Author Archive

Christmas Card Bonanza

December 21st, 2012

I’m not the biggest fan of the Christmas season. Frankly, Thanksgiving is the holiday with the mostest.

Of the many social pressures, designing the family Christmas card (in Photoshop) and meeting expectations, doesn’t make the month any better. But this season, there were two cards to design (company and family), but I think they turned out pretty well. Can you guess which one’s the family card?
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Fun, Photographs, Work

Grid Clock – An Experiment

June 29th, 2012

This is a Javascript version of a Grid Clock I had fun making for myself on a train trip home last week. I tried to waste as few characters as possible. The clock is built without using any libraries or external files (you can view the code by just selecting view source).

The clock is inspired by Qlocktwo, but this clock uses the letters in the grid far more efficiently, allowing it to overlap words that share letters (that won’t be displayed at the same time) and display additional information such as noon, midnight, am, pm, just, almost, and past. This clock uses almost for the last three minutes before the hour, and just past for the first three minutes past the hour. Click read more below for Processing/Arduino info.

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Fun, Web Code

Storytopia launched

April 5th, 2012

After sharing a dozen made up stories with my kids last night, we came up with the idea of storytopia. With graphical help from the amazing Noun Project, we had a working version 20 minutes later… just in time for bed.

  1. Create a story that includes aspects that include all of the squares on the screen (they are randomly chosen from 382 images).
  2. You may reposition the squares onscreen with your mouse (if that helps).
  3. Click the Reload Page button to create a new story.
  4. Try with more or fewer squares

Visit storytopia!

Browsers, Fun, Web Code Fraudulent Business

August 22nd, 2011 DOA
I placed two orders with back in July, received proofs via email, order confirmations, and my credit card was charged. But nothing was ever shipped.

Since August 8th, I’ve sent emails to every email address I’ve been able to find at the company, and I’ve made several phone calls to a voice mailbox there but I haven’t heard a peep in response, complete flatline. I even pulled up their domain registration information looking for contact info. As far as I can tell, the company is nothing more than a Web scam.

The order numbers are: 421970, 422029

If anyone is interested, feel free to contact and ask about my order:

Phone 1: 1-800-811-2891
Phone 2: 1-800-811-2890
Email 1:
Email 2:
Email 3:
Email 4:
Email 5:
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Companies that Suck

World’s Smallest Legible Font

November 24th, 2010

Other fonts have claimed to be the smallest legible font, but I have to say that this 5×1 pixel font by Terry Cavanagh in 2008 is the undisputed king. It cleverly uses the way that LCD displays display pixel color with differently sized dots, depending on color, to create a minuscule but (barely) legible font. Warning, the font only works for LCD displays. But then again, CRTs are about as popular as rotary telephones and VCRs.

I can’t think of a single use for this, but then, why would someone create and paint microscopic sculptures by hand.


Blown up it appears as:


Fonts, Fun, Work

Gangsta Lorem Ipsum

October 21st, 2010

Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? A gangsta-style lorem ipsum generator. I hope someone comes up with a Swedish chef version… oooh, or a German movie version that replaces all the lorem ipsum “s” and “c” letters with “z” and “k” letters.

Lorizzle check out this dolor sure amizzle, fo shizzle adipiscing its fo rizzle. Nullam sapien velizzle, my shizz volutpizzle, shizznit tellivizzle, da bomb vizzle, fo shizzle. Pellentesque yo tortizzle. Sed eros. Fusce izzle dolizzle dapibizzle boofron tempizzle gangsta. Maurizzle pellentesque nibh i’m in the shizzle you son of a bizzle. Shiznit izzle tortor. Pellentesque eleifend rhoncizzle nizzle. In hac pizzle dawg black.


Schadenfreude and Internet Explorer 6

August 3rd, 2010

In a few weeks Internet Explorer 6 will be 9 years old, and with its popularity hovering around 17% I’ve noticed an interesting trend among Web developers that’s been growing over the past few years… a shadenfreude surrounding anything that mocks IE users, or diminishes their browsing experience. The Universal IE6 CSS file is a great example of this. It is a stylesheet intended to make a Website look bland and generic, but functional for IE6 users. Its a manifestation of the philosophy of “Design for better browsers, then design alternative solutions to handle IE6 bugs.” Another project, a Javascript library blurs the page intermittently for IE6 browsers, further to encourages this joy we experience from the pain of others who are:

  • naive enough to think that IE6 is an acceptable browser
  • shackled to a corporate IT policy that doesn’t want to retrain their in-house Windows XP experts
  • working under the umbrella of an accounting department that won’t pay to upgrade the 8-year-old IE6-only Web-based expense reporting system

I’ve heard developers relishing every opportunity to use CSS rounded corners, CSS dropshadows, and any other trick that they can dredge up from the When Can I Use Website just to stick another finger in the eye of Internet Explorer 6 (and occasionally IE7) users. The item I came across online that has me thinking about this trend this morning was the following on a Web site promoting a package of beautiful free HTML5 video player code (yellow arrow and box my own):


The site is actually promoting code as being compatible with “Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed.” Chrome frame is a further Internet Explorer insult from Google, which is a package of the main functional part of the Google Chrome Web browser distributed as an ActiveX control (think plugin) for Internet Explorer. That’s like saying the Uhaul truck you are driving has air conditioning because the car its towing has air conditioning. This last thought, because of my own schadenfreude, unfortunately has me laughing out loud.

Browsers, Web Code

Using Tables Instead of Images for Emailed Logos

July 29th, 2010

I received an email today from Nike, and couldn’t work out why their logo was visible BEFORE I clicked “Accept Images”. I did a little poking around and someone over there is a genius. I’ve toyed with the idea of using an HTML table with cell background colors in place of simple images, but never actually implemented it in a commercial email. Nike pulled it off and it works like a charm. It took 11,034 characters to create, but that’s not really any more than a moderately sized JPEG. Here’s the HTML table image of the Nike logo:

I recommend poking around with Firebug to see the full glory of it. The outer div, and the <style> tag content is my own, to override the CSS style settings on this page.

For anyone who has absolutely what this is all about… Over half of all emails, when opened, do not display images by default. If you are a company, like Nike, and someone opens your email, you are forced into simply hoping that they will click a button or link labeled with something like “Display Images” in order for them to see the full glory of your emailed promotion, which may be a large photo of your new product, photos of sale items, or inspiring action shot of products in use. Simply having a recognizable (and presumably liked) logo visible when the email is first opened is probably enough to encourage a higher rate of people to select “Display Images”.

My hat is off to Nike’s email folks for this simple, but effective (and ingenious) little HTML hack. It made me click to see the images of the email, but I’m still not ready to pull the trigger and purchase a pair of Vaporjet cleats or a Hypercool athletic shirt.

Browsers, Web Code

Widgets on Skinny Scoop

June 22nd, 2010

Working on updating the SkinnyScoop widget. Below is the current one, next one should be live in a month or so. Thought I’d use as a sample question:

“Do you ever feel guilty about your lifestyle when you think about the people in the world living in poverty?”

Then I realized that my style of question is probably more along the lines of:

Browsers, Web Code, Work

Comic Sans Responds…

June 18th, 2010

In angry rant that’s reminiscent of the classic rant, Mike Lacher channels energy into defending the most hated font in the world. For anyone who has absolutely no idea why anyone would hate Comic Sans, go here.

The rant is here:
I’m Comic Sans, A$$hole.