A character in a favorite book of mine Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson at one point talks about fuck you money, in the book he has a spreadsheet that calculates the absolute value of FUM depending on a load of external factors. Essentially FUM is enough to do what you damn well please and to say no to any job offer. Obviously the do what you please part will differ from person to person so of course the amount does as well.

Its never going to be  small number, the assumption is that it is enough to replace income as well as doing fun stuff.

Most people spend their whole live saving just to replace their income with the return on their savings. Its called retirement. Hmm, I'm impatient.

In the Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris talks at leg about creating a small simple business to generate enough income to support a life of adventure. Its not designed to make millions just enough. The most important thing about it is that from the start it is designed to be automated and give you free time at the same time as income.

Getting to FUM on an hourly rate is always going to be an issue, no matter what your hourly rate.

Just need an idea for something now, there are loads of nice ideas in the book but they seem to have got stuck in my head and blocked my usual creativity.

The general theme i finding a proven product in one market (geographical or demographic) and repurpose it to another. Thats got to be doable hasn't it? 
A long while ago I was thinking about how all electrical stuff in the home is incredibly dumb, its not its fault it was built that way. The problem with anything in the home is that infrastructure is expensive, especially in old homes (mine is 105 years old, insulation would be a start). One of the reasons that wireless has become so popular, to the extent that people just forget how well cables work. One day I'll be able to get a Gbps over wireless and I'll be happy.

Anyway back to the point, houses are dumb. I was thinking that is should be possible to hijack existing infrastructure. Specifically light switches and sockets, they are all over the place, the conform to a standard size and they have power.

So why now, well I've just seen a video of an Arduino micro controller working with a touch screen. Now I know its possible to communicate over power lines, and you could throw in a load of sensors: temp, infra red, sound etc. To Actually do stuff you would need a speaker and probably a big fat mains switch but that again is totally doable.

So what coud you do with this setup, here are few ideas:
  • Smart heating controller
  • Lighting that follows you round the house
  • Baby monitor
  • Home alarm

All I need now is for Apple to go out and build them, shiny. Google have made a move in the right direction with the Android Open Accessory stuff, but that will be less shiny.
I can't design worth a damn, and I've never claimed that I can. I make things work someone else will have to make them pretty and intuitive. Obviously this stuff matters though, an interface designed by a developer, do not want.

I thought I'd have a play with 99designs and see how things worked out. My contracting company is called Mostly Monkey so I thought I'd omission a logo for the company. I like logos, they do a lot of explaining in a very small space.

I've gone for the cheapest version of the service, so far I'm quite liking the results that are coming back. Have a look and see for yourself.




I'm thinking that Clay is going to be very useful for view models and testing. The lack of intellisense will mean that I actually have to remember what the hell I've called things, but maybe that will result in better names. And there is a NuGet package as well, how nice.
I've been thinking about building something like Exceptioneer for a while. I'm always vaguely jealous of nice simple services for developers that do something useful. They are generally always things that you could do yourself but its just easier to have someone else work out all the bugs.

Pingdom is another one that's smart, especially their pricing model. You only pay for blocks of texts, the implication being that if your site is up all the time you won't have to pay.
So, I've been messing about with the slow carb diet in Tim Ferris's Four Hour Body book. Its an interesting book and I like the way that he thinks so I've decided to give it a try. One of the chapters goes into detail about the PAGG stack of supplements that that he takes. He was looking for a replacement to ECA, which has some nasty side effects.
  • Policosanol – Once a day
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ala) – Taken 4 times a day
  • Garlic Extract - Taken 4 times a day
  • Green Tea - Taken 3 times a day

I've got them all in one as a supplement, four of one kind of pill a day and on of another before bed. I've been taking them for a few days now and there don't seem to be and serious side effects.

From the small of the tablets I was a little worried that I was going to be seating garlic the entire time but thats not happening. There is a little bit of indigestion if you don't time the AGG part of the thing right but apart from that all seems ok at the moment.

Just weighed myself after cheat day and I don't seem to have put back on anywhere near as much weight as I normally would after going nuts for a day. This week will be the first whole week of PAGG so I'll update on progress.

I hope that some progress is made cos I'm getting a little frustrated.

I read about SeaMicro a year or so ago, they are a hardware company in Silicon Valley. I've been through the pain of trying to do hardware development in a previous job, and trust me its hard. Its not like software development where you can just recompile, with hardware it costs real money when you make mistakes.

These guys have managed to get 512 cores into a 40U rack. They are saying four times the compute density at at quarter of the power. They have a 1.28 Tbps interconnect between them all as well. I would love to play with one of these. I can see web companies with there own data centers getting very excited about these.
Sometimes it nice to see other people rant. That's not f'ing agile amused me. The point that there are certain places where agile might just not be for you is so very true. The on-board shuttle group are most definitely not agile, cos when they fail things go bang.
If your not all on the same side it doesn't matter what process you are working with and how well the interfaces are managed. No matter what you do they are going to become battle lines in a very cold war.
I've been thinking about this having done lots of it recently on a project with a lot of scrutiny on it. Reporting daily is tedious in the extreme.

Secondly it was via email and Excel, the horror. If there is one indication that you are doing something the wrong way that is it.

If your dealing with multiple projects this get old very very quickly.

So I've been thinking about something that that can send out reports for me, more importantly that lets people subscribe to the information that actually matters to them. This information shouldn't be spread out in various emails and files scattered about the place.

Do I have a solution, no do I hell but I'll keep thinking about it. Tell you one thing though tools like mingle aren't the way forward.