HP Doesn’t Know What It Wants To Be

I’ve been a bit of an HP fanboy for a while.  I have an 8 year old HP laser printer that I love, a 4 year old HP pavilion that still runs great, an HP Media Smart Home Server, and this year I bought my wife an HP laptop, and a new colour laser jet printer…so … Read more

Zite for iPad is Awesome

Since I bought my iPad a couple of weeks ago, there are two apps I use constantly. One is Flipboard, which turns your Twitter and Facebook feeds into a social magazine, which is pretty cool, but it separates Twitter from Facebook, and while it can use Google reader feeds, they are buggy at best. The … Read more

My iPad 2 review

My iPad
My iPad

The iPad has been out for a year now, and while I enjoyed playing with one when it first came out, I didn’t pick one up.

I’m what’s traditionally known as an “early adopter”. I built my first PVR in 2003. I bought a TiVo on eBay and hacked it to work in Canada in 2004. I’ve owned all manner of Palm Pilot (a Handspring Visor which I had to fet imported from the United States), Compaq iPaq’s, Windows CE devices, iPods mini, classic, touch, iPhone, and even a Microsoft Zune (and just so we’re clear, I think the Zune software is far superior to iTunes, and the wireless syncing was one of the coolest features).

I promised myself that I’d wait for the second generation iPad, once the kinks were worked out, plus having dropped 20k on our basement last year, funds were tight.

So imagine my surprise when I won one last month?!? Of course I promptly took it back to Future Shop and traded it in for a gift card.

Read more

Bad Usability: College of Nurses of Ontario

College of Nurses of Ontario
Not a bad looking site at all

My mom asked me to help her register with the College of Nurses of Ontario, it was a pretty clean website, and looked like a decent user experience, so I figured why not.  Well, after struggling through their website, I decided to whip off a letter to them to expresss my displeasure in the usability of some key areas of their site.

This is that letter.

Read more

Customized or Scalable?

During my day job I’m confronted on an hourly basis with requests for small improvements that people want to make to the website in order to be more personal. Add “My Account Rep”, only show them content they own, put their name on the page, remember what they last searched, show them the most popular … Read more

Design Trends I Love – Pseudo 3D

Pseudo 3D
Pseudo 3D

There’s a new design meme that’s making the rounds. Websites that have some dimensionality to them. I first really noticed it on Jonathan Snook’s Snook.ca, but recently SlashFilm added some of this, and my new favourite site Mail Chimp has some too.

It adds much needed depth to the web, and is neat because it’s a whole new design trend which appears to have sprung up out of nowhere.

Read more

Search Engine Optimization is Bunk

The Radical Hive Logo
The Radical Hive Logo

I get about 7 or 8 email spam a week to my domain accounts promising that so-and-so can make my search rankings much higher for only $xxxx.  Of course this stuff is so much snake oil it’s not even funny.  I can help you improve your Search Engine ranking with 10 easy tips.  Best of all, this is completely free!

So, for the robots out there, check this out:

Top 10 Free Search Engine Optimization Tips by Brian Garside

Consider that a preview tip right there.  That title not only improves the ranking for my name, but will also raise the profile of this article in search engines.

Read more

A plea from the family computer guy

Dear (aunt, uncle, or family friend); This week I got a call from (family member) who said they hadn’t had email in a while.  I went through the usual troubleshooting stuff with them, and it came down to the fact that email was timing out. I went over there, and 45 minutes later I found … Read more

How to get a job in web design

Me and my Logo
Me and my Logo

I like hiring people right out of school.  For one thing it brings a great energy to a team to have someone young with new ideas.  For another, it’s a chance to shape someone who hasn’t picked up years of bad habits (and who may impart some good habits on me and my team).  I also think it’s my duty to give others the same breaks that were afforded me early in my career.

You’ve finished up your classes, you’ve read a bunch of stuff on your own (including Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, Dan Cederholm’s Bulletproof Web Design, Andy Budd’s CSS Mastery) and you’ve been networking, you’ve been twittering, you’ve met some people, got a couple of leads, and now you’ve sent out your resumes.  You’re well on your way to getting your first job in web design.

Now you’re ready for your first job interview, so here’s some tips for you to make sure that first interview goes really well.

Read more

Top 10 WordPress Plugins – Updated

Not available in stores...the WordPress Plugin Bar <tm>
Not available in stores...the WordPress Plugin Bar

For this week’s Web Design Wednesday segment, I’m going to revisit a post I wrote about back in August, but a lot of stuff has changed in the seven months since I first wrote it.  For one thing I’m about 100 times more comfortable in WordPress than I was seven months ago.  For another I’ve totally swapped out my old WordPress Plugins for newer better ones.

For another thing, I’ve learned how to build my own plugins.

So this is my latest and most updatedest listing of best plugins for WordPress.  These are all what I consider “manditory” for a new WordPress install.

Read more