Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 this the digital photo frame I've been looking for?

Ever since I saw my very first digital photo frame, I've wondered why it wasn't easy to simply email pictures to it. My dream frame was one I could buy for my family, and keep them updated with new pictures by simply emailing the pics to the frame. Sounds simple enough.

I'd even be ok with having to login to a site to add pictures to the frame. What I found out, though, was that the only digital photo frames that had this functionality were either a) subscription based (boo!) or b) not easy or reliable for both the sender and receiver.

Now Picwing promises to change all this. They're taking the approach from a software point of view...building a simple, easy to use interface for creating albums, uploading or emailing pictures to that album, and having multiple photo "clients" to view them on, including a digital photo frame they are developing.

The Picwing frame is still in beta, and built by hand, so it's a bit pricey right now at $249. But the software...or rather the dang simple to use. Every album gets its own email address...set who is allowed to add pictures to the album, and that's it!

And you don't NEED the photo frame. You can view your album through a desktop client, a Chumby, or through a cool Flash app! Here's my first album. Please feel free to send funny pictures to this album at The subject of your email becomes the caption.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tina Fey Voting for Princess Leia in ‘08

If you happened to catch Tina Fey’s highly publicized cameo as Sarah Palin in Saturday Night Live’s season premiere last night, you may have caught her flashing a bit of Star Wars fandom in the show’s closer — yep, Fey’s donning one of the Zazzle's Star Wars Election ‘08 t-shirts, available exclusively at

read more | digg story

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Custom Skateboards. Wow. Just wow.

I know I'm a bit late blogging this, but Zazzle recently released custom skateboards! Let me repeat that. CUSTOM SKATEBOARDS! Now anyone can put their own artwork, or buy someone else's, on several deck styles and sizes.

Here's one I found that I like by thecuteinstitute:

To start making your own, check out Zazzle Custom Skateboards!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fried Jesus Fish!

I was driving to work the other day and saw a Jesus fish on the back of a car, and I got a hankerin' for some good ol' fried seafood. This image just popped into my head, so I had to make it!

View the one for dark t-shirts here, and the one for light colored shirts here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Zazzle releases Zazzle Store Builder 1.0!

Have a Zazzle shop and a website you use to promote it? Well, if your host supports PHP, have a look at the new Zazzle Store Builder. This script essentially allows you to pull a feed of products from any gallery, and render it onto your website in a nice looking grid:

The colors and grid size can be configured, and you can add your own associate referral ID to make the extra 7%. Oh, and want Google Analytics to track your site? If you have an Analytics account, just enter your account code and turn it on!

This is a project I was directly involved with and I'm very excited to see it live. It'll be interesting to see how everyone implements and uses the Zazzle Store Builder!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Meat Shoe

I'm sure PETA would approve since this is faux meat :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Keds & Zazzle Introduce WORLDS 1ST CUSTOMIZABLE SHOE!!

This is the first time in history that you can fully customize a shoe!! Upload your own photos or graphics to create a full custom shoe!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The 2008 Star Wars Election!

Check out some of the amazing and funny designs inspired by Star Wars and the Election!LET THE WOOKIE WIN!

read more | digg story

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Found a cool gaming gallery that uses Zazzle

I love video games, so I'm always looking for gaming gear, games, news about games, etc. I even like to wear gaming related t-shirts (from Zazzle of course!).

Doing a search on Google for "game shirts" I found When I saw the site, I instantly recognized the models being used as Zazzle's. And sure enough, it's a Zazzle gallery!

Check it out...they have some pretty cool stuff! I may have to do a little shopping! :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

I hate being an Apple hater

It's based on my long history with PC's. Back when it was Apple IIc versus TRS-80's. Back when I could hack around with my Tandy 1000 and add more memory. Back when I ran a BBS. It was all about PC's. They were more flexible, expandable, prevalent.

Apple was a curious sidenote...more expensive and less configurable. There was no reason for me to like it. As time marched on, it got worse for Apple. If you were into gaming at all (and I was...still am), then Apple was not the camp for you.

