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All of 1998

  past petermemes  
  December 22, 1998
Another Reason I Love The Web: Access to academic thought.
This guy has published quite a bit on hypermedia.... in hypermedia form!

A happily blasphemous
Yuletide comic. Beware well-endowed Horned Gods.

December 21, 1998
An MIT economist weighs in with some interesting thoughts on
The Web Gets Ugly.

December 17, 1998

So, instead of renaming themselves ReInvent, they've gone with the straight-forward
USWeb/CKS. Apart from creating a hideous domain name, can you see what it's an anagram of?
Click to see)

A tasty nugget of way-new browser interface for you folks:
CritSuite, "Critical Discussion Tools for The Web." Some great ideas, though I must say I found their Java mapping applet to be a bit wonky.

December 13, 1998
Interface designers beware! If you develop a sloppy UI, it might find its way into the
Interface Hall of Shame. Conversely, if you excel, you could ended up in their Hall of Fame. Typically, the former is *much* larger than the latter.

December 9, 1998
Oh, more goodies for you. An Australian firm has written a page to assist folks who are
hiring Web people. It's surprisingly spot on.

The freelance life actually leads to less free time. Anyway, here's a treat for you. Harking back to MetaDesign's brilliant
1996 Advent Calendar (which is still up!), FrogDesign has begun to tackle the 12 Days of Non-denominational Festivities.

December 2, 1998
Ha! A
Furby autopsy. Reminiscent of the classic The Inscrutable 8-Ball Revealed. Any other toy dissections I should know about?

Remember when you saw stuff on the Web that was just cool, not useful, not earth-shattering, but damn cool, and you wanted to tell everyone about it? Well, here's some
cool eye candy you've got to check out.. [requires Shockwave]

If you're not getting your fill of daily link pointing from me, Camworld, and TheObvious, there's now
Tomalak's Realm.

December 1, 1998

Don't drink milk while reading this comic on
Nature's Turkeys, as you might end up spitting it out your nose.

November 30, 1998
Not all my writing appears here! I've posted a couple tales to
San Francisco Stories, Derek Powazek's ode to the city he loves. Make sure to tell him a story about your neighborhood.

November 17, 1998
User Interface Guru Bruce Tognazzini answers your interaction design questions at
AskTog. A worthwhile resource--Tog brings his wealth of traditional software design awareness to the Web in a helpful, not damning, way.

The main product of my labor at Phoenix-Pop has gone live:
Sparks.com. It's an online store for purchasing paper greeting cards, just in time for the holidays! Visit it and let me know what you think. Especially about the checkout process-- designing it was a bitch.

November 16, 1998
Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould discuss the
fallacy of too much reduction in evolutionary theory.

Metababy! Anyone can get in on the fun. Just send an email message to metababy@metababy.com containing HTML in the body of the message, and the page's title as the subject. See your email turn into a web page in seconds!

November 13, 1998

From one of the brilliant minds behind the sadly-passed MIGHT magazine comes
Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

November 9, 1998
The Industry Standard has a special feature on
Internet Professional Services. Wow! About time someone covered my industry!

November 4, 1998
From the "That's Kinda In The Past Isn't It?" File--a
picture of me at Burning Man. We get it.

November 3, 1998
Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, is
online! Dig his "spatial" navigation, and, if you got the cash, buy some original art from UC.

The Dutch commercial mentioned yesterday has been taken off that website, but can be found

November 2, 1998
It's Magic Lens day here at peterme.com! Magic Lenses are an interface tool that allow for a more direct representation and manipulation of items on the screen. I know that sounds wonky, but trust, me, they're super cool, and you want to read about them:
Where it all began: Xerox PARC's Magic Lens Interface Project. Some papers explaining Magic Lens, and a couple (lame) Java applets showing how they work.
Two Deep Magic Reports on Magic Lenses. The first one has the world's grossest Magic Lens applet. The second has a thoughtful discussion of their potential.
An intriguing authoring and presentation environment for Zooming User Interfaces, Pad++, features some interesting applications of the lens. Pad++ is interesting in all kinds of other ways, too, and one day I'll write more about it.
Finally, there's my DHTML X-Ray Viewer, which is a kind of faked lens, in that it doesn't re-represent data in realtime. The shinier looking version can be found under DHTML Experiments here.

