Shortlog - a log of everyday things



Today was a day of rest. I slept in past noon, talked with my mom for a good while, and did a bunch of random chord improvization on the piano. I also took my trenchcoat to the Korean tailor, since I managed to rip a hole in it right where one of the important buttons goes while going up a set of stairs. That woman pays incredible attention to detail.

I wrote a 16-line python script to play N random songs from my music library. I'm rather pleased with the results - it's a very low-overhead replacement for amarok or anything else, since I usually leave the latter in "all random" mode anyway. I may also look at MPD to see if it suits my needs. It's sad that amarok is no longer stable enough for me to rely on it as my media player.

Now I'm going to go set up ownCloud and see if it's usable or not. I would really love to have my own open-source dropbox equivalent, seeing as I have this dedicated server sitting here that does little besides host my website and a screen for IRC. Particularly after that instance of not having a working copy of my paper. That was very uncool.

I should also push out a quick-hack implementation of comments, because if I keep thinking about it too much, I'll never get it done. I'll make it a one-hour project tomorrow.

I rather like the concept of the one-hour project. About a week ago, I was listening to some folks in #tamulug (on talk about how they had a bunch of projects that they never got around to doing. I thought of the concept behind my blog, in which I decided I would have a working blog engine in an hour's time. I then decided to do an experiment, to see if the one-hour project was something realistic to repeat or not.

I told them "I give you an hour. Go implement [one of the projects they'd been putting off]." And at the end of the hour, they had each made decent progress toward the project, if not completed it. It's not that I really expected everyone to finish a standing project in an hour (although you can certainly get a lot done in that time if you opt to satisfice rather than go for perfection). The point was to force the transition from planning to implementation. Based on initial results, I'd say the first trial suggests that people can accomplish a decent amount in an hour, if they start prototyping. I should follow up on that initial test and see if people have continued working on the projects they prototyped, or if they stopped after that hour. I know I've kept up with my blog since; I wonder if the same will hold true in general - that once you've invested time and effort into creating something, you're less likely to abandon it than if you left it as an idea. I wonder if I can turn this into a hypothesis and test to suggest to Dan Ariely.

Summary: perfect is the enemy of good, and real artists ship.