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Posted in culture,life,technology by jake on October 27th, 2006

Big in Poland

A small spike in Polish traffic to our blog, lead me to this article, discussing my MyActiveRecord MySQL/Object Mapping class.

Jana, who is after all a Slav, had a go at translating. She assures me that the post signs off:

This is one of the best PHP Classes I've ever seen. It just works!

I guess that's better than:

This is one of the worst PHP Classes I've ever seen. It doesn't work!

But perhaps the wife is just trying to bolster my ego...

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Posted in culture,design,life,local,news by tim on October 23rd, 2006

Made Plus+

made collage

We've spent a busy week flaunting our wares at Plus+ 'an international design expo presenting pioneering work by Birmingham’s leading graphic designers through a five day showcase in the heart of the city.'

Made have been involved with the event for some months now, being one of four agencies to head up the events steering committee. So it was a great relief to see our efforts come to fruition for the launch party on Saturday.

Amongst the highlights was an informal talk by the design legend Peter Saville. After proving his rock star credentials by appearing an hour and a half late, he gave a charismatic potted biog and some interesting perspectives on city branding (birmingham take note).

The expo was also a nice opportunity to hook up with other Birmingham design based contemporaries, some old friends, some new acquaintences. We've now got some slick wall panels to adorne our office space and finally had an excuse to buy a red leather sofa to compliment the made interior.

The show's now over but shall be returning next year, bigger and bolder so hope to see you all there. In the meantime, more pics from the event here.

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Posted in news,projects,technology by Made Media Ltd on October 19th, 2006

Introducing Jobs Board Digest

jobs_board_digest.jpg

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Jobs Board Digest. The Jobs Board Digest is a small side project that we think some people may find useful.It provides aggregated listings from three of the best new jobs boards that have recently been springing up.

Specifically, we are combining the latest advertised jobs from 37 Signals, Joel on Software and Vitamin. You can view the latest job postings online or via a combined RSS feed.

This is a completely free service and we’re not aiming to profit from this at all. The advertisers pay the board owners directly, we’re just helping distribute the information. Let us know what you think.

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Posted in life by Made Media Ltd on October 12th, 2006

Nike+iPod – Run for a cause

Nike+iPod

I bought a Nike+iPod kit a few weeks ago, motivated partly by Cabel Sasser's inspiring post about the subject and turning a workout into a challenge, computer game style. Works for me.

And now Nike has introduced 'Run for a cause' which is a great additional motivation.

I’m walking (not running - bad back, long story) about three miles a day now. If I can do that every day for the next three weeks (the length of the current promotion) then Nike will apparently donate $63 to charity ($1 per mile x 3 miles x 21 days). That’s more than I paid for the kit. I predict that this is going to raise enough money to force Nike to lower the price per mile. Even if they do, what a great incentive for layabouts like me, what great PR for Nike, what a great boost in income for the charities concerned. Hard to see a loser here and I like that. Ars Technica has a good write up.

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Posted in culture by Made Media Ltd on October 10th, 2006

Review – iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon

iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon

For Apple fans this is probably the book they’ve been waiting for. iWoz is the autobiography of key founding member of Apple, Steve Wozniak. My copy duly arrived from Amazon and I devoured it within a couple of days.

Firstly I should point out that I loved it. Cheers Woz, I really appreciate hearing your story first hand. Having said that, I’m not sure I really learned anything new that really interested me. Woz seems to go out of his way to correct a series of fallacies that have built up over the years, he shows a real keenness to get the truth out there. The thing is though, while certain information does clarify matters I still feel exactly the same way about Woz as I did last week.

He’s a fascinating, lovable, cuddly prankster with only the best of intentions. My kind of guy but the new and clarified information in this book hasn’t changed that, or even enhanced it particularly.

This is not a heavyweight read. It reads much like the process that produced it – a conversation with Woz. It’s simple, straightforward and not in any way salacious or sensational. I can imagine some people being disappointed. It’s not packed with new revelations, it’s just a diary of events – this happened then that happened – not much more. Those events take us from early childhood almost to the present day in a linear fashion.

I do now know a little more about Woz’s personal life but he doesn’t talk extensively about his wives and kids. I enjoyed hearing about his relationship with his dad and about his early pranks. Woz and Gina (his co-writer) do a great job showing how events unfolded, how Woz’s understanding developed and how this led to the creation of his seminal work, the Apple II.

He’s been incredibly open in some ways and yet seems to reveal little. Gina Smith has done a professional job, seemingly faithfully reporting Woz in a style that really feels like the man himself. The only trouble with this is that Woz likes to keep things simple so the book is kept simple. It’s a little disconcerting having Woz explain how he basically invented the personal computer in such a matter of fact way. Maybe that’s part of the charm but I was hoping for a little complexity I think!

All in all, recommended for Apple nerds everywhere and for anyone who fancies a quick, lightweight read about a genuinely decent bloke. If you’re looking for a colourful, rich history of Apple then look elsewhere.

ps. My personal favourite book on Apple history is Revolution in the Valley by Andy Hertzfeld which I particularly recommend. You can read most of it online at http://folklore.org

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