_author archive

Safari 4 Beta

02/24/09 :: by Patrick

For those of you who are Apple fans and like to use Safari (I’m still a FireFox man, thank YOU very much), you can download the public beta of Safari 4. Ajaxian has a nice write up of the improvements to the engine. Can you say CSS effects?

Shorpy - 100 Year Old Photo Blog

09/15/08 :: by Patrick

Shorpy is a blog about old photos and what life a hundred years ago was like: How people looked and what they did for a living, back when not having a job usually meant not eating.

Get lost in time perusing these magnificent images depicting life in the first half of the 20th century. Pictured above is Thomas Burgess.

In 1911 Thomas W. Burgess was the second man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours and 35 minutes. It’s not clear if this photo is from that event, but he’s definitely not dressed for recreational swimming. Burgess also swam for Great Britain in the 1900 Summer Olympics. George Grantham Bain Collection.

Via SimpleBits.

Multiple File Uploader with Dojo and Flash

09/04/08 :: by Patrick

Came across this multiple file uploader via Ajaxian. I had been impressed with Flash file uploads from a presentation I saw this year at SXSWi by Jay Boutelle of Slidehare fame. Seems to work much more smoothly and seamlessly than the Java applets I’ve played with in the past.

If you don’t want to peruse the gory details, you can skip straight to the demo.

Watch the Road

09/02/08 :: by Patrick

The Watch the Road campaign is meant to promote safe driving on the streets of Los Angeles. However, it nearly did the exact opposite for me as I looked up to read the sign while barreling down Fairfax on the way to the Grove to meet friends. Seems I didn’t notice traffic had inexplicably and abruptly come to a grinding halt.

I would have taken a photo, but a) I was a tad distracted and b) as you no doubt are aware, using cell phones while driving is now frowned upon in Los Angeles. So far as I can tell, I am still allowed to eat and read while driving, so I am going to be sure to continue exercising my rights as a motorist.

Brand Recognition?

08/25/08 :: by Patrick

Foxworthy's Finest

While vacationing last week, I ran across this culinary oddity while shopping at a vegetable stand somewhere along California’s central coast. Foxworthy, a noted hunting enthusiast, has apparently branched out from agonizingly quipping game show host and comedian to full fledged meat purveyor.

Alas, I did not purchase the otherworldly meat; I just wasn’t in the mood for jerky right then. I sure could go for some now though…

We’ve come a long way, baby

08/12/08 :: by Patrick

On this date in 1981, the IBM Personal Computer Model 5150 was unveiled to the world. The CPU was a Intel 8088 clocked at a whopping 4.77 MHz coupled with the bowel-shaking memory of 16 kB - 640 kB. Yes friends, a new era of personal computing had dawned.

Since I was only 7 months old at the time, I don’t remember laying eyes on the Orwellian looking machine for the first time, but I do remember playing Oregon Trail on its successors in grade school. Who could forget shoving 5 1/4 inch diskettes into the tower while fending off bouts of dysentery, angry Indians and grazing buffalo? I sure can’t.

Jumpchart

08/04/08 :: by Patrick

Jeffrey Zeldman said it best, “Wireframing AJAX is a bitch.”

Quite frankly, I would boil that down a bit further and simply say wireframing is a bitch. That was until recently, when I began playing around with a sweet-as-saccharin web app called Jumpchart. Imagine the irony as you use a slick web app stuffed to the gills with Ajax functionality to create blissfully simple wireframes!

I’ve created an account for myself, and needless to say I have been impressed. I don’t think it’s necessarily going to replace whatever methods you are currently using (you are wireframing, aren’t you?), but it’s pretty darn handy to be able to export to XHTML and CSS files once your done. I particular like Jumpchart because I can immediately work in HTML, where I feel most comfortable, and create things that visually make sense to me right off the bat. Considering I can barely recall how to make use of a pen or pencil, this is a major advantage to me.

Enough blather - go watch the demos, or better yet, mess about with it and tell me what you think.

Tracking Time Made Even More Fun With Twitter

07/29/08 :: by Patrick

I know how much you like to track your time. I also know how much you like to tweet every heartbeat and breath of your life. Now you can combine two of the world’s previously mutually exclusive activities into one bursting barrel of fun.

Track your time via Twitter in Tempo!

For me however, nothing beats the painstaking process of firing up Netsuite, wrestling with the counter intuitive form controls that disallow me from entering in any useful information, and logging my grief stricken hours of fixing Internet Explorer bugs and handling the desalinization of Fluid’s drinking water.

It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s simply got to do it.

Lorem Ipsum Dolor

03/20/08 :: by Patrick

So long as we are in the habit of demystifying things around here, there is something regarding placeholder copy that I would like to point out: Lorem ipsum dolor is Latin not Greek.

Your first clue to this probably should have been the phrase ‘This is all Greek to me.’ That cute, delightfully antiquated colloquialism derives from the fact that languages such as French, Italian, Spanish and English stem from Latin. Greek, on the other hand, was birthed from the Phoenician alphabet. Hence, when one’s first language is English (or Italian, or Spanish or Occitan) Greek looks like gobbledygook and funny symbols. Why would we insert that as dummy copy for our clients when we know they have a hard enough time wrapping their heads around the fact that people are more than comfortable using the vertical scroll bar to see content below the fold some 13 years after the Word Wide Web’s inception?

Your second tip-off that you were reading Latin and not Greek probably struck when you noted the funny symbols emblazoned on the sweatshirts and non-hysterical catch phrase tee-shirts worn by sorority sisters and fraternity brothers in college. If you didn’t go to college, you’re excused for that one. If you did go to college, you were in frat, and you still make that mistake, I fear for the future of your children.

If you still don’t believe me, you can check out some more facts at lipsum.com. In fact, it even has a Lorem Ipsum generator so you create your own dummy text for your next comp.

Now that you have been enlightened, you can really prove your worth by lambasting someone publicly next time he or she makes this egregious error.

1 Billion Reasons to Feel Uneasy

01/18/08 :: by Patrick

MySQL, the world’s most popular open source database, has been acquired by Sun Microsystems for 1$ billion dollars. Why is this significant? Sun happens to be strategic partners with none other than Oracle. MySQL has been a thorn in Oracle’s side for quite some time because it’s fast, powerful and worst of all, free. So why wouldn’t Oracle just buy MySQL out right? One theory suggests that it would be too obvious to European regulators that Oracle would be out to execute the lil’ database that could. MySQL is based out of Sweden, also noted for its Swedish Bikini Team.

The question is; will MySQL continue to be a high-quality product for salt-of-the-earth web developer types, or will it succumb to the best interests of blood lusting, hundred-dollar-bill-burning-for-fun corporate sycophants?

Fact of the matter is, most times a mega-corporate company buys a product I use, I don’t notice a difference (save for the inundation of 20th Century Fox adds when News Corp bought MySpace).

The one thing I am truly bummed out about is the MySQL was going to go public as MySQL IPO in which I was considering investing in.

Ah well, I guess I will just have to invest in Nesting.com instead.