Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: January, 2003

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during January, 2003.

Fri

31

JAN

2003

Friday Feast #35: Semantic Web, Voice Technology, Fonts, Mind Mapping

There have been lots of interesting posts around the Web this week, as usual, including Jakob Nielsen’s latest and the power of mind mapping. Collapsible Text Menus Using Lists for DHTML Menus is a fabulous script, which is a freebie by Dave at gazingus.org. See it in action at Zeldman’s site with the “Toggle externals” in the side navigation. Tim Berners-Lee and the Semantic Web Tim Berners-Lee is writing another book, this time on the Semantic Web. As he told the Washington Post, “Recalling how hard it was for people to understand what the Web was when he crafted... (1423 words, 32 links, 1 image)

11:35 am, pst31 January, 2003

Thu

30

JAN

2003

Old Hard Drives and Sensitive Information

Recently 2 MIT students made headlines with their discovery of thousands of personal records on discarded hard drives they’d bought at swap meets and on the Web. That personal data included over 5,000 credit card numbers, medical histories, sensitive corporate data, and more. It’s not enough to just delete your files or even reformat your hard drive. So what should you do with that old hard drive, and how can you protect your private information? ZDNet has a new article about hard drive data: Ready to toss that old PC? Read this first, by Robert Vamosi. There’s some feedback... (158 words, 5 links)

02:33 pm, pst30 January, 2003

Categories: Technology

Wed

29

JAN

2003

Segway and Blogs

You may have read and heard about Dean Kamen’s latest invention, the Segway Human Transporter (HT), available this March after loads of media coverage for the past year or so. And if you visit amazon.com, you’ve probably seen that it’s already available for pre-purchase. The New York Times Circuits section has a fun and interesting story about Frank Tropea’s adventures with his new Segway in and around Manhattan. Within hours of reading that story, I happened to receive an e-mail from him letting me know about that article (which I’d just read!) and his “news/discussion/blog site called SegwayChat.” That... (199 words, 8 links, 1 image)

06:13 pm, pst29 January, 2003

Categories: Technology, Weblogs

Tue

28

JAN

2003

Shortchanging Information Architecture

How does the Dewey Decimal System relate to web design? Alan K'necht explains that in his new article for Digital Web, Making Cents from Information Architecture. Many of us would agree that it’s important to organize information in an insightful way that allows for ease of use and expandability. Using the Dewey Decimal System and blueprints for a home as helpful analogies, K'necht explains why information architecture matters and why it’s important to begin with information architecture as the base upon which the design is built. In addition to Alan K'necht’s new column, $ and Sense of IT, Digital... (219 words, 4 links)

06:48 pm, pst28 January, 2003

28

JAN

2003

Opera 7 for Windows Released

The final version of Opera 7 for Windows has been released. This new version is a major step forward for DOM support and more. No browser is perfect, but Opera continues to improve, listening to users and developers. Here’s their press release. Faster, smaller, smarter: Opera 7 Ready to Rock the Web Oslo, Norway - Jan 28, 2003 - Opera Software today unleashed the final Opera 7 for Windows, making the latest in Internet technology available for the millions of Web users in need of a better browser. Opera 7 is a substantial upgrade, with code rewritten from the... (1585 words, 5 links)

11:44 am, pst28 January, 2003

Mon

27

JAN

2003

Internet Access Atop Mount Everest?!

Gordon Cook of the Cook Report and Tsering Gyaltsen, the grandson of the only Sherpa to accompany Sir Edmund Hillary on his historic ascent of Mount Everest, happened to meet and strike up a conversation last November. The result: wireless e-mail access at the base camp of Mount Everest is being added just in time for the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s first ascent of this incredibly treacherous mountain. This will also be the highest Internet cafe in the world. The severe temperatures, glaciers, and difficulties of the terrain make this no small feat. Wireless radios with special... (160 words, 5 links)

02:43 pm, pst27 January, 2003

Sun

26

JAN

2003

Internet Worm Hits MS SQL Servers

Microsoft issued the patch last July but some out there didn’t update their servers, according to Sunday’s New York Times and other sources. This worm doesn’t need e-mail to spread. Instead, it spreads directly through network connections, sending out thousands of probes per second, congesting and even halting some Internet data pipelines. Here’s Microsoft’s W32.Slammer information and patch. Follow-up Monday 1-27-2003: It is truly ironic that Microsoft learned firsthand the difficulties of keeping an entire system up-to-date, as some of Microsoft’s own servers were hit by the worm. Well, perhaps this will be an eye-opening experience to help create... (108 words, 4 links)

