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October 2003 Archive

Blue Ribbon Man

posted by DL Byron on October 28, 2003

Scott sent me the "Pabst Blue Ribbon" photo. He met Blue Ribbon on a recent climbing trip. Blue Ribbon ran the trailer park near a sweet climbing spot, snorted when he laughed, and knocked back a serious amount of lager. He kept the park in good shape and said that he liked to shoot at city limit signs whenever he went on road trips. He also had no use for hip-hop, bling bling, or Al Franken. He didn't mind being called Blue Ribbon.

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More on Panther

posted by DL Byron on October 28, 2003

Installed on an older, 400MHZ imac, Panther runs very well. That gives me another year or so on the machine, which is well worth the price for the OS. The imac doesn't have Quartz, so it doesn't render some of the eye candy, but ok, I can see that on the laptop. I just noticed that you can tab through the windows in expose' and if you hold the shift key down, the windows will slow-mo. Also, with command-tab to launch the keyboard application switcher, you can mouse click the icons.

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Panther installed

posted by DL Byron on October 25, 2003

Panther is installed and running well. The features are really impressive and there's lots of nuances to the user interface that makes it much more pleasant to use. It feels more relaxed, less rushed, more polished. Two things I've noticed is that the other logon (to get to root) is missing and when I chose graphite as my window option, the finder ignored it. For a good feature walkthrough, check Dive Into OSX/Panther

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Free Wifi

posted by DL Byron on October 23, 2003

Computerworld reports that businesses are finally realizing that free WiFi has a great return on investment. An Ars Technica forum furthers the discussion. During our vacation, we enjoyed free wired broadband access in the hotel room and free wifi in the lobby. Wifi should be like a television in a lobby or airport. Cometa Networks has rapidly set up hotspots all over the Seattle area, but I don't want the hassle of signing up, picking a plan, using the service, blah, blah. Just give me the access and I'll be happy. NYCWireless offers free wireless throughout the city and downtown associates elsewhere are offering free access. Others should follow their lead.

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Yet another 3-D app

posted by DL Byron on October 22, 2003

Back from vacation, caught up on email, and reading the news, I was surprised by Adobe's new 3-D app. Yet another 3-D app that will most likely languish. We've had VRML, Cosmo, and Swift 3-D. Adobe offers it for one browser on one platform and it requires a plugin. Do we need another plugin?

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Chillin with the Lizard

posted by DL Byron on October 16, 2003

Yesterday I was booked to lecture at Thunderlizard's next Web Design World in San Francisco, February 18, 19, 20 2004. I'll present an updated version of Stephen Hawking and me.

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The Griswolds

posted by DL Byron on October 16, 2003

We're off on a Griswold-style family vacation to Disneyland. The kids are thrilled and I agreed to go, if I didn't have to ride it's a small world. It traumatized me as a child and I vowed never to do it again. Now, I'm sure our kids will love it. Check theme park insider for good information on planning your trip.

I google searched for other victims of it's a small world and found none, but did click to this nice little site about a boy and his mom.

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as the blood drains from

posted by DL Byron on October 16, 2003

as the blood drains from my head i slowly rise. i covet. i covet her and her seminal beauty.

Ease of Finding your way

posted by DL Byron on October 13, 2003

Schiphol is the Amsterdam airport and the signage at the airport is a solid example of modern, international public information architecture and interface. Schipol has won top honors for the "Ease of Finding Your Way." When disussing an International-Compliant Style, Owen referred to it as Schiphol. In the IC-Style, the W3C's web language is being used as a tool for international public information. So, the IC-Style web is like Schiphol: open, accessible, clean, slick and minimal. For more on Schiphol, link to

http://www.mijksenaar.com/news/cnt_news.html - Sep 26 entry



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IC-Style, Schiphol and more

posted by DL Byron on October 11, 2003

Fawny.org has started watching the trend of designers and developers who are committed to following official specifications. Fawny calls it the International Compliant Style (IC-Style) and added Clip-n-Seal to the list. As a design trope, IC-Style is an ethical-professional aesthetic as well as a graphical one. The simplest sites often require the most work. We didn’t specifically code towards an IC-Style, but are glad it’s being recognized. It’s just part of our business.

Owen describes it as Schiphol, Cloninger as HTMinimaLism, and Zeldman writes books about Designing with Web Standards.

I explain to my clients that with web standards we can finally design for the web and not print to web. That we’re using the medium for what it is and not trying to make the medium something that it isn’t. Call it minimalist or reductionist, for us, it’s a response to the drum-solo design of the late 90s and back then we coded many drum solos.

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Less than hot and gross

posted by DL Byron on October 10, 2003

Pam was pleased to learn that Cameron's Diaz face is pockmarked and full of acne. She never liked her no-bra wearing attitude and suspected she may not be "all that hot." Phillip Swann lists who looks better on HDTV and who doesn't. Cameron does not, Halle Berry does.

