Scattering comment pixie-dust … my heroes

Computer GeeksImage via Wikipedia

Day 6 has dawned bright and oh so clear where I write. I’m a morning blogger and I have to say one of the things that gets my brain in gear for the day ahead is the ritual of good coffee with a look out over my valley and then some word-smithing to get the left and right brain collaborating.

Anyhow, my own task for the day is to scatter some comment goodness over unsung heroes of mine. These are the gorgeous geek guys and girls who labour away over website design, plug-in creation, and applications which they give away in the best spirit of open-learning. I wouldn’t be blogging without the brilliance and creativity of these web friends.  So I’m visiting nerd sites today … I use the term nerd with the greatest respect … to say a heartfelt thanks.

Follow the trail of the comment pixie-dust!

Hooray for Zen


Creative Commons License photo credit: miheco

I’ve been intrigued for many years by the philosophy of Zen and its impact upon the aesthetics of traditional Japanese art … particularly Noh theatre, a topic I teach in a history course. I also love good design. So, I’ve been a fan of Garr Reynolds’ blog Presentation Zen for some time. Reynolds’ writing and practice on presentation design and performance is simply excellent.

This weekend my reading companion was his recently published book of the same name (New Riders: Peachpit). I must say it is a delight; form and function meet superbly as you might expect from this Zen master of contemporary design. Reynolds refreshes Zen’s ancient principles of minimalism, restraint, elegance, engagement with material and audience in an entirely accessible and practical way. The winner is the contemporary professional presenter. Continue reading “Hooray for Zen”

Cabaret begins: meet and greet

Here we go, here we go, here we go! It’s been a couple of months since auditions and the announcement of the cast. This afternoon was the first company gathering … what’s called a ‘meet and greet.’ For most it was the first time we had got a chance to meet some of the rest of the company who will create this production of Cabaret. This first coming together with a group who will bond as tightly as a theatre company does, is inevitably exciting. Continue reading “Cabaret begins: meet and greet”

Moving house from WordPress.com to .org: to begin at the beginning …

Can o’WormsIt’s summer outside and lots of other people are out there enjoying the joys of the great outdoors … hitting the surf, strolling the countryside, and just hanging out as you do on these long, sunny days. It’s an outdoorsy time for most, but not for me. I’ve been hanging out at my desk, and for a lot of the time, staring at a screen.

Since making the big move from Wordpress.com across to my own domain using Wordpress.org, I’ve been steadily tinkering away under the hood. I now have some idea of what it’s like when people get caught up with reconditioning things: clocks, cars, and other sundry ‘machines.’ It’s what goes on underneath that makes the outside … eventually … work so well. Well of course, anything to do with machines, engines, algebra, coding and anything vaguely associated with mathematics has guaranteed a vertical learning curve for this non-DIY little arty. I’ve had the smile wiped off my face more than a few times along the way, but right now, I’m feeling pretty darned pleased with myself. As a result, I wanted to write about how I got from where I was to where I am now blog-wise. If and when you decide to make the break to your own domain, you might find this longish post useful. You might also find some nuggets here if you’re thinking about making a move from another blogging content management system (CMS) to Wordpress.

Can o’WormsIt’s summer outside and lots of other people are out there enjoying the joys of the great outdoors … hitting the surf, strolling the countryside, and just hanging out as you do on these long, sunny days. It’s an outdoorsy time for most, but not for me. I’ve been hanging out at my desk, and for a lot of the time, staring at a screen.

Since making the big move from WordPress.com across to my own domain using WordPress.org, I’ve been steadily tinkering away under the hood. I now have some idea of what it’s like when people get caught up with reconditioning things: clocks, cars, and other sundry ‘machines.’ It’s what goes on underneath that makes the outside … eventually … work so well. Well of course, anything to do with machines, engines, algebra, coding and anything vaguely associated with mathematics has guaranteed a vertical learning curve for this non-DIY little arty. I’ve had the smile wiped off my face more than a few times along the way, but right now, I’m feeling pretty darned pleased with myself. As a result, I wanted to write about how I got from where I was to where I am now blog-wise. If and when you decide to make the break to your own domain, you might find this longish post useful. You might also find some nuggets here if you’re thinking about making a move from another blogging content management system (CMS) to WordPress. Continue reading “Moving house from WordPress.com to .org: to begin at the beginning …”

Macworld round the world: delight and disappointments

Fascinated to see how lots of people in my Twitter network stayed up around the world waiting, waiting for that keynote speech. When I got out of bed next morning it was all over bar the blogging, Tweeting, and podcasting. There was predictable gushing and cooing over the MacBook Air, quickly followed by a dousing with cold water when the price ticket was digested and its limitations dissected.

I was keen to hear what the MacBreak Weekly podcast team had to say; they are smart folks. Predictably on the job, they reported within an hour or so of Steve Jobs’ Keynote from the Moscone Center in SF. Like me, some admired but weren’t about to spring the cash for the newest MacBook, the Air. I’m also hearing this from colleagues around the traps: ‘beautiful, if expensive, but I’m going to wait, and besides, I love my (insert whichever Mac model you like here).’ For more extended comment, you might want to read Paul Boutin on ‘Why I’m disappointed …Continue reading “Macworld round the world: delight and disappointments”

Blog Packrats Anonymous listen up!

January is a month that looks in both directions – in the manner of Janus the Roman god who gave it his name. For many in the southern hemisphere it’s still summer holiday time, whilst others have already had to kick off the beach wear and struggle back into work clothes. A good tidy up the desk, the drawers, kitchen cupboards and the dreaded spare room is the order of the month. Here’s an update of a post from 2 years ago.  Most of it holds true; I’m an inveterate packrat and still get a kick out of the mail inbox at zero with everything nice and tidy on the online desktop.

Whilst I’ve been on holiday I’ve had a chance to devote extra time to blogging. This has resulted in researching and testing more than my usual quota of applications and web tools. Some get dumped almost immediately, either because they don’t pass my design test for usability, or I’ve already got something that does the job better. However, it doesn’t stop me snooping around for tools that make my blogging more productive or the experience more fun.  I subscribe to the Macbreak Weekly podcast for an entertaining take on all the goss on Mac-related tools.  More importantly though, I get most of my information and tips on new services via my RSS feeds which I access using Feedly, a Firefox extension for Google Reader.  Feedly also pulls in Twitter – another place for hot tips on new apps and services which come recommended from fellow tweeters. Continue reading “Blog Packrats Anonymous listen up!”