Archive for August, 2006

Tools of the trade

1 person found this article interesting enough to chat about...

Here’s a pretty solid listing of the various apps/websites that I use on a daily basis to make business happen. Hopefully you’ll be able to find something here that you didn’t know about before.

Software

Adium - Use this for business? You bet I do. I value instant messaging and email over phone calls any day. Sure phone calls are still necessary, but there’s nothing like having a transcript of everything you and client talked about.

Adobe Illustrator - For all vector work…all of it.

Adobe Photoshop - I do all my website comps here. It’s industry standard for a reason…don’t let anybody tell you anything different.

CocoaMySQL - A must for any MySQL database development.

Color Schemer - Great for inspiration on color combinations as well as just figuring out what colors will work together.

Mail - Does this really need an explanation?

NetNewsWire - Gotta keep up on what’s happening in the industry.

OmniGraffle - I use this to build out wireframes and flow charts for almost any web or UI project I take on.

QuickBooks Pro - For keeping track of the cash money…ya herd?

Safari - For the obvious.

Studiometry - An absolute must. This application tracks time, handles invoicing, and is used for all client management. So good.

TextMate - Every single bit of code I write calls this home.

Transmit - The best FTP app I’ve ever used.

Wallet - This great little app keeps track of the hundreds of usernames and passwords I’ve got for all the websites and servers I manage.

Websites/Web Applications

Basecamp - A project management must. Basecamp keeps projects on task and moving smoothly.

GotVMail - Handles call routing and voicemail. Has a great online admin area and is reasonably priced.

Mint - The most beautiful web stats software…ever.

Posted at 5:48PM by Josh in Business
Aug 20 2006

Is it creepy for the grocery store clerk to make comments about what people buy?

No one found this article interesting enough to chat about...

So I’m at the grocery store this evening and the guy in front of me has 2 wonderful items he is buying…a cantaloupe and detergent…nothing else.

The clerk at the checkout, who eerily resembles Milton, candidly says something to the effect of “Gonna do some laundry and eat a cantaloupe, eh?” To which the customer just kinda looked at him and smirked.

This got me thinking, do you think it’s odd for people to make comments about what you’re buying? When is/isn’t it appropriate? If some depressed looking girl came to the counter with nothing but a pint of ice cream and the clerk asked if she was depressed…would that be too much?

I’m not some sort of privacy freak who thinks everybody should keep to themselves…but comments about stuff you’re buying seems a bit off.

Thoughts?

Posted at 9:50PM by Josh in Personal
Aug 17 2006

Project Updates: August

No one found this article interesting enough to chat about...

Each month I plan on giving a bit of an overview on the various projects I’ve got my hand in. So here’s the August installment.

Adregate

Adregate is the ad management and ad serving solution that Kyle Neath and I are developing. We got sick of there not being any real way for the majority of website publishers to manage the ads they run on their site. Adregate will provide them a way to manage their ads as well as provide them with tools to help sell ad space on their site.

Right now we’re working towards pushing out the first round of private betas. I hope to be using Adregate to manage the ads on a few of my sites within the next 2-3 weeks. We’re really excited with how things are going and some cool new things that we really feel will change how people sell ads.

Arcaplay

Arcaplay is a fun project of mine to try and bring something new to the table of free online gaming. There really are probably a hundreds of thousands of free online game sites out there and at the core of this, there’s not much different…it’s a place to play games, for free. But some really cool features I’ve added are the ability to tag games yourself, rate them, add them to a group of favorites, and get the code to drop the games into your own website or blog.

I’m currently working on the next version of Arcaplay that will improve on the current features and add a few new ones. One major new feature will be a “Friends” area where you can see what games your friends like and get recommendations based on what your friends have enjoyed recently.

I’m also recoding every bit of code (css, xhtml, php, javascript) from scratch.

Here’s a sneak peak at the new design as well:
Arcaplay Preview

ColourMod

About a month ago I acquired ColourMod. I’ve always love the CM widgets and when the opportunity was presented to buy it, I had to take it.

The widgets themselves will still be developed, but the immediate concentration is to develop the site itself further.

The two major changes thus far are the addition of the ColourMod Galleria and a shopping feature for the products.

The Galleria is a place to showcase and comment on great use of color in design.

The shop is simply a better solution for handling the purchase of the ColourMod products. On a business note, implementing a shopping cart solution instead of the previous “Click here and redirect to PayPal”, has almost tripled the conversion rate…nice.

Posted at 10:00AM by Josh in Business
Aug 16 2006

Artist of the Week: Angels & Airwaves

No one found this article interesting enough to chat about...

Angels & AirwavesI, like many folks, went through a punk phase in my musical tastes and bought every crappy punk bands album I could get my hands on. Blink-182 was in that list. An occasional Blink-182 song will make it’s way through my iTunes Smart Radio Station and I can’t help but wonder how I loved listing to them…it just hurts my ears now. Maybe I’m getting old…or picky.

At any rate, I say all that to say that Tom DeLonge (former Blink-182 frontman) has a new band…and they don’t hurt my ears. Blink-182 had a nasty breakup in the past year and one of Tom’s reasons for jumping ship was that he wanted more out of music. He wanted to product and create something that people could really relate to on a deeper level…something that moved your heart.

That new ’something’ is Angels & Airwaves and their debut album We Don’t Need to Whisper.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I heard who the founder of the band was, but don’t let that deter you. These guys really do have some great songs that aren’t your typical radio-rock-power-pop-punk. Quite the contrary, actually.

I can list to this album straight through (all 50 minutes of it) and not skip one of them. It’s just that good.

Go give it a listen.

Posted at 9:59PM by Josh in Music
Aug 14 2006

Icon Obsession

No one found this article interesting enough to chat about...

Over the past week or so I’ve some how managed to become completely obsessed with Mac OS X icons. Seriously…it might be considered an illness.

My current favorites are pretty much anything and everything by David Lanham. The guy has created over a dozen unique icon sets that are just plain juicy.
David Lanham's RBO

Some other nice icon resources are Iconfactory and InterfaceLIFT. Both have countless sets for the taking.

And if you decide you really want to get hardcore with your icon collecting, I highly recommend snagging Panic’s Candybar for handling system icons and Iconfactory’s Pixadex for organizing your truckloads of icons.

Posted at 8:51PM by Josh in Design
Aug 14 2006

The New Goods

No one found this article interesting enough to chat about...

Well, as the 9 of you who read this blog can probably tell, I’ve redesigned the site. There are still a few small issues to fix (and I honestly haven’t even opened it in IE/Win) so hopefully all those little things will get taken care of by themselves…

Posted at 6:37AM by Josh in General
Aug 11 2006