Thursday, January 15, 2009

I like Balsamiq

I’ve been using the free version of Balsamiq Mockups to create some application page mockups.  It’s not quite as fast as pen and paper, but sure as hell beats doing it in something like Visio.  I really like it*. 

The application is available both online and in an Adobe Air version that can be downloaded and run from the desktop – I’ve used both and probably will continue to use both, the differences between the two versions are marginal. 

Balsamiq Mockups comes in a free trial version as well as a paid for version ($79).  As far as I have experienced, also the only differences between the free version and the paid version ($79) are that 1) the free version nags you every 5 minutes, and 2) you can actually save your files with the paid version, and also 3) print the mockup.  To make the free version useful, Balsamiq does allow you to export the markup as XML (and re-import the xml to re-create the drawing.)

Below is a screenshot of a markup I did of – took all of 10 minutes: balsamiq markup

*… in the interest of full disclosure I fully intend to email Mariah to see if I can get myself a free license….

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MOSS: Add Incoming Links to a Wiki Page with jQuery

Sharepoint’s wiki implementation is rudimentary, but still useful.  One of the corners cut in the implementation is that incoming links are on a separate page – you have to click the Incoming Links link (and wait for the screen to refresh) to see them.  It’d be much more user-friendly to show these links on the same page as the content.

Turns out with jQuery this is a fairly trivial exercise,  at least for a single Wiki page*:  Simply add a Content Editor Web part to the page and copy the following code into the Source Editor.

<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(function() {
  //get the url for the incoming links page
  u = $("a[id$=WikiIncomingLinks_LinkText]")[0].href;

  //create a target container and load it with the incoming links
  //filtered to show the links list only
  l = $("<div id='incomingLinks' style='border-top: solid 1px  silver'>").load(u + " .ms-formareaframe");

  //append the new container to the wiki content


It may be noted that the above code could even be combined into one single chain – I prefer the above for readability and debugging purposes.  Also not sure if I need to dispose of the local variables – this is a POC more than anything else.

Adding script through a CEW part

The incoming links are now on the page, right below the content:

Incoming Links directly on the Wiki Page

A more thorough implementation might position the links in a box in the upper left corner, and simultaneously removing the “Incoming Links” link.

*I haven’t quite thought out how to inject this throughout a wiki.  Any suggestions?

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Games: Crayon Physics Rocks

I have two young kids, so basically my only off-time on the computer is when the kids are asleep or at daycare.  And they're only at daycare if I'm at work, so that leaves not a whole lot of time left...  So anyhow- what I'm trying to say is that I'm hardly a computer gamer.

Still I paid $19.95 for a game today, when I haven't even finished the demo levels.  Crayon Physics is THAT good - I highly recommend it (PC or iPhone).  My 3 year old even sat still on my lap for 15 minutes while we drew shapes together!

Crayon Physics Deluxe from Petri Purho on Vimeo.

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yumm! chocolate. and bacon. together.

I don't post enough raves on this blog - in 2009 that's gonna change.  So here's the first:

Vosges Haute Chocolat's Mo's Bacon Bar.  Awesome!

Once you get over the thought of eating chocolate with bacon bits, you realize what an incredible flavor combination this is.

At $7.50 per 3 oz bar they ain't cheap, but they make a cheap (and welcome) gift (if the recipient has taste, that is).

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Friday, January 09, 2009

52 years of internet in 8 minutes and 9 seconds...

(Apparently all the popular blog posts out there have titles starting with numbers – let’s see how this fares…)

Talking about the internet, how about some history?

via Frank’s World:

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009 traffic sources, 2008

The internet is amazing.  In 2008, this blog, which is NOT generally heavily trafficked, received 11,839 visits from 10,433 unique visitors in 3,398 cities in 124 countries.


Beyond reflecting on that I don’t get many repeat visits,  I still marvel at what caused someone in Mongolia to access my April 2007 archive page, or why someone in Malawi wanted to learn more about the DDF Command and Variable Syntax.  I can only hope that this incredible democratization of information will one day lead to a more peaceful world.  (Of course, one might also note that I received zero traffic from North Korea, Iraq, or Libya and half of the rest of Africa.)

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here’s to 2009 being an inspirational year for all of us.

by OverThinkingIt


Will you fight?  - No! We will run.  And we will live.  Shame on you. This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re going to let it be the worst. And I guarantee a week won’t go by in your life you won’t regret walking out, letting them get the best of you. Well, I’m not going home. We’ve come too far! And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause. A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day. The line must be drawn HERE. This far, no further! I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. You’re going to work harder than you ever worked before. But that’s fine, we’ll just get tougher with it! If a person grits his teeth and shows real determination, failure is not an option. That’s how winning is done! Believe me when I say we can break this army here, and win just one for the Gipper. But I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time: you’ve got to get mad. I mean plum mad dog mean. If you would be free men, then you must fight to fulfill that promise! Let us cut out their living guts one inch at a time, and they will know what we can do! Let no man forget how menacing we are. We are lions! You’re like a big bear, man! This is YOUR time! Seize the day, never surrender, victory or death… that’s the Chicago Way! Who’s with me? Clap! Clap! Don’t let Tink die! Clap! Alright! Let’s fly! And gentlemen in England now abed shall know my name is the Lord when I tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our Independence Day!

(If you’ve seen this before, it’s probably because I’m posting this way back in 2008 on a dull day before Christmas.  So Merry Christmas, too.)

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