The Quick & Dirty:

  • 9+ years in the biz, 10 messing around
  • All the latest in HTML, CSS, JS & PHP (Sorry, no .net or Ruby skills yet)
  • Cross-browser compatible code from Photoshop or Illustrator files.. or napkins!
  • Custom Specialities in Wordpress theming & plugins, Twitter & jQuery
  • Subversion, server-log analysis, and blocking hack-attempts (of late).
  • Data/Project Geek. I ♥ timelines.

I’ve compiled some handy PHP functions I’ve had to whip up. More extensive code-samples are also available.


Wordpress-from-static HTML


New Tech, and How to Sell It

I did a little run-around town today.. which included purely accidental bump-ins with 3 semi-competing tablets: Nook, iPad 2 & Motorola Xoom. Had I cared, I could have also played with the Amazon Kindle. And, just for fun, I also played with a 21″ HP All-in-one and Dell’s touchscreen-netbook. The latter BOTH had Win7 Tablet. As much as I hate Windows’ internal-scheduler & inability to handle window-crashes (as well as long-term slow-down)… I do really like the Tablet handwriting. Best I’ve seen.

Let’s review: Nook. $250

I had heard that there were these “Store Demos” going on, but I didn’t expect it to be the first thing as I walked in the door. I was the only one around, and I was curious, so I stepped up to the young man about 5 years younger than me, and he went into his quicky-quicky this-has-everything-just-like-that overview. IT was a bit much. Then he let me play with the thing, which is what I wanted to do in the first place, but hey, whatever. The touchscreen wasn’t the problem, though many people would say that was the problem. The problem is the lag. It just doesn’t have enough horsepower under the hood. I’d rather pay $200 and get less frustration, but I understand the $150 price-point is golden. I was happy enough to hear that even with the color screen, it would last 3 days without using wifi ..but online says 8hours. Discrepencies, discrepencies..

Specs: 448g, 1024x600px (169ppi).

The iPad 2: $500
As I walked in, I was looking for one of two people I know working at the store. I had 3 questions, and some random iWorker approached (they get snipe-y the deeper you walk into the store!) But he, again, 5 years my younger, was nice, not pushy, was ready for my questions. When I asked about the screen cover, we walked back into genius-bar-land and there was some natural-human interaction over the good, bad & ugly of it. He didn’t “admit” but instead he said, yeah, it’s probably better for stopping the scratches & turning it on & off. We noted how the back was scratched some, and how it wasn’t stable enough to pass a “lap test” (me, sitting in chair, it standing upright.) I played with it s’more, but the general vibe was wasn’t weird, sales-y or anything, just chill. Buy it if ya want, when ya want. ¬†Specs: 601 g, 1024x768px (132ppi). (2x the screen-surface area of the 7″ nook, btw). 10hrs battery.

Moto Xoom: $560
Even the URL is impossible! Really? It has “US-EN” in it twice, “Motorola” twice, “Consumers” twice! Here’s to marketing! Huzzah!

So I went into Staples to get some printer ink. Good news: I can get $2 for every empty ink cartridge I bring in (up to 10/month!). Bad news: when I went to pick up the Xoom, It (a) didn’t turn on, didn’t have a button visible to turn on and (b) the alarm sounded. Various larger women proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t my fault, and after pacing the storeroom for 10 minutes, another decided to get it up and running for me (another 2 minutes pacing). Oh, and the alarm went off again. Then the alarm beeped every 15 seconds while I was using it, and I was fearful to pick the thing up, so I just poked it. This is not how you sell ..anything! Aaaand the store wifi was locked down & out of ALL the demo computers! I hate big box tech stores. So.Lame.

The machine itself was mostly fine, but there were hideously invisible back & home buttons on the lower left. The area of the screen (which is higher in pixels, but smaller in inch-area than the iPad) allowing multiple larger widgets was nice, but undefined. Not sure why Android 3.0 Honeycomb was trying to have widgets AND a too-high-for-the-widescreen dock too. I couldn’t really do anything on it, but it does have potential, if only Staples would let me do anything remotely useful on it. Fact: No barely-trained-on-product employee working in a no-class OfficeSpace-esque store will be able to provide the same Interaction Experience as the highly trained & integrated iWorkers. Motorola & Staples both show little, if any real concern for those who might attempt to buy their product. Moto, I sure hope Verizon is doing a better job at things than this.

Quoting Apple’s 2005 Annual Report: “One of the goals of the retail initiative is to bring new customers .. By operating its own stores and building them in desirable high traffic locations, the Company is able to better control the customer retail experience and attract new customers. The stores are designed to simplify and enhance the presentation and marketing of personal computing products.”

Staples, by contrast, had “the largest declines” in Forrester’s Consumer-Experience Index from 2008-2010. No kidding.

It’s amazing how small companies will bend-over-backwards to make sure everything is ok (I’ve worked in various small-businesses) but once companies become bureaucratic & large (Moto), they think their large-ness is appealing and sufficient. Absolutely backwards.

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