I am proud to say I have now joined the team of Helium.com and hope that I can live up to their expectations and my own. I think this is an excellent opportunity to grow my skills, expand my knowledge base and learn from people who are on the cutting edge of both web standards and web 2.0. The experience I gain will be invaluable.
This does mean, however, that my posts will become even more infrequent. I know this will disappoint my faithful readers – all 8 of you – but in order for me to achieve my goals I must prioritize my activities.
I hope that if you are a regular reader of my blog, you have – and will continue to get – something useful out of it. Have a happy and safe new year.
I’ve been reading an excellent book recently that I saw on a list of the 5 books every geek should read and wanted to recommend it as the best on the list. It is also one of the few books I would actually recommend that you see the movie first – simply because of how odd the book is. It is the 6 books of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy – better known as the The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide.
Be forewarned that it can be odd and seemingly pointless at times, but if you get it, it can be one of funnier books that you will read. It also has some interesting bits of philosophy in it – mostly poking fun at or exploring the oddity that is life.
I have read 4 of the other books and would recommend them as well. Neuromancer seems to be where they get a lot of the ideas for the Shadowrun books. Ringworld also seems to be an idea well for several other series. Finally, Asimov was always a good science fiction writer.
Enjoy. And remember – don’t panic.
Random Tidbit: It’s always important to remember The Ten Commandments of Web Design.
Sometimes, life likes to come up and kick you in the teeth – figuratively speaking. I recently relocated back to New England from Virginia. Moving from your own apartment to back into a parent’s house is never fun. At all. Add that to the fact that a month ago last Monday I lost Mugsy – my last ferret. This one was not much more fun then the rest. No cancer, but an accident cut her life short and I had to put her down. It’s the hardest decision you can make – especially when the pet is your sole responsibility. I hate doing it, but it’s worse to watch someone you loved for 7 years suffer just so you can have a little more time.
And just like that I have no more ferrets. It’s almost like that old saying (song?) – “this is how the world ends… not with a bang, but with a whimper.” The same day I had to make that decision I went back down to VA to help a friend. And in the process of puppy sitting, she lost her mother dog and 5 of the 6 puppies – and I thought I had it tough. I can’t imagine losing a young, perfectly healthy animal and then most of the reminders of that pet. Unfortunately, with the loss of Mugsy I don’t think I was much help, I just couldn’t process any more grief.
Fortunately, I have a new person in my life that has helped to ease me through these changes. It was sort of ironic, like before she went Mugsy wanted to make sure I was taken care of – like she’d done the past few years.
Not big on dumping out my feelings, especially in a public forum, but with the long absence I felt justification was deserved. I’ll be back to having more web design info, sites and thoughts soon.
Random Tidbit: I wanted to give something web design related. So for those of you who are new to blogging, I stumbled across 2 interesting articles. One talks about 5 ways to build a better blog – content is the key – and the second talks about 21 tips to starting a blog successfully – some good ideas in there I could have used a few months ago. Enjoy.
Because of the craziness of moving back home – including packing, cleaning, etc. – my blog has been, and will probably continue to be, dormant until next week. I should be in MA early in the week and have several posts planned for that time. Until then, those few of you that read my blog regularly, apologies. You can still view my del.icio.us to see what has caught my current interest. The changes to IE have got me excited – I think IE 7 will actually be something worthwhile based upon recent information. With that in mind, two interesting IE links:
IE Blog – you can link to the main blog from here, but this post talks about the fixes coming. Now, hopefully they will make IE 7 a mandatory update so that it won’t take 2-3 years for people to adopt it.
Why IE sucks – a rather humorous blog about one developer’s frustration with the current generation of IE. Some of the challenges he faces I’m sure we all have. Hopefully, IE 7 will shut this blog down – in a good way.
That’s all for now. Thanks for your support.
So scientists, at least I’m assuming he’s a scientist – which could be dangerous, are not reporting that someday we may be able to use nanotechnology to gain immortality. Basically we could use tiny nanobots to do what our body naturally does, except better. It would enable us to avoid “transcription errors” in our DNA – which brings to mind the glitches you get on your computer when you leave mozilla running too long – thereby keeping us young forever as well as fighting most common diseases. It’s a pretty neat idea and I’m in as long as Microsoft and Sony aren’t. Last thing I need is some legacy code or DRM messing with my motor skills and I start spastically slapping myself.
As for Opera, I found a recent article that talks about how designers can edit their pages in real time and see the results using Opera 9.0. I haven’t had a lot of time to use Opera, but from what I have I’m fairly impressed. It has all the good features of Mozilla – including some additional ones built in that are extensions in Mozilla – as well as neat features like zooming and the ability to render the page you’re viewing as a text browser would – great for improving the accessibility of the site you’re designing and/or improving the SEO. The best part is of the 3 major browsers, it’s the fastest I’ve seen. Unfortunately there’s 2 problems. One is probably user error – some of the pages I’ve designed come out a little funky. I believe this to be because Opera renders the box model correctly but also reads some of the IE hacks I use – or vice versa. I did upgrade to 9 and most of this went away, so that’s a good sign. Two is the bigger problem. Only about 2% of the web users out there use it. That’s on average, and if your site or blog is about the web, especially cutting edge web technology, it’s likely much higher. But it’s still disappointing. With IE7 not looking like it’s going to fix many of the major bugs – and no real explanation why not – I almost wish they would just use all that money they’re raking in, buy Opera and plug it into Vista. But that will never happen.
Another interesting stat on that is that 5% of users still use IE5. Which leads me to believe they either can’t afford to upgrade their computer or they live in a cave. I’m hoping for a day that all users will have a CSS2 (or 3) compliant browser and designing will be a lot easier. But, not too easy, sometimes I feel I’m one good copy of Dreamweaver from being obsolete.
Random Tidbit: An interesting story about the PS3 being make or break for Sony. I had a blog recently about my thoughts on this matter. The more I hear about PS3 the more I think I’m not going to buy one. I think I’ve become an Xbox man. Which is very, very depressing when you think about it. I think I’ll just lie and say I own only the Wii…