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Archive for October, 2006

Firefox 2, Spell Checking, and WordPress

Since I have started this blog I have been scouring the internet looking for an acceptable spell checker for WordPress. To date I haven't found one that wasn't either a pain to install, use, or that I tried for a week and then found completely unusable. I really didn't think that highlighting my incorrectly spelled words could be that difficult in the day-and-age of AJAX.

Today I installed Firefox 2 and... *problem solved*. Firefox 2 includes a wonderful automatic spell checker that, like Microsoft Word, checks your spelling as you type and underlines any words that it deems misspelled. Just... perfect. Exactly what I was looking for.

There are a lot of usability fixes to FF 2 as well, making the UI that much more rock solid.

Download the always free browser here:


Adobe MAX Keynote

Jen deHaan has a great recap of the Adobe MAX Keynote from yesterday on her blog. Interesting read with lots of great information on upcoming technologies and where Adobe is looking into the future.


Update: Jen's day two keynote summary is also now on her blog:

Officially Ordered: MacBook Pro

Yup, I'm making the switch. I've been a Windows user for years, and while I have always had a Mac around for testing and working with client files, I've never used one as my primary machine.

I've been waiting for the new MacBook Pro's to be released for a few months, and when I saw they came out this morning I decided to take the plunge. If nothing else, it'll be nice to have a 17" laptop that doesn't weigh 20 lbs!

Check out the new specs here: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/
I'll write up a review when it arrives. Until that time, let the 7-10 business day countdown begin.

Steve Jobs on Simplicity in the Experience

Finally, Jobs was asked if he was worried about Microsoft's upcoming media player (Zune) and its "community" features:

In a word, no. I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.


In a time when most corporations are effectively reducing the memorable experiences in our lives, Apple and Steve Jobs are thinking about enhancing those experiences. Brendan Dawes gave a great talk about this at FlashForward 06 in Austin, and ever since then I have been thinking more and more about where all of those daily experiences in my life have gone.

For instance, I am in the process of ripping all of my CDs to MP3 and storing them on a large external hard drive. For almost every CD I pickup I am reminded of an event that took place while I was listening to it, such as a warming up for a particular basketball game in college. Once I rip them into iTunes as a digital format, I'm not reminded of that experience nearly as often.

This idea goes even further because not only is this having an effect on me, but it is spreading to the population on a fairly grand scale. Keeping with the music theme, think about iPods and how many people now walk around with their ear buds in listening to music and thereby creating this lack of interpersonal interaction.

Kudos to Steve Jobs and Brendan Dawes for their efforts to bring the experiences back to our daily lives.

Adobe Fireworks 9 Beta Program

Adobe had obviously taken cues from Macromedia and is making a nice effort to include their users in the development of new and updated products. Not only have they been keeping Adobe (Macromedia) Labs updated with exciting new products, but now they are also offering a public beta of Fireworks 9.

Check it out, add your feedback and suggestions, and encourage Adobe to keep up the great work!


Sony Bravia Advertisement

"Our latest TV ad - featuring massive paint explosions - took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people."

This is such a great concept and ad. At first I was sure most of it was done with visual effects, but if you look closely you can see the paint stained buildings in the background.

Sometimes the creative ideas require big productions and big budgets. In this case, I think it was worth it.


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