after a lengthy hiatus, i’ve finally booked a trip back home to canada to visit my family. it has been over 3 years since i’ve made the long journey from seattle to moose jaw and i’m looking forward to it- bigtime! the long drive is planned for the end of june, with vacations already approved and suitcases being dusted, i look forward to lily’s first time in canada to meet her extended canuck clansmen.
a trip home means adjusting from the frantic life of the city to the slower, more comfortable pace of a small town. it is very much a welcome change, although it always seems to be laced with a great reluctance to return to ‘reality’. thank god its the summer though – not sure i could stand -40 degree temps anymore…
i’m actually looking forward to the drive, oddly enough. there’s something eerily soothing about driving till your eyes are blurry, especially across the flatness and huge skies of the canadian prairies. maybe i’ll find some peace at a road side pull-off whilst the kids pee.
i figure i’m long overdue for a break. my vacation time at work is all banked up and i’m honestly ready to go now. thanks to facebook i’ve already re-established contact with at least a half- dozen people that i knew in my younger days, still in regina or moose jaw, and thirsty to sit down and catch up. my mom (newly married jamaican style), will be throwing a little bbq/reception to celebrate that occasion which i’m joyously anticipating. not to mention, we’ll be there for canada day to boot, eh.
so google, now arguably the king kong of search engines, maps, and (g)mail, takes a foray into the realm of the internet browser with ‘google chrome’, released a couple weeks ago. for reasons i won’t go into here, i’m most definitely not a big fan of internet explorer (any version) and have been a dedicated firefox user for a few years now and feel pretty loyal to the fox, although there may be a new hound in town about to usurp the calm.
google chrome is very cool.
the team put together a smart comic-book like intro here to explain why there’s a need for a more non-traditional approach to the internet browser. the ‘old school’ browsers were born into a technological world devoid of mass phising, css and rendering issues, etc and are constantly playing ‘catchup’ to build features into the single-threaded design of the ie/ff browser we know today.
chrome is different. visually and functionally, but different in a very very good way. for instance:
1. the tabs top all. thats right, the tabs (standard now in any practical browser) are located at the top of the page, rather than buried beneath the tool and address bar. this little shift is at the heart of the usability enhancements and makes total sense. each tab has its own memory space and runs independently of the others. if one tab locks or crashes, the others remain intact. plus i just love looking at the top of the pane to see where i’m at. easier is better.
2. publish apps. oh yes you can! you can create desktop shortcuts to web applications that when clicked run in a special window with no browser controls (tabs, buttons, etc) and all you see is the app itself. like gmail – it works like a champ!
3. it’s open source. need i say more? this means you, me and everyone else can start writing plug-ins and making it OUR browser.
4. it’s fast and stable. popups won’t actually pop out into a new window. the address bar is replaced by what they call the omnibox (yes its a gay-tarded name), but it works to suggest the url like the google search box, all in one. dig it. one box to rule them all. incognito mode doesn’t save your history for when you’re on a porn rip.
personally i haven’t made the leap all the way to using chrome as my defacto browser of choice: that job still belongs to firefox3, but only because chrome yet (still in beta) doesn’t resize well in a dual-monitor setup and looks a little goofy if you try to move it from one monitor to the other.
aside from that little and very minor snafu, its just as fast as ff3 if not faster, clean, stable, secure and promises to give MS a run for thier money if chrome ever makes it out of beta…
i spend enough time online finding new and interesting resources for design and typography – okay, i’m a bit of a typograph (is that a real word?). in any case, its hard to manage all the fonts that a typical designer has in his or her proverbial pocket, sometimes the number reaching well into the hundreds of typefaces. at one point it would take photoshop a good 10 minutes to load all the fonts i’d dropped in my windows font directory. so after recently re-staging my laptop and cringing at the thought of managing all the fonts in the same manner, i did some poking around and found a few resources that led me to the extensis suitcase (for windows!), which will manage your fonts for you and only ‘activating’ the fonts or subsets of fonts that you put together, making things a whole helluva lot easier to administer. fully recommended for anyone who uses more than a few typefaces…
another bit of a pain in the ass that any designer can tell you about is dealing with photoshop brushes. because of such a grand proliferation of folks out there crafting and making accessible via the web all sorts of great, interesting and must-have brushes out there, its uber easy to throw away a couple hours finding brushes, unzipping, putting in your presets folder, testing them out – and perhaps only to find that they’re not what you want. or even maybe they are cool, but its not easy to always remember what brushes look like by name. enter the ABRviewer: for mac, win, linux. this software will ease the pain of previewing all your photoshop brushes – quick, easy and free. just the way i like things…
having been a scrabulous fiend for several months now, i awoke this morning to find a most disheartening and sad message posted on my beloved facebook apps page
Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here
oh god no! they’ve taken away my scrabulous!!! so apparently the two indian guys who set up scrabulous knew what was coming. despite the many petitions online and huge daily active user base, they were forced to close-up shop (on facebook at least – the original scrabulous site still works)
and so the hasbro/ea folks have whipped up their own version of the the classic ‘scrabble’ game and posted it up on facebook too. however, its only in beta and still has all sorts of little problems. i signed up, started a game and returned later to find this:
We’re working on some tech problems and Scrabble will be ready to play as soon as possible!
so not only did they kill off the most popular facebook app and try to replace it with their own, theirs doesn’t even work! either that or they’re flooded with ex-scrabulites in a mass triple word score exodus and their servers just can’t handle the refugee blitz.
either way, it blows. anyone wanna play tetris?
just as a heads-up to anyone using msn messenger : if you receive any links with your username.sn4psh0t.com from any one of your contacts, under any circumstances do not open the link, and furthermore if you DO open the link do not put in your username and password else your msn account will be hi-jacked by these assholes who will then send all your contacts that same link… so yeah, viral.
if you do happen to click the link, log-in, the only way to stop it from messing with your msn is to go in and change your password… got it? good.