Archive for the ‘Small Talk’ Category

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Finding the Perfect Online Project Management Tool Day 3

12월 21, 2007

After slogging through bloated project management programs looking for one that is a good match for my needs, I’ve managed to evaluate three leads formally. I evaluated them based on the following criteria: Pricing, Project Features, Time Tracking Features, Work Report Features, Bloat Level, Web 2.0ness, and Serendipities. Let’s move on to the analysis, shall we?

SugarCRM (www.sugarcrm.com)

This product claims to be “commercial open source”. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Attractive people in business suits are flexing their arms on the front page, showing their prowess as a sugar power user. It features capabilities for Reporting, Marketing, Sales, Support, and Collaboration. This is already more than I was looking for, but since I might be doing all of those things in the future its worth checking out. Reporting means mostly collecting information about customers, from contact information to satisfaction surveys and tracking unhappy customers. The marketing features track leads from particular marketing campaigns and thus the effect of different advertisements. Also tracks email marketing offers and gives the ability to do email marketing campaigns. It seems like all sorts of traditional marketing tools are available here.

This is where I need to stop. SugarCRM has a ton of features, but it’s not free and none of the features are what I’m looking for. Final evaluation:

Pricing: from $40/month

Project Features: Nothing that I had in mind

Time Tracking: Nothing that I had in mind

Work Reports: Nothing that I had in mind

Bloat Level: Through the roof

Web 2.0ness: No time to check

Serendipities: Tons.

Basecamp (www.basecamphq.com)

From the front page: “Basecamp takes a fresh, novel approach to project collaboration.” That’s definitely promising. There are no business suit wearing chicks on the front page either. Taking the tour is a great way to become familiar with the software. The first feature is to-do lists, which I was not looking for exactly but do seem very attractive, as I write up to-do lists for myself all the time. There is in-line editing of these lists right on the web page, a nifty Web 2.0 feature. Very cool.

It also includes file sharing, which is a very important part of any operation these days. This includes updating newer versions of files. Definite serendipity here.

It doesn’t seem to have any wiki functionality though.

Pricing: from $24/month

Project Features: no Wikiness

Time Tracking: Excellent

Work Reports: To-do lists count

Bloat Level: Not much

Web 2.0ness: Perfect

Serendipities: File sharing w version control, to-do lists

Twiki (twiki.org)

Twiki was recommended to me by Jasper, and it seems to have a very interesting premise. It is said to be a structured wiki, bridging the gap between a database and a wiki, and it says that it offers structure that can be added as needed. This sounds like something that can grow as my needs grow, and only has exactly what I want it to have over time. I am definitely intrigued.

After looking it over it seems to be extremely customizable and ready to grow and evolve as I need it to, with a liberal application of downloading and tweaking every time I want to change something. This style of online application management I am already familiar with. However, the output from Twiki would always look like a wiki, or at best a well-formatted HTML table. At least I think so. Now that I check it out, there are a variety of skins available. However, they don’t seem to be Ajax-like.

Pricing: free, open source

Project Features: I can make exactly what I want of a wiki

Time Tracking: Present, tweakable

Work Reports: Present, tweakable

Bloat Level: Only dependant on me

Web 2.0ness: Contains 100% Wiki, Lacks Ajax-ness

Serendipities: A healthy community of Add-on writers

So far Twiki seems to be winning, but there is another one or two that I encountered in my informal scouting before writing this post that I want to take a closer look at first.

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Finding the Perfect Online Project Management Tool

12월 21, 2007

Or, a living example of feature creep

Ok, this is going to be much harder than I originally thought. On Tuesday, I was speaking to Albert about creating a sort of project bank, which would be a large repository of project plans that may or may not be used in the future. But this large reserve of planning could be dipped into at any point when we needed a particular plan. I wrote up a very short example project plan as a word document, and envisioned a folder full of word documents, each with a different idea on them. They could be refined and altered over time, of course, because plans always change.

The altering over time thing Albert caught and suggested it might be better as a wiki. That was a great idea, a project plan wiki would be much more useful because it tracks version changes and the editor and could be accessible anytime, and anywhere. But if we’re going to start getting all online and interactive with this, we might as well include some work assignment and time tracking features just in case I end up managing a larger workforce than I am now (currently I’m just managing myself). And if we’re tracking the time of hypothetical future employees, we might as well give them a vehicle to write down what they did during the day.

Good ideas, right?

So I began to search the internet for free, open source, online project management and time tracking tools, thinking I might be able to find someone’s pet project on Sourceforge. Oh, how little did I know what I was getting into.

There are apparently over one hundred online project management tools there, with varying features, pricing, and scope. There are tools which look like a micromanager’s dream, breaking projects down into tasks, and tasks to subtasks. There is time-tracking software which people can actually use to track their tasks to the second. Hit one button to start the timer, hit another to stop it, all on a web site. Every service I’ve found so far is overkill. I’m writing this to try to sort through them and find one that fits what I’m looking for.

Begging the question

Which begs the question, what am I looking for? So far, here are the features that I’d like to have.

