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On Cutting the Comcast Cable TV Cord: How many rooms should be wired

We moved to a new house about a year ago. In the process we left our TV in the old house for "staging" which meant it was there for 6 months (it's hard to sell a house now, apparently). In the mean time we watched a ton of Hulu and Netflix instant shows on our 15" computer. This has been relatively glorious.

Cutting the Cable TV cord

With the TV in the old house and our computers in the new we moved our high-speed-internet service (delivered by Comcast over cable) to the new house but shut off the TV service. Luckily Hulu and Netflix ably filled in the gap. We're watching weird and great shows, documentaries, and even adver-tainment like the Ford Focus Rally (although having to endure commercials in the middle of adver-tainment grated on our nerves enough that we stopped).

Hulu has a rolling schedule where they drop content. We can't see old episodes of the Chicago Code (our favorite new show). In a year or two, though, they should be on Netflix. It seems like every day Netflix gets more and more instant content. Amazon's got some instant offering, but we haven't run out of content on Netflix+Hulu enough to worry about what Amazon might have for us. I would love for the BBC's Junkyard Wars to be opened up on Hulu or Netflix. Right now it's making zero money from the American market - why not let it out? So it seems like our TV watching needs will be fulfilled by on-demand media delivered by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and companies like them.

So long, physical media

We have several bookshelves and boxes full physical media: books, journals, magazines, CDs, DVDs. Our TV is currently used primarily to watch DVDs. But the transition is clear: even though high def TV with surround sound is fun, the immediacy of on-demand video media wins. If nothing else it means we can eliminate about one quarter of the furniture in our house since it is designed strictly for holding and showcasing our physical media!

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Libraries: what are they good for? (physical stuff)

The Denver Library is checking out these "power meter" kits. You can buy one for about $30 on amazon.com or get it from the library for free.

I feel items like this show off one purpose of libraries in a digital age: sharing physical items that a single house needs for a short time. I need a power meter to do tests on one day, not many days. I need a book only as long as I read it. etc.

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Contributors for Drupal 7 - Final Numbers*

Well, here we are. Drupal 7's release is imminent and once again here are some statistics for folks to review. This is a truly amazing feat: over 950 people were credited in the commit messages as a contributor to Drupal 7. There were, of course, several thousand people involved in the issue queue but a mention in the commit message is reserved for people who did a serious amount of work whether that was writing code, design, reviewing, creating tests, writing text (i.e. documentation), or some other form.

Analysis of the Drupal Commit Data

Here are some items I noticed.

  • There were 954 people mentioned.
  • A total of 10,091 mentions in 6,117 patches means that there were about 1.6 people per patch
  • The top 10 people were mentioned in 30% of the commits
  • The top 20% were mentioned in 85%
  • People with 3 or fewer mentions form a group that are responsible for almost 10% of the mentions; we can't discount that long tail!

If we group people together into 9 somewhat logical groupings we can see this classic distribution.

Mentions People at that level
1 435
2 144
3 71
5 89
8 65
14 50
23 40
56 40
213 20

You can get the file as an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet (.ods) or from Google docs

The top 10 Drupal 7 Contributors (as measured by this method)

Name Mentions
sun 506
catch 403
damien tournoud 398
chx 324
yched 290
jhodgdon 278
david_rothstein 269
dave reid 231
pwolanin 215
c960657 151
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Lillys Table: Delicious Meal Planning/Recipe Site

Every Christmas we wonder "what do we get for people." For a lot of our friends and family the answer is really hard: We may know their interests but not well enough to have meaningful suggestions. Ultimately, though, we feel like we want to give people more time and maybe a little motivation. Time is the one thing that we all need more of.

Fortunately there is a way to do that this year that is compatible with last minute shopping: Gift Certificates to Lilly's Table.

Lilly's Table: Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well.

For about 2 months now we've been using Lilly's Table to help us plan our meals. Every Sunday we wake up, open our computer, and look at what new items Lilly has sent us. The week's recipes are always seasonal and delicious. The interface shows us general nutrition information and some data on how long it will take to make the item.

The weekly menu has an introductory description from Lilly that gets you excited to make the dishes. You read about ingredients that are in season, which meals should come first or second to take advantage of leftover ingredients, and general foody advice.

We go through looking at the recipes and the beautiful accompanying photos and pick out the items we want. At the top of each recipe are buttons to "add to shopping list" and "add/remove from my recipe book"

On the bottom right of the recipe is a spot to indicate things we've made and provide our own notes.

The recipes are mostly private to paying site members and it costs $12 per month.

Why pay when recipes are free on the internet?

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Halloween costume trends 2010: Southern University of Denver / Hampden Hills

I like to keep track of things. For halloween this year I tracked when people came and what their costumes were. You can see the google spreadsheet or download it as an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet.

For me, the interesting things were:

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Ghost of jobs past: Crazy documents from HR/Accounting

A few years ago I started a company to do some website building (gvs). When it was just me we didn't have any "HR" or "Accounting" process really because it was...just me. Our project process was really messy and I didn't necessarily bill hourly, nor flat fee, nor...whatever. Now we're a little more serious. We've got serious benefits, it's a team of 5 people, we do pretty solid work for a lot of different top tier companies.

That said, I found these two documents as I went through some old files today. These are from a company I worked in 7 years ago that was a startup, but had some serious "process" so they could feel like they were a real company. GVS is not now and probably never will be this kind of "serious."

equipment checkout list

holiday schedule for 2002, with clipart

I mean seriously. Look at how much time must have been wasted on that. And I get that a "holiday" list without some sense of design input is just plain depressing, but I don't think the clipart really got anyone into a festive mood.

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