Andy Laub

Andy Laub is a designer & developer in the Twin Cities.

Published Aug 07

Glad to see this is online. This month’s WIRED has a really interesting article about the guys behind webcomic Penny Arcade.

Socialite »

I briefly mentioned before my general displeasure with MySpace in spite of its underlying usefulness. I was hesitant to just delete my page because it was still somewhat useful if I was looking for somebody or vice versa. But recently I succumbed to another temptation that allowed me to put the final nail in the MySpace coffin: Facebook.

Right now Facebook doesn’t seem to be quite as widespread within the general populace as Myspace, or at least their circles don’t overlap completely. That said, Facebook wins out for me for a few reasons:

  • Most people use real names, and real photos
  • Widget-oriented customization means you can have all sorts of junk on your page but it still doesn’t end up being completely ugly
  • A lot of functions are handled with AJAX, so like Flickr, you’re jumping around a lot less, which in turn feels faster.
  • Seriously, not ugly.
  • I have yet to see spam.

On a related note, those in the Wausau area may have noticed the recent shuttering of WausauBlog, something that struck me as rather depressing. It’s fortunate then, that I’ve gotten together with somebody interested in “continuing the legacy” and so we’ve started to work on a spiritual successor to WausauBlog. We’re calling it Citizen Wausau, and while there will be similar content (it will have some of the same contributors), we’re hoping to work in some new features as well.

I think something snapped in me when I started to collaborate on Citizen Wausau. Part of it was a desire to collaborate on more projects with more people, and part of it was being able to work on a project that I was excited about. With that said, I am now officially for hire. Please keep me in mind of you know of anyone who needs a website, or if you want to work together. For now I’m still working at Digital Dialogue, and I’m sure I’ll continue to work with them, just not necessarily for them.

Photoshop Hero. If guitars are just too hard to figure out.

Goodbye MySpace. That felt good.

Marcus is a design superstar(ch). Also he’s the only person I know with an iPhone.

Danny Macaskill.
Danny Macaskill.
Danny Macaskill.
Danny Macaskill.

Between the price drop and addition of HDMI, now’s a great time to pick up an Xbox 360 Premium.

By the way, they fixed the Airport Express.

Touch down »

Nothing but football metaphors can describe how I feel about the new iMac.

Sometime around the beginning of the year I sat down to write a post evaluating the design of the iMac and trying to come up with some improvements I’d like to see made. The general tone was that it would be nice if iMacs and Apple’s displays could somehow complement eachother more naturally.

With the release of the new iMac today, it’s safe to reason that none of those potential issues have been addressed, since the new iMac is essentially the old iMac, but thinner, faster, and silver-er.

That’s not to say it isn’t dead sexy. JB said that he thinks this is one of the best-looking Macs ever made, and while I’m not ready to give it that, I will say that it is one of the nicest Macs in a long time in terms of actual beauty. If you think about it, Macs of the most recent generation wear very little jewelry, content in their aluminum and plastic skins while iPods and iPhones are allowed a little more flash. This newest iMac is a slight departure (I see a lot of iPhone influence), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see typical iMac reactions go from “where’s the rest of the computer?” to “wow, that’s really cool”.

And at the same time, it feels a little derivative to me, both of the G5/Intel iMacs and of every single modern TV made. Rounding the corners made it apparent that it’s something different, but the black bezel/silver base motif is one that’s been popular for years now. But considering the materials used (glass and aluminum vs. plastic) and the fact this is a full computer and yet remains similar in size and depth to those TV’s, it’s still impressive.

I think the new keyboards introduced today are without a doubt an aesthetic improvement over their predecessors. I’ve been quite pleased with the feel of the current/old units but disappointed in the unparalleled amount of dirt they’re able to accumulate, and I hope that these new models are easier to clean. I like the clever integration of the USB ports (wired) and battery chamber (Bluetooth), because it’s a great example of function-inspired design that only a few companies do really well.

It’s pretty easy to conclude that while the new iMac really doesn’t offer anything beyond the expected evolution in functionality, the added shininess will ensure that it remains a strong seller for Apple. They’ve got a buyer in me as soon as Leopard rolls out, and if I can figure out what size to get.

DO WANT, obviously. I need to do some configuring before I decide how happy I am about the price, but PDF broke the internerd and the Apple Store.

Motor Trend sucks »

In which I complain about Motor Trend and then make a list.

Here’s a list of reasons why I’ve all but resigned to throwing each successive issue in the garbage until my subscription expires, as provided by the September 2007 issue:

  • Page 18: Proclaims that the new race-bred F430, instead of being called the Challeng Stradale, will be called the 430 LP (“Light Pista”). Wrong. It’s called the Scuderia.
  • Page 19: Horrible (in-house) concept drawing of a car that Ferrari acknowledges they’re not even building. What’s the point?
  • Page 20: Photo of the first-gen Focus, which was available here, accompanying an article referring to the second-gen Europe-specific car.
  • Page 21: Two large photos of an Audi RS6 test mule, accompanying a fear-mongering headline about the discontinuation of the RS4. This just in: Honda is discontinuing the Accord. So they can release a new one.
  • Page 21: Same article. Used the word blogosphere.
  • Page 26: Really, really unflattering photo of designer Frank Stephenson. The guy is a stud, but you wouldn’t know it from this photo.
  • Page 76 Article about the Subaru WRX called, and I quote, “omgwrxlol.” Yes, seriously. Too much internet focus, especially when it gets to the point of referring to usernames regarding forum talk about the (ugly) new WRX. They promise to “set the record straight,” about what I don’t know. It’s still ugly.

I don’t know if I’m pleased or disappointed to come up with that many things, but man, that magazine just leaves me with a chip on my shoulder.

Oh noes! But what if I’m dead by then?