Preparing for recording a screencast

Stuff I do before I start recording a new screen-cast.

  • Something physical. 10-20 minutes before I start, I do twenty push-ups or similar. Something to get my blood pumping. Allow enough time for your breathing to become normal again.
  • Clear my nose. Make sure breathing is as unhindered as possible. Sometimes I use saltwater spray to help.
  • Close down software. Close down Skype, Outlook, etc, anything else that will popup and especially the ones making notifications sounds.
  • Mute phone, and put it away, so that it wont make speakers go woop-woop, when there’s an incoming call. Turn of your speakers if you can.
  • Prepare story. Make sure every step is planned. Make sure every stop works.
  • Drink a bit of water. Yeah, coffee is King, but water removes clears the mouth better.

That’s it. The last one is of cause a bit more involved, but that’s a topic for another post.

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

This is the first book, by Vinge that I’ve read and it couldn’t have started much worse than it did or end much better. aFud starts off with a family crash-landing their space ship on an uncharted planet, the parents get killed nearly right after planet fall and the kids have to survive in an alien and medieval society. Yuch! Sounds like the basis for a really bad young adult novel.

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Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge

Across Realtime is a science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge.

This is Vinge’s first full length novel. For some strange reason, I’ve never gotten around to it before now. I’m not sure why, but maybe it has been a combination of fear that it couldn’t live up to the expectations that A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky had built and the fact that Vinge has written so little and I didn’t want to bleed that well dry just yet. An endless list of excuses doesn’t make a good review, so let’s get on with it.

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I’m not a non-believer

Sorry about the strange title – a explanation will follow.

As my more vocal  Atheist friends haven’t neglected to make absolutely clear to me, the Atheist Alliance International 2010 Copenhagen Convention is this week-end. I’m a big fan of James Randi and would really  like to see him. But I’m not going, because I’m not an atheist. And I’m frankly beginning to be a bit tired with them – paying a small fortune for a week-end with a couple of hundred of them, isn’t my idea of fun.

But lets first take a look at what Atheist means (Wikipedia):

Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

So Atheism, is the negated form of “the belief that at least one deity exists”. I don’t think I want to define my self with a negative, if I can avoid it. The only place for such a definition is when, there’s a conflict with the positive form. But as I don’t have a problem with theists, I don’t need to define my self against them.

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Break on Fail

I haven’t blogged much about software development and usually don’t blog about work related issues at all. Which is kind of strange, as this is a huge part of my life, and something I’m really interesting in.

With this post I try to change that. Slowly. Just to see how it goes.

I’ll start by telling you a story about failure, and how to learn from it. Not because I’m a negative person, but because failure, should be see as an excuse to stop and ponder. There’s often something important to learn.

We, and by we I mean me and the development team of Metaconomy, of which I’m the product manager and daily contact person, failed last week. The goal for the week, was to refactor the partnership functionality and UX, in our Channel Performance Manager solution.

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Second thoughts on Flattr

I’ve had a chance to think a bit more about Flattr, and what kind of impact it can have on the ‘net.

(My first post about Flattr, for those that missed it: http://b.tc.dk/2010/05/flattr/)

First of all, and this may seem kind of strange, I’m a bit scared of the negative impact that this can have on the kind of content we’ll see on the net.

The Negative

Consider this: If you read an article on the net, what will make you click the Flattr button?

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Flattr

I got a mail this morning, with a registration code for a closed beta, to something called… Flattr.

I was very close, to throwing it in the spam bin – luckily my brain connected the name to something before I did that, and I took a closer look. Flattr is a “social micropayment platform”. Meh, well, everything bloody social, but anyway, it’s supposed to work like this:

1. If you have something of value on the net, you put a “flattr” button in it.

2. If somebody read/watch your content and like it they will click that button.

3. At the end of the month you’ll get a share of that person’s Flattr money for that month.
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Android User Experience: Listviews

I’ve had my Nexus One for over a month now. Normally I would have blogged something about it by now, but for some reason I haven’t really had a need. Maybe it’s because it just works. I haven’t really had anything to complain about – yes, it took some getting used to not having to constantly tweak the Wi-Fi/3G connection (like I had to on my WinMo phone), but I’ve learned to leave it alone now.

I do want to talk a bit about some of the user experiences, different applications have given to me. I’ve a few hopes and suggestions that I would like to share with you.

Most of it is aimed at developers, but maybe some users might want to add their own comments to this.

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I want to be a Real Photographer

Around the time I started to take my photography seriously, a couple of years ago, I started to “follow” professional photographers on the internet. Reading strobist, going on a strobist seminar, following people like McNally, Zack Arias, JoeyL, Zemotion, duChemin, Wizwow and a lot of other professionals – reading their books, blog and tweets. All of them – good people, all of them inspiring – all of them  – professional.

I was getting really serious about this. I experimented with different kind of business card. Wrote a plan. Designed a web-page, based on all the good advice from Arias. Focused on my strong points and worked towards a portfolio and web-presence that would show me to the world as the photographer I wanted to sell.

But then…

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