TC 448, how much apple rules, and a myraid of other useless knowledge to try and help you understand your purpose.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Thunk Design: Review

Assignment number two

Reviewing Thunk Design

At first look, I thought to myself, “This is going to be a pretty good website." But this website does however fall slightly short of the mark. The first "splash page" does not represent the content inside. The first few lines of text are spunky, creative, and inspiring... and after clicking on the Enter Here arrow, A fairly decent looking page loads up. A nice looking color scheme, seemingly good design layout... with some links to portfolio items on the right side. But my hopes failed shortly there after.

From that point on, the sites potentially limitless possibilities with flash, turned into a text based, non-graphical presentation, with a confusing navigation to boot. Even the portfolio, where you think a straightforward graphical based display would prosper, seems to be brought down by the use of an extremely small, and "hidden" navigation.

The company that this site is designed for is a website that deals with branding, logos, icons, and design... but this website does not represent any of that ingenuity and design. TOO MUCH TEXT... Granted the gallery does a nice job of displaying other works that the company has done... However their very own website does not reflect this creative design.

There is a weird two part navigation all across the site. Like under Services... There are two navigational headings overview and descriptions... that are very small, have very poor contrast and are sort of tucked out of the way, not provided, the user with good opportunities to "see" their way out of that page and onto another.

Needless to say I am unsatisfied with this website in its entirety. The company looks as though it does good work, they just need to carry that work onto their site.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Mac Media Center: Open source project

Turning a mac mini into a devout media center is in the lifelines of many new minis, just now making there way into consumers hands. There are hundreds going through rigorous training sessions as we speak. Beefing up hardware, with external drives, more ram, and add on capture devices such as those from But the diminutive mini will be no match for the media center title until its final intensive training session can be completed, which will end with the great functionality of an open source software development.

I introduce to you the Mac Media Center This is where the Apple world will really shine in the media center race. Linux has built its empire on this idea of open source development, and now has been taken more seriously as these movements spring up all over the globe. Such as the Poisoned Project, Rendevous, and of course the well known Mozilla Firefox thing.

By not dictating to the public, but by actually allowing the end users to decide, and develop ideas about the product , the Mac Media Center is positioning themselves for a very successful, movement in placing themselves at the forefront of the digital world, in this period of convergence.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

First TC 448 Blog Post

So I was confused on the last post, that was just supposed to be turned in not posted. Anywho we are supposed to look at and make a post about it. But again either I missed what we were supposed to "blog" about it or else I am just confused about something. So here goes I guess I will rely my opinion of the site.

At first glance this site seems to be one of the "new age" standards compliant grid based websites... it has all of the key features, a columnar layout, great usage of white space, clean un cluttered real estate, nice graphics, a good use of branding, and a modern color scheme, with very nice complimentary colors.

I looked a little deeper, well into the code, and found out that the site is actually designed using tables and only using "standards" or css tags for basic font formatting. And quite frankly, at this point this still... may be the most useable way of coding ( although that is changing quickly with the extreme, and much needed decline of Internet Explorer), because today there are still massive amounts of people not using standards compliant browsers. So to reach the greatest audience with the most predictable outcome would be to still use the full set of html tags.

Beside the fact that this is a very well designed site, it does not strike me as standing out all too much. There are no extremely innovative features, it uses a fairly standard layout, and the colors are widely used across many design websites. It does however have a cute little bird that is used for branding, in its logo, and all across the site, however in my rendered version of the site (Safari v1.1)... it actually is on top of all of the titles, a malfucntion of the css rendering, not being completely standardized among all browsing platforms yet.

Overall I think this site is quite successful in its quest to design a good page, and display himself (the designer) along with his works. By being personable, as well as professional he is able to create a friendly open atmosphere for his site to thrive in that seems to help build upon his content, and this site could be used as a reference guide as how to build a personal portfolio.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

First actual TC 448 post GOOD Bad and the Ugly

So the assignment was to search the web, which needless to say is an everyday all the time activity for me. So needless to say I have a fairly good idea what I do like and dislike on the web. However the assignment was not too specific as to what type of websites we should be looking for as there are millions and millions of types styles, and then also why I could enjoy them, or well dislike them. However I am guessing that since the first lecture we had, was all about page design that I would critique sites based on design.

So here goes.

The first site I chose to review is

This site is one in which I used to frequent quite often. It basically boasts itself as an online publication about web development and accessibility. So with those topics in mind it is an easy connection to make that the site uses a very simple, and aesthetically pleasing layout. I really enjoy the dynamic header at the top of every page that uses a very cool charcoal effect. It adds a more of a printed publication feel rather than an online production. Which ads to the "publication" style content, and idea behind the site. The site also has a very good color scheme, and use of fairly simple and easy to remember branding.

