Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category


Friday, December 3rd, 2010

I use Explorer to browse.

No, I’m not talking about the internet. Explorer.exe is the file browser that comes with Windows, and which manages your taskbar and other windows. If you’re a Windows user, you use it every day whenever you open a folder. Mac and Linux have their own file browsers, as do different operating systems on different CPU architectures.

Anyway, I’ve recently noticed that I browse differently than other people do. I open My Computer (or whichever folder on my desktop), then click through the folders leading to my destination. I know the file structure intimately, and can tell you where certain files are. When I get to the files I want (executables, text, web pages, program code, whatever), I execute them, view them, zip them, or open them in a program. Any time I’m working with files, I’ll be in that directory. Any time I want to move or copy files, I’ll have both directories open.

Lately, I’ve been helping students who focus on the programs themselves and use the ‘Open…’ dialogue to open files. It’s a completely different way of thinking that drives me silly, especially when they eventually need to browse through folders. Especially in crappier (i.e. Java-based) programs with a miserly Open dialogue that doesn’t let you copy or move files, or select more than one file,or right-click on files.

It’s just one of those differences that you never notice until you meet it.

EA Schedule

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Just in case any Red River College students are reading this, I figured I’ll post my schedule here.

My email is similar to the other instructors’.


Friday, June 25th, 2010

This is my current Christmas List, updated as of October 19, 2010.

  1. Hyperactivitypography is pure type candy, and I want need it.
  2. Wacom Bamboo Pen+Touch looks to be smaller, sleeker, and better overall than my old Graphire. I want pen and touch, even though the one-or-the-other packages cost less. You can get a Pen+Touch on sale for $80, if you keep your eyes open.
  3. Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which is awesome.
  4. Hard-Boiled Web Design, by Andy “Malarkey” Clarke, which has a limited run of 2500 prints. This is going to be the best book on this subject all year.
  5. Mots d’Heures: Gousses, Rames is Mother Goose rhymes transliterated to pseudo-French.
  6. Kingston DataTraveller Ultimate 3.0 flash drive, 32GB (or 16, I guess). Follow the links to Amazon or NewEgg.
  7. I’d really love a 160-lumen version of the flashlight I have now, but it seems nearly impossible to find something like that.
  8. Windy31 USB Router is actually more of a ‘maybe’ item for me, but I’ll include it here anyway.

Redesigns Pending!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Wow, this design is getting a bit musty. I coded it up sometime last year, probably more than nine months ago. That was before I’d really fallen into typography, so almost every scrap of text on this site is rather… default.

You know how redesigns go. Look forward to my newest iteration in about a year.

I’m also redesigning the website for The Embroidery House. Admittedly, it’s a bit crappy, right now, and somewhat unfinished.
The site was built on a set of styles and structures I built back in the early parts of 2009, when I had no clue what I was doing. I had managed to improve a few pieces of it, but it’s still large and bloated and clunky.

Layout aside, I realized the site also lacked any sort of real design philosophy—for example, keeping links out of the way by creating bands of darker and lighter colours to hide a portion of the page from scanning eyes.
I’m reading more about content strategy, thinking about design principles, and experimenting with ways to collapse much of the page structure into a few different files. I’m going to implement more speedy features, like asynchronous script loading and cache-control headers. I’ve also been meaning to try some @media queries.

I’ve found myself with an emerging frame of mind: Everything needs to be alive. The moment something you create stands still, it’s dead, and will eventually decay. Everything needs constant upkeep, and the eventual overhaul, so that it stays fresh for as long as possible.

There is no such thing as perfection. A beautiful, functional design is only as good as the spirit of the times, and will quickly feel dated. The closer you get to fashion, the easier it is for something to fall behind on the trends. Design is particularly susceptible to this quick aging.

And so: redesign. And redesign, and redesign. Keep everything sparkling, and it’ll remain in the here-and-now.

Gross People

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
hey man great post, if you get more than 500 hits per day, maybe we can link to each other or something, drop me an email.

It looks like a real blog, too. Ugh.

There’s a distinction between open-source, open-web developers and web-molesting money-makers. I’m one, and not the other.

I know I come across as prudish by posting this, but it’s just such a clash of personal ethics. He’d inconvenience other people for his own gain.

Web Standards Day

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

November 30th is National Web-Standards Day. The garment of choice is a blue toque/beanie, like the so-called Godfather of Web-Standards, Jeffrey Zeldman, used to wear.

(I haven’t seen any pictures of him wearing a toque in recent years.)

In the days leading up to the event, everyone has been adding toques to their Twitter avatars. I ended up with this snapshot in TweetDeck:
Everyone's Twitter avatar has a blue beanie.

Perfect Pitch

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Jeremy Keith had a strange run in with a DCMA complaint on a discussion site he runs, in the thread titled Perfect Pitch. It’s certainly odd, because there was no material from the site that was referenced. What’s more, the complaint was filed with Google, so that the thread was dropped from the search index. It might make sense, however, if the owner of that site filed the complaint because it would remove the page from the rankings, as a sort of super-black-hat SEO.

For legal reasons, we’ve excluded from our search results content located at or under the following URL/directory:

This content has been removed from all Google search results.

Cause: Somone has filed a DMCA complaint against your site.

Jeremy talks about it in his journal, on a post called (obviously) Perfect Pitch.

Typography Mug

Saturday, October 10th, 2009