And now for something completely different. A
Dutch commercial that is HILARIOUS. Um, and uses profanity. (Quicktime)

October 30, 1998

Blast from the past: Netscape Mosaic v 0.93 Beta for Windows. Marvel at the grey backgrounds! Cheer with glee at the fact it's less than a meg! See how it renders the current http://www.mcom.com/!

October 29, 1998
Tasty Bits from the Technology Front is a newsletter providing insightful thought on a number of internet and tech-related issues. Of particular interest is their coverage of quantum physics--stuff has been going on in that field that could really mess with the way things work.

October 27, 1998
"I suppose this implies that informers are fuckers and the well-informed are truly fucked."-- find out what's being discussed (and it's actually very interesting),

October 25, 1998
Alison Grippo's
Ten Commandments for Producers should be read and followed by all involved in Web development.

The Finger points to
buzzwords and catchphrases that have been drained of meaning, such as "alternative", "interactive", "thinking out of the box." Submit your own favorites! (If that article isn't what you see when you click the link above, click on the "pinkies"/Friday icon on the left.)

October 24, 1998
Two off-line browses:
Okay, I'm a sap. I teared up, and nearly cried (the only reason I didn't was that I was in public, at a coffeehouse) while reading the current Esquire piece on Mr. Rogers. He's just such an amazing man.

Eightball Issue #19 has one story, introducing David Boring. An engrossing read, as Daniel Clowes has the ability to take the seemingly most mundane topics and make them interesting. He also doesn't shy from showing how people truly are. Comic book as literature.

October 22, 1998
Need affirmation of your failing and proscratinating ways? Shop
Despair.com, a kind of unamerican.com for the yupwardly immoble.

October 21, 1998
Another exciting
POKEY THE PENGUIN adventure. Pokey is definitely a hero for our times.

October 20, 1998
Peer into the future with
Red Sky's Millennium Clock. It's a bit of a download, but quite beautiful and intellectually interesting. If you don't want to download, the site is still worth looking at.

Six Degrees of Carl. (Yes, the Carl over there in the picture on the right. Yes, the Web/Internet is one big clusterfuck. Ain't it great?)

October 19, 1998
Wired News pointed me to the
Comic Explorer, which uses Plumbdesign's ThinkMap (mentioned here before). An interesting Way-New Interface, but it doesn't work, conceptually, for me. Too cutesy. I still prefer Revealing Things and the Thesaurus. (Requires Java.)

Sign of the times. (When done reading, make sure to head to the home page, and then email Sam, and tell him that content-oriented framed-sites suck if you can't direct people to the tidbit you want to send them to because it's buried in a frameset somewhere.)

Virtual Autopsy gets big points for this intro:
"This site has been designed with medical students in mind--i.e., lots of big buttons, simple instructions and pretty colours."

October 14, 1998
Edward Vielmetti hosts
Vacuum, and is clearly into the meta-information- visualization-thebrain-kinda crap I like.

October 13, 1998
I|0 360's
sooper-cool employee pages, using DHTML. Needs IE4.0.

October 12, 1998
sooper-cool DHTML stuff.

October 5, 1998
A "real-world" browse. Make sure to pick up the September/October 1998 issue of
Print magazine, and read Darcy DiNucci's piece on "Getting There From Here" (which features a link to me!), which discusses thinking about new ways of navigating the Web.

Mentioned in the article:
I|O 360's Parasite email application, which potentially offers a revolution in interface design. (The app isn't released yet, but there's a lot of great explanation of its interface design.)

September 15, 1998
Some enterprising folks at Trellix have munged the Starr Report through a program designed to make the big hunk of text more "usable." Is it?
You decide.

September 11, 1998
Another "My" piece: Go
here and click on "Talking About The My Generation".

list I'm proud to be on.

IKEA's web presence is actually very cool. The good, simple, clean design "extends their brand" as marketing assholes would say. Play around with IVAR, the modular furniture Java applet.

September 8, 1998
Web Developer Merger Mania: a thoughtful look from The Industry Standard.

