Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: May, 2002

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during May, 2002.

Fri

31

MAY

2002

Friday Feast #11: Blogs, CSS, Design, Usability, Fonts, Computer Injuries, Music, and More

Before I get into today’s Friday Feast, I first must congratulate Jeffrey Zeldman Presents for entering its 8th year online today! Congratulations go to not only the time length but on consistently having some of the finest, most interesting, and most helpful information available anywhere. (Plus Jeffrey does this nearly every weekday and then some!) On to today’s feast: Today’s Friday Feast includes a few recently discovered sites but some of the sites I visit regularly, too, that I just have to mention here and there. Visit the Friday Feast archives for lots more, too! * = one of... (1151 words, 50 links, 3 images)

09:45 am, pdt31 May, 2002

Thu

30

MAY

2002

Recovery Efforts End at World Trade Center

Today marks a major milestone and somber day, too, as the recovery efforts and clean-up at the World Trade Center is officially ended. Trying to identify the missing will continue, though, from the grueling task of nearly 20,000 body parts and DNA. Q&A: 'She Is Still Missing to Us' - A memorial service marks the end of recovery efforts at Ground Zero, but many mourners still seek closure 05/30/2002 MSNBC Ceremony Without Words Ends Recovery Effort at Twin Towers 05/30/2002 New York Times Tonight’s Nightline on ABC, hosted by Ted Koppel, will also cover today’s events and the attacks.... (157 words, 5 links)

03:46 pm, pdt30 May, 2002

Categories: Sept 11 Attacks

30

MAY

2002

Usability - Email and Subject Lines

I heavily rely on incoming email subject lines to quickly scan topics from discussion lists, clients and friends, to later find information, and to provide an at-a-glance overview of the email’s contents. If the subject is non-descriptive, incorrect, or non-existent, it slows me down. In fact, if a subject line is missing, my email program filters are set to dump the message into the trash bin. How about you? Do you rely on email subject lines? Webword’s John Rhodes researched this and overviews his findings and also provides an in depth downloadable report (free). Here are a few key... (187 words, 3 links)

09:59 am, pdt30 May, 2002

Categories: Content, Usability, Web Biz

Wed

29

MAY

2002

WestCiv Announces CSS Program Upgrade

Style Master 2.2 is now available! An important part of this new upgrade is imaginative style sheet templates to help developers quickly create a style sheet and immediately see the results of linking it to a web page. If you already belong to the relatively new and wildly successful CSS discussion list, css-discuss, you know that WestCiv sponsors the list and John Allsopp of WestCiv is one of the list chaperones (along with CSS guru Eric Meyer). Both are regulars there, along with many other helpful CSS experts and newbies alike. Whether you know nothing or are an expert,... (385 words, 9 links)

10:17 am, pdt29 May, 2002

Categories: CSS, Software

Tue

28

MAY

2002

Opera Now Free for Education, Disabled

Opera announced this morning that it will be providing free, registered versions of Opera to educational institutions and the physically challenged. Kudos to Opera for providing their terrific browser free in this way. See their press release below and their site for further details. New global donations program: Opera Gives Back to the Community, Donating Free Registered Versions Oslo, Norway - May 28, 2002 - Opera Software today unveiled its new Global Donations Program, giving registered versions of Opera away for free to organizations for the physically challenged, schools grades kindergarten through the 12th grade, as well as Web... (500 words, 7 links, 1 image)

10:37 am, pdt28 May, 2002

Sun

26

MAY

2002

Music - It Isn’t Easy

Have you ever heard a song on the radio that you really like but can’t quite place the singer(s) or title, wait for the DJ to announce it so you can go buy it, and then they break for commercial so you don’t find out? Well, a song remained elusive to me that way for quite some time. However, this story has a happy ending, thanks to the Internet. While talking with my daughter this morning, the mystery song above came on her radio. Once again the DJ didn’t say what it was (ugh!). My daughter wasn’t sure but... (393 words, 8 links, 1 image)

