Fans of ‘Sherlock’ would have observed the title character used his ‘mind palace’ to solve cases. The mind/memory palace is memory technique not only used by Sherlock, but also by contestants in memory championships. It is also a memory technique you can use as well.
The memory palace (Method of loci ) uses visualization to organize and recall information. The concept is to memorize the layout of building(palace) that you are familiar with, for example your house. When you want to remember a list of items you visual the items at different locations within the palace. When you want to recall the items, you literally ‘walk’ through your palace to the location your items.
For example, you want to remember your shopping list- eggs, milk, butter, sugar, and coffee. With your house as your memory palace you imagine have walked to your front and have stepped on some eggs. You then walk to your foyer and someone has poured milk on your head.You enter your kitchen and slip of butter on the kitchen floor. You walk into your dining room to see your children pouring sugar on the dining table.You walk into the living room to see your spouse drinking coffee.
I got inspired to use the memory palace after reading Moonwalking with Einstein. The memory palace is not limited to shopping lists.I have used it to help me remember things like the Zachman Framework or the Architecture Development Methodogy(TOGAF), to name a few.
Here are some things I have learnt while creating memory palaces:
- It is best to use memory palaces you are familiar with.
- You can have infinite number of memory palaces
- Walk through your palaces periodically,this will help solidify your memory
- There is no limit on how to use your imagination to store information in your memory palaces.
I came across this Software Architecture Mantra from IASA
- Systems that aren’t deployed don’t matter
- Systems that don’t work don’t matter
- Systems that don’t appease the users needs don’t matter
- Systems that don’t perform don’t matter
- Systems that aren’t health don’t matter
- Systems that can’t be measured don’t matter
- Systems that don’t add business value don’t matter
In my opinion it should be entitled The IT Architect Mantra.
I do not get a chance to physically attend tech conferences;however there are various tools I use to virtually attend and keep abreast of tech conferences:
- Lanyrd is an app that I use to keep track for upcoming tech conferences. It is free for IOS. It interfaces with slideshare.net so you can view slides of some conferences
- Twitter allows me to follow live tweets of tech conferences.
- I watch the live feed of some of the tech conferences e.g e.g Google I/O and WDC
- Some of the tech conferences provide on demand access to content. For example I am catching up on content from the Software Architect 2013 conference.
I know nothing beats physically attending a tech conference;however with tools like twitter and Lanyrd you have the next best thing.
Is it me or did Google make some unknown updates to the Chromecast infrastructure?
Recently I have noticed a smooth playback when I cast videos from the Chrome browser that are not from YouTube or Netflix. In addition, casting videos from the Plex web interface also has a smooth playback. When I just got the Chromecast, casting non-YouTube and non-Netflix content was less than ideal.
It was also great to learn that Chromecast supports Plex. I am looking forward to additional support for other applications.
I was wrestling with the decision of whether to purchase an apple TV or a Roku box; however when I learnt about Google’s Chromecast, I was able to make a decision. I have since bought a Chromecast and although it is optimized for Netflix and Youtube, I see a lot of potential.
Included with my Chromecast purchase were:
- An USB connector to power Chromecast. You have the option to power your Chrome cast on the USB port of your TV or plug it into your electrical outlet.
- A HDMI extender, is to improve wireless connectivity. I must agree that this does work.
To set up Chromecast I went to a url provided on the Chromecast package. A PC (with at least windows 7) that was wirelessly connected to my your network was required . During the set up, my PC was temporarily disconnected from my network to connect to Chromecast. I received a DHCP error when my PC tried to connect to Chromecast; however Windows network troubleshooter was able to resolve the problem. Once my DHCP error was resolved I was able to complete the set up.
What works very well:
What does not work well
- You can’t play local file. There is a workaround as Chrome can play video files on your PC;however you can only play mp4 files.
- Cast non-youtube/non-netflix video from Chrome sometimes lags.
What I am looking forward to
- Chromecast for Plex. There have been some articles (e.g gigaom article) that we will soon be able to cast plex content. If this is true the issue with playing local content via Chromecast will be solved.
I must say that despite a few shortcomings I am thoroughly enjoying my Chromecast.
Can you apply the Agile Methodology to your home life? Bruce Feiler thinks so. He gave an interesting TED talk entitled Agile Programming for your family life
I personally see where the agile methodology can be applied at home. I am sure I am not the only one with a backlog of tasks to complete at home.
IASA recently had a webinar entitled “The Architect as the innovator”. In my opinion it should have been entitled “The IT worker as the innovator”.
Here are some points I took from the webinar
- Definition of innovation – think differently
Innovation is not only about technology
- Processes innovation
- Management innovation
- Business modeling innovation.
Being risk averse is a hindrance to innovation
Challenges to innovation from an Architect (IT) perspective
How to think differently
- Strategic thinking
- Creatively thinking
- Reflective thinking