However the navigation is slightly confusing at first glance, yet is easily understood shortly there after. There is also quite a bit of scrolling on the site, which is made slightly less annoying by its large amount of good context. The use of white space also focuses the eye on the content with the use of the "columnar" layout.

The second site I am reviewing that I enjoy is Aninda Basus Portfolio

I have traveled to this site many times for inspiration. My favorite part about this page design is the half splash that sits directly in the middle of where your eye would normally look at first glance. This half page splash also doubles as a functional display of her works with a very nice flash design. The color scheme is fairly bland yet still pleasing... which actually works fairly well as not to distract from the "main content" of the page which is the flash movie.

The layout of the page however does not do very much to help build upon the design. and the careless use of lists below the splash looks unfinished... and does not follow the extremely modern looking splash above. There is a poor attempt at branding in the upper left that is almost unnoticeable unless you are searching for it and the navigation is almost passed over unless you realize that that is actually what it is.

And the final site I chose to critic is

South by south west is a group that sets up music/film festivals and conferences to help young artists, learn what it is like to become a professional. I pretty much dislike this site in its entirety which is fairly odd, because it uses a lot of pieces of design material that should and would be successful on other sites, but seem to be used incorrectly here. the first major upsetting feature is the color scheme, it just doesn't seem to work for me with this site. The other thing is the usage of icons, but the icons just sort of seem out of place, and not at home on the page. The site is also set up much like a printed publication as I had mentioned earlier like however this one doesn't make the transition as elegantly. There is too much text and scrolling without enough white space to break up the body of the page. And last but not least I wish that I could say that the quirky polka-dotted background ties the whole page together, or does something constructive yet it falls short, just as a symbolic reminder for the rest of the page.

Transmit 2 great little ftp manager

I just tried out Transmit 2 a very small fast, and extremely easy to use ftp manager... it has a good layout that was simple to understand with "your stuff" on one side and "their stuff" on the other aka local and server. This app coming from hosting a varity of neat "lil apps" as well as Unison a multimedia p2p "capture" device. The coolest thing I see from this developer is on the front page where you can "instantly download" any app by dragging the icon to a download button. Try it for yourself.

Cracking the safe: Mac mini

And of course before the mac mini even hits the consumers hands... the first mods and hacks have already begun. A video of the mac mini being "cracked" open has leaked out from what looks to be an internal demonstration for apple tech service.

Check out the original post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Free 10 GB Online Storage Locker

Thats right... store your photos, movies, and music online.... Free

check out the article from Cnet

10 GB online storage

Monday, January 17, 2005

Why I love Apple let me count the ways

Well I think that I have stated that I love apple, and that fact is completely understood. However I really have provided no reasoning, nor, valid facts behind my reasoning... so I am going to start with this post. Bear with me... the jewel is at the end of the necklace. ;)

I have been struggling lately with ways to tackle backing up my content. I have an enormous ammount of personally valuable material on my machines. And it would be a colosule disaster to lose my beloved carefully rated and correctly labled music selection, stockpile of family guy, viva la bam episodes, and hundreds of business related files.

I have all of these items stored on my "central unit" a G4 tower, that is stationed at my desk at home. This machine is the one that I use the most, fastest processor, largest hardrive space, and of course, enourmous display capabilities with dual monitors.

However it would be quite a sight to see if I was to tote this entire entorouge to class every day just to take notes. So I have taken it upon myself to pick up a G3 which has taken the place of my spiral notebook in class. I also use this machine as a mobile workstation which I use for menial tasks on the road, display for clients, email, basic capture and editing. This poses another data, backup/sync problem in my ever increasingly complex situation.

So basically my syc/backup situation is two fold I need to do basic one-way storage from my g4 tower just for security issues. However at the same time I must also create a sync between my two computers for the "out of town" work, as well as class related material. But this type of sync is much different, I do not need to sync the entire home account, just certain files, folders and preferences, but the sync must go both ways. As far as I my knowledge extended five minutes ago... this is a slightly more complex set of standards to contend with.

Fast Forward to the present and I have performed a simple google search, discovering that there are dozens of options that could potentially fulfill both of my syncing needs. Within five minutes I have stumbled upon these top contenders.
Syncing with CVS
Carbon Copy Cloner

All of which seem to be great steps in the direction of taking care of my backup needs. So again back to why I love apple, it is only through apples "open source" style of thinking and the enthusiasm of developers, that things like this are possible. This Open Source idea of computing, is what will eventually turn the tides, and change the way we interact, use and enjoy our computers in our everday life.

IX Webhosting: The greatest serving host on the net

Simply put, there is a money back gaurntee if you are unsatisfied, then you can back out no questions ask... there is also an amazing customer support that provide instant feedback 24 hours aday.

