Nice hidden Panther feature

According to this you can share image capture devices like scanners and cameras with image capture in Panther. I just tried it myself, and although my iSight doesn’t show up as a capture device (which would make it a pretty cool webcam), my mounted compact flash card from my digital camera does. I poked a hole in my firewall and just showed a few friends some photos I just took, but haven’t downloaded yet to my mac.

Very cool hidden feature.

Everyone’s got priorities

On this Slashdot post about the Microsoft temp that was fired, I noticed what could be the best off-the-wall slashdot comment ever:

…I can walk into a McDonalds (not that I would – I’ve been boycotting them since they started making pizzas) with a group of friends, order a meal, and start snapping pictures of our little party.

Some people boycott McDonalds for their treatment of workers, mishandling of food, or what they’ve done to the livestock industry.

Then there are others that just hate pizza so much they’ll never set foot in a restaurant ever again.

Minor site updates

I tossed the mobile phone photos along the right sidebar of this site and instead am feeding the most recent post to my ten years project, with an excerpt (all my photo taking energy is being used up there, so nothing extra left over for random mophos). I also added a feed from the Creative Commons blog.

As always, this site is an experiment in personal publishing and I may be adding more stuff and taking other stuff away soon, we’ll see.


It seems like every time Apple releases a minor update, the mac lovers from all over exaggerate their upgrades into gifts from god that made their computers faster, their bodies sexier, and their lives richer.

Not being a huge Apple fanboy myself, I just want the thing to work, to come close to the speed of my PC, and to be more stable. It looks like Panther is the first release that lived up to the hype, for me at least. My powerbook seems downright peppy and I haven’t seen a swirling beachball since I upgraded. Mail and iChat finally seem stable and Mail isn’t going unresponsive when I have more than one window open. I finally see what everyone was raving about with Expose, having a quick keyboard shortcut to get to other windows on a crowded monitor is a lifesaver.

I haven’t dived in much deeper than that, but so far I’m very happy with the $130 package.

Storytime with Sedaris

I owe a million thanks to John for getting me tickets to David Sedaris. I’ve read a book of his a few years ago and read one or two of his articles in Esquire, but earlier this year I got a copy of his book on CD that he read and it was about a million times better than the printed word (which granted, is already pretty funny, but his delivery and timing is everything). It was the first time I’ve heard him live and I was crying with laughter at several points in the evening. There was a story about a morgue (to be a chapter in his next book), a story about halloween (to be in next week’s Esquire), and a story about Santa. He’s on a 30 city tour, and I hear he’s going to be down in Stanford next week, so catch him if you can.

The Daily Show

Two odd things about The Daily Show:

  1. On last night’s show, Jon Stewart made an off-the-cuff joke about the first story of the night “which you can read about on my blog.” before launching into the full story. The blog joke didn’t get too many laughs though (I was thinking to myself do people even know what he’s making fun of?).
  2. perhaps related, but author and blogger Neal Pollack is going to be on tonight’s show

ALA is up

The new A List Apart is back online. I’ve missed it since it’s been dormant, using it fairly often during the last redesign project (mostly for the CSS lists article).

The new issue features Doug’s article on CSS tabs, and it’s absolutely terrific. Doug’s got an amazing way of coming up with solutions to problems no one else can crack, and his solutions are really clever. I’d say he’s one of the few people doing web design that can truly think outside of the box, but that phrase is so cliched as to be meaningless so I won’t say it. Anyway, Doug never ceases to amaze me with the things he can come up with.

That all said, there were a few visual aspects of the new ALA site I feel could be improved. The front page feels a bit chaotic to me, with all that blazing red everywhere. Above the fold, I’d guess there are 25 links in four different sizes and different type treatments, but when I first looked at the site all I saw was red links everywhere and it was hard to know where to focus. The layout kind of reminds me of the excellent Nedward blog, which does a great job of visually separating content into “the important stuff on the left and the other stuff on the right” through the use of color in backgrounds and graphics. The other problem I have is the separation between articles on the front page and the archives. Scrolling through this list of CSS stories, it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins. I would guess whitespace would go a long way here. Adding 30-50px above each title would pad the page out and require more scrolling, but each article would be easily found and retreived from the growing lists. An alternative would be subtle separators of some sort, either CSS-enhanced horizontal rules or graphics. And lastly, the article widths feel about half as wide as they used to be. I don’t know if they are really narrower or it’s a bigger font, but the line-length feels abrupt compared to normal comfortable reading on other sites. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, it’s an amazing developer and designer resource, but the collaborative nature of the articles naturally brings out the design and developer critic in me.

Congrats on all the work Zeldman, et al. had to do to bring it back from the dead!