Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Create More with Less

Have you heard of the 80/20 principle? probably yes, but can you explain it and provide concrete examples? Ok, maybe not, at least for me. So I read this book - Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More by Richard Koch

Here's a teaser/ excerpts from the book which could get you excited. The book is full of examples. citing real-life stories to prove the principle of 80/20


Chapter 1: What’s the Big Idea?


Life today divides into the fast track or the slow track. Both are less agreeable than the broad track of yesteryear. For many the slow track means economic insecurity: low earnings, low social standing, anxiety about unemployment, and missing out on the increasing material delights enjoyed by those on the fast track. But the fast track is not without its hazards. For many it means a single-minded obsession with getting ahead, total commitment to the job at the expense of personal relationships, and a frenzied lifestyle where work takes precedence over everything else. The fast track, too, brings anxiety and poverty, though in this case it’s poverty of time and love rather than money.

If this analysis of the material advantages and personal disadvantages of modern life strikes a chord, I’ve great news. If we accept that modern life works at the material, scientific, and technological level, but often screws up our personal lives, I can announce that there’s a novel way out of this box.

I am referring to the 80/20 principle, the observation that roughly 80 percent of results stem from 20 percent or fewer of causes. Later in this chapter I’ll explain how the principle works and give many fresh examples. For the moment, let me just say that whereas the 80/20 principle has been used successfully in business and economics and has driven progress throughout the modern world, it has not yet been applied, on anything like the same scale, to the lives of individuals. If it were so applied, we could enjoy life much more, work less, and achieve more.


Chapter 2: Create More with Less

All human history, all progress in civilization, involves getting more with less.

Nearly 8,000 years ago, humans moved from hunting savage animals and gathering wild fruits to a system of agriculture, cultivating land, and domesticating animals. Our ancestors got much more and better food with much less struggle and danger.

Until 300 years ago, 98 percent of the working population labored on the land. Then a new agricultural revolution used machinery to transform productivity. Today in developed countries, agriculture employs only 2–3 percent of the workforce, yet produces vastly more food, which is also more varied and nutritious. That’s more with less.

The highway of economic progress in the past 400 years has also been more with less: identifying the few very productive forces and methods (the 20 percent) and multiplying them, so that more results can be obtained from fewer resources. Smaller and smaller amounts of land, capital, labor, management, materials, and time have been used to generate larger and better outputs: more steel for less iron ore, capital, and labor; more and better cars for less energy and cost; more consumer goods of every type, with more features and higher quality, at ever lower prices.

A century ago, computers didn’t exist. Just 40 years ago, a few massive, clunky computers were made with enormous effort and cost. The planet’s total computer power then was far less than that of the small laptop I’m using now. Computers keep getting cheaper, smaller, easier to use, and more powerful. They exemplify more with less.

Every material advance of humanity — in science, in technology, in living standards, in housing, in food, in health and long life, in leisure, in transport, in everything that makes modern life so much richer and more fun than before — gives more with less.

We can often get more with less simply by leaving something out. Algebra does this: it lets us compute more easily by leaving out the numbers, the basis for all computer programming breakthroughs. The World Wide Web operates by taking distance and location out of the equation. The Sony Walkman, a brilliant innovation, is really a cassette player minus the amplifier and speakers, yet it creates a fantastically versatile way of listening to music anywhere. A dry martini makes a great drink by cutting out the Martini. The whole fast-food industry is simply restaurants without the waiters.

It is scant exaggeration to say that more with less is the basic principle by which modern science, technology, and business advance living standards everywhere.

The 80/20 principle says that a small minority of causes lead to a large majority of results. If we know what results we want, therefore, we can look for a super-productive way to get those results. The 80/20 principle guarantees that there is always a way. Every time, more with less is possible, provided that we identify the golden 20 percent: the people, methods, and resources that are extremely creative and productive.

Companies and countries that devise ways to deliver more value for less effort, peoplepower, and money flourish; but they can never rest on their laurels, because there is always a way to deliver even more for even less and somebody will soon find it. Because of the 80/20 principle, economic progress cannot stop.

Yup, this book is interesting, so go grab one at amazon or your local bookstore, I'm sure they do have access to amazon if they dont have the book :)


Friday, February 16, 2007

Web based FTP

Is it an oxymoron? isn't doing an ftp an always web-based activity? Well yes and no. doing an ftp requires internet connection, so that is the YES. NO because some firewalls block the ports which allows you to do ftp. So what is the solution?

