project: Marah

project management for the things that really matter

i will back up every day…

with 2 comments

This is a quote I saw repeated over and over on a blackboard at NYU in December. 

Who knew that blackboards still existed anyway? It was a great reminder for me to ensure that I backed up all my files, because as Murphy’s Law would have it, I experienced a hard drive crash over the Christmas Weekend.  This post is short and sweet, as I’m a bit distracted with more pressing matters.

To select a backup service that is right for you, check out LifeHacker’s excellent comparison chart, here.

I was at NYU, not to remember good computer usage habits, but rather to check out the Winter Projects at ITP.  ITP is a graduate level program focusing on innovation and multimedia.  Originally named the Interactive Telecommunications Program, the program’s scope has expanded, and now generally refers to itself by it’s acronym moniker.  As mobile computing has grown, I am seeing more and more projects that put the “telecommunications” back into ITP.  Overall I enjoyed the ITP show, but I had to resist the moments of “wow, I saw a grad student do that 5 years ago – except not with an iphone”.

The students worked hard, and deserve encouragement.  I always learn something when attending these shows. I especially enjoy that I can dig into the student’s motivations for pursuing a particular topic, and the underlying base technologies that they used to make it happen, plus the lessons that they learned.  (such as “i will back up every day”)

There was, what I would call, an unfortunate event ; two student groups presented almost exactly the exhibit coming out of different class/section work.  The technology isn’t as important – especially since the two teams presented, for all intents and purposes, the same technologies in the same ways.  (in this case, creating video photomosaics, of course based on work by Leon Harmon of Bell Labs and Salvador Dali in the 70s).  What is unfortunate is that these students were working on the same basic ideas and presentation styles,  and had not a clue until show time. On the second (and last) day of the show, they had not yet spoken to each other, despite being placed 10 feet apart in the showroom gallery.  What a wasted opportunity for cross pollination, and to push the overall project goals even further with a larger team.

I spent the rest of my time there asking students filled with the possibilities of all combined projects, and I found myself asking the students if they had seen another students work, encouraging them to follow up on possible synergies.  Many of them had been so heads down in their own activities, they hadn’t time to network or visit the rest of the students work.

One thing was consistent throughout the show, all projects were team efforts, and required a copious amount of visioning and strong communication to make them happen.  These students have to learn project management, or face the dread of 11th hour crisis, and a lot of all night-ers.


Written by marahrosenberg

2 January 2009 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Is that Clay Shirky’s bunch?

    Sean C.

    5 January 2009 at 10:22 am

  2. Clay is a professor there, but certainly not the only one. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ITP shows, have been taking friends there for years (and years). In the mid 90s I constantly mistaken for a student – now I am often asked by students and listeners on what classes I teach. It is high praise.


    8 January 2009 at 11:27 am

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