\ Rave | TechnoTaste


Occasionally I think there are moments around here that illustrate how unique (read: strange) the iSchool at Berkeley is.

Case in Point: the 'A Hierarchy of Skills' thread. It began innocently, with someone inviting us into the thought experiment of ranking programming languages in the order that they should be learned. Enter incredible geekdom, and more than 100 sometimes impassioned emails about a variety of topics, including:

  • why PHP sucks
  • why Python is amazing
  • why Java sucks
  • why Ruby is amazing
  • what an iSchooler should know
  • what the best language for programming courses is
  • occasionally, the original question

So, basically, it was one of the most in-depth, geekiest, interesting threads ever. And then, to top it off, we have this. The abridged, cliff notes version in graphical form. Who would do this? Ryan Greenberg, in this case. But really it occurs to me how unique and amazing the Berkeley iSchool can be, full of talented people who will debate each other to death, then make jokes, then make pretty visualizations of the whole process (and then probably go drinking). God this place is special.

Centithread - A Hierarchy of Skills

(Click for a larger version)

I don't often feel the need to rave about software. That's partly because I rarely find software I'm that excited about, and partly because I often find other people's raves annoying. So I'll try to keep this one short.

Get DropBox. Do it now. This is software that just works, and I can't believe it took someone this long to come up with it.

DropBox Logo

Here's the deal. I install DropBox on my laptop, on my desktop, on my work computer. Each computer gets a folder called 'My DropBox' that acts like any other folder in my file system. Now here it is, and it's easy to understand: the folder is the same on every computer, all the time, effortlessly. I put a file in the folder on my laptop, it's instantly sync'd with the other two machines liked to my account. I change it on another computer, and the changes are sync'd back too. And it backs up the files to a remote server. And it keeps a revision history so I can go back anytime. And it's all encrypted with a key that I can choose (if I want to).

Holy hell. These features should have been in Windows 95. There's lots of other solutions to the problem of cross-computer file sync, like Groove, SVN, etc. None are as seamless and painless as DropBox.

They're in Beta, but sign up now. I have a few invites I can give away if you're desperate.