Friday, December 15, 2006

Web 2.0 Style for Free with Inkscape

Sick of "Web 2.0" style buttons and badges yet? Me either. (Or me too, depending how you answered.) However, one of the problems I have with the whole silky smooth movement is that everybody uses PhotoShop to do their work. There's nothing about that style that can't be done in vector (and for free) using the great open source program Inkscape.

Here's the proof... (Click for a bigger image.)



These graphics could be "good to go" as SVG files on a web page, dropped into Flash, or converted to JPGs or GIF for traditional HTMLing.

Here are the source files of the images above.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coming Zune?

The new Ipod challenger from Microsoft comes out net week and has a very interesting marketing site that hypes the free content that will ship on the device. This includes songs, posters and music videos.

www.zune-arts.net

So, whether you like the device itself or not…

www.zune.net/en-US

…or think that Microsoft can’t compete in this hip space (especially with a brown MP3 player, ewww) the way they’ve gone about getting the word out through their "Coming Zune" campaign is pretty interesting.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

We're number 9!

Bridge Worldwide, my day job, was named the 9th Best Small Business to Work For in America by the Society for Human Resource Management. This is the same organization that lists Fortune Magazine's Best Companies to Work For.

So, it seems were doing something right. Also, we are in need of technology people who are looking for a great place to work. Feel free to submit your resume at our website.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Programming Font?

I never thought about what font would be best to view 1000s of lines of code. Of course it needs to be monospaced, readable and “zeros” need to look very different than “Ohs.” Oher than that, I though Courier was a fine choice—and then I found Triskweline.


Triskweline is a fixed-width font especially suited for text editors and programming environments. It was designed for maximum legibility and tidiness and supports all important symbols and Latin-1 characters.


Make the switch—your eyes will thank me.

[Edit-Check out Tim's related article here.]

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Portal Alternate Reality Game

Alternate Reality Gaming has become an interesting way to grab internet buzz for a product launch. For obvious reasons, computer and console video games have latched on to the method to extend the experience prior to when their games are released. With shows like LOST, TV has also joined the ARG revolution.

Today we’ll look at a game called “Portal” that has a theme built around science experimentations. To get an idea of what this game is like, visit the trailer on YouTube…



The game trailer mentions the “Aperture Science Enrichment Center” as the place these experiments take place. A quick Google search reveals….

http://www.aperturescience.com/

If you type the word LOGIN, the experience begins. Pick a user name (the password is obviously PORTAL) and type HELP to see what you can do.

ARGs are all about secret codes and this one is no different. If you type THECAKEISALIE, there is a hidden video and text, in which someone comments on how Aperture Science's Relaxation Vault has no doors on it, and how the installation is on lockdown, seemingly because someone has escaped from the doorless room.*

To quote the game, "If at first you don't succeed, you fail."

* Stolen from Wikipedia's Hint Page

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Google should filter Russian Spam

This Russian spam thing is really beginning to annoy me. I’d say about 20% of the spam that makes it through Google’s spam filters is in a Cyrillic character set that I can’t read and I’m 100% sure I don’t want.



I tried writing a filter that looked for tell-tale Cyrillic characters (see image) and flagged those as spam, but the issue became that any email that may be 99% English would get thrown out if it had the briefest mention of the “Mother Land.”

I propose the smart people at Google add a language filter that could attach a label to email that may arrive in any give language. Easy right?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wow. This space is dead...

Can you tell I've had a busy summer? I can.

Never fear, there are a few things in the works that I'm hoping to wrap up in the next few weeks. rsssaver has an update, as well as Mr. Bigshot, and a few "play" websites I've been toying with.

Hang tight, things are coming soon.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

SketchUp 3D for Free

Google has released a free version of the 3D program SketchUp.



Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp (free) is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you.


Hopefully Google buys more software I like and releases it for free.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who Killed the Electric Car

I’ve always been fascinated by the "activist documentary." Classic films like Roger and Me and the more recent Super Size Me did an amazing job shedding light on corporations that have made decisions that they weren’t so proud of.

Sony Pictures Classics has a new documentary about a pure electric concept car that had great potential, but was eventually pulled and seemingly covered up.

Click the play button below to watch the trailer…

Friday, June 09, 2006

CMS + Wiki

I've been looking for a simple CMS program that has Wiki-like capabilites. I think I might have found it...


When it comes to publishing on the internet, beginners and experts alike are met with a bothersome paradox: word processors and graphics applications allow anyone to do a pretty good job of managing text and images on a personal computer, but to make these available to the worldwide web – a seemingly similar environment of documents and destinations – ease of use vanishes behind sudden requirements for multilingual programming skills, proficiency in computer-based graphic design, and, ultimately, the patience of a saint.


