I’m a big fan of Irfanview. It’s one of the best examples of how I think all software should be: small, light and with just the right features. I use it every day, and can’t recommend it enough. But Irfanview isn’t perfect. It applies the default worst icon I’ve ever seen to your images, but more importantly it’s not very good at optimizing images for the web. JPEGs saved from Irfanview were consistently worse in both quality and file size compared to the same saved through Photoshop’s ‘save for web’ feature. That’s where RIOT comes in.
More RIOT: Save optimized web images from Irfanview
I came across this post on Smashing Magazine yesterday, and while it offers some fine reasons for web developers to use a PC, I thought it missed a few too. Most of these venture into web designer territory somewhat, but I wanted to mention them nontheless.
More Why web designers should consider using a PC too
I’d been meaning to do a proper redesign of this blog for some time. The content part was reshuffled a couple of months ago, and I was pretty pleased with how that turned out. But the header was a watered down version of the old Papertrail theme and far too boring. That’s why I asked Blondmonster to help me out.
Suzanne‘s a former colleague, and a fabulous designer. I really like the stuff she does, and ‘boring’ is simply not in her vocabulary. She came up with the underwater theme, did all the drawing and all I had to do was put it all together. Hope you like the result. The theme was tailor-made for this blog, so don’t expect it to become available for download any time soon.
One of the few websites that I visit daily has recently been redesigned. At first I thought it simply looked worse, but I decided to give the new designs a chance. Now, a couple of weeks on I still don’t like it, and I’ve also figured out why. Webwereld is in Dutch by the way, so don’t bother trying to read the text in the screenshots.
More On Webwereld’s recent redesign
I just released Footer Stuff through wordpress.org. Even though it’s a very simple (and lightweight) plugin, it’s not very easy to describe what it does. It offers you a way to add code to your blog’s footer an header sections, without having to edit your theme’s PHP files. Located under WordPress’ design tab it offers easy way of maintaining things like Google Analytics code, without being limited to just that one analytics system.
It’s here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/footer-stuff.
I’ve been meaning to redesign this blog for a while now. Most of all I wanted a better sidebar setup which would accommodate more links and wider
ads widgets. In fact, the old Papertrail theme I was using has only a very rudimentary widget support, and with the recent success of this blog I needed more flexibility.
Although still a work in progress, I quite like the results so far. It’s cleaner, it uses less Flash(*) and it loads extremely fast. The design still needs work and I definitely need a better tagline (wanna help me out with that one?).
More Like the new look?
This week, Gmail introduced a set of skins (“themes”) for their web email application. Luckily, there are a few that are quite functional, but there’s also a large number with obtrusive graphics and terrible color schemes. I was quite relieved to find there was a ‘classic’ theme that looks almost exactly like the old familiar gmail interface. Am I the only one not ‘getting’ this skinning thing?
More Application skins – Do you really want all your apps to look different?
Google’s cute little Android logo has been my desktop wallpaper for months now. I’m genuinely excited about Google’s efforts to create an open platform for mobile phones. Being an avid gmail/talk/maps/calendar/docs/etc user, my next mobile might very well be running Android. But up until now, the demos that were out there weren’t much to look at. With the release of version 0.9 of the software development kit, that has changed. Android now looks the part too.
Head over to Engadget to see more.
Gizmodo has a nice video tour that shows some of Android’s features.
I know. This is basically silly, but some system tray icons bug the hell out of me. Here part of my current setup. See the mushroom sticking out like a sore thumb? I love Cobian Backup, and have recently installed it as a service, but the tray icon is making me itch. Codenamed “Amanita”, version 9 of course needed a mushroom icon, but compared to the black moon icon of version 8 this is pretty bad. A slightly more sedate colour scheme would be nice, as well a proper anti-aliasing.
Unfortunately, I can find no option to change the icon under Vista Home Premium, so I guess I’ll have to live with it. Seen against the greater scheme of things this is of course only a minor gripe, but if anyone knows an easy fix, please drop me a comment.
As of now, ‘m testing a new WordPress theme on this site. I haven’t decided on a title yet, and there’s tons of little stuff missing, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be releasing this one sometime this or next month. The most important thing to sort out is decent widget support. This was sorely lacking from some of my earlier themes, and instead of updating them I decided to dedicate the time to designing a new one altogether.
I wanted to use a white background to increase readability, and I’m using Flash movies to do some typography tricks that plain HTML doesn’t know yet. Other than that it’s a relatively simple theme that will be easy to modify by anyone who isn’t completely allergic to style sheets or HTML.
So, what do you think?