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A place for thought, progress, and dissent.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It was a good weekend, but...

...if you're towing anything, stay out of the left lane.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Worst Web App Ever.

Doug Hughes discovers the worst web application he's ever seen. It's pretty humorous, and makes me feel better about my apps.

My vote, however, goes to Michigan LearnPort, whom I've had to work with for a client (unfortunately, their app requires an account). Their problem is the evil hides in a pretty package. It was designed to look good, and that's about it. It took me days to figure it out, and I kept thinking I do this for a living!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Summer Goals

Last week, I was asked what my goals were for the summer. I didn't have many good answers at the time so here goes:
  • Pay off my debt. I'll do it, but we'll see how fast. The end of the summer might be pushing it.

  • Learn Ruby. Ruby on Rails is getting a lot of hype right now, and for good reason. Ruby as a language excites me for all sorts of nerdy reasons (true object-orientation!) and Rails seems quite useful. I'm certainly ready to get back into a nice language. Plus I love learning new languages.

  • Boost my level of QA. No more trusting myself. Stuart, this one's for you.

  • Finish my own website. I know this project will consume me, so I'm avoiding starting it.

  • Buy a house. Ha! Just kidding. A house a couple doors down went on the market today, and if I were in a buying position, I'd consider it, not that it's terribly nice. Good rental house.
That's a good list for now and maybe I'll add to it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Insurance Policy

After a small but scary hard drive error last week, I decided to get a new hard drive.

Yesterday, my external 200GB laCie drive (with FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2 ports) arrived. It is reconditioned, so I got a great price, on a fast, huge drive.

laCie is definitely on my good side. I expected it to not include any cables, but it had 4! One for every input above, plus a 6-4pin FireWire cable for good measure. I not only didn't have to buy an expensive cable, but I bolstered my collection! Then, I checked the disk format, and to my delight, it was already Mac formatted (HFS+)! Let's be honest, they know the target market for these drives is the Mac creative user.

No, I can have a bootable backup of my entire hard drive. Before, I had all my really important data backed up between my old Mac and my web space. Finally, my photos, music, and everything else will be safe, and daily updated. Should my drive go down now, the hassle will be minimal.

Yesterday was also the day that Jason's PowerBook decided to die. Fortunately, my giant drive came to the rescue. We retrieved all of his files and he's sending it out for repair tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Designing the Future

If you've never heard of William McDonough or the ideas behind Sustainability, read this short article (Karen: it's from Newsweek, so you'll like it).

McDonough's ideas are phenomenal, and are finally starting to catch on. His book, Cradle to Cradle is also very good if you're interested in reading more. For those of you in Holland, he's the designer behind the Greenhouse Herman Miller factory on 16th Street, and the upcoming Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Correction: I was wrong about the GR Art Museum. Turns out their design was a finalist, but ultimately not selected. Thanks to Kyle Copas, from William McDonough + Partners for setting me straight!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Something Old, Something Else Old

Time to share a couple new sites that are up and running.

Oyez Review - Roosevelt University
I helped KTB with a site for her grad school internship some time this winter (Kate, I think you sill owe me coffee). It has finally been uploaded. I wish I could take credit for the design of the home page but, alas, that was her class. I just took their idea and made it happen. The rest of the site is nothing too exciting, but one cool thing is that the header and the logo at the bottom of each page is a PNG with an alpha channel. This means that the white part is the image and the color is the background showing through (yes, I know the logo looks mangled - it was truly the best graphic I was given). This makes it easy for them to add pages, or change the color - no image editing, just change one line of code!

British Motor Trade Association
This went live a couple weeks ago, but there are still some minor changes to be made. My role here was limited to the member database and private administration pages. Still, a fun site to be a part of.