I ♥ German Blogs

April 21st, 2009 by Jerome Dahdah

My good friend Kai from Stylespion had a spontaneous idea a few days ago. The German blogosphere needs a little bit of loving. There is plenty of amazing content out there, but not enough exposure and unity among the blogs. He has asked the German blog community to participate by presenting their favorite German blogs today.

Ein Herz für Blogs

And it’s becoming obvious that it’s a huge success: as of this writing, he has had 480+ 690+ reactions to that post in the form of comments and trackbacks, plus huge exposure on Twitter. So I might as well join in. Sorry to my English-only readers as some of these (not all) will be in German, but I know a good portion of you are in Germany anyway. I’ve added the language after each blog’s name to make your life a little easier.
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First Düsseldorf Tweetup on 27th February

February 11th, 2009 by Jerome Dahdah

Hey everyone, just a quick note that I am currently organizing a Tweetup for people in and around Düsseldorf. A tweetup is a casual Twitter meetup that will give you the chance to meet your followers and fellow Twitterers in your area. Curious not-yet-Twitterers are also very welcome to join us!

The Düsseldorf Tweetup will be held on 27th February, starting at 19:00 at Barco. You can sign up on the event network to let us know you’re coming (please also remember to sign up for the event itself additionally), and follow @ddtu on Twitter (German language) for the latest information. I’m really looking forward to the Tweetup and I hope to meet you there!

While we’re at it, you could also follow me on Twitter if you’d like. :)

Best-practice discussion: How do you wireframe?

November 7th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Hi everyone! I’m just going to throw a question at you and hope this can turn into a good discussion that everyone will benefit from. Of course, this isn’t entirely altruistic: I myself am looking for some suggestions that will help with designing a complex CMS.

How do you go about wireframing a design beforehand?

Which apps do you use? What methods do you apply? Pencil on paper? Prototyping in Fireworks/Illustrator? Old-school table-cell copy&pasting in Dreamweaver? Or do you prefer to do a quick sketch and then jump right into Photoshop? Do you create complex work flow charts and study use-cases? Share your best practices!

Any good links you may have on the topic are appreciated as well.

Pencil: Free GUI Prototyping in Firefox

July 9th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Pencil GUI prototyping in Firefox
Just stumbled across this nifty free (and open source!) tool: The Pencil Project. Pencil lets you sketch out your applications quickly and export them as PNG images. It offers, among other things, the standard operating systems widgets (currently WinXP and GTK, collection expandable) and is built upon XUL and SVG. Pencil runs as a lightweight 400k Firefox 3 extension, but can also be run as a stand-alone application.

Lux: Free New Multitouch OSX

May 20th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Christian Moore’s […] Lux free open framework enables true multitouch interaction in Mac OS X. In fact, he says it can work under any platform and even a web browser, enabling complex user interfaces and object manipulation comparable to Jeff Han’s magic walls or the Microsoft Surface anywhere. –Gizmodo

This is pretty amazing stuff. Ever since getting used to the multitouch feature of my MacBook Pro, it’s become an essential tool for me. It really is that intuitive. Now to find an affordable multitouch display that can work with this:

More info and a short interview at Gizmodo.

(Thanks, Stylespion)

Please Help Ecocho – “You Search. We Grow Trees.”

April 23rd, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Ecocho - “You Search. We Grow Trees.” Hot off the presses: Ecocho is a new search engine that delivers Yahoo! and Google search results with a twist: for every 1000 searches, they plant two trees through government verified programs. So you’re getting the same service as before, and you’re helping the environment with zero effort. The project is funded by the advertising that comes along with Google’s and Yahoo’s custom search solutions. I think the idea is brilliant (and so simple I wish I had thought of it), and I’ve already made it my default Firefox search plugin.

Ecocho needs our help

Unfortunately, only a few days after the launch, Google decided to block Ecocho from access to their results.

Google chose today – Earth Day, of all days – to pull their feed from Ecocho. They claim that Ecocho has broken the adsense rules, but Ecocho has never directed users to click on ads (as Google suggests) and Ecocho has not only always respected the adsense rules but also believes strongly in them for Ecocho to succeed. We need genuine Ecocho users to make the project work!

They ask that people head over to their blog for the full scope, maybe leave a comment, and if you’re feeling really social, email Google from the email address on those pages (there are petition letters on the page also) to voice your concerns. Please tell your family and friends also if you think they would care about the Ecocho cause.

37Signals on How To Make Money Online

April 22nd, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Æstheticrew.com notifies us about a very insightful and entertaining speech by 37Signals partner and founder of Ruby on Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson.

Hansson talks about founding a profitable online start-up without falling for the multi-million VC-funding hype that web2.0 companies like MySpace and Facebook have spurred. Recorded at Paul Graham’s Startup School 08. Definitely worth a watch!

Changing Perspectives With Fez: New 2D/3D Game

April 4th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

I don’t even know if there is a name for this concept of perspective, but “the other kind of 3D” is what I can come up with right now. The new game FEZ is a 2D-Jump ‘n Run game with a twist: a third dimension can be used to alter the 2D plane. But really, it’s hard to put into words so check out this amazing video demonstration:

Fez was a finalist at the 10th Annual Independent Games Festival, along with the wonderful Crayon Physics Deluxe that I can’t believe I’ve never presented here.

Dropbox Review: Easy Backup, Sync and Sharing

March 26th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Dropbox claims to be a very easy to use system to backup your files, sync them across several computers and share them with friends. I’ve had the pleasure of testing the beta and I can say it does achieve exactly that.

Dropbox: Easy Secure Backup, Sync and Sharing The thing that makes Dropbox so much easier than other systems is that there is no learning curve and no special handling required: just drop your files in a destined folder on your harddrive and the files are automatically uploaded to the Dropbox servers. Hook up another computer to your Dropbox and it’ll automatically download the files and sync them when you change them. The system comes along with a powerful web interface that not only offers access to your files from any web browser, but also lets you retrieve older versions of a file, or accidentally deleted files. Dropbox should feel very familiar to those who use SVN in their workflow, except that you don’t need to manually check-in and check-out files to keep them synced. A helpful feature is that before uploading an updated file, it will compare and check and only upload those bits of the file that were actually changed, saving a lot of bandwidth. Luckily, you aren’t confronted with any of the technicalities, it just “does stuff” and works and you don’t need to care.

Setup was surprisingly quick and painless. My only grief are the sometimes very slow upload rates (30kb/s when it could be much higher), but I suppose this will be improved during the beta phase. Also, I recommend that you don’t create and edit new files within your Dropbox folder, as its automatic upload does not have a delay and will start uploading before you’ve even given the file a name.

All in all I’m quite satisfied with Dropbox and I feel it will be something I’ll use regularly. Its ease of use guarantees that it won’t require your full attention or slowdowns to your workflow, making it one of those little tools you just won’t want to miss.

Check out the Dropbox screencast here and go sign up for a beta if you’re interested.

Vintage Logos Are Awesome

March 25th, 2008 by Jerome Dahdah

Vintage Logos
Graphic design has some amazing history to look back on. Eric Carl has scanned in a mid-70’s edition of the book World of Logotypes and put it in a Flickr photoset. Lots of beautiful logos, I really love the geometric precision in play, and all examples work perfectly with no color at all. These are really strong. Seeing this, I think we’re in kind of a sad state with all the companies running after the shiny web2.0 trend. But not all hope is lost, aclevercookie has a good collection of current logo redesigns, some of which are definitely good (and some bad). So, what do you think?