Yet another week has flown by and we find ourselves already halfway through November! This post is a day late due to my lack of Internet/computer use over the weekend. For those who are curious as to why it is Musing on :)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

#312 - There is actually a ISO standard (ISO 8601) that covers the "representation of dates and times"

In my attempt to give my weekly musings a bit more structure, I looked up what day and week of the year we were in. The day of the year was simple enough, but the week was actually more complicated that I thought it was! I always assumed that 1st January will be Week 1..but then thinking about it, if 1st January is a Friday, will it still be Week 1? According to ISO 8601, if 1st January is a Friday, Saturday or Sunday it is actually Week 52 or Week 53 of the previous year (ISO 8601 week starts on Monday). To confuse things even further, the system followed by USA is different to ISO 8601 - weeks start Monday, and there are partial weeks at the start/end of the year. If you're wondering, 09/11/2009 is Week 46 and the reason I start on Sundays for these posts is so I can have Sunday to write them up, and it's no fun to come up with the musing for the day and write about it on the same day.

Monday, 9 November 2009

#313 - Magic is awesome! But figuring out how it is done is tricky.

Had been playing around with Ruby on Rails for the past few nights (getting it to work with PostgreSQL is amazingly tricky!), but when I finally got it working I was able to continue with the very basic online getting started tutorial. A couple of commands later I had a "working" web-app - create/update/delete posts and comments was all working. It was great to see it working, but unfortunately I had close to no clue as to how it was all working thanks to all the rails magic. My initial quick attempt (it was like 2am) at poking around to see how everything worked was futile - I just confused myself even more :( So as much as I like all the awesome magic that makes things "just work", I think understanding and finding out how everything clicks together is important too. (Of course, this applies to 'normal' magic too - watching them is fun, but working out how they work can be challenging, but probably just as rewarding)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

#314 - An item that is expensive doesn't necessarily mean that it is of higher quality - do your research!

A couple of weeks ago, read "9 Ways Marketing Weasels Will Try to Manipulate You" on Coding Horror, and would say it is definitely worth reading. The 9 points listed are all quite good and I have to admit have been victim of most, if not all of them. Reading/knowing these 9 points will probably not make you immune to sneaky marketing techniques, but hopefully it'll make you more aware when you are deciding what to buy. Though, if you do end up buying something for a bit more than you should've paid, don't worry - a random post I read ages ago (will try to find it) said that you'll grow to like what you own and think it is the best :)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

#315 - Even something boring like a business card can be made awesome with some creativity.

To a good majority of people, business cards are probably quite boring - a rectangular piece of cardboard with the contact details and logo of the company. They're all about the same, with some variation in the colours/logo/names, but it is probably hard for any particular one to stand out. Of course there is nothing wrong about standard business cards, but even something as simple as business cards can be made to be simply amazing with some thought and creativity - 100 (Really) Creative Business Cards. In my opinion, some of them are probably a bit overdone, but there are plenty that are just simply awesome - the one I like most is the tooth decay/dentist one. Looking at all the business cards made me want to think outside of the box and take something old and boring and give it a twist.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

#316 - "...the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." -Apple

Looking into the Evolution of Apple Ads lead me to one of their earlier campaigns "Think Different". It was quite interesting to see how much has changed from when computers first came out and comparing it to what we have now. Though the one thing that stood out for me was the quote above in one of the ads. To me the quote seems to be challenging people to voice what they are thinking without worrying if other people will think they are crazy and/or stupid (something that I find hard to do myself). The other reason I like it is if someone calls you "crazy" you can point them towards this quote :)

Friday, 13 November 2009

#317 - Window blinds are opened during take off and landing so that passengers on the plane can be aware of the outside surroundings and alert the crew if anything seems amiss.

Was on a plane tonight and the usual take off/landing notice of "please open your window blinds" caused me to think...why? A quick google gave me a reasonable answer which makes sense: with the window blinds open, the passengers can see outside and alert the crew if needed. To be honest, I never thought of it that way - always thought it was something to do with some technical reason such as cabin pressure. As the idiom says: many hands make light work! Well, in this case, many eyes make flying safer!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

#318 - Listening to 'live' music and playing music sounds different (in a better way) to listening to music from the computer/stereo etc.

Without thinking much, it might be easy to think that listening to music from CDs etc would sound better then listening to someone play since the recorded CD is probably a professional playing and recorded in a specialised studio with all the acoustics tuned to perfection. However, I have always found that listening to someone play (especially someone you know) almost always sounds better! They may make mistakes, but somehow the overall feel of the music just feels better. Similarly, playing a song yourself is very rewarding - despite all the mistakes when practising, when you're finally able to part of the song it feels great! Note: I often label myself tone-deaf, so you might have to take this point with a grain of salt, though it'll be interesting to see what other people think.