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Webmonkey Blog
Tuesday, 6 January 2004
MacWorld 2004
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: random keyboard noise and some german greetings
WOW! My first keynote at the annual MacWorld Expo. I missed the keynote last year, so i made sure to get here nice and early this morning. It was a zoo -- lots of pushing and even a few angry verbal exchanges, and that was just in the media pit. We all squeezed in to bask in what's known as the Steve Jobs "Reality Distortion Field"... And my oh my.

New iPods! Mini ones, small little players about as big as a business card. They hold 4GB, they're half an inch thick, they have a really smooth look, and they are priced at $250. Not bad, but I would have liked to have seen them get the price below $200. People were applauding like crazy until Steve mentioned to price... that's what rumors do, i guess. Deflate.

The other big announcement (for me personally) was the release of GarageBand. It's part of the new iLife suite, and it basically turns your mac into a home studio. There are all the standard things like loops, playback controls, and a USB keyboard interface. But they also put in guitar amp models to get a few different sounds, plus the samples are really slick. They did a great job with just about all of the digital instruments, especially the guitars and the drums. Oh man the drums! See, I'm excited. I'm probably smack in the middle of the target audience, too. Oh, and when you're done with your multi-tracked song, just hit "Export to iTunes" and GarageBand dumps the song into a playlist. Suh-weet.

Off to get lunch now and hob nob, then I'm going to stroll the expo floor. Maybe I'll even see some exciting new Web technology (hey now)... More later!

Posted by michael calore at 11:24 AM PST
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Wednesday, 17 December 2003
desiging is good
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: KUSF 90.3 san francisco
Hey, look. The webmonkeys are actually alive!

We came out of hibernation on this here blog thingy to tell you about an amazing design team called Demo that we're totally nuts over. Some great illustrations and prints, not to mention a snappy website.

Now go be good!

Posted by michael calore at 10:28 AM PST
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Thursday, 16 October 2003
putting the board in keyboard
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: some sort of insane free jazz, courtesy of Mike
As computer equipment design gets sleeker and sleeker, over in Japan some designers are taking things back to building-block basics. Wooden keyboards! I wonder what typing on that thing sounds like, clog dancing? I hope so. I really hope so.

Posted by webmonkeyevany at 4:01 PM PDT
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Monday, 29 September 2003
keeping an eye on things
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: [complete silence]
You wouldn't think something as simple as keeping an eye on the cursor would or could be so disturbing.

"That's just not right, I don't like that one bit!" said Mike. "That's going to haunt me until I'm 80!" said Jay, and, "Just what is it FOR?"

The Internet, my friend. That's just where it belongs. The Internet.

Posted by webmonkeyevany at 4:53 PM PDT
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Thursday, 25 September 2003
Latin Roots
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Nuggets volume 2
Ever wonder where all of that dummy text you see in user guides and publishing documents comes from? You know... "Dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet," and so on.

Well, this site has all of the answers. Turns out it's actually real Latin, it has its roots in an ancient document, and it has survived four centuries in the publishing industry. Who knew?

Posted by michael calore at 1:15 PM PDT
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Friday, 19 September 2003
Avast, ye maties!
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: what do you do with a drunken sailor?
Check it out, today is the official "Talk Like A Pirate Day". Now shove off smartly, ya bilge rat!

Posted by michael calore at 11:32 AM PDT
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Tuesday, 9 September 2003
See Ya At Seybold
Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: a few G4s humming with happiness
It's Mike here, writing to you from Seybold 2003 in San Francisco. This is my second year covering this publishing technology conference, and I must say that I feel a little more "in tune" with it this year.

At the 2002 show, everything was printer-and-digital-imaging heavy. This year, I think people have gotten the message that most designers are working on the Web in at least some capacity. The evidence: there are far more Web-specific products and services this year. Content management, data storage, XML document conversion, et cetera. I'll be doing a full write-up later this week... I have a few more meetings to endure, then maybe I'll scope the expo floor one last time before calling it a day.

Oh, and they have bocce! Can you believe it? A full-blown bocce court right in the middle of the second floor landing. Seybold is at Moscone West this year, the brand-new facility that housed the Apple WWDC a few months ago. If you inhale through the nose, you can still detect a hint of that "new conference center" smell. And bocce balls.

Also, I want more free t-shirts. Don't these people know how to grease up members of the press? Hrmph.

Posted by michael calore at 1:41 PM PDT
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Monday, 8 September 2003
Woah! Where have you been?
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: free jazz
Hey now, looks like about three weeks have frittered past. And that's a rather obscure word, but one that we learned by listening to a lot of Pink Floyd. I'm talking about the word "frittered" here, folks.

Why have we been neglecting the blog? Because we've been putting in so much work on the Webmonkey site! There are three new articles this month, plus more to come in a few days. We've also seen a rise in the number of Flash experts out there since Scott Gilbertson chimed in with his rundown of scripting in Flash and Mike Kay gave us a peek at Flash MX 2004. Can you blame them for getting excited?

Did you spy those new context-sensitive text-based Google banner ads at the bottoms of our pages? Pretty slick. A fine bit of engineering on display.

This week is the Seybold 2004 conference in sunny San Fran. We've got a contingent descending upon the premises, and we'll have some updates here and a full report over on Webmokey before week's end. So, stay tuned!

Posted by michael calore at 12:07 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Speed spray!
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: Bonnie Prince Billy

First, there was the Pringles can WiFi antenna booster to gain distance and power. Now, an innovative way to increase your bandwidth. Be sure to read the fine print!

Posted by michael calore at 10:49 AM PDT
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Wednesday, 6 August 2003
Linux World day 2
Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: KUSF 90.3

Linux World again, here in the computer cluster roped off especially for media and (apparently) one woman in a black backless cat-suit.

Man oh MAN is this place geeky! It's great, don't get me wrong, but there's a busload of Sweedish teens from a Stockholm Linux User Group here, all of them smiling and waving their Tux dolls with glee. Not to mention about seventeen dead ringers for the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Windows? Worst Operating System Ever! Now make like my pants and split!

The Red Hat booth was more crowded than ever today. They were showing a demo that I could barely pay attention to because of the size of the crowd. Also, a big line over at XandrOS yesterday. They were handing out copies of their new distro (I got one!) for free.

Met Scott of Laughing Squid, a person I've known over email for about three years but never met in the flesh. Also, had a conversation with a woman from North Carolina about the possibility of the Webmonkey Golden Banana award of excellence. Can't decide what to give the award FOR exactly, but the possibility of one such award existing excites her. Sorry, but we're going to have to think about it.

Oh, and to the person who wrote yesterday about how we should write tutorials on all of those technologies... there already is a Firewall article on WM from 2001, and the best MySQL tool money can buy is your local text editor. Hehe, sorry. Had to say it. Your comments are appreciated!

New article tomorrow, and a Linux World wrap-up soon after. See you then!

Posted by michael calore at 4:49 PM PDT
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