Dyeweb.com is the site for Scott Dye of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to share his thoughts on web design, the internet, and life in general - as well as a place to display a portfolio of his work in print and web design.

Test in body

2013 June 30
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by Scott

Samsung in body

Test Samsung title

2013 June 30
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by Scott

The text

Test

2013 June 30
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by Scott

The text

Homescreen.me

2010 August 26
by Scott

I recently signed up for homescreen.me, a new online service (currently invitation-only) that provides a way for people to post their iPhone Homescreens for the world to see, as opposed to posting screenshots on various photo hosting sites.

It's a novel idea, and an incredibly simple and well-done site. However, it doesn't seem to be completely thought out for real-world usage yet (but I do realize it is still in beta). For instance, there is currently no way to browse or showcase any of the homescreens, since you have to know the specific link of someone's profile in order to see it.

The biggest ongoing issue I see with it is that it only shows your most current homescreen. That's great in theory, except that it means it's almost useless for anyone else to link to your homescreen as a way to show a particular wallpaper or icon arrangement, since that link could easily become outdated as soon as that homescreen.me profile changes. Considering how often people change their iPhone wallpapers, that could lead to a lot of outdated links.

I've already seen this situation arise. While looking at a blog post showcasing beautiful iPhone wallpapers on beautifulpixels.com (who is associated with homescreen.me), clicked on a link to a particular homescreen.me profile used as an example of the wallpapers in Daniel Waldron’s collection. However, that person is no longer using that particular wallpaper, so the link is essentially pointless now.

That said, homescreen.me does look promising, and hopefully some of these issues can be worked out as the site becomes more popular and as the beta progresses. As it currently stands, I can only see it useful for use in a forum signature or as a vanity link on your own blog, and not as any sort of informational link.

By the way, here's my (current) homescreen.

The new iPod Thimble!

2009 March 12
by Scott

The new iPod shuffle by Apple.

The new iPod shuffle by Apple.

Apple introduced their latest incarnation of the iPod Shuffle this week...and get ready for it...it's even smaller than the previous one. Wow, how much smaller can it get?

The new shuffle now features the ability to talk to you as well, which is a clever/necessary/gimmicky (take your pick) way to offset the fact it has pretty much no interface. I’d be interested to see how well this works, or if it’s just annoying. The new shuffle now comes in silver or black aluminum.

From what it appears, you must use the earbuds that come with it, because the controls are on the earbud cord itself. I’m not sure what I think of this. Lots of people have a very personal relationship with their earbuds, and I think it’s key to allow people to use earbuds of their own choosing. I’ve got to give credit to Apple, though – when they do something so bold as to force you to use their own earbuds exclusively, they at least give you a compelling reason why you should. It doesn't hurt that forcing the use of the iconic white earbuds is a marketing coup for Apple as well.

There is an ironic thing about the direction Apple is going with some of their UI, though...they are eliminating buttons, but adding all sorts of clicking schemes to offset the lack of buttons. Short click, long click, double click, click and keep holding...is that really better than just having a couple more buttons? It’s funny to me, because the reason Jobs & Company always said they wanted the one button mouse is because two buttons confused the user...they never knew when to use which button. Well, at least in that case they could see the options...if you don’t read the manual (and who does), I’m sure lots of people will not even realize what various types of clicks this new controller has, because they will assume it has only one button, when in reality, it has multiple buttons, depending on how you click it.

I thought this new iPod thimble was pretty cool, and then, when I told my wife “Hey, Apple announced a new iPod Shuffle like the one you have, except this one is even smaller.” She responded immediately with a simple “Why?”

I still haven’t come up with an answer to her...

Get the current username using Applescript

2008 March 31
by Scott

For various reasons while creating Applescripts, I've had a need for the script to know which computer it was on, since I am writing scripts for several co-workers to use. The easiest way to do so for me was to use each computer's username (the shortname OS X uses for the home directory). It's a pretty easy thing to extract from the home path:

[code lang="applescript"]
set userHome to (text of word -1 of (path to home folder as text))

display dialog userHome
[/code]

This has worked well for me to be able to purge the script's property settings whenever the script gets passed on to someone else (otherwise it seems to keep the property assignments on the new computer as well. Also, it's set up just in case I ever need to fork code for a particular user if their computer setup happens to have something that just won't work with the way the rest of the other computers are set up (hopefully that will not be necessary, but you just never know).

edit:
Well as usual, there's an easier way:

[code lang="applescript"]
set userHome to (short user name of (system info))

display dialog userHome
[/code]

Palm Centro – one device to rule them all

2007 October 21
by Scott

Palm CentroI am very soon to be a proud owner of the new Palm Centro smartphone, to replace (and combine) my existing standard flip-phone and my Palm TX.

I've considered before trying to "converge" all my various tech devices into one device. I had previously melded my previous PDA and my iPod into just the Palm TX, since it does a great job (for my uses) as a music and video player. I've always thought the Treo was too big for a phone, and didn't compare to the quite large screen of the TX, which is great for viewing videos in widescreen format. I have been using my TX daily at work to listen to several Podcasts a day, and to watch downloaded TV shows on it while I'm on the bike or treadmill at the gym (the only thing that's successfully convinced me to stay on a treadmill for 45 minutes).

As soon as I heard about the Centro, it intrigued me like no Treo ever had. It would allow me to combine my phone, PDA, and audio player into one device that is just barely larger than my current flip-phone. It will still work with my Bluetooth Stereo headphones, so I won't have to dodge earphone cords all day while listening to my podcasts.

The only real tradeoff will be having a much smaller screen, especially being used to the extra screen space the TX allows. I'll probably still use the TX for video watching at the gym, but otherwise, I'll happily have one less thing in my pockets.

iTunes 7 and the Audiobooks Tab

2006 September 21
by Scott

iTunesOverall, I really like the new changes in iTunes 7. The new Cover Flow view is really great - being a visual person this appeals greatly to me. I even re-discovered several songs that I had forgotten I had just by flipping through the album art - it feels much more akin to the traditional way of looking through your CD/Album collection.

However, one thing I am very unhappy about is slow but steady slide toward "the new Apple way" - and making iTunes more of a proprietary experience, instead of an open experience with the iTunes store as an added value. This is especially apparent in how iTunes 7 handles Audio books. read more...

Pluto is not a planet?

2006 August 26
by Scott

I feel cheated...like I've been lied to all my life. What do you mean Pluto isn't a planet? Scientists are now saying Pluto isn't a planet...it's a dwarf planet.

Huh?

That's like saying "We're not going to call it a ball any more...now it's called little ball."

Grouping Navigation Areas of a Website

2006 June 19
by Scott

In doing web design - especially for smaller sites and/or smaller companies - I often run into clients who want to have one list of navigation links.

Since websites have such a large number of links associated with them, it is common to create multiple navigation areas, loosely grouped by priority and/or intent. It is well documented from extensive user testing that online users “scan” a webpage to find what they are looking for as opposed to “reading” it. Also, from past experience the typical user expects to find links either along the top, left, or bottom of the page.
read more...