Go go go

Would I pick up the useless and destructive lenses left by millions of people both past and present or would I have the courage to look at the world, both outer and inner, with fresh eyes. To look at it as if I was the first person on earth…not be swayed by the masses that took into their souls what others deemed important in order to avoid the responsibility of independent action.


I took today and tomorrow off from work so that I can catch up on my work. When I moved positions at work my hours were increased by about an hour and a half per day. While that’s only a few hours a week, it’s a big cut into progamming/hacking time. On a given weekday I had three free hours of hacking and three to spend with my wife. With an hour and a half less, it’s mostly taken out of the hacking. A project that would have taken me four months turns into six or seven. I’d happily hack 12+ hours/day if I could, but… not yet.

The quote at the beginning of this post is from a short story my great uncle wrote. He’s almost 80 and is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met.

Here’s a rough todo list…

– Domain Pigeon – I’m probably 80% of the way towards a launchable product. For some crazy, stupid reason whenever I wanted to test out a new design I would set out doing it with HTML/CSS instead of doing a mock up first. Fortunately I came to my sense… Yesterday I created an entirely new layout in Photoshop in about an hour. With that to work off of, I fixed up the page in no time. No more of this blind “it’ll probably turn out ok” nonsense. If you don’t know where you want to go you’re probably not going to get there, right?

– ALL IN Expert – Plan is to make this available for download w/some background later today.

– PhillyOnRails meetup tonight – will report back tomorrow.

– Oh, and the wife gave me about 18 things to do since I have all this free time now… geeze.

Git Resources

I spent the morning reading about and playing around with Git.

Git, like the Macbook, is a big leap in efficiency for me. In the past when I wanted to make experimental changes in my applications I would use a combination of commenting and Save As to test and revert as required. Additionally, my project directories are littered with compressed zip folders containing snapshots at different points in time.

Git changes all that. I’m not entirely fluent with it yet, but I’m getting there.

Here are three resources which I recommend to anyone wanting to learn.

A Tour of Git: The Basics

Gittutorial: Manual Page

Peeepcode: Git

I’d do it in this order too. I started off with the Peepcode tutorial, but he used some terminology that I wasn’t familiar with at first. After reading through the first two tutorials I was able to easily follow along with the screencast.

MBA Considerations

To get an MBA or not to get an MBA, that is the question.

I’ve been considering getting an MBA for some time. At one point several months ago I had made up my mind that I was going to get one. Fortunately, I came to my senses and now I’m 95% sure that I’m not going to.

I think it started with an article in the Wall Street Journal talking about earnings reports. I had come across (yet another) term I wasn’t familiar with. My thought process went something like this: “Diluted earnings per share… what the hell is that? I have no idea. It sounds important. I better get an MBA so I figure out what its talking about.”

I started doing some research and found several online schools that offered MBA programs that focused on entrepreneurship (attending a school isn’t practical at the moment). The descriptions sounded perfect for me — if you want to start and run a business, we’ll teach you what you need to know… yada yada yada. It would cost me about $18K and 20 months of time at about 15 hours/week to get it. The wife and I discussed it and decided that I should do it.

I decided to wait a week to make the final decision.

I didn’t sleep well that week. I’d lay awake calculating in my head how much free time I’d have to work on the technical half of it. It turned out I’d have to pretty much put learning Rails and web development on hold until I finished the MBA program. I tried figuring out ways around this — maybe I could work on it during my lunch breaks. Maybe I could get up early on the weekends to get a few hours in. Maybe…

It wasn’t going to happen and I knew it–there just wasn’t enough time in the day. I’d have to put my plans on hold in order to get the MBA. When I realized that I became very depressed. I’d go hack away, frustrated that I’d have to put it on hold in order to learn what the significance of diluted earnings per share was.

There were other considerations as well. The online schools that offered these specialized MBA programs were not exactly prestigious. In fact, the primary one I was considering was solely an online school — they did not have a campus anywhere. They were mentioned on a few online MBA related web sites, but other than that, it didn’t appear that anyone had heard of them. If I was confident that I would learn everything I needed to know from their courses then maybe — but I worried that the lack of information I could find on their programs reflected on its quality. There were some good schools that offered other types of online MBAs, such as international business, accounting, and the like, but they cost upwards of $30K and I didn’t want to learn that stuff anyway.

Then it hit me. This — hacking — is what I love doing. It’s what I’m passionate about. I was considering giving that up in order to learn some business theory and definitions, something that I could learn pretty well on my own anyway. It’s not like I could even network (since they’re online) or get a resume booster (since no one has heard of them).

Additionally, given the time and money it would cost me, pursing an MBA would probably have the opposite effect on my goals. Instead of working on something tangible and acquiring the technical skills and experience necessary to found a startup, I’d be bogged in textbooks learning a lot of things I’ll probably never use. In a strange, ironic way, I think that in five years I’d be more likely to work as some mid-level manager with an MBA than without one and that is exactly the opposite of where I want to be.

And so, MBA is postponed… probably indefinitely.

I wouldn’t mind getting a masters in computer science, but I’ll save that for another post…

P.S. This guy’s recent blog article on his Wharton MBA inspired me to make this post.


Quick little lesson on using the URI parse method, using an example:

uri = URI.parse("http://www.mattmazur.com/2008/11/macs-productivity-made-easy/")

uri.host = "www.mattmazur.com"
uri.scheme = "http"
uri.port = 80
uri.path = "/2008/11/macs-productivity-made-easy/"

More details on URI including other methods here.