08:16PM — Friday, March 29, 2013
Five months ago, I retired my Tumblr ‘blog’1 and set up Jekyll to replace my personal site. I’ve written more in that time than I did in the three years prior; as a result, more people seem to be reading, too. I’m writing more, partially because I wanted to write, and partially because I had a system—both front- and back-end—that aided writing. There are many other static site generators that use Markdown files for content storage, but Jekyll is working for me.
There was nothing particularly wrong with the old design. However, my personal site has always been a good place to experiment, which is why I’ve redesigned it, yet again. I’m now using Sass, which is excellent; I’ve used REM sizing extensively; added syntax highlighting for code blocks (like in this post; added silly Emoji post dividers (that have very little device and browser support); and added keyboard shortcuts that haven’t been exposed in the UI yet.2
There’s still lots of things I want to experiment with and refine. But it got to the point where I thought it was good enough to ship.
I put blog in quotes because I did very little writing on my old blog. ↩
mtoggles the menu, → takes you to the previous post and ← takes you to the next. There’s also a couple of more useless ones like
arto open Archive,
abto open About and
hto go home. Try typing
Oliver Reichenstein’s love letter to Design. A must read. Here’s a snippet from the conclusion:
It is not the hand that makes the designer, it’s the eye. Learning to design is learning to see. Naturally, what designers learn to see as they improve their skills is usually related to design. Doctors don’t see web sites in the same way as web designers, just as web designers don’t see radiographs as doctors do. Our experience sharpens our eyes to certain perceptions and shapes what we expect to see, just as what we expect to see shapes our experience. … There are not distinct groups of “designers” and “non-designers” — it’s a continuum. And there is no such thing as the worst or greatest designer, since design requires a lot of different talents that can’t be directly compared. Some have deeper imagination, are better with the purely functional aspects, have more talent in polishing details, have better technical skills, and some will shine with an unbreakable will to ship. It is a long way from novice to pro, but what we all have in common is the trained ability to see what others don’t, to create what others can’t see but only feel.
12:12AM — Sunday, March 24, 2013
I was a little surprised that Google didn’t decide to shut down Feedburner along with Google Reader. However, it seems like it’s only a matter of time. So I’ve deleted the feed and re-directed it to the un-feedburnered feed.
If it works correctly, the feed URL should update in most feed readers. But feel free to update it to http://andytaylor.me/feed manually.
Sorry for the hassle.
08:43PM — Saturday, March 23, 2013
I’ve wanted a Pen Type-A since I first heard about CW&T’s Kickstarter campaign to manufacture them a couple of years ago. As I missed out on the original run, I’ve been patiently waiting for availability.
I checked their site every couple of months, but it was almost two years before they were available again. I purchased immediately.
It arrived yesterday and it is already one of my favorite objects. Its parts are machined out of solid stainless steel; it feels amazing. Because the pen and case are machined so precisely, the pen slides into its case slowly, forming a pneumatic seal. This results in a delightful pop sound as you pull it out again.
The genius of this pen is that it’s simply a housing for the (Internet) famous Pilot Hi-Tec-C refill cartridges, which are available in four line widths (0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5) and over 30 colours (although the only sane colour to use is black). The sharp, solid line these cartridges make, leave the pen you were using before looking dull and blurry.
I couldn’t find anywhere to purchase refills in Australia. The Hi-Tec-C is called G-Tec-C in the US, so I’m not sure if they aren’t available, or if they simply go by another name. Pilot Australia sell a pen called Hi-Tecpoint, but the casing doesn’t look anything like the Hi-Tec-C or G-Tec-C. JetPens sell refills, but by the time you add international shipping, they weren’t cheap. They are, however, all over eBay (ughh), so I ordered ten for $12.
The Pen Type-A feels like it’ll last a lifetime. Hopefully refills are still available when I’m 90.