Back to Seattle

Come the end of July, I’ll be at Web Design World, along with other speakers including Jeffrey Zeldman, Carrie Bickner, Jim Heid, Curt Cloninger, Kelly Goto, and more. (Quick, what sets me apart from the aforementioned list? I haven’t written a book!) I’ll be presenting From Tables to Styles: CSS-Based Redesign.

In other CSS news, Zeldman has written up a nice mini-essay on Rules Based Design (as opposed to Grid Based Design), and Christopher Schmitt shares 50 ways to style your headings.

»plink« · April 30, 2003

Good luck, but I’ll pass, thank you

Maybe I’m just getting old (today does mark my 36th trip around the sun, after all), but something bothers me about Apple’s new music venture. While I wish them all the best with this, I won’t be using the service. I guess the main thing that bothers me is all the attention that Eminem is getting in this. He may be a great poet (although I doubt it...), but he certainly is a misogynist, who by his own admission will not let his own daughter listen to his music.

Why, then, is Apple featuring a pre-teen boy rapping to Eminem’s “Loose Yourself” in one of their ads promoting the iTunes Music Store? I’m sure they were careful to only allow him to rap the non-offensive lyrics in the tune, but I was curious, so I did a quick search on Google and took a look at the lyrics. I’m sure this is one of Eminem’s tamer songs, but it is still laced with profanity, and includes demeaning references to women. Note I am not calling for any kind of censorship, but this is “entertainment” that should not be marketed to minors, let alone by minors. All of which begs the question: what was Apple thinking in featuring this song being sung by a young kid to promote their new music service?

And don’t even get me started on the “Baby Got Back” commercial. One more reason to turn off the television...

»plink« · April 29, 2003

Buy. Mix. iPod.

Apple puts a lot on the line with their new iTunes Music Store. Yep, it's built into iTunes 4 (free download from Apple starting today). AAC encoded (at 128bits); free, high quality 30 sec. previews; album art; 1-click purchasing for $0.99; unlimited CD burning; unlimited iPod transfer Oh, and there are new iPods available at 10, 15 and 30 gigs. Have an old iPod? Download the software update to enable AAC playback.

I liked Rip. Mix. Burn. better...

»plink« · April 28, 2003

Give your TiBook a back rub

And increase it’s AirPort reception...

»plink« · April 28, 2003

Shadow Play

Photo Friday theme this week: Shadows...

»plink« · April 25, 2003

At the Fair

My digital camera has a movie function that I haven’t used much. I thought I’d try it out at the fair last week. It does a decent job, capturing 20 seconds of video at a time, but no sound. Once I downloaded them and took a look, I thought of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Waterbox album he posted to his site some time ago. The mp3 of Arena seemed to fit the mood. And in a small tribute to another creative work he posted many years ago, I present At the Fair...

»plink« · April 23, 2003

Wi-Fi in Business Week

This is more of a reminder for me to read these articles later, when I have more time. Business Week, following in the footsteps of Wired, has posted a Wi-Fi Special Report. Looks interesting. And Mike Wendland of the Detroit Free Press has posted an article on extending his home WLAN.

»plink« · April 22, 2003



And no trick photography... [via Kevin Fox]

»plink« · April 22, 2003


Well, numb mouth anyway. Fresh back from a “Deep Scale” cleaning at the dentist, which translates to, “You haven’t flossed enough and now your gums are receding. We will now numb up your entire mouth and then proceed to clean under your gums with progressively larger instruments to teach you a lesson. Oh, and we’ll be charging you $3/minute for the privilege.”

»plink« · April 22, 2003

Music to your ears

Apple appears poised to announce some significant music related products next week. Rumors about new iPods, a new music service, the acquisition of Universal Music, and a new iApp called iTraks have been swirling around the web for several weeks now. Of course the most significant part of this is the timing of next week’s special event - just one day before my birthday...

»plink« · April 21, 2003

Wi-Fi articles of Note

Cory Doctorow: Can Wi-Fi Take Us the Last Mile?

New FCC rules make it harder for DSL upstarts to compete with the Baby Bells. But the wireless revolution might keep the big guys honest.

“Under Pozar’s plan, anyone with a directional antenna (a surplus satellite dish or even a modified Pringles can will do the trick) would be able to aim it at the nearest hilltop and connect to the Web for free. Such ‘wireless ISPs’ (wISPs) have serious commercial potential: Instead of needing the Bells’ expensive last-mile wires to reach customers, wISPs create sprawling, low-cost networks serviced by strategically placed antennas.”

