The new MacOS pictures are starting to filter out, and one of them appears to show something called a Dashboard. Ignoring for a moment that the "Dashboard" name and new look are pretty non-Mac looking and sounding, and are more likely faked, I do hope Apple is coming out with a widget system like Konfabulator or Stattoo.

I spent some time fidding with Konfabulator and actually made a pretty cool little clock with the help of an artist friend.

But annoyingly, the folks at Konfabulator keep a pretty tight grip on the program that lets you run the widgets, and so getting friends to use my work meant asking them to pay for Konfabulator. Arlo and Perry can charge whatever they want for their stuff, I'm all for capitalism, but I stopped wanting to make anything with their program. There really should have been a better development offer for people making their widgets. I would have been happy receiving a couple of free registrations to hand out to my friends since my widget was included in the gallery.

So now if Apple goes and eats their lunch it's too bad, but it'll mean I can go back to developing these micro-applications.


I do not have this product, but rest assured I would be very hesitant to purchase a skeleton model from a company that can't even assemble a skeleton in any resemblance of the actual way it is in real life. The entire torso on this skeleton in the picture is on backwards!

Be sure and check out the photos.

From The Top 25 Weirdest Items You Can Purchase Through Amazon via Jason


I can vouch for this Mac application. Works like a champ. gCount sits in my menubar and tells me how many new messages I have. Very simple.

Dropload passed the 35k user mark.

My boss is quitting to go to TBWA. One of the most non-web people in my department is now finding a new manager for me by hiring his friend.

"Non-web" is a phrase my boss and I used to toss around when discussing people in our department and clients. A production person who hadn't heard of WaSP was "non-web". A programmer who rolls his own blogging CMS is very "web" (however foolish that might be. Hi, Riggs!). A flash programmer who can't tell you how the OBJECT/EMBED tag soup works is not very web at all. Our latest clients, the ones who said, "Make it XHTML strict!" are frightfully web.

The thing that plagued this company for so long was that there were so few "web" people working in the online department that we'd miss great opportunities because everyone was so concerned with how nice the site looked versus how well it could be maintained or how it worked. We've got lots of pretty sites in our portfolio that companies sloughed off like a dead skin when it came time to extend it.


  1. Boss is away. Yay. Before she left she sent me an email that she only asssigned me "one FogBugz item to fix!" That FogBugz item contains about 10 changes to the CMS that are pretty unrelated. :)
  2. Cory's talk at MSFT on the subject of DRM is a must-read today.
  3. Mat Honan started a Mac blog. The url is currently http://mac.honan.net.hg.sabren.com but he says that will change to mac.honan.net later. From now on call him "Mac"
  4. Kokogiak redesigned. It's very pretty.

There's a Roomba mailing-list I'm on and someone remarked how his berber carpet wasn't being cleaned as well as he had hoped. Someone on the list replied with a good description of what Roomba excels at, and what it doesn't work so well with. I couldn't find a direct link that wasn't roadblocked, so for a few of you who have contacted me about how well it works can read this.

continued


So it's probably no secret that I'm trying different ways of making money on the web. I'm actively working on several projects, I'm putting advertisments on dropload, as well as here (partly just to see how the system works, partly to pay for a newspaper one Sunday a month).

Most of my ideas involve Amazon (unfortunately) or subscriptions (unfortunately) or that idealistic free-until-later web application idea that only works in every programmers brain and rarely anywhere else.

Jon Gruber is trying something, too—I was one of the first to jump at it and I love the unique RSS url I received for signing up. There's an idea right there for an MT plugin: unique RSS feed keys and reports. Or for a whole business providing reporting and syndication subscriptions for content providers.

The problem I think for me is that the ideas come pretty fast and furious. 95% suck and 5% slightly suck. I really need to work on polishing that 5% and getting behind it enough to put myself out there and not be afraid to fail.


google_globe

I had a chance to see this globe when I visited Google earlier this month. Like the updating search terms in the Google lobby, the globe is very much a "oh neat" type thing.

The colors represent the languages being searched and the height of each beam relates to activity. There's a legend just off to the side that tells you what language is what. You can zoom in and rotate the globe in a number of directions.

Oh Neat.


I think my neighborhood just crossed a milestone. I while waiting for my DSL to be re-installed (!) I was fooling with my Airport base station when I noticed a new wireless access point pop up in KisMac.

Named simply "Gondar" (the name of the street one block over) I attempted to connect to it but was rebuffed with a WEP password requirement. Still, I was excited to finally see WiFi finally showing up in my neighborhood.

For the past week I've been living in a "deadzone", with no DSL and lots of friendly (!) Verizon technicians telling me the problem must be the wiring in my house. It turned out someone accidentally switched my phone number with someone else's phone number while installing a phone in my neighborhood. So for about a week I've had someone else's number and no DSL.


I'm a big fan of any song or cycle of songs that are carried on through the years and build upon each other. Lyrics swapped, and spun around to play with the years of use and meaning that preceeded it.

I wrote a bit about Stagger Lee and its versions a few years ago, and always intended on learning more about St. James Infirmary after reading about it in Deep Blues.

Rob Walker has written a very fine and detailed story about St. James Infirmary in his Letter From New Orleans section on his site.

I'll try and dig a version of the song up, I remember hearing the White Stripes do it, but I can't remember if they really messed with the structure and just sampled bits like the Clash did with "Stagger Lee" on "Wrong 'Em Boyo".


I bought an iRobot Roomba Vacuum Pro Elite a couple of days ago and I have to say, so far it's exceeded my expectations. The thing is a champ at cleaning carpets and hardwood floors, and the geek side of me gets to stand around and watch it learn what a coffee table leg is and encircle it.

While I don't have to do the actual vacuuming anymore, it takes longer to complete the job. The robot spends some time back-tracking and repeating areas. And before I can even start I have to complete clear the room of cords and stray items, something I could do on the fly while vacuuming before.

In 3 years I will probably look back on today and laugh that I woke up at 7am so I could vacuum my living room.