Among the highlights of Burning Man was a Tesla Coil constructed and operated by
Lighting On Demand. Hire these guys for a party, if you can.

Neil DeMause, this guy I know in New York, has recently published
Field of Schemes, a book on the stadium boondoggles taking place all over this country. Basic gist: stadiums are not good for the local economy, and the campaigns that imply so are full of it.

The New York Times features
a story on Santa Monica's PEN, the first online city forum in the country. I was among its original members. Good to see it's been such a positive experience.

August 30, 1998
Cool images can be found at
Scamper.com. Make sure to view the all-text version, and read his copyright.

August 27, 1998
Beautiful photos by
Wendy Skratt.

I met the woman (or, "girl", as she prefers to be called) who runs
this site last night, and she is super cool. Make sure to check out the Archaeology/Anthropology section.

August 25, 1998
Jakob Nielsen and Donald Norman have joined forces to create the Nielsen Norman Group.

former employer has just been bought. Sigh.

August 19, 1998
DHTML that doesn't suck:
Some day I will be as cool as the guy who built

A well-executed introduction at
Volvo's web site. I dig the way items kind of skid to a halt. (Requires Netscape or IE 4.)

cursor whizzy at Fullerene. Requires Netscape 4 (doesn't work in IE).

August 14, 1998
"A date with someone older turns out to be more romantic than any you've ever experienced!" What's your
Sanrio fortune?

These guys are having fun. Click on
killer java app on this page.

Restless at Chinese restaurants? Then learn
Chopigami! (Because of poorly planned JavaScript, it doesn't work in Internet Explorer)

August 12, 1998
A cool tool for creating your own predithered Web colors--

August 11, 1998
Sardonic technology news from across the pond--you definitely
Need To Know.

August 10, 1998
Cameron Barrett Is Bitter about the current state of the "Web design" industry.

August 5, 1998
A straightforward
color study page, demonstrating some cool ways color affects perception.

Feeling existential angst? Not getting enough black eyeliner? Why, then, experience the

August 2, 1998
It's the
Powazek Portal, for all your purple needs.

Drudge.com. It's not what you think.

"A is for Arnold who fell down the stairs, B is for Bernice assaulted by bears..."
Roll your own Gashlycrumb Tinies.

July 29, 1998
Great surfing starter:
"Brief Glimpses of Near Perfection." Tell Robin, who runs it, I said, "Hi."

July 22, 1998
I'm finding great inspiration at Maggy Donea's new
Moments. So beautiful, so well-written. And the geek in me enjoys knowing about her "context engine" which she uses to link stories together.

I love internet postcards. My favorites are found at
Retro's Postcard Depot, which features gorgeous Art Deco works. An added bonus is Retro's feature on The History of Large Letter Postcards.

My favorite real-world postcard store is Quantity Postcards, and their virtual presence is found at
Tiltworks. Unfortunately, they don't offer their full selection online, but there's a bunch of good 'uns to choose from.

July 21, 1998
Okay. So I've been remiss. But here, I'll make it up to you.
Yes, it's
Everything. Well, at least, it aspires to be. A wonderfully weird content creation-and-linking tool that has the potential to get very interesting.

If you want to laugh: The 'cocks rate
More Classic Video Games.

Of the utmost relevance: Check out the
Netly News' coverage of Directhit, a potential killer app for search engines.

Hot Damn I Love The Standard:
A thoughful expose on Jon Postel, whom you might not know about, but should.

July 10, 1998
fuN! Play "
Web Pages in One Hour" a game that exposes the crazed world of modern Web design (and gets in a nice dig at USWeb, to boot). Shockwave required.

July 9, 1998

I am
Not Quite Fierce. See, I've been skewered by Tor, who disparagingly labels me a member of the "new web intelligencia." He and his sideburns are laughing at you right now, because if you're reading my lame site, you must suck, too.

July 8, 1998
Browser Wars, Revisited:
Wired News reports that Netscape and Microsoft are proposing
very different ways of doing the same thing, again. I'm sick of their crap. I think I'm gonna just use Opera from now on. Small, fast, and conforms to standards.

Cool Stuff:
Check out
J-Track 2.5, a Java applet that tracks the travel of satellites over the Earth.

