Archive for March 2001

2001/03/05 05 Mar

Normally I love Jakob Nielsen and can't wait to hear from him.

This week Jakob Nielsen posted an article that's supposed to tell you how to retain key staff. Now, I read the article again and again and it just doesn't say anything.  All it does is list a bunch of things and then asserts that they don't work.

For those of you who are feeling a bit empty after that, may I point you to:

2001/03/19 19 Mar

Philip Greenspun has been a key inspiration to many people, including Fog Creek. We owe him a debt. He started a company called arsDigita, which was really just another consulting company for the Internet, but it had two things which made it uniquely different. It had a personal voice, and it had education.

But now it doesn't have Philip, and that's a real bummer.

Spring in Cambridge

2001/03/23 23 Mar

Version 5.0 of Microsoft's flagship spreadsheet program Excel came out in 1993. It was positively huge: it required a whole 15 megabytes of hard drive space. In those days we could still remember our first 20MB PC hard drives (around 1985) and so 15MB sure seemed like a lot.

By the time Excel 2000 came out, it required a whopping 146MB ... almost a tenfold increase! Dang those sloppy Microsoft programmers, right?

Wrong.

2001/03/24 24 Mar

Mark Bernstein writes:

There's one question that bothers me about huge programs like Excel, though, a question you don't quite address. What are they doing with all that space?
I actually think that Excel's "minimum system requirements" come from all the other apps that it installs. For example, if they use a part of Internet Explorer 5.x to parse XML or display HTML documents, they just install ALL of Internet Explorer 5.x (which most people have anyway, so it doesn't really take up that much extra space for most people). There are a few applications such as Microsoft Query, the Jet Database Engine, and Microsoft's Picture editor, and the office toolbar, which probably get installed when you install any Office App. The actual Excel EXE itself is under 7 MB.

On my system all of office takes up 190MB, which confirms my belief that it is the shared office components which take up all the space. But who cares? It's a great app and it's 1% of my disk space.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Direct Marketing

George Meyer, one of the writers on the Simpsons, likes to collect examples of advertising in which "the word-to-falsehood ratio approaches one." In an interview in the New Yorker, he complained about a magazine ad for a butter substitute called Country Crock. "It's not from the country, there is no crock," he told the interviewer. "Two words, two lies."

Recently I got this piece of junk mail from Earthlink...

2001/03/27 27 Mar

Oy, I'm exhausted. We just shipped FogBUGZ 2.0 and completely redid the Fog Creek website. Feels good to get it out the door!

2001/03/29 29 Mar

Vacation Planning Time

We're looking to rent a luxury villa on an island in Greece, walking distance to a nice beach, for a week or two in July/August, for the family. It needs to sleep around 10 people and be self-catered so we can cook our own kosher meals. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

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