November 2004 Archives

found objects

I've been thinking all week about how much I love Flickr (my Flickr), (my Delicious), and Quicksilver.

If you know anything about these three things (two websites that manage information--either photos or links, and one very very simple, very very powerful OS X application), you probably love them.

But I've been showing them to friends right and left, and the response has been mixed. I don't think anyone has ever said, "hey, that sucks . . . I can't see any way I could use it." It's more that some people--after a little bit of prodding and a small tour of each product--really get what's so great about them; other people just never quite understand how powerful they are.

It's also possible that they just don't need them. But as far as I'm concerned, if you take photos and want to share them, or if you want an easy way of aggregating web pages you like or look at frequently (and you want to access the links you compile from anywhere, any time), you could use Flickr or Delicious. Period.

And if you're a Mac user, Quicksilver is one of the greatest little things ever invented. It's not just that it increases your efficiency, though that by itself is a huge payoff. Once you've been using it for a while, everything on your machine makes more and more sense.

I guess that's the one thing all three of these little things have in common: on the surface they don't appear that spectacular. They're all three nicely and simply designed, but you've got to use them for a while before you can fully understand the way they enhance your life.

Many of the best things in the world are that way. Fully 90% of my favorite songs didn't start out on my favorite list. They were nice, but I didn't love them right away. They grew on me. Songs I liked right away, on the other hand, were like cotton candy: it looks wonderful, and the first three bites are spectacular, but that kind of pleasure doesn't have any staying power. On the other hand, I could eat 10 apples and never grow tired of them.

That's something I've been trying to remember lately. There's nothing wrong with "love at first (insert sense here)," but the stuff in my life that has real staying power, more often than not, needs to grow on me.

Pixel Collaboration with meta-collaboration installed

The Man in Blue recently created a collaborative pixel-based art project, which is thriving. You should go there to add your own pixel! Do it every day, even. It's fun and easy.

But yesterday, after adding my pixel, I kind of wanted to see the whole thing come together, one pixel at a time. The historical data is there (you can click through the pixels one at a time, waiting tediously for the whole page to reload for each new pixel) but no easy-to-use, dynamic animation of the pixels as they appear.

So I asked the powers that be at The Man in Blue if I could cull their data for a side-project, and they were kind enough to say yes.

Here's the result.

november 2, 2004

All of my readers (all 5 of you) from the US, make sure you get out there and vote. It's a rare privilege.

I waited in line 3 hours and 45 minutes on Sunday with Amy because she won't be able to get out of class to vote today. Everyone was incredibly kind, and though my feet still hurt, I'm so glad we did it.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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