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Showing posts from 2022

The TABi Story

In 1991 I created the original TABi prototype while working for BMW. Previously I used a day diary to keep notes, thereby having a timeline to assist note retrieval. When my calendar went digital, my notes became sequential, requiring me to recall whether each note I saw was made before or after the one I was searching for. There had to be a better way to find my notes. What was needed was a clue as to what was written on each page. A tab for every page. But ordinary tabs along one edge only gave me a few tabbed pages. I needed to invent a way to have tabs along more edges. So I tried running tabs along the top, the side and the bottom edges. Still not enough tabs. Then I hit on the idea of tiers, effectively multiplying the number of tabs by two or even three. TABi was born and I constructed the prototype you see above. I used it for some time, and liked it, but instead of developing it as a product, I reasoned that all notes would eventually go digital, so abandoned the idea and buil

What about the workers? Them or us?

This morning I met Tony. He works for a company who unblock drains, so quite a messy job, but curiously satisfying when the blockage is removed. Anyway, he was a very chatty chap and while he was flushing out years of accumulated unmentionables from our pipes, he told me about a previous job he had working for a rail company. The story went that he had been made redundant and his wife passed on an ad to become a train guard. He thought 'why not?', so signed up and loved the job. One day, following a challenging train delay that he needed to delicately manage, he got a knock on his door to be confronted by a passenger. "How can I help you sir?" he asked. "I thought I'd let you know how well you dealt with that situation", the chap replied. "Well done!". Turned out he was the chairman of the rail company. A day or two later, Tony was called into his bosses office and told that he had been recommended to become a guard trainer. Promotion and more

Wordle Addiction and Tips for Nerdle

My family, along with the rest of the world, is hooked on Wordle. Every morning my wife, three children and various partners, jump on their screens to be the best that day at guessing Wordle in the least steps. Care now needs to be taken to make sure a) no-one knows your favourite starting word (so when you publish the blank result, they don't all get a free first line), and b) you change it regularly so they can't eventually work it out. Probably best to alternate your 2 favourites (so you don't have to keep working out good starters containing common letters). If they're not certain you've started with your favourite, they'll not bother trying to work out what you've used. After a while (we're now into several weeks of competition), you begin to get a feel for the sneaky way the game creator likes to use words that don't sound like they're spelled or where he (James Wardle ... oddly) uses rare combinations of letters. Actually, knowing that he&

Best Quotes from Abraham Lincoln - a hero to many and, surprisingly, a racist

 I have often used quotes from Abe Lincoln to illustrate a point. For example I always believed he said "You can't make the poor rich, by making the rich poor" and I've been using this quote for years to help explain why I favour capitalism over socialism (whilst nonetheless being an egalitarian). Trouble is, as I've only just learned, he never actually said this. It's the sort of quote you believe someone like him might have made, if only they'd have thought of it.... Which reminds me. Neil Armstrong actually said "One small step for man, one VAST leap for mankind". Not "... one GIANT leap..." as he's traditionally quoted. Check it out for yourself here . What Lincoln did in fact say was admittedly similar to my 'poor rich, rich poor' quip:  “You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”  which I'll agree is not so different, except it only relates to work and employment. He also said: “You can’t m

Newsweek's List of Brilliant 'Disruptors' - how our world will change even faster

I subscribe to Newsweek Magazine. As its name states, it's a weekly magazine broadly arranged like a blog with articles rarely longer than a few pages, covering highly topical subjects such as cyberwarfare, Trump's legacy, vaccine science and the like, all from an American perspective. I strongly recommend you subscribe at . In their Christmas 2021 issue they published a list of 50 people (or partnerships) whom they describe as 'agents for change' or 'disruptors', the most famous of whom is Elon Musk - considered the Thomas Edison of the digital age. It makes for a fascinating wander through what the world is turning into from many points of view, but especially new technologies, new politics, new awareness of the planet's fragility, new fashions, new fears and new excitements. Many of their choices raise further questions about what we are turning into such as overweight couch potatoes; superfluous actors in a world of robots