Monthly Archives: March 2009

The new iPod Shuffle- innovation or stupidity?

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Apple released the new iPod Shuffle today, which takes Stebve Jobs’ fear of buttons to a whole new level. There is 1 button on the device itself, and the controls are on the headphones. How is that a good idea? Apple headphones usually break after about 2 weeks of daily use, so what would I do after they break? I certainly can’t go to a convenience store and get some $3 headphones, now can I? Noooo… I have to go to Apple and shell out $30 for their special headphones. I have to congratulate Apple though, for being the first manufacturer to implement headphone lock-in. Here’s what it looks like:

The "New" iPod Shuffle

The "New" iPod Shuffle

Even though Apple is billing this as a complete redesign, it’s really the 1st-generation Shuffle design, just a bit smaller and more rounded. Same goes for the 4th-generation iPod Nano, which is clearly a more refined 2nd-generation Nano. Has Apple lost its ability to make new designs? I can already picture the next-generation iMac, with a swivel arm and a base, like the iMac G3.

On a similar note, has Apple lost it? Their page on the Shuffle’s Voiceover feature has an illustration with very-amateurish-looking purple gradients that just don’t work with the overall design.

Purple Gradients? Seriously?

Purple Gradients? Seriously?

Other Stuff

I’ve made a few small changes around the blog, the main one being the ability to resize text without breaking the layout. Try it!

Bleeding Through

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…was awesome. As Blood Runs Black and Impending Doom were pretty good as well. I actually got to meet the bassist from As Blood Runs Black, and he was a pretty cool guy.

SAT

One of the most agonizing acronyms ever invented, I have to take it next Saturday. The good news is that once I take it, I’ll have loads more free time. I expect to do decently on it. I’m definitely going to rant about it the day I take it, just as a heads-up.

Anxiety

A pretty cool Mac app I discovered while browsing the interwebs. It’s a minimalistic to-do list app, and I’ve been liking it a lot. It’s light and unobtrusive, and should help increase my productivity. Download the app at its nicely designed website.

Apathy

I’ve named my upcoming WordPress theme “Apathy,” and it will be a lightweight, minimalist theme. I’m hoping to make it with zero images and zero javascript, to cut down loading times. It will most likely be available in several colors, with a theme options page and such. It’ll be free (as in free beer). I still haven’t set a release date yet, but you can follow my Twitter for updates on the progress.

Other Stuff

I’m working on several articles, so you can expect those within these next few days. I’m hoping to resume semi-daily posting. I’m also working on a design project for a friend, and it should turn out pretty awesome once it’s finished.

What if…

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…Microsoft ripped off Apple’s website? I was wondering the same thing today, and being bored out of my mind, I decided to put together a mockup of that in Photoshop. It took me about 2 and a half hours, but it turned out quite nice. Behold:

Microsoft Website + Apple Website

Microsoft Website + Apple Website

Click on it to see all 1440 x 684 pixels of goodness.

New Theme?

It seems that just about every web designer out there has released WordPress themes, so I thought it would be interesting to have a try at making one. It will most likely be a minimalistic theme, which I feel are lacking amongst all the fancy themes out there. I already have a name for it, and a pretty good idea for the design. I won’t reveal too much today, so stay tuned for a full post about the upcoming theme. And before all you cheapskates ask, yes it will be free.

Top Website Annoyances

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Have you ever visited a website and left it in disgust? Well I have, for many reasons. The content on the website could be amazing, but the following problems are what make me click the close button:

1. Horrendous design- Call me picky, but I simply cannot use badly designed websites for long periods of time. Websites that have white text on a very dark background hurt my eyes the most.
2. Overload of advertisements- I cannot stand websites that are bursting with advertisements. The ones that annoy me the most are the text-link ads, that attach themselves to random words in the content. Not only do these distract the visitor from the content, but they annoyingly pop out whenever the link is hovered over.

Annoying Ad

Annoying Ad

Continuing on the topic of annoying ads, I utterly despise the ones that start talking, saying things such as “Congratulations! You’ve just won ______!” Of course there are also the animated ads, which flash and blink constantly. I don’t know how I’d surf the internet without Firefox + Adblock. What is the point of ads, since most people don’t even click on them? That’s why this blog is ad-free, and will remain that way. I make enough money on my own to sustain the cost of hosting.

3. Proprietary plugins- If a site tells me that I need to install some little-used plugin like Silverlight, I leave immediately. Flash is pretty much the standard for interactive content, and I shouldn’t have to install yet another plugin to view a web page.

4. Links that open in new windows- It is very annoying when every single link opens in a new window. How about letting me choose, or indicating that the link is external?

5. Annoying navs- I shouldn’t have to do mouse acrobatics to work your navigation. This is especially true for those impossible-to-use dropdowns.

6. Slow load times- If your site takes forever to load, I’m not going to wait. It’s not that hard to make a fast-loading website, just use properly compressed images and proper coding techniques.

Those are the top annoyance I have with most websites these days.

Snow Day!

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For the first time in about 4 years I finally have a snow day. Although I still have work today, but there probably won’t be too many customers in this weather. After I shoveled all the snow, I took my Nikon D70s and took some pictures of the snow.

The houses across the street

The houses across the street

Looking down the street

Looking down the street

Looking down the street

Looking down the street

Looking down the street

Looking down the street.

I’m hoping for another snow day tomorrow…

Also, expect another blog post today.

Best WordPress Design Award

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I’m happy to announce that I’m entering wpwebhost’s latest competition, under the “Clean & Minimalist” category.

bestwpdesignaward

Wish me luck!

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