SPARK CON festival

If anyone is in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area over the next few days then be sure to check out SPARK CON — an exciting festival celebrating ideas, art, music, fashion, and more. It's all about creativity!

Greg and I will be wandering around through the crowds. If you see someone with a Zengobi shirt on, be sure to come up and say hello. :-)

A history lesson

This post from Joel Spolsky offers a very prescient view of AJAX applications. We are currently seeing a flood of open-source Web 2.0 SDK's which all make developing web versions of applications easier and easier.

However, I also find myself wondering if a true winning SDK is going to appear that offers something truly unique, truly compelling, which will allow it to become the de facto standard that all web applications will use. That will be the one all developers will need to know, that will grow by leaps and bounds.

Usually it takes a large company to evangelize a new tool kit. I started writing commercial applications when Windows 3.0 was going out the door and Microsoft did an amazing job of encouraging WinSDK development. With more applications on Windows came more users and, ta da, Microsoft got huge.

But, RoR wasn't pushed by a big company but via grassroots, viral spreading. Will something similar happen in the AJAX sphere to push a standard there?

About this particular Curio

The fine folks over at ATPM have written a really nice review of Curio 4's new features. We're really glad to hear how much they like it, but there are a couple of minor corrections that we feel obligated to point out.

First, with the release of Curio 4 we did away with the Feature Tour project that he mentions. Chances are that Curio opened that project for him because it was the last project he had open from a previous release. Curio 4 comes with a fairly extensive user manual which you can access by choosing Help > Curio Help from the main menu. Plus, it comes with a Sample Gallery project which shows off a variety of features and gives you some ideas about how to use them in the real world.

Second, we renamed the Home edition of Curio to Curio Standard, which we believe is a more appropriate name, since it's really not just for home use.

That's it. You should go check out the review and send it around to all of your friends and colleagues.

When is a song not a song?

While this is off topic to Zengobi, all the world's talking about the new iPods so I thought I'd add a bit.

I've had a first generation iPod since they were released. I loved it. But it died.

So, I was eagerly awaiting the new iPods. My first reaction: Arg! Too many choices!

I love the small size of the nano, the capacity of the classic, and the touch of the touch. Technically I don't have that much music, around 6GB, so I'd be fine with the nano or the touch. But I love the idea of putting lots of kids vids on it, hooking it up to the TV, and showing them to my 3-year old. All three of those iPods support video out.

One odd fact. Check out the iPod comparison page. Specifically the 8GB nano and touch.

The 8GB nano can hold 2,000 songs / 7,000 photos / 8 hours video.
The 8GB touch can hold 1,750 songs / 10,000 photos / 10 hours video.

How come the touch has fewer songs yet more photos & video? Perhaps less actual free memory space would explain a lower number but why is one number smaller and the others larger? The fine print implies the song sizes and the videos are the same. I actually thought the photos would be fewer on the touch since they could be at a higher resolution but, apparently, that's not the case. Hey, and why can't I simply multiply either product's numbers by 10 and get the 80GB iPod classic's capacities (20,000 songs / 25,000 photos / 100 hours)?

Must be the famous Apple Reality Distortion Field at work.

Anyway, just an odd rambling thought as I wait for them to arrive at my local store.

New Snippets bookmarklet

One of the new features in Curio 4.0.3 is a super-cool bookmarklet you can add to your browser which will allow you to archive web pages directly into Snippets with a click of a button.

A bookmarklet is a bit of Javascript stored as a bookmark in your browser. Clicking it actually executes the Javascript code. In our case, it tells Curio's Snippets service to create a WebArchive of the specified web page and place it into the Snippets library.

To create the bookmarklet simply follow these steps:
  1. Run Curio 4.0.3 at least one time - that way it knows how to handle the bookmarklet.
  2. Drag this link (Copy to Curio) directly to your bookmarks bar.
Next time you surf to a web page you wish to archive in Curio, simply click the newly created bookmark and a WebArchive will be generated and placed into your Snippets library. You will hear the familiar Snippet "chirp" sound when it is finished. Curio does not have to be running for this feature to work as it all happens behind the scenes.

Then, next time you run Curio, you can drag the WebArchive out of Snippets (marked in Curio's shelf with a pair of scissors) and into any idea space.

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