Hill Climb Sundays (Oct 31st 2010 Edition)

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This weekend has not been a healthy one here at Circumstance Manor. Noah started off the cold and whatever cycle, Lisa picked it up and has been hacking away and feeling achy for days, and what started off as a few twinges in my stomach over the course of the week became a full blown nightmare.

[Queasy folk should bail now.]

Friday morning’s breakfast caused some mild distress, but the day had already been complicated by Noah hurling at school, causing Lisa to have to turn around, pick him up, and drop him off at his Grandparents’ house for as brief a time as possible.

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I thought nothing more of it, despite the continuing ache, until it started to get worse as the day wore on. My abdomen really ached by mid afternoon, and felt rigid and distended. By the early evening I was feverish, dizzy, and shortly after, feeling very flush and finally hurling whatever was still inside.

Although generally one feels better after that, I didn’t. Despite the early hour I climbed into bed, and tried to rest. I woke at 1am to continued pain, that flushed fever thing, and a general feeling of “here it comes again” although it turned out not to be the case. Next time I woke up a few hours later things had taken a different direction… but the ache was gone.

Not having eaten much on Friday, I was good and dehydrated by the time I woke up again, and I gently and carefully began rehydrating. When things felt more stable I had just a bit to eat. That went well too. So now other than general weakness and some achiness, I seemed to be on the mend.

[Queasy folk can resume here.]

Having conquered the basics once again, I attempted to keep things moving toward health by going for my ride this morning. I had nothing and knew it before I cranked the pedals once… and essentially rode 4mph slower over the same route as the previous week. But other than the forgivable weakness it was a nice ride. I dressed warmly hoping to be both comfortable and to sweat out some more of the poison. It was cool and breezy out, but otherwise lovely, and other than my hands which were a bit cool, I was comfortable. I had forgotten how much winter tights add to each leg lift.

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I had put Jack Brown Green’s on my bike since the last ride and they were loverly as always. I did notice something that feels like a poorly adjusted headset which I’ll have to have looked at. I had also changed pedals to make wearing mountain bike shoes easier. Winter is coming afterall…

I’ll have to take it easy this week to enable recovery rather than running myself into the ground.

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TRP’s CX9 v-brakes

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They’re designed for use with road levers and so pull the correct amount of cable, and they work gloriously well. Shuddering is a thing of the past and they’re powerful and smooth. As TRP says: “The CX9’s linear pull design is compatible with most lever types and provides huge amounts of stopping power.” I’d have to agree with the second part, and they work just fine with SRAM Force levers. They’re a great improvement over canti’s and about $100.00US.

Recommended.

A Rainy Day In August

I was so dripping wet at the end of that ride that there was no point in zipping anything up anymore. Too many transitions! (“Hey, it’s not raining anymore! Ooops.”) More of the story is here.

The pictures kinda show it, but I remember very clearly being extremely careful about my brake modulation. After a somewhat crazy ride, it would have been a real shame to lockup a wheel and fall in front of all those folks just as I cross the finish line.

The pictures are from Kreutz Photography ‘natch.

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The Mac App Store: can it change the software business?

The Mac App Store: can it change the software business?:

What is it that makes the iTunes App Store so compelling? Will the value the App store added to the iPhone be added by the Mac App Store to the Mac?

Here are the characteristics I think make the App Stores valuable:

  1. They redefine software as content. The pricing, marketing, discovery and buying process is identical to that for content like music or video.
  2. They redefine the skill required to create a relationship with customers. They allow a new class of less-skilled and less-capitalized developers participate in selling software directly to the buyer. By “skill” I don’t mean engineering skill but marketing skill. A developer can create a product that can reach millions without having to acquire with channels and distribution skills.
  3. From a consumer’s point of view, they simplify purchasing and lower the price of software.

These three characteristics of app stores make them disruptive. The disrupted companies are the traditional software publishers. The response from game publishers to the App store were predictable: they condemned it for destroying value, “cheapening” their product, and creating a race to the bottom. They also predicted that it would all end badly as nobody would make any money.

The truth is that they were disrupted by different cost structures. The entrants did not need to spend on market development, and focused on innovating on the essential novelty of the user interface.

So the Mac App Store could be disruptive to traditional software vendors. A large new population of software developers could emerge targeting the Cocoa environment and they may bring new apps that move the jobs that the computer is hired for to appeal to new users.

However there is a problem. The Mac is a small target market relative to iOS. Apple announced that there are 50 million Mac users. This compares badly to the 130 million (or so) iOS users. It won’t be long before 50 million iOS users will be added every three months.

So the first thing that Apple needs to do is grow the Mac installed base. Perhaps the new Air and following updated to the MacBooks will do just that. But the growth rate needs to be an order of magnitude faster. And I suspect price is an obstacle to this growth.

Regardless of this obstacle, the Mac App Store has the potential to change the appeal of the Mac. As the first personal computer with an App Store, new uses may emerge and create the same app-platform effect.

[All good points. See more here.]
Source: asymco

The week in links (10/25)

Hill Climb Sundays (Oct 24th 2010 Edition)

A little chilly at the start, but a beautiful day for a ride. Sad that I didn’t have enough time to grab the Jones and really hit the woods, but thankful for the good weather and chance to give the Kish a workout. It still needs some tuning… but it’s almost there.

I posted next weeks ride using the new Rapha Rendevous software (iPhone) as “The Whiners Delight”. Interested in trying the software out with a group, but I can’t make any of the rides posted as yet. In the meantime… allez!

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Mac stays Open?

There’s a number of threads about this topic since Apple announced OS X Lion and the app store for Mac. And that definitely changes things… especially if you can run iOS apps on your desktop.

It changes things because of cost. iOS apps, despite their surprising abilities, are less expensive than their desktop equivalents. Since they often seem to work just grandly for people, it makes you wonder whether people haven’t been living with bloated, feature crazed software. It also makes you wonder whether a “pro” app, or a development environment will ever be sold through that store.

And it changes things because you give Apple a say of whether your app “qualifies” with all the pain that has caused developers. (Code signing is mess. In the words of the governors race “the pain is too… damn high!”

But what of the long tail effect the store generates? That is, dev’s are “gaming” the current store by updating often (leaking the most minor improvements drop by drop) because it brings you to the fore of various marketing efforts. (Think a “recently released” list). It may not be best for their users, but if the only channel to sales is that store then marketing efforts are significantly limited to how people find things in that store.

So far the iOS store seems to generate high sales for the top items and virtually no attention for the vast majority of offerings. First in category, timing, etc. play a large part of this type of sourcing and the tools to find gems hidden in the dust are slim at best.

But that’s inside the store. On the Mac there’s no reason why other stores couldn’t compete, at the moment, although you’d have to find a way to bootstrap that store. But it’s not harder than what dev’s are doing now.

Let’s just be more tasteful than the average Mall though. ‘K?