Archive for June, 2006

The Riddle of the Tailor and the Software Developer

Orefice LogoWhatever could a tailor and a software developer have in common?

I couldn’t answer that until few months ago, when I started working on a technology innovation project commissioned by a prestigious tailor shop in Cernobbio, Sartoria Orefice, under the scientific coordination of the Centro Volta research center. I wrote a bit about this project in the past updates and now that we’re getting closer to its completion, I have been allowed to write more about it.

Sartoria Orefice is one of the few small enterprises in this high quality market sector, renowned for excellence not only in Italy but also in many countries of the world, so much so that a lot of customers come to Cernobbio from abroad to ask Mr. Lino and his son Cleto, who now runs the business, to create the perfect suit for them.

Back to the initial riddle, I am convinced the most appropriate answer consists in one simple word: Elegance! 🙂

Consider the hard work the tailor, guided only by his experience, make every day with such simple tools as needle and thread. Compare it now with the work I did during the last months with tools only apparently more complicated such as bits and bytes to create a hardware and software system which will make Orefice’s work much more efficient and profitable.

Especially the software part was made to measure, as they say, and the end result is as elegant as a finely handcrafted suit. 😉

They’ll be able to expand their business with this system, in fact the reason they invested in it in the first place is because they strongly believe in its potential.

I was happy to find such great people to work with: Cleto, Lino, their kind staff and Matteo from the Centro Volta. By working side to side with them I had the pleasure to learn some of the secrets of a craftsmanship as old as the hills, and fine-tuned by 5 generations of tailors. This year they’re celebrating 150 years since the first Orefice started the business in 1856.

This project gave me the chance to gain experience in a number of fields, from the development of custom software to the latest videosurvelliance and videoconferencing IP-based hardware, Sony’s products in particular, but, above all, gave me the opportunity to learn to deal with people in the best way, understanding their needs and turning a problem into an efficient working solution.

I’d love to apply this kind of approach to another small localcompany . The staff at the Centro Volta is ready to enroll me again, should someone request their direct assistance in a technology innovation project, maybe along the lines of the IComo initiative.

You could contact me directly if you prefer, while if you need a high quality Made-in-Italy suit now you know who call. 😉

With their new system Cleto and his father will be able to assist you all the way from the choice of the fabric to the finest details of your suit, even if you live on the other side of the globe.

Recently I came across a significant quote by Einstein which inspired me the initial riddle:

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.

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Love Your Cat, Hate Its Litter

LitterKwitterThis is weird… take a deep breath because this is really weird! 🙂

Do you have a cat? Does he live in your house? If so you can’t but love it as you created a special relationship with him since it entered your home and actually took possession of it. 😉

So do I with my cat Willy and if you too have a cat then we have a little problem in common: the litter!

You have to take care of it, keeping it clean, regularly refilling it with new sand and disposing of your pet’s waste since it can’t do that by himself.

And here comes the solution: it’s named Litter Kwitter and it’s meant to gradually train your cat to use the toilet!

Well, I told you this was pretty weird… as weird as a genial solution to a common problem that no one has thought of yet can be.

The idea of the Litter Kwitter came to the australian entrepreneur Jo Lapidge by watching the movie with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, Meet the Parents. In the movie you can see the superb performance of the cat, Mr. Jinks, using De Niro’s toilet.

So Jo designed a system to train a pet to do the same. There are three steps to follow to make him getting used to climb onto the toilet pan, putting the claws in the right position, keeping steady and quietly performing his intimate business.

The three stages are well explained on the Litter Kwitter official website and in the DVD included with the package.

I purchased it since I was amazed by this idea and the advantages resulting from a successful training: no more litter and a bit more hygiene at home!

Cats are smart, you know that very well if you live with one, or even more than one, but they are also creatures of habit, so you should proceed very carefully with this method if you want to obtain a positive result.

Willy is doing well, he’s still at the red stage, almost ready to go to the amber one, and with patience and the right encouragement I think he’ll be fully trained within a few weeks.

Thanks to Jo for her invention then, now I wonder if she’ll come out with a new method to train cats to flush the water toilet also! :mrgreen:

Love your cat, they’re so special.

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