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A new chapter…

News | November 9, 2015 ⋅ 8:19pm

What's next?Hi all! I suppose it’s not hard to notice that this site hasn’t been updated in a while. Truth to tell, I’ve been kept pretty busy with social media, not to mention that most of my time over the last two years or so has been taken up by my day job as a reporter for The Register.

Still, since this site is the quickest way to find me with a Google search, I thought it worth mentioning here that I’m no longer with El Reg, so you needn’t bother trying to contact me there. I wish the gang at the Vulture Annex in San Francisco all the best.

As for what I’ll be doing next, that’s actually undecided at the moment. (If you have any ideas on that score, let me know.) For the time being, though, I’m content to take a breather, enjoy some hobbies, catch up on some reading, and so on. I’ll post any significant updates to this site (and I also plan to do some general housekeeping, because it’s sure looking dusty around here).

Thank you to any visitors who have stopped by while I was away, particularly those of you who took the time to drop me a line. Sorry if I was late/unable to respond. All the best!

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Handwritten code

News | January 17, 2012 ⋅ 4:07pm

Code Monkey font by ComicraftI just love this. Comicraft is one of the companies that pioneered digital lettering for comic books. These days, they earn some of their income selling their custom-designed fonts, most of which resemble hand-lettered comics text and sound effects. Among their latest additions is Code Monkey, a hand-lettering font for computer code! Code Monkey lets you add a little bit of humanity and flair to your code listings by making it look as if your output was written by hand. Unlike most of Comicraft’s fonts, it’s fixed-width, making it ideal for text editors and terminal windows. It’s also available in a proportionally spaced version, if you prefer that.

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Comic Book Color Swatches for Photoshop

Hacks, News | July 9, 2011 ⋅ 4:50pm

Classic Comics Color GuideA recent blog post by Ed Piskor generated some interest in the old craft of coloring comic books in the days before comics were printed using full-process color. Ed created a chart showing all 64 colors available in most comics of the bygone era. I also enjoyed an article at the CO2 Comics Blog that went into depth on the classic comics coloring process and how it evolved over the years. What I thought was missing, however, was an easy way for folks to use the same colors to get a “Silver Age” effect in their own comics. To that end, I wrote a script to generate a swatch palette for use in Photoshop, Illustrator, or other graphics software. But I didn’t stop there! I also created palettes that recreated the even-more-limited Golden Age palette, as well as the expanded palettes that began to appear in the 1980s. You can download my palettes here. » More... » More »

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Chrome OS demystified

News | November 26, 2009 ⋅ 9:35pm

Confused about Chrome OS? You’re not alone. Ever since Google announced its new OS for Web appliances, I’ve heard the wildest theories about it — everything from Google being the savior of desktop Linux to Chrome OS being available for download now. In a new short article for InfoWorld, I debunk the top five myths about Chrome OS and offer some guidance about what to expect next. Google’s OS may not be what you expected it to be, but it certainly bears attention.

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What’s next for netbooks?

News | May 11, 2009 ⋅ 10:11pm

I have a new article up at InfoWorld this week, and this one is a little bit of a departure from my usual beats of software development and open source. This time, I’m talking about the ever-popular netbooks, and what directions these mini-laptops might take in the near future.

My conclusions? For starters, they might not even look like mini-laptops for much longer.

Hardware vendors are naturally concerned that these low-margin devices could cut into the sales of their higher-end products, so they’re looking for ways to spin them as secondary systems and “companion devices.” Look for new chips under the hood, new form factors, and even new pricing models that could send the cost of netbooks down to nothing. Click over to InfoWorld to see what I mean, and be sure to leave feedback in the comments and forums.

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Tough challenges ahead for desktop Linux

News | May 1, 2009 ⋅ 6:27pm

Tux, the Linux PenguinMy latest feature for InfoWorld is sure to raise some folks’ hackles, but that’s OK by me. For years now, pundits have been predicting that Linux would take the desktop by storm, becoming a true rival to Windows. I suspect that won’t happen anytime soon. The inertia working against it is too strong. In this article, I examine some of the reasons why enterprise customers have been slow to adopt Linux for their desktop workstations — and why they probably always will be.

Do you disagree? By all means, dive into the discussion by posting comments or striking up a conversation on InfoWorld’s new forums.

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Artwork in progress

News | May 1, 2009 ⋅ 6:09pm

9-finalIt’s been a long time since I added anything to the “Artwork” section of this site, so an update is long overdue. Recently, a friend asked me to illustrate the invitation to her son’s birthday party. He’s a big Marvel Comics fan, so she wanted something superhero-themed. As I was working on the project, I took scans of the artwork in various stages of completion, both on paper and in the computer. I post them here for anyone who might get a kick out of that sort of thing.

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InfoWorld launches bold new site design

News | April 6, 2009 ⋅ 6:30pm

If you’ve followed my work for InfoWorld, you may have already seen the site’s brand-new design, which launched over the weekend. (If you haven’t seen my work, you can see an RSS feed in the right-hand column of this blog.) Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the relaunch.

The new version of the site brings more than just a sleek, modern new look. Beneath the hood it’s a complete rebuild. Out went the earlier, proprietary content-management system, replaced by Drupal, an open source CMS platform. The Online Publishing Group at IDG, in tandem with an outside Web development firm, created a fully customized Drupal installation that — for once — means InfoWorld has a technology platform that matches its content. Better yet, while the competition is still nervously worrying about the future of the publishing industry, InfoWorld is moving forward, better than ever.

I encourage everybody to check out the new site — and, especially, to jump in and participate. There are dozens of online discussion forums just waiting for your input, questions, feedback, and casual chat. This is a great opportunity to build an unprecedented online community focused on enterprise IT. Do me a favor, register on the site, and kick off new discussion topics of your own. I and the other InfoWorld editors and contributors will be checking in and joining the discussion as often as we’re able.

Congratulations to everyone at InfoWorld on a successful relaunch, and I’m looking forward to all our collaborations in the new era.

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Happy 2009, everybody!

News | December 31, 2008 ⋅ 8:17am

Happy New Year!Wow. It only just dawned on me how long it’s been since I posted an update to this blog. Don’t worry, I haven’t been idle — on the contrary, my plate’s been pretty full throughout December. In addition to blogging for InfoWorld and PC World, I’ve been working on some private jobs for clients, some stuff you’ll be seeing soon, and finishing up some classes at City College of San Francisco — not to mention the Holidays!

I hope everybody has a happy and safe holiday season, and a prosperous New Year. I’ll give updates on what’s going on with me after the jump. » More... » More »


Fatal Exception rated “Great” at

News | September 21, 2008 ⋅ 9:53pm

This just in: Fatal Exception, my InfoWorld blog, has received a rating of 8.0 at the blog rating site, qualifying it for a score of “Great.” Just six other InfoWorld blogs have been reviewed by the site. Tom Yager rates a little higher than I do, as does Zack Urlocker and Savio Rodrigues’ Open Sources blog, but I daresay I can deal with “Great.” Drop on by the site and leave a review of Fatal Exception, if you’re so moved.

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