04:30 pm, pdt26 May, 2002

Fri

24

MAY

2002

Friday Feast #10: Blogs, Google, and Music

Today’s Friday Feast stays on 3 topics, blogs, Google, and music. These are some of my latest finds. But first is a creative approach to recognizing librarians: Why you should fall to your Knees and worship a librarian Erica Olsen explains why librarians matter in a tremendously creative way. Buy your t-shirt today. Blogs dive into mark Mark Pilgrim’s weblog with a mix of personal, technology, blogs, design, accessibility, the Web, and related. Interesting writer and well done. Soapbox @ Woodster Michael Woodruff’s annotated links to articles, tutorials, and info around the Web related to usability, technology, the Web,... (333 words, 16 links)

09:46 am, pdt24 May, 2002

Categories: Friday Feast, Music, Weblogs

Thu

23

MAY

2002

Digital Web’s Latest: All About Independent Publishing

Rock, Paper, Stone: The Biz Stone Guide to Independent Publishing is a well written article exploring independent publishing, including the fine art of weblogging, aka blogging. The author, Biz Stone, covers a variety of publishing tools, why independent publishing can be beneficial, and going beyond blogging, too. Biz Stone is also finishing up a new book on blogging, Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content, New Riders Publishing, scheduled for an August availability. (You can pre-order, too!)... (81 words, 6 links, 1 image)

08:07 am, pdt23 May, 2002

Categories: Books, Content, Design, Weblogs

Wed

22

MAY

2002

Chandra Levy’s Body Found

So many of us have hoped and prayed that Washington intern Chandra Levy would be found alive, despite the odds. I’m speechless and heartbroken to learn that the remains of her body were discovered this morning at Washington, D. C.’s Rock Creek Park. The worst is now confirmed. Living just an hour north of Modesto here in California, her disappearance has been more frequently on the news and followed more closely than elsewhere in the nation, even though her ties to Congressman Gary Condit brought nationwide attention. We all continued to hope and pray for the best. I can’t even imagine... (194 words, 8 links)

02:45 pm, pdt22 May, 2002

Categories: Personal

22

MAY

2002

Latest on LookSmart and Paying for Listings

Danny Sullivan has an informative new article out about LookSmart, published at ClickZ—LookSmart Changes to Cost-Per-Click Listings. Helpful information on the latest.... (26 words, 2 links)

10:11 am, pdt22 May, 2002

Categories: SEO

Tue

21

MAY

2002

The Basics of Database Design

Joel Canfield (aka 'spinhead') has a helpful new tutorial at evolt.org on creating your first database, Beginning Database Design, Part I. Why do you need a database? What’s the difference between a flat spreadsheet and a relational database? What about tables and fields? Joel explains the basics in this introductory tutorial. Well done.... (55 words, 2 links)

08:03 am, pdt21 May, 2002

Categories: Design, Development

21

MAY

2002

CodeBitch Interview at Pixelview

The one and only CodeBitch of MacEdition (and soon to be Dr. CodeBitch!) is the latest interviewee by the head lemur at pixelview. Find out how CodeBitch got on the Web, tools used, and much more. Don’t let the photo fool you. Pixelview now has more than 20 interviews, making for some fascinating reading with quite an assortment of independent designers, writers and others.... (66 words, 6 links)

08:00 am, pdt21 May, 2002

Categories: Design, Internet

Mon

20

MAY

2002

Online Color Palette Help

Often clients have a company logo and a couple of colors that I need to use as the base for a site design or redesign. Nebulus Designs has a fabulous color palette tool that generates palettes to help make life easier. Amazing tool! "How many times have you been designing a web site and struggled to get a good set of matching colors that look good with your background or logo? Well, struggle no more! With Palette Master, you can select a base color and at the click of a button, instantly generate a 42 color palette that is... (137 words, 3 links)