As if that wasn't enough, Big Belch offers the belches of all the stars. Cameron Diaz is not offered, but Sarah Michele Gellar is.

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Props to DKR

posted by DL Byron on October 10, 2003

DKR deserves props for nudging me towards Movable Type (MT) and providing guidance on "what does this tag set do" during the template-coding MT marathon I went on last week.

For years, before this site was called a blog, I just rolled my own code. That worked well, until I also started coding permalinks and xml feeds. That was rather tedious. I'm cool with MT, would dig it more if the formatting tools Win IE users see, worked in Safari, but ok.

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IE changes and almost valid embed code

posted by DL Byron on October 07, 2003

Microsoft details their browser changes in response to their infringement of Eolas' patent. While I cheer for the little guy, I also lament updating code across sites; especially to avoid an IE dialog. Apple has provided instructions to code a workaround, so has Macromedia, and I'm reminded how, a few years ago, Microsoft changed it's code and I had to update Active X for quicktime on hundreds of pages.

The mozilla camp chimes in with numerous comments on this matter and suggests that IE be damned, maybe users will realize there's better browsers out there.

I'll hold on the latest IE workaround, for now, and discuss embedded code that validates. View source on the movie page (right click or ctrl+click and view source) to see how it's coded for QuickTime.

The same code can be used for Flash by changing the mime type

if (navigator.mimeTypes && 

Months ago, when I posted the Flash version of the code to an ALA forum, a debate about its "real" validity started, to which, I responded, "considering all the hacks we use to get standards-based design to work, there's nothing wrong with tricking the validator to ignore the non-valid markup."

Looking at the code for the IE changes workaround, it's using document.write to "trick" the browser into avoiding the pop-up, "click ok" dialog. Add some ending slashes and it's valid xhtml. For those pure-markup people out there, the debate about valid markup will continue and they'll be forced to use it. That is if they care about the IE changes.

Update: Here's a text file with the somewhat valid embed code.

Please note that Safari will render that .txt file and display the movie. If so, view source on it.

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The crew

posted by DL Byron on October 06, 2003

I dig how I set up this new Movable Type blog system for the crew and Pam posts an entry simple titled, "toe." Very good. On that, I can say an ingrown toe nail is a very big deal.

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posted by DL Byron on October 06, 2003

who thought an ingrown toe would be such an ordeal?

ending epiphany

posted by DL Byron on October 06, 2003

the ensilage slowly buries me. i can't move. i can't scream. i see the troll shoveling. he is cursing me and exstill, but sporozoan ignites and the grand viewer wakes. she whispers in the trolls ear. he fades. i am suddenly free. the grand viewer then whispers to me and my mind cracks with pain. the epinephrine burns my arteries. the epiphany is over...

Before I Kill Someone

posted by DL Byron on October 06, 2003

I finally found the most effective approach with the IT service desk. I've just spilled water inside my purse and on documents after crawling behind my computer docking station in and attempt to fix things. I'm behind on a deliverable due today and it seems I'll never finish. So, in despiration I walk to IT and say "come to my desk before I kill someone" That approched worked just fine.

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More MT

posted by DL Byron on October 05, 2003

We just went on an all-weekend, movable type template-writing roll and updated 3 sites, including this one. So, all of our previous posts will need to be incorporated into the new structure. We've moved a few over for now, to fill up the categories and we'll start tweaking code.

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Zach Published

posted by DL Byron on October 05, 2003

David Zach's new site has been published and work for other clients continues. Zach's site is designed with standards, uses a column nav, and a Movable Type blog.

My approach to setting up zach blog was to just start throwing tags into the page and see what worked and it worked! Ironically, Movable Type is well named because setting up all those templates must be as tedious as a movable type press. For Dreeping in the Rain, we just roll our own blog.

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Man in a box

posted by DL Byron on October 03, 2003

I'm fascinated by the surreal news reports of Londoner's reaction to David Blaine's latest stunt. Highlights include:

  • One magazine has taunted him with a hamburger suspended beneath a model helicopter. A Sunday tabloid tried to tease him with a barbecue.
  • "Actually, I came here because my husband and I wanted to make love in front of David Blaine but my husband chickened out, so I just went it alone," Mrs Staff explains
  • Adam Ant made a 1:30am visit to the site of Blaine's meaningless stunt and vowed to keep the universally-mocked illusionist awake and end his tawdry stunt through "the power of punk."

This is London summarizes the reaction, including a steady stream of missles from the crowd, flashing breasts, and laser pointers. Blaine-baiting has become a new national sport in the UK and keepblaineawake.com has written an anti-Blaine manifesto.

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