Stylee Cyclists:
Are you a bicyclist who hates that all bike gear makes you look like Dork On Wheels? Well head over to
Swobo for some fresh bike clothes, and then over to John Fluevog's for some nifty bike shoes (Racervogs).

July 7, 1998
Copyright Infringement Special! This guy I know, Lance, has a kick-ass Web site called
Glassdog. It's received awards up the yin-yang. And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery , a couple of sites have gone just a bit too far... (As a cease and desist is going out, these sites may look markedly different soon.)
InFetish.com (yes, it's fetish gear, over 18 only blah blah) stole glassdog's frameset, and until yesterday had identical interaction. (Since changed.)
Far worse is
cyberena.com, which not only has the stolen frameset and code, but stole Lance's web design tips and passed it off as their own.
7/8 Note: Cyberena has since removed all pirated material.

July 3, 1998
Whenever I don't know where to surf, I stop by
Atlas Namedroppings for a user-created eclectic list of art-and-design-related links.

For wry artistic commentary on This Modern Life, check out
Virtual Insanity.

Comrade Superfly!
The Baza, which is a "young Russians guide to San Francisco" has a long page devoted to buying drugs in Baghdad-by-the-Bay-- costs, places to score, even molecular diagrams. Unfortunately, it's all in Cyrillic.

June 28, 1998
My list of links not enough? Check out
Camworld, whose filter list puts me and theobvious to shame. Some fun stuff there. Go on. Try it. Just come back when you're done, okay?

Zap! Pow! Playing old coin-op video games always causes my tongue to contort in weird positions, in and out of my mouth. Now I can do so at work or home thanks to the
MAME emulator. Productivity, sayonara!

June 27, 1998
Today is Travis' birthday. He is my best friend. He runs a Web site called
Major League Market. If you're into stocks and baseball, check it out.

Web Tycoon: The Board Game, featuring "You forget to start investor-funded web design shop, saving investors millions. Move ahead 4."

June 26, 1998
Where've I been? Why Web '98. Read about my
Webpardy hosting escapades.

At the conference, I saw a marvelous presentation by brilliant interactive designer
John Maeda. Check out his site for cool Java applets (mostly made for Shiseido. Aaaah, corporate patronage.)

It's also worth poking around his
MIT site and checking out his student's projects.

June 18, 1998
A dissection of the
Inscrutable 8-Ball. Enjoy it's exsanguination!

Having trouble with randy bulls? You might need to get a
dummy cow.

June 15, 1998
I'm not the only one in my family on the Web...

If you're in need of a great real estate agent in the L.A. area, there's my

Then you might be curious about my
dad's filmography...

Then there's my brother, on the Godzilla soundtrack under the pseudonym
Joey Deluxe...

And can't forget my cousin Renie the
book publisher! Win a free book!

June 13, 1998
Interested in information visualization? (I am!) Here are a couple good link lists pointing to what could likely be Interfaces of the Future:

slide from "Managing Technologies in Public Libraries: WebTechnologies", a presentation by Tamas E. Doszkocs. (I found this page through a search engine. I <heart> AltaVista.)

Big Picture, a lengthy and detailed collection of "Visual Browsing in Web and non-Web Databases".

June 11, 1998
It's not logical, it's

June 9, 1998

From the Shuttlecocks,
wickedly funny ratings of Coca-Cola's marketing slogans. Coke is it or die.

I've been researching e-commerce design. Here's some stuff I've turned up:

The E-Tailing Group. Solid information on developing e-commerce sites. They give away a hefty amount of information (of course, in hopes of you shelling out the big $$$ for one of their reports). Check out Site Shopping to see how they rank various commerce sites. (I don't agree with many of their ratings, but their list is a good representative of the ecommerce field.)

Designing a Business Web Site. A good list of articles and links.

Five Most Serious Web Design Errors. While not really e-commerce-specific, I like discussion of Design Error #4: Unhelpful Search.

Sell it! A webzine devoted to selling stuff on the Web. Poke around the Features area for site and product reviews, and suggestions for e-commerce design.

June 6, 1998
Interface design mucky-muck Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini
humorously details the difficulties users face with something as seemingly simple as maximizing windows.

