Friday, July 16, 2004

Ok, so maybe not stealing one, but certainly buying one. I’ve suffered Mac-lust since I saw my very first, in the Marine Geology post-grad office at Cardiff Uni some 14 years ago. I used it to edit the department newsletter, and lusted over it in the same way that I lusted after Dyson vacuum cleaners: From afar.
I got my Dyson a few years back but have been stuck in a state of perma-lust over Macs, never quite having the money – or even a half-decent excuse – to get one.
Two things have changed the Mac from being an object of unrequited desire to being something that I now actually have a need for. The first is the fact that I am likely to be spending a lot more time travelling now, and my current laptop is built of bricks and requires winding up every ten minutes. You didn’t know that they used to make clockwork laptops but it’s true. I need something lighter, more reliable, nicer to use. Something that won’t cause my vertebrae to creak and crack when I lift it up.
The main reason I have changed my mind, though, is SubEthaEdit. SubEthaEdit, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is this groovy app which allows more than one person to edit a document simultaneously. That might not seems like a killer app to you, but to me it’s gold dust. It’ll allow me to collaborate with work colleagues, write papers with Steph and anyone else I want to write papers with (Joi? You reading?) and generally Get Things Done.
Is this worth me getting a Mac for? Absolutely. I shall be down the Apple store just as soon as my bank balance allows.
Hm, might be in for a wait then.
(Note: Any accusations that this is a feeble excuse just to buy a new toy will be vigorously denied, regardless of any actual supporting evidence presented.)

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Whoo!, with additional Hoo!

by Suw on July 16, 2004

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. No more than a couple of weeks ago I was sitting on a plane on my way to Vienna when the steward announced that if there was a Mr Lee Bryant on board he should raise his hand. Knowing we had mutual friends and were both heading to BlogTalk2.0, I went over to say hello.
Today I went up to London to meet up with Lee, his business partner Livio Hughes and the rest of the crew at Headshift, with whom I am delighted to say I will now be working.
In what has to be the co-incidence of the year, when I turned up at the Headshift offices at Butlers Wharf – a place I used to walk through daily when I first moved up to London in order to cross the tube zone 1/2 boundary and save myself 70p – I was greeted by Sigrun, one of my fellow Zoetropers. Who would have guessed?
I take all this as a good omen, myself.
So, what will I be doing at Headshift? What I’m best at – writing, blogging, talking to people, getting my head round the bigger picture and communicating it to anyone who will stop still long enough.
I am very excited about working with Lee, Livio and the guys. Not only are they a sterling bunch of people, they are also doing what I consider to be some very cool work using blogs and other tools as a way to create social knowledge networks within organisations such as the NHS.
I like their approach to the whole issue of knowledge management (a jaded term that really doesn’t do them justice). For them it’s all about finding out what the people who actually use the tools need to do and then figuring out what will enable them to do that. It’s good, solid, bottom-up emergent behaviour thinking, the sort of thinking that most companies appear to be allergic to.
Lee and Livio gave me a run through of what they’re doing, the projects they have ongoing at the moment and an overview of the way they work. I felt a wee bit like the recipient of an over-zealous Vulcan mind-meld as I tried to take it all in, but in a good way, obviously.
It’s going to take a massive brain dump and a lot of mind-mapping for me to get my head round all this new data, but I can’t say how much I am looking forward to getting my teeth into it. It’s the first time I’ve felt really excited about working with a company in ages. Good feeling.
Disclaimer: And I’m not just saying that cos I know they read my blog. Honest, guv.

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