03:54 pm, pst26 January, 2003

Categories: Internet, Software

Fri

24

JAN

2003

Friday Feast #34: Books, XHTML, DVD, Graphics, Small Biz, Music

Today’s Friday Feast goes all over the place, much like my week went. New Books Andy King’s new book is out, Web Site Optimization, all about optimizing the size and complexity of Web sites. It’s already getting rave reviews. The companion site provides lots of helpful tips and information about the book. Search Engine Visibility is a new book out by SEO expert Shari Thurow. Thurow emphasizes the importance of design and content for the visitors while providing tips for high rankings with search engines and directories. The companion site provides helpful tips and resources, too. More on XHTML... (769 words, 36 links, 3 images)

11:28 am, pst24 January, 2003

Wed

22

JAN

2003

Netdiver Interview with Christopher Schmitt

Carole Guevin of Netdiver.net has a new interview posted, this time with Christopher Schmitt, author, designer, list owner. You’ll learn all about how Christopher got to where he is today, his thoughts about design, the Internet, CSS, working as a team, what makes a good website, and lots more. There’s also plenty of insight and inspiration, such as: “Successful design is when every element is not taking away from the intended message, but adding to it.”... (80 words, 6 links, 1 image)

09:37 am, pst22 January, 2003

Categories: Books, CSS

Tue

21

JAN

2003

This Thursday Online: Typophile Lunchbox

The first Typophile Lunchbox will be held this Thursday at noon PST via the Typophile website’s Chat area. Tamye Riggs of SoTA is the featured guest, and discussions will include SoTA memberships and the relaunch of the new SoTA website. Speaking of Typophile, their site also has wonderful interviews and articles, free online courses about type and type design, an online forum, free desktop pictures and resources, and plenty more. It’s well worth a visit and a bookmark.... (82 words, 6 links)

06:02 pm, pst21 January, 2003

Categories: Typography

Mon

20

JAN

2003

HomeSite Update Available

Macromedia has released a HomeSite 5 update for the full version and HomeSite+. This update has lots of fixes addressed, as outlined in their Release Notes.... (27 words, 4 links)

02:07 pm, pst20 January, 2003

Categories: Software

Fri

17

JAN

2003

Friday Feast #33: XHTML 2 Working Draft and Discussions

If you’ve read some of the design-related weblogs the past week or so, you’ll already know there’s been quite a discussion about the XHTML 2.0 working draft. I’m writing today to invite you to read through these thoughts, check out the working draft, see what you think about it all, and let the HTML working group know what you think via their HTML discussion list. Big Changes Jeffrey Zeldman wrote much of what I was also thinking with his January 14 post, XHTML 2 and all that and his follow-up, More about XHTML 2. Like Jeffrey, I’ve been baffled... (882 words, 25 links)

12:27 pm, pst17 January, 2003

Thu

16

JAN

2003

The Color Around Us

Courtesy of Herman Miller, Experience of Color is a fascinating exploration of how we perceive color, feel color, how cultures influence our ideas about color, how color communicates, and how we can utilize color. Bibliography and stats included. What colors are around you in your office, your home? What colors feel good to you, and what colors do you gravitate toward the most? How does your own taste in color influence the websites you visit or leave? Quite often websites I create for clients utilize existing company logos and colors, some of which I’ve loved and some of which... (475 words, 9 links)

11:15 am, pst16 January, 2003

Categories: Design

Tue

14

JAN

2003

Style Master 3 Released

Westciv has released version 3 of Style Master for Windows XP. According to Maxine Sherrin of Westciv, this new version is “a complete rewrite, incorporating hand-coding tools with the editors that have helped so many take their first style sheet.” Here’s their press release. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Westciv releases Style Master 3, a major upgrade to their CSS editor for Windows XP. http://www.westciv.com/style_master/ January 14, 2003 - Bondi Beach, Australia - Westciv announces Style Master 3, a major upgrade to their popular CSS editor. The dedicated CSS environment now includes a suite of hand coding tools, integrated with the CSS properties... (331 words, 3 links)

07:27 pm, pst14 January, 2003

Mon

13

JAN

2003

Design Inspiration

Last week I wrote about creativity and inspiration. Here are a few inspirational sites: Dan Hill’s recent Adaptive Design Presentation at the Design Council in London. Points & Pixels, An Introduction to Visual Design, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea blackbeltjones.com by Matt Jones. In addition to the interesting weblog, check out the (web design) case studies links near the top left of the page. css/edge by Eric Meyer. Clagnut, weblog by Richard Rutter. Pleasingly warm colors and clean design, in addition to the interesting reading. Click the “Contents” button in the top right corner.... (97 words, 7 links)

