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Android Apps I actually Use

I recently had to reset my entire phone deleting all contents (different story). In the process I wrote down the old apps I had that I liked so I could reinstall them after wiping it. I was surprised how easy it was to do that and how all my contacts/mail/calendar being associated with my Google account made the whole process simple.

So, in case you're interested, here's the list of apps I actually reinstalled:

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Selling something for free on craigslist - for economists

I recently gave away an ugly backyard shed for free on CraigsList provided the person came to pick it up. Within minutes of posting the item I got 7 emails. I deleted the post immediately. I responded to the person who seemed best able to take it (she had a tiltable trailer with a winch on it) and set it up for Saturday. She failed to show saturday, so scheduled Monday. She failed to show Monday, but came Tuesday. I wasn't too worried about which day she came but did want it gone.

The 9.5 foot wide shed was at the end of a 20 foot long concrete pad that was 10 feet wide with a tree on one side and my garage on the other side. At the end of the pad was my alley. So she had to thread the shed down the pad between the tree and the garage without hitting anything, turn the corner at the end of the pad so it could be loaded onto her 20 foot long trailer. The winch on her trailer was broken. It took my battery charger, several screws and boards I had handy, and a few hours of my time to get the thing loaded on her trailer. Her truck hit my neighbor's fence and left tracks in the alley. I am not happy about that.

Structuring better "free" sales for Craigs List

If you are giving something away for "free" as long as they pick it up, I suggest you keep the listed price at zero and keep the title as "Free" but then in the details and in your communication with the person strike a slightly different deal: they pre-pay you $100 for the privilege of taking it for free which you decide whether to keep or give back. If their removal of the item meets your standards then you promise to give back the $100. If they ruin something or break something or - worst - abandon the pickup you keep the $100 to help pay for whatever the problem is.

My theory is that this will reduce the demand to only serious people who will show up on time, with the right tools/equipment to get the item.

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How to write an email to piss off your developer

I'm writing this so other developers can share in the laughter (ha!) and designers/managers can learn.

I've seen this a few times. It feels like there's a mad-libs form that designers/managers use to communicate things in a software project.

Hey:

$normal_behavior_of_our_product_for_the_past_year, $insulting_phrase, $client_need_never_mentioned_before_this_month, $high_stress!!!!!

Thanks,
$designer_or_manager

So, an example letter:

Hey:

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Lost: The Drinking Game

We started watching the tv-show lost a while ago on netflix streaming. This is great because we can watch episodes back to back which gets rid of the anxiety over what will happen "next week."

We found a few occurrences that were uncommon enough that they could be used as a pretty decent game.

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Career update: Director Security Services at Acquia

I recently accepted a position as an employee at Acquia. I have been "my own boss" since about 2006. I had a brief stint as a part-time employee at a company that has now ceased operations, but for the most part I've been the "owner" of GVS.

Thoughts on GVS

I founded GVS with a few goals. I wanted a company that mirrored open source values of do-ocracy and collaborative decision making. In part this was to make it easy for us to hire community rock-stars and have them feel right at home. In reality that didn't work perfectly though it worked pretty darn well. In part this was because I don't really like being a "manager" and wanted to have an empowered independent team. That mostly worked :)

GVS has had a ton of amazing clients and projects. Some of my personal highlights I'm most proud of are the work on Economist.com, California Closets, and the Drupalcon Chicago site which really helped push forward the COD platform. Not everything turned out perfectly. We had our fair share of mistakes but I think in the end we at least were honest and did our best to deliver what we promised and what the client wanted.

One of the real highlights was that working at GVS allowed me to take a 9 month long trip through Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru with my wonderful wife. We visited 30+ wineries, drastically improved our Spanish, and had an amazing time. I've asked every employer I worked for to support me in doing that and none really did. Working for myself I could do that. Of course, it was a lot of work to make that a reality. I had to be aggressive about accepting certain clients that would be flexible with me while I was abroad and on flakey internet connections. I also used that time strategically by investing much more than normal in my community work which has had long term marketing benefits.

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Ice Cream Denver: Menus, Photos, Reviews, Locations

I haven't written nearly as much on this site in the last year or two in part because I "blog" less and in part because I'm just doing it in more specialized places. I realized that by writing about all sorts of different things on knaddison.com I was creating 1 site with no focus when instead I could create 12 sites each with singular focus. The latter form is, of course, more useful to readers.

Here's an introduction for one site Nikki and I have been working on that we really enjoy: Ice Cream Denver.

Denver Ice Cream Review & Photo blog

Nikki loves Ice Cream. I don't mind it ;) And especially with our little daughter we were looking for a new project that would be a fun weekend errand. We started the site in September of 2010 and immediately posted a bunch of store locations. Shortly after we started posting photos of the various shops.

A few of my favorites:

Chalk Board Menus

Chalk board menus are common in the restaurant industry and definitely deliver a cutesy feeling at ice cream shops. For liks south it's painted on and cutesy, but not so practical (in spite of their hundreds of flavors). At sweet action it seems purely practical: they are often adding and removing items from their menu. Menus are a popular item on the site, so popular I created a listing page.

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