which weekend?

November 18, 2008


The Christmas decorations are starting to go up in the shops, which means the headlong rush towards Christmas is definitely on. Present buying may be curbed as purse strings tighten, but the tradition of Christmas dinners and parties with every subset of one’s social and professional circle is still going strong.

With that in mind, how to find a date to suit everyone for a gathering? Which weekend is by far the best and simplest-to-use online tool I have found for this. It’s recently been given an upgrade (upon request, thanks Jo!) by creator Jo, so that the days are a little more customizable. I’m spreading the good word.


November 17, 2008


I don’t know why I’m so excited about Wordle, especially as I can’t even figure out what to do with its gorgeous looking output (apart from posting it here), but I am!

Just enter any piece of text or URL with an Atom or RSS feed, and Wordle will generate a word cloud which is customizable in a variety of delicious-looking fonts and colours. Save to the online gallery, post to your blog or print to a file for any purpose – poster printing, screen wallpapering or learning either to read or words in a new language. And comment below if we can see the result online!

Thanks Jonathan for a cool tool.

can’t touch this

September 10, 2008

That little price drop was just what I needed to re-enter the cosy iPod fold, after my classic finally died a quiet death, its hard drive whirring away without being able to talk to me. Of course, the sleeker look of the new iPod Touch doesn’t hurt, nor does the microphone input (maybe we could even voip soon?).

But first things first. There’s free engraving on the back on offer, and any of you who know me will also know that there is no way I can turn down anything FREE. I blame my Chinese genes for that. But now, what to write? Anyone feeling creative… or funny?


July 22, 2008

Hyperwords is the other browser add-on that has very quickly become part of my online life. It may be obvious or even old news to some, but I’m impressed… and hooked. The main idea is that you can highlight any word in a web page and right-click to access a pop-up menu that includes searches on Google, dictionaries, images, translating tools, and more.

The best feature I have found so far is that any online search that you use often can be incorporated into the menu. Just right click in the search box of that page and choose ‘Add to Hyperwords’ to customize your menu. That and the double enter to get your Google search result. There still seem to be a ton of other shortcuts that I’m still discovering…

Thanks Ades for the pic above.

just browsing

July 15, 2008

I browse a lot online for pictures to illustrate this blog, but this article pointed me to the coolest way to do that yet. Piclens is a Firefox add-on that allows you first to search Google, Smugmug, Flickr and Youtube among others for photo or video content, then displays it in the most stunning, fullscreen, fluid wall display. Easy and fun to navigate, so great for browsing.

The only slightly clunky thing about it is that once you have found a photo you would like, a click brings you back to your regular Firefox view. A smooth transition to saving it or importing it might have been nice. In the meantime, just try it for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Even so, this is definitely a glimpse of browsing in the future, and I like it! I hope to try some other new browsing tools and will definitely report back.

thumb drives

July 11, 2008

OK, this one is maybe a bit gross. But look here for the wierd and wonderful world of USB sticks!

new skins

May 8, 2008

If any of you are as Googled up as me, you might be excited (or at least mildly interested) to know that a whole new range of artist-designed skins is now available for iGoogle, including some highly funky Japanese and Korean (born) artists and designers. If nothing else, it’s a good way to learn more about some new artists and to add a splash of colour to your (online) life. Akira Isogawa‘s my man right now!

You could also browse the virtual museum of artists’ iGoogle creations at this Japanese iGoogle museum.


April 28, 2008

I know this is all highly illegal, but surely the Mishare is what we have all been waiting for? Plug in two ipods and share your music. What’s not to like?

the hawaii chair

February 8, 2008

It’s true. It’s not true. It’s true. It’s true!

I couldn’t decide all through the ad if the whole thing was a big leg-pull but the Hawaii Chair really exists. I’ve already ordered mine (how to resist the Hula Motor?). You?

apples and pears

January 16, 2008


How do they do it every single time? At Christmas, an iPhone came to visit. Needless to say, I was completely smitten. I suspect a similar phenomenon may occur as soon as I lay my eyes on the MacBook Air. It’s not even 2 cm thick! Just the thing to go with our new flat maybe?

The world online is buzzing with the rumour that Jonathan Ive, Apple’s product designer, has been more than a touch inspired by the Dieter Rams, who designed for Braun in the 50’s. Jonathan Glancy at the Guardian isn’t having any of it, though there is more than a slight resemblance in the (carefully selected?) photos below. An example of convergent design evolution perhaps, or a retro cool revival.


In the meantime, I’m considering taking up knitting just so I can knit my own iPhone.