All this added up to a deep hatred for a cocky company that felt it was doing things better, yet I had no proof of it. If it was truly better, than I would have been able to get one at a reasonable price, open it up and add 3rd party parts to improve it, and play all the cool games i wanted to on it. But that was not the case. So in my mind, Apple = Crapple.

Fast forward to now. Apple is gaining market share like crazy, and they are being heralded as the best thing to happen to the industry since the Internet. Why is this? Here is what makes them the golden child right now:
  • Marketing: Brilliant ads that make it cool to like Apple, and nerdy to like Windows
  • Simplicity: A perception that Apple products are just easier to use
  • Functionality: Whiz-bang, flashy apps (cover flow, iPhone UI, etc)
  • Security: How many times do I have to hear "there are no viruses for the Mac"
  • Dependibility: Apple zealots are always telling me "it just works"

Some of these have merits. Others are hyped up. But in this day and age, it's really a user preference to go Apple vs. Microsoft. You can accomplish the same things with either, so pick your favorite.

Vista has been getting bad press (I actually like it better than XP, but whatever). So Microsoft's image to the unwashed masses is marred by good Apple marketing and bad general press (maybe because many writers have switched to Mac? hmmm...)

In any case, Steve Jobs is the new hero, Bill Gates is a nerdy geek, and Steve Ballmer is...well, a little out of his mind. All these things add up to Apple market share.

So do I still hate Apple? Yes. It's hard not to given my history. But do I like hating them? No, I really don't.

Apple has done some great things with user interfaces. The iPhone's multi-touch display is revolutionary (though NOT invented by Apple...but they definitely brought that technology to the public's consciousness). How they captured the MP3 player market with the iPod is historically significant.

I hate being an Apple hater because many of my friends and colleagues are fans of Apple (to varying degrees), and are always talking about this cool new feature, or that cool new device. I bring up that there are similar solutions outside of Apple, but they just look at me and and say things like "whatever, Apple hater!".

Am I missing out on the new direction in the industry? Should I swallow my pride and join the crowd? Well, I'm probably not to that point yet. The only Apple product I own is an iPod, and mostly because it's the industry standard. Try finding a Zune adapter for your car.

With this post I am trying to open up and become less of an Apple basher. This is hard for me. I hate the fanaticism that surrounds the company. I hate Steve Jobs' cult like status. I hate all the hype. I hate the smear campaigns. But I don't hate the technology. I don't hate the user interfaces. I don't hate what they are trying to do...reach out to the common man and bring technology to their reach. A noble cause no matter who is doing it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

600 miles on a single tank

I finally got 600 miles on a single tank of gas! My 2005 Civic Hybrid has an 11.9 gallon tank, but when I filled up (at 601.4 miles) I only needed to put in 10.22 gallons. So this tank gave me about 58.8 MPG!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Want something for $10?

Something Store - Surprise Yourself!

This is actually a pretty cool idea. You send them $10, they send you something...randomly...from their warehouse. Could be a nice leather wallet, or could be a USB Rocket Launcher. Who knows! It's the surprise that makes this fun!

Hey, now you can send yourself a gift on your birthday and not know what you're buying yourself!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adding Twitter to my blog

Now that I have a fancy new phone, I decided to try Twitter, a cool service that allows you to keep friends updated with what you are doing at any particular time.

The concept is simple. You login and type a quick update, like "I'm eating a cheese sandwich...and it reminds me of summer." Or anything you want, really. But it can only be 140 characters long. No blog posts, no novels. Just a quick blurb. The cool part is you can use your mobile phone to text in your update, and receive updates from friends or people you are "following".

I added the Twitter feed to the top of my blog here, so quick updates will show there, while full blown blog posts are shown here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ok, I got the Moto Q9c

So I went with the Q9c from Sprint...and so far, it rocks! I'm actually posting this from the phone itself!

