Archive for July, 2005

An exploration: Chunking using Factor Analysis

I’ve been developing my ideas about chunking as I’ve been writing. My faith that there is structure expressed by facets keeps me believing that there is a way to extract this structure.

Last year I read (most of) The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen J Gould. Aside from being a fantastic book, its last chapter on Factor Analysis has been floating around in my head for quite some time. I think this could be one way to extract the kind of chunks I am looking for.
Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

What to chunk

So in my previous post, I talked about the need for chunking large datasets. The problem I discussed is that it is very difficult to browse large datasets in small enough pieces, and find what you want.

I should mention that in this context, browsing is different from searching. Searching is looking for something very specific (i.e. ‘Desire by U2′) and browsing is when you don’t know exactly what you want, but can narrow it down through a series of small decisions. Browsing is also a more appropriate mechanism for devices, where you don’t want to try typing in a search term on a small keypad with your thumb.

So how do you, at a software level, provide the minimal set of choices to the user to allow them to find what they’re looking for most of the time? This is the core concept behind “chunking.”
Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Chunking large datasets

My wife and I have a collection of about 45G of MP3s. This was a long effort to rip all of our CDs over the course of a few months. All the files are stored on a linux box, but managed with iTunes. This is some 10,000 songs, by many different artists, in many genres.

Recently we purchased a Linksys Wireless Music System so that we could play music in our bedroom. The concept is pretty cool: its a WiFi radio – it uses UPnP to find music collections on your network, and then you can browse and stream them to the radio. It has a remote control and a little LCD display so you don’t even have to think about the fact that these are MP3s off on some Linux box. Good idea, huh? Not quite…
Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments