The End of Imagination

“[The writer] does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.” – J.G. Ballard I’ve been on a kind of media fast since around Christmas of last year. It started accidentally; I was so busy with holiday madness and projects at work that I didn’t check in to Twitter or Facebook for about a week. Nor did I watch the Daily Show, listen to NPR, peruse my staple of blogs. I didn’t […] Read More

Useragent’s Rules for Meetings

Meetings without a specific agenda are evil. A vague agenda isn’t good enough. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Know exactly what you want to accomplish, and know exactly who needs to be there and why.¬†Exception: if you haven’t had a 1:1 conversation with your boss or a particular underling in weeks, then you should set aside 30 minutes to do so. Agenda or not. Standing Meetings are evil. Are you meeting every day or […] Read More

Essentials of My Digital Life

A while back I wrote a post called my favorite web services, and I thought I would revisit it in the spirit of end-of-the-year (or decade I suppose) lists. However, the notion of “web” services has gotten blurrier and blurrier, so this time I decided to make this list more generally about my digital life and the various tools I use. New since the last round… Evernote: I once called this¬†the best free application there […] Read More

YouTube Favorite of the Week

I have an idea. Every Friday I’ll post a video from my YouTube “Favorites.” It won’t necessarily be new, or timely, or funny, or profound. But I’ll do my best not to totally waste your time. So, without further ado, did you know that George Lucas approached David Lynch about directing Return of the Jedi? This video is making the rounds today, unsurprisingly…

Visualizing Various Mobile Screen Sizes

One of the things that stood out for me amongst all the hype around the Motorola Droid before the device hit the market was the screen resolution: a whopping 480 x 854 pixels. At first I thought it was a misprint. Once I verified the specs, I started making my design templates for the Droid in Omnigraffle, and I ended up spending a lot of time tweaking the scale of my document to get the […] Read More

Nokia: Software Update Fail

What the hell is wrong with Nokia? It’s as if they got together as a company, identified all they ways their software could suck, and then aimed for the bottom. I’ve been using some of the latest Nokia handsets at work for a few weeks now. The N97, for example, is awesome on paper. Big, high-resolution touch-screen display. Decent amount of memory, power, battery life. 5 megapixel camera – with a flash even. In person, […] Read More

Why I don’t Kindle

So I don’t have a Kindle, and I don’t want one. For some reason I’m predisposed to dislike it. When I try to articulate my reasons, though, they feel as irrational as any other prejudice, so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to share them. The Kindle has virtues for sure. It seems like a great way to take a lot of books on vacation. It saves paper and therefore trees. On net, it’s a […] Read More

Snow Leopard Price Comes with an Asterisk

I updated one of my two Macbook Pros to Snow Leopard yesterday, and although the official price tag for the new OS is only $29, the real cost is a bit higher. For one thing, I was running older versions of a couple of apps – specifically FontExplorer and Parallels – that are not compatible with Snow Leopard. There’s also an opportunity cost, since the install itself took about an hour, and then I had […] Read More