Introducing head.js to My Studio

These are the advantages of adding Head JS, specifically head.load.min.js, to my new Web designs:

  • Measurable and perceived performance boost: Head JS loads scripts in parallel, decoupled from the loading of document visuals. In effect, the conventional jQuery event for $(document).ready() fires before all of the scripts are loaded.
  • Loading of JavaScript libraries can be maintained from an external file instead of locking files into hard <script /> elements.

So here is my Head JS document pattern based on three <script /> elements:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    <script src="./Scripts/head.load.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        head.js('./Scripts/jquery-1.5.1.min.js')
            .js('./Scripts/jquery.tmpl.min.js')
            .js('./Scripts/jquery.extensions.rx.js');
    </script>
    <title>My Document</title>
</head>
<body>
    <div>
    //document...
    </div>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        /*jslint browser: true, cap: false, passfail: false, undef: false, white: false */
        /*global window head jQuery */
        head.ready(function () {
            (function ($) {
            // document script...
            } (jQuery));
        });
    </script>
</body>
</html>

What’s the big change for me (besides the switch to HTML 5) is that the both the second and third script blocks can be ‘sourced’ to an external file. This should be a great help for kintespace.com as it runs proudly on primal, static *.html files.

Remote Desktop for the Songhay Studio


Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop

Using Remote Desktop with my virtual machines was not possible because their network adapters were set to NAT instead of Bridged. I’m sure I made this setting because some version of VMware Workstation <=7 did not properly support Bridged networking.

Ubuntu’s supposed support for Remote Desktop begins at version 10. So I spent most of the day yesterday upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. This turns out to be great idea in general because it seems to run faster within the same memory limits as the previous LTS version of Ubuntu. As a Microsoft guy, this revelation is quite impressive!

However, there was one VMware-related bug with this upgrade. The keyboard was not recognized by Ubuntu 10.04—this is documented in “Ubuntu 10.04 doesn’t accept keyboard input when running under VMware on Windows 7.” What worked for me was logging into Ubuntu from putty and installing the VMware client tools (before I could do this I had to make sure the appropriate Linux headers were installed, sudo apt-get install cpp gcc build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)).

Multiple Monitors and Remote Desktop

The use of VMware and Remote Desktop among two or more computers is a quantum leap toward “extreme” flexibility for working in the Songhay Studio. I have a few situations right off the top:

  • Using Remote Desktop against VMware on the host machine is a prudent work habit that allows me to move to another machine without having to log out of my session.
  • Using Remote Desktop against the host machine from another machine with a bigger monitor simply allows me to work on another machine with a bigger monitor. Here in my studio living room, the bigger monitor is connected to my Mini-ITX “media center.” I can take advantage of the larger screen without having to install a bunch of crap on the “media center.”
  • Using Remote Desktop (or just VMware) on the host machine and using a web browser connecting to the VM web server on another machine with a bigger monitor. Because my work with jQuery or Silverlight is usually accessible from a server, I effectively have a dual monitor experience without having to connect two monitors to the host machine—which is just a notebook. This is now possible because of Bridged networking working.

Relevant Links

“Adobe clocks first billion-dollar quarter ever, $268m profit” and other flashy links…

Nilay Patel: “Unfortunately there’s no granular data on how Flash is faring in the market—it’s lumped into the Creative Solutions group with the rest of the Creative Suite products, but with big wins on Android in the past year and a huge win on the Air-based BlackBerry Playbook coming next year, we’d say things are going well, no matter what Steve Jobs’ Thoughts are.”

“Sure, RSS Is Dead — Just Like the Web Is Dead: Tech News”

Mathew Ingram: “In the same way, RSS has become a crucial part of how web content gets fed from blogs and other sites into real-time services such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as aggregation apps like Flipboard, as CEO Mike McCue noted during the debate between Winer and TechCrunch. Do Twitter and Facebook compete with RSS to some extent, in terms of content discovery? Sure they do — but they also benefit from it. Along with real-time publishing tools such as Pubsubhubbub, RSS is one of the things that provides a foundation for the apps and services we see all around us, including real-time search (and plenty of people still use RSS readers, says venture capital blogger Fred Wilson).”

“If You Didn’t Blog It, It Didn’t Happen”

Anil Dash: “So, if most tweets are too ephemeral to reach their full potential as ideas, what do we do about it? Well, obviously, one big step would be to simply make sure to blog any idea that’s worth preserving. It’s perfectly fine to tweet about trivialities — I do it all the time! But if you’re tweeting about your work, your passion, or something meaningful to you, you owe it to your ideas to actually preserve them somewhere more persistent.”

