Timely – Kathy Sierra has a nice blog entry about iPods increasing performance. I treat my PowerBook like a big iPod since it is usually on my lap when I’m programming. I noticed tonight that before the ice skating competition that the Gold medal winner, Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, was warming up with some big headphones like the ones I wear. Here’s an interesting quote from an old interview with her:

“I like to skate to music with a story,” she said. “Something big that I can skate to. If you compare skating to ballet, there’s a story you have to follow in ballet. But in skating, I can tell my own story by performing whatever feels best with the music.”

I do it sort of the opposite. My designs guide my programming and I let the music help me move along – sort of like surfing a sonic wave.