So, I was pulled over for speeding on Colonial Road last night. Maybe I should blame it on the fact that I donâ€™t get to drive my car that often (since I leave it in Mechanicsburg), or perhaps I should just be grateful that Iâ€™m not on a NYC subway this weekend with all of the terror threats going around. Regardless, I was shocked to only get a written warningâ€”not a citation. I later found out that a friend of mine got the same treatment on the same road. The irony to all of this, though, is that Iâ€™m actually more inspired by a warning to not drive as fast, as if Iâ€™m fulfilling some karmic duty. In the end, the experience makes me wonder if this is some reverse psychology technique created by the police. I donâ€™t want to credit them for being so cunning, but with all of the persuasion Iâ€™m studying these days it would be pretty interesting to hear about the police force trying a different approach (and saving me money in the process).
I find myself using Firefox more often now with the release of version 1.5. In the past, Safari was faster (IE isn’t even a consideration) and both rendered CSS fairly effectively. While I’m not happy that Firefox has decided to endorse Apple’s <canvas> tag prior to W3C approval into the XHTML spec, extensions make Firefox leagues ahead in terms of surfing. The incredible Web developer extension by Chris Pedrick is now available for Firefox 1.5. This is worth installing even if you only dabble with XHTML. Now I’m just hoping the get the bookmark synchronizer back…
I don’t. My philosophy is to show the client a design in the browser itself that’s as close to the final design as possible. However, if I was printing up comps, I would probably use Oddlaa’s Vector Safari File. Check it out.
For writing five pages in a rush, Iâ€™m pretty happy with the context. It’s all a work in progress, but the preliminary parts of my thesis project are done and posted on my ITP site. Iâ€™m planning on creating an online community for Pro55essing and/or Flash visual programmers to see if â€œtandem programming,â€ or programming in which people swap and share code, can yield successful results.
While I probably donâ€™t have a huge audience reading this yet, Iâ€™d love to hear from anyone on what they think of the idea. Iâ€™ll be presenting it at Mondayâ€™s ITP Thesis Pub, but the project will be ongoing through the fall (and possibly spring). One of the issues I have is what domain name to purchase…e-mail me if youâ€™re interested in helping me pick.
Based on the recommendation of a friend, I tried out Linotype’s Font Explorer X. It’s better than Mac OS X’s Font Book and ATM, and best of all, it’s free. Check it out.
Last week I did some product shots for one of Matty Sallin’s projects, the WAKE n’ BACON, for an upcoming magazine article (For those of you wondering, it’s the wooden alarm clock to the right, and yes, it really cooks bacon!). I’m happy to report that the bacon smelled good and was cooked to perfection…and to think, the people back home wonder what students do at my school.
Abe Burmeister has just posted some trial podcasts of Clay Shirky’s Social Facts class off of his site (boy, does my voice sound weird to me when I hear it!). Listening to it, I’ve realized that it’s a bit difficult to know what’s going on without context. I only listened to part2.mp3, where the class continued a discussion on how ITP would decide where $1 million in grant funds would go. Who knows, maybe Rushkoff’s persuasion class is next.
UPDATE: Looks like more of Abe’s class podcasts are up.
I was at the Strand Bookstore the other day to see Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Johnson hold a discussion. Based on recommendations, I spent a part of my summer reading both of their books. I must say that each piece is an interesting investigation into the thinking process.
I found that Johnson’s book, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter could have been a little more quantitatively supported, but I agree that video games do have positive effects on today’s youth, and that these qualities have been, for the most part, neglected by mainstream media.
Gladwell’s book Blink made quite an impact on me with the concept that knowing everything may may not be as good as just knowing the essentials. In Blink, Gladwell writes about Paul Van Riper’s victory over the U.S. Military during a trained simulation known as the Millenium Challenge. According to the book, Van Riper defeated his overwhelming opponent by not focusing on the details, not analyzing every piece of data, but rather acting only on the information at hand. I feel that this concept could easily carry over into my realm, as Web designers are continually trying to know it all when it comes to the technology. The question is, does that really make the design better?
I’ve gradually moved away from the portfolio-style photos I posted on Beyond Second in the past and have been uploading photos that I feel expose parts of life in Harrisburg that aren’t necessarily familiar to everyone in that area (that was really the whole point of the site to begin with). Surprisingly, I rarely take pictures of New York (I didn’t take a whole lot when I was a tourist, either), but I still carry my camera when I go back home.
I’m still very proud of this site, and once I finish my thesis and a few of these freelance jobs I intend to revisit it and give Beyond Second the redesign and features it deserves.
So I still miss this valuable tool that was so helpful in Adobe Illustrator 10. Like most of the design world, I have since moved on to Illustrator CS 2, but am still not satisfied with the alternative provided in the filters menu. The tool itself had an organic quality to it. Unfortunately, the Math behind the effect was irreversible, and the tool was ultimately dropped after Adobe got flooded with support calls. Based on what I found in Google Groups, it looks like others missing this lovely tool have since given up the cause. Rumor is that it can be revived by simply placing it in the plug-ins folder, however, I haven’t had the luck of getting it to work. If anyone’s figured it out, I’d appreciate the tip.
About Rich Hauck
I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and two boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.