Books et al., on Facebook

One of the reasons I’ve been forced to maintain blog silence recently is that I’ve been spending a lot of my free time working on several Facebook apps. As most people around the web now seem to have heard, Facebook has recently opened up their social networking site to allow third-party developers (like myself) to create little widgets for people to add to their profiles.

I’ve so far created a suite of 4 of these mini applications, which allow Facebook users to show off what they’re reading (or listening to, or watching, or playing) and interact with friends in each of those spheres. The apps are called Books, CDs, Video Games, and DVDs, respectively. It would be great if you checked these out and added them to your profile! With close to 35,000 total users so far, it’s possible for me to run a small business based on the apps, which would be fun. I’d love your help.

Just for fun, here’s a screenshot of some Books functionality:

Recording Spree Over: New Album Complete!

My recent weeks in Orlando were excellent, though not very relaxing. Between intense meetings at Teleios World Domination HQ (we’re meeting resistance in certain parts of eastern Europe), and non-stop work on the new album, I got 2-3 hours less sleep per night than my normal. (There was also the fantastic celebration of my dad’s 50th birthday party, attended by close family and the uncorking of a very expensive bottle of wine which was a good bit older than I was. Not to mention the less-meaningful but more-rowdy celebration of Cinco de Mayo). The result, at least on the music side, was a brand new 6-song EP that sounds incredible. The performance, production, everything is stellar. My brother David was in charge of the engineering, mixing, production, and mastering, and he is becoming very talented at all of the above.


Working on an improv synth solo for So Talk About It at 3am

I have a strong desire to share all our new songs with everyone here, but a few things remain to be worked out. First, I don’t have an “official” CD–David does, and he’s in Africa for a month. Second, I’m not naive enough to think that the mix I have will be final. We usually go through rounds of tweaking, and, while things sound excellent, there’re always one or two minor changes to make. Third, the album has no title. Fourth, the album has no artwork. I’d like all of these things to be present before I unveil everything officially. So just hold tight for now! I’ll probably break down and put one or two up here anyway, since the only reason I feel secure is that I am validated by my peers.

Speaking of being validated by my peers, let’s go on a tangent: those of you who are e4 weblog owners or frequenters might have noticed that I have added trackback capability to the e4 weblogs. Trackbacks are a cool example of the way the web is supposed to work–now, when you write entries, e4 will check out any links you make, and attempt to send a trackback ping to that site. If the site is trackback-enabled, it’ll accept the ping, and people who visit it will see that your entry references the page! Likewise all the weblogs here are now trackback-enabled, so anyone can send pings from Movable Type, WordPress, or wherever. Let’s just hope for no horrible spam!

(For you e4 bloggers, you can play with the trackback preferences at your weblog config page)

Well, I am now officially back in California for a while, so hopefully I’ll have time to write some more reflective posts soon. Ciao!

Adventures In “Consumed” Mode

For the last three nights, I stayed up till an average hour of 5am…working. In fact, working on the finishing touches for the site design which, unless you’re reading this in an RSS reader, is now before your eyes. So you’d better like it. Anyway, the reason this is somewhat noteworthy is that there’s no technical reason I had to do this. Well, a while back I decided to switch servers, which is about a week-long process, and so I set myself the goal of going live with the new design on the day that I’d have to cancel billing for the old server, namely yesterday. It was a somewhat arbitrary goal, but one I knew I would probably need if I was ever going to get stuff done.

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Around-the-clock Development

Since I work in California and most of Teleios is in Florida, there is a 3-hour time difference which would ostensibly cause some problems in synchronizing workdays.

Recently I’ve taken to a strategy which has been used, to great effect, by almost every software giant in existence. This strategy doesn’t so much solve the workday synchronization problem (as getting up at 4:30 am would, for example), but instead says that, actually, desynchronization is the solution! Namely: around-the-clock development.

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The Fuller Center for Housing

A few days ago, our community here in Palo Alto had a conference call with Millard Fuller, whom you may remember from my entry a while back on Koinonia Farms. Millard founded Habitat for Humanity after being at Koinonia, but was recently fired from the company he started for “philosophical” reasons. The way he tells it, he was trying to put more money back into housing projects, whereas the rest of the board was trying to become a Big Corporation.

Anyway, the conference call was the result of some chance interactions that several in our community had with Millard (which, incidentally, were the reason I heard about Koinonia, etc…), and the purpose of it was to see if there were any good ways for us to partner with Millard’s new organization, the Fuller Center for Housing. This new company aims to help people who are “too poor” for Habitat to work with.

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