Rafe Needleman: Keeping the Wireless Connection Alive

New companies help laptops stay connected even when they move between networks.

“ipUnplugged also allows real-time roaming among different networks. For example, if a cellular-data user walks into a building with Wi-Fi coverage, the software can redirect the network connection to the faster and cheaper Wi-Fi network, without any interruption in the data flow. Very fancy.”

»plink« · April 17, 2003


I was walking past a co-worker’s office yesterday and had to stop and take a second look. Yes, that was a 17" iMac sitting on his desk where the Windows Box used to be. I had to ask, and he said it was natural. He has always hated Windows and he realized the only reason he had a Windows box was for reading Word docs. And he likes Word on the Mac better, natch. I should mention he is a Unix geek, one of our programmers, in fact, so OSX is like second nature. He brought over a bunch of Perl programs he’d written several years ago, and they ran fine on the iMac.

Those of us that have been using Macs for years have begun to take things for granted. My co-worker is just starting to see the benefits. In fact I read Bill Palmer’s latest post with interest this morning, as I pondered the fate of Linux in the face of OSX (Unix for the rest of us). Bill argues that Apple has broadened the user experience gap between Macs and Windows again. There’s no comparison between OSX and Linux (or any other Unix for that matter). I wonder if even died-in-the-wool command line Unix geeks can resist the intuitive integration of the iLife suite, and learn to love the GUI?

I saw that my coworker had IE5 running, so I showed him Safari. He asked if it was fast...

»plink« · April 17, 2003


While Apple is busy contemplating acquisitions, I've been busy working on a talk, as well as a couple of new sites for work (that have yet to go live).

»plink« · April 16, 2003


Apple released Safari Beta 2. It features tabbed browsing, forms autofill, even better standards support. I have set it to be my default browser, since it now works just the way I like it with NetNewsWire. Opens links in the background, and in a new tab—what's not to like? It's a quick download and install at 3.7 MB, and if you use your current beta of Safari to download, it will unpack the .dmg file and set everything up for you. Take it for a test drive today...

»plink« · April 14, 2003

Unwired, in Wired

“What’s extraordinary about this boom is that it’s an authentic grassroots phenomenon, happening in the home even faster than in the office. Companies are cautious about the security implications of a network that goes through walls and into the street, but most home users are too dazzled to care. Anyone with a broadband connection can plug a $100 access point into a cable modem or DSL box, slip a $60 card into a laptop, and suddenly have that most fabled of tech ambitions: Internet everywhere, or at least everywhere around the house. Stream video from the couch, surf in bed, email in the backyard, all at lightning speed. How many other technologies leave even hardened gadget vets grinning with amazement?”

Read more in Wired Magazine’s Get Wireless.

»plink« · April 9, 2003

Random bits from around the web...

»plink« · April 7, 2003

From the “Because we can” dept.

You work for a company that makes USB floppy drives. Your job includes testing returns to see if they still work or need refurbishing. You have an old iMac sitting around that is running OSX. You have a powered 4 port USB Hub. You have 5 old floppies and 5 working USB floppy drives. What would you do? Make a USB floppy disk striped raid under OS X, that’s what... [via Boing Boing]

»plink« · April 4, 2003

12" PowerBook

John Farr is still lusting, but Tony Smith at the Register has had his for a month now. He offers a very positive review of the 12" PowerBook. The review claims to go into more detail than most, revealing some of the weak spots of the machine—like it only has 32MB of DDR video memory, and it doesn’t have the fastest CPU Available, and no level 3 cache. As far as I am concerned, the weak spots are better than anything else I have available to me. So far I am extremely happy with my purchase. Once I have a bit more time with it, and have had a chance to try the DVD burner, I hope to post a review of my own.

In the meantime, check out these pics of Jack Gruber and his 12" PowerBook in the middle east as he covers the war for USA Today...

»plink« · April 2, 2003

A dinner fit for a... fool?

Mmmm... cake for dinner.

»plink« · April 1, 2003

Thank you

To all who wrote expressing their condolences on the death of Tiger, my family thanks you. We are all feeling better now, and life is getting back to normal—whatever that is...

»plink« · April 1, 2003

You appear to be using a browser that does not implement style sheets correctly, or you have turned style sheets off in your browser. If it’s the latter, turning style sheets back on will greatly enhance your experience on this site, and many others on the web. If you are using an older browser (such as Netscape 4) you may wish to know that there are standards compliant browsers available for all platforms. See the Web Standards Project’s Browser Upgrade Campaign if you would like to find one for your particular needs. Otherwise, rest assured that you are seeing all of the content that everyone else is - it just doesn’t look as pretty...