Monthly Archives: March 2011

First solid severe event of the spring in the books

3D view of a severe thunderstorm over Beaufort, SC on March 27, 2011. Image generated by GR2Analyst.

3D view of a severe thunderstorm over Beaufort, SC on March 27, 2011. Image generated by GR2Analyst.

The first severe weather event of the spring is in the books for the Lowcountry. Hail was the primary factor, with numerous reports of large hail, with a report of baseball-size hail near Rincon, GA and tennis ball-size hail in Port Royal, SC (just south of Beaufort; check out TheDigitel Beaufort for pictures). There were a few isolated wind damage reports, but hail was definitely the story. One tool I like to use to examine the aftermath of a storm event is the IEM Cow, an unofficial tool developed by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet that groups issued warnings with storm reports (if there were any for that particular warning). Here’s what the Cow says about today’s event.

The hail core that dropped the baseball-size hail continued out of Rincon and basically followed U.S. 278 for a time, dropping golf ball-size hail on Hardeeville and Bluffton before weakening as it traversed the north end of Hilton Head and went offshore. Fortunately for our cars, the core of the storm stayed to our north (I live mid-island); we got a brief dose of heavy rain and a very chilly downdraft but not terribly much more than that.

Where have all the custom themes gone?

Who out there still fully customizes (or even totally writes from scratch) their own theme for their CMS or otherwise themable software? More and more this seems to be a dying art, especially on personal blogs, and it’s kind of a shame. I find a lot of joy in rolling my own code. Are theme frameworks just that good now that writing from scratch is foolhardy? Genuinely curious.

A few days with the iPad 2

iPad 2 homescreen.

iPad 2 homescreen, with effects applied by Camera+ for iPhone.

I finally broke down and got an iPad. I spent part of my Sunday at South by Southwest Interactive in line at the ad-hoc Apple Store in downtown Austin, TX awaiting an opportunity to get my hands on the iPad 2. They only had 64 GB Wi-Fi models available that day, which was a bit depressing to my budget but I am certain that I will fill the space regardless. I’ve had a few days with this, my first iPad, and while I very well could have continued to live without it, I’m also finding that it is quite fun to use and — yes — I can work very effectively on it. In fact, a lot of this post is written from the WordPress for iOS app. Continue reading

SuperHappyDevHouse Charleston 2

The second SuperHappyDevHouse Charleston on Saturday was loads of fun and well worth the drive. I got to catch up with old friends, meet a ton of Charleston’s brightest coders, and at least think through a few problems (even if I didn’t write too much code — I’ll rectify that next time). Plus, Spark! Charleston, a startup incubator on East Bay Street near the aquarium, was a fantastic venue. If you’re a coder in the Charleston area, I strongly recommend looking out for the next one. Check out Eugene Mah’s recap for pictures.

The challenge of keeping up

I feel a lot better about being overwhelmed with the breakneck pace of technology over the last year or two after reading Calvin Webster’s post on his trying to keep up. I personally feel the challenge to continually learn and, in some cases, reinvent myself has been the hardest thing about my career thus far. But enough about me, go read Calvin’s post. It’s a good one, and I like the steps he’s taking to try to keep up.

MSFT: Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer 6

Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer 6,” says Microsoft. The campaign is encouraging, but I still feel as if IE 6 market share will only continue to drop as machines are replaced, rather than awareness being raised to newer IEs or alternative browsers on existing installs, and it doesn’t end the issue of large corporations who shelled out millions for software that only works on IE 6.