A Tribute for Nana

The following was written for Nana (Cynthia Powell), my grandmother’s funeral on October 15th at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Kingston, Jamaica. She was 85. I presented it with my cousins, Craig Melbourne and Anyssa Coverston.

“Nana”, “Cynthia”, “Daphne”, “Mrs. P.” and “Mrs. Powell”, these are all names that are used for our grandmother but also names that I’ve actually used with her playfully. For the longest while she would tell me “you must call me Nana” when I spoke with her on the phone until she eventually gave in and said “Yes, Mr. Small” one day – joining in my fun.

Our grandmother was quite an influential force in our upbringing, teaching us manners and etiquette: fork in the left hand, knife in the right, don’t chew with your mouth open, “please” and “thank you”, “good morning”, elbows off the table and so on. Let me tell you, those little things created some friction at the time but boy they’ve gotten me far. I’m appreciative of having learned those skills and put them into use daily. Continue reading A Tribute for Nana

Weekend Project: TabZolo.co

With the popularity of InboxZero as a movement for being more productive with email and the getting things done methodology, I had an idea that lent itself to being more productive with one’s Internet browsing. It also lent itself to a technical curiosity I had: figuring out how to develop Google Chrome extensions. This is my recap of how TabZolo came to be.

I’m a web developer and use Google Chrome as my default browser like many others. My browsing habits tend to lead me to having multiple tabs open in any given session. Most times these tabs are unrelated to the tab I’m actively looking at, assuming that I’m even actually using my browser at the time as opposed to having it minimized for later. For example, as I write this, I have six other tabs open with one playing an awesome Diplo & Friends mix, another with Gmail open, the InboxZero homepage, etc…Other times, say when casually browsing daily news sources, I’ll end up opening up several tabs after seeing their headlines on previous pages, or links within articles I’m reading. It can get a little crazy at times and just add to my mental list of ToDos when they’re not really that important. What if at the end of your browsing session, you actually completed what you set out to do when you fired up your browser instead of getting sidetracked by secondary content? That’s where the seed idea for TabZolo came about.

Continue reading Weekend Project: TabZolo.co

Upcoming: LaunchKey – The Anti-Password Authentication Solution for Web Apps

As someone with limited patience for login screens and a seemingly endless supply of individual accounts to log into every once in a while I’m pretty much over passwords. Flat out done with them. As an inherently efficient (elegant masking term for ‘lazy’) person, I’m not the type to create the most complex password for each of my online services. Surely many of you will say that password manager solutions exist, namely LastPass – which is a pretty good product – but they only aid in masking the whole user authentication hassle for users in having to keep up with each of their accounts’ credentials. Even if you do take the time to craft that most obscure, secure, anti-h4x0r passwords for your accounts, that’s not a guarantee on their safety. Continue reading Upcoming: LaunchKey – The Anti-Password Authentication Solution for Web Apps

My Favourite Things: @smallcatapp by @chendo

In this internet age there is an abundance of creative minds putting their talents to use in creating tools to improve our everyday lives. Sure, some projects are made to fit less-than-actually-useful purposes but others are pretty novel in what they offer – and often times offer for free. In what I hope will become a series of mine, I introduce to you “My Favourite Things”: an exposé on some of the interesting sites/services/apps I’ve come across and want to pass along. For my introductory post, I’d like to show you small.cat (@smallcatapp) by @chendo. Continue reading My Favourite Things: @smallcatapp by @chendo

Engage Your Career/Industry / How I Got Started

I apologize ahead of time for the anecdotal nature of this post but I just want to share it and possibly motivate others on the outskirts of doing what they really want to do. In short, this a review of how I got started in web development and startup culture in Miami, Florida.

TL;DR: Think you want to get into a particular industry? Reach out to the people in it on a personal level to find out more and get connected. Think it through with your family, friends and those wiser than yourself. It helps.

I didn’t have the cleanest final college separation. Through my own deficiency I was stuck on campus for an extra couple of weeks into the summer following my final semester to finish my senior thesis – the only requirement remaining from my 4-year pitstop in college. Knowing that I was behind, finishing my thesis had been my focus for the entirety of that final Spring semester and of course for those few summer weeks. I had no job prospects lined up after the summer and I could not handle applying and interviewing for them either. I had no prior career-related internships. What employer would want a fresh Computer Science and Philosophy Double Major almost graduate in a software development position without experience? The chances seemed somewhat slim, in my opinion at the time, for actual graduates much less anyone with lesser credentials. Continue reading Engage Your Career/Industry / How I Got Started