Album of the Week: Anberlin - Cities

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Anberlin - Cities This week’s Album of the Week goes to the new Anberlin album, Cities.

How to login into IqOption Demo account?

It’s not a huge departure from previous albums but it definitely rocks harder.

Favorite tracks so far are Adelaid, Hello Alone, Dismantle.Repair., and slow-rocker Inevitable.

Posted at 4:39PM by Josh in Music
Feb 22 2007

SpottedWalrus: Annihilator

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So the little hamsters have been hard at work designing the new site that you now see. There are still quite a few rough edges and I know some browsers (specifically IE 6) just plain don’t work with this site. But do know that I’m working on it.

One major thing to make note of is the change in link structure. I’m dropped the usual blog structure of year, month, and day and just went with a simple post id and article title. Make for much neater URLs. The negative side is that all previous links are dead…but since there aren’t a ton of incoming links to specific posts at this point…it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Hope you like the new goods!

Posted at 12:57PM by Josh in General
Feb 22 2007

Project Shedding

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I’m an idea machine. Not a week (or, a lot of times, a day) goes by that I don’t think of some new site or web application that’d I’d love to see come to fruition. I’ve got an entire Backpack page overflowing with ideas should I ever get bored.

In 2006 I tried my hardest to actually build a lot of these ideas out. I had over a dozen different personal projects on my plate and some were even extremely close to being finished.

The predicament I found myself in was that I was killing myself trying to manage, design, and develop so much stuff in addition to managing, designing, and developing client work.

So what did I do? Right after the holidays I sold and dropped all projects that I either didn’t give a rip about or had been around for 6 months and hadn’t made any money or showed no signs of making a significant profit soon. That left me with only active (or almost active), profitable projects that I was still really excited to be a part of.

Since shedding all of those projects, I’ve found myself much more relaxed with work and a lot more productive. Projects that run themselves still require a certain amount of mental space and the amount of mental space my projects were taking up was more than I could handle.

Project shedding applies to much more than just business related things. Life in general can get far to full to enjoy. I highly recommend evaluating both your work and personal lives and, if anything, temporarily let go of some things and see how much your quality of life improves.

Posted at 4:11PM by Josh in Business, Lifehacking and Personal
Feb 20 2007

PowerMac & iSight for Sale

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This month I finally made the leap to the Intel side of Apple and snagged myself a juicy little MacBook Pro (little = 17″).

Now that I’ve got the MBP, I no longer need my G5 or the iSight (since Apple laptops have cameras built in).

So, I’ve put both items up for sale on eBay.

The PowerMac G5 is a beast with a Dual 2GHz processor and 5GB of RAM and the iSight is in mint condition.

Get your bid on.

Posted at 8:47AM by Josh in General
Feb 19 2007

Changes ’round here

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So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind the past couple of months and as you can tell, I haven’t posted in about a 3 billion days. And by 3 billion days I mean about 90.

I’m moving business towards the content creation side of things…meaning I’ll be writing more here.

Most of my writing has revolved around Apple stuff at The Apple Blog but I figured I really should start posting non-Apple stuff and here seems like the perfect place.

So stay tuned to more ranting on business, design, lifehacking, coding, and just plain awesomeness.

Booyah.

Posted at 8:43AM by Josh in General
Feb 19 2007

A year in review

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A year ago in July of 2005 I married the woman of my dreams. We moved out to Denver, CO as a newly married couple fresh out of college with no jobs, no plans, and not knowing anybody. Within a matter of a couple of weeks we both had great jobs and were really settling in. I had the exact job at a fantastic interactive firm that I had always wanted and got that job within a couple of months (not years) after college. I was blessed to say the least.

But after working there for a mere 7 weeks I had become extremely unhappy with the job. The people I worked with were great and I got to work on some huge projects for major companies, but I hated it. Why did I hate it? Because I was working for someone else. Everything that was put out had to go through a total of about 10 people…10 opinionated people. When any project was finished it was rarely something I was proud of and really was hardly even my own work after all the revisions. Sure…that’s just the industry, but why did I have to put up with it? I ultimately made the decision to work on my own from home. And here we are, one year later, and I’m still alive.

The past year has proven to be one of the greatest years of my life. From a business perspective, going freelance was a fantastic decision. I doubled my “salary” while actually spending less time in the “office.” It has been very successful to say the least.

Was the decision to quit a “stable” job hard? Sure. I had a family to support and no real work lined up. But it turned out to be the right decision in every way.

Maybe you’re in the same spot I was a year ago and aren’t sure if you should give it a go. I’ll say this, it’s not for everyone. Working for yourself requires and truckload of discipline and perseverance. It can get a tad boring sitting in a room by yourself all day. But ultimately the payoffs really are great.

So if you’re thinking of taking that step, do some planning, weigh your options, and go for it!

Posted at 10:55AM by Josh in Business and Personal
Nov 16 2006

90-Day Rule: Be Successful 90 Days From Now

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Glen at LifeDev just made a really encouraging post about Patti Brotherton’s 90-Day Rule.

Basically the theory is that whatever you do today really shows it’s effects 90 days from now. So say you ran a mile everyday. 90 days from when you start that, you’ll start seeing the effects.

A more relevant application is blogging. I’ll take me as the subject. My goal is to make atleast one blog post here on SpottedWalrus per day. The idea is that in 90 days I’ll start seeing more traffic, more comments, and ultimately just a more successful blog.

This theory can really be applied to anything though. So, I challenge you to put some effort in to something routinely and then in 90 days reflect on that. Chances are you’ll be better off than when you started.

Posted at 2:53PM by Josh in Lifehacking
Nov 15 2006

Tools of the trade

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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?

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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

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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