Pro Birthday

RecAll-PRO version 1.0 was released ten years ago today.

A spin-off from standard RecAll with many advanced features, PRO became our best-selling public software product within a few months, and has remained so to this day.

RecAll-PRO v1.0

RecAll-PRO Now

Related Posts: Happy Birthday First Product

No Way

  • December 16, 2008
  • General

Noism: the practice of referring to oneself in the
plural as “we”.

“Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have
the right to use the editorial ‘we’.” Mark Twain

(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

We do this a lot when blogging…

Purrcast is a podcast of a cat purring. Quite soothing. Just ask Wonty:

link [kudos boingboing]

Related Posts: Nature Sounds for Leopards, Felis catus Theremin

Random Friday: What We Pet 3

Related Posts: What We Pet, What We Pet 2


  • December 11, 2008
  • General

How do you read QR codes if you don’t have a mobile phone handy? This on-line reader will run on your JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Untangled Web

  • December 10, 2008
  • General

With a web site maintained for several years now, we had fallen behind somewhat in best web practices. We only made limited use of CSS cascading style sheets, and relied on tables with lots of ALIGN and BGCOLOR parameters for layout. (At least we didn’t use tiny invisible GIFs for layout. What a hack.) With cruft accumulating over the years in our HTML, it was time for a makeover.

Strange Banana showed us how a random CSS generator could radically change the appearance of a web site with no changes to the XHTML files. Zen Garden showcases many elegant CSS designs for the same site. Delving further, we discover A List Apart, with a wealth of articles on CSS tricks and web design best practice.

We grabbed the HTML Validator add-on to Firefox (based on Dave Raggett’s Tidy, also available as a web service), which displays a check-box icon on the bottom-right corner of the browser window when a page has no markup errors.

How surprised we were to see so many errors on our own web site! Hold on, are we not coders? Do we not revile syntax errors? This must not stand!  We resolve to correct our mistakes and earn that cute little W3 code correct icons.

Other Firefox add-ons we found useful included IE Tab (for previewing HTML in IE while staying in the Firefox browser) and also Firebug.

AOLPress, the ancient WYSIWYG HTML editor we used was set aside for something with better CSS support. The open source multi-platform Amaya has reasonable WYSIWYG capabilities (although we now tend to use it with split pane web view/source view mode and edit the source code directly). Amaya also includes the Tidy code, to automate some HMTL clean-up and automatically check for valid code with a similar icon to the Firefox add-on mentioned above.

Once we converted the main web site pages, we still needed to work on this blog, which uses WordPress non-hosted. We switched to the Fluid Blue theme which conforms to strict XHTML, but we still got errors whenever a video was present. using the pb-embedFlash Media Manager fixed this last problem and we now get correct XHTML code.

Now if I could only learn good website layout design…

Environmental Sounds: The Dark Side

Nature sound generators like WaveSong can have beneficial effects: masking outside noise, relaxation, … What happens when the forces of good turn to the dark side?

The Annoy-a-tron 2.0 from ThinkGeek is a tiny 2.5″x1.5″ circuit board easy to hide, with 6 different sound selections, including “Mosquito” and “Grating Electronic noise”. Good for driving your cow-orkers mad… slowly!

ThinkGeek [via Gizmodo]

Related Posts: Ambient Sounds for Masking, When Ambient Sounds Go Bad

Flashback: Theremin Patent

On this date 84 years ago the original theremin patent was filed in Germany.

The USA version of the patent was filed December 5, 1925, almost a year later. Read the English language HTML version here.

Related posts: Original Theremin Patent Filed, Theremin Patents

Random Friday: What We Spring

[flash] [video link]

McCauley Hot Springs outside of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, late November 2008.

Related Posts: What We Parade, What We Graze, What We Tour

Wii Theremin

[flash] [video link]

Ken Moore marries a Wiimote with computer and synthesizer to a theremin.

link [via GeekDad]