Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Just recently, I've been thinking that I ought to review all the social software and online applications to which I am signed up, and figure out which I am using now that I could replace with improvements, which tools I could have been using but have neglected to do so in any coherent way, and which tools I can just do without - no matter how cool. I'd then like to work out what the unifying themes are with these tools, why and how I actually use them and the benefits they deliver to me.
I suppose a very quick shortlist includes Basecamp, Gmail, Google analytics, Blogger, delicious, and bloglines, but there are ithers - such as PageFlakes - which I use more irregularly, but could see myself using more if I get myself into gear. If anyone else has engaged in a similar review, I'd be interested in hearing the results.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I'm just having a fiddle with Windows Live Writer to post a message to my blog. I have used a Word plug-in occasionally (and have never bothered with emailing in posts - I always figured it would be useful if I had a Blackberry!) but usually stick to logging in directly through Blogger (or Blogger Beta as is the case at the moment).
It hasn't managed to download my styles, but hey - it doesn't matter that much, I'll maybe try again later.
The interface is nice and clean:
It's easy to insert images, and format them.
Technorati tags were easy to drop in (and other tagging providers - Flickr, del.icio.us - are also available).
You can also add in Google Maps and links are easy to drop in (also with "rel" attributes). I'm looking forward to microformat insertion - as I believe that may also be possible. My only negative so far is that they need to add "technorati" and "flickr" into their spell checker index - seems daft that they throw up as mis-spellings when they are used by the application itself.
[UPDATE] When trying to post this message, I was unable to publish it. A little research indicated that you need the latest update for Live Writer to work with Blogger Beta. I've also tried to install the Flickr third-party plug-in which is not working at present, but I'll keep trying with that.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I had decided to return to Pipex, whom I had used for three years or so - and been very satisfied with - while living in Glasgow. Big mistake! The Pipex of 2006 appears to have no relation in customer service to the incarnation I knew and respected.
Initially, they were helpful: Pipex informed me of the LLU marker and sent me off to BT to get it removed. I managed to track down the marker removal service, who told me Pipex needed to request the marker removal. Pipex told me I needed to request it. I begged BT and they very kindly removed it. I contacted Pipex - "no, the marker is still there" came the response. I rang back the next day and was told the marker had gone (joy!) and that in three weeks I would have my adsl.
Oh dear - three weeks later still no broadband, and Pipex told me that they had reassigned the work, but that it would be done in 11 days time. Oh double dear, no broadband in 11 days - apparently the LLU marker had re-appeared. So more phonecalls, with one Pipex employee suggesting that with this issue in place we should not have been sold the service in the first place. Eventually, I was told to go back to BT to get the marker removed again.
Well, reader, I voted with my feet - I called NTL who installed cable, and I'm now set up with a 2Mb connection (admittedly less than the up to 8Mb service from Pipex) within 10 days as opposed to the three months of travails with Pipex. The moral of this story at present - in my own experience - is steer clear of any company advertising itself with David Hasselhoff!!!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
"Imagine if The Great Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury and The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark were all filed under 'T'"
Monday, September 25, 2006
Perhaps I am attuned to it because we have been working with FLEX 1.5 (not 2.0 yet - shame!!!) and the two approaches seem like close cousins. Likewise the controls and effects available seem to ape the core FLEX items.
Anyway, I used the accordian for a wee training package (within the firewall) this week, and it works like a dream. I'm going to fiddle about some more when I get a chance and look at binding to data sources and tabbed interfaces...
Thursday, July 13, 2006
(...and I should add that I prefer better practices as a term (not just "good" and continually improving).)
