Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

Tag: Reviews

Book Review: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

I first heard of 37 Signals back in 2004, and found their approach to design very much aligned with my design ideals of simple, fast, and always available. At the time, I was interested in getting 37 Signals to do a one page redesign for a web site I was working on. It never happened, as they were transitioning from a consulting company to product company and were not interested. I had the chance to meet both Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson at the Web 2.0 Conference in 2005 and listen to Jason Fried’s talk about Less as a competitive advantage. Rework is just the logical extension of that talk. Being in the room and in the hallway after his talk, in the land of venture capital, there were skeptics to say the least. 37 Signals has been proving those skeptics wrong every day since.

Rework takes the same approach 37 Signals has taken with all the things they have created, focus on simplicity. The book in my mind is a collection of byproducts from their efforts to create a business. The idea for almost each essay can be found in the conversation they have been having with anyone who would listen. Just like the points Jason made in his talk Less Money, Less People, Less Time, Less Abstractions, Less Software, and More Constraints; Now packaged for More Convenience and as DHH would like to say More Profits.

The book is a fast read and having followed the 37 Signals conversation since 2004 it contains refinements and elaborations on many points. It is a great book and the ideas can be just as powerful to an individual as they are to a company.

I am not going to try and chop it up like a highlight reel, just read it for yourself its worth the effort.

Testing Gmail for my Domain

I was granted access to the Gmail for Domains beta. The set up was extremely simple, but I still don’t think that a non geek will know what their MX record is. Adding accounts is a snap and the calendar integration is wonderful. I am now wondering how much it will cost for multiple domains. I have multiple domains and would like to manage all my email account for my whole family via Gmail without setting up forwarding. Google definitely has the email interface down. It works great and I love the way email threads are handled. If Google can provide a few more tools, there will be no reason to buy office. Google will have a completely integrated set of office web applications that are completely portable. I won’t have to worry about backing up anything or getting updates and security patches.

Corporations would be well served by a tool like Gmail for domains. Corporations have to get around and over the control issues, if they do Gmail is a no brainer. For companies with large field operations again it’s a no brainer. It’s only a matter of time.

I give Gmail for Domains 5 out of 5 Stars.

Links:
Gmail for your domain

IE 7 1st impressions

I have now had the opportunity to mess around with IE 7 beta 2 for a week or so. Here is a list of things I like:

  • The new tab button that makes opening a blank tab very click-able.
  • The clean tool bar design.
  • Simply supporting RSS
  • The Tab Grid View

I read someone comparing IE 7 vs. Firefox to IE vs. Netscape. I am still a loyal Firefox user but again Microsoft is working hard to remove the functional differences between the two. It has been a long wait for IE 7 but It seems that it won’t disappoint the average user. The IE Blog has been an interesting read.