Posts about design

Why magazines look so pixelated on the new iPad

Lauren Indvik on why magazines look so pixelated on the new iPad.

Since magazines began publishing on tablets, “virtually all” publishers have chosen to export their digital editions as PNG (.png) files, Koch said. “The primary reason they did that is because the fidelity is perfect. What you see on the desktop when you’re designing is exactly what you see on the iPad when you’re finished. Images are the fastest thing to load, and if you’re trying to create a quick, effortless browsing experience, images are the way to do that,” he explained.

“That was okay when there was only one screen size — when you were just working with the iPad 1 and 2,” he added. “When the iPad 3 came out, you were now dealing with a device with four times as many pixels.” The iPad 3 applies an anti-aliasing filter to all low-resolution content, which blurs images ever so slightly. As a result, photographs still look about the same on the iPad 3, but the text looks a lot worse — i.e., visibly blurry, or pixelated.

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At cheesecake factory looking at its ceiling

Cheesecake factoryClick to view larger image

Having a quick bite at Cheesecake Factory and admiring the beautiful ceiling design.

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Smashing Magazine October 09′ desktop wallpapers

One of the most looked forward to event on my calendar every month is Smashing Magazine’s monthly desktop wallpaper collection that features stunning wallpaper designs.

My favorites for the month of October 09′ are Beautiful Prague, On the road again, Hope and More Behind.

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The forth incarnation

After what seems to be an extended vacation and busy tag line if you have been wondering what I’ve been up to lately, I’m pleased to announce the forth incarnation of this site. If you are reading this from a newsreader, you should visit the site on your browser. This is one of the biggest projects I’ve been working on for the last few months, juggling between work and packing for relocation to the states. What inspired me to code a fresh design and embarked on rebranding was mainly due to inactive updates and existing posts that churns out paragraphs of text, which I thought was monotonous and unappealing. In short, I believe the new direction for this site is set to feature encounters in a photo log concept as well as interesting links and short articles.

What’s new
To start off, the forth incarnation features a wide view design layout for the increasing number of widescreen users. Most of the photos can be expanded for a larger view when you click on the photo itself. This is an experimental feature and I’m still working on fine-tuning it for a better experience. Each article published now comes with relevant keyword tagging and this process helps to keep the contents within this site properly organized. To search for articles, you may choose to browse through the archives or through the search form. These are just a few examples of enhancements done to the site in the sprit of better browsing experience within the site.

What’s gone
I have decided to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 users. If you are still using internet explorer 6, you ought to upgrade to a better browser since you will be missing all the good stuff on this site and many other good designs on the internet. Movie ratings, book review and photo gallery has been removed until I’m able to figure out a better way to publish the content. However, I will be posting most of my photos to flickr, which is being featured at the bottom of this site.

A redirector is in place to capture non-existing links request. Should you experience any difficulties while browsing the site, feel free to drop me a note. I would also love to hear your feedback on the re-launch of this site.

Update: Due to some technical difficulties, I’ve recently changed hosts. I suppose the DNS propagation should be completed by now and you should be viewing the latest design and contents.

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Great collection of dual screen wallpapers

Hand picked logo designs

Great hand picked selection of logo designs from LogoFaves. (via underconsideration)

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Interview with book designer David Drummond

Following my earlier post on a year in reading for 2008 and favourite list of book covers, here’s an interview with book designer David Drummond on Books Covered blog

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The stories behind Hollywood studio logos

Clocks with readable message every 12 hours

Heckler design onelessdesk

Heckler Design have created an impressive solution for a space saving computer design with all the cords and peripheral hidden.

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Beautiful new British coins

A set of beautiful new British coinage based on the Royal Arms designed by a 26 year old graphics designer

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Manhole cover art in Japan

A collection of artistic manhole cover design in Japan. So, when you’re in Japan, do check beneath your feet.

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Forbidden color combinations

Color theorists and designers in fashion or computer graphics have coined phrases based around what colors shouldn’t go together. How true can this be? Here are some palettes and applications of the forbidden colors that really work.