Sunday, May 28, 2006
First, to the Tate Modern on Friday night for Walter Ruttman's 1927 silent opus, "Berlin, die Sinfonie der Grossstadt" (or "Berlin, Symphony of a great [sic] city" as it seems to be referred to in English) accompanied by DJ Spooky's electrifying mixing. The great thing about the immersive soundtrack from this New York DJ was that it emphasised the modernity of both Berlin in the twenties (my guess is that this was filmed before the period of hyperinflation) and of Ruttman's cutting - all plenty of jump-cuts and Eisenstein-like references to the animal nature of humankind (lions, polar bears, monkeys and fighting dogs in particular). If DJ Spooky is playing this again in your neck of the woods, then I suggest heading along...
On Thursday, I headed to the Framfab offices (formerly "Oyster") in Clerkenwell to hear perhaps the best presentation I've been too at the UK usability professionals association (UKUPA). The presentation was about the artefacts used in medical shift handover in a UK paediatric unit, and was fascinating.
Wednesday was spent at Adobe Live at Olympia - the Web presentation I attended was thoroughly disappointing although Hoss Gifford was entertainingly scatological. As ever the best thing about these events is the opportunity to ask questions about technologies - Adobe 3D, FLEX 2.0, and the ARP framework popped up for me(by the way, if Javier from Tequila is reading this, send me an email - I seem to have list your details!).
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
In my defence, I've been busy beavering away, including looking at standards-based design, frameworks and patterns (both UI patterns and programmmatic patterns) from an efficiency and future-proofing perspective, and I'm pretty surprised at the lack of overall coherency in the online field. Great work like microformats seems to have less of a wow factor than Ajax, even though it is - in my opinion - likely to be a longer-lasting "Web 2.0" (a pointless watchword that I don't like to use - and yes, I know, so is "Ajax", but at least it explains its purpose) effect. Maybe Bil Gates' recent comments may change this situation...
I don't think such wide-ranging platforms would dent creativity in any way - they'd just free information architects, systems architects, developers, usability experts and the like to focus their efforts on the problems that have yet to achieve a commonly-used, well-implemented, easy-to-maintain, efficient an usable solution. I think we're long overdue some more abstraction, and some rallying around a more coherent cause than the nebulous Web 2.0 (much as I love its connectivity sentiments).
Let's put some knowledge management into web development...and next time I promise to think before I start tapping away at the keyboard, as this post has turned out as messy as my blog is looking at present.
Friday, February 24, 2006
The architecting and blueprint metaphors have probably become diluted over the past five years of IA practice as it has carved its own niche, but it's sometimes worth going back to the roots of the term - naming is a political action of choice, after all...
Thursday, February 02, 2006
So, read my lips - blogs are to websites as journals are to books: regular, direct, unmediated communication by individuals or organisations to a relatively unmediated audience. Stop worrying about the concept of "blog", this is just the technical framework that makes this stuff happen, and that helps to tie the communicative and social aspects of "the blog" together. Think about the explosion of newsletters that happened when DTP software hit the desktop - they were still just newsletters (and of very variable quality): blogs are just websites.
This I think is what is bothering journalists, and why there are so many blog-related stories. They aren't grasping that the whole (and I'm going to use an uncool word from dot.com times here) disintermediation aspect is what is important - people becoming regular, read writers (or should I say authors and journalists?). Instead, they are writing articles based on Big Brother psychologists (Honey Langcaster-James) saying:
"Keeping an online diary could prove to be highly rewarding and have psychological and emotional benefits"
Take out the word "online" here, and what changes? The only real difference between being online and offline here is that it is likely that your innermost thoughts may be read by someone. The whole benefit of online diary writing is the construction of a persona, which can remain relatively anonymous if one so chooses - this is the liberating perspective.
As the latest AOL ad campaign in the UK puts it, DISCUSS...
Friday, January 27, 2006
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Dundee, Scotland
- London, England
- Budapest, Hungary
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Savannah, US
- Washington D.C., US
- Charleston, U.S.
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Glasgow, Scotland
- London, England
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Well, that's my pomposity well and truly pricked!
"What's ethnography?...Isn't it just a posh word for sitting around watching people do things?"