ISSUE 29  News & opinion |  February 2002 | updated 3/14/02   

  Last month's Comment Comment Archive (all previous)    
  Records fall right and left

No, not the Winter Olympics. Well, maybe there too, but I'm talking about the response to last month's rant about designers who insist that you set your browser to a certain size (like 1024 by 768) to view their site. After Zeldman.com linked to it the hits jumped to 500 a day for several days, ending up at over 2000 for the month. I'd ordinarily be thrilled if an article got 500 hits for the entire month!

The traffic from Zeldman and others who picked up the link made January's traffic the highest ever in all categories: visitors, pageviews, and total traffic. Demonstrates the power of hyperlinks on the Web.

Zeldman and others had good things to say about the article. Others sort of agreed, I guess:

I agree completely with your point. But I think you argue against a straw man. Except for the occasional portal site (which are user-configurable), there aren't many sites that require 1024x768.

When I do the google search, as you suggest, I find a lot of personal home pages and the like. Not big web presences. A good percentage of the pages that come up in the search don't really fill up 1024x768, even though they say they do. And quite a few say that 800x600 is required but 1024x768 is OK.

So I'm not going to sweat too much about the 1024x768 menace.
   —Ken Z.

And some were less positive:

[re: flexible design] You haven't followed your own advice in the slightest. 10px type is teeny-tiny at 1024x768, a problem made worse when your text blocks are so wide that you get 20-25 words per line. Right now, your page is an extreme example of being optimized for one common display setting and nearly unreadable at the other common display setting. At the very least, why not use 12px type?
   —Doug R.

Doug's point is one that I'll correct with the next redesign of the site.

Agree or disagree, continue sending your comments! There's an email link at the bottom of this and every page to make it easy.

CDs in the mail
Three CD-ROMs arrived this month, from England, Slovenia, and Indianapolis. How cosmopolitan can you get?

From London, Joe Stephenson sent a copy of rom:one, an experimental disk of sound toys, games and a story. This is my favorite use for CD and/or DVD-ROM: the digital equivalent of the artist's book. For more on this topic, with links to other examples, see our earlier article.

To sample rom:one, go to their website. You'll get a taste of the CD, but only that. Buy the CD for a much richer experience: faster, more responsive, better sound.

The disk from the Pixxelpoint International Computer Art Festival, held in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, contains images of all the entries. Interesting idea that works fine for the 2D and 3D art, but is not very satisfying for the interactive and animation entries. There's a jpeg screen shot from the NY Minute piece that I entered, but unfortunately the disk doesn't play properly on a Mac. So much for international fame.

And from Indianapolis, a former student sent an attractive mini-CD promo disk for his company that unfortunately got chewed up and spit out—broken—by the postal service. The moral of this story: use good quality protective mailing envelopes.

Good news from the stock market
About a year later, my one and only investment is more than holding its own despite the troubled economy.

As of last week, Apple Computer was doing quite a bit better than the rest of the NASDAQ.

If the new iMac sells as well as I think it will, this trend should continue.

Our local Apple rep brought one in last week. It's hard not to want that beautiful "floating" screen on your desk rather than a big clunky CRT. If only you could run two monitors to create a bigger desktop. The current iMac will run a second monitor, but only in the "mirroring" mode (same image on both monitors). Still, I'd sure like one.

-Al Wasco, January 15, 2002

















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