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Sharing Web Site Designs

Link: Sharing Web Site Designs: ""

Recently I wanted to get feedback on one of several ideas for the design of the new BlogBridge web site. I had selected 6 product web sites that had a nice look and wanted to somehow visually compare them. Here are two free tools I used:

  • Papparazzi! is a free Mac utility that does one thing and does it well. It makes a screen shot from a URL of a web site, importantly, including the whole page not just the part that is visible without scrolling.
  • Pintrest is a free web site that facilitates sharing of images of things. Kind of like a delicious for images … or something. It's kind of hard to describe which is why I had not used it before. But this was a perfect use of it.

With those two free tools, I was able to create this web page allowing the quick and easy comparison of the possible designs of the new BlogBridge web site.

Oh and if you care to, please weigh in on the design you like the best 🙂

MacBook Performance comparison

Link: MacBook Performance comparison: ""

Due to an unusual set of coincidences I have 3 different Macintosh computers in my office today so I could run performance comparisons. After a brief bit of research I came across XBench, a free, open source benchmarking suite. I am not positive that it is the state of the art, but it's quite popular. Here's what I found:

Mac Pro, Early 2009, with 6 Gig of memory and a Solid State Disk (SDD) (MacPro4,1)

  • Overall: 234.09, CPU: 198.42
  • Memory: 474.51
  • Graphics: 379.61

MacBook Air, Late 2010, with 4 Gig of memory and a SDD (MacBookAir3,2)

  • Overall: 126.07
  • CPU: 149.17
  • Memory: 198.90
  • Graphics: 159.94

Macbook Air, Late 2011, with 4 Gig of memory and a SDD (MacBookAir4,2)

  • Overall: 199.85
  • CPU: 205.25
  • Memory: 508.89
  • Graphics: 316.38

I know, you want to know the units, and I don't know them. But still you can see remarkably that the brand new MacBook Air is almost as performant as the huge towering Mac Pro, Pretty amazing and telling.

Altered States

Link: Altered States: ""

I saw this movie, Altered States, again last night. It's even better than I remembered and it's my third or fourth time seeing it! It's weird and scary (still) but really compelling. An antropo-horror movie!


Pause, you…

Link: Pause, you…: ""

I saw this quote from Dickens' Great Expectations. I had to read it several times to get the meaning. It's appropriate for this season.

"Pause you,"€ Pip says, "€œand think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." (from Dickens, as quoted by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times)

Common Non-sense

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I just finished reading a great book, "Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer " by Duncan Watts. First of all it confirms the eternal sceptic that I am.

My summary of that book is that it warns us to be careful when we think we understand why something happened (why did that startup succeed? why did that product fail? why does that medicine work? why does that treatment not appear to work? why did he get sick? why did he get well?)

The danger is greatest when our explanation seems to be just 'common sense. '

There are so many unknowns, coincidental factors, chance outcomes, that it behooves us to stop andquestion our assumptions, beliefs and common sense.

**** Remember: Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer. Read the book!

Experts are clueless

Link: Experts are clueless: ""

One of the lessons that Guy Kawasaki learned from Steve Jobs, which really rings true to me:

"Experts are clueless. Experts -- €”journalists, analysts, consultants, bankers, and gurus can't €œdo € so they advise

They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one.

They can tell you how to sell something, but they cannot sell it themselves. They can tell you how to create great teams, but they only manage a secretary.

For example, the experts told us that the two biggest shortcomings of Macintosh in the mid 1980s was the lack of a daisy-wheel printer driver and Lotus 1-2-3; another advice gem from the experts was to buy Compaq. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them." (from How To Change The World)

Ideas that work! Not for me, but some great gift ideas

Link: Ideas that work! Not for me, but some great gift ideas: ""

I know my own Christmas/Channukah gifts have already been purchased by Santa. So this is not for me, but I saw a bunch of cool ideas on this list, so I thought I would share it! Check this post 10 Great Gifts For Photographers Under $20 from Digital Photography School:

"It’s that time of year again – the time when most of us photographers find friends, family, and co-workers asking us what photo related gifts we’d like to receive. As much as we’d love to say, “Oh I wouldn’t mind a EOS-1D X or a Nikon D700,” the cold, hard reality is if we don’t want a gift certificate for a hair cut or something worse, we’re better off giving the inquiring gift-giver options under $20. Here is a great list of affordable gift suggestions that will put a smile on any photographers face just in time for the holidays!" (from Digital Photography School)

Packages at side door

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For no apparent reason, my Holiday packages are being delivered to our side door. We've had that side door for 10 years and no one has ever used it, especially not for package delivery. I wonder if this is a new anti-scrooge- thief policy from the UPS, Fedex and USPS's of the world? See Holiday Deliveries Attract Thieves

Wall Street Journal has some sensational data visualization

Link: Wall Street Journal has some sensational data visualization: ""

I don't know if you need an account to see the amazingly useful, elegant and well implemented bit of data visualization in the Wall Street Journal. Typical of a nerd like me, I focus more on the design and technical elements than the data that it is trying to show. The data, by the way is polling data sliced in all kinds of ways that are useful and easy to use. Well done WSJ!

Screen Shot 2011 12 21 at 9 22 45 AM

Channukah is like the World Series, Christmas like the superbowl

Link: Channukah is like the World Series, Christmas like the superbowl: ""

Ned Batchelder, my pal, points out that:

"Like the Super Bowl, Christmas is one concentrated day. For celebrants, it is the only thing happening that day, and it's preceded by weeks of anticipation and preparation. Another similarity is the zeal with which businesses try to piggy-back on the excitement." (from Ned Batchelder's Blog)

He ends sweetly:

"While the daylight passes as it normally would, the evenings are spent specially, and the entire week is tinged with a special feeling because of it. If you have to miss one night for another reason, that's OK, you've got others you can celebrate." (from Ned Batchelder's Blog)

(yeah, you heard me, I called Ned sweet 🙂