Friday, July 3, 2009

Inspiring inventor kids

My wife and I were having our Friday late lunch early dinner and this guy wizzed past on a skateboard that had no deck! My wife gave me a look and I bolted out the door to track the guy down to see how this new contraption worked.... unfortunately he was a promoter (not the inventor) offering lessons on how to ride this deckless skateboard... however what was interesting is that two kids came over asking really good technical questions about the invention... one of them proudly stated that he was an inventor and working on a secret project... he said it with such pride that it made me wonder if the same nurturing was done in young people of invention as it is in celebrity or sports success, that there may be a bigger pool of both in the kids of today.

About Ric's Van as seen on Australian Story

Truck: 2003 Longbase Ford Transit with 5 speed triptronic
Where did I get it: Cheap at Govt auction in Sydney
Features: Tinted rear glass for privacy.. note: as fully enclosed rear area ie no glass is hard to park in town. Also supper high roof (Im 6ft and can stand with a slight crouch) good for rainy days.


Those of you who saw the article in the Sydney Morning Herald may recall the headline "How the man in the van beat Microsoft". At the time the setup I was using was a proof of concept that allowed me to test the viability of using a van to combat cabin fever and get out and about when solving invention problems... well the outdoor furniture and bench seat have been replaced with a perspex desk and an executive chair... things are rather more comfortable... in software development parlance, the project is now beta but requiring some fine tuning... the desk is way too flimsy, there is a definite need for a power outlet and monitor mounting and some other obvious office amenities like a bin and some basic storage... oh and a great little idea I came across for a clear perspex display area above my desk that allows me to display pages from magazines and full page color print outs that can be changed and swapped for flashes of inspiration. Once things cook a bit more I will take some pictures to show you all the progress.

Why do I do this?
Because changing my surroundings helps me crack problems... I have heard other people say the same about jogging or riding the ferry to work... being out and about and away from your desk helps you look at problems from a different angle. I use the DickMobile to forcibly accomplish the same thing.