Brian's Notes

Thoughts on Stuff and Junk

Testing Writely

This is a test of the Writely web application. It’s pretty slick and now owned by the big and growing Google.

Apparently I can save and transfer this straight into my blog.


Not only can I post it to Blogger accounts, it will even hook into Typo’s backend API!!! Sveet.

Note: Tested and works!

Go American Cycling

After Lance’s retirement I was wondering if the US would have good representation in Le Tour.

But, lookie there—it’s Floyd Landis—the 8th American to win Le Tour in as many years (ok, it’s not official but tomorrow is basically a formality).

Cycling not an American sport? Think again.

Ruby on Rails and MS .Net

Through my reading, playing, and learning about Ruby on Rails I’m finding that it’s not the language itself that impresses me—it’s the concept.

Some Java people are seeing it too.

Where I work we’re building an ASP.NET application toolset that seems to get closer and closer to an RoR concept. A tad less dynamic, but in spirit none-the-less: Convention over Configuration.

This stuff is possible with bigger more complex development environments—we just have to learn how to hold back and just make it happen.

I say convention and generators over complete flexibility and sore fingers :)

Bane of a Web Developer

I sit here wanting to build something—something cool, neat, different—and I’m so “blah” about it.

Writing web software is my day job, I’m just not in the mood to keep at it when I get home.

Some New Stuff

Well I guess I couldn’t stay away and recently re-acquainted myself with a Mac. I’m back in PowerBook world.

So far so good. Also, thanks to the great eBay seller I bought it from I got a Mighty Mouse too and let me tell yea, it’s awesome!

In other news, I’m no longer with Emedia Solutions.

Mindscape is my new gig. Today is the Friday of my first week and it’s been great. They are some fun and talented people. We also share office space with a company called Fluid and they are also comprised of fun and talented people. Nice.

Fat and Happy?

Fat and Happy?

Not me.

I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was roughly 3 years ago. Why? Let me see:

  • I don’t practice a martial art anymore.
  • I don’t cycle like I used to.
  • I eat out for lunch nearly every day.
  • I’ve become too “busy” after work to do anything about it.

Happy? Nah, I feel like crap everyday.

Windows Live Mail Beta

I never use my Hotmail account but I opted into the beta test of their new Live Mail system.

Is it just me or:

  • Why does the largest software company in the world need to place banner ads on thier webmail app? Isn’t that suppose to pay for the hosting service/space? I’m sure Microsoft can pick up the tab. Ok, fine, they don’t need to pay for my email service, but two banners? Yahoo! Mail doesn’t even do that.
  • Why is there an ad promoting the very service/site I’m using? Huh?
  • Banners just suck. They are distracting and just take up way too much browser real estate. This screenshot was on a monitor running 1280×1024, imagine what this looks like on 800×600. Is there email in there?

Ugh, Gmail just kicks Hotmail’s butt. The thing is I really like this UI —it’s just been screwed by banner ads.

DHTML Circa 2001 Circa 2006

I happened upon this post on Pretty interesting considering it was written in 2001. Here it is 2006 and I think we still haven’t got this stuff right.

I think that the architects of the web envisioned the DOM (the heart of DHTML) to be used to enhance the structure and utility of XHTML documents. Not to compete with Flash. Not to build games with. Surely not to create entire sites at runtime with. DHTML is designed to be just another layer of enhancement on top of core HTML. Like CSS, but more fun.


Nice Sunny Day

For some interesting (geek) reading take a look through Mozilla’s UI design specs.

More geek info: I have RedHat Linux nearly set-up on my Dell laptop, all that’s left now is figuring out how to hack the sound module so I can hear stuff. Last night it was VNC'ing into one of my other computers on my home network, my ICS (Internet Sharing Connection) server, so I can connect and disconnect my ridiculously slow dial-up connection from within Linux. Come to think of it, setting up VNC was more on the ICS server side rather than on the Linux side. Oh well, I’m using it from Linux and it’s a geek thing to do… so whateva. I also set up aterm as my terminal emulator of choice last night. Bring on the transparent backgrounds!

Looks nice out… I think I’ll be riding tonight.

Icy Icy Trees

Well, the storm a few days ago made a mess of my backyard. Large tree branches (8 in. Diameter) lying around in piles.

So, I bought a chainsaw (a wimpy electric one, but a chainsaw nonetheless) and started work on it yesterday. Spent an hour and a half putting a “dent” in it. Ugh.

Others on my street and nearby weren’t as “fortunate” as I was. 44th street East of Division is decimated. Whole trees down, whole trees lying on people’s homes. Not good. My own street (a dead-end road) was blocked off by downed lines for most of Saturday.

Well with weather like this, I guess I have to put riding on “pause” for now. Ugh, again.

In lighter news picked up a pair of these for my road bike… mmm. Now, if the weather would remember it’s spring.