• Ira Glickstein's Knols (formerly Google Knols)

Recent Articles

Exercise in Bed – Do Your 4’s!

Some easy exercises you can do in four minutes flat in bed.

Do some easy exercises in bed morning and evening. Energize yourself for the day. Relax yourself for some solid sleep every evening. If you do this every day for 120 years I guarantee you will live long :^)

Build a 6-Foot Chanukah Menorah That Stores Away Small

Here’s an easy project to build a big Chanukah menorah for outdoor or indoor use. It makes use of inexpensive and readily available Holiday lights and standard PVC pipe and fittings that you can buy at any hardware store. It disassembles for compact storage.

How to Keep Your PASSION Alive – Even in Retirement

PASSION (People, Activities, Set Schedule, Interests, Optimism, and Naps) keep me motivated.

There is a danger of “vegging out” in retirement if you are financially secure. Pension and Social Security checks come regularly, investments grow, and so do your waistlines! There is a temptation to sit and watch mindless TV programs, eat rich food and “enjoy life – you earned it!”

Here is an alternative I have found useful. You may too!

Management Span of Control Advisor

What is the best management structure for YOUR project?

Under certain conditions, a multi-level management hierarchy may allow very aggressive schedules to be satisfied. This Knol provides a scientific underpinning, derived from Information and Hierarchy Theory, that allows quantification of Brooks Law which states: “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” It turns out that you CAN set up a multi-level structure for your project with additional personnel to speed project completion. This applies not only to software projects but to any complex engineering or business activity that requires coordination between multiple employees, managers, and departments.

Given this theoretical support, and a FREE Excel spreadsheet advisor, you can compare various management structures to determine how to set up your project to achieve the best combination of cost and schedule, considering the value of getting to market early or avoiding a late penalty.

An easy to use Excel-based tool helps you make the right decisions. It is available for FREE.

Aristotle’s Physics: the Five Elements

How would Aristotle have used computer graphics to depict his ideas about the Five Elements?

Aristotle wrote his Physics and his Meteorology ca. 350 BC. Although they appear primitive by our 21st Century scientific lights, they capture the wisdom of the ages. Aristotle, in his time, may have used diagrams when discussing the Five Elements, but all that survives is his prose. The plain text is inadequate for modern understanding so I created some graphics that explain his concepts more clearly to a contemporary audience.

Visual Acuity Advisor – What Size HDTV or PC?

What is your visual acuity? How to design or buy an HDTV, PC or any other display device.

Do you really neeed 1080p HDTV? What pixel resolution should your PC or laptop have? What font size should you use for presentation charts? For printed documents? Here is all you need to know about choosing the right resolution or font size for any given screen size and viewing distance. And lots more.

A relatively simple Excel-based tool helps you make the right decisions. It is available for FREE.

Quantifying Brooks Mythical Man-Month

“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”

Brooks Law states: “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” This Law is applicable to any task involving lots of people in complex interaction. The only evidence Brooks provides is anecdotal: “Since software construction is complex, the communications overhead is great.” Furthermore, his graph illustrating the perverse “bathtub” relationship between men and months has axes with no numbers on them. No one seriously doubts the general validity of Brooks strange graph but there is something disturbing about a Law that lacks quantification and has no coherent theory to explain why it must be so. This Knol provides a scientific underpinning, derived from Information and Hierarchy Theory, that allows quantification of Brooks Law. Given this theoretical support, it may be possible to determine when adding more software engineers to a project is likely to delay completion rather than speed it.

Aristotle’s Physics: The Four Causes

How would Aristotle have used computer graphics to depict his ideas about the Four Causes?

Aristotle wrote his Physics ca. 350 BC. Although they appear primitive by our 21st Century standards, they capture the wisdom of the ages. Aristotle, in his time, may have used diagrams when discussing the Four Causes, but all that survives is his prose. The plain text is inadequate for modern understanding so I created some graphics that explain his concepts more clearly to a contemporary audience.

Nash Bargain Advisor

John Nash won the 1994 Nobel in Economics for his work on what came to be known as “Nash Equilibrium”, where two or more competing entities “cooperate” (without illegally colluding) to reach a “Nash Bargain”. A Nash Bargain is reached when two or more competitors produce optimal quantities of the same or similar product or service to maximize their own self- interest, assuming others are rational and will do the same. The book and movie “A Beautiful Mind” dramatized Nash’s life story and work.

A relatively simple Excel-based tool helps you calculate a Nash Bargain in a competitive situation. It is available for FREE.

Decision Aiding Tool – Do a Trade Study

Choose the Best out of a set of attractive Alternatives

Buying a house, car, pet or PC? Choosing among alternative courses of action at work? Do you and your spouse or your colleagues differ on which choice to make? Here is how to get everyone involved to “put their cards on the table” and make a rational choice that will best serve your needs.

A relatively simple Excel-based tool helps you make the right decision, including decisions in the face of uncertainty! It is available for FREE.