  • Project Wiki – I’d like to see a wiki-based project repository where I can write up a customized description of the project, much like a lab report.
  • Team Member Time Tracking – I’d like to have a nice, convenient way for team members to keep track of how much time they’ve spent on a particular project, in up to 30 minute increments. I don’t need seconds tracked
  • Team Work Reports – I’d like team members to be able to write up how the work actually went down and what they ended up accomplishing. Also suggestions for how to make the project better.

My search has begun, and who can say what it will find?

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Old Friends Reunion

12월 20, 2007

I had a palbee meeting on myspace. It’s quiet simple to invite my friend in palbee meeting.
Put the mash-up code into myspace personal profile page and just let them know myspage URL by MSN or E-mail. They are comming in palbee meeting without any login or registrations

Picture is down here

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오늘 마이스페이스에 팰비미팅을 이식한 이후 처음으로 오래된 친구들과 즐거운 시간을 보냈네요..하하..

한명은 미국 시애틀에 있고 다른 한명은 네이버에서 일하고 있는 후배…몇년전이네요 벌써…서로 몰려다니며 낄낄거리면서 게임도 하고 술도 마시고 이런저런 얘기들도 하고…그랬었는데…이제는 온라인에서만 겨우 모일수 있게되고..그나마 팰비덕분에(자화자찬?) 쉽게 모였네요…
 마이스페이스 주소 알려주고 들어오라고만하면 바로 연결할 수 있으니 다들 편하게 생각하는군요…

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Down the Mainstream, into the Ocean; Video Sharing

12월 10, 2007

The online video sharing market has exploded. TopTubes.net, a YouTube clone rating site, has 133 video sharing sites registered. There’s RuTube.ru, a Russian YouTube clone; GodTube.com, a Christian-oriented YouTube clone; and helpfulvideo.com, a place to share your knowledge and skills. There are video sites customized for geographical areas such as Southeast Asia, Germany, and Australia. There are sites that allow users to sell videos, sites that give them away for free, and sites that define themselves as a “stake holding, socio-communal, anarcho-capitalist, sharecropping, fair-trade, collectivist syndicate.” There’s a video blogging site called ViddYou.com. There are a ton of porn video sharing sites as well.
There are already defunct video sharing sites. Supporttube.com, which was supposed to show videos of helpful technical support from the obvious to the obscure, like how to set up a router or how to tune guitar strings, no longer responds to HTTP requests. An reported Indian video sharing hub meravideo.com also doesn’t respond any more, if it ever did. Tagworld.com, a video sharing site that was geared towards music video enthusiasts, has been shut down by its development team who are now focusing on flux.com, a social tools and social metrics service. Vid.cx, described in some blog comments as a new video sharing site, doesn’t even respond to ping anymore. The stench of web site death is in the air.

Niche sites
To be successful in the now-incredibly cutthroat video sharing business, companies have to occupy or create new niches. Most of the video sites currently working are covering the geographical or lingual niches, and some are built around specific types of content. The easiest one to find is Stupidvideos.com, which describes itself as “a viral video website dedicated to humorous, off-the-wall videos, including wild stunts, wacky animals, sports bloopers, funny commercials, song and dance parodies and more.” The videos are divided into several categories: Just Plain Stupid, Stunts/Crashes, Sports, Animals, Commercials, Song/Dance, Standup Comedy, Sketch Comedy, Webcams, Science & Technology, Politics, Holidays, and Video Games. You can see shopping cart tricks, people setting themselves on fire accidently, snowboarders running into people, guy slipping off of a diving board, fathers throwing their children face-first into the ground, and people drunkenly riding their bikes into walls.
Stupidvideos.com did not invent extreme entertainment, however. This web site follows in the footsteps of TV shows such as Jackass and Fear Factor.
From Wikipedia, on Jackass:
“Jackass is an American television series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002, featuring people performing various dangerous, ridiculous, and self-injuring stunts and pranks, with humour that could be described as a modern-day combination of the Three Stooges and a physical manifestation of Groucho Marx’s innuendos. The show served as a launchpad for the television and acting careers of Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera. Since 2002, two Jackass theatrical films have been produced and released by MTV corporate sibling Paramount Pictures, continuing the franchise after its run on television. It is one of MTV’s most popular shows ever and sparked several spin-offs including Viva La Bam, Wildboyz, Homewrecker, Dr. Steve-O, and Blastazoid.”
The first Jackass movie, released in 2002 and called Jackass: the Movie, grossed US$79.4 million worldwide. The second movie, released in 2006, grossed US$84 million worldwide. There is a Jackass video game for PS2, PSP, and Nintendo DS out now, and a third Jackass movie in the works for 2008. The Jackass market is good for MTV.
There are 7 videos on Youtube regarding Jackass that have over 1 million views. The highest has 4 million views.
Fear Factor is also good solid entertainment. From Wikipedia:
“Fear Factor is an American stunt/dare reality show. It was originally created by Endemol Netherlands and first aired on June 11, 2001. The show pits contestants against each other to complete a series of stunts better and/or quicker than all the other contestants for a grand prize of US$50,000. From Seasons One to Five, the contestants were generally three men and three women, all playing for themselves, but in Season Six, the show moved to a permanent format of four teams of two people, each with a pre-existing relationship with one another, all playing for a shared prize of the same amount.”
Fear Factor has featured people doing amazing, disgusting, and truly impressive students to win money. From simple things like jumping from one building’s roof to the next, to eating cockroaches, to escaping from an underwater sinking aircraft, the contestants are pushed to the limit each episode. Notable Fear Factor episodes were the Naked episode, where contestants had to strip naked and parade on a fashion runway for three minutes in front of over 100 people while photographers took pictures. There was also a Gross episode, where contestants had to eat cockroaches, get in close with a strange animal, and bob for rings in 50 gallons of cow blood.

