April 1, 2011

Since you and I last convened upon this well-preserved relic of the 2000s, the world as we know it has changed dramatically, as evidenced by an incremented version number.

All major browsers now support <video>, which will soon be deployed in the fight to deprecate <input type="radio">.

Wikipedia has turned ten – old enough to use a calculator in math class, which should help with credibility. Vandalism has been reverted. Spam has been deleted. (Applause from the Deletionists.) Citations have been added. More are needed.

Unfortunately, this occasion is also met with sour news. Our ally Movable Type, the once-scrappy personal blogging engine turned corporate content management publishing system framework platform framework, has regrettably lost. But its memory – version 4.35 of it – lives on at this blog, the state of which is strong. Thank you.

May 6, 2008

Spurred by my dorm’s photography contest on Flickr, I finally made a place for my photos online (a place other than Facebook): say hello to Minh’s Portfolio. I’ve been meaning to add a “portfolio” of sorts to my website for around four years now, but for both a lack of time and a lack of resources, most of my work has stayed hidden on my computer.

Occasionally you’ve seen some of my work illustrate blog posts here, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Eventually, I hope to add my actual art and website portfolios to the gallery, but for now it’s just photography. Since the gallery doesn’t show full-resolution images, you wouldn’t notice that the equipment I’ve been using is, well, lacking.

Until last year, all the photos were taken with a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72, a now-antiquated digital camera that takes photos at a resolution of 640×480 pixels. A resolution that low would’ve been acceptable several years ago, when we bought the camera. In contrast, the newfangled gigapixel cameras these days can probably discern strange quarks from top quarks.

Because the Cyber-shot was the family camera, I only had access to it during family vacations. But last spring, I was forced to replace my trusty, non-flip, cameraless Nokia phone with a battery-draining Samsung Sync, weighted down with no end in pay-to-unlock gimmicks. (I also had to swap my reliable Cincinnati Bell service for Cingular, but that’s a sad story for another day.) At least the new phone comes with a decent camera, which means I can snap photos on a whim. For a phone camera, it’s not half-bad: the resolution is 21st-century, and the quality isn’t much worse than the film cameras we used to operate.

(Remind me to tell you about my family’s hardy Canon film camera some day.)

I know my “photography” doesn’t hold a candle to that of some of my dormmates, but I’ve at least established that I can operate a camera. Maybe some day, I’ll prove myself worthy of moving up to a disposable digital camera. They didn’t have those around when I was growing up, y’know.

January 10, 2008

Maybe I’m increasing the signal-to-noise ratio at Facebook?

Those of you who’ve known me for awhile probably know of my contempt for so-called “social networking” sites. If they were merely about getting in touch with long-lost friends and looking up someone’s e-mail address, and maybe even bragging about how many favorite colors you have, I’d have no problem with MySpace, Facebook, and the like. But they’re run by for-profit companies, of course, and that means they need a way to monetize our eyeballs. My eyeballs don’t want to be monetized.

I once described social networking sites as “one giant, conflated popularity contest”. I still think that’s the case with MySpace, but Facebook has since been more cunning about its whole business. You can easily find fault with a service where you’re encouraged to maintain a tell-all profile, add as many “friends” as possible, and chitchat with them, but do nothing much else. Facebook, however, caters not only to the super-vain among us, but also to those who have something better to do there. Applications. Facebook is a bazaar, and there’s something for everyone at a bazaar.

This blog has been my soapbox for nearly six years, but after high school, its readership declined considerably, not helped by the fact that Google relegated it to the second page of results for my name. That’s where Facebook came in. Although I was initially wary of its terms of service, Facebook was an irresistible distribution channel for my blog. I relented, and now it’s where the majority of my readers come from.

People are quitting Facebook cold turkey. But as much as I’d like to follow suit one of these days – having already backed up everything I’ve ever done on the site with the glory that is ScrapBook – I can’t quite leave yet, because along with Facebook would go my audience: you. My profile stays, for now. As much as I dislike their tactics, I know how the record labels must feel, so beholden to Apple for sales.

Soapboxes exist to tell everyone what they didn’t know they wanted to hear. If you stand on one, you scream at the top of your lungs, at every chance you get. It’s too bad Facebook just happens to be holding the donation hat.

  1. My fellow netizens
  2. Portfolio
  3. Soapbox, or: how I learned to stop worrying and love Facebook
  4. When I was five
  5. Downtime
  6. Mundane milestones
  7. Reasons
  8. Downtime
  9. On the fly
  10. Information overload
  11. Going Out: Making a point
  12. Going out
  13. Thinkers’ Club
  14. On time
  15. … shame on me
  16. Two more weeks…
  17. Twenty thousand
  18. Unminor upgrade
  19. A little early
  20. My notes, now encoded
  21. Expanding
  22. Public Enemy № 1: In defense
  23. This is a test…
  24. What you look like
  25. In the third person
  26. Delete
  27. Coded
  28. Minor upgrade
  29. Upgrade… yet again
  30. Random distribution
  31. Compliant
  32. The best flavor you’ve ever tasted!
  33. Backup Phase V complete
  34. Upgrade… again
  35. Backup Phase IV complete
  36. Upgrade
  37. My notes, now Live
  38. Why
  39. Starting over II
  40., plus Another Design
  41. Progress
  43. Old Design
  44. All in a name
  45. Meatspace
  46. Upgrade
  47. Weather
  48. Friend of a Friend
  49. Friend of a Friend
  50. Hiatus
  51. Rebuilt
  52. GoogleFight!
  53. Shameless Plug II
  54. Shameless Plug
  55. Errors
  56. School Pictures
  57. MT-LJ Bridge
  58. Upgrade
  59. Better-lookin’ comments
  60. Ratings
  61. Long time no blog
  62. A little late…
  63. Getting Down to Earth
  64. beWregniM
  65. Mike’s Links
  66. XHTML as text/html
  67. TrackBack, PingBack, Referral…
  68. TrackBack
  69. Fixed
  70. Commenting on Errors
  71. Favicon at last
  72. Banner Validation Test
  73. MingerMirror
  74. Counter jump
  75. Phew!
  76. Argh
  77. Finally
  78. CSS Question 01
  79. In Defense
  80. Movable Type troubles
  81. You can talk now!
  82. Squashed Bugs
  83. My notes, now Movable
  84. Site Launch