Deflation

While cleaning my office – a once-a-decade event – I came across a receipt from 2 Dec., 1998. It was for a 10.1 GB hard drive costing $245. Last week I bought a 1TB drive – 100 times the capacity – for just over $90. Though Moore’s law originally predicted processing power, it’s often quoted for any tech-related increases. In this case, storage per dollar increased 27,000% over roughly 11 years – it doubled every 16 months – even faster than Moore predicted!

Collapsible/Expandable blogrolls on Blogger.com

I’ve just finished co-teaching an online course on blogging for writers through Writers.com with veteran travel/adventure writer Amanda Castleman.  She handles the writing critiques (and most of the lectures) and I provide the tech perspective.  It’s been a good combo and we’ve gotten positive feedback so far.

After going through the final Q&A, it seems there are many similar requests.  The Blogger platform has many advantages, but there are a few glaring holes in their offerings.  Over the next few weeks I’ll outline some patches for those holes.  First up: using jQuery to create a collapsible/expandable blogroll.  Next week I’ll make a simple addition that lets you do this for any widget on your blog.

UTCS.org -- A Drupal case study

Malcolm Hooper and I recently launched a new Web site for UTCS, the daycare our daughters attend.  The school’s board of directors wanted to foster community among the parents, move paper-based administrative tasks online while maintaining security and privacy of the information being published.  Since I was volunteering my development time, I wanted to make this as turn-key as possible and minimize any custom development.

Sounds like a job for Drupal!

14,610 Days Behind Me...

[flickr-photo: id=3552529196]

... And hopefully a similarly large number of days ahead.

On a related note, I decided to give Wolfram|Alpha a go at figuring out how many days since I was born.  So, I plugged in "may 21, 1969" to see what it would come up with.  Besides the "no known notable events" notice -- thanks, you're lifting my spirits -- it also told me my date of birth was both 39 years, 11 months and 31 days ago as well as 40 years ago.

Perhaps it's rounding off?  At least it got the number of days right.

 

Wolfram|Alpha Launches Today

I haven't had time to more than twiddle a few buttons but I sure was hyping it earlier, so I hope it lives up to expectations.  I did try a few queries, such as "Drupal", an open-source content management framework I've been doing a ton of work with recently.  Instead I got information about "Rukai," I dialect spoken in Taiwan by 10,543 people.  Very precise yet exactly wrong.

The Cost of Kodak Gallery

In late March, Kodak Gallery (neé Ofoto) changed its terms of service, now requiring a minimum annual purchase to keep your photos safely stored on their servers.  That got me thinking: how much does it cost to host all of Kodak Gallery's photos?  What if I were to build a Kodak Gallery site and host it myself?  I got out my calculator and sharp pencil to find out.

Let's start with some basics:

How the Seattle P-I Could Survive

I'm suffering through the twice-a-year, week-long torture of public radio listeners better known as "Pledge Week."  I donate once a year to my local NPR station.  Each year I want a secret code that would allow me to tune into the real news rather than suffer through days of on-air solicitations.  I already paid!  Gimme my radio back!

It occurs to me that an online newspaper would be able to do exactly that.

Finding Answers: Compute vs. Search

Stephan Wolfram recent announced his latest endeavor: Wolfram|Alpha.  Where Google will search the Internet to answer your queries, Wolfram|Alpha will calculate the answer.  Where Google gives you 287,000 results for "what is the longest straight road in America," Wolfram|Alpha will give you one: the answer.

At least, that's the plan.  We won't really know until May.

Image Scaling In Internet Explorer

While working on the code for the photo galleries for this Web site, noticed that my photos didn't always look right in Internet Explorer.  Given all the headaches that Internet Explorer has caused me over the years, I figured it was just IE performing poorly.  Little did I know that IE had the ability to look just as good as Firefox, Safari or Chrome but that some designer back at Microsoft had saddled it with an Idiotic Default Setting.