So I don’t forget

Just bookmarking something for myself so I don't forget. Edward Tufte is a professor and author focused on “analytical design” (whatever that means). In my taxonomy of english, it means he writes up good ways to present and visualize information and data to where it's understandable, something that is always challenging. Granted, a lot of his stuff is based on statistics (which I absolutely hate, ask anyone who knows me and my … lack of success … with engineering statistics in college), but I really do need to pick up his books one day. Oh, and maybe attend his course if it ever comes up to Seattle.

He's well known for his hatred of PowerPoint, which I sometimes do (well, maybe I hate the use of PowerPoint more than the tool itself), but I've also been reading the Presentation Zen blog recently. Good stuff there.

Work laptop death – what did I miss the most?

So, my primary laptop at the office died a terrible hardware failure last Friday (no, not terrible in the sense of Dell laptop battery fires, but terrible nonetheless), and I've been using an old Toshiba Tecra 9100 since then (~2 year old laptop). It was slow and painful to use.

But what did I miss the most?

Could it be: the dual monitor setup I have? the speed of my primary laptop? tablet functionality of my primary laptop? having all my data handy?

I missed all of these, but mostly, I missed my RSS reader client and configuration that I had installed. Trying to remember the sites I read, and trying to visit them in sequence to read what I was missing out on was, well, a futile attempt. I just got my tablet back, and it's time to catch-up on what's going on out there.

Does RSS make web layout irrelevant?

So, I'm sitting here running through my daily ritual of reading RSS feeds, and I stumble upon this entry on Om Malik's blog. In it, he mentions it's been a busy week: they signed on some sponsors, had a party, and … launched a new look.

Wait a minute, he launched a new look? I load it up, and sure enough — it's got a new look. (Not that I had any reason to believe that Om wasn't telling the truth, mind you)

That made me think, especially since I've just gotten done re-doing the layout of my blog — is layout and design irrelevant in the world of RSS subscriptions? I don't think it's quite irrelevant yet, but I think it's going to be that way soon, once the wonders of RSS become more widely used.

What are the web designers to do?

News headline you don’t see every day

Again, reading MSNBC, and stumbled onto this news headline:

4 penguins perish in freak Texas truck accident: Octopus unhurt, exotic fish not as lucky en route to temporary home

Full article here. Sad story, but a bizarre headline.

Worst written news article ever

So, I'm reading the MSNBC article talking about the denial-of-service attack on Joe Lieberman's website (article here).

I'm always amazed with the over-simplification that journalists use when they write stories:

The Web site was hosted on a computer named, a Web server computer that also hosts about 70 other Web sites. Many of those sites — such as, a local news service in Nevada — were also hard to reach on Tuesday.

A computer. … sigh.