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Found It On the Web...

Miscellaneous Links (2002.01.17)

A few things...

Andyco.com

How could I forget about Andyco? I originally found Andyco back when I was working for Q, and reviewed it on the old Astounding Websites forum. But now that I find it again, I see that it has grown in its scope and humor.

Andyco.com is really just a portfolio for Web designer Andrew Stoller, but Andyco is a wonderful mockery and satire of corporations. From the About Us page (“Give the customer what they want—quality, innovation and value. And leave a nice little profit margin in there to keep management’s spirits up between visits to the country club.”), to the Employee Lounge (“You’ve got 5 minutes... ENJOY yourself!”), to the Job Center (“We’re looking for motivated individuals willing to work long hours for little pay.”), Andyco will keep you laughing.

And now, in version 3.0 of Andyco.com, the site includes the Kid’s Klub (“Do kids make fun of you? Well then stop acting like a dork! We’ll show you how in The Klub Room.”), WACO radio (“Welcome to the Internet’s First All-Polka/Hawaiian Web Radio!”), and even memos from the CEO (“Sure, it was hard to say goodbye to those 4,800 co-workers during this year’s Draconian downsizing. But be thankful that it wasn’t you -- because it could have been (and still could be).”). Also, while you’re at Andyco.com, don’t be afraid to click on banner ads there, they contain more fun.

An Atlas of The Universe

Although this Web site’s design could use a major overhaul, the depictions of the scale of our universe baffle the mind. You can start out viewing the area 12.5 light years around the Sun. Here you’ll see the stars local to our own. The next step from there zooms out twenty times to the area 250 light years around the Sun. You continue to zoom out from the Sun (with each page containing more info about objects within the scale in question), exiting the Milky Way galaxy, viewing superclusters of galaxies, and finally to the whole 15 billion light years of the visible universe.

It is similar to Scaling the universe to your desktop and the movie Powers of Ten, in its depiction of the scale of the universe. Viewing the universe from its widest to our humble little solar neighborhood can really boggle the mind.

We can put an end to Word attachments.

Although I’m not a user of Unix, Linux, and/or other free operating systems, this article has a very good point. Not only are Microsoft Word documents a proprietary format (where new versions of Word can and do use a different file format which older versions—like mine—may not be able to read), but they are also much larger in file size than is needed for sending text (which isn’t helpful for those of use with slow modem connections).

One part of the article I liked:

But it hurts us, too, when they assume we use Word and send us (or demand that we send them) documents in Word format. Some people publish or post documents in Word format. Some organizations will only accept files in Word format: Someone I know was unable to apply for a job because resumes had to be Word files. Even governments sometimes impose Word format on the public, which is truly outrageous.

Though I’ve seen some really bad uses for sending Word documents (like someone sending a Word document just to send the photos embedded in it), I can understand why people would want to send Word files. You cannot format plain text to include bolds and italics. You cannot easily format plain text into tables. These things are need when—for example—a client sends a Web developer their site’s copy, and the client wants to make sure the developer knows what should be bold, what should be italic, and what should be a heading. Although, as the article says, these Word documents can be saved out as an HTML document, there still might be a case where a Word file is needed.

But nonetheless, what ever the case, someone should first make sure that the person they’re sending a Word document to can view the Word document. The same goes for any Microsoft Office format. I don’t even have PowerPoint, but people will still e-mail me PowerPoint files without checking if I can even open them.

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