SeaVis: The Seattle Visualization List and Meetup

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I’ve been running the Seattle visualization meetup since late 2012. We’ve got a Google Group for jobs and announcements and a Meetup group for events. Please join both!

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Big news, new job at IBM… and moved on.

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Updated update: I’m no longer with IBM, and have taken a job in Settle with AWS.

Hello dear readers,

Just a quick note here to mention my new FT gig; I’m now working as a Visualization Expert at IBM’s Center for Advanced Visualization. Part of my role involves continuing to speak at conferences and events as I have been, and various other writing projects. Additionally, I’ll be working on a book for IBM (details TBD), writing some visualization white papers, blog posts, and other materials related to IBM’s visualization projects, and working with the fantastic teams who are devloping IBM’s public visualization tool Many Eyes and their new (unreleased) visualization engine RAVE.

I’m delighted by this new role. As I’ve been ramping up at IBM I haven’t been publishing as much externally, but will be posting links to my writing and presentations here and on twitter (@noahi) as they become available.

Best, Noah

UPDATE: Yes, I’m staying in Seattle.



Thank you Steve Jobs

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Edit: the audio of the speech mentioned below is available as an mp3.

From: Noah Iliinsky
Date: August 26, 2011 11:04:21 AM PDT
To: sjobs@apple.com
Subject: History, inspiration, thanks.

Dear Steve,

Twenty years ago this week, we were in the same room. You were speaking to the incoming class at Reed College, and I was one of those freshmen. I remember you talking about your time at Reed, how you were always hungry, ate Roman Meal because it was filling, and would go to the Hare Krishna temple because they’d feed you (and then you’d all go steal flowers out of yards to sell). You had a friend, maybe a dean, who’d slip you $20 or $50 once in a while when you went for walks.

I was excited to see you that day, because I’d fallen in love with the Macintosh four years earlier, in 1987, when I was 13. It was so clear to me what a superior solution it was, relative to everything else that existed. It was fully as magical then as the iPad is now. I don’t know whether it inspired my passion for excellent design, or resonated with an innate sense that was already there, but that passion has never left me.

(Incidentally, while at Reed, I loved using the NeXT machines, and took a computing class from Richard Crandall. I remember your welcome greeting in the Mail program.)

These days I’m still focused on creating excellent experiences; I consult, lecture, and write (http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/4419) about information visualization, specifically in the domain of helping people learn how to do it well, so they can create successful, efficient, beautiful solutions.

Thank you, Steve, for all that you’ve done for us over the last 30+ years. Not only have you brought amazing designs to the world, and proven to the world that design deeply matters, but your dedication and vision has inspired me (and thousands of other designers) to do excellent work, to strive to continuously create better solutions. I cannot imagine what my life would have looked like without your contributions. Thank you.

Very best wishes, Noah

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How to buy a practical bike

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Last summer I gave a talk at Ignite Seattle on how to buy a practical bike. This is the slide deck for that talk. There’s no audio, but you can gather most of it from the images. The summary is below the presentation.

In general, when shopping for a bike, the best thing you can do is ride several and find one that sings to you. Details of manufacturer and parts are less relevant if you like how the bike feels when you ride it.

  • At a give price point, most new bikes are going to have a similar mix and quality level of parts.
  • Look for a bike where you can get the handlebar at or above the height of the seat when the seat is adjusted to your leg length.
  • Low gears are critical if you live near hills or plan on carrying or pulling loads.
  • You probably want at least 32mm / 1.25″ wide tires. You don’t need a suspension, or knobby offroad tires, or any tread at all, in the city.
  • Your frame should have room for fenders (you can wait until September for those, but shops may install them free if you buy with your new bike).

Key points when buying a practical bicycle



Follow me on Twitter

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For those of you on Twitter, you can find me at @noahi. Please say hi! I tweet about a wider variety of topics than I post about here.

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