Hipster pda update

It’s been a couple of weeks since I switched from my “$800 pda”:http://www.palmone.com/ca/products/smartphones/treo600/ (which apparently now costs $300) to my $1 stack of index cards, and I have this to report:

*I wasted $799.*

Seriously, these things rock. Pull one out, write down an idea, and keep going about your business. I keep one card per idea, and add to it as inspiration strikes. Now that I’m not trying to hold things in my memory, the ideas are “flowing fast and furious”:http://www.peterflaschner.com/index.php?id=112. It’s gotten so that I don’t leave the house without a card or two in my back pocket. I even remember to bring something to write with (most of the time).

If you’re in a creative profession, or simply like the concept of having a bunch of good ideas, I very strongly recommend developing a system that allows you to keep your head free of “don’t forget” details. You’ll be amazed.

Other than a frustrating surfeit of good ideas, my major issue has been how to manage all the cards. I’d been keeping them in a single pile, held together with a binder clip. This was fine when there were a small number of cards, but as the ideas have multiplied, it’s become unweildly to flip through 20 or so sheets to find what you need. After all, the card you’re after will inevitably be at the very back…

So, in a fit of sheer brilliance, I came up with the following. In the spirit of the hipster, it’s cheap-ass too! Here are the assemply instructions:

1. take an index card, fold it in half.
2. write something on it

Now, instead of rooting through one pile of cards, I can find what I’m after almost instantly.

Forgive this moment of abject geekdom

*Star Wars isn’t dead?* “Whhaaaaaaahooooooo”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1587389,00.html
Seems George is moving into TV with two shows. Allow me to quote:

bq. A half-hour animated series will expand on the two Clone Wars mini-series that Lucasfilm has produced for Time Warner’s Cartoon Network. The series would probably be produced at Lucas’s new computer animation facility in Singapore.

bq. That would be followed by the production of a live-action series set after Revenge of the Sith but before the original Star Wars, which was subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope. “We’re probably not going to start that for about a year,” Lucas said. “We want to write all the stories for the entire first season all at once.”

I might have use for my tv after all…

Blog design: my fruitless attempt to stop fiddling

“CSS Reboot”:http://www.cssreboot.com/ sites unveiled their new faces today. There’s some really brilliant, inspiring stuff there. I highly suggest you check it out, if you haven’t already.

It got me thinking about my own inability to be happy with my site design. I’m tired of this already, and it’s only a couple of weeks old. This leads me to the following conclusion: I’m either a) fickle, b) easily distracted, c) love to fiddle or d) a crappy designer who can’t translate his vision.

The truth lies in some arcane equation where *loD = ((fk-(ta*fd))/cd)-ed* In this case, loD = _life of design_, fk = _fickle_, ta = _time available_ (which can be substituted for tits and ass, in which case its value must be increased a thousand fold), fd = _fiddle factor_, cd = _crappy designer_, and ed = _easily distracted_.

I blame rather a lot of this on the bloody brilliant “developer toolbar”:https://addons.update.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&category=Developer%20Tools&numpg=10&id=60 I wrote about earlier. It makes fiddling unavoidably simple and sickeningly gratifying.

I offer my sincere congratulations to the rebooters. I might just have my own reboot. It’ll be a monthly thing.

Browser bitching

I’m a pretty simple guy. I like to work in one application, when I can, and it frustrates me out of all proportion when I can’t. My browser of choice at the moment is firefox. I know this is a heretical statement, given that I’m a mac user and have just upgraded to Tiger. Yes, safari 2.0 is *very* fast, but firefox’s killer app is the “developer toolbar”:https://addons.update.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&category=Developer%20Tools&numpg=10&id=60 If you don’t have this, you’re missing out.

Why? Imagine that you could visit *any* page on the web, push one little button on your toolbar, and start messing with the site’s stylesheet, _and seeing your changes update in front of you_. I can’t imagine a better learning tool. It’s also become an indispensable part of my workflow. I do all my css work directly in the browser, and then copy and paste the changes into my css file. I know programs like bbedit allow you to preview your changes live, but I tend to work exclusively with textpattern, so all my files, including the css file, are stuck in a database.

This is such a huge benefit that I’m willing to live with firefox’s super slow start up. What drives me nuts though is ff’s lack of a decent spell check function. Safari taps into osx’s native spell checker (at least I think it does), giving me the same inline spell function that I’m used to in Mail and Textedit. My spelling is fairly good, but I tend to type at a million miles an hour, and typos definitely do occur – I also can’t seem to spell the word _transparent_, doesn’t matter how much I try.

So, I have to write my little diatribes, then copy and paste them into a new program to spell check them. Of course, I could just write them in textedit or even Mail in the first place, and avoid this seemingly meaningless step…

This is really quite a meaningless rant, and no doubt I’ll regret having hit publish when I re-read it in a few days, but *I’ve very annoyed* at the moment.