posted on 1/26/05 by Michael Koppelman
There is a very nice RSS
reader for the Mac called PulpFiction. It is available at http://freshlysqueezedsoftware.com/products/pulpfiction/
It looks and acts very much like the Apple Mail application that comes with OS X:
I was going to look for a Windows one to recommend, too, but I'll leave that to the Windows folks.
posted on 1/26/05 by Martin Grider
...two days after setting this thing up, and there's a new version
of movable type already. Looks like it was mostly a bug fix release.
I've done the upgrade.
posted on 1/26/05 by Matt Gray
XHTML and CSS development can be a lot easier with the proper tools. Mozilla's Firefox web browser can be a web template designer's best friend when paired with the Web Developer extension.
Read on for a quick overview of what's possible with Firefox and Web Developer.
posted on 1/26/05 by Chuck Hermes
OS X Setup Assistant Easy Upgrade
About a year ago I was given the opportunity to trade my almost new G4 Powerbook in for the next generation model. At the time, my workload was heavy and the risk of downtime while transfering data and setting up a new machine was too heavy to bear. I passed on the offer, and since that day have enjoyed uninterrupted great performance from my Powerbook.
posted on 1/27/05 by Matt Gray
SMS messaging is everywhere. It's possible to query Google for restaurants and information, download screensavers, and send text messages to your friends. Most providers also provide an e-mail to SMS gateway to allow the use of e-mail via a portable phone.
Companies are attempting to utilize this nascent technology; however, standard SMS messages require a full phone number. For a TV-based advertising campaign, memorizing an entire 10-digit number is simply too much to ask. Enter Common Short Codes (CSCs). A CSC is a 5-digit number that is recognized by all major wireless carriers.
Read on for information on short codes, as well as some examples of their usage.
posted on 1/27/05 by Jeff Baker
For those unfamiliar with RSS (aka, Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary), it is essentially a technology that lets you know when content is added to your favorite news, information and blog sites.
Unlike traditional mailing lists, RSS gives you a great deal of control over what you receive and when.
More information can be found at XML.com
Continue reading for information on two popular RSS readers for Windows.
posted on 1/27/05 by Michael Koppelman
For those demos where you want people to easily see where the cursor is, this looks pretty cool. It's called MouseposÃ©
and it looks like this:
posted on 1/27/05 by Eric Hanson
I have been dabbling in T-shirt designs the last few years, which I find very challenging, but rewarding.
The ability to wear your design - or see your designs being worn by someone else - is second to none in my opinion. The "non-tangible" nature of web design has always left a void in my design career.
Take a look at my design for this year's softball team:
posted on 1/27/05 by Matt Gray
Mozilla Firefox Logo
I've received some comments on my previous post, Firefox + WebDeveloper: a powerful combination
and it seems that I should begin at the beginning instead of the end.
Read onward for a brief summary of the Firefox web browser and what it can do for you.
posted on 1/27/05 by Eric Hanson
Flash has long been thought of as unreliable and that hoards of users don't have the ability to view it. Macromedia
obviously has a vested interest in doing so, but i think that they have done a good job dispelling some of the myths and illustrating viewership rates
for flash and other types of rich media. There is also a good blurb about when to use flash
posted on 1/28/05 by Meghan Wilker
If I see the words "click here" in one more copy deck, I'm going put a hot fork in my eye.
Okay, not really, but there is
a better way to write online.
Most web users (even you, admit it!) scan copy to find headings or links that are what THEY are looking for, and often ignore the rest. So, saying "Click here
to visit techevangelists.com" forces the user to read everything after "click here," making it harder for them to complete whatever task they came to the site for in the first place. Boo! Hiss!
Next time you're writing copy for an email or website, and are tempted to type those two forbidden words, try to turn your phrase a bit differently. A few alternatives include:
Visit techevangelists.com for more great tips.
See our website for more!
Get more information.
There is no law that says your link can't be the whole sentence; heck, if it makes it easier for the user, go for it!
Check out Nick Usborne at A List Apart for some great articles on usability and web copywriting.
posted on 1/28/05 by Martin Grider
The internet is good at so many things, not the least of which is helping you waste time. But that wasted time doesn't have to be completely useless. When I spend an hour just staring at the screen and clicking from link to link, I like to think that at the end of it, I've learned something.
Here are a few of my favorite sites to read. Each of them gets updated frequently with interesting (and often fascinating) content. Interestingly, each of them might also be considered a blog of some kind.
posted on 1/28/05 by Andy Wright
Nowadays there are blogs for everything and everyone, but I've been watching for unconventional ones, partly for curiosity's sake, but also for ideas on how to use them.
One such blog is What is Happening to Me
. The clincher? It's fiction.
Visitors follow the day-to-day, first-person narrative of a New Yorker who has been bitten by a werewolf. Judge the quality of the writing yourself, but the concept of serial fiction that allows for comments, seems really fresh. While a few users just comment to critique the writing, most play along with the story, interacting with the writer and even suggesting links to 'potential cures.'
posted on 1/29/05 by Nancy Lyons
Our very own tech 'evangelist', Matt Gray appeared on KSTP's Friday night news at 10pm as a 'web expert' commenting on some confusion around certain product searches on Target.com. It turns out that Target taps into the Amazon search mechanism, which, if it can't find an exact match for a given search term, will look for the 'closest' option. The resulting product ideas, when pulled from Amazon's inventory, can be 'questionable', if not completely irrelevant, to Target customers. I'd link to the entire story but KSTP doesn't seem to be featuring the full story on their website. And it appears that Target may have corrected the problem. Nice work, Matt!
posted on 1/29/05 by Meghan Wilker
This Thursday there is a screening of Chuck Olsenâ€™s documentary
about blogging and bloggers, followed by a panel discussion on the impact of this form of web publishing.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2004
5:30 pm â€“ 8:00 pm
Student Center â€“ U of M St. Paul Campus â€“ Theater, lower level
posted on 1/31/05 by Michael Koppelman
(This is something I wrote awhile ago and is nothing new, really. It may be a topic at some brown bag chat in the future. The real issue is: how do we create an environment where change isn't neceessary because of good design but is still possible when things get missed, which they always do? --MK)
The Impact of Change
A general statement of objectives is sufficient to begin writing programs â€“ we can fill in the details later.
Poor up-front definition is the major cause of failed software efforts. A formal and detailed description of information domain, function, performance, interfaces, design constraints, and validation criteria is essential. These characteristics can be determined only after thorough communication between customer and developer.
Project requirements continually change, but change can be easily accommodated because software is flexible.
It is true that software requirements do change, but the impact of change varies with the time at which it is introduced. The figure below illustrates the impact of change. If serious attention is given to up-front definition, early requests for change can be accommodated easily. The customer can review requirements and recommend modifications with relatively little impact on cost. When changes are requested during software design, cost impact grows rapidly. Resources have been committed and a design framework has been established. Change can cause upheaval that requires additional resources and major design modifications, i.e., additional cost. Changes in function, performance, interfaces or other characteristics during implementation (code and test) have a severe impact on cost. Change, when requested after software is in production use, can be two orders of magnitude more expensive than the same change requested earlier.
(Excerpt from Software Engineering: A Practitionerâ€™s Approach
by Roger S. Pressman. © 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982 by The McGraw-Hill Companies.)