Check them out you will not regret it. IX Webhosting

Google Suggest

coolest new thing Ive found... it will suggest keywords, and show you how many other people have searched the sme thing... give it a whirl see what im talking about Google Suggest

Carputer: Let the hacking begin

I ran across this article today Race for Ultimate Car Hacks and the article basically puts a spotlight on a potentially extremely large market that I beleive will be sprouting shortly with the advent of the mac mini, as I stated previously. The minis form and function, are the defining factors for this incredible machine. Not only could these "Carputers" provide you with endless hours of entertainment, and business functionality on the road, but they could also start a revolution in the way that we service, our cars. If we constantly have an onboard computer checking engine diagnostics, revamping fuel oil mixture, timing, measuring gas milage, and so on and so forth. The car will be able to self diagnose, on the fly, run different system proformance profiles for different driving situations. If there are problems with the engine... the computer will be able to tell you exactly whats wrong, not just blink a simplified version of morse code at you requesting that you take it to the shop. The owner will merge with the car, and the car with the auto shop. The revolution is begining what will you do when the apple falls on your head?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Free: mac mini, Ipod

I followed this link from I promise this works I have many friends who have gotten theirs... I want to join them as well.... The best way to make this happen is to do as I have done, follow my link, and then fill out the credit card info buy gas, which we all need anyways, then payoff and cancel the card, if you can convince 5 people to do this... you will receive a brand new mac mini! Help me out this works for real

for free mac mini

for free ipod

I promise it will work... just do as I say and you too will receive your free products!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Mac Mini: A server for the home, car, or office

So the mac mini has got me thinking... obviously as well as an un-countable number of others. I have long envisioned a home "entertainment" system... that is a single unit... It plays audio as well as video, and is the central unit for all that happens in the house. It is the streaming "server" to store music, photos, and video on, that would be accessible to all other, "client" computers... it would be the central hub so to speak of a "wired" house hold. However the more I think about it the more this mini seems to fill in the spaces, of many needs. I have been working on a way to set up a mobile photo/video station that I can use to edit, my projects on the road, mac mini I have been wanting to have a central music, photo video, station at home, mac mini, I have been wanting a semi portable ipod like movie player (minus dvds) mac mini. But what I believe is the most appealing to me at the moment is the mobile workstation that I am envisioning. Follow me here. The mac mini is located in the glovebox with a 7.5 inch touch screen mounted in the dash. This will take care of all of my navigation through downloadable maps, and text directions, it will also satisfy my audio needs by using the native Itunes as a music box, no need to mess with $1300 dvd/cd/hardrive headunits that charge extra to add the external support of the ipod. I will be able to play dvds, and MPEG video as well. When I arrive on site to work I will be able to pull out the wireless mouse and keyboard... plug in an external monitor/projetor, and edit/display to my hearts content.. if a client needs a hard copy I can easliy connect to their server via the airpot extreme capabilities, or burn them a dvd/cd via the superdrive. And when I am finished with my work on the road, i can easily unplug the mini, and bring her inside, to continue working on projects at home, with no data transfer, needed, everything is kept in one simple little magic box. Oh and I forgot to mention, with the 1.42 GHZ computing power I will be able to monitor my engine diagnostics all the while, and with the third party sony puppyprint fingerpringting technology will be able to start my car and log into my computer all at the same time using my personal unique finger print.... OH the glory.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 The newest sensation

I just stumbled across

Do you hate filling out useless personal information that will just come back to haunt you in the future, by linking all of your vital information to send countless spam emails, telemarketing calls, and paperwaste mail fit only to start a fire? Now through bugmenot if you ever come across another site asking for personal information, that will undoubtable be sold to these marketing "headhunters", copy and past the URL and head over to and Boom your in.

deconstructing purpose feed

Just found out I can create atom/rss fees so here is the link

note to self need to figure out how to make hypertext links in this blog.

Apple: The Coolest Company On Wall street

I am so impressed with apple theses days. The company is beyond amazing to me. I have been an complete fanatic ever since elementary school. At this very young age with a fresh mind free for molding... I was able to realize a great product, and its amazing potential early on. I have since purchased 4 apple computers, an Ipod, and have convinced countless number of friends to follow in my footsteps, much to the ridicule of those very same friends early on.

Today I saw something amazing, I saw a company that has changed the face of the Music Industry, with the invention of the Ipod, and the ITMS (Itunes Music Store) debute many items that will continue to change the face of the Personal computing industry, with the advent of the Mac Mini. I have thought to myself on many occasions that I wish that I could become part of this revolutionary company. But when I look back on my history with apple, it is then that I see that I have been. I have promoted my favorite logo to no avail for as long as I can remember, I have stood up in the face of the evil empire (WINBLOWS) and now I am here to enjoy the glory of a revolution from the big grey box to the amazing new apple.

first blog

my name is kirk this is my blog.