Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

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

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

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

Ansca Corona + Lua = iPhone Application

January 7th, 2010

ansca corona analog clock iphone application

Today I built a nice looking iPhone application (an analog clock) and managed to build it in a language that I had never seen before in just an hour or so. This feat was entirely because of how simple the folks at Ansca have made programming for the iPhone.
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Fun, Web Code, Work

Using Sprites with XUL

January 6th, 2010

LCD Clock Image Sprite

CSS Sprites are a growing trend, and they can save a lot of time in certain situations. The term sprite when used for video games is slightly different, but in the context of Web graphics, the term refers to a single image file that is cropped onscreen and used for different images that are seen on a page. One sprite, for example, may contain the mouseoff and mouseover states for all tabs and buttons on a site. With CSS, the correct tab or button can be displayed by simply cropping the desired section of the larger image. Amazon is doing it, is doing it,, and others are starting to take the hint. Last night I sat down and tried to apply this technique to a Firefox XUL application.
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Browsers, Web Code, Work

JSON + Zip Code + $0 = How Much Info?

December 8th, 2009

JSON zipcode data
Armed with a budget of $0, I decided to spend an hour or two last night trying to accumulate as much data as possible using only a zip code, a static HTML page, and some javascript. Not a single dollar was spent, nor a single image created. The page is up here.

I’m sure I’ll add to this project as I find more free data sources, but so far I have:

  • Location Name
  • Lat/Lng of Zip Center
  • Weather Info
  • Forecast Data (4 day)
  • Recent Earthquakes within 100 miles
  • Local Wiki Entries (5)

If you have any XML or JSON data source suggestions that take LAT/LNG or Zip Code as parameters, email me at christopher[ at ] and I’ll add them to the page.

Web Code, Work

Firefox FlipClock in Six Languages

August 25th, 2009

FlipClock in Russian
My new FlipClock add on for Firefox has now been translated into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Russian and is in queue at Mozilla to graduate out of the developer sandbox, which means the install warnings should go away soon. w00t.

Web Code, Work

Yahoo! Pipes

August 6th, 2009

Yahoo Pipes

I’ve been playing with Yahoo! Pipes with some success. The concept of Pipes is a great, and it is an ideal tool for the current online aggregation/mashup revolution.

My Yahoo pipe is an aggregation of several forums on two different sites, all regarding the building of spearguns (for spearing fish).

It can be subscribed to via RSS and JSON and I’m looking for project ideas that’ll let me go a little further with this. The final step was to add the RSS feed to my iGoogle homepage where it happily updates throughout the day:

iGoogle and Pipes

Web Code, Work

I ({‘JSON’:'Heart’});

August 5th, 2009


For those of us who are too lazy to parse XML, JSON is a great Web data format. And the fact that it can get around all sorts of cross-domain restrictions*.

I just posted a simple JSON-enabled HTML web page that accepts a zip code, and retrieves longitude and latitude from a Geonames JSON feed, and then uses that to look up the weather from the nearest weather station. I love the fact that this is possible without a single line of server-side code. The code rewrites the page’s DOM, dynamically appending a <script> tag to the page, and doesn’t use any of the standard AJAX functions.

Cross-Domain AJAX JSON Example

Fancy Cross-Domain AJAX JSON Example

Next up: a clickable map that will figure out your country and timezone. This functionality will solve about a dozen headaches I’ve been having with adding a selectable timezone feature to my FlipClock Firefox extension.

*Yes, there are many, many caveats that go along with to this statement

Web Code, Work

Twitter is for Old People

August 5th, 2009

Just posted this on my company blog, but thought I’d repost it here:

Answering Machine

Our head of QA, Bethany Garcia, circulated a link today to a (London) Times Online article about the Internet and other new technology as seen through the eyes of a 15 1/2 year old boy. Matthew Robson’s report for Morgan Stanley, How Teenagers Consume Media, is a very interesting insight into a generation that doesn’t listen to the radio, read the newspaper, or pay for music. I remember coming up with metaphors to explain the Internet to older folks, and this article makes me feel as though I’m on the receiving end. The report is a very quick read, and just as a tease:

“Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which as services that teenagers do not require.”

Web Code, Work