Photoshop Disaster

At first glance, this somewhat ordinary Sports Illustrated piece on basketball looks normal. Even the photo that accompanies the piece looks normal.

Or does it? If you are going to hack with Photoshop, be careful. Someone may get hurt.


Other Photoshop disasters can be found here.

IE 8 Breaks the Web

Didn’t take long. I brought up my home page and, if you are looking at the site with IE 8, the header logo is shifted way right.

It is still in beta.

Well, it is now official. The website I have been working on for a friend is up and running. You can take a look at Trevor’s site here.

Trevor’s site was an interesting project to work on from a couple of perspectives — artistic and technical. The artistic elements included colors, graphics, typography. The technical elements included CSS, PHP, XHTML.

I built up several mockups of the site in Photoshop. We then reviewed the mockups and ultimately decided on the final design. I then coded up the stylesheet from the Photoshop layout. I built the site on top of WordPress and integrated the design as part of a custom theme.

The project did take a fair amount of time to code and debug. The most time consuming part was getting things to render appropriately under the various Internet Explorer browsers. Perhaps IE8 will make things easier for web developers. The amount of time I spent trying to make sure that IE wouldn’t break the Web was silly.

Chris Wilson, an Internet Explorer platform architect, had this to say in a recent blog post:

I think we all want to converge to a world where a web developer doesn”™t have to spend much time at all testing and recoding their site for different browsers.

Amen to that. The rest of his post is also worth a read if you have an interest in web development.

You can download a beta of IE8 here.

You Know You Make Too Much Money When…

You build home theaters like this one. You can see more of them here and here.


Here is my home theater. Still working on it.



In a few weeks time I will be heading out to Vancouver to give a keynote at a technology forum. The event is sponsored by Microsoft. I had given a keynote for them at a similar event in Toronto last year.

I am prepping up the material now. As some of you know, I am not a fan of death by PowerPoint. I prefer the technique that goes beyond bullet points. If you follow sites like Presentation Zen or look at some — not all — of the top presentations at Slideshare, you can learn a lot about presentation techniques that work effectively when doing keynotes.

I did have a bit of a chuckle though. The organizer contacted me for a headshot, bio and abstract. And he is going to send me a template for my PowerPoint.

Er, no standard template for my PowerPoint. That would be bad. Really, really bad. But to even things out, even though I am a big fan of how Steve Jobs presents his material, I promised them that I wouldn”™t bring Keynote to the keynote.

Code is Poetry

And it can also be frustrating. I have been coding up a website for a friend and I was testing the blog component for scale. I have allowed for a user-defined maximum of posts visible on a page. I have code that allows a user to scroll through prior posts.

I started the test case thinking that it would take just a few minutes. I added about 40 posts to ensure that the scrolling would work. However, I kept getting the same ten posts over and over. The previous and next links would show as expected but the posts would not change.

I spent almost ten hours debugging this particular function. The solution, buried deeply in one of the WordPress forums, was obvious:

<?php {$paged = (get_query_var(‘paged’)) ? get_query_var(‘paged’) : 1;  query_posts(“cat=1&paged=$paged”); } ?>

Code is poetry. It works now. I can take some time off to celebrate my birthday.

Slave to the Machine

Digital connections are beginning to take over my life. The recent growth in social networks and the relative ease of connecting with people through digital means has dramatically increased my time behind a computer. So much so that I am now a slave to the machine.

It is madness.

On a slow day, I am spending at least two hours going through corporate email, personal email, blackberry messages, photoblogs, audio forums, blogs and other assorted social networking sites. And, if I happen to travel, the backlog to get caught up has become seemingly insurmountable. For the first time in a couple of decades, I find that I am no longer able to respond promptly to people.

Funny thing, though, is that most people still expect an instant response to their email. Being “late”? to respond ”“ meaning more than a couple of days ”“ is generally frowned upon.

I”™ve also noticed that some people can be exceptionally rude in their electronic communication. I see it all the time on the comments that get posted to this blog. I moderate all comments on this blog and I”™ve pretty much had it with people that post crude language and use an overly aggressive tone. I used to edit out the bad language and provide a response. Now, I simply delete those comments.

Can it be that far away where the rest of my digital communication begins to suffer a similar fate? Deleted because there is no time to respond?

I can hardly remember what life was like before I had all of these digital connections. What did I do with all of that time back then?

Sound of (Windows) Music

A friend passed me this link to a song made from the default system sounds of Windows.