Posts Tagged: Blog

NaBloPoMo Fail and Thanksgiving

Fallen hibiscus bloom

Photo taken on Nov 15th by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.

Mon 11.19.12 – I have had a NaBloPoMo fail. I have just plain had a daily blogging fail for the last year and some.
I talked about my blogging fail with Erika last week and she thought that I was putting my creative endeavors in other places (Twitter, photography, app creation, etc) and that for this season it was ok that I am not blogging as much. I responded to her that while that may be true, I am still not happy with it because I frequently refer to the archives of my blog as a way to track what I have been doing and thinking about.
My blog is not just a gallery for my photos, or a place for me to talk about ideas in and around technology and culture, it is also a way that I am able to mark my thoughts and actions in my world over time. Yes, kind of like a journal or diary, but a bit more oblique.
Much has happened since Feb 11, 2011 when I fell off the blogging wagon with a big giant thump and I would like to record it. The daily bits are gone, like the ephemera that they are/were, but the photos and major ideas are either on my computer in the Photos and To Blog folders. I would like to slowly but surely eject them out of their dusty folders and put them up here.
But first, I must finish up this year of creation sabbatical strong and get the mobile apps I have been working on off my computer and into an app store.
One of the cool things I have seen on other blogs this month is a countdown of thanks to Thanksgiving. Some bloggers are doing “30 Days of Thanks” and others are doing a 10 Day countdown to Thanksgiving.
Rather than try to back track and make a fuss, I will just simply say right here and right now that I am so very grateful for the ability to take this year off from web design & development client work to focus on creating some of the mobile apps* that have lived in my head for awhile.
I want to say thank you to family, friends all over, and the open source mobile community for encouraging me to do this year. In the last month or two or three that it takes to finish, deploy, and wrap up, I thank you in advance for your encouragement and support.
Y’all rock.
*Yes, I started with 2 apps to work on and then they bred like rabbits on my computer and I am now working on 3 or 4 depending on how one would count a module that could be plugged into another app. ;o)

Hello HTML5…

By HTML5, I don’t mean the hyped up Everything But the Kitchen Sink HTML5 that has been peddled the last two years by various internet and technology companies, but I mean the semantic web markup language that is the successor to HTML 4.
I have spent the last few years watching as my early bleeding edge adopter friends have been talking about, blogging about, and writing about HTML5, all the while hearing fantastic claims from various members of the the tech related or marketing crowd. I have been somewhat skeptical, as I am a big fan of the stripped down, rigid framework of XHTML 1.0.
I like minimalism. I like my code separated from my presentation and behavior. HTML5 from the beginning looked like a big ole’ pot of jambalya rather than the straight, clean formalism of XHMTL. When the W3C announced that there would be no XHTML 2.0, I knew it was only a matter of time before I caved and joined the HTML5 bandwagon.
While that time has come for this blog to convert to HTLM5, my little XHTML/Python coding soul and typing fingers will most likely be still stripping down the code and working on how to get this blog really lean and mean, even if HTML5 is still in its early days and is not a full spec at this point.
Give me a few weeks to settle in with, tweak, and rummage around the new HTML5 code base, please be patient. I have tested it thoroughly on Mac & Ubuntu, but not on Windows. Right now I have only access to IE8, as my old 2004 Dell with a dual boot of IE6 and IE7 died on Tuesday and has gone off to e-recycling heaven.
If you have access to a PC with IE6 or IE7, please take a screen shot of the front page of the blog and of this page, and email the screenshots to me noting which version of Windows & which version of IE (ex: Win XP/IE6, Vista/IE7, etc). I am using Remy Sharp’s HTML5 shiv to make the code work in all versions of Internet Explorer, but if you see quirks, please let me know.
Over time, I am sure I will continue to explore HTML5 in more depth but right now, I am happy how this little experiment in transferring the markup of this blog from XHTML to HTML5 has gone.

Why So Slow?

