Archive for April, 2006

Fence Riding Once Again

screenshotApparently the fixed/fluid-width toggle feature here at SimpleBits was a popular one. The latest realign bid farewell to the option, instead settling on a centered, fluid-width layout with a conservative max-width applied. For those that requested it, the ability to toggle between fixed and fluid is now back. There are a few reasons I decided to add it back in:

  1. Well, you asked. Actually, I don’t usually cave in to reader demands, hence my recent useless-but-riveting articles regarding oatmeal cookies and (of all things) the weather.
  2. It’s so dead-simple to implement. Well, after reading this it should be.
  3. Choice can be nice. Since max-width isn’t currently supported by all browsers, giving those readers an easy option for readable line-length seems to me a Good Thing.
  4. It’s fun to play with. Along the same lines as twirling a pencil in your fingers like the drumstick of a spandex-wearing drummer from the 80s.


Dan’s recent post about software got me thinking. Maybe you’re like me, where you love trying out cool new apps. “Wow, this is great! It’ll save me time and I’ll be far more productive”. But after a day or so the excitement wears off and you’re back to pencil and paper, or storing things mentally, or doing things without that exciting app again.

For general web work I tend to stick to the basics only: Photoshop, BBEdit, NetNewsWire, Transmit, and all the goodies that come bundled with OS X. I suppose the only oddball would be the Backpack Dashboard widget. I’ve found it to be one of the only productivity apps (if I may call it that) I use with any sort of frequency. I prefer the widget over the web interface, although I’m not sure if that means anything. It’s been useful for keeping track of little client bits, unpaid invoices (for which I should be using something else), etc.

Actually I’ve just thought of a few that might be worth mentioning: Iconographer (for creating favicons) and SuperDuper! (recommended by DB and used as my routine backup solution).

I’ve always considered myself a “Power User”, but damn… maybe that’s wishful thinking.

Some Speaking Events

The speaking drought is ending this summer and I’ll be taking Bulletproof Web Design on the road to two conferences. Don’t worry though, I won’t be regurgitating the book, but rather using the concepts as a platform to talk about some recent (and future) projects along with the methods and thinking that’s gone into them.

@media 2006 · London · June 15-16

Kerry and I visited (Old) England back in 1998. Loved it of course (especially Oxford). Looking forward to going back, although we originally thought this might be a first big family trip, it’ll be hard to be travelling solo. If you’re attending the conference and see a misty-eyed, intentionally (for now) bald guy glued to his iPhoto-enabled iPod — now you’ll know why.

@media looks like it’ll be a fantastic conference though, with quite an amazing line-up of speakers. Really looking forward to it.

Webvisions 2006 · Portland, Oregon · July 20-21

I’ve never been to Oregon, but have always assumed I’d really dig it. Webvisions has quite a line-up as well, spread out over two days of workshops, panels and keynotes. Should be fun times.

Mending Jack

Pardon the interruption, but this is by far the easiest way to pass along news and avoid forgetting to email everyone that we intended to.

We found out shortly after Jack was born that he had two heart defects. Thankfully they haven’t affected him negatively over the last few months, but we knew they’d need to be corrected nontheless. This past Tuesday he had surgery that fixed the problems, and after a few roller-coaster days in intensive care, as of today he’s doing really well, eating again and has just moved into a “normal” recovery room.

I’m once again in awe of the doctors and nurses that are taking care of our little guy. We’re fortunate to be in Boston (this time at Children’s Hospital) where some of the best surgeons in the world work. For instance, Jack’s surgeon is apparently the Jeffrey Zeldman of cardiac surgery, so we felt pretty reassured.

Work has of course been put on hold and emails are going unanswered while we’re living at the hospital this week. We’re hoping we can all be home sometime early next week.

Update: Finally home. Mentally and physically exhausted — but home and doing well. Whew.