This may be especially useful for our Ladybug users. Here’s a quick .pdf tutorial from iStock Photo on cropping your photos. Not sure what to use to crop images? Try Pixoh, a free online image editor that makes it simple as pie to crop and save images online.
Monthly Archives: May 2006
This past week we were asked to make some minor updates to a Flash piece we created about two years ago. We updated the file, pushed it to the site, and then soon thereafter realized that it was completely and utterly broken.
It was difficult to figure out exactly what was going wrong. We were using a set of “components” made by a company that had sold out to a larger company, so it was impossible to get updates. The site was originally created in Flash 7, but we were doing updates in Flash 8. Consequently, the components were vanishing, utterly vanishing from the Flash piece. It wasn’t working.
Confused, we installed the older version of Flash, in an attempt to work in a known good working environment. However, this was not to be. For the older version of Flash would not work – whenever we opened this file, it froze up. We tried installing this older version on two computers, with the same symptoms. We were stymied – a word I’ve wanted to use for some time.
Flash can be really difficult, but this one takes the cake. Unable to work with this file, we decided to just roll back to a known good version and put that on the site. We figured out another way to get it working, and it’s fine now. But it reminded me again how frustrating proprietary technologies like Flash can be. If you have problems like this you have no recourse, and it’s difficult to figure out which piece of the puzzle is at fault. Without a computer configured exactly the way it was two years ago, with the same software and components, we were unable to change this file.
If there was a lesson from this experience, it is to make frequent backups of your work, and keep them safe. If we hadn’t kept a number of previous iterations of this Flash content, we would have been… well, stymied. Don’t let this happen to you. Make frequent backups, and favor open source technologies whenever possible.
Kasper Nauwelaerts has released a small plugin that lets you validate the webpages you browse for (x)html compliance. In the bottom right corner of each browser window, it shows the number of warnings and errors the current page has, along with a small icon. Clicking on the text shows the source for the page, along with a list of all the problems. Double-clicking on the error message in that window highlights the problem within the source code. Invaluable!
(via Lars Pind)
The section on color, in particular, is full of great articles and tips. I love that they show you how to visualize different color spaces and compare color values using software that comes with every Mac. Good job, Apple!
Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web checks in from the incredible-looking Webstock 2006 Conference in Wellington, New Zealand. His favorite event yesterday was Joel Spolsky’s talk on Blue Chip Products and how the best products in a particular category (the iPod, the Aeron chair) can so completely clobber their competition in a industry.
And here, of course, we’re talking about design. Mr. Spolsky concludes that “the world is monumentally superficial,” and proposes a simple, three part formula for great products: make people happy, think about emotions, and obsess over aesthetics. Remember those three next time you build something online, and you’re likely to be a winner in your category.
Note that Spolsky’s talk is based on an article on his site, if you’d like to read more.
Junior Senior is a band best known for Don’t Stop the Beat, the incredibly catchy hit song (and video) off their first album. But the song Workin’ on Something Better has become the unofficial “anthem of the month” here at Needmore.
The whole album Hey Hey My My Yo Yo is brilliant, definitely a good way to shake off this cloudy weather and put a smile on your face. And what better lyrics to get stuck in our heads than these?
Keep on workin’ on something better!
You may already have heard a bit about Tundro’s first web app Cork’d, the evenings-and-weekends brainchild of Dan Cederholm and Dan Benjamin. It’s a social wine tasting and recommendation site, and it’s really well done. It’s free, too.
I like this site particularly because it’s not trying to be too general. Many social websites suffer from a kind of schizophrenia (MySpace is a good example) that makes it really difficult to take it all in, and I can’t last more than five minutes. But take something very specific, such as wine or mixed drinks, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
A good lesson in building a simple and fun web application. The authors may make a little money out of it, and good for them. It’s fun to use, and the social features make it better than any “desktop” application that attempts to do the same thing.
Be sure to make ray and kandace your buddies if you join!
Daring Fireball posts a link to the New York Times article Apple, a Success at Stores, Bets Big on Fifth Avenue that answered a lot of questions for me. Like why the heck those stores are so big!
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”