

Chuqui's rules for cats:

When human is working at computer, jump up on desk, walk across keyboard, bat at mouse pointer on screen and then lay in human's lap across arms, hampering typing in progress.

I used to be a dog person until I shared a house with a bunch of cats (at one point, there were 6 (!) of them and they definitely ruled the joint). That, and the realization that cats and computer programmers are, in fact, kindred spirits:

  • They are both intelligent.
  • They are both naturally inquisitve.
  • They are both independent.
  • Neither have any respect whatsoever for authority.

My favorite cat was Kadri who hung out at a bar I was playing music at in Turkey in '98:

King of the alley was Kadri, a huge, jet-black panther of a cat that everyone was scared of, customers included, not just the other cats. Bad-tempered and grumpy, he would perhaps allow you to pet him for a short while before ripping your arm off when he'd had enough. And it was just too bad if you left your seat and came back to find him curled up there - no-one was brave enough to try to shift him and you just had to go find yourself somewhere else to sit. Nevertheless, the two of us got along just fine, obviously sensing a kindred spirit in each other.

I think the neighbouring shops got tired of him scaring off their customers and so they, um, persuaded him to move on. RIP :rose:

Sunday 1st May 2005 1:55 PM [General]

An intriguing post came my way this morning, talking about the difference between Japan the the US:

Every--and I mean every Japanese restaurant (including the fast-food sushi joints) had an architectural bent. A sense of style. An aesthetic sensibility you just don't see throughout the US!
The Japanese are being raised with a design/art/aesthetic sensibility, and we need to do the same.

While this may be part of it, I think it goes a bit deeper than that. Actually, I'm surprised they didn't mention it since they talk about it quite a lot on their blog. I think the biggest difference between the Japan and the west is that the Japanese are raised to give a damn. Aesthetic sensibility, attention to detail and appreciation of a job well done are all just part of, a consequence of that.

In the west, we are raised to see work as something to be endured, a necessary evil. You commute to the office in the morning, do your job and then clock out as soon as you are can. We talk so much about and put so much value on "getting the job done" with barely a nod to "getting the job done well". If you said that you really cared about your job and doing the best you possibly could, well, people would just assume that you were a little strange.

Now, not ever having ever worked in Japan, I don't know if the usual employee-for-life-working-in-a-big-corporate-family image is accurate or just a sterotype but I suspect there is more than a grain of truth to it. Work is more than just toil for a paycheck, to the point where people making manholes or cleaning offices take pride in their work and doing it well. I heard reports that the recent train derailment in Japan was possibly caused by the train going too fast because the driver was trying to make up for being 90 seconds behind schedule. Now this might be taking things to extreme (another thing the Japanese are very good at :-) ), the average lateness of trains is around 20-25 seconds (!), but it certainly indicates the importance of doing the job well.

If you've ever had the chance to work for someone who really cared about doing a good job, you probably found that it was infectious. If your boss actually gives a damn, the people working for him will almost certainly feel the same way as well (and those that don't probably won't last too long anyway). Passion is contagious, not only amongst co-workers but with your customers as well. Just look at the fanaticism keen support amongst its users that Apple has managed to raise. Just look at the difference between the release of Tiger (the new Mac OS) and the buzz for Longhorn. Microsoft just hasn't been able to get anyone to care (other than maybe the techies and even they're starting to lose interest).

Anyway, the rest of their blog is well worth checking out and I've been a big fan for a long time (they have the best pictures on any blog I've ever seen :-) ). In particular, check out If some people don't HATE your product, it's mediocre. It's the post I'd write if I was actually able to write. And while saying things like "If you aren't living on the edge... you're taking up too much room" might be a bit harsh, the energy behind such an attitude, well, wow!