Posted in Personal

You've definitely got mail

This one won’t follow the recent trends of people who’ve been writing about Gmail. Apologies for the back-to-back Mac posts, but I’m finding my situation interesting enough that everyone could probably share in both its humor and its pity. Enjoy.

Prior to last year, I’d been an old-school Eudora user for a very long time, on both Windows and Mac. That’s the email client the HotWired IT department installed for Mac users in 1996. I just kept using it, and never tried anything else. When I switched back to the Mac last year, I decided to start anew with email and to give Apple’s a good try. (I won’t go into issues with the name, others have already covered the topic, but I will refer to the application as simply “Mail”, with a capital M, from here on out.) Unbeknownst to me, I somehow ended up importing seven years worth of email into Mail, with no idea how many messages that actually represented. continued

Life in the slow lane

The very slow lane. I returned from Austin a little over a week ago. Once here, I had to face the reality: I needed to use a dial-up connection to get online from home. Something I haven’t needed to do (at home) for almost five years since DSL was installed. Our office has high-speed wifi, as do the cafes I frequent. Even when traveling, many airports and hotels are now set up with a high-speed wireless network. So I seldom experience dial-up speeds. continued


Remember that confession I wrote a while ago? A sobering story of a designer who grew up on Apples and Macs, but gave into the dark side, jumped ship, and began using Windows. Well, it’s coming up on a year since I wrote that piece. Some of my friends were beginning to wonder if I was serious about shaking the Windows addiction. continued

If you have a notebook computer, most likely you use (or have been looking for) something of quality to tote said portable. If you’re like me, you want something well-designed, with convenient pockets in all the right places, and a sturdy construction which protects your investment. continued


Sometimes, I go through phases where I just want to design. I don’t want to write about it, don’t want to talk about it, and don’t want to explain what I’ve done. I want to think conceptually, or arrange type on a page, or compose layouts, or organize information, or explore color palettes, all without getting distracted by attempts to put thoughts behind actions into written words. It’s a selfish period where I want to stay comfortable focusing on my known strengths. continued

For posterity's sake

Seven years ago, yesterday, I packed up everything I owned, left many friends behind in San Diego, and moved to San Francisco, (where I knew absolutely no one) to start my job at HotWired on August 12, 1996. The Creative Director hired me as a junior designer, since I knew very little about design for the Web, despite the fact that I had more print design experience than almost every other designer there at the time. continued

View, sans fog

[thumbnail image: a clear view toward downtown San Francisco from my apartment balcony] A couple of readers wrote to me wondering what my normal view — described yesterday — is like. Yesterday’s photo was actually taken from a street corner behind my apartment building looking toward Twin Peaks and the fog-obscured Sutro Tower mentioned in the comments. Today… no fog in sight. This photo was taken from my balcony looking toward downtown and the Bay Bridge. The skyline looks exceptionally small and distant thanks to the lens on this mini camera. Although it would take about 30 minutes to drive there, the center of downtown is only 2 miles away. On clear days, I can see the peak of Mount Diablo 35 miles to the east. I’ve certainly seen more impressive geography elsewhere. But it’s inspiring to sit beside the window and have this in front of me. Yes, it’s a nice view. Yes, I have excellent views of hills to the south as well. And yes, I’m actually considering starting the search for a new place to live. Are we ever content with what we’ve got?

Morning, fog city

[thumbnail image: the fog-obscured view toward the opposing hill, taken around the corner from my apartment building] Early on a Sunday morning. I wake up and open the living room blinds to a sea of white. On most clear days, I have a view of half the San Francisco skyline, a portion of the Bay Bridge, and several nearby hills filled densely with houses and apartment buildings. Today, thanks to our typical ground-hugging summer fog, I barely see a half block down my own hill. The downtown skyline, nowhere in site. A morning like this begs one to either curl back up in bed, or head to a warm, quiet cafe to work next to a steaming cup of coffee and a small breakfast. I decide the latter, and head to Canvas, arriving fifteen minutes after opening. continued

Changing wings on the plane, mid-flight

I’ve been talking about it for what seems like forever. Over the past week, I finally started to make the jump. If you’re reading this entry, the DNS changes have propagated to your neck of the woods, which means you’re getting the new version of this site. The title of this post is a phrase former colleagues at Lycos used when we were redesigning a site or changing the backend while the site continued to function live on a public server. A task which seemed impossible, but had to be done. continued

It don't mean a thing…

If you know the six words which complete that phrase and come straight from The Duke himself, you already know what this entry is about. In addition to a passion for design and fine art, friends who know me well can also affirm my love for jazz music from the 1930s and ’40s. For someone who can’t keep their feet still when the sounds of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, or Cab Calloway fill the room, the Lindy Hop becomes a logical addiction. Because of unfortunate circumstances of a previous relationship with someone I met dancing, I’ve been suppressing a desire to return to Lindy as a physical outlet and source of fun. continued