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Life without Spam

I saw Eric Raymond speak about open source software. (Will provide thoughts on a future post). His writings on the open source model are important and prescient, and he even keeps a weblog (I enjoyed his somewhat dated piece on HTML Hell pages.Probably the most remarkable thing about the lecture is that people from 5 different Linux/Austin user groups were present. Only in Austin.

I don’t normally rave about windows-only tools, but I’ve been trying the new macromedia dreamweaver mx web editor, and I think it’s amazing. A lot of the problems I hated about previous versions (too much added code, scant css support or php support) have all been solved. It makes clean xhtml code now. The only problem is how much memory it uses and that it crashes occasionally, but it is a powerful tool, especially for dealing with styles. What little I’ve seen about Flash MX seems to be terrific also (especially for learning interactions which are SCORM compliant). They even have a great tutorial for building online quizzes and a great user group for instructional designers. I don’t know a lot about Flash, and in fact, I had to chuckle when a usability writer recently titled his book “Skip Intro.” But they run a great website and strongly support user groups and calls for XHTML compliance and accessibility. I am definitely giving them a second look this month.

While putting together what was probably the longest daily post on my Asiafirst weblog, I came across Frank Yu’s Brand Recon. He subscribed me to his newsletter, something I normally don’t approve of, except that the technology links are just great! While I’m in the habit of recommending Asia technology weblogs, I also like Me, Myself and the Web . Undoubtedly, by next month, my number one standing on search results for Asia+Weblog and India+Weblog will disappear.

The next 72 or 96 hours will be totally hell for me. More about that next week (that is, if I survive).

Google keyboard shortcuts for vi users.

I have discovered another genius on the web. Mark Prensky, author of “Digital Game-Based Learning” has produced cool online games for corporate training. A good example is here. Again, I wrote extensively about this topic last year. He wrote a “theoretical underpinning” of game-based training, and includes a link to a thesis about games and simulations in corporations by Rolf Ahdell and Guttorm Andresen.

Slashdot has a link to a Wired article about high-bandwidth culture in South Korea.

I don’t mean to brag, but in the last three months I have not received a single piece of spam at my new email address. I forgot how wonderful it is. Of course, I protect this email very much and am very careful to whom I give it. Also, I have several aliases, which I can always drop or filter if a spammer finds one of them. Also, I use about 8-10 junk emails for site membership stuff and secure yahoo mail for consumer purchases. Interesting for those too cheap to afford Adobe Acrobat: 5 Free Online DOC to PDF conversions offer from Adobe. Speaking of which, I don’t use Acrobat and have limited knowledge of Framemaker, but I’ve really appreciated how newer PDF documents include sidebar indices. (I’m guessing they are using Framemaker + SGML).

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