Beautiful Code

Ashish Gulhati writes, “A software application is a living entity, in constant need of attention, updating, enhancement, testing, fixing, tweaking, marketing, and support. Its success and beauty in an economic sense depends directly on the code being flexible enough to evolve over time and meet the requirements of its users, and to do it again and again and again over the course of many years.”

Chapter 11. Secure Communication: The Technology of Freedom, from Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think from O’Reilly Media


The undersea cables that connect us: Telegeography’s Interactive Map

Based on data from the Global Bandwidth Research Service, this interactive world map shows submarine cables (existing and planned) and landing stations.  Select a cable route and data elements displayed include RFS date (ready for service), cable length, owners, and landing point.

miCal iPad App is my new best friend!

The miCal program and attendant task manager app (in-app purchase) represent the seamless integration of two major productivity functions — calendaring and task management.  

The clean, easy-to-use interface belies the complexity and capabilities of this app.  It is a truly elegant way to manage your schedule and to-do lists.  Some of the features that have improved my productivity include:

  • A wide array of settings can be customized to facilitate quick additions to a calendar or task list.
  • Tasks with due dates can be converted to calendar events with one touch.
  • A dashboard that can display selected tasks, time, weather data, present month thumbnail.
  • Synchronization with other calendars, with color-coding used to indicate origin of the synced events.

These are only a small subset of miCal’s features – check out the complete description at the iTunes app store.

Loving the Livescribe Echo Smartpen!

I have been recommending the Livescribe Smartpen to faculty and students for years; now that I am going back to school for a doctoral degree, it only made sense that I purchase one for myself.  I purchased the second generation of this device — the Echo Smartpen — and the Flip Notepad.  This is a handy little notepad that measures 3.2 x 1.2 x 5.2 inches; the portability means increased usage of the pen as it fits easily into my purse or pocket.

There are so many uses for the Smartpen – check them out and hear testimonials at the company’s website.  I especially like the ability to transfer handwritten notes to my computer, iPad, and the cloud (MyLiveScribe).  The ability to easily and quickly email notes to others is such a timesaver!

I am looking forward to using the audio recording for classes, meetings and conferences.  While I still use my iPad note-taking apps, the Echo Smartpen is the tool of choice when you need to capture and store audio and handwritten notes into a single file that can be shared easily in multiple formats. Since one format is pdf, you can easily open it in an iPad note-taking app if further annotation is needed.

I named my device Penny, though my hubby suggested Penn and Teller which is a more apt name!