Category is: Interwebs

Always a better way.


There is always a better way to do any given thing. If I had a mantra, it would be (a snappier version of) that. That’s part of the reason I love the web and the markup and styling in web work; there’s always a better way. From more refined fail-safe and unobtrusive scripting, to the latest CSS3 selectors to whatever exciting but nebulous functionality HTML 5 will bring. I’d call myself a perfectionist if I didn’t I believe perfection is intrinsically unattainable. So while I take this approach to markup on a day to day basis, it can in fact be applied to just about anything.


Articles Interwebs

So I spent yesterday at the Future of Web Design conference in Kensington, London. It was pretty sweet! The talks were divided into:

  • 5 presentations on useful and interesting stuff (or 185 minutes in total)
  • 2 dodgy product plugs (45 sell-out minutes)
  • 3 company showcases looking for prospective employees (95 flashy minutes)
  • 3 kinda flops with not much point (150 loong minutes)

Not much futureness to be fair but a lot of ideas and a good buzz. Considering the bargain basement price-tag it was pretty amazing what those Carson folk pulled off! When I find a good resource online or somone waxing wise about what people had to say I’ll link to it, but all I’ve found so far are fragmented notes in a couple of places.

In other news: though it’s still very early days and it won’t be announced for ages, the rumour mill is in full effect over upcoming glasto line-up, and I’m getting pretty psyched. Woot!

MRM 1 year on

Dear diary Interwebs

I’ve been an Associate Client-side Developer at MRM Worldwide for one year now. Proper agency stuff and everything! Hurrah! Accordingly if I were to go back to temping now I could earn three times what I did a year and a half ago! :-) Yay for progress.

In other news Simon is at ETech and I’m well jealous. Also I’ve began the painstaking endeavour of reassembling all my old blog posts from their various homes across the web, as I think it’s remiss that only about one fifth of my blog history are on this site. It’s going to take bloody ages but it’ll be worth it.

In the redesign next month (after FOWD) I might even put in a way for people to look at old posts!



After the CSS workshop last month I’m all booked up for another Carson event, this time a conference entitled “Future Of Web Design“, or FOWD if you’re into the catchy acronyms. I had actually booked my place and time off work before I told my boss about it, and it’s gratifying to have him reply “yes, sounds good, lets go” even though it’s likely to be from a design rather than a development point of view. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be rubbish and show me up, though given the line-up I shouldn’t think so.

Speaking of designiness, production on the next generation of mochaholic is on hold, as I try and reconcile my ideas with current trends and get around page hierarchy guidelines. I’ve uploaded a gif of how it stands at the moment, next stage would be to cut down the number of pages and introduce some content below the fold, hopefully that’ll work as a compromise.

Mika at Popstarz next friday! Woopwoop.

Web Grok

Articles Bloggery Interwebs Recaps

Being as it’s very quiet at work right now I’m pretty much left to mimble about the web. Far from slacking, trying to get my feeble mind to absorb all the knowledge therein is probably as draining as if I had work to be getting on with, but then it’s probably more interesting. I’ve been fiddling with PHP and JS, whittling down the old thoughts.txt (de-angstathon), trying to get a handle on contemporary web design, and basically trying to grok the web and my place in it, as a developer, as a punter, as a wannabe designer, as a sometime-blogger.

[Non-Geeks skip this paragraph] In terms of actual technologies learning what is ‘best’ is in most cases pretty easy. For (archaic) example the semantic document structure and scalability of pure CSS solutions blows tables out of the water. Progressive enhancement is self-evidently better than broken JavaScript links. However it seems to be much more difficult to keep a similar handle on web design trends, as trendy gidgits are passé to the cutting-edge designer blogospheres before Joe Client has even heard of them. Same deal with the sociological aspects: I’m told with certainty by experts that social network web-apps are where it’s at and that forums are now perceived as lame… But all those people on the forums don’t know this, or care, and there are a lot of them. On the other hand the same might be said about Hotmail, and we all know Hotmail is the work of the devil. Figuratively speaking. I hope.

