Andy Swindler

November 10, 2009

Share the Road Train

Road trains look like a very encouraging solution to automotive transportation. Essentially cars using wireless signals to automatically follow a lead car. I’ve long felt that if all cars were somehow connected and able to start and stop together that we’d all save a lot of time and headache on the road! Have you ever noticed how much time is wasted just waiting for the cars ahead of you to start moving?

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Imagine how much better life would be if we could have transit time to do whatever we wanted. Work, sleep, read, you name it. I’m sure it will be awhile before they are ready for prime time, but I personally can’t wait.

March 23, 2009

Books On Demand

As I may have mentioned, I’m a fan of Andrew Sullivan, a prominent political blogger at The Atlantic. Though he usually sticks to politically charged topics, he posts daily “View from your Window” photos that are sent to him by his readers.

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(view from Astek’s window)

Well apparently, this series is so popular that Andrew is going to offer a coffee book version of the “best” past pics. He is avoiding publishing houses (which he abhors) and is going straight for the print-on-demand. Though, we don’t know yet which service he is using, I will be curious to see.

My future mother-in-law is a children’s author, and I have, in the past, encouraged her to publish her stories that aren’t getting picked up through a publisher, in a similar DIY way. I’d love to see her work directly with an illistrator/animator to make animated online versions of her favorite stories and then, at the end of the online “reading,” have a link where parents can easily order a copy of a bound book (made through a print-on-demand service) for bedtime reading and long-term treasuring.

Similarly, a good friend of mine is an amazing commercial photographer and I recently passed on the idea of personalized, photography-based baby books that I saw on one of my favorite craft blogs. She’s going to try it out as a shower present for her on-the-way nephew and print it up using the services you can find through Flickr or Shutterfly.

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This sort of micro-publishing gets me very excited, as do many DIY ideas. Personally, this sort of return to individual “making“ and ”crafting“ and ”creating“ strikes a potent chord. The fact that technology is making it easier for us to return to the ”simpler“ days for fun is a bit ironic, but also pretty fitting. The DIY movement may be a push-back against industrialization and technology, but it doesn’t mean we can’t utilize the tools we are pushing against to make the push. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hope we continue to see a resurgence of entertainment that results in more than ”couch butt,“ Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and online gaming credits, because making is fun and makes more fun!

Andy Swindler

February 3, 2009

How to Write, Publish, and Market Your Book in a Web 2.0 World — No Really

🙂

Andy Swindler

January 23, 2009

Happy 25th Birthday, Mac

It’s time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Macintosh. I was pretty young, but remember this time well. We had an Apple IIc in my house for several years before our first Mac IIsi. What a sweet machine! When Apple (the company) turned 20, they released a special edition 20th Anniversary Mac. It was pretty sweet at the time, but wholeheartedly over-priced if you’re not nuts about this kind of thing. I doubt they’ll do anything to commemorate it this year with product, but you never know.

Here is a great photo of nearly every Apple computer ever made. It’s like looking at a family photo album. 🙂

Every once in a while I meet someone who isn’t familiar with the famous 1984 Super Bowl XVIII commercial Ridley Scott directed to launch the Mac. If you are one of those people, you need to check this out:

Andy Swindler

January 7, 2009

E-Snail Mail

Check out Earth Class Mail, which provides a P.O. box that receives and automatically scans your mail into digital documents, deposits checks in the bank, and more. Thanks to my buddy Justin Bradshaw for pointing this out. I know he’s using it in L.A. and it looks appealing for those small (and big) business owners looking to cut down on paper, filing, and driving to the bank.

January 5, 2009

Recycle!

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I posted an entry today on my photoblog about recycling in Chicago, and my involvement in it. I also brought this spirit into the Astek office a few weeks ago, bringing in a special can to collect our organic waste (mostly coffee grounds, banana peels, and apple cores), which I take home to my compost bin. And hopefully mid to late next summer I’ll be treating my coworkers to some stellar fresh produce from my garden that was fortified by our daily coffee etc.