Andrew Jaswa

Software, Daily

I recently had a harddrive crash in my MBP and it got me thinking about the software I use on a daily basis, since I had to restore all of it.

  1. Chrome, probably one of the best browsers out there today.
  2. Firefox, still use FF from dev work and some sites.
  3. Coda, a great all around code editor.
  4. MacVim, my co-workers have gotten me hooked on MacVim, though there are still some things I like about Coda so it won’t be taking over as my full time editor, maybe 50/50.
  5. Adium, what is there to say? All around best IM client there is?
  6. Transmit, another great tool from the guys at Panic, you can mount (s)ftp servers as local drives and other magical things with this tool.
  7. Clusters, compresses files on your harddrive seamlessly. I’ve already saved 15.6 gigs.

That pretty much sums up the software I use every day. I have to admit, when I started this list I thought it would be longer. I guess I use more websites and cloud services than I thought.

category life,software
June 19, 2011

On being left handed

I consider myself to be left handed. Though I think I’m more mixed handed. But alas mixed handedness gets cut out of the picture most of the time since the focus tends to be on the dominate writing hand.

I like being left handed, it means I might have a gene that makes me left handed, but they aren’t sure about that yet. I also notice quite a bit when other people around me are left handed. It makes me feel special. I’m an oddity (I’m sure most people would agree with that). Being left handed also makes me adept at using my right hand better then right handed folks can use their left hand. Some call this ambidextrous, but truly, I am not. I’m not equally dexterous on both sides of my body which is why I’m more mixed handed. I can’t throw things with my left arm and I play baseball (as well as most sports) with my right arm. I am also right footed and right eyed. There are few things that I can only do well with my left arm/hand.

What I don’t like is when people don’t consider the left handed folks when designing things.

Spurring on this rant was a recent discussion on a well known and widely read interaction design mailing list. The discussion was around mouse clicks on a web app/site. More to the point they were talking about the use of contextual menus being accessed via a “right click”. I’m sure you might be thinking this is a little nit-picky and perhaps it is. However the problem persists, people do not think out side their own means. They tend to think of what they can do and not what others do or can’t do. For crying out loud these guys design interfaces and interactions. What happens if they design something strictly for their means not considering how others may use it and someone dies?

Taking this a little further, there has been research on the effects of left handed people using right handed mice. It can cause some issues with posture. Which makes you wonder if ~10% of the worlds population is cared about by the other 90%. It seems that the 80/20 rule shouldn’t apply for handedness. But alas it does and designers, business people and right handed folks don’t see the value in accommodating the southpaws of this world.

We might be an edge case in some people’s minds but wouldn’t people with disabilities considered edge cases? It basically the same thing, people with psychical disabilities could have a hard time doing things that people without disabilities do with ease. People who are left hand dominate could have difficulties with things that are designed for the right handed world.

Equality for all? No. Not until the right handed world stops being selfish.

February 16, 2009

13things

13things-banner
Well where do I start?

I guess it started back in March of 2008 when I attended An Event Apart New Orleans. Jason Santa Maria gave an excellent talk about web design or rather a talk about how current web design all looks the same in the form of blogs and content management systems. The example he used that stuck in my head was that of Wired Magazine. In their print publication they have very captivating designs but when the article is taken online it loses its design and just becomes another article. This actually inspired me in two ways. The first was to learn more about design (as my background is in development) and the other was to create a website that was essentially what Wired was to print. With my lack of design skills and time, I filed it away almost to the point of being forgotten. Seeing as how 2008 was a very busy year for me it should come as no surprise.

In late October of 2008, after I had gotten settled here in Denver, I wanted to build a website. I played around with a few ideas and then remembered that 24ways would be starting up soon. 24ways is an awesome website run by Drew McLellan and Brian Suda that only publishes articles during advent. This gave me the idea to create a website that had a restricted publishing schedule.

In the end I settled on building a site that published articles in a very set fashion, highlighting various parts of website development each with a unique design reflecting the content. 13 articles a year once a month with a yearly review.

Well… after much work, it happened. The first article of 13things is now published.

January 13, 2009
Andrew Jaswa