I’ve come to the conclusion there is no middle ground between the web-centric elite and the utilitarian proletariat, only a kind of gradual one-way diffusion that seems painfully slow. Although that frees me up to yoink the ideas of the trailblazers willy-nilly with the vast majority not knowing the difference, it’s not a satisfying or pleasing conclusion. IE6, tables, Hotmail and clueless clients will live on, despite being well past their shoot-in-the-head-by-date. I guess I can take comfort that I’m certainly as bad or worse in other aspects of my life: e.g. I shop at Tesco. It’s too expensive, has a mediocre range and lazy staff but hell, it’s on the way to work…

ANYWAYS, between all this pondering I’ve set up a wordpress blog where I hope Mochaholic 2.0 will eventually emerge. However early indications are not good. It’s an open-source free for all, so there are endless opportunities for downloading dozens of badly-integrated modules and skins guaranteed to break at the slightest provocation, the much-vaunted widget functionality seems to be ridiculously complicated considering it’s in lieu of cut-and-pasting a few lines of code, and the oft-repeated implications of plug-and-play-like ease-of-use is just a big fat lie. And as it’s all under-the-hood PHP shenanigans designed for people unwilling to tinker with HTML by well-meaning amateurs there’s no feedback as to WHY anything breaks.

Quite frustrating. Also, I win at hyphenation.

I R teh proffesional

Articles Interwebs Recaps

Hello again lovely Afterlifers. Admit it, nobody else reads this! Though it’s likely my own fault for being slack with my blogging…

So anyways, I have a brand-spanking shiny new job, and it’s exactly the kind of job I’ve been wanting for the past year and a bit. Having finally accomplished what I’ve been working for for so long is a bit of a shock to be honest, but a very welcome one.

Not only is it sweet agency client-side webwork, working on small parts of the vast web-empires of various household names; it’s also located better than I ever could have hoped, on the South Bank, 3 minutes for the Tate modern, smack bang in the middle of the the cultural heart of London, if not the UK. If I look out the window to my right I can see the London Eye, and if I look out the one to my left I can see the Gherkin. Walking up the riverside past all the artyness, theateryness and the skateryness before crossing one of the many bridges towards Soho or the city proper, you really feel that thrumming vibe of London, which -for the moment at the very least- I absolutely love.

In other news, I retrieved a lead for my battery charger from home at the weekend, so I should be able to take/post pics again soon. Which means you’ll all be drowning in pictures of New York, as well as new ones taken as I traipse along the river every lunchtime.

Judge ye!

Bloggery Interwebs

Another page is done! Apologies in advance for the giant picture of me. Here’s the new one (link also on the left there) and here’s the old one. Three down, two to go! I’ve done the graphics for the other two, though the coding them up will need me to become more intimately acquainted with the MT archiving systems….

Also, for your perusal this evening, a couple of “Logos” I’ve knocked together for Mikey. What do you think? I’m going to leave it there, so as not to colour your opinions :-) Comments, please, preferably on these thingies, but if you want to rant about the fuglyness of the bio page then that’s welcome too ;-)


Gaming Interwebs

Ok, so, the other day I was chatting to a few friends on messenger.

At the same time I was putting together a couple of graphic mock-ups for my upcoming online CV thingy and FTPing them to my webspace to show people for feedback.

I was also FTPing music back and forth from one of the friends and playing them in iTunes routed through my music sytem with da base-of-stupid.

As well as all this I was burning to CD every episode of ThunderCats ever, to make room for the simultaneous bit-torrenting in of the World of Warcraft European client, in anticipation of open beta. Which I just checked at work, and signed up for! Wooo!!!

/me does the “I’m gonna be in Beta” dance”.

Pretty much standard fare… for an UBER GEEK. *sigh*

In other news, this site sucks. Must do better.

Genius webcomic



Third Party Blogging -


Spontaneous, Ideas, Heads and Introvert

Summary of Strategists

  • Quiet, easy-going and intellectually curious – Probably? I’d like to think so.
  • Use logical, objective thinking to find original solutions to problems – Ditto: I like to think so.
  • Think of themselves as bright, logical and individualistic – I certainly think that, even if I’m not.
  • May be impractical, forgetting practical issues, such as paying bills or doing the
    shopping – Bills? What?

More about Strategists

Strategists are quiet people who like to get to the heart of tough problems on their own and come up with innovative solutions. They analyse situations with a sceptical eye and develop ways of measuring everything, including themselves. – I’m a critic, go figure.

Strategists are generally easy-going. They are intellectually curious and enjoy abstract ideas. Sometimes they like thinking of a solution to a problem more than taking practical steps to solve it. – Well, it depends how abstract the problem is in the first place! And the effort involved.

In situations where they can’t use their talents, are unappreciated, or not taken seriously, Strategists may become negatively critical or sarcastic. Who, me? Madness. Under extreme stress, Strategists could be prone to inappropriate, tearful or angry outbursts. – Bah

Strategists may be insensitive to the emotional needs of others or how their behavior impacts the people around them. – Yeah, sorry about that.