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I’ve been writing this week on demos and presentations.

Monday I wrote about Joel Spolsky’s wonderful demo of Fog Creek’s new products. Joel did one other thing at his presentation that I found very interesting. He didn’t introduce himself (nor was he introduced by anyone else).

Pretty much everyone in the [...]

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I’m writing this week about presentations and demos.

I wrote Monday about Joel Spolsky demoing his product “in passing,” without overtly appearing to demo it. It was a terrific idea, brilliantly carried off.

However, few of us demo products whose use can be woven into the presentation itself. (Think of demoing PowerPoint itself for the [...]

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I’ll write this week about demos and presentations, based on a terrific software demo I saw Thursday.

It was delivered by Joel Spolsky, the brains behind Fog Creek Software and a brilliant thinker about various computer issues.

To set the scene, he and his team were doing a roadshow tour of Fog Creek’s new releases, the unfortunately [...]

It’s Friday: Dumb UI of the Week


First, the dumbness. Second, lessons from this dumbnosity.

I went to put in my Visa info on a site, as shown in the picture. Note that the MasterCard radio button is selected by default… though I didn’t see that at the time. I know my name, of course, and even the card’s expiration date, but I [...]

“Oops” UI of the Week


I was filling out an online form today when I came to this section:

It says Mailing Address in big red letters. Then it says Mailing Address in bold black letters. The cursor goes automatically to the first edit box.

So what do I — and I suspect most other folks — start typing? My mailing address, [...]

“The Worst Abuse of Microsoft Excel Ever”


A NYTimes article on analyzing video of basketball games contains the delicious quote, ” ‘It’s probably the worst abuse of Microsoft Excel ever,’ said Kevin Pauga….” Pauga is apparently referring to the use of Excel rather than a database to track all the stats associated with every play of every possible opponent in college [...]

Headline: Project Management Book Breaks Project Management


I found the following subject line on a mail in my inbox yesterday:

PMBOK Breaks Project Management

The PMBOK is the grandiosely titled Project Management Book of Knowledge from the Project Management Institute (of which I’m a member).

Wow, I thought, someone else thinks formulaic, by-the-book-only project management can be as much a problem as a [...]

Google Voice (Mail)


One of my business lines is tied to Google Voice. Today I got a voice message that was automatically transcribed by Google.

I’m impressed.

It wasn’t perfect, but the subject matter was very abstruse. However, it nailed all of the normal-speech parts of the conversation.

Based on experience, my guess is that most voice messages are fairly straightforward. [...]

Ten Good Things New in PowerPoint 2010


I’ve been working with the Microsoft Office 2010 beta for a few months. Like many, I’ve been wondering, what do you do to enhance products that are already chock-full of features?

PowerPoint struck me as a tough one to add value to; I’m a regular speaker who builds very complex graphics-based slides, and PPT 2007 has [...]

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam….


When Monty Python sang about it, it was funny. (At least it was funny 40 years ago.) When it takes over your inbox, it’s frustrating. And when someone gets sucked in and loses data, money, or both, it’s a disaster — and a crime that the constabulary can’t seem to get a handle on.

If you [...]

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