All apologies to my readers, but my server has decided to slow down to a crawl the last few hours/days. It has been on the docket for a few months now to move this blog from shared hosting to a VPS, but the last few days of (bad) server performance is making it very clear to me that it is bad as even pages with very little text and no images are taking longer than 10 seconds to render.
I have run a selection of pages through the validators** to see if there is some dropped code or other reason, of which there is nothing to fix right now, so it is the server. Please bear with us and hopefully we* will return to reasonable server performance fairly soon, or by December we will move.

* By we, I mean the royal we of me, my computer, Scruffy McDoglet, all the photos, and the text of this blog. ;o)
** Yes, I know that the code of this blog’s template needs serious updating. My plan has been to move to a VPS and strip down all the template code to a very simplified html5 + modernizr/googlehtml5shiv.

Good Morning: Stross has a Good Poke at Steampunk

If you like to read and have been more than bewildered by the sub-genres that have spawned off of sub-genres, go read Charlie Stross’ rant on Steampunk* – The hard edge of empire.
It is a good and glorious essay/rant:

We’ve been at this point before with other sub-genres, with cyberpunk and, more recently, paranormal romance fang fuckers bodice rippers with vamp- Sparkly Vampyres in Lurve: it’s poised on the edge of over-exposure. Maybe it’s on its way to becoming a new sub-genre, or even a new shelf category in the bookstores. But in the meantime, it’s over-blown. The category is filling up with trashy, derivative junk and also with good authors who damn well ought to know better than to jump on a bandwagon. (Take it from one whose first novel got the ‘S’-word pinned on it — singularity — back when that was hot: if you’re lucky, your career will last long enough that you live to regret it.) Harumph, young folks today, get off my lawn ….

I am not a big fan of Steampunk the sub-culture, as I have only seen it in the late stages of its decline – the point where it is a fashion/identity sub-culture**. As for Steampunk the literary sub-genre, I have only read one novel that even has a bit of steampunk in it, of which the book was a tongue-in-cheek bit of romance-vampyre-regency-werewolf-steampunk-victorian-humor fluff of the best read it in three hours sort.
But then again, that is how I find myself reading many genres of fiction, I start off reading the humorous parody novels, get curious, and then start reading the ‘real’ books in the genre, which is not a bad way to find books to read.
All that to say, go read Charlie’s The hard edge of empire.
* Steampunk is a sub-genre mashup of SF/Fantasy, time anachronisms, Industrial Revolution dystopia/utopia, and sometimes with the addition of either the historical Romance and/or Vampyres & Zombies genres.
** Now as a person who has participated, with joyful abandon, in several fashion/identity/music sub-cultures, I will not condemn the folks who are having fun living the steampunk life, I am merely stating that it is not my thing (too much brown, sepia, and finicky metal bits).

Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us

Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us

Sun 07.11.10 – Ever since I wrote my master’s thesis on how Creative Professionals used their Mobile Phones, I remain very curious how folks are using their phones. The tech and mobile blogs and blogosphere very much reward bloggers for writing on either the newest/latest/greatest or on the most detailed, esoteric atomic bits about the latest and greatest, all the while most of the folks around us seem to be muddling along with the mobile or cell phone that they bought from their wireless carrier for cheap.
When folks in my daily life find out that I love to take photos with my mobile phone and then moblog them to this blog, I frequently find the person I am talking to puts themselves down, discounts their own technology skills and knowledge, then confesses that they don’t know how to get the photos they take with their phone off the phone.
A year ago, I decided that it would be fun to start a video blog that would, magazine style, ask a wide variety of folks the same five questions about their phones, plus a few sub-questions are asked in each interview, plus whatever other bits folks want to talk about their mobile phones:
1) Who are you, what phone do you have, where did you get it, and do you have a data plan?
2) What do you like about your mobile / cell phone?
3) What have you taught yourself to do on your mobile?
4) What don’t you like about your mobile?
5) Either What do you wish you knew how to do on your mobile or what do you wish your phone did differently?
This idea has evolved and as of this evening, I formally announce the launch of Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us.
Mobilefor.Us will be an online space that will seek to inform, share, and disseminate knowledge and confidence in using one’s mobile phone regardless if you have the free phone from your carrier with no data plan or if you have the latest & greatest mobile with unlimited data or somewhere in between.
Please come join us at Mobilefor.Us.