Sounds about right. I'm going to try to install this on a server somewhere and check back with a review.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wei-Hwa's Puzzle Challenge

I spent some time today figuring out Wei-Hwa's Puzzle Challenge...

Using the numbers 3, 3, 8, 8 (in any order), make a mathematical expression that equals 24. You can use only addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (and parentheses), but in any order you wish. Note that you have to use all four numbers; otherwise 3 times 8 would be valid -- and that wouldn't be much of a puzzle, would it?


It took a little while, but I figured it out. Here's a link to a Google Calculator version of the solution.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux will be the OS I drop on my next test machine...

Ubuntu is a free, open source operating system that starts with the breadth of Debian and adds regular releases (every six months), a clear focus on the user and usability (it should "Just Work", TM) and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of support for every release. Ubuntu ships with the latest Gnome release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A new baby!

I'm a little late on the post, but we have a new baby!

Penelope Rose Wilson was born on 5/3/2006 at 8:15 AM weighing in at 7lbs and 7oz.

Pictures are posted here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

rsssaver released!

A few days ago I released the first open beta of my rss screen saver. Not too many people know about it right now, and I'm waiting for a big push to Download.com or digg.com.

rss screen saver for windows

If you want to try it out head on over to rsssaver.com.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

rsssaver coming along nicely...

My web enabled rss screensaver that I've been working on nights and weekends is coming along pretty nicely. It's already fairly functional, I just need to add some more polish to the interface, build a installer, etc.

rsssaver - the rss screen saver for windows

I'm working on a download page that will be advertising sponsored and a "begging" screen that asks for a few bucks if you like the software. I think this is a better route than doing a full up shareware program if you don't have the time to support it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My first "blog" closes...

After 7 years of providing information, articles and code for the Borland Game development community, turbo has officially decided to close.

It was a very small site, but followed by a dedicated community.


Read the rest here...

Friday, March 31, 2006

M4P to MP3 Conversion

One of the most popular questions I get from friends and co-workers is “how do a put an iTunes/Napster/etc. song on my MP3 Player/CD/etc.” The “lock down” factor here is something called DRM, and that’s a much bigger subject than I care to tackle.

However, smart programmers are finding gaps in the DRM system. The most interesting of these exploits is a little program called TuneBite. Instead of cracking the DRM, TuneBite runs in the background and re-records the songs as the music is played by your system's sound system--just like an old school dual tape deck.

It’s interesting because they aren’t really circumventing the copy protection and they might even be covered under the Audio Home Recording Act.

Anyway, I haven’t used it, but I certainly recommend the idea.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

rsssaver (or the r-triple-s...)

I'm working on a little nights and weekends project to design a visually compelling screensaver that displays RSS feeds on your desktop.

It's still in the fairly early stages, but I think it's already pretty cool. Check it out at rsssaver.com.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Prediction: Vintage CASIO LCD Watches to Make Comeback

That’s right; my guess is that you’ll see all the hipsters returning to the geek-friendly plastic LCD watch. Street prices on these things seem to be about $10, just a little too cheap to justify purchasing on line.

Next time my wife drags me to T.J Maxx I’ll be doing a deep dive into their fine electronics selection.

Until then, I’ll have to keep sporting the Sponge Bob Square Pants watch my 3 year old daughter re-gifted me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

CinciClassic, the Classic Video Game Show

Those who know me know that I'm big into "oldskool" video games. So each year, a bunch of fellow nerds and I rent out a space and host what best can be described as a video game swap meet circa 1985.

Tons of good hearted folks put lots of time into this project, and one of the things that I do is put together our direct mailing campaign. (Read as postcards.)

Here is this year's layout. (If you find any proofing errors, keep them to yourself. I already printed them and I'm not doing it again!)



Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Living in Cin...

One of my work-mates, J-Star, posted some shots of what it's like working and living in downtown Cincinati.

Check out her flicker page here.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Sony Acid XMC for $4.99 shipped after rebate!

People who know me, know I like open source software--and for audio, I love Audacity [Corrected Link]. (Check out some of the old posts for a review...) Audacity can tackle almost any recording project you can think of, but it doesn't really "make" music.

When I saw that Sony had $30 off thier ACID and VEGAS lines of software via a rebate, I jumped on the already value priced ACID XMC.


I was a big fan of ACID when it was owned by Sonic Foundry and the newer version hadn't really added much functionality. But at a net price of $5, it's hard to go wrong.