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Mobile Web and getting copy right

Hear ye! Hear ye! Tomorrow is the monthly Port80 meeting, and we have episode III of the Port80 mini-talk franchise. This month, we have Nick Cowie talking about “The mobile web: why you should care” and Bronwen Clune with “Getting copy right”.

I’m looking forward to hearing from both these guys, and you should too! So if you would like to come along, just turn up to the Velvet Lounge in Mt Lawley at about 6pm. There is even free food – what more reason do you need? None. I’ll see you then.

If you think you have what it takes to do a 10 minute presentation to a bunch of like minded web people, then please drop me a line – we are a friendly bunch, who like long walks along the beach and love to meet new members who are willing to share.

Westcoast bloggers website revamp

Some of you may have noticed the West Coast Bloggers button on the sidebar of my blog. Well after some design magic from Si and CSS mastery from Nick, we are happy to announce the new website!

Oh, and you might notice the new twitter widget in thee sidebar too. I’ve succumbed. We’ll see how long it lasts.

When too much web is never enough…

What a week in web (well for me anyway). Kay, Miles and myself were invited to a Tuesday morning breakfast put on by the Perth Conference Bureau. The reason? The PCB gives out grants to help start; and to help bid for conferences which is of great interest to us as AWIA committee members. Anyway – the exciting part: There was a $2000 door prize, which can be used by the winner to attend any conference in Australia. Guess who won? That right! Me! So it looks like Web Directions 07 is now on the cards! So thank you Rebecca for inviting us! There will be no doubt much shenanigans to be had.

Tonight was the inaugural Dinner 2.0 , graciously organised by Bronwen of PerthNorg fame. Some how my little ol’ time tracker got enough attention to garner me an invite. It was the who’s who of the Perth Web 2.0 fraternity: Scouta, Buzka and Minti all had representatives come along. It is great to see Perth startups who are getting recognition from the industry, it really gives me hope that our remote little city hasn’t, for once completely missed the boat on something cool.

Good times had by all! Bronwen was taking happy snaps so I’m sure they will appear on Flickr soon enough.

JavaScript is OK!

A couple of days ago, the regular ol’ Port80 meet up was on. However, this one was a little different. Firstly, we tried out our new venue – the Velvet Lounge in Mt Lawley. We booked a room so we didn’t have weather and other punters to contend with. It just so happens that the room has a stage. And it was on this stage that the first set of Port80 mini talks took place.

The idea behind the Port80 mini-talk is simple: Two local gurus get up and talk on a (web-related) topic for 10 minutes. It is a great way to share knowledge between the tightly knit web industry and a great opportunity of Perth designers and developers to show their wares. Because of our small population and isolation from the rest of the country attending conferences is both expensive and difficult, so these mini talks are a great way to build community.

Brian Madsen started off the proceeding with a talk about the new expressions suite from Microsoft. Since most in the room would have written off Microsoft products for anything web related, it was great to see that Microsoft are now taking standards a little more seriously.

Brian Madsen. Photo by Kay Smoljak

Then it was my turn with a little talk entitled “Out of my way JSON! If CSS can be unobtrusive, so can JavaScript” where I go on to explain the benefits and techniques involved in un-obtrusive JavaScript.

Myles Eftos. Photo by Kay Smoljak

You can view the slides (S5 format) for those of you who weren’t there on the night (Brian said he will upload his soon) and I’m busy doing some post-production on the audio in preparation for some podcasty goodness. That will include transcribing too for those that want to skim read the talks.

I think the night was really successful – and we are currently looking for some more speakers! So if you are in Perth or going to be in Perth on March 8, 2007 and you have a topic you can babble on about for 10 minutes, drop me a line! Even if you don’t want to talk just yet, I hope we can see you there next month. It’ll kick off about 6 o’clock.

Photos by Kay Smoljak.

Stuff to do this year

I hope that the first week of 2007 has been fruitful – unfortunately I got hit with a stomach bug late in the week which put the brakes on to my running leap into the year. Oh well, there is always next week :)

I thought I might list some of the things I’m going to do this year – I refuse to call them resolutions, but I guess that is what they are. 2006 was a busy year with me leaving freelancing and starting work at Bam, starting work on 88 Miles and becoming chairperson of the WA Web Awards, but I can feel an even busier year coming up.