09:10 pm, pst13 January, 2003

Categories: CSS, Design, Graphics

Fri

10

JAN

2003

Friday Feast #32: Thinking About Bandwidth, Broadband, Modems, and Surfing

Since my business is Web design and development and I live in the suburbs of a fairly large city you might figure that I’ve had broadband at my office for quite some time now. It was only last year, however, that I went crazy for about a week while jackhammers blasted away on my street to install cables for the upcoming broadband availability. I signed up but the company went bankrupt before mine was installed and thankfully before I’d given them any money, too. Sometime today, though, I’ll have broadband. I’ve only had high speed connections at hotels or... (391 words, 17 links, 2 images)

10:03 am, pst10 January, 2003

Thu

9

JAN

2003

Practical Web Database Design

The above title is actually the name of the new book published by glasshaus, Practical Web Database Design. They’re lucky to have database guru Rudy Limeback as one of the 5 top-notch authors. Rudy has been a major force at Evolt.org and is also quite active with their discussion lists there, especially answering database-related questions and tossing in his silly humor all the time. He’s also part of the team at Digital Web. Written by highly experienced database designers Chris Auld, Allan Kent, Rudy Limeback, Nigel Stanger, and Thearon Willis, this new database design book will introduce people to... (124 words, 7 links, 1 image)

01:09 pm, pst 9 January, 2003

Categories: Books, Design, Reviews

Wed

8

JAN

2003

Digitizing Family and Historic Photos

Did you know that there’s Internet access to nearly half of the Library of Congress’s 13.6-million-plus images from its Prints and Photographs collection? Just imagine—Ansel Adams' World War II photographs, Mathew Brady’s Civil War photos! What a mind-boggling digitizing project and also an incredible opportunity for the world to see them. I learned those tidbits from First Monday’s new article, Digitizing Old Photographs for the Web by Ruth Garner, Mark Gillingham, and Yong Zhao, one of the many fascinating articles in First Monday’s January issue. They’re finding how digitizing old photographs is changing our interaction with photos... (295 words, 5 links)

12:32 pm, pst 8 January, 2003

8

JAN

2003

Gender Differences in Computers, IT Higher Education

First Monday found fascinating results from its recent study on gender differences with IT learning in higher education. Of special interest was students' attitudes towards IT, their goals with learning to use new technologies, and their level of computer skills. Here we are once again with Mars and Venus differences. I found the results absolutely fascinating. The report provides descriptive documentation and charts and a helpful bibliography. “This study uses surveys, both direct and online, of students in universities and colleges to explore whether gender is a critical variable in understanding what is labelled as user-friendly computer instruction and... (146 words, 4 links)

11:15 am, pst 8 January, 2003

Categories: Technology

Mon

6

JAN

2003

January WPDFD: CSS, Vertical Centering, JavaScript, and More

Many of us learned how to vertically center layouts using table formatting; however, there isn’t an equivalent valign with CSS. Joe Gillespie starts off the new year with an easy-to-understand tutorial Vertical Centring with CSS as January’s Top Tip at his exceptional Web Page Design for Designers (WPDFD) site. Not to be missed is Scripting the Box, this month’s WPDFD Feature article, explaining how to add JavaScript to CSS for practical and useful rollover possibilities. Joe’s approach doesn’t require browser sniffing, either. You’ll also find insightful reviews of two of my favorite CSS books, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content... (201 words, 7 links, 2 images)

05:53 pm, pst 6 January, 2003

Fri

3

JAN

2003

Friday Feast #31: Fostering Creativity, Standards, Independent Projects

The past few weeks while I’ve been on a break I’ve been thinking about goals and possibilities for the coming year. Creativity is a key ingredient in my life, so part of my recent exploration led me to review my bookmarks and find new resources related to creativity, goals, conceptualizing, and related. It’s been a fascinating adventure, so today’s Friday Feast is dedicated to creativity. (1549 words, 33 links, 3 images)

04:30 pm, pst 3 January, 2003

Thu

2

JAN

2003

Finding More TopStyle Features

One of the advantages of an HTML/XHTML editing tool is its handy automations combined with its hands-on markup approach. HomeSite’s capability of saving snippets to drag and drop onto a page is a tool I’ve depended on for several years. Now that I’ve been doing nearly all my HTML/XHTML lately with TopStyle, one of my many picky requirements is a similar snippets feature. TopStyle has a Clip Library feature that even surpasses HomeSite’s already excellent snippets tool, though. In addition to saving your much-loved snippets for re-use, TopStyle’s version 3 added fully customizable "Replacement Tokens" and a Quick Insert feature to its snippet area, known in TopStyle as the "Clip Library." (683 words, 6 links, 1 image)

02:14 pm, pst 2 January, 2003

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