Good Enough!

A blog about "good enough" things - for those who don't need, can't afford, or don't care about the "very best".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good Enough video

How many short, interesting, YouTube clips have you watched this week/month/year? What about other online sources such as Hulu and Fancast?

Internet-delivered video content doesn't always have the highest quality - but it is "good enough" for most people, most of the time. The source material wasn't always high quality, anyway: for example an old videotape of Muddy Waters was definitely recorded in standard-definition on analog video tape, and perhaps deteriorated somewhat before being digitized for YouTube, yet it is still well worth watching.

This, I think, is why the networks and cable companies are worried about losing market share and advertising dollars: these other products can deliver "good enough" content much more cheaply, and at acceptable quality.

At least the cable companies have their high-speed internet delivery pipes to fall back on; the broadcast networks are scrambling to get on the 'Net-delivery train before it leaves the station.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Good Enough" and the economy

As the subheading of the blog says, "good enough" in some ways is for people who can't afford the very best, or perhaps it would be better to say that they don't need to afford the very best.

It's April 2009, and we're all aware of how the economy has slowed down due to the credit crisis, which I won't go into since it's been covered so well by so many others. Some of the people responsible for predicting the economy say it will begin to rebound by the fall - but I want to point out something they seem to be missing and which ties into the central theme of this blog.

People are finally scared enough to stop spending so much, especially on credit. Many have lost jobs, and they say unemployment will continue to rise before it gets better again.

So, to the retail forecasters, I say - "good enough" is going to hurt you.
  • A 1996 Olds station wagon suddenly becomes "good enough" if we can keep it running, and it's better than taking on a car payment.
  • The DVD player is "good enough" - we don't need to buy Blu-Ray.
  • The "old" 32-inch CRT television is "good enough" now, we really can wait on that thin LCD model.
  • A haircut every four weeks instead of every two is "good enough", and suddenly the Supercuts at the mall seems every bit as good as the Haute House salon.
  • The three bedroom house is "good enough" - let the youngest two boys have bunk beds, rather than increase the house payment to let everyone have their own room.
  • Powdered milk mixed half-and-half is "good enough" and makes the milk stretch further.
Don't expect a large uptick in retail sales, any time soon. We're all going to make do with "good enough" for some time to come.

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Resurrecting the blog

I admit it - I didn't keep up with posting to this blog. Blogger says my last post was almost three years ago. Where did the time go? Well, on this end it was spent doing various personal and career things I won't go into at the moment, because who wants to hear three years of that?

Anyway, I'm going to give it another shot. I still don't know exactly how to spread the word to get more readers, to get the conversation going, but maybe that will come to me this time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

News

I've lately been interested in journalism topics.. despite not posting here in quite a while, which I guess shows a sort of disinterest in "citizen journalism".

In any event, in my opinion it's fairly simple to create a "good enough" news organization - and I purposely don't specify the media because I believe the media part of it to be irrelevant. Here are my criteria:

1. Be accurate. I want news that I can trust to be factual.
2. Cover it in depth. I can read headlines anywhere. When I get interested I will look into it more deeply.
3. Make it easy for me to get your news in whatever media I want.
4. Don't waste my time asking me useless questions ("will it rain tomorrow? We'll let you know after the break/this word/the fold")

It's just that simple.

Friday, March 17, 2006

"Good Enough" programming

Look, I'm not exactly a Web Developer, having spent most of my career bending mainframes to my will (while mainframes can and do perform Web duties, my job is to install the software making it happen, not the applications) - but this post by Tim Bray, who IS very knowledgable in web development, resonates with my "good enough" meme.

It appears to me that the RESTful and LAMP techniques, which you can certainly read about in a hundred different places should you be interested, are the application development embodiment of "good enough". This is also stated elsewhere (probably again by the inimitable Mr. Bray) as "the simplest thing that could possibly work". The WS- stuff, however, is at the other end of the spectrum, being dependent upon the definition of a bunch of complex standards and specification. Which isn't to say that it won't work - but if you want an analogy, REST and LAMP are the 32" color TV you bought cheaply this year, to replace something else, and which shows the game quite well thank you, whereas WS- stuff is the multiple-thousand-dollar plasma screen which also does the same thing.

Beyond that, there's also the resource cost of developing in these technolgies: these days, people doing the down-and-dirty development work of applications for businesses know that their application may have a short shelf life: business needs change very quickly, and therefore the software does too. Why spend all that money developing WS-compliant stuff if you're just going to throw it out later? Use something instead that's "good enough" to get the job done, and move on!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Comments

A quick post to say I've adjusted comment settings to hopefully stop the comment spammers.. who are not "good enough" by a long shot.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Further cell phone calendar stuff...

In a previous post I mentioned using my cell phone to carry calendar information. I just did this for a conference I was attending. It was, in fact "good enough" for carrying the schedule I intended to follow, and when I did follow it, it worked pretty well other than trying to read a smallish screen. However, when things changed such as a breakout session being cancelled, the UI of the phone wasn't the best for making updates. Possibly a Treo-like device with more of a keyboard-like interface would work better, if anyone reading this has experience in that vein, let me know in the comments.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cell phone as organizer, again

Well, I was wrong. In a previous post, I said that you couldn't load calendar items to my phone.

Turns out, you can, but it's a convoluted process.

First, you have to have the items in Outlook - no other calendar program will do. Second, you have to, as with contact information, export the calendar items you want to a comma-separated values file. Third, when you export, you have to tell it to use the defaults so that all the default fields, whatever they are, are exported - if you try to use only the fields that the phone software can contain, you won't be able to import, because it will tell you it's not a valid Outlook file. Then fourth, with the phone connected to your PC and while running the desktop software from the phone manufacturer, import the calendar file.

And in a spectacularly brain-dead design, the calendar in the phone is replaced by the items you imported! There's no merging, the calendar is wiped out and re-written with what you just imported, so be sure to select all the items you want in the phone.

So, now I have to decide whether or not to start using Outlook for organization, just so I can get stuff to my phone.. more later.