August 18, 2010
A brief history of computer icons
As with great works of art, you must look into the past to appreciate the future.
With roots as far back as the 1970′s, the humble icon has come a long way.
[Here] is a collection of icons though history.
Although there have been many other operating systems in the time between 1981 and 2010, I’ve handpicked the ones of the most significance to modern icon design.
These designs show just a small fraction of the icons in the many and varied User Interfaces throughout the years.
To learn more about the history of User Interface Design you can find a comprehensive article on the subject on Wikipedia.
[via Nuclear Toast]
Glass and stainless steel.
May be hung on wall.
15"H x 9"W.
Wordnik — "All the words"
Wordnik, the online dictionary and language resource, today launched a new, smarter online thesaurus that shows related words in context to help writers find the right word quickly and accurately.
Traditional online thesauruses show related words, but ignore context. They don’t tell you that people like brownies that are moist but not brownies that are damp, or that it doesn’t make sense to moisten your enthusiasm.
Wordnik’s thesaurus lets you see words in real-world sentences drawn from a vast and constantly updated collection of texts. Whether a word was coined by Shakespeare or Sarah Palin, you’ll find high-quality sentences to help you understand how that word is used by others, and how to use it correctly yourself.
Wordnik is also the first online thesaurus to let you compare words side-by-side. Want a more nuanced understanding of "vacant" vs. "void?" Viewing their definitions and example sentences next to each other reveals that they’re not interchangeable.
Keith Moon reincarnated as 4-year-old Chinese boy?
Guaranteed to lift your spirits or your money cheerfully refunded.
Jello drop @1000 fps
On impact it looks like game over for the cube — but then it "remembers."
$4.99 at Staples stores everywhere.
Google Draw: World's best simple drawing program — and it's free
The best simple drawing program there is is hidden away inside of Google Docs. It's free, and completely intuitive to use. Google Drawing is the opposite of Adobe's Illustrator, which while insanely deep (and expensive) requires hours if not years to master. You can draw with this one in seconds. The controls of Google's app follow the same general novice format as those in Power Point, or Word, but don't require any other software beyond your browser. More importantly, it is a no-brainer to export the drawing directly to the web, or as a jpeg or even PDF. And it has the usual advantages of cloud life: the drawing can be collaboratively worked, and it is backuped automatically. Despite being idiot-proof you can do amazingly sophisticated work with it — diagrams, charts, doodles, or paint over photographic images. For 99% of your drawing needs, this handy free app will satisfy nicely. As Jerry Micalski, who introduced me to this gem, said of it: "it's as simple as MacDraw but smart enough to publish to a Web page."
If you're already signed into Google Docs, click the "Create new" button, drop down to Drawing
Music Stand: Treadmill Workspace Tool?
Reading Tom Sacket's review in the current edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Oliver Hulland, I began to wonder if this music stand might be a quick and dirty solution to the problem of finding a suitably high platform for a laptop computer that would be compatible with a treadmill.
And if it fails, well, you'll still have a great music stand that looks like it could also double as a cookbook or dictionary stand.
Here's Sacket's Cool Tools review:
As a junior high school music student, one of the first things
I learned was to get to the orchestra room early enough to get
one of the few good music stands. Almost all of the stands
wobbled, wouldn't stay at the height you set them, or simply
dumped your music with no warning. However, the small handful
of Manhasset stands had taken just as much abuse as the
others, yet worked perfectly.
The standard Manhasset #48 Symphony music stand is the backbone of ensembles and school music programs across the country. It has no clamps or adjusting knobs; the height and angle of the music table holds through friction. Somehow, it's easy to adjust, but stays exactly where you put it, even as you load it with stacks of music. The height of the standard model adjusts from 26" to 48" (measured from the floor to the bottom of the table), allowing you to use it both sitting down and standing up.
The table is aluminum, powder-coated black. The base is steel, with the lower section also powder-coated and the upper chromed. The base has three arched legs. Despite its stability, it's light and nicely balanced, making it easy to carry in one hand. The simplicity of its design gives it a kind of unobtrusive elegance, and makes it one of the few pieces of gear used by both students in a classroom and virtuoso performers on stage.
I was still a teenager when I was given my own Manhasset music stand. After thirty years it is slightly (but only slightly) beat up, but it functions perfectly.
$29.50 for basic black.
For those who prefer to coordinate,
it now comes in colors.