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A slide show of Alex's 2009. Over 100 photos presented in an "ArtiZine" format (unique design and layout, driven by the article content). Not your normal blog post. Come check out the design and Alex's year.
Slide Show: 100+ Pics of "the Oop!"
Christmas came upon us very fast this year. Because both sets of Alex's grandparents own a digital photo frame, we gave them each a 2GB SD card, containing over 300 family photos (mostly of their granddaughter). One month later, I've uploaded some of the best shots to Randsco, to share with everyone else!
Alex is a very outgoing and engaging girl of six, though in most of these photos, she's five. Alexandra is her full name, but we just call her "Alex" or "the Oop" (a nickname that she's had for a while and one that stuck). She had a very busy year at kindergarten, visiting grandparents, exploring, making friends and just being a kid. We invite you to share her year in pictures.
We hope you enjoy the show, which is presented in an ArtiZine What the Heck is an ArtiZine? An artizine is a blog article that has a completely unique design & page layout, driven by the contents of the article. It is reminiscent of print magazine articles, where each article has a somewhat different design, typography and/or artwork. In fact, the word "artizine" is a combination of the word "article" and "magazine". An artizine is different from a blogazine. In a blogazine, every article contains magazine-like styling. Because such styling takes work, blogazines are infrequently updated and require the blog author(s) to maintain a separate site for their "normal" musings. In contrast, an artizine is simply a special, magazine-like article, contained within a regular blog. format and it's the second such article we've published. As such, it may be a bit disorienting to some folks. Just wait for the page to load and then hover over the moving theater screen static. Click to start the slide show. Then click the thumbnail images to move forward, or backward, through the slide show! (Simple really)
Now, let's get on to Alex's specially designed slide show!
This article was a long time in coming. Over 25 years, to be exact. However, it contains much more than observations on why software fails the users for which it's supposed to be designed. It also demonstrates a method of designing blog posts. Is it "just another post" or a "completely new website"? You decide.
Programmers Cut Off Their Noses
Are users ever truly satisfied with the software they use? The answer is typically "no". We need the software. We use the software. But we often don't like it. Among the reasons: it's buggy, hard to figure out, doesn't do what we want, is overly complex, the navigation sucks, it's got a steep learning curve or it's poorly documented. Take your pick. Why does software fail the very users for whom it's supposed to be designed?
A classic Norman Rockwell moment, as Alex takes her ceramic piggy bank down to our local credit union "Island Savings" and opens her very first bank account. At age six, our girl is learning how to save her money! She deposited $54.40 in coins.
Alex's Opens Her First Bank Account - Chooses Island Savings Credit Union
It was classic Norman Rockwell. A six-year-old girl holding a ceramic piggy bank, sitting in the lobby of a bank, waiting to open her very first bank account. The girl was none other than our Alex and the bank was the small branch of a local credit union.
Earlier that morning, Alex asked, "Can I get a bank account?" (Since Dad is keen on personal finance - having retired at age 39 and opened his first business when he was 12 - his ears perked up).
Several questions later, it became clear to him that Alex understood the concept of banks (even though she couldn't name all the denominations of coins in her piggy bank).
Alex has a very special piggy bank, one given to her by her God-mother - a beautifully decorated and glazed ceramic pig, complete with Alex's tiny hand-print on it (Alex was two-years-old at the time "Wilber" was made).
That afternoon, Dad drove his 6-year-old daughter to the credit union in Cedar. It was a long visit. She signed multiple forms and it took time to count out her "life-savings".
It was a very big day for Alex and a proud one for her Dad (who was busy taking pictures of the event). The visit brought smiles to the banking staff, whe were very patient with Alex and treated her like a 'big girl' customer. Not every new account holder meets one of the Credit Union Board of Directors, but Alex did! She also learned the difference between tokens, coins and foreign money (as she had a few Pence and U.S. coins).
To learn more about Alex's first account, read on ...
On October 26, 2009, Yahoo pulled the plug on millions of websites hosted on GeoCities web servers. It marks the end of an early Internet Era and one that affects no less than five of our early adventure journals. Restoration efforts are taking place. Learn more (including why the Internet is a house of cards)
26-Oct Yahoo-GeoCities Shut Down
Randsco Adventures Rescued from Ashes
On October 26, 2009, Yahoo-GeoCities shut-down their servers and immediately obliterated 15 years-worth of personal websites, made by millions of people across the world.
We rescued our early adventure journals off of GeoCities, reposting them on the Randsco domain, including: Scott's Big Ride, Rachel's 1999 Big Ride, our Oregon Cycle Tour and Wonderland Trail backpacking trip.
Begun in 1994, GeoCities spawned "neighborhoods" and by 1997, there were over a million "homesteaders" that had created personal websites. In 1999, Yahoo! bought GeoCities for $2.87 billion dollars.
GeoCities floundered under Yahoo's leadership. Terms of service changes, monthly data transfer limits, eliminating FTP access and changing advertising strategies drove users away. (We moved our home page off of GeoCities in 2003, because advertising changes interfered with visitor experience - and shared server costs were becoming affordable).
To learn more about the GeoCities shut-down, what's being done to preserve this bit of Internet history and the pitfalls of 3rd-party servers ... carry on.
There are 110 days till the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, but the Olympic torch is on it's way to our little town of Cedar, British Columbia. Learn about the 2010 Olympic torch, the Canadian national torch run and more. If you can, come down and help celebrate the event with live entertainment, free hot-dogs and Halloween treats. (Olympic torch run map included)
Olympic Torch Arrives in Cedar on Oct 31st
There's 110 days to go before the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but the Olympic torch was lit, in Greece, on Thursday.
The torch run has begun. It's currently on a 7-day circuit through Greece. After that, it will be handed off to Vancouver 2010 officials and flown to Canada, where it will begin a 45,000-kilometer, 106-day trek across Canada.
The Olympic flame will be passing through our little hamlet of Cedar, British Columbia on Day 2 of its 106-day journey ... coming through town on Halloween (Oct 31st).
For more on the torch, maps & the Cedar celebration ... read on ...