Floppy Disks Live On

While helping my kids type their reports in Microsoft Word, I was explaining the virtues of saving their work frequently. They didn’t think anything of it, but I had a brief epiphany moment when I realized we’re still using the 3.5 inch floppy disk as the standard “Save” icon. My kids now associate that little icon with saving, but have never needed to use an actual floppy disk. I wonder for how many years will still be using that icon? Searching the web, I found a couple of related articles: Editing documents as playing music by Matt Webb Modernizing the…

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Overcoming Hurdles to Web App Signup

flow|state has a great pair of articles that summarize well the problems a web application will face with too many obstacles for new users. First, in Hurdles at the entrance to a site: It’s not unusual for a site to position a long sequence of hurdles just inside their entrance. Someone walking in the door might have to clear some or all of these hurdles before they can even try out the site… The list that follows isn’t much of an exaggeration. So many sites require signup and verification before you can figure out what they do, let alone start…

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Yahoo! Messenger for the Web Launches

Tonight we had a completely different type of client launch: The all-new “Yahoo! Messenger for the Web” let’s people use Yahoo! Messenger without any client download. Instead, it’s implemented in Flash, so from any browser just visit the site and login. It’s not as full-featured as the regular client, but is really fast and has some UI elements that are different but very cool. By avoiding the big (12MB) client download, this should be a good alternative for logging into Messenger wherever you are. We even have a nice shortcut that’s easy to remember: http://web.im Check out the Messenger site…

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San José State Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Today marks the 150th anniversary of San José State University, here in the middle of Silicon Valley. Both the San Jose Mercury News and San José State have put up a bunch of historical documents, photographs, and interviews. The Mercury has an interactive timeline that is especially good. Also, check out the list of notable alumni from Stevie Nicks to Jessica McClintock to Gordon Moore to Bill Walsh.

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