Ovi's Blog on technology and the web

RIP Flash 8/28/2017

Recently, Adobe officially announced it is discontinuing support for its Flash browser plugin by 2020. You know, that thing you get bugged about updating. Or, perhaps you’ve already decided to stop installing it altogether. [...]

The Transform app 3/31/2017

A client project that I’ve been working on for a year and four months now has finally launched this week. Transform with Chris and Heidi, an iPhone and Android app. There were some bumps in the road along the way and some unexpected delays, but it was also quite an undertaking in terms of the features the app has. All things considered, it turned out really great and it’s exciting to see it finally launch! [...]

Being an Apple fan 9/24/2016

September is Apple month for me. For the last few years, I've been watching the keynotes and I install the new OS updates as soon as they come out. (Most recently the iOS update a couple of weeks ago and the macOS update last week.) And this year was the first time I waited in line for the new iPhone after preordering it online to get it on day one. [...]

Facebook algorithms and the problem with majority rule 12/2/2014

I started using Facebook to find “friends”, people I had met in the past and wanted to keep in touch with. But the longer the list of people got, the more status updates became overwhelming as Facebook showed too much: all their Likes and interactions with other people. Then Facebook added filtering options which helped a great deal. However, more recently, Facebook started automating the filtering of posts which is really annoying because no one really knows exactly how the filters work. [...]

What a bad interface can do 10/24/2013

When Google Docs was released years back, I was one of the first people to jump on board. I liked the idea of having files that I could edit from any browser. A couple of days ago, I lost all those documents, years of personal and work data, after simply trying to organize my files. [...]

The new Microsoft CEO: me 9/12/2013

When I was a kid, the thing I wanted to be when I grew up was an employee at Microsoft. I know it sounds funny, but it’s true. In middle-school, I remember working on a history project about a well-known historical figure. While other kids picked your standard inventors and presidents, my project was on Bill Gates. [...]

Learning by copying 9/4/2013

To become a musician, you are taught to play music someone else made and improve your skill by continuing to find other music to copy. Amateur musicians sometimes do this for years before deciding to make their own original music. [...]

Programming made for humans 8/9/2013

Bret Victor did a talk recently called “The Future of Programming.” In it, he acted as if he was giving the talk in year 1973 (even using an overhead projector for his slides) and imaged what programming might look like 40 years into the future. [...]

Marketing a web app 12/11/2012

This is the third post in a series about working on my side project: Indie Aisle. The previous covered design and development. Originally this article was going to be about specific techniques I’ve used to market the Indie Aisle web app. But there is a critical aspect I missed that makes the results on those techniques inconclusive: tracking their outcomes. [...]

The Content Management System that wasn’t 1/13/2012

As I’ve been reflecting on this past year, get ready for the new one I’ve been thinking about some of the projects I’ve worked on in the past. One of projects that came to mind was my own take on a content management system which I worked over two and a half years ago. [...]

My switch from Android to iPhone 10/27/2011

A few months I made a list of what I wanted in a new phone as my two-year contract with my Droid was almost up. Last week I looked at the options available and went back to my original list. I mainly looked at what Apple announced for its iPhone 4S and what Android announced for its upcoming Android 4 device, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. [...]

Developing a web app 3/27/2011

My side project, Indie Aisle has been online for a few months now and as I did with designing the web app, I’d like to share my thoughts about the development process. [...]

Chrome notebook and really working on the web 1/26/2011

It’s been over a month since I got the Chrome notebook and I wanted to share my thoughts on it so far. Before I even get into it, I think I should mention that just the idea of a web-browser-only computer I was already sold on since the Chrome OS was announced and I’ve already begun preparing my own laptop for working primarily on the web since then. So when the Cr-48 came, in a way, I was completely ready for it! Now, on to the review. [...]

Wrong default web cursor 12/17/2010

This past year, I’ve tried an experiment on the site. I’ve replaced the ‘text select’ cursor that shows when mousing over text on a website with the default arrow cursor. It’s almost an unnoticeable change, which is the point. It seems to me that changing to the text select cursor is somewhat of a distraction. There are a lot of areas on a website, particularly its layout where the text doesn’t need to be highlighted for any reason. It seems silly to expect it to be done so often. [...]

