The default WordPress blog title “Hello, World” seems appropriate for the debut article of a software development blog, so I’ve decided to keep it.
I never thought I would write a blog. Adding to the 175,000 new blogs on the Web each day didn’t seem like a worthwhile endeavor. What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? But then I realized that at least once a day I learn a new tip or trick that could possibly benefit someone else. Many times I’ve found the answer to a tough problem from some generous soul on the Web, so I wish to repay the favor. Plus I suppose I have a story to tell that software developers and entrepreneurs may find educational, if not entertaining.
In my youth I was much more interested–some would say obsessed–with self-analysis and capturing my life in letters, logs and diaries. I have stacks of papers filled with my experiences and grand ideas, all sitting in a box and doing no good, or up in a puff at our annual bonfire.
Humans are good at generating thoughts and ideas. Computers are getting better at capturing, managing and sharing the explosion of information we humans generate. But there’s still a long way to go to make the whole experience easy and painless for the average PC user or someone who is disabled.
Two decades ago I embarked on a mission to develop software to better manage that information overload. I’ve taken a number of good stabs at the problem, but have not yet succeeded with a great solution. Six software companies and half my life later, my mission continues.
Along the way, an odd thing happened. Now that I’ve aged, perhaps even matured somewhat, I am less interested in documenting my life and more content to simply live life and enjoy the ride. But I still encounter a plethora of information on a daily basis: in my businesses, browsing the web, paying bills, writing letters, viewing family photos. If anything, the computer has become even more central to my life, as my life becomes increasingly digital.
In the past few years my journey has been made more challenging by cubital tunnel, a painful condition that anyone can experience. Simply bump your funny bone, and you will know how I feel much of the day. Cubital tunnel–like it’s evil brother carpal tunnel–is not a good thing for a software developer to have.
This blog is a partial record of my career-long mission to tame information overload, combined with a frank discussion of cubital tunnel and the great challenges that face people with disabilities when they try to use a PC, along with a healthy dose of tips, tricks and code for my developer colleagues. Let’s continue to pay it forward.
Article published on April 24, 2007
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