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Typographica: Our favourite fonts of 2006

Photo Galleries

Over the last two years, I’ve managed to travel quite a fair bit. Be it to the United States for my intern-ship program or to Australia for my flying training, there are many fond and precious memories. So when one travels, meets people and visit places of interest, one would be busy snapping on the camera and eventually upload these photos to the internet — either for sharing or safekeeping.

With hundreds of photos currently stored in my computer and only available for off-line viewing, I’ve decided to create photo galleries and upload these photos for viewing on the internet. However, I’ve not been able to find a photo gallery service that satisfied my needs. Thus, I decided to hunt for one that hopefully can be integrated with the Movable Type weblog that I’ve been using. It didn’t take too long before I chanced upon Doug Bowman’s photo gallery templates which he has since made available for download.

Great, now that I’ve downloaded the templates, it’s time to get my hands dirty. I read through the well documented documentation and after spending endless hours customizing and changing a few template codes to my needs, I’m finally ready to launch the photo galleries section. For the moment, I’ve only managed to feature three albums though there’s more to come:

Note that each gallery page is limited to 25 photos display. You may change this setting by using the dropdown menu at the side of the gallery page. Also, you will need a standard compliant browser to view the photos though it known to work on Internet Explorer 7 as well.

For those who are still hungry for the technical details, you may want to continue reading. As I’m not using a Mac, what I’ve done is to import all my photos into Google’s Picasa, which I use it to manage my photos. Unfortunately, Picasa does not really live up to iPhoto’s features as described in the documentation and I had to switch between a few applications. I used Adobe’s Bridge to batch rename the file names in the form of YYYY-MM-DD-HHMMSS so that there’ll be no duplicates. Then, I exported the albums using Brett Discoll’s picasa export templates for movable type. As Picasa currently lacks a few features such as titles labelling for individual photos and date/time formatting, I had to manually edit the text file before importing it into movable type. This is indeed a tedious process and I hope that either Picasa would be able to add the missing features that I’ve mentioned or I’m able to get hold of a MacBook.

Guess this should be about it on the gallery. Feel free to leave comments or thoughts pertaining to the photo gallery.

Update: Photo gallery is no longer available on the main site due to redesign of the site. However, you can still view the archives.

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Overdue refresh

I’ve been working on some long overdue refresh to the site and have rolled out some of the updates today. To start off, the search feature on this site is now being powered by Google instead of an internal search engine that was previously being utilized. I realized that Google was able to return close to 90% of the search results accurately and thus the changes.

Next refresh affects the webscan section. I’ve added a permalink for each entry and it can be accessed either on the sidebar on the front page (by clicking on the date of the entry) or through the webscan front page and monthly archives. This should resolve the issue of users not being referred to the specific page that was searched.

I’m still working on a few more tweaks that will provide a better user experience. As usual, if you encounter any problems/bugs or even constructive suggestions, do drop me a line.

PS: Not seeing the changes that I’ve mentioned? Hit CTRL+F5 (PC) or CMD+F5 (Mac) to update the style sheets.

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Re-Branded

After close to 3 weeks of coding and development, I’m pleased to present to you version 3.0 of PureHype. I have been tempting to give this site a full re-brand as I kind of got tired viewing the previous version. What finally inspired me to get down to work was when I saw Dan Cederholm’s neat design and decided to use his site’s structure as a point of reference in creating this site.

So, what are the new additions and changes since the previous version? For one, just like what Jason Kottke has done, I’ve decided to be bold and try out the concept of multiple content, single place. What this basically means is that I’ve consolidated and streamlined the contents into a single page — be it a review on books, movies or even interesting links, the most up-to-date content will always be presented on the front page. However, I’ve decided to keep the webscan portion on the sidebar as I’m not too comfortable with the idea of presenting it together with the main content.

Besides this, I’ve finally launched both the read and watch section after several months of delay. Both sections will contain reviews of books I’ve read as well as movies I’ve watched, thought I’ll try to write a book review whenever possible. For those who use a newsreader to read this site, there are new RSS feeds available and the default feed now contains both the main entries as well as the webscan links. What’s more, for the joy of it, the sidebar now features a list of songs I’ve heard recently though it might need more work on it.

