Archive for November, 2006

Opera Mini Simulator

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Opera Mini SimulatorIf you need to test your sites on a mobile phone but you don’t have the possibility (mobile online fees are expensive!), then how about giving Opera’s very own Mini Simulator a try? Naturally, this one only supports Opera Mini, but it renders the page exactly as the real thing does. I’m surprised at what a good job this browser does. Opera Mini renders only the most necessary CSS while leaving the page very readable and easily navigatable. Larger images can be downloaded in their original size or resized exactly to what you would need on your mobile, if, say, you wanted to use it as a background. I’ve tested position: absolute on it and while it reduces it to pure text and links, it does leave the general feel of the site intact, in a “mini” version. A nice addition is the built-in RSS reader. I’m definitely putting this browser on my next phone. Now if someone could please come up with sane mobile online fees…
Update 2009-11-06: new URL

Minilogue / Hitchhiker’s Choice Video

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

This fun little stop-motion video was created by Ljudbilden & Piloten for electronic artists Minilogue, done completely on whiteboard. Very entertaining!
(Thanks, Spreeblick)

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Awesome Stuff

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Awesome StuffMy net has been down yet again, so sorry for the lacking updates yet again. I’ve written a rant about my ISP over at the e-commerce-blog (in German), for those interested. Anyways, to make up for it, I’ve got some Awesome Stuff for you. Paul Armstrong has written some awesome scripts, among others a Lightbox variant, but done with Yahoo! UI and animated much slicker than the regular ones. Anyways, just have a look, you might find something awesome you can use.

Photosynth: Create a 3D World With Your Photos

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

PhotosynthMicrosoft Live Labs are developing a very promising new technology called Photosynth that collects photos of a scene from all over the web and reconstructs a 3-dimensional model from them. You can then navigate through the scene and zoom in to all the photos, some with very high detail. It’s still in an early stage, but some day you will hopefully be able to do it with your own photos. Check out the demo (needs Internet Explorer, of course), or, for those of you without IE, have a look at the videos. High wow-factor, really.

Stop The Text Highlighting Already!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I’m having my really-bad-mood-day today, so I’m going to vent some of that here, and you can’t stop me. If there is one thing that really annoys me, it’s when people make their sites highlight keywords I searched for when I come to them via Google. Gah! Stop doing that! The worst are the ones that even persist on highlighting when I deliberately refresh the page to get rid of them. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be user friendly, helping us find the text passage and all. Well guess what: it isn’t. It’s really disturbing when reading text,, it breaks reading and line flow, it distracts the eye, and I’ve rarely ever seen a site that gives me a visible “TURN OFF” feature. I use the Firefox “find-as-you-type” feature, which is great when I ask for it, but hitting ESC quickly turns it off again. If you feel you must use it, at least let me turn it off easily. And use more discreet colors like 37signals do. That will be all.

Web Application Form Design

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

There are few things on the web as annoying as having to fill out complex web forms. Luke Wroblewski has an excellent article up on how to design and structure complex web forms for optimal user guidance, making everyone’s lives a little easier. The article is expanded by another one.

And while we’re at it, I must recommend Defensive Design by the usability gurus of 37signals. There’s lots of insight here into creating websites with bullet proof user guidance and I’ve learned a lot reading it. Worth every penny.

Connection Problems and the Reality Cycle

Monday, November 13th, 2006

"Freiheit" by Jerome DahdahPlease excuse the lack of updates the last days, I’ve been having problems with my ISP, had no net connection for the last 4 days. To add some icing to the cake of lacking updates, I’m going to get off-topic shortly.

You know, it’s funny. Whenever the net goes down, you realize how dependent of the damn thing you’ve really become. All kinds of stuff you want to look up but just can’t. (Hell, even when I’m reading a book, I find things so interesting I want to look them up on Wikipedia.)
No emails, no IM, no wasting time on YouTube, no checking train timetables, no blogs, nothing.

Then you start to realize, “Hey, this is great”… there are another thousand things you could be doing instead in the “real world”, that you haven’t done in ages. So you do that to kill time, and it’s great. Then you make a vow to unplug your net connection for at least a week when it’s back and see what else you can get done. But I never really do that. I get right back on the net, and the next time it’s down, the whole cycle starts over again. But as bad as it sounds, I do have a pleasant social life, and it’s not the Web 2.0 kind. So, does any of this sound familiar?

Improving Images with LAB Color Mode

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

LAB-tasticJustin Seely of Photoshop Quicktips shows us how to utilize Photoshop’s LAB color mode to quickly add contrast and saturation to flat photographs. It’s a quick fix and you return to your regular color mode right after using it. Check out the rest of Photoshop Quicktips for some other great tutorial podcasts.

Flash Switcher Extension for Firefox

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Flash Switcher Extension for FirefoxAbout time someone came up with this. If you are working with Flash and need to test your products in various Flash versions, the new Flash Switcher extension offers a very easy way to do that. Just select the version you need from the icon in the status bar, and the extension will quickly auto-install the appropriate Flash version and reload the page. Tried it out, works like a charm for me. (mac version here.)

Helvetica – The Movie / Update

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Helvetica - The MovieThe Helvetica film I mentioned some time ago is slowly nearing completion. Still no trailers on the website but I just received a newsletter with some background information and I thought I’d share it here with those interested. I, for one, am dying to see it!

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