09:32 am, pdt20 May, 2002

Categories: Design, Photoshop

Fri

17

MAY

2002

CSS and Cross-Browser, Cross-Platform Font Sizes: Why I’m Not Using EM Yet

Owen Briggs and I went through similar CSS font size problems this week except with different sites. Mine was quietly and privately on a client site in a test area, though, and he also got more creative than I did with trying to find a fix for still using EM rather than pixels. I tried, sighed, and ended up going back to using pixel sizes for now, even though it’s not my first choice. Thankfully, it’s possible for the user to easily change font sizes in several browsers now, but IE5 for PC doesn’t do so easily, which is... (137 words, 4 links)

09:40 pm, pdt17 May, 2002

17

MAY

2002

New CSS Book by CSS Gurus

Run, don’t walk to your nearest store, whether online or down the street from you, and pick up a copy of the latest CSS book hot off the presses: Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, by Owen Briggs, Steve Champeon, Eric Costello, Matthew Patterson. Yes, I feel that strongly about this one! I had the privilege of being one of the tech reviewers for this fantastic, much needed book, so I know firsthand that it’s a great one. You’ll find so many helpful tips to make your sites easier to build and work cross-browser and cross-platform. I’ll write... (111 words, 4 links, 1 image)

02:12 pm, pdt17 May, 2002

Categories: Books, CSS, Design, Reviews, Standards

17

MAY

2002

Friday Feast #9: Accessibility, CSS, Design, Graphics, Information Architecture, Music, Search Engines, Usability, Writing

Today’s Friday Feast continues with its eclectic mix of links to fascinating sites. See also previous Friday Feasts. Accessibility Web Access @ Fresno State has helpful information, tools, and resources on Web Accessibility, sharing their information on plans and implementation for their site accessibility, including the Section 508 Guidelines. You’ll find explanations of accessibility and the 508 Guidelines, a great Web Accessibility Information Resources section, an online or offline Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (just type in a URL and see how it does!), and more. Book Reviews In this week’s WebReference Newsletter Andy King reviews Vincent Flanders' new book Son... (619 words, 30 links, 1 image)

09:20 am, pdt17 May, 2002

Thu

16

MAY

2002

Star Wars, Spider-man, Buying Movie Tickets Online

Buying movie tickets online has become such a great convenience for my family and me. We can buy movie tickets days in advance, take the printed online receipt with us and walk right past the long line of folks outside buying their tickets. Just inside the lobby door is a booth or table to trade our online printed receipts for the physical theater tickets. Even for the opening day of Spider-man a week or two ago we stood in a short 5-person line for my pre-purchased online confirmation and physical tickets, but that was nothing compared to the line... (291 words, 7 links)

10:09 am, pdt16 May, 2002

Categories: Usability

Wed

15

MAY

2002

Independent Content and Insight: Digital Web Turns Six

Digital Web celebrates its sixth birthday! Nick Finck, creator and Editor in Chief of Digital Web, shares his story and insight about the past six years and Digital Web’s evolution in this week’s new feature, Independent Publishing is Growing Up, A look at Digital Web’s growth and challenges. As both a colleague and a special friend, I’ve had many conversations with Nick about Digital Web, about its evolution, about the day-to-day process, about deadlines, about so much that has gone into it over the years. I’ve seen how much effort he’s put into it, and I’ve also seen how... (225 words, 4 links)

07:07 am, pdt15 May, 2002

Categories: Content

Tue

14

MAY

2002

Don’t Fake Your Markup: Accessibility Issues for CSS

While CSS is a fantastic addition to our tools that can also help improve accessibility, Jim Byrne’s new article will explain some details to watch out for with CSS: CSS accessibility problems: is markup dead? (463 words, 13 links, 3 images)

09:38 am, pdt14 May, 2002

14

MAY

2002

Opera Offers Affiliate Program

Opera is now offering an affiliate program with 15% commission earnings, open to anyone interested in promoting Opera. Here’s their press release and more information. Opera lets users share in its success: New Program Invites Users to Promote Opera and Earn Cash OSLO, Norway - May 14, 2002 - Today, Opera Software launched the Opera Affiliate Program where users earn 15% commission on the sales generated from banners and buttons they have placed on their Web pages promoting the Opera Web browsers. The Opera Affiliate Program is open to anyone who would like to promote Opera. “Opera is not... (366 words, 6 links)

