– Quite Cool.

This evening my daughter introduced me to Wordle ( She’s using it in a school project on her school netbook. She’s in Grade 6. As I recall, I too had a computer when I was her age. It was a Commodore Pet and while I was pretty quickly programming the beast – it still amazes me what Ruby does with her little netbook and the internet.

Worlde is a simple manipulation tool that takes a stream of words that you either – or in this case I’ve pointed it at the rss feed for – and it creates text mashups. The result is highly customisable as you’ll see it you head over to play with it.

What our children are doing with computers as a tool to aid learning is fascinating to watch. Ruby has been assigned this task in order to come up with as many synonyms for the words “Conflict” as she can. I guess in my day at primary school the equivalent would have been a word jumble.

Worldle is a flash plugin – so I hope you aren’t hoping to play with it on a iPhone/iPad anytime soon … :)



Back when the Internet was a Wild Place …

Do you remember the days when the internet was a novelty. When someone who had a web site was “cool”. They’d show you their web site and it would be full of Microsoft Clip Art and anyone who was not the least tech-savvy (and therefore had no clue how much work had gone into this creation) would be suitably un-impressed. [Ed: Actually I think it was just my wife who, upon seeing my first web site, said “Well, I’m sure it’s clever dear, but it’s Butt Ugly.”]

In those days, there really wasn’t a lot of resources around to assist you in creating a visually pleasing web site. Even Microsoft Frontpage was only something over the horizon, and most web page creation was done in text editors (yes, I can hear the purists out there crying that REAL web site creation is STILL done in Notepad – not this little black duck).

Now there’s WordPress and Theme libraries and there’s really no excuse for ugly web site (my old site notwithstanding …). Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Yesterday Meg and I went to the Home Show. If that doesn’t give you some idea of how desperate we’ve become for a night on the town, nothing will. Two of three kids on Camp, the oldest home studying for IB, we were off for a night on the town.

One of the stalls we came across was LED Lights Down Under. Meg has been looking for these for some lights she bought from Etsy – Husbands if your wives are reading this article pray God she doesn’t click on that link.

Anyway, LED Lights Down Under have a web site – and what a web site it is. Now don’t get me wrong – the stall was manned by two gentlemen – one of whom had driven down from Brisbane for the event – who were extremely helpful and offered us a discount on the spot. Since one of Meg’s purchases is going to require 20+ of these bulbs, and since she’s going to use LED lights in the pelmuts she’s planning in our renovated kitchen – that’s good news for me.

But the web site, oh the web site.

For starters, you need sunglasses to view it. Then someone clever has used (Flash?) to move the panels and forth – many of which serve no purpose at all. The form required for ordering was excessively demanding and intolerant of minor omissions of data entry – perniciously so. And the Yellow, the Yellow.

Has anyone else come across a web site they’d like to share?

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