The Listserve and PhotoYOLO

About two years ago I signed up for a daily email list called The Listserve. The Listserve is a daily email lottery, where they choose one person from their ever growing list of subscribers, who then gets to send an email saying whatever they would like to the entire list.

Currently there is 24,751 subscribers from around the world on the list. Daily messages have included personal stories, various tips, random thoughts, positive statements, random thoughts and more. The concept is awesome and I love being able to get a different email, daily, from someone I would never have gotten the chance to hear from. It provides a nice break from the usual set of emails I get daily.

Recently, I was told about PhotoYOLO, which was inspired by The Listserve, but rather than a daily text email, it delivers you a different photo to your inbox from one of the subscribers. The creator Kaitlyn believes a photo in itself can tell a story, and let’s subscribers tell theirs through a photo that they have taken.

I enjoy and look forward to receiving both of these emails daily. So if you are looking for something different and interesting in your email, I would highly recommend subscribing to both of these lists.

windows-xp-bliss

Windows XP is Dead

As of today, Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.

“Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences,” wrote Microsoft in an announcement.

One of the most widely used operating systems of all time and one of the most successful products from Microsoft, it was installed on most computers in homes, offices, and schools. Many systems still use this as their main operating system. While you are still able to run it, the discontinuation of support from Microsoft opens it up to vulnerabilities as time goes on. If possible, updating to a newer operating system is highly advisable.

With the popularity of Windows XP, the “Bliss” default desktop background has risen to become one of the most recognizable photographs in the world.

Thank you Microsoft and Windows XP for over a decade of awesome service!

It’s Adventure Time!

I recently had this image created depicting my dog, Leo and myself as characters from the show Adventure Time. I thought it was totally mathematical and wanted to share.

Let me know what you think!

Adventure Time with Scott and Leo

Why Are Hyperlinks Blue?

Being a web developer, many of times I have wondered why blue was chosen as the default color for hyperlinks. Was it a random pick? Maybe just someones personal preference? Well, came across the answer while reading an article and I’m sharing it with you, so that you will not be kept up at night while trying to figure it out anymore.

Mosaic Browser Screenshot with Blue Hyperlinks

Here is the low-down:

“Tim Berners-Lee, the main inventor of the web, is believed to be the man who first made hyperlinks blue. Mosaic, a very early web browser, displayed webpages with a (ugly) gray background and black text. The darkest color available at the time that was not the same as the black text was that blue color. Therefore, to make links stand apart from plain text, but still be readable, the color blue was selected.”
Bennet Feely, Quora.com Discussion

When Sir Tim made the choice to make links default to blue with an underline, he probably was not thinking about user accessibility. It is a great coincidence he did though, because according to Joe Clark that made it much easier for those who have variations of color-blindness:

“Red and green are the colours most affected by colour-vision deficiency.  Almost no one has a blue deficiency. Accordingly, nearly everyone can see blue, or, more accurately, almost everyone can distinguish blue as a colour different from others. It was pure good luck that the default colour of hyperlinks is blue with underlining.”
Joe Clark, Building Accessible Websites

Even though nowadays we have the ability to change links from the default style, it is pretty crazy to think how one person’s decision is able to completely change the way millions of people identify hyperlinks.

I’ve Been Busy

This is how I feel

Thumbs Up!

The Standing Desk

After adding my modifications to make it a standing desk.

After adding my modifications to make it a standing desk.

Since I’ve been working as a web developer full-time, my back has been killing me from sitting at my computer all day. Typing hunched over my computer was causing me pain to the point where I would have to get up, stretch and try and rub my back every 15-20 minutes. That was no way to work.

I had been looking into the idea of a standing desk for a while when one of my co-workers started doing it. After a week, he was raving at how much better he felt, so I decided to give it a shot. Originally I just used a small shelf stacked on top of my desk with my laptop set on it.

The first couple of days, my feet were in a lot of pain from standing, but I could tell a difference in not only my back, but in my overall mood and energy. I felt that I had a little more pep and wasn’t getting my 2:00 crash. I also felt that I was more alert and excited.

At the one month mark, I got a standing mat to add a little cushion to the floor and it made a subtly but huge difference throughout the day.

My desk when it was still a normal sit down desk.

My desk when it was still a normal sit down desk.

Finally, after getting a new iMac which didn’t fit on the shelf I was using, I looked for a more permanent solution. Since my desk is built into my office, I couldn’t just get or build or a normal standing desk. Instead, I found a table that matched the height I needed, then added a shelf to set my keyboard and mouse on. It just so happened that one of the coffee tables from the department store was the right hight for my monitor and was only around $20. I picked up a couple L-brackets and a shelf for about ten dollars more.

Now I have the perfect standing set up for me, and it only cost about $30 to do. I feel great and couldn’t imagine going back.

Edit: The Times Herald, a Gannett Company in Port Huron, Michigan, wrote an article about standing desks. Read about it here.

Work Hard, Play Hard

I love coming to work. Every day. Really, I don’t consider it work. I’m lucky enough to be employed somewhere that I get to do some really cool things.

Since I started at Marriage Ministries around August, I have learned more and done more than I did in the years prior. Everyday we are doing something new and exciting and it has been a great learning experience for not just me, but everyone else there.

I also get to wear many hats. On any given day, I could be doing our websites, or handling our social media, or creating some advertisements, or doing some marketing, or even be taking phone calls from customers. For me, that is excited in itself because I get to jump around between projects, which I love to do.

Everything I do, big or small, has an impact on the company. Being a startup, it’s not the kind of place I could just come in and twiddle my thumbs until 5, then head home. If I do nothing, it shows and the company suffers. But if I do a lot, it shows and the company soars.

This was originally just going to be a post of a picture, but as it was loading, I started thinking more about what I do and what it means. Work hard, play hard. We work hard to do meaningful things, but have a great time doing it and cut loose to enjoy our time.