I know I promised weekly updates to the Alphabet Project, but I haven’t been able to get “J” done (well, actually, off the ground) this week. I spent the better part of Tuesday at a client’s house, and yesterday I fought Darwin Streaming Server to a draw, attempting to simply hook up a streamed video for a client. Little did I know that Quicktime’s method of streaming is somewhat arcane, the directions are oblique, the tools confusing, and the results questionable. I’d blame Apple (shakes fist in the direction of Cupertino) but as far as I can tell, they open-sourced the thing years ago and it’s sort of been languishing ever since. (Exhibit A: dig that Garamond Condensed in that last hyperlink. That’s so 1999.) Along the way, I booted up Keynote for the first time and fought with it to build a pair of presentations for a client meeting tomorrow morning. My review: I’d say it’s pretty, and it works well, but there are some major changes I’d make to the interface and the functionality to extend the program and reduce frustration.
One bright spot: We hit the library yesterday, and I scored a bunch of new (well, new in 2005) music: some Broken Social Scene, some Ted Leo, some Sigur Ros, some Wu-Tang. I also scored a copy of Charles Burns’ new hardback, called Black Hole. I’d just have to say, damn. Remember reading Big Baby back in the day and being sort of freaked out by the bugs and weird people and stuff? Now imagine a story about growing up in the 1970’s and a bunch of teenagers who have this strange virus that mutates them in different ways—and the way they get the virus is through sexual contact. Add in the social pressures of being in high school, first love, and lots of drugs, and stir. The book is absolutely beautiful. The pages are heavy, the printing is perfect, and his illustrations are incredible. I started it at 11:30 and finished it at 1:15, completely riveted. Check it out. And, while I’m at it, props to my local library for carrying it.
P.S. New illustration coming this evening—I’ve got it laid out and ready to go.