You've guessed it - web based ftp like the services of net2ftp. Web-based means that net2ftp runs on a web server, and that you use a browser (for example Internet Explorer or Mozilla). FTP is the communication method to access files on a remote computer. You need it to access your files on the account given by your provider to host your homepage. FTP is different from HTTP in that it was made specially to transfer (big) files. If a transfer is interrupted, with FTP you can resume it where it broke off, whereas with HTTP you can not.

Oh yes, there are other alternative site like Surftp, just google it to find other sites. Personally I have only used net2ftp and it works for me, unless it doesn't do what it's supposed to do then I think I still will use that service.

You can install net2ftp in your own server, or in most cases, in your own web hosting services. This way you are not totally dependent on the site for the service, especially if you are running a business. of course it will take webspace but only download the light version from their site as most features tend to get neglected anyway.

So what can you do with it? plenty.

Navigate the FTP server
Once you have logged in, you can browse from directory to directory and see all the subdirectories and files.

Upload files
There are 3 different ways to upload files: the standard upload form, the upload-and-unzip functionality, and the Java Applet.

Download files
Click on a filename to quickly download one file.
Select multiple files and click on Download; the selected files will be downloaded in a zip archive.

Zip files
... and save the zip archive on the FTP server, or email it to someone.

Unzip files
Different formats are supported: .zip, .tar, .tgz and .gz.

Install software
Choose from a list of popular applications (PHP required on the target server).

Copy, move and delete
Directories are handled recursively, meaning that their content (subdirectories and files) will also be copied, moved or deleted.

Copy or move to a 2nd FTP server
Handy to import files to your FTP server, or to export files from your FTP server to another FTP server.

Rename and chmod
Chmod handles directories recursively.

View code with syntax highlighting
PHP functions are linked to the documentation on php.net.

Plain text editor
Edit text right from your browser; every time you save the changes the new file is transferred to the FTP server.

HTML editors
Edit HTML a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) form; there are 2 different editors to choose from (FCKEditor and TinyMCE).

Code editor
Edit HTML and PHP in an editor with syntax highlighting (CodePress).

Search for words or phrases
Filter out files based on the filename, last modification time and filesize.

Calculate size
Calculate the size of directories and files.

Domain Name dilemmas

What's in a name? sometimes none, sometimes it's everything. So, have got your own domain? If you have a unique name, chances are you can wait until you are ready to make your own site before buying your own domain name. But if you have a very common name, buy it now or check it from WHOIS if it is still available.

I recently bought my own domain name - reymendoza.com - and redirected it to my blog as I still have not finished my own site. Ironic? Yes, but not unusual as most of my friends who does web design hasn't finished their own. Maybe because most designers are perfectionist and we dont want something unpolished in our own site.

But this kind of thinking is not productive. So I am promising myself that I will finish my site in a month's time. I'll be having Smart Bro wifi installed at home by next week so I dont have to rely on starbucks, seattle's best and netopia for my surfing needs. Ah yes, I'll need testimonials from my satisfied clients to boost my site :)

Go get your own web presence, buy yourself a domain. By any other measure, it's cool to have your own domain name. forget the others things I have said, hahaha!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Great Photography

Just launched a new site for my photographer friend - www.rommelbundalian.com

No, do not visit the site because I promoted it, visit it only if you want to see great photography. This guy is a genius when it comes to composition. and again dont take my word for it, visit his site.

There are many categories to choose from if you want to see his work, ranging from landscape, landscape with figures, fashion, still life, people, home interiors , wildlife, digital art and digital paintings and foodshots which has not yet been included yet.

His specialty is wedding photography. He has done so many "who's who" in wedding photography. and the guy says he's a graphic artist first before he is a photographer. You can see the proof by checking out his wedding album layouts.

The design of the site, like most photographers want is based on flash galleries. I used freeware flash gallery by airtightinteractive.com - Simpleviewer andAutoviewer. the colors are mostly neutral, to make the photos stand out. because thats what photographers site should be, about photos. Not so much on the design because the goal is to present photographs, so the photos should be neatly presented.

I used Picasa to export the flash gallery, then tweaked and customized the xml part to suit my client's taste and preferences. I actually did so many designs before we got to the final design, but I was more than happy to build this project. As a amateur photographer myself, I just marvel at rommel bundalian's work. he is just so crafty, not to mention talented in his line of work, and he tries to learn everyday and by no means satisfied at the moment.

Dont take my word for it, check out one great photographer.