I know I said I had to wait until June, but apparently Sprint mixed it up (my WIFE has to wait till June to upgrade, but my account was ready now). So I was able to get the best discount (with a 2 year renewal, of course).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

OneNote 2007, Tablet PC's, and Smartphones

Been a while since I've posted anything here. Been busy. But now I feel I have something to share...and it's almost entirely not Zazzle related! :-)

So I've recently shifted positions at Zazzle (I said "almost"!). My new role is in our product group, specifically acting as an Interaction Designer. This means more mockups, prototypes, and wireframes. It also means being involved in a few more meetings every week, where I need to be a bit more organized about my To Do lists. Before, as an engineer, I was more focused on writing code, so it was always more obvious what I needed to be working on at any given time.

Getting digitally organized - The Hardware
Now, I am involved in more projects, and need to prioritize my time better. So I decided to get an old Tablet PC to take notes. I wanted a pen device because I wanted to be able to draw ideas and have it in a digital format. I searched eBay and found a Motion Computing M1400 Tablet PC, and got it for around $400.

Yes, it's a few years old, but it's powerful enough for what I need. It runs Windows XP Tablet Edition, which means I can install any Windows software I'm already used to or depend on. To that end, I installed Microsoft Office 2007 and noticed something interesting.

Getting digitally organized - The Software
I chose to do a custom install of Office because I knew I wouldn't need to install the whole suite. When I saw the list of programs that I could choose from, I saw something called OneNote 2007. I decided to try it out.

Here's what the Amazon product page for OneNote says:

  • Digital notebook provides one place to gather and manage notes and information
  • Offers powerful search capabilities to find what you're looking for quickly, and easy-to-use shared notebooks to help manage information overload and work with others more effectively
  • An integrated part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system
  • Helps consolidate various types of information-- including freeform notes, images, documents, files from other Microsoft Office system programs, and rich media-- and organize it in the way that works best for you
  • Creates a living repository of group decisions and brainstorming sessions that adds continuity and context to business meetings and memos

Well that's perfect! So I set it up on my tablet as well as on my desktop, and now I can take notes in meetings using digital ink, and have it fully integrated into my work Outlook! I can even create To Do items in OneNote that automatically get added to my tasks in Outlook. And as long as my OneNote notebook files are on our network, I have access to it from both my desktop and tablet.

Going Mobile
So this now brings me to the Smartphone part of this post. I will be getting a new phone come June, when my current phone turns two years old and Sprint will give me a nice discount on any new phone to keep me as a customer.

While researching smartphones on Sprint, I liked the Samsung Ace (Windows Mobile), Blackberry 8130 (Blackberry, duh), and Moto Q9c (Windows Mobile). Sprint is also slated to get the shiny new Blackberry Curve soon, and I love the specs on that thing.

But now that I am using OneNote, it changes my view a bit. See, OneNote comes with a Windows Mobile version, but NOT a Blackberry version. Hmmm. So come June, I have a choice to make. I could get one of the Windows phones (which are pretty cool), or go with the slightly better specs of the new Curve.

Decisions, decisions. If I keep using OneNote and find it increasingly useful (as I do so far), then I'll probably lean toward a Windows Mobile phone. It's nice to be completely synced with all my devices (I hear push email on a Windows Mobile device is better than Blackberry if you are using Microsoft Exchange). But I still need to do more research and weigh the pros and cons.

I mean, I may not really need to use OneNote on my phone. At the office, I'll always have my tablet with me, so the phone is extra. But if I can sync offline notes I take on the phone with my OneNote notebook at work, it's a no brainer. Or, better yet, if I can open my office notebook remotely on my phone, that would rock! I kind of doubt that will be possible, however, since it resides on our corporate network.

But maybe I can VPN from a Windows Mobile smartphone....hmmmmm?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Zigg - Submit your Zazzle designs!

I've just created Zigg, a new website that allows Zazzle contributors to submit and rate Zazzle designs, a la Digg style.

Even if you are not a Zazzle contributor, you should visit and rate the designs you like! The website uses as the host, which made it super easy to create. So the full URL to Zigg is