Today’s Readings

By a show of hands, how many of you make wireframes for your new client sites?  Okay, good.  Now, those of you that do, how do you share those wireframes with your clients?  Do you save them as PDFs and either email or post to something like BaseCamp?  And then how do you interact with those wireframes based on your clients’ change requests?  Well, Mockingbird offers a free, online method of creating, sharing, and editing wireframes, all online!  It’s a pretty slick tool, give it a try.

With the release of Windows 7, SitePoint has done a nice, lengthy write-up, well worth reading, but summarized by yours-truly here:

  • Installation is much easier, recommend a clean install, not an upgrade from Vista; full install takes around 30 minutes.
  • While the 64-bit version is hesitantly recommended, apparently there are major compatibility issues with some 3rd-party software, so maybe sticking with the 32-bit version still makes more sense…
  • 7 uses the same “Aero” interface as Vista, but you can turn most affects off.
  • The taskbar is now double-height, but shows only the application icons, no text; when you hover over an icon an overlay displays all the windows currently open for that app.
  • Dragging a window to the top of the screen maximizes it.
  • Dragging a window to the side maximizes the height and sets the width to half of the space (useful when comparing browser rendering).
  • Shaking the window minimizes all other applications.
  • Alt+Tab and Windows Key+Tab still offer keyboard window switching.
  • Expect some inconsistency when switching from app-to-app, apparently some apps have Office 2007-style ribbons, while others have XP/Vista-style, and still others have styles that have not changed for 15 years…
  • 7 introduces a couple new productivity enhancements:
    1. Jumplists: “Right-clicking a taskbar icon or hovering over an icon in the Start menu shows a list of documents that have been recently opened by that application. Regularly-used files can be pinned to the jumplist for easy access.”
    2. Libraries: Essentially “a list of associated folders” that you can treat “as though it was a single unified folder for searching, saving, etc.”
  • 7 also introduces what most developers will consider the holy grail of development: XP Mode, which allows users to run real versions of IE6, IE7, and IE8 on the same machine!!! And the chorus of angels sings…
  • 7 installs surprisingly few additional applications (ie. Photo Gallery, MSN Messenger, etc.), though they are all downloadable should you actually want them.
  • Web Platform Installer “installs and configures a variety of development systems such as PHP, SQL Server Express, Visual Web Developer, and popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.” Are those more angels I hear?
  • I’m sure you’ll all get the same chuckle out of this quote that I did: “Microsoft claim Windows 7 is the most secure version to date.”  Um, I should hope so…
  • Boot-up and operating speed is apparently similar to (a fresh version of) Vista, but memory management, disk activity, sleeping, hibernating and resuming are all improved, which should lead to longer battery life and less  fan noise (queue the angels again…).

So, all-in-all, it sounds like an upgrade well worth doing.  I know I’ve been waiting to buy a new computer because I did not want a version of Vista in my house, and the IIS and XP Mode features alone make me like this version more than any I’ve ever used, and I haven’t even used this one yet… :-)

Oh YQL, will you never cease to amaze me??? Three search engines, one interface – 25 minutes live code.

I want to work in an office that looks this cool

And lastly, I know this is NOT all Americans, but wow, this video is really depressing…

Happy reading,
Atg

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