Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-27

  • Euphoric over the health care reform bill passing. Sometimes our democratic process does the right thing in spite of itself. #
  • Sweet! "Amazon announces Kindle for iPad" http://bit.ly/akemQK #
  • "We don't fear the future. We shape the future." (B.H.O.) #
  • "An open letter to conservatives" http://bit.ly/ddjRgt #
  • "As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom." (A. Kennedy) #
  • survey: 78% of males age 15 to 22 said there was too much pressure from society to have sex http://bit.ly/aZWOtD #
  • Health Reform passes into law, world doesn't come to an end. Film at 11. #

One year later

I’ve been in Los Angeles for about a year now. Who’s bright idea was it to relocate at the lowest point in the DOW? (This chart shows the last 5 years.)

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-20

  • Rush Limbaugh will leave the country if healthcare reform passes? I'm for THAT too! http://bit.ly/covbcl #
  • I bet Liz Cheney would want a lawyer to represent her father if and when he's arrested for crimes against America… #
  • A few reasons why I want an Apple iPad http://bit.ly/auNxsU #
  • Digg unveils 2.0 public beta … does anyone care in this age of Facebook/Twitter? #
  • Christians should leave Glenn Beck, and report themselves to Beck as supporters of social justice http://bit.ly/bdkpXh #
  • Free "social CRM" integrates with Gmail through a browser plugin… very interesting… http://bit.ly/a59pc4 #
  • LOL forced obsolescence RT @arstechnica: Unsurprisingly, IE9 won't be supported on an obsolete OS – http://arst.ch/gpx #
  • No-Flash versions of WSJ and NPR coming (for the iPad) — woo hoo! http://bit.ly/cUFWbg #
  • Amazon releases Kindle desktop app for Mac OS, finally! http://bit.ly/cKHbx9 #
  • Two new client websites launch today http://bit.ly/9ftas6 #
  • Android 2.1 coming to Sprint HTC Hero in "coming weeks" http://bit.ly/8Y0Ed9 #

New Site Launch: Griffin Chapel

Griffin Chapel (www.griffinchapel.com) is a small site for a wedding chapel in Brunswick, TN.

Built on the Joomla 1.5.15 platform, this site uses the following plugins:

The site also has a photo gallery built on Gallery 2.

The site’s content is still being written, so a couple of the pages are still blank. The site has been live for about a week, and the client has already had several calls, one just to say they loved the new site, and three more to book a wedding.

More photos will be coming in April from weddings that have already been booked.

Site Upgrade: Serenity Retreat League

Serenity Retreat League (www.serenityretreatleague.org) had a site built on Joomla 1.0.x, and was having trouble with the admin system. I recommended upgrading to the current version, Joomla 1.5.15.

The client was happy with the design they had, so I modified the existing template to be compatible with the new Joomla, moved the content from the previous site to the new install by hand, and upgraded the Contact Us page to use ChronoForm.

I’m Number One (in Google… again…)

Back in October, I noticed that a Google search on my name placed this site in the number one position on the first page of results. Then a few days later, this site had slid back to about number three.

I’m posting again to say that at least for now this site is back at number one on a search for wayne hastings

Here is a screen shot of my first page of results, with my sites in bold — sites that are not mine are ghosted back.

Apple iPad: WANT!

When Apple released the iPhone, it was obvious that it was a great device. Great for everything, it seemed, but making phone calls.

AT&T has been the Achilles Heel in the iPhone becoming a true “God Phone”. I know people in San Francisco complain about AT&T reception, but here in Alhambra, working from home, with AT&T cell towers all around me, I could not get a reliable cellular connection. The iPhone was unusable for me. And since I was working from home, being unable to use the phone at home was the dealbreaker.

I have said for a while — at least two years — that if they grew the iPod Touch into a 5.5×8.5″ format, or half of an 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, it would be perfect. Well Apple did me one better, going for the 10″ display at 1024×768 resolution. This is slightly smaller than the screen of my old 12″ PowerBook. Intuitively, this feels right.

I have held out on buying an e-book reader. The Kindle and Nook are interesting devices, but aren’t the solution that feels right to me. The hardware is expensive and not nearly as versatile as I would hope. My instinct tells me that the iPad’s color screen alone will be enough to make the iPad a better book reader than any others. The backlit screen, and shorter battery life, will be the tradeoff for using the iPad as a book reader over a Kindle or Nook.

Pair an iPad with the Skype app, wifi, and a bluetooth headset, and you have a media device capable of making phone calls. I don’t know how many iPad users will do this, but that is a usage statistic I’ll be watching for as the polls start coming in.

For web browsing, the 1024×768 resolution is perfect, in my opinion. Most websites will be viewable at actual size without left-right scrolling when in horizontal orientation.

The screen format has gotten some criticism since many movies are 16:9. So you’ll see black bars across the top and bottom of your screen. Tough. You get black bars on the sides when viewing standard definition movies and television on your high def screens. It isn’t ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Deal with it.

Flash? I don’t want Flash. I want Apple to continue to stonewall on implementing Flash on all their products to spur the development communities on to better solutions. I agree with the person who said that Flash was a stop-gap measure — it should never have been used as a platform. Let the people who can’t live without Flash choose a Linux or Windows-based product.

Writing and responding to short e-mail will be better on the iPad than on your smart phone, but you’re not going to be using the touch screen keyboard to write anything very long at all. I hope I’m wrong about that, as it would be nice to do some blogging and writing/editing on the go with the iPad without needing a laptop, but I really hate the iPhone touch keyboard.

Aside from e-books, I expect gaming to really pick up with the iPad. As developers take advantage of the form factor to develop new and innovative games, I expect the iPad to become a really compelling portable game device. I don’t see much difference in God of War on the PSP and Assassin’s Creed on the iPhone. And I would love to see true virtual worlds come to the iPad platform, especially Second Life.

So I have my iPad on reserve. April 3 at 9:00 am, look for me in line at the Pasadena Apple Store.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-13

  • Converted an old, unused Compaq Presario into a media center PC — added an $80 video card with HDMI out and Boxee http://bit.ly/ezSdt #
  • "…nothing ever has happened in American history without a protracted partisan battle…" (A. Huffington) #
  • I'm with @kevinctofel since I no longer have an iPhone — I think the iPad is going to be a fantastic media device http://bit.ly/dkGz5Z #
  • Not sure why I'm addicted to grunge fonts — I almost never get to use them in my work http://bit.ly/cubfTR #
  • Mellow Tuesday, producing websites and listening to my acoustic rock Pandora station http://bit.ly/byH0Rb #
  • RIP Corey Haim http://bit.ly/bdKxe0 #
  • I have had one crazy week! More tickle fights, snorkeling, and groping than anyone should have to deal with… #
  • Got my Apple iPad reserved for pickup on April 3 — can't wait! #

Quick Testimonials

Here are some quick comments I’ve received this week from some of my customers.

“It’s looking great — I had a [website visitor] call me today just to tell me she loved the new website.”

“[The clients] were very complimentary of your quick response to getting this web site updated. They also were all very pleased with how the #10 brochure turned out. Thanks for all you do.”

“I keep telling you… you ROCK!”

🙂

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-06

  • Reading "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller — he articulates well many things I've thought or felt over the years http://bit.ly/922g7U #
  • "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." (Lester Burnham, American Beauty) #
  • Finally saw "Twilight" last night. Boy did that suck. At least "New Moon" had werewolves! #
  • Designing a new client website, struggling with questionable color combinations their print designer used. :- #