First on the list is getting a production version of my new project out. I used the time off over Christmas to build the footings for it so now I’m committed to getting something out. I’m hoping to make an announcement about what it is, what it does and how it does it sometime towards the end of the month. I can tell you that is is built on Rails (naturally) and it targeted at web designers and developers, and will be something they will on sell to their clients.

I also want to continue work on 88 Miles. The number of sign-ups have really ramped up in the last couple of months of so, and I’ve been getting really good feedback. I’ve also managed to find a way to integrate with the time tracking system at work, so I’m back to using it constantly which puts me back in the drivers seat.

The WA Web Awards are back again this year, after a really successful event last year, the committee had a big job ahead of them again this year. I plan to use last years experience to really refine the process – having volunteers means time is valuable and wasting it can’t be an option.

I’m the Events officer for AWIA (Formerly Port 80) this year, and I’ve got big plans. I want to instigate quarterly local speaking events where local talent gets a change to talk about what they are doing in a similar vein to Sydney’s webjam. This would be on top of the traditional Port80 speaking events: Ideas4 and Ideas5. If you are from Perth, passionate about what you do and want to tell the world (or at least a group of people in a pub) about it, please drop me a line.

I’m going to find time to go out and see my friends again – I’ve been particularly piss-poor in this area in ’06 – sorry guys.

And lastly, spend as much time as possible with my girlfriend, Giovanna – even though we live together, it is harder to find us time than you think ;)

Phew! That’s a lot of stuff. I need a nanna nap just reading it.

Merry Christmas, Happy new year and all that jazz

As is customary on the last working day for Christmas, the tunes are playing and the drinks are flowing, so it is a good time to say Merry Christmas and have a safe holiday.

Stay tuned for next year, when hopefully I’ll have a new project to announce ;)

Welcome to the 21st century

This morning at 2am, Western Australia joined most of the rest of Australia and rolled their clocks forward to begin a three year trial of daylight savings – and about bloody time too!

So far, so good – All of my computers at my house have updated, as have the two work servers, and after a quick patch, 88 Miles also made the transition into the new timezone.

For those of you that weren’t quite so on the ball with your updating, you can download the Windows update here, and the Unix/BSD update here.

The Windows update is pretty self-explainitory, and the Unix/BSD update is just as easy:

  1. Download the update file
  2. Copy it to /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia (overwriting the existing Perth file)
  3. makes sure /etc/localtime is symlinked to /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Perth

Note that this update works for OSX as well.

So you over-easters, just remember little ol’ Perth is now two hours behind (Unless you are in Queensland, now we are only one hour behind). Adelaidians (!?) we are 1.5 hours behind you and Darwin you are 30 minutes in front.

The Eftos web tradition lives on…

And what a rich, long living and all-encompassing tradition it is. Ok, there is actually only two of us, and I’m the one that has been in the web biz for the longest, but I’m sure that there may or may not be more to follow in our footsteps. And no, I haven’t gone nuts and started speaking in the third person again – the additional body that makes up the other half of “our” is my little brother, Cyrus, who just released his new and improved portfolio and blog site.

He obviously has a designer bent, which is cool because it means he might be useful to me some day :)

Seriously though, I quite like the look. So a big “Nice” goes out to him. Check it.

Who could have thought an umlet could be so funny…

I was just catching up on the tawdry adventures of workmate Simon’s trip around Europe. Possibly one of the funniest travel blogs I’ve read (Also probably the ONLY travel blog I’ve read, but if I’d read more, I reckon it would still be up there) and I got a flash back to a couple of weeks ago when he popped up on MSN.

He was in the middle of Sweden and we were basking in the light of umlets and agraves (As we do – Simon is a typography enthusist and I just love the sound of the word umlut). Of course funky inflections on characters is almost exclusively an Ikea thing over here in Australia, our alphabet isn’t blessed with anything more interesting than an X. So, anytime I see a swedish word, I immediately think flat-pack furniture, and so our new swedish car game was borne

Happy birthday Bloggy Hell!

Wow. I’ve been blogging for 12 months today. Crazy. So as a birthday present to my blog, I decided to give it a nice coat of (pixilated) paint. Still needs a little work, but it definately an improvement :)

Thankyou to those that still read this thing. I’ll send you all a virtual hug.

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