Month: January 2018

Entering the room of death….

I apologize for the lack of blogging, it’s not for lack of things to talk about. The new job has been eating my brain and by the end of the day, I’ve been mentally tired as I soak everything in and start figuring out where I can be most useful. I’m happy with where things are at and we’re showing some results, so that’s something. I’ve also started a project that’s been on my todo list for a long time, which is I’ve entered (DUM DUM DUUUUUMMMMM) the room of death. Okay, let me explain. We have a spare room here that at one point in its life was where the servers lived when we ran plaid works and other sites out of the back room (this was back in the age of MacOS 8 and the Apple Network Server AIX box, so it was a long time ago). When we moved all of our stuff out to hosted services, the room turned into the “put it here until we get around to deal with it” room. And as the room filled up, it went from being a storage room to a room we simply never opened the door too any more. I’ve long thought to move my office into the room; I like the current location, but it’s open to everything, so even if I don’t mind that...

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Thoughts on Jim Goldstein’s Best of 2017 project

I decided to once again look at all of the submissions to Jim Goldstein’s Best of the Year list to see what I could about trends in the images and in site design for displaying them. I’ve done this two times before, but not for a couple of years. You can take a look at both my 2013 and 2014 studies if you wish. The quality of the images continues to impress, and for the most part, the site design shown was quite good. There are some definite trends I want to point out that caught my eye, but in general the quality of everything is improved from 2014. Please note: These are one person’s opinions and should not be considered as anything more than that. If you find the information useful, use it. If not, follow your own judgement on things. To look at design aspects I took a random sample of 50 of the pages and took a look at a few things: What was used to create it? Were they displaying full images or thumbnails? (Definition: thumbnail < 500px on the wide side) Did they discuss the images or just display them? (Captions don’t count as discussion) Platform: The overwhelming majority of sites are now on some kind of blogging CMS rather than image galleries or sites like Flickr or 500px. WordPress was the dominant platform...

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New Car Smell

Over the weekend, I decided to replace the Beast. I’ve had the 2012 Escape since early 2013, and it’s been one of the best cars I’ve driven, but it was starting to show signs that it was going to cost money. I typically start thinking of replacing a car around 100K miles, and the Beast was at 97,000. Two services ago a minor fluid drip turned into ten days in the shop and a complete rebuild of the transmission (fortunately covered by extended warranty), the most recent visit included the inevitable brake work on the front, and they warned me that it looked like the shocks were next. And now that I’m working again, it seemed a good time to think about the replacement. I’d been trying to sort out exactly what I wanted and needed. While I liked the Escape, it was at times a bit small to haul what I wanted to haul; that was one reason I added the roof box to get some of that out of the trunk area. So my first goal was to get something a bit larger and with more and better storage. I feel like I was really well taken care of by the Ford dealership where I bought the Escape, so my preference was to stick with Ford. The problem is that their Escape is too small, and the...

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A regretful review of Bay Photo Labs

I’ve been using Bay Photo Labs for most of my lab printing for years and I’ve always been happy with them and their work. The one time they had a mistake in an order (I got someone else’s images and I hope they enjoyed mine) they reprinted and resent both orders right away based on my report. And so it’s with a lot of regret that I have to report that I’ve used them for the last time, because they messed up badly over the holidays in a way I just can’t ignore, and while I hate having to write this kind of review, I feel it’s needed so that others are aware of it in case it changes their mind on using them in the future. I did a few special projects over the holidays. One of them was a custom print I created of some artwork my mother had done over the years — about 15 years of hand-painted Christmas cards she sent out to good friends (think about that for a minute: that’s 15 years by 50 cards, each individually printed). When I went through her things I saved copies of every one I could find, and this fall I scanned them in, cleaned them up and collected them into a collage that I sent out to Bay Photo to print, frame and send to my...

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My GoTo IOS Applications (2017 edition)

Here’s a list of the IOS Apps I use regularly and depend on. Over the last couple of years, I’ve shifted some of my tools because I now require that apps that do things that I might want to also do on IOS (or access their data on IOS) both have an IOS App and sync the data. If you can’t do that, you can’t fit into my workflows any more. The more seamless this inter-device and inter-platform experience is, the happier I am (and data reliability is a given, not a feature). You’ll see some crossover between this list and my MacOS list, since being able to access my content on both platforms is a priority to me. On my Application dock Safari Messages Tweetbot: My favorite Twitter client Ulysses: My goto writing and note taking app. All my blogging is done here. Todoist: My Todo list. This keeps my brain organized Braintoss: This one’s fairly new to me devices but solves a need I’d been struggling with. When you start it, it starts recording audio, and you can speak into it and then click a button, and it captures the audio and emails it to you. For capturing quick thoughts at inconvenient moments like when you’re driving, I’ve long wanted a reliable and pain free tool — and this is it. My first screen apps Home...

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