Saturday, December 28, 2002

Wittgenstein - the Irish connection

I've been reading some Wittgenstein over the Christmas. I never knew that Wittgenstein wrote some of the Philosophical Investigations in a wee cottage just south of here in County Galway. I must find out exactly where and visit....

Some more info from

"For the winter of 1948 he settled on a farm in the Irish countryside.
After that he lived quite by himself in a hut beside the ocean, in Galway
on the west coast of Ireland. His neighbours were primitive fishermen. It
is said that Wittgenstein became a legend among his neighbours because he
had tamed so many birds

December 1947 - March 1948
Kilpatrick House, Red Cross, Wicklow

28 April, 1948 - August 1948
Rosro Cottage, Renvyle P.O., Co. Galway

October 1948 - June 1949
Ross' Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin



Friday, December 27, 2002

Google considered bad?

I love dictionaries and encyclopaedias - on paper. I never, ever suceed in looking something up without seeing something else interesting out of the "corner of my eye". On the face of it, hypertext and search engines like Google make it easier to find stuff "by chance" but I wonder... Chance encounters of the electronic kind better or worse than paper??

Monday, December 23, 2002

Lord of the Rings - a challenge is set

Last year I took a shot at a little Tolkeinesque parody of the XML wards called Lord of the Schemas. Now that the Two Towers is playing at a cinema near you, do you care to write the next installment? Does not have to be XML related - just geeky. Go on!

Do we need a way of representing anti-links?

Just thinking out loud here. Lets say you find something good on the Web. You link to it. Increasing amounts of clever software harvest the link information to bubble frequently linked material to the top of the rankings (Google being the classic example.).

Lets say you find something bad. What can you do? You can ignore it - not link to it. If you link to it for example saying "This is dreadful and I totally disagree with it." the negative connotation of the link is lost by the link processors. It is taken as a positive link.

Maybe we need a mechanism for marking up anti-links?

Usability - an anti-pattern

Not very usable.

Microsoft, Innovation, and Linux

Microsoft, Innovation, and Linux by John Dvorak. An interesting read. Linux on the desktop has to somehow both (a) be sufficiently similar to Windows - at first blush - to make people feel confortable with it and (b) provide more functionality than the Windows offering to cause people to shift platform with the pain that that always involves. Not an easy combination. Obviously price is a "killer application" in Linux. If it looses that, I'd be worried. You cannot beat Microsoft at the features game. You need to identify that that is where the goalposts are an then move them. Somehow :-)