Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beautiful Web Books

This new book on typography gives a pretty great run-down on the basics, and beyond, on using text. Butterick does seem to push a little bit too hard on using his own fonts, so although the book is free, it feels like a big ad. The information is still very useful and sound.

Check out Practical Typography, by Matthew Butterick.

Another free web book published this year is The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero. It also manages to be beautiful, while living inside a web browser. It has no underlying sales message either.

1062 Days

Is a very long time between posts. More than 10% of my life.

The trip I started in my last post was a resounding success. I rock climbed on 4 continents in 10 countries while travelling around the world. Celebrated the new year by sleeping in a snow cave on top of a mountain. Caught up with many old friends and made many new ones.

The time since then has been rather less exciting, but also much more relaxing.

On the way to Europe

My big holiday begins!

It’s 2am in Singapore, the first stop off on my way to Italy, and I’m making use of the free internet facilities at the airport. That was the longest leg of the flight, the next two portions are each half an hour shorter. There’s sooo much to watch on the plane, but nothing can keep my attention, am going to try and sleep some more this leg.

New Job, New Design

MyNight LogoLast week I finally started work again after only about 3 months holiday. I’m not helping a Brisbane based web startup called MyNight. Everything’s going well so far, and it’s great not to be sitting around the house any more.

I’ve also changed the layout of my site. Hopefully only temporary (hah), and just a stock theme, but at least not THE stock theme.

Topcoder

Last Friday I took some time out and entered my first Top Coder competition.

For those who’ve never heard of it, Top Coder is an online competition for computer programmers. There’s several different categories to compete in with the most interesting to me being Algorithms.

Each week thousands of coders from around the world enter, and are given 3 programming challenges, with limited amount of time to compete them. Points are awarded for correct solutions, based on the difficulty of the problem, and the amount of time spent working on them.

I heard about Top Coder from an online interview with a Google employee, who attributes his success in obtaining a much coveted position there largely to his high standings in the competition. He also highly recommended it for anyone wishing to practice their programming skills.
The problems are hard, it’s a bit of fun, and provides good motivation to improve.

Ebay, Stupidity, Video Cards and Fraud

No-one enjoys feeling stupid. Unfortunately that’s exactly the boat I’m in this morning. Once again I’m a victim of online fraud, only this time it’s thanks to stupidity and greed on my part.

For several months I’ve been interested in getting a newer video card than the lowly Geforce 2 MX I’m currently making do with. It mostly serves well, but I’d like dual-head, and a chance to play around properly with Apple’s OS X, neither of which it can do.

After deciding that an older ATI Radeon was my best bet, I found and paid for a second hand one through the Overclockers Australia Trading Forums. Unfortunately, the card didn’t exist and the seller stopped responding to messages. I wasn’t the only one caught out, and the case is now being investigated by the Queensland Police.

Not to be deterred, I took my search to eBay, and found an absolute bargain on this Radeon 9800 Pro. I took the usual precautions of buying on ebay, and checked the user feedback of the seller. At first glance it was very nearly all good, but when I looked closer, he had only been a member for three months, and had only sold cheap sets of batteries. Now he had listed many hundreds of dollars worth of computer gear, all finishing within a couple of days. I was suspicious, but decided, it’s eBay, what can go wrong, so bid, won, and paid for the item.

Today, the item hasn’t arrived, I check on eBay, negative feedback is starting to filter through, the seller is no longer a member, and I’m feeling very silly. It’s too soon for me to take any action, but it seems I’ll get to try out eBay’s disagreement services. Wonderful.

If something seems to good to be true. It probably is. Listen to your own common sense, don’t be as silly as me.