“By the time she returned, Nathan flipped his applesauce cup over, and had spread applesauce on the entire tray of his highchair, on his arms and even worked some into his hair”

The Applesauce Boy


logo design

Ian Jones is documenting the path to his new logo. Looking forward to part 2 “the reveal”. Nice job Ian. My all time biggest hit post was the one about my logo design. It still gets hundreds of views a day, not to mention the fact that it’s given my designer a nice bit of business as well.

I also love Ian’s idea of building a small app that builds on the success of another ISV hit, FogBugz.

scary stuff

“The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses — even against their will — for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes to generate tax revenue.”

  • Umm. More than a little scary, it borders on unbelievable. Especially for those of us in areas where land is short and prices are high. I can imagine Toll Brothers making their case now why my house would make a great place for them to build a new swath of million dollar homes (hence a higher assessment -> increase tax revenues).

I love progress, development, Wal-Mart and so on. Go tear down those old burned out buildings or use that land with the old factory on it, but to steal peoples homes?


5 rules for better powerpoint

Great great post about making usable PowerPoint presentations. I agree with every single word of this. I used to do training sessions on building PowerPoints at my previous job. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand that they are the presentation, not the slides. Read this and learn!

I also agree with the bit about KeyNote as well. What a great program.

php charting library bueller bueller

I’m desperate for a good charting library for PHP. Anyone know of one? Graphs are a big part of HelpSpot and right now I’m planning on going with a very nice flash component I’ve used before, but only because I can’t find a decent image generation library. I would prefer images because if people want to use the charts in presentations, shove them in a Word doc, etc then an image makes that easy. A flash graph makes that impossible. However, that said I’m not willing to sacrifice the quality of the graphs. They must look really good! So this is my last ditch attempt to find a nice PHP library for building graphs.

Before commenting let me throw out a few things here.

  1. The images must be of this quality: http://www.dotnetcharting.com/

  2. I don’t want to use JpGraph: http://www.aditus.nu/jpgraph/. The images are not high enough quality. Also the library has two different versions for PHP4 and PHP5 and both are pretty sizable. I can’t/won’t ship both with HelpSpot. I realize this is the dominant charting component for PHP so I may just be screwed.

  3. I can’t/won’t increase the server side requirements to make this work. So it must be pure PHP or if there is a compiled server side component it must work cross platform (win, osx, linux, unix).

Any ideas?

new microisv i think

It sounds like Mike is starting up his own biz after 4 years at Disney Interactive. He’s a super talented guy so I’m sure whatever he’s building is very cool. That’s a space to keep an eye on.

Also he gives away iPod Shuffles which is another reason to keep an eye out over there 🙂

more on windows

First off thanks for all the thoughtful replies, I figured a post on forking Windows would get some people riled up!

This post is in response to some of the items mentioned by Martin Weber and others in the comments


First let me clarify my position. I don’t really care if they actually start from nothing. I would imagine in fact that they wouldn’t. They would use .Net and it’s common runtime as the basis of apps for the new OS and perhaps reuse parts of existing code that made sense. All I think is that they should try and remove themselves from maintaining tons of legacy code which runs apps from 1988 in the new OS. I agree this is suicide for most software companies, but they have the resources to pull it off.

It would also reinvigorate the workforce at MS, which is an aspect I think most peole overlook. Maintaining code which runs apps from 87 isn’t fun! How do you get the best minds to work for you if what you’re doing is boring work? See this post for confirmation from the inside on this.

Now Martin said, “This must be the single worst business decision Microsoft ever could make” but you can’t have it both ways because you go on to say that Microsoft has already done what I’m suggesting when they created NT, Tablet, Media Center, and Mobile. So if they’ve already done it why is it a bad idea and why don’t you think they could pull it off again?

Another item is the distractions of the other divisions. Martin says “Even if businesses like their Hardware division just are a “pebble in the pond” it definitely would be a business other companies would like to have just on their own”

Again I disagree. I’ve read the financial statements. Last year the business solutions division (CRM,etc) lost $255 million, mobile lost $224 million, and home and entertainment lost a whopping $1.2 billion. Those don’t sound like businesses which other companies would want to me.

All I’m saying is Microsoft needs to free it’s mind and find a way to inspire it’s customer base again. If there was a compelling reason to upgrade they would.