A niche left unfilled?
There is a niche that seems to be available in the online video sharing market. If you would imagine a line from normal, family friendly to extreme, YouTube would be on the family-friendly end of the line. StupidVideos, while pushing the envelope a little bit, still maintains a TV-esque self-censored feel to its content. An enterprising video sharing site could go further than stupidvideos.com and become a repository for videos that YouTube and StupidVideos won’t touch. There is a demand for videos like that, and they tend to be traded among friends and shown to people despite not being hosted on popular video sharing sites. There are definitely not enough videos of people eating cockroaches on the Internet yet.
The site could focus on videos that really shock or disgust. Stunt videos must go horribly wrong with a huge crash at the end. Vomit-inducing things that your grandmother wouldn’t watch could be on the front page. It could be a site that gets people fired from work and ends marriages.

The problem
There is a problem, though, and that is the videos that both YouTube and StupidVideos won’t touch are pretty vile, and actually illegal in some countries. Actively hosting these ‘underground videos’ could be somewhat problematic. The most recent example is a video mentioned on several blogs called “2 girls 1 cup” which involves two otherwise attractive women shitting into a cup and then eating it together. One of the women reportedly vomits before the end of the video and then eats that as well. I actually stopped watching that one without finishing it because, sadly enough, I had seen something like it in the past, no thanks to the Japanese.
Other somewhat well-known, and frequently deleted, Internet videos involve people killing animals by burning them alive or stabbing them. There are also videos of accidents where people are actually killed on camera. Finally, there is the BME Pain Olympics, a legendary compilation video which people made doing painful things to compete in a contest called the BME Pain Olympics. I think the winner cut off his own penis on camera, but I haven’t seen that one yet either.

Conclusion
So the problem is that this web site would be attracting these kinds of videos, and the legal attention that they bring. Of course, it would also attract media and user attention, which are good things. I would recommend hosting it on Christmas Island.

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Introduction time!

11월 16, 2007
me.png Hey everyone; my name is Jasper, and I’m going to be joining the Palbee team here at Zenitum. I’ve already been here for a few weeks now; so now that I’m all settled I thought it was time to let you all know what’s going on. On Web 2.0 in Korea? Well, there isn’t any yet. That’s where we come in.

Some of the things I’ll be working on with regards to Palbee are ..

Better enterprise integration. Palbee is a powerful platform, and businesses realize that too. No more single-platform, hard to adopt, integrate and manage applications. With a browser-based solution for both presentation, collaboration and video conferencing, Palbee can be just as powerful on the intranet as it is on the internet.

User interface design improvements. Joining the design think tank here at Zenitum is no easy task, but I do think I have contributions to make to the current way of thinking. What drives Web 2.0? Openness, simplicity and a whole lot of Javascript. I’m going to work improving some of the web application features of Palbee, and minimizing needless complexity so that everyone can enjoy Palbee.

Palbee for everyone. What comes to mind when you think of scalability? If you’re thinking of large mainframes and beowulf clusters, don’t worry; that’s all so pre-2.0. How do it here at Zenitum? By moving our software over to a component based design, we make sure that scalability will be easy, and implementable with commodity hardware.

What I’ll also be working on is keeping in touch with reality; and that means you. Together with Matthew, Albert and all of the other team members here at Zenitum, we’re going to make sure to listen to what you have to say. So keep in touch!

Jasper

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오늘은 사무실에 피아노 소리가…

11월 15, 2007

오늘 아침부터 사무실에서 피아노 소리가 울리기 시작했습니다.
팰비팀이 곤히 잠든 사이에 어떤 회원이 피아노 치는 모습과 악보를 올리며 연주를 해 두었더군요..
누군가에게 온라인으로 강습을 하기 위한 것이었던지…
스페인어로 제목이 써 있어서 무슨 말인지 잘 몰랐지만..
번역을 해서 보니 짐작대로 팰비를 이용해서 이러저러한 것들을 테스트한 것이더군요

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혹 연주를 들어보고 싶으신 분들을 위해서…연주들으러 가기 
                                                                   연주들으러 가기2

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Presentation of GStar2007 – by Matthew

11월 14, 2007

팰비팀의 새로운 멤버인 매튜가 지난 주에 다녀온 GStar 2007의 방문기를 소개하네요.
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프레젠테이션에 관심있는 분들은 한번 보러가시죠?