“The Ugly Showcase of Military, Intelligence And Defense Websites” and other Google Starred items…

Cloudscapes by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects Cameron Chapman: “There are some good ones, though. A number of countries have obviously dedicated the time and resources necessary to project a professional and polished Web presence for their members. A number of other websites have obviously put in some effort and are pretty close. If you know of examples of other great military or intelligence websites from around the world, please add them in the comments!”

“Blender 2.5 hotkey chart”

[see image] “It’s not a meant to be a comprehensive map (there are far to many hotkey combinations to fit into the limited space of a keyboard diagram), instead it just covers the basics common to modeling low-poly content for games.”

“40 Amazing Dual Screen Desktop Wallpapers”

“But the users of dual screens find it bit difficult to find wallpapers that meet interests as they have to scroll through number of sites before finding one. Keeping this in mind, today we have complied 40 Beautiful Dual Screen wallpapers from all genres and categories.”

“Photoshop Templates for WP7 Mock-Ups”

Sarah Perez: “Included in the download are 28 layered Photoshop templates that offer those controls included in the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta and those that are a part of Windows Phone, but not yet in the Beta, letting you get a jump on your app’s future development. ”

“101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design: Oblique strategies for changing and controlling behavior”

Cory Doctorow: “Dan sells the decks as a neatly boxed set of 117 cards for £24.50, or you can download them and share them for free. This is quite possibly the most provocative set of quick-read, random-access idea-bombs I’ve seen. ”

“New Tutorial on Flash to HTML5 Video Fallback”

Lee Brimelow: “The tutorial also shows you how to use the new Flash Media Playback component for quickly adding video to your websites. If getting your video out to the largest number of people is your goal, providing an HTML5 fallback is an absolute necessity.”

Cloudscapes by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects“Phenomenal Animated Videos”

“Our friends designers and animators have been showcasing this beautiful gift of creativity and they use it to its fullest potential in some truly outstanding animated videos.”

“10 Beautiful Ubuntu 10.10 Wallpapers From Official Ubuntu Artwork Pool”

Manuel Jose: “Ubuntu Artwork Pool in Flickr is buzzing with activity once again. With the release date of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick getting nearer everyday, the submissions onto Ubuntu Artwork Pool in Flickr keeps piling on.”

“Shinya Kimura”

A short film about custom motorcycle engineer Shinya Kimura, directed by Henrik Hansen. Shot on the Canon 5D and 7D.”

“50 Stunning Examples of Photo Manipulation Art”

Obaid ur Rehman: “Photo manipulation is one of the most creative art forms today, but it requires skills and precision. Here we present some examples of photo manipulation related to nature, photography, objects, illustrations, HDR, abstract and fantasy-related concepts.”

“Adobe Releases Web Fonts”

Brad Neuberg: “It’s exciting to see Adobe supporting web fonts!”

“Great News for MonoTouch Users”

Miguel de Icaza: “Although Apple had not blocked any MonoTouch applications since the new rules were introduced, many developers either took a wait-and-see approach, or switched their development. We never stopped working on MonoTouch, just yesterday we released MonoTouch support for the new iOS 4.1 APIs. We did this within eight hours of the new operating system going public.”

“Mastering Lowpolydesign”

This is a 5 part tutorial from Jimmyon with total length of 60 minutes teaching low polygon modeling for game meshes. He is using GIMP and Blender 2.49.”

“Cloudscapes by Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo”

we make money not art: “Architect Tetsuo Kondo has teamed up with German climate engineering firm Transsolar to fill a closed space inside the Corderie with clouds. Clouds, after all, are part of our architecture: they frame outdoor space and filter natural light.”

FunkyKB: “Explicit vs implicit SQL joins” and other notes…

Stack Overflow: “Personally I prefer the join syntax as its makes it clearer that the tables are joined and how they are joined. Try compare larger SQL queries where you selecting from 8 different tables and you have lots of filtering in the where. By using join syntax you separate out the parts where the tables are joined, to the part where you are filtering the rows.”

“How do i write the literal "]]>" inside a CDATA section with it ending the section?”

Stack Overflow: “This ends up breaking the CDATA section in two parts, but it’s what you have to do…”

]]&gt;]]&gt;<![CDATA[

Issues like this should be more and more moot/antiquated for my needs as the .NET framework in general and LINQ to XML in particular provide facilities that make these “tricks” unnecessary.

More Old Stuff: “What’s New in FOR XML in Microsoft SQL Server 2005”

MSDN: “There will still be a few cases where you may want to use the EXPLICIT mode (in order to generate CDATA sections or to use the !xmltext directive, for example), but the new functionality should make the “query from hell” a much less frequent encounter.”

“SQL Server Index Basics”

simple-talk.com: “For composite indexes, take into consideration the order of the columns in the index definition. Columns that will be used in comparison expressions in the WHERE clause (such as WHERE FirstName = 'Charlie') should be listed first. Subsequent columns should be listed based on the uniqueness of their values, with the most unique listed first. ”