Fun with QR Codes!

08.25.2010

QR codes are those black & white, pixelated, machine-readable codes you might have seen on posters around the city. The idea is that you can scan the QR code and it gives you a bit of text or a URL.

At first I thought them gimmicky, but then I realized they were helpful. They’re handy for web addresses because, if you have a smartphone, because it is much easier to take a photo than it is to type a long URL. It doesn’t make much sense to have QR codes on the web.

Anyhow, I made my own QR code with this site. Then I downloaded the QR Reader app for the iphone to read it. There are a handful of QR code reading apps. Everything worked. I now “get” QR codes.

I predict there will be a lot more QR codes printed on poster and such in the future.

PlaidMaker Updated Again

03.14.2010

plaidPlaidMaker has been updated again. New features include:

  • New logo. The old one was too busy. Now it’s just the machine Arial font beside a small plaid.
  • New favicon. I really like this guy. And what’s cool about the favicon is that I made it using the PlaidMaker.
  • Added a plain English description of the hex color value on the plaid pages. I’m hoping this will help with SEO so that people searching for plaids of different colors can find what they’re looking for.
  • Fixed a logical bug where unused colors were being saved.

Still to do, amongst many other things:

  • Add a color picker. This is essential. All my non-nerd friends can’t make plaids because they don’t know the hex codes. I keep procrastinating on this.
  • Gallery search. Right now it’s a dumb list ordered chronologically.
  • Comments
  • Users

A Breakdown of Time Spent Web Designing

01.28.2010

Breakdown of Modern Web Design

Google Adds Site Specific Search Box

01.07.2010

I was doing a Google search for Urban Dictionary and noticed that the result had a search box. This appears to be a new feature.

google site specific search in results

I had assumed that Google would send the query to Urban Dictionary’s servers but it instead did another Google search, only specific to Urban Dictionary.

I’ve known how to use Google to search a particular site by using the “site:” flag. This is a very useful feature. I use it a lot when I want to do a search across all craigslist locations, something craigslist doesn’t offer. To see what the site specific search results look like, check out this site specific search on Urban Dictionary for “Rickroll”.

I doubt publishers will like this feature. While it may be helping the user it’s also robbing the publisher of a pageview and freedom to weigh their own search results.

Tinkering with Typekit

11.19.2009

I just downloaded signed up for a trial account of Typekit. There were some issues with it not working with Norton Internet Security on but I got that figured out (I turned it off :) ) If you see the wacky font below, it’s working for you.

“Just because you can use the font that looks like it’s wearing bellbottoms, doesn’t mean you should.”

11.18.2009

tk_logo_for_twitterWith the much-anticipated debut of Typekit, there is a lot of buzz in the web design community about how it is going to revolutionize web design.

Designer Jason Santa Maria wrote an interesting article on web typography, warning that we could be opening a Pandora’s box. Personally, I think the fewer decisions there are to be made, the harder it is screw up. However, more decisions, while opening the possibility of failure, also open the potential for greater achievement; we can now have fantastically beautiful websites. That are accessible.

He touches on the other issue of the stinginess of web developers as well as users. Everything on the net should be free, right? Free as in BEER. Free speech is cool too. Pay? For fonts? That’s crazy talk. I tend to be in this camp. I don’t know how many fonts I’m going to be paying for. I always take screenshots of the fonts at font stores if I ever need them for a logo :).

PlaidMaker Updated

10.09.2009

papagenoThe PlaidMaker had been getting some random search engine traffic and it was featured on the Spoonflower blog. I’m glad to see people successfully using it, especially because I think it’s still a little confusing. I just pushed a small update. The most important change is that I moved it to its own domain at PlaidMaker.org. (Don’t worry, all the old links will still take you there). All the changes are:

  • new domain name!
  • friendly urls
  • “about” page with help, history, roadmap and changelog
  • added html images (they were all CSS background images–not search engine friendly)
  • added 960 grid CSS

There’s still a ton of things that I want to do check out the roadmap for details. Enjoy!

The Biggest Weekend in San Francisco

09.29.2009

Oktoberfest by the BayThe first weekend in October is always jam-packed with huge gatherings all over the city. Geographically and ideologically they are all quite different except for having fun outdoors in San Francisco.

  • There’s Oktoberfest by the Bay that runs from Friday to Sunday. I’ll be bartending there on Saturday from 1:30 to 5:00. The crowd is usually fratastic and the event’s on the expensive side, hence why I volunteered to bartend for it.
  • For all the freaky people, there’s Love Parade, Love Fest, LovEvolution, or whatever they hell they’re calling it this year. This is a mini-Burning Man right in front of City Hall. Lots of fur, ruffles, sparkles, spandex, neon and crazy floats blasting electronica. Saturday only.
  • I’m not really one for huge music festivals, but Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is free. And they use the term “bluegrass” loosely because MC Hammer will be there. And Steve Martin, but apparently he plays banjo. I aim to make it on Sunday for Neko Case.
  • Fleet Week usually falls on this weekend but I guess it’s the weekend after. Three events is still kinda big. If you plan well enough, you can make all three.

Site Updates

09.21.2009

I don’t think I’ve upgraded the version of WordPress that Nerdcereal.com has been using since I first started using it. It was running version 2.1.2 and now the software’s up to version 2.8.4. My other blogs were using the up-to-date software so it was interesting to use two different versions of WordPress at the same time. But installations will not be a problem from here on out because ofthe 1-click install; I love that feature.

I also finally removed my AdBrite skysraper from the right-hand side of the site. I wasn’t making any money and I got tired of looking at all the weight-loss ads. Instead I’ve replaced the ads with imagry from Gawker Artists. (The link ads underneath the skyscraper are still AdBrite.)

Job Search Begins…

08.30.2009

Welcome to my website if you are a potential employer. My 10 month “sabbatical” is drawing to an end. It’s now less than a week till I get back to San Francisco. I’ll be catching up with friends and family over Labor Day weekend and should be available for interviews and ready to start work as soon as I hear, “you’re hired.” Please be sure to check out my portfolio and resume. And if you’re really bored, you can read about my trip.

Milton