08:14 am, pdt14 May, 2002

Categories: Press Releases

14

MAY

2002

Opera is First Browser to Support Magpie

Opera is now the first browser to support Magpie technology as a commercial solution, providing unique capabilities to Symbian’s smartphones that do not exist on competing platforms such as PocketPC and the Palm OS. While I’m not nearly as knowledgable about this line of technology it’s fascinating reading, especially knowing that this (or similar) technology will somehow impact all of us using cellphones especially. Here’s Opera’s press release about this: Opera proudly flaps its wings: Opera Announces Support for Symbian’s Unique Technology Concept “Magpie” OSLO, Norway - May 14, 2002 - Opera Software today announced that it supports Symbian’s... (634 words, 3 links)

08:11 am, pdt14 May, 2002

Categories: Press Releases

Mon

13

MAY

2002

Homepage Usability, Jakob Nielsen Flavor

Jakob Nielsen has a new top ten list, this time for homepage usability. Some of these points may seem obvious, but we also continue to see so many sites lacking in good usability. Without a solid user-friendly approach, users visiting the site may get lost, may not return, may not understand what your site or company is about, and search engine listings typically won’t be as good either. Nielsen’s Top Ten Guidelines for Homepage Usability can be a good checklist and reminder to make sure we’ve covered some of the basics. The above article’s list comes from his book,... (114 words, 5 links, 1 image)

07:46 am, pdt13 May, 2002

Categories: Usability

Fri

10

MAY

2002

Friday Feast #8: CSS, Search Engines, and Wireless

Today’s Friday Feast has links to some helpful new tips for print and CSS, two new articles by search engine expert Danny Sullivan, and great innovations in wireless development. By the way, if you know of some good sites, please let me know and I’d love to post them for an upcoming Friday Feast. CSS Goodies Here are two new articles on helping you get the handle on CSS and printable pages. They’re both helpful in their own ways. CSS Beyond the Browser by Eric Meyer for this week’s A List Apart. Great help with using CSS for creating... (501 words, 17 links)

11:29 am, pdt10 May, 2002

Wed

8

MAY

2002

Forward Thinking, Flash, Standards, More - Sitepoint’s Interview with Jeffrey Zeldman

I just read the latest article I’m adding to my list of favorites right now: Interview - Jeffrey Zeldman of A List Apart, by Jeremy Wright for SitePoint’s WebmasterBase. Jeffrey shares his views about several important areas for designers and developers in this new interview. While he answers a series of questions, Jeffrey’s provided a window of insight that I especially appreciate reading. He encapsulates the value of thinking forward and what to use to implement that approach while he discusses what’s on the horizon. His sincere account of the advantages and disadvantages of CSS, XHTML, SVG, and Flash... (150 words, 2 links)

02:20 pm, pdt 8 May, 2002

Categories: Design

8

MAY

2002

CSE HTML Validator Adds Another Version Choice

The well-respected CSE HTML Validator now has a Standard version in addition to its Lite and Professional versions. The CSE HTML Validator site explains the differences among the versions so you can choose what best suits your needs. In addition to HTML, CSE HTML Validator also includes support for CSS, Accessibility (WAI), U.S. 508 Guidelines, XHTML, Ruby syntax checking, spell checking, and more. I’ve been using CSE HTML Validator every single day for several years now to check my markup as I work along within HomeSite. CSE integrates into HomeSite and several other programs and also works as a... (176 words, 12 links, 1 image)

10:53 am, pdt 8 May, 2002

Tue

7

MAY

2002

Interview with Australian Type Foundry’s Owner, Wayne Thompson

I recently crossed paths with Wayne Thompson, type designer and owner of Australian Type Foundry. Australian Type Foundry is a new foundry with a wonderfully unique selection of high quality and well designed fonts by its owner, Wayne Thompson, of Newcastle NSW, Australia. In addition to a free font, Spud Italic, some fonts are available for purchase directly at the site and some have links to purchase through ITC Fonts. Prices are quite reasonable (about 2:1 for U.S. currency - averaging 53 U.S. cents to the Aussie dollar). Spud Italic is part of his Spud family of six fonts, a... (1072 words, 19 links, 8 images)

