Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Archives by Month: December, 2000

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during December, 2000.

Sat

30

DEC

2000

iBOT: The first FireWire Web cam

CNN reports the first FireWire Web cam demonstrated for Macworld. The iBOT shows near digital-video performance, thanks to its use of FireWire rather than USB, the technology used by most other cams. FireWire can support a sustained data transfer rate of up to 50MB a second, while USB can only manage 1.5MB a second. This bandwidth boost is what allows the iBOT to blow away the average Web cams by six or so frames a second at large image sizes. (349 words, 4 links)

12:11 am, pst30 December, 2000

Categories: Reviews, Technology

Thu

28

DEC

2000

Follow-up to 12/25/2000 column

Just 3 days after I published my column here revisiting weblogs the New York Times came out with a great article. You can check out today’s NY Times (12/28/2000) all about weblogs, what they are, history, some good weblogs, link portals, etc. Well done article. Invasion of the 'Blog': A Parallel Web of Personal Journals, by David F. Gallagher. (If you’re not already registered at the NYT site, it’s free, by the way.) What’s it all about, Bloggie? A revisit of 'What’s the craze all about with Blogs? Or is it crazy?', Brainstorms & Raves... (98 words, 4 links)

11:08 pm, pst28 December, 2000

Categories: Weblogs

Wed

27

DEC

2000

The Tyranny of Standards....huh?

After spending the afternoon and evening in the nearby hospital’s Emergency Room with my 82-year-old dad who’s had his 2nd heart attack in only 2 weeks (although he’ll insist he’s only had some chest pain!), I came home to get some much needed rest. My plan was to quickly scan my email and then relax by leisurely reading Zeldman’s latest column. I was unpleasantly surprised, however, to find some 'dramatic reading,' as Zeldman so tactfully states:"An article at O'Reilly.net confuses support for baseline web standards like CSS-1 and the DOM with an 'attack' on innovation by an angry 'lynch... (160 words, 5 links)

01:09 am, pst27 December, 2000

Mon

25

DEC

2000

What’s it all about, Bloggie? A revisit of What’s the craze all about with Blogs? Or is it crazy?

The lyrics to Hal David’s and Burt Bacharach’s Alfie, "What’s it all about, Alfie...." (lyrics below) come to mind, as I genuinely wish to understand what’s behind many of the blogs I see. Several times now in the past month I’ve scanned through some of the weblog directories to see what’s out there, exploring to find something interesting, or hoping to stumble upon some captivating, earth-shattering tidbit. There are many that share such helpful resources and information, others that share thoughts about the news or latest happenings, and others that share very personal information about their lives. Brainstorms & Raves... (1299 words, 17 links)

08:11 pm, pst25 December, 2000

Categories: Weblogs

Fri

22

DEC

2000

Lists of Best and Worst of the Year

Interested in seeing what ranks as the best of the year (software, products, web....), read some outrageously funny satirical slants on this year’s news ("Missing Los Alamos Hard Drives Found On Ebay"), or predictions for the new year? Friday’s Tips & Tidbits at WebsiteTips.com (also by SKDesigns) provides annotated links to some of the best and worst of the year, reviews around the Web, humorous satires, predictions for the new year, and more. This list will continue to be updated as more pops up around the Internet, too.... (89 words, 2 links)

12:47 pm, pst22 December, 2000

Categories: Internet

Tue

19

DEC

2000

Passion and Labors of Love

Bob Stein, the man behind VisiBone, loves to make things to help people. It’s his deep passion. That comes through loud and clear if you set your eyes on his color charts, mousepads, and now his new HTML card. When your alarm goes off in the morning, are you excited to start the new day? Do you drag out of bed only because you have to go to work to keep the roof over your head? Or do you feel something between those two? One of my favorite questions to ask people is this: "If money wasn’t even a... (480 words, 6 links)

12:13 am, pst19 December, 2000

Categories: Design

Sun

17

DEC

2000

Inspiration: Icons, Their Designers and Web Sites

My jaw dropped open when I first stumbled across the Icon Town Web site a few years ago. I quickly became hooked on watching this miniature village grow, with new buildings, homes, factories, and just about everything a real life town would have, but built with tiny graphical icons. This incredibly creative idea was started by Bernd Holzhausen, of Frankfurt, Germany. When I started to explore this fine craft further, I began discovering many incredibly talented, gifted designers of those tiny little icons and other pixel graphics, so often used for navigation, programs and games, desktop icons, and an... (998 words, 54 links, 5 images)

07:44 pm, pst17 December, 2000

Thu

14

DEC

2000

Web Standards Discussion at New Orleans CNET’s Builder.com Live!

Dori Smith just returned from what sounds like a memorable time in New Orleans, as part of the Web Standards Project panel with Jeffrey Zeldman, Glenn Davis, and Tim Bray. Here’s Macromedia’s coverage at Builder.com about it. (Thanks to Dori Smith’s Backup Brain entry for the link!) Once again, I sigh reading about the web standards issues we face as Web designers. I’d also like to know who Adobe polled when reaching their curious logic about standards and WYSIWYG authoring tools. Here’s an excerpt from the above link about this in particular: "Next, Dori Smith stood up to read... (432 words, 9 links)

02:45 am, pst14 December, 2000

Categories: Standards

Wed

13

DEC

2000

My Second Christmas Without Your Cookies

My mom baked the best holiday cookies, filling the house with those wonderfully luscious smells of the season, with sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, fudge and divinity, and a few new recipes she’d found. The holiday season was my mom’s time to sparkle. She loved cooking, baking, and doing thoughtful things for others. (361 words, 1 link)

10:27 am, pst13 December, 2000

Categories: Personal

Tue

12

DEC

2000

Can Usability and Design be Friends?

