Virtual Desktops: goodness for Intertwingulitis sufferers

Although I love software development in/for MS Windows (particularly because I'm am such a huge fan of Gupta Team Developer, my career-long bread and butter), I've never much liked using MS Windows at home.

Post Windows 98, I switched over to Linux at home (major love for Puppy Linux!)  Having old hardware, I really appreciated the lightness of Linux in general, and really appreciated the minimalism and general feel of Puppy Linux.

Fast-forward to about 7 years ago, when I started to find the old hardware getting much too sluggish for my liking.  Since I was going to drop some coin on new/newer hardware, I decided to seriously review my computing needs and review the device landscape.

I considered types of devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, all-in-one's, convertibles) and all types of operating systems (Windows, Mac O/S, Android, iOS, Linux, and new-to-me Chrome'OS).  To my surprise, Chromebook wound up winning me over.  I purchased my first Chromebook right away, and I have never looked back.

Although Chromebook and the Google ecosystem handled all my needs, I found myself about a year ago with an itch to get into hobby programming and load up on applications to help me explore "intertwingularity."  So when looking for a Chromebook with a larger display for my aging eyeballs, I picked up a new device that also happened to be Linux (beta) enabled.  That gave me the best of both worlds: all the goodness of Chrome OS with the ability to run certain useful Linux applications.

Recently, I've just discovered a new feature in ChromeOS which I really appreciated in Linux and had totally forgotten about (and had not really needed until I started using Linux apps on my latest Chromebook):

("Virtual Desks" in ChromeOS)

Any intertwingulitis sufferer such as myself likely winds up with a large number of simultaneously opened browser/application windows and switching between these windows, and likely wanting some of these windows side-by-side.

Virtual Desks in ChromeOS allows switching between multiple desks, each desk having certain windows possibly arranged side-by-side.  This allows quickly switching between different organization of windows without any fuss.  Oh-so useful for intertwingulitis sufferers !

If you want to know more about Virtual Desktops, read this Wikipedia article, and check out the following fantastic video on YouTube: "Virtual Desks on Chrome OS 77 Have Completely Changed My Workflow" by Robby Payne (Chrome Unboxed):

Cheers, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year !

Everything is Connected -- Here's How: | Tom Chi | TEDxTaipei

Although Intertwingularity Slice'n Dice is all about trying to model overwhelmingly complex information and/or knowledge, I can't help but get excited about sharing anything that touches on intertwingularity of everything and anything.

So just a quick post to share this really great TED talk by Tom Chi:

When Agile Documentation Gave Me a Smack and Said: "Hey, Wake Up."

In this blog's inaugural post, I discussed my first career-related "intertwingularity sighting," which involved all kinds of intertwingled issues with every kind of documentation for a software development project.

In addition to getting bogged down by the issues with maintaining existing documentation and creating new documentation, I found myself really overwhelmed by a far too exhaustive software development methodology (something I inherited from the original project team.)  I felt stuck in the mud, focused on the methodology and creating the deliverables as per the methodology, instead of creating documentation.

At some point, I discovered at the local bookstore "Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process", by Scott Ambler.

Before the book, I already knew that the methodology and deliverable templates at hand weren't working for me, yet I kept banging my head against the wall trying to make them work.  After the book?  I felt like I could toss aside what didn't work and I felt free to explore an approach that fits me.

Since then and to this day, I keep in mind and refer to Scott Ambler's "Agile Modeling" and (even more so) Scott Ambler's:

With permission from the author, here are some of Scott Ambler's agile and lean philosophies (towards documentation) which I find particularly useful to Intertwingularity Mapping:

The fundamental issue is communication, not documentation.

Take an evolutionary approach to documentation development, seeking and then acting on feedback on a regular basis.

Documentation should be concise: overviews/roadmaps are generally preferred over detailed documentation.

Travel as light as you possibly can.

The benefit of having documentation must be greater than the cost of creating and maintaining it.

Create documentation only when you need it.

Update documentation only when it hurts.

Agile documents are "lean and sufficient".

Agile documents fulfill a purpose.

Agile documents describe "good things to know".

Agile documents are sufficiently accurate, consistent, and detailed.

Keep documentation just simple enough, but not too simple.

Write the fewest documents with least overlap.

Put the information in the most appropriate place.

Display information publicly.

Document with a purpose.

Focus on the needs of the actual customers(s) of the document.

Iterate, iterate, iterate (evolutionary approach: incremental).

Start with models you actually keep current.

And from Agile Modeling:
  • Single Source Information
  • Document Late
  • Document Continuously
  • Multiple Models
  • Just Barely Good Enough

As I slowly piece together a comprehensive explanation of "Intertwingularity Mapping", you'll find deeply intertwingled influences of Scott Ambler's writings (about Agile Modeling and about Agile/Lean Documentation).

On that cheers !

A dip into the waters of formality

Although I've been happily and (I believe) successfully "slicing and dicing" large quantities of intertwingled information for close to 15 years, putting together a description of how to go about it does not from me easily flow.

If we could take a peek at this sponge between my ears, we'd probably find an intertwingled mess with question marks all over the place, each one of those question marks pretty much like a word at the tip of my tongue.

How does one slice'n dice a bunch of question marks?  What is an intertwingulitis sufferer to do ?

Go reading, and load up on vocabulary from various sources.

So I fired up my web browser, read like mad, and captured really good content to help straighten me out vocabulary-wise.

As I soaked in all kinds of good stuff, it dawned on me:  if I want to "formalize" a description of intertwingularity slice'n dice, I should probably formalize a name too.

I like "intertwingularity slice'n dice."   Fun and quirky vernacular floats this kid's boat something silly, so that is not going anywhere.  When I want to get formal, though, I'm thinking I'll be calling this "Intertwingularity Mapping".

Check out some really good reading material I found via this link to a PDF-export of my content clippings taken with CherryTree .