11:00 am, pdt 7 May, 2002

Mon

6

MAY

2002

Photoshop 7’s New Paint Engine

One of the new features to Photoshop 7 is its Paint Engine. David Nagel wrote two reviews for Creative Mac that go into good detail about its features, including screen shots: A Closer Look: Photoshop’s New Paint Engine, and The Photoshop 7 Paint Engine, Part 2. And what does he think overall? Here’s a snippet: “I’ve been working with Photoshop 7 for some time now, and I find it to be the best release of this software to date. It’s fast, streamlined and refined. The new paint engine doesn’t slow it down or get in the way of anything else.... (327 words, 8 links, 1 image)

02:52 pm, pdt 6 May, 2002

Sun

5

MAY

2002

Want to Create a Skyline? Use a Dingbat Font

Easy to do with the free font-o-ville at night dingbat font by Raymond Brekelmans of font-o-ville. Each of the buildings in the sample below is one character. I typed 'hrfotmvc' and then played in Photoshop in a second layer. Type away and create your own skyline with the 35 or so buildings possible. The Font-o-ville site has several other free and distinctive fonts, too, mostly display fonts and more casual fonts, and are available for both Macs and PCs. Graphics Tips Using your imagination with dingbat fonts can mean wonderfully creative images to enhance your site, newsletter, anything you... (194 words, 8 links, 1 image)

01:38 pm, pdt 5 May, 2002

Sat

4

MAY

2002

Weekend Music Diversions at TheMoMI.org

I pleasantly discovered another marvelous site, the Museum of Musical Instruments (TheMoMI.org). It’s been around for about two years now, but I just happened to discover it this past week. Listen While there you can listen (MP3) to current hits or travel back in time to music by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, classical music, Jazz, folk music, every flavor of rock and heavy metal, blues, R&B, hip-hop, reggae, movie and theater soundtracks, and so much more. Listen to TV show music themes from The Howdy Doody Show and Rin Tin Tin to The West Wing. Or hear... (370 words, 2 links)

05:36 pm, pdt 4 May, 2002

Categories: Art, Internet, Music, Research

Fri

3

MAY

2002

Friday Feast #7: Macromedia MX, Findability, Fonts, Design, Book Reviews, Laptops, Browser Stats

The latest Friday Feast continues with a mixed pot of some of the latest around the Web this past week. I also started an archive listing of past Friday Feasts, too. Thanks to the positive feedback, I guess it’s official now—weekly Friday Feasts. (773 words, 27 links, 4 images)

11:09 am, pdt 3 May, 2002

Thu

2

MAY

2002

Inspiration: Turning a 60-year-old negative into a Full Color Photo

John Chapman of JayDax Designs shares the techniques involved in creating a full color printable photo version from a 1939-1944 era negative in his tutorial, Converting old photographs to colour. By the way, although the above tutorial provides instructions using Paint Shop Pro, it’s also possible to do this with Photoshop, of course. What totally amazed me, though, was browsing through Katrin Eismann’s before and after samples at the companion site to her inspiring and helpful book, Photoshop Restoration and Retouching. The tremendously high quality of the restorations is enough inspiration to keep you going for quite awhile. Beautiful... (506 words, 24 links, 3 images)

02:18 pm, pdt 2 May, 2002

Wed

1

MAY

2002

Design and Creativity Influences

All of us are influenced by others in our lives in some way or another. Those we admire we’d love to emulate, and sometimes we’re fortunate enough to have a mentor to show us the ropes and how to climb them. My Mom the Artist My mom majored in art in college and was an exceptionally talented artist. While her drawings were stunning, everything she did and touched became a work of art, too. The flowers she’d pick from the yard were arranged on the table or mantle as if ready for National Geographic’s next cover. She designed and... (593 words, 3 links, 1 image)

07:09 pm, pdt 1 May, 2002

Categories: Art, Design, Graphics, Personal

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Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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