Strong feelings abound regarding usability and design, especially in discussions that mention or include Jakob Nielsen. Nielsen’s July 23rd Alertbox issue declared, "End of Web Design Websites must tone down their individual appearance and distinct design in all ways: visual design terminology and labeling interaction design and workflow information architecture These changes are driven by four different trends that all lead to the same conclusion: 1. Jakob’s Law of the Internet User Experience... 2. Mobile Internet... 3. Network Computing... 4. Syndicated Content and Services..." [For brevity I have not included ALL the text here. I encourage reading Nielsen’s article... (973 words, 10 links)

05:15 am, pst12 December, 2000

Categories: Design, Usability

Sun

10

DEC

2000

Inspiration from a broken stamp machine?

Inspiration can often come from the most unexpected places and play out in a series of events that can boggle one’s mind. Zeldman’s The best $13 I ever spent is a great reminder of that.... (36 words, 2 links)

11:37 pm, pst10 December, 2000

Categories: Design

10

DEC

2000

Fire and Rain, James Taylor

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought, baby, that I’d see you one more time... As his guitar begins to send its sonorous, captivating chords through the airwaves and into my entire being, I can feel his music reaching right into my soul and tugging on my heart, flashing memories and feelings wider than the rainbow. As James states, (289 words, 6 links, 1 image)

12:43 pm, pst10 December, 2000

Categories: Music, Reviews

Sat

9

DEC

2000

The Speckled Piano

I was a tiny little toddler, crawling up onto the shiny round mahogany piano stool that invited me to play the piano in front of it. This was no ordinary piano. My mom had longed for a piano, and my parents came across a studio upright that had been somewhat scorched in a fire. They bought it for next to nothing, and my dad proceeded to apply some kind of speckled paint to its exterior to cover up its fire scars. I can still see it vividly in my mind, its grayish white color with speckles of black, gray... (945 words, 8 links, 2 images)

01:02 am, pst 9 December, 2000

Categories: Music, Personal

Fri

8

DEC

2000

John Lennon’s Imagine, Pearl Harbor: Give Peace a Chance

John Lennon’s death was 20 years ago today already. Yesterday was the WW II anniversary of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack 59 years ago already. I thought of trying to write what it feels like inside to think about John Lennon’s murder or the visions that flash through my mind of WW II and any other fighting and killing. I ache all over thinking about all this, still vividly remembering how shattered I felt and how shattered the world felt when John Lennon was shot and killed. Multiply that by all those who died in WW II. There really are... (381 words, 7 links, 1 image)

05:58 pm, pst 8 December, 2000

Categories: Music, Personal, Politics

8

DEC

2000

What’s the craze All About with Blogs? Or is it crazy?

Why blog? Some blogs reveal incredibly intimate details of personal lives for the whole world to read if they wish. Others are business-oriented, sharing ideas. Still others are somewhere in between. Many are dull and boring, and many are fascinating reading. Where mine will fall amidst the above will be discovered as this new concept jells in my mind and flows out on the page. So why is blogging so popular right now? What’s the big deal? One person wrote that it’s therapeutic to write. Another wrote that it’s fun to read what’s going on with others as a... (434 words, 11 links)

12:55 pm, pst 8 December, 2000

Categories: Content, Software, Weblogs

Thu

7

DEC

2000

Blackouts, Brownouts, Energy Crisis in California

Geez!! Rolling blackouts are to begin IMMEDIATELY here. We have a cold storm front on the way, too, which is anticipated to really wreak havoc with this energy crunch. Ironically, people are complaining about having to cut back on their use of Christmas lights. Gimme a break. We won’t be notified at all when we’ll each have our turn at the blackout due to bad guys taking advantage of alarms turned off, etc. So I sit here prepared for whenever. I’m glad I still have firewood stacked up. What’s absurd is that there’s a problem here at all. Apparently... (172 words, 2 links)

11:52 am, pst 7 December, 2000

Categories: Politics

7

DEC

2000

Opera....and Speaking of Standards

The Opera 5.0 Web browser was released a couple of days ago. The good news is that there’s now a free version. The potential negative is that the cost of 'free' means ads in the browser window. Registered users of the Windows 4.0 version get a free upgrade without ads, or you can purchase Opera 5.0 (without ads) for US$39. (235 words, 7 links, 1 image)

10:20 am, pst 7 December, 2000

7

DEC

2000

First Post!

I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and try out Blogger after reading so many interesting ones the past several months. No guarantees that this will be brilliant or even interesting, but it certainly will be an interesting adventure. Journeys....... (42 words, 1 link)

09:24 am, pst 7 December, 2000

Categories: Colophon, Content, Weblogs

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