Archive for October, 2002

October 31, 2002

Walking around Salem tonight was completely insane. Costumes everywhere. The photo on the right only captures the top half of the guy’s costume. It was literally 15 feet tall, and his wife had a matching one — where she was a creepy dinasaur looking thing breaking out of an egg shell. Halloween in Salem. Starting tomorrow it’ll be a lot quieter around here.

The murder of Jam Master Jay is just so sad. I can remember Run DMC being the soundtrack to my break dancing days while growing up in Vermont (yes, break dancing in Vermont… I know). They’re regarded as the Beatles of rap — and rightly so.

Maybe BeOS has a future afterall (sort of). The Register reports that Palm OS 6 will be based on BeOS (which they bought last year) and will be released in 2003. I could see Be working wonderfully on a handheld — and you have a whole separate pool of developers that (maybe?) would want to develop again for Palm OS. Interesting. (via shacker)

October 30, 2002

A couple of weblogs to note: What Do I Know is one I just stumbled on (a nice XHTML / CSS layout), and dollarshort.org, the recently redesigned site of Moveable Type‘s Mena Trott (also using XHTML).

Yahoo! has decided to move its server-side scripting tasks to PHP. Makes perfect sense — a language that’s so easy to learn and use. This is big for the PHP world.

Palm’s new Tungsten T handheld looks pretty slick — the slide-out Graffiti area was a great idea. Plus it’s got Bluetooth.

October 29, 2002

I made some changes to the CSS — you made need to force-reload if the navigation buttons look wacky. The change made the hover on the buttons work for Netscape 7 and Mozilla, as well as cutting a bunch of unnecessary div tags and CSS code.

Salon:

“If you visit Salem today, you’ll find a town so intent on using witch-oriented tourism to revive its faltering economy that it has enlisted such wax-museum-style attractions as Dracula’s Castle, the Vampire Vortex and Boris Karloff’s Witch Mansion, all of which … owe more to Hollywood than to historical New England.”

This is all true of course — but that’s the bummer about Salem, MA. No one realizes what the town offers for the other 11 months out of the year. The town economy looks to be getting better within the past year though. More non witch-related businesses, restaraunts, a brand new museum, improved waterfront, etc.

October 28, 2002

I am living proof that mp3s can help album sales. I was able to hear the latest offerings from Tahiti 80 (Wallpaper for the Soul) and the Apples in Stereo (Velocity of Sound ) via mp3, and now I’m ready to buy both. Why? Well, I like to have the real thing in front of me while I listen — liner notes, album art/packaging, lyrics, production notes, etc. Having only the mp3 just doesn’t cut it, as if it’s not complete.

Both of the previously mentioned new albums are fantastic — the Apples’ releasing a fuzzed out, almost punkish, but extremely catchy disc. Probably their best yet. It’s nice when you’d expect a band like them to get more experimental as they age put out something so direct and raw.

Tahiti 80 is one of the better live bands out there — their new one is growing on me. More mellow, and more layered. More on them later…

October 27, 2002

Zeldman redesigns using pure XHTML/CSS. In his post today, I think he hits the nail on the head with regards to Web design: “… we are interested in facilitating ease of use — within an appropriately branded environment that looks good and loads fast.” And further “… For us, the labor of design consists in the proportioning and positioning of only those elements that are needed.” Right on.

October 23, 2002

Wired: “… But Shannon Okey has one of the more off-the-wall vehicle theft stories: Someone broke into her car to steal her Apple window sticker.”

Went out to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night — a great movie. Just one of the those feel-good films that flows right though the whole thing. We snuck sandwiches in for dinner. Eating a sandwich in the dark proves to be a little trying. What would’ve been better is if we each had a huge bowl of spaghetti. That would’ve worked.

October 22, 2002

The World RPS Society is dedicated to the promotion of Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes. We feel that conserving the roots of RPS is essential for the growth and development of the game and the players.” You have to see this to believe it.

I have an ongoing addiction to using light grays. It was high time I added a little color around here. Text sizing has been moved to the top right of each page. Boy do I love XHTML/CSS layouts.

Last Friday, I went to see the politically charged Billy Bragg at the Somerville Theater. I felt as if I had attended a rally. It was a great show though — just him and and electric guitar (occasionally backed by organ — a guy that used to play with the Faces). Normally I don’t tend to like the in-between song banter, but Bragg is a smart and funny guy.

October 20, 2002

In the spirit of the recent Wired News redesign, I decided to convert this site to a pure, validating, XHTML/CSS layout. It was a bit of work, but the benefits are enormous. It was a good excercise for me to figure out how it all works — and why it works. There’s still a bit more to clean up, but most of the site should keep validating.

After months of reading about how XHTML and CSS presentation is super cool, I still wasn’t 100% convinced — then Wired came out with their redesign. Here is the first major site to dive head first into Web standards, taking a chance that their users and other sites will follow.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, there’s not a single table in the layout now — this cuts the code down by at least half — thus a noticeable added speed. Complicated nested tables do nothing but hog bandwidth. I, along with others, got used to banging out crazy nested tables to achieve virtually any type of template. It worked, but it’s a complete mess to maintain — not to mention unbearably slow on most browsers. And now, changing the look and feel of an entire site can be done extremely fast by updating a few css files. Older browsers can still view XHTML documents, just not styled the same way — more of a stripped down version of the site. This is probably the hardest thing to come to grips with — the fact that not everyone will be seeing the same exact layout. But, this is fine, and there’s even a message at the top telling them to keep technology moving forward — and UPGRADE. People should not be using 4 year-old browsers.

The time is now… the snowball effect has begun. OK I’m done evangelizing.