There are times when fate hands you a one-two punch.
A few processor cycles ago, I stumbled into two books at about the same time; "Being Digital" by Nicholas NegroPonte and "Show-Stopper" by G. pascal Zachary. These two works have had a significant influence on the technology generation in the past 20 years. The combined ethos presents a unique perspective on the evolution of digital landscape and the respective evolution of software creation.
By reading these two books in tandem, I brought an inspired focus to my research and development efforts. I would "eat my own dogfood". If I truly believed in the digital evolution, I had to live it. I took this to all ends of the spectrum. I eliminated sticky notes. I adopted a PDA. I ripped all of my music library to MP3 (1400 CDs). I scanned photo albums.
At work, I purchased a multi-feed scanner and over the course of 4 weekends, scanned 4 horizontal file drawers of contracts, notes, memos and the like. I feed the scanned images into an OCR package and then build a database driven index. The resulting shrine (a Case Logic affair with 24 CD-Rs) was handed over to the Senior VP of marketing when I left the company a decade later. She smiled politely and asked how often I accessed the CD's. I grinned and replied that I never had.
Eating the dogfood though was a paradigm shift in my thinking. It is one thing to dream up digital visions. It is quite another to live it. You become pragmatic and yet you become addicted. You see the gains of early adopters and feel the pain of digital death over and over and over again. At the end of the day, you find yourself with a digital zen. I have never looked back at the decision and it has rewarded me with experiences that escape the dreamers.
Now 20 years later, I find myself in similar circumstances. It is time to re-boot and feel the digital pain. The mission? To live and breathe the mobile experience. For all that can be done and will be done, I will attempt to work, live and communicate through tablets,smart phones and the cloud. My trusted Netbook is retired to the trunk of the car. Only a month into this reboot, I already have felt the digital pain but that story is for another day.....
Le Roi est mort vive le Roi!
(The King is dead, Long live the King)
The bit is dead, long live the bit.