cars personal

Boxster Vs Elise [Orig posted: 05/07/2005]

ZoneTag Photo 11:09:53 PST

I’ve finally taken the plunge and ordered a brand new 2006 Lotus Elise. I’ve been waiting to buy a hot new car for a while and had some very simple needs – a great handling 2 seater convertible that makes me feel GOOD!!!

I considered several cars but in the end it came down to a shootout between a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Boxster S. Despite the fact that these aren’t two cars that traditionally compete in the same category, it was an incredible difficult decision and came down to the following points.

Lotus Elise
– Goes like Stink (0-60 in 4.7 sec)
– Handles like a gokart
– Is a true racers car, not some rich mans plaything
– Sounds truly glorious
– Looks like a supercar
– Is the pinnacle of the small philosophy that created the Miata
– Bargain of the century (Speed for the Price)
– Its a LOTUSImage

– Impractical (small interior, lousy trunk space)
– Harsh ride
– Difficult getting in and out – no woman in a skirt will ever get in
– 6 month waiting list

Porsche Boxster
– Also very fast
– Luxurious
– Relaxing to drive until you floor it and it just takes off
– Much more practical – has more trunk space than my Miata
– Available for instant delivery

– Not as fast or agile as the Elise
– Much more expensive
– Are a Dime a dozen in the Bay Area
– Obligatory Top Gear quote: “the only reason why you’d buy a Boxster is because you couldnt afford 911… so all you do when you are driving around in this is advertise the fact your life hasnt worked out quite as well as you’d been hoping… ” Image

In the end it the Elise won out because it was
a) Cheaper
b) Incredible fun
c) The car I always wanted
d) Lower depreciation
e) Now is the only time I can drive it-in 5-10 years I be too old to put up with the hassle
f) Its a LOTUS.… Read the rest

personal work

Started work at Yahoo [Orig posted: 03/06/2005]


I have officially started work at Yahoo! My orientation was on the 31st on May. You may now call me a Technical Yahoo!… Read the rest

research technology

GPS mapping tools [Orig posted: 03/06/2005]

I have been spending a lot of time looking for various bits of software that will allow me to visually inspect the huge GPS dataset we have collected as part of the MMM project. Here is a quick listing of software that will hopefully save someone else some time 🙂

1)USAPhotomaps: a freeware tool written by Doug Cox that will display GPS route and waypoint information over maps and aerial photos that it downloads from the USGS and the MS Terraserver. It also can display USGS points of interest along with TIGER streets information. A triumph of freeware with available source code though no licensing information is mentioned.Read the rest


Heuristic Evaluation Checklist [Orig posted: 11/02/2005 10:26:55]

I was browsing through the STC Usability SIG when I found a wonderful heuristic evaluation checklist. I especially like the arrangement where it is broken up into
1. Visibility of System Status (29 points)
2. Match Between System and the Real World (24 points)
3. User Control and Freedom (23 points)
4. Consistency and Standards(51 points)
5. Help Users Recognize, Diagnose, and Recover From Errors (21 points)
6. Error Prevention (15 points)
7. Recognition Rather Than Recall (40 points)
8. Fexibility and Minimalist Design (16 points)
9. Aesthetic and Minimalist Design (12 points)
10. Help and Documentation (23 points)
11.… Read the rest


Interview Tips [Orig Posted: 11/02/2005 10:11:55]

Cooper design has a couple of online “take home” style questions as part of its recruitment process. They are an interesting read and can serve as a good warm up for a prospective interview. The positions are
Interaction Designer (pdf)
Design Communication(pdf)
Interaction designer(pdf)

Chauncey Wilson, the moderator of STC Usability SIG has compiled and shared this list of interview questions with his community. Most ar3e pretty standard but some are really thought provoking (eg: A participant in a lab study has been struggling on the same task for a long time. What would you say to get them to move on to the next question?)… Read the rest