Finally, you may have noticed that I’ve increased the font size on the main content area. Believe if or not, I no longer want both my readers and myself to strain the eye reading those small little words even though they might look beautiful. However, the font size for the sidebar remains unchanged as I figured that those are bits and pieces of information.

As usual, I’m still in the process tweaking the site for a better user experience. Although I try to tie up all loose ends, there’s bound to have certain corners that I’ve missed and things may be broken. In any case, please drop me a line and I’ll try to get fix.

Update: Since the design refresh as of 25/09, the books and movies section has been removed. Webscan has been merged with main contents. Thanks!

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Minor site updates

Since the redesign of PureHype almost a month ago, I’ve made quite some changes which include tweaking and optimizing certain files as well as to keep this site trimmed and meets the W3C web standards. If you have been visiting the site, you would have noticed that the about section has been completed though I’m still in the process of adding bits and pieces to the author biography portion.

What’s more! I’ve also added a site disclaimer for various reasons but I thought it was necessary just in case… The contact form was previously broken and I was receiving tons of spam but it has now been fixed. However, the cc feature is no longer working due to changes on my service provider end.

I’ve been busy working on the books section. Hopefully, I will be able to get it up real soon. The long awaited search feature is still out of service for now as I’ve yet to figure out the best design and how to implement it on this site. Other than that, things should be running fine without much interruption!

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Site reloaded

Welcome back to the newly re-designed homepage. If you are using a newsreader, you wouldn’t have noticed any difference as I’ve redirected the old feed address to the new one. However, do check out the new site and what it has to offer. In short, here’s a list of what has changed since the last redesign.

What’s new

  • The web log has been renamed from “A Bright Spark” back to its original name, “PureHype”. This was done as I wanted a consistency between the domain name registered and the site name.
  • A new web host! The existing provider still exist but I’ve something in mind on how to make use of that limited space
  • Minor changes to the contents and navigation system. The About section is almost complete
  • A brand new contact page. Those who wish to correspond with me can now use this form, specify a subject and even carbon-copy yourself a copy of the message.

What’s in mind (sorted according to priorities)

  1. Complete the author section Completed as of June 05, 2006
  2. Implement the new search system. The old one works fine but it needs to be refined
  3. Implement the books section which will contain books I’ve read, currently reading, reviews and recommended books
  4. A photo gallery, memories and moments

Looks like there’s still a lot more work to be done! I’m still trying to catch up with the outstanding entries that were drafted but yet to be published. Hope all can be sorted out within the next week!

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A list of 10 very strange watches powered by the Linux Operating System

New site design

I’ve been working on a new design for this site and I’m proud to say that it is 90% completed. Initially, my intentions was to launch the new design before my enlistment for military service but it seems that I will only be able to launch it when I return home after the first two weeks of my physical training in the military.

Nonetheless, for those who are eager (I wonder if anyone actually reads what I wrote or even know this web log exist) here is a preview of the features that’ll be available:

  • Dynamic search engine
  • Revamp of the archives section
  • Contact form
  • More content besides web log entries

And much more…

I am still working on the contact form and other content sections but since I will only be able to continue working on the site after I have return from training, I may go ahead and launch the new design without completing certain sections.

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An Introduction

It started when I got sick and tired of the design limitations I was experiencing while hosting my weblog with blogger (the free blogging tool). Being unable to do much customization, especially the lack of a good commenting system led to the search for a free web hosting service that enables me to install a more powerful blogging tool and customise my own layout without restrictions.

After 2 weeks of intensive template and style editing, I am proud to announce the launch of my new weblog — The revolution of A Bright Spark. This, as compared to my previous weblog has revolve from a simple and dull color website into a more eye-catching design. The layout has changed and this site is now feature the use of CSS. I have tried to ensure that the design caters for most of the common browsers that is on the market now. At this moment, this site seems to display properly on IE6, FireFox 1.0 & Opera 7. Should this site not display properly on your screen, do drop me a note.

I have wild ideas of further developing this site by completing certain links, tidying my design files and adding more content. However, due to time constraint, I may not be able to finish them anytime soon. With this in mind, it’s time for me to stop tweaking and get back to more important issues in life.

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