Designing an online app 8/1/2010

Indie Aisle is a project I’ve been working on and off for a couple of years now. This past year however, I really got going with it, spending most of my available time outside of client work. Since the beginning the visual design for it has gone through quite a few iterations that I thought I would share some of here and talk a little about what I’ve learned during the process. [...]

Tech trends shaping habits and social interaction 11/29/2009

Two kinds of technologies have in recent months changed my daily habits and how I interact with people: web-based apps and smartphones. [...]

On Web Standards and rounded corners 10/25/2009

I think I agree with this article written ten years ago when the web was still in its infancy. While general web practices make sense, the need for having formal standards seems unnecessary. Website-building technologies have in a lot of ways standardized themselves because of individual developers deciding what is appropriate to use. Looking at the reasons why this has happened is important to understanding why we don’t need formal standards. [...]

Farewell Windows Mobile, hello Android 7/31/2009

My two-year contract expired in May, which means I’m looking for a new phone. I’ve decided on a Google Android-based phone from my current Motorola Q with Windows Mobile. [...]

Evolution of storytelling and technology 4/3/2009

Since the beginning of humanity, storytelling and our ability to learn is what has set us apart from other species. It almost seems that our interest in stories is in our genes and is what makes our brain work the way it does. I really don’t know if that’s the case, but for the sake of this article it sounds pretty good. I will attempt to briefly go through history as I see it and tie in storytelling with the advancement in technology for telling stories in new ways. [...]

Online photo sharing done right 1/31/2009

For the last few years I’ve just been keeping folders of my digital photos on an external harddrive. At the same time I’ve kept my eyes open for good photo organizing software to use, but there was always a key component that they all seemed to be missing: a simple way to share photos with family and friends. [...]

New Xbox Experience (NXE) interface 11/25/2008

Three years after the Xbox 360′s release comes a new version of the Xbox… software. In a similar move to the Zune, Microsoft has decided to focus on software upgrades for improving their current hardware. While some would say the new interface overhaul was unecessary, after actually using it for a while, besides being prettier, it starts to become clear why it was in a lot of ways necessary. [...]

Sam and Max, video game or interactive tv show? 6/30/2008

Sam and Max is a video game series that originally started back in 1993. It made a comeback a couple of years ago in the form of episodic gaming, releasing one ‘episode’ each month for a ‘season’ of six episodes. It’s sorta like a tv show where each episode can be played on its own, but with an overall storyline that connects the episodes together. [...]

What you should know about the GTD method 5/19/2008

The GTD method is basically a method for increasing personal organization. To me it meant somewhat more than that as it taught me about how just by changing my thinking about something could lead to really powerful results. If you’re not familiar with the book “ this video of a talk he gave at Google a while ago. [...]

Subscription-based media 10/22/2007

In the last couple of years, I’ve gotten used to subscribing to blogs as my main source of news and information. Mix that with listening to most of my music through a portable player and it’s gotten me thinking about how I consume media. [...]

Why Microsoft loses customers 6/20/2007

It was that time again for me to look at new cell phone options. My two-year contract with Cingular was over and I already decided a while ago that Verizon Wireless was looking better this time around. It also meant it was time for a new phone. I had a Windows Mobile-based smartphone the last couple of years which worked well, syncing nicely with my Outlook Calendar and Contacts. [...]

Are you pod/audio/video-casting? 4/19/2006

“No one is podcasting.” — Old Media (Newspapers) “Everyone is podcasting.” — New Media (Web, generally tech geeks) Well, both sides are right. The confusion seems to be with the perception of what podcasting is. Podcasting is audio or video content recieved through a subscription, or feed, and then synced, or downloaded, to an iPod. [...]

Future of design formats 1/29/2006

When it comes to designing for the web or any type of on-screen presentation, the design is based on the format you have to work with. This applies to any medium really, but has been more difficult for the computer since it’s always changing. [...]

Xbox 360 interface 11/25/2005

The Xbox 360 came out this week and with it, a lot of positive reviews. One aspect that impressed critics and gamers alike is the game system’s interface. This Thanksgiving, I was lucky enough to try out the system since my cousin was actually able to get his hands on one after spending a night in line for the few that were available. [...]