Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer's almost over

I'm going to keep this blog going. SketchUp will stay a prevelent topic, as well as other geeky things, but quite possibly also things going on in my life, like that whole college thing. Yeah, that.

After pledging my loyalty to Google, or maybe visiting, I've become an active user of most products, including Google Docs (which I'll get to later) that I never figured I'd actually use. I now use Google Maps as opposed to Mapquest, but there's one problem. Google Maps isn't a verb. (I use the word "verb" loosely. "to google" has only recently become acceptable, as has "to wikipedia.") You can't really say, "I'm going to Google Maps this," or "I'll Google Map it." Those phrases seem just too long. The problem here is that you can say "I'm gonna Mapquest it." Since "to mapquest" is taking on the meaning "to get directions," I worry that Mapquest will gain advertising from this word-of-mouth usage. If there's any solution at all, when you want to make it clear that you are going to get directions using Google Maps, my proposition is: "I'm gonna G-Map it."

Staying on the subject of Google, I'll talk about my newfound usage for Google Docs. Well, first of all, I've never really been a fan. Putting my all of my documents online takes faith. Maybe I'm a negative nancy, but I always think of the worst situations first: a need for documents without web access, Google crashes, I get hacked... all problems that I could theoretically face by using Google Docs as my sole location for storage. [And yes, Google Docs offers offline backups, but still, I can't be sure if that version is the most recent or whatnot.]

There is, in fact, a use for Google Documents for everyone. Wether it's planning a meeting, comparing notes, or working on projects. Here's mine, and it echos so much of what my life revolves aroud these days: College essays.
Google Docs is the perfect location for such files. I always have revision history and I can allow teachers, parents, or college advisors to be collaborators. Sure, commenting features have been around in local programs such as Microsoft Word, but that requires emailing back and forth, back and forth, and being unsure about which version is the most current.

That's all for now. School begins [for seniors] on Tuesday.

_andrew

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Keep on blogging...

As of right now, my presentation's video on Youtube has 1,297 views!

The last thing I want to do is let this blog die. I'm going to keep blogging here on the topic of SketchUp, but it might branch off a bit.

I'll start with my recount of Basecamp. In fact, 3D Basecamp was almost 2 months ago! It's kind of funny that just three days of your life can be that important. I learned a ton from the presentation, but that wasn't my favorite part. My favorite part was meeting the people and experiencing the atmosphere. I've said it before, but putting names to faces was an amazing thing to see. Not only that, but I had never been to a conference before. That said, usually when I'm in a class or walking down the street and hear the word "SketchUp," I do a little twitch. Often times, it's an, "Oh, you know SketchUp?" that I respond with, surprised that people are farmiliar with the program.

Being at Basecamp was an interesting event in that respect because everyone had a common goal and purpose: SketchUp. For the first day and a half, that twitch still went off because it hadn't set in that I was in the company of people who were there for the same reason I was.

In March, 2007, my school choir, of which I am a member, took a trip to Prague and Vienna. It was a life changing experience for me; I had never been outside of the north-east United States (with the exception of Canada) at that time, and what I experienced and learned on that trip changed my life. On that trip, using just my brother's camera, I shot more than 1,100 pictures. (I ended up cutting those pictures down to about 166 for Facebook. They can be seen here on Picasa.)

I have not counted, but I don't think that the number of photographs taken at Basecamp from our respective cameras matched the 1,100 from Prague and Vienna. The knowledge I gained from Basecamp, however, exponentially multiplies that of the Europe trip.

I think I'll run through, all in all, everything we did. This schedule has been scattered around countless blog posts, but here it is in one place:

  • Tuesday
    • JetBlue, JFK --> San Jose
    • Rental Car --> The Grand Hotel
    • Visit Stanford
    • Dinner at Chevys
    • Rest in hotel
    • Post-dinner dinner at In-N-Out
  • Wednesday
    • Breakfast at The Grand
    • Drive to Google
    • Park, register, meet Jon and Allyson
    • 2nd Breakfast at Googleplex
    • Talk & lecture room tour with Allyson, Diego, and Paul
    • Introduction by Aidan
    • Chaos rush to Charlie's Cafe
    • Lunch around the Basecamp tent
    • Presentation Block 1: Promoting Your Work Using Google Resources
    • Presentation Block 2: SketchUp and Green Design
    • Ice Cream break
    • Presentation Block 3: [Break]
    • Keynote Presentation, Cameron Sinclair
    • Basecamp party with BBQ, pool, ping-pong, and foosball
  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Drove from hotel to Googleplex
    • Breakfast and conversation
    • Announcements from Aidan and Cameron
    • Went up to Seville to set up my presentation:
    • Presentation Block 9: Making Your Mark with SketchUp
    • Met people, answered more questions
    • Went to the Google Store again
    • Relaxed in the tent
    • Took a blue-bike trip around the neighborhood
    • Lunch at Charlie's
    • Sportables design competition results
    • Said goodbyes
    • Drove to Mountai View CalTrain station, met Billy in Palo Alto
    • Visited Billy and family at his house, took a driving tour of San Fransisco
    • Took streetcar to AT&T Park, saw the game
    • CalTrain back to Mountain View
    • In-N-Out desert visit
    • Back to hotel for 4 hours of sleep, 1 AM -- 5 AM
  • Saturday
    • Awoke, drive to San Fransisco International
    • Made plane by 10 minutes, fly home
_andrew