Blog for June 2007

They call this: Improving the world one alt tag at a time.

Now that your attention has been breached I’d like to take the time to introduce myself. I am the new guy around here. Believe it or not just over a week has flown by at record speed. So you ask, what are my first impressions of the team here at Visual Lizard? A big positive. Nathan is ever so impressed at a.)their dedication & hard work b.) catalyst (not going to lie, it’s impressive)  c.) how they not only work hard but they love to have fun d.) the interesting but oddly soothing music constantly playing in the background and e.) project organization & communications.

That being said it comes the time where you ask what do these fine gentleman think of the new kid? I wish I could answer that. Let’s just hope for the best shall we? Great. Anyways I must get back to improving the world one alt tag at a time. I’ll be sure to comment on that later. Be sure to enjoy your long weekend and take care.

Daily Links

Daily Links

Welcome to my world!

It seems like everybody thinks that my job is a piece of cake and that anybody could do it. I was sent this link off Scott Mannings site which might put my job in perspective. Read on.....


If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers

January 10, 2002

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don’t have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year.

Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don’t bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: Get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.

Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor’s house that he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can’t happen very often.

Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I’ve given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can’t handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.

Web Programmer Position

Visual Lizard is looking for a web programmer that can jump right in. If you have the following traits:

  • You love PHP more than anything else in the world.
  • Web standards mean something to you.
  • Enjoy music.
  • You want to make a difference in the world.

Then we want to hear from you. Please send your resume to careers [at] visuallizard [dot] com.

Fine print: Salary will be commensurate with your skills. Successful applicants will be contacted.

The New Lizard

Visual Lizard is pleased to announced that Nathan Bertram was the successful applicant in our latest search for a new PHP/CSS master!

Nathan is a very enthusiastic programmer that brings a great understanding of what we require at Visual Lizard to exceed our clients goals.

We look forward to working with Nathan and having him on our team both at work, and for destroying the designers next door in our weekly Guitar Hero 2 showdown.

America's Got Talent - Cas Haley

So there I am, relaxing for a few minutes and flipping channels the other night, after baseball and before the evening shift, when suddenly I see a guy that looks like our Ross appear on the screen. His name is Cas Haley and he comes from Paris Texas, but he might be Ross’ stunt double. Anyhow, there is nothing else on so I see what this other Ross has to say. And then ... WOW .. he covers the Police and Walking on the Moon like I have never heard before. I’m still blown away. If you haven’t seen it yet watch below.

After seeing that, I did a quick google search, it turns out he has a band in Texas called Woodbelly and they of course have a Myspace page (get on ASAP Cas).

Well damn if I’m not going to have to watch the semi-finals to see how Cas (the Texas Ross) does. What did you think of his cover of Walking on the Moon?

Daily Links

Daily Links

Safari 3 for Windows

Safari for Windows

Following in iTunes footsteps, Apple releases the Safari 3 public beta at today’s WWDC, for both OSX and Windows. That’s right, now all you PC users can download the browser all your designer geek friends are talking about and see for yourselves what all the hubbub is all about :)

We tried it right here in the office at Visual Lizard. It installed painlessly as a stand alone browser, like Firefox or Opera. Once you get it up, the first thing you’ll notice is that, like iTunes before it, Safari 3 shuns Windows’ standard window look and ports over Apple’s own design. And, wow is it fast... both for the program to load up and for pages to render!

It took me a long time to "get; Safari. Even when I switched to Mac, I found I still preferred Firefox to OSX’s provided browser. Little niggling details kept me from using it consistently... like not being able to drag reorder my tabs kept bugging me or not using Google’s "I’m Feeling Lucky" functionality from the address bar when the URL is not recognized. The text rendering was fantastic, but I don’t have the eye to pick out the difference enough to "tolerate" all the other annoyances.

Now, with a couple of those elements dealt with, and my now regular use of Webkit for up-to-date rendering, I’m sold. And with Safari 3 available for Windows, I can have the same user experience when I Boot Camp start into Windows XP.

If you’ve never tried Safari, now’s your chance! :)