25.10.07

RIP, Madeleine L'Engle

She passed away in September, I wasn't watching the news...

"I see," she cried, "I got it! For just a moment, I got it. I can't possibly explain it now, but -- but there, for a second, I saw it." (The moment Meg understands the tesseract, in A Wrinkle in Time.)

18.10.07

Please Let Me Do More With Less

Mark is onto something with his call for NeoVictorian Computing: when you're trying to do something, the #1 most important thing is that your software shouldn't get in the way. This is the "do no harm" principle applied to software design.

Specifically: do no harm to my productivity!

Why can't I have a simple tool that lets me do more actual work? I'm tired of wrestling with interfaces. It is easier, faster, and more fun to work on paper than in Word or Photoshop...

4.10.07

Robert Louis Stevenson Struggles to Decorate His House

Writing from Samoa in 1892 to Sidney Colvin, Stephenson tried to describe some wallpaper he wanted: "The room I have particularly in mind is a sort of bed and sitting room, pretty large, lit on three sides, and the colour in favor of its proprietor at present is a topazy yellow. But then with what color to relieve it? For a little work room of my own at the back, I should rather like to see some patterns of unglossy -- well, I'll be hanged if I can describe this red -- it's not Turkish and it's not Roman and it's not Indian, but it seems to partake of two of the last, and yet it can't be either because it ought to be able to go with vermilion..." (Quoted in A Color Notation by A. H. Munsell, 1919)