Posts tagged ‘design’

Up(and)coming

May 6th, 2005

Andrew Baio (creator of upcoming.org) just told me that the upcoming API now has full tag support. I’m now displaying tags on the event feed here.

The addition of tags+API definitely was the tipping point — now I’m really using the service. I’ve got several iCal subscriptions; Stockholm, Helsinki, and Berlin.

Couple of things; The hierarchy of metros should probably be flat altogether, editing of events could be more wikified, the fixed event categories should be dropped in favor of folksonomy. All in all: Kudos to Andrew!

Giving Plazes a chance

April 20th, 2005

After Jyri told me about the exciting possibilties for location aware social software, I once again gave Plazes a chance. The showstopper last time I tried it was their ugly and buggy OS X “launcher”, which you need to use in order for Plazes to discover where you are. Since then, they’ve opened up their API, and Martin Pittenauer from Coding Monkeys has made a much nicer launcher that sits in the menubar just like it should.


Plazes

I figured it would be cool to have a badge on my blog, announcing where I’m currently at. However, I quickly had to give up on getting that to work after encountering too many stumbling blocks too quickly. I’ll share them here; hopefully the Plazes guys are listening.

  • The new launcher plugin did indeed turn out to be buggy; its auto-login feature didn’t work, and it crashed several times when my Powerbook wake up from sleep. That makes it practially useless for now.
  • It could not identify the VPN network that I have to use at my school. I read that the Windows version had VPN-support though…
  • There is no way to customize the badge, and the current badge code sucks. I ended up parsing the current code, extracted the location link with a regex, and wrapped it in my own container.
  • The website doesn’t keep me logged in (by using a cookie).
  • I won’t talk more about the actual website here as it contains so many profound design mistakes that it would take up too much space to list them all…

What I’m realising is that if a site is going to be in beta, it’s still very important that does it’s core business right from the start — in this case providing people with a transparent way to announce where they are — otherwise users will leave after the first hype. Now Plazes is left with 30-40 concurrent users and 10-20 new plazes per day. There are 50 plazes in Stockholm, and 11 users.

It will take a lot more than fixing the bugs listed above to push Plazes out of its current state.

Tags Enabled

April 5th, 2005

Just enabled tags on the blog. You can see it in action on the sidebar “previous posts”-feed. Makes it consistent with my del.icio.us-feed, and it makes Technorati happy (Actually my post is the only one showing up under collaborativefiltering).

And I bought a copy of ecto, which is by far the best blogging client for the Mac. I also hear the next version has even better tagging integration

Envisioned BlackBox, got iShuffle

March 31st, 2005

Almost exactly two years ago, I was predicting that Apple would do a palmtop computer in 2005. Sadly, I was wrong–and here I am in 2005 with an iPod Shuffle in my pocket. It’s a bare bones mp3 player, nothing more, almost less. But, aside from not being a fully featured 3G handset+PDA+media station, it does what it’s supposed to do very well. There are only three annoying things about it:

  • Updates through iTunes–an application that I otherwise love–are sluggish. I know that updating other iPods isn’t sluggish at all, so probably it has to do with the fact that the shuffle uses a flash memory. But it’s annoying nevertheless since it keeps you from updating it. Apple should figure out a way to multi-thread things.
  • The headphones that come with it have a plug that sticks straight out about 10-15 mm–that’s way to much, and I’m wondering how they can have missed out on this. It’s bound to break the connector sooner or later (I was already close). Luckily I can use my beloved HD-25 with it (with a custom made plug).
  • There is no way of fixing the headphone cord to the lanyard the way you can with e.g. the Jens of Sweden players, which is also unbelievable. With Apple being against cords, I can’t see why they messed this up.


iPod Shuffle etc.

That said, it’s still a neat piece of hardware. Now it’s up to Apple to save 2005 by releasing a subnotebook. I imagine a plain 12” book, no CD/DVD, half the weight of the current 12”. All the other players have one, and Apple would be stupid to ignore such a large segment of businesspeople and students, who would want a device like this from it. Hell, even I, a mac user for 20 years, have cravings for the Vaio 505 extreme

456 Berea Street redesigns

March 29th, 2005

Roger Johansson, the guy who runs 456 Berea Street, (an excellent web design blog — probably the best out of Sweden) redesigned and linked to me today! I’m happy to get such a warm welcome in the blogosphere — this will definitely keep me going for a while…