June 2, 1998
Studio Archetype's new website is up, including two "
DHTML Experiments" of mine. I created all the content and did all the coding; the visual design was performed by various people in the company. I quite enjoyed making those things, and I hope you enjoy playing with them!

June 1, 1998
It's my
mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!

Now The Industry Standard covers the metrics of
Travel on the Web.

Life a little too droll, too bucolic? Take a listen to
policescanner.com, and hear live emergency broadcasts from the LAPD and NYPD. RealPlayer required.

May 28, 1998
The Industry Standard's metrics reports that
sports are really, really big business on the Web.

May 25, 1998

The Web's
longest domain name.

Forgotten funny! Yuk Yuk's
Zen Cat Box is probably my favoritest animated comic on the Web. Achieve enlightenment! (Shockwave required)

May 24, 1998
Funny net.stuff!
In the same way you can count significant humor print magazines on one finger (now that Spy is gone), the Web is also somewhat lacking when it comes to mirth. However, here's a few sites that should elicit a laugh, chuckle, snort, maybe even a guffaw.

The Onion. The King of Web Humor. Not humor about the Web, but on the Web.Originally begun as a college humor newspaper out of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (don'cha know!), it has grown to become a Media Entity in its own right.

The Brunching Shuttlecocks. A homegrown humor zine out of Santa Cruz, this place has guaranteed giggles for the twentynothing crowd. My personal favorites are the ratings, particularly of The Superfriends and Breakfast Cereals.

Stick Figure Death Theater. A simple idea--depict stick figures meeting their maker in little animated .GIFs. Not only is it funny, it seems to have tapped a chord in Webheads, as the innumerable fan-created scenarios attest.

May 21, 1998
The New Media Industry matures.
piece in the L.A. Times reports how leading Web design agency BoxTop Interactive is merging with two others. In similar news, Razorfish has announced the acquisition of both San Francisco and London-based agencies (announcement is linked to off of their home page).

What I find most interesting is that each of these new entities has approximately "150 employees." This is currently the size of my
former employer. More than a coincidence, it's showing the industry belief that Size Does Matter. I hope we can demonstrate otherwise.

My new favorite magazine,
The Industry Standard, has a good brief piece on Razorfish's acquisitions strategy. My guess: they're gonna burn through Omnicom's money and have very little to show for it. But they'll have fun doing it!

May 17, 1998
Two more Way New Interfaces:
Web Stalker. An alternative web browser that doesn't render pages, but sites. If you're willing to struggle through an extremely obtuse interface (you must read the Help documentation), you'll be rewarded with a radically new way of envisioning the Web, the first serious attempt (I'm aware of) of breaking free of the page-centric paradigm.

ThinkMap. My current fave-rave Way New Interface because it not only radically departs from traditional modes, it's fairly intuitive. Two applications of the ThinkMap are the Visual Thesaurus, and the Smithsonian Institution's Revealing Things. ThinkMap is about displaying relationships between information in a graphical, kinetic way.
My single favorite feature is the real-time graphical search narrowing. With the Thesaurus' noun-verb-adverb-adjective knob, or Revealing Things' sliders, you can easily refine your search and immediately see the effect of your decisions... Much better than submitting a new query, only to be told after considerable delay that it retrieved either 0 or 3,000,000 results.

May 9, 1998
Special Soap net.search!
The FDA's take on soap, including the brief essay All That Lathers Is Not Soap (FDA has a sense of humor?)

Clean Hands
by Mr. Lemberg's Second Period Chemistry Class. Features an
exciting illustration of How Soap Works, the history of soap, and a recipe!

Soap Power!

You Can--Soap
The simple explanation of how soap works--it makes water wetter!

May 7, 1998
I can't keep my eyes off the new
Apple Dodge Neon. I want the one in candied red.

The Obvious has been redesigned, and the daily filter has returned. Yay! (And has inspired this very list which you're reading)

A thoughtful
interview with Douglas Adams, talking about his new CD-ROM, the state of interactive narrative, and the upcoming Hitchhiker's movie (yes it's in the works!).
And while you're there, check out The Onion's other archived interviews--very smart and usually on-target.