Balsamiq Mockups: Wireframes Made Easy (and Fun!)

I used to use OmniGraffle Pro for all of my diagramming needs, including for wireframes. When I needed to do some wireframing for a client, I decided it was about time I found some better stencils (pre-built shapes) for OmniGraffle so that I could get these things done more easily and consistently. That turned into a wild goose chase, which ended with OmniGraffle no longer loading properly and an approaching deadline to have my diagrams done. But then I found Balsamiq Mockups, and all was well. (more…)

Nokia E71 NAM Real World Usage Review

Now that I’ve been using the Nokia E71 NAM for a few weeks, I wanted to post a follow-up review covering some of the more “day-to-day reality” aspects of the phone. I’m going to bullet-point my observations/comments for brevity’s sake, and as with my initial review, any comparisons made here are as compared to my Nokia E61:

Nokia E71 NAM First Impressions

A few weeks ago, I got an email that I almost discarded as spam, asking me if I would like to try out a Nokia phone for a few weeks. As it turns out, the email was completely legitimate, and the offer was genuine. The good folks over at WOMWorld Nokia wanted to send me a Nokia E71 NAM (the NAM is for North AMerica, since there’s a slightly different European version) so that I could try it out and see if  I liked it. Either way, I was welcome (encouraged) to write about it, talk about it, and generally let people know what I thought of it. This is the first of 2 posts that I will be making about the phone and the experience I had with it. I wanted to do one as a “first impressions” post, and then one at the end of the test period (unfortunately, I have to send it back 🙁 ) with more detail on my experiences.


That Feeling of Loss

City of Golden Shadow River of Blue Fire Mountain of Black Glass Sea of Silver Light

Am I the only one that has that feeling of loss or loneliness when I finish a good book? (or in this case, four good books?)

I’ve been reading the “Otherland” series, by Tad Williams for about 3 years now (4?), progressively acquiring each of the books in the series, then re-reading the ones before it so that I get the whole story. In doing this, I have obviously “spent a lot of time” with Renie, !Xabbu, Sellars, Sorensen, Ramsey, Orlando, Fredericks and all the other characters in the books. Now that I’ve finished them all – it’s over. I feel like I’ve lost a whole group of friends.

It’s strange how you can develop such an attachment to characters of a book which are completely ficticious. Personally, I think this comes partially from my history on the Internet. I have spent so much time online that the characters in a book are often more realistic, more “detailled” in their background, descriptions and actions than other people who I have spent hours discussing things with, worked on entire projects and laughed over common jokes.

With the detailed writing of professionals like Tad Williams, I often actually know more about the personality, physical appearance and mental processes of the characters in the books that I read, than I do about the people I meet on the ‘net.

The only up-side of finishing the Otherland series is that now I can finally read “Google Hacks”, the book that I wrote a small section of. I’ve had my complimentary copy of the book (from O’Reilly) for a few months now, but haven’t had a chance to read it because I was too busy trapped in Otherland and the Grail Network (read the book if you have no idea what I’m talking about here :).

I will strongly recommend Otherland (yes, all 4,000-ish pages of it) to anyone who likes science fiction, and especially if you can deal with the idea of fully-immersive virtual reality – it really is a treat.