We're in Medical City This Time

Status report from the bookish bimbo

A Close Encounter With Someone from The Mothership

HCI (Human Computer Interaction) is a field that has fascinated me from the day I learned of its existence, or perhaps more accurately, from the day I felt it's importance, that is, when I saw the elegance in Apple's user interfaces.

Apple surely did not invent this field, but you would be hard-pressed to disagree that it is in this field that Apple draws its strength (besides Steve Jobs' RDF) and the magic that powers its computer products, software applications, iPods and soon, the iPhone.

What would excite the HCI geek in me more than anything else is to meet (lest hear speak) an Apple User Interface designer: someone from the mothership. And yesterday, i had the chance to listen first hand to this someone.

It all started with Angel's email inviting me (and nikki) to a lecture on HCI. A hurried and excited scan of the email lead me to the person who will be giving the lecture: Mr. Jose Arcellana - a senior manager of user experience at Oracle Corp who has also worked for 11 years in Apple (faints...). And as if the name doesn't give it away enough, Mr Arcellana is Filipino who was an AB English cum laude from UP Diliman (circa 70s if i remember it right) and who holds a Master's degree in Communication from Stanford University. When he was at Apple, he worked on Rhapsody which would later become what we now know as the Mac OS X, created the Apple Assistant (their "better" version of the Microsoft Wizard) and argued with Steve jobs (more on this later)

His credentials actually made me think: Did he really want to be a "user interface designer" when he made the academic decisions that he did, and in corollary, if one (looks around) wants to do what he's exactly doing now but is in the IT business, what is the pathway to enlightenment? (i wanted to ask this during the Q&A part but shyness got the better part of me)

Moving on, he did an excellent presentation on HCI, its principles, the processes involved in doing UI research and design, and a lot of other cool stuff (will be sharing those stuff with the team here in OCS). His Silicon valley anecdotes were my favorites though. He recalled arguing with Steve Jobs over the dock because he didn't think that it was a good idea. Of course Steve Jobs won, being the one with the "expert opinion". He said that during their argument he almost forgot that the one he's arguing with is his company's CEO.

It really sucked that we were not able get a video or photos for the event (angel left her camera in Tiwi), but it was one hell of a Lecture. The most enjoyable one I've ever been to, and the closest I would probably get to someone from the Mothership. :)

Tax and Health

A little trivia: Hannah just called Maxicare to ask about the remaining benefit balance for Sam's Health card and learned that a large chunk of our Hospital bill last time he was shouldered by the Government. In fact the amount they shouldered is around a quarter my total expected tax contributions for this year.

Hmm, now I don't feel too bad about the tax we pay. For now.


Happy Birthday to Nikki!

iPhone New York

I've been enjoying watching this for a few days now and I thought I'd share it here.
A cool unofficial 60 second ad for iPhone.

On a (minor) Blogger Design Flaw

I just noticed that if you have a single image (and no words) as a blog post (think post-secret), showing the "original post" in the comment form has no real value. You will just get a text that says "[photo]". What's that?
I think it will give more value to the readers if Blogger uses the alt attribute of the image posted instead of just sticking the word [photo] (which gives almost zero information). That way, bloggers who do this kind of blog posts will be encouraged to make use of the alternate text attribute to give more information for the readers. :)

In the end, commenting readers will be happier (saving a click on the back button to take a peak at the post again).

Until that's fixed, i would suggest the use of the pop-up version of the comment form.

A Very Sweet Solution

As some of you probably know by now, iPhone will not be having support for native 3rd party iphone apps. This has bothered a lot of geeks and developers as well as key apple watchers because Apple is (again) leaving developers in the dust. Hopefully things will change later down the road, but it's still hard to ignore the discontent of the developers. Though for some would-be-iPhone-users this is a non-issue. For some, the lack of capability to load potentially kick-ass iPhone apps from great Mac developers is a glaring limitation of the iPhone.

As if things are not bad enough for the developers, Steve Jobs during his WWDC 2007 keynote struck a lot of developer nerves (to an extent that some say as an insult) when he announced "third party applications" for the iPhone:

We've come up with a very sweet solution.…We've got an innovative new way to create applications for mobile devices. Really innovative.…
I've yet to find a reaction that will top Michael Tsai's. It's the best hit so far. :D

Blogger Draft

Ey kids. Want to upload a video to your blogspot blog? Then go try Blogger in draft, featuring a direct video upload.

WWDC 2007

I'm doing a google post for a writing stint that I got from helping hannah out and at the same time keep going back to this page Where Macrumors is going to be live blogging the event. T-10 minutes and counting. awwww. I'm gonna need a bottle of red bull to keep me up tomorrow. Adios amigos. To my fellow mac fans, good times! (my phone just buzzed with Google Calendar's reminder of the event).

I'm waiting, Stevie boy. Fire away.



Since Cherry nicely tagged me with this meme, i'm politely complying. :)

Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

  1. I used to have second thoughts about going to heaven because i doubted if there are shiny things up there. Just so we're clear, i don't care anymore (if there are none) :p
  2. What's weird? We sometimes play Chinese garter at the office. What's weirder? It's my idea. I' m probably the most child-like i know at 26.
  3. I think i have a distorted image of my body. No i don't think i have a hot body, but somehow I feel good about it That's good, right? right? (the sound of 3 browsers closing) :p
  4. I like love to travel at night and during the wee hours of the morning. I observe the people who are traveling with me and wonder what's their excuse for traveling that late.
  5. I wanted so much to feel what it is to live on the streets. (i think this is an ofshoot of no. 4). I was so envious of Paulo Bediones when he did that in Extra Challenge.
  6. ...
  7. I have a thing with number 6.
okay, the last 1 was a joke, but it was too good to pass up. (i hope i didn't ruin the meme by doing that). Just to complete it: I love to have a glass of cold water with hot pandesal for my breakfast. (though i seldom get the chance to do that...)

Ohkay, now i'm taggin 6 weird people i know...Hannah, Thea, Nocturne (yes, you), Alekos, Nikki, Kei

Jobs and Gates on D5


Sometimes I wish decisions can be made based solely on what we want to do or where we want to go. No complications.

On the other hand, having constraints is also a good thing. It defines your problem more, and it's an oppurtunity to creatively work around them.