As Far As I Can Tell

My first time in Texas

In March I’ll be attending the SXSW Interactive conference for the first time. I’ve wanted to go for years but either the money or my schedule always stood in the way. I don’t personally know anyone else who is going but hope to meet lots of new people. If you’re attending and want to meet up let me know. I’ll only be there through the interactive portion not during the music festival.

Last weekend I taught a Dreamweaver workshop for graphic design students at Western. We went over the basics and worked together to build a small website, which I based on The Gates. It doesn’t offer much beyond the learning exercise, but there are a few extra Gates photos that I took if you’re interested in seeing them.

In preparation for the workshop I scoured the web for free sample chapters from Dreamweaver books. I’ve compiled them alongside tutorial links, sample files, and extra PDFs. I think I’ll leave that page online for a while in case anyone else is interested.

It’s funny how I’ve taught a semester long course and a workshop on Dreamweaver when I don’t use it at all in my personal or professional work. It’s not that it’s a bad program, it’s actually a really useful tool. It’s still quite cumbersome to make standards compliant CSS layouts with it though, and once you understand the markup it’s oftentimes just easier to write it by hand. If you’re curious, my main development program is TopStyle.

Where Dreamweaver really shines is letting non-technical people make websites. They won’t have the cleanest code or properly validating pages but it lets them get their ideas out there, which is to me is very much the beauty of the web. It’s also a halfway decent way to learn the markup by watching what Dreamweaver writes as you make changes.



It’s too bad you won’t be going to the music part of SXSWI see that Vanilla Ice is on the band list.

Posted by: Andrea Swalec on February 23, 2005 12:34 PM

is it merely a schduling thing keeping you from the music portion, too? i mean, man. if i was down there already…. i was just talking to rosemary today about how much i love the way that you write about design, that i love the techie posts you do. i think it is because it reflects how much of a craft AND art design is for you, and also just makes me always think about things i’ve never considered before. i refer to your work in conversations with people all the time*, and i thought you should know. *and by “your work” i mean your short lived “amo-core” band.** **not really.

Posted by: jim on February 23, 2005 4:57 PM

i am very interested in the dreamweaver links, i will be refuring to them. thanks for putting them up!

Posted by: mark on February 25, 2005 11:07 AM

The impending loss of my unique name

I’m the only Simon I personally know. There are lots of others, and even plenty of Simon King’s, but in my immediate world I’m the only one. My friends have never had to use modifiers or nicknames to distinguish me the way they do Josh’s or John’s. That might change soon since it seems my name is becoming popular.

According to The Baby Name Wizard the hot new names abroad include Oliver, Hugo, and Simon. It’s only a matter of time before American couples copy the European trend and then where am I? Without a unique last name to hold me up I’ll be a regular Joe Smith.

In all serious though the Baby Wizard site has an amazing piece of information design where you can visually see the trends in names throughout the last century. It breaks down usage by male and female which allows you to see when certain names like Meredith switch from one sex to another.

Popularity trends for the names Simon and Simone over the last 100 years

It’s a lot of fun to play with, but be warned that it’s a Java applet so you’ll need the latest version of Java installed in your browser and it might take a while to load. Once it does though it’s quite speedy.

Found via



I’m the quite the opposite. Got the rare last name but the not so unique first name. I’m curious what exactly governs these trends initially. The only thing that comes to mind is celebrity popularity. I’d like to think that is not type dissertion we use name our children. I’m sure that later on the popularity of a name is due to a snowball affect. I can only imagine the slope on the Ashton stats for the past few years.

Posted by: Josh Franta on February 16, 2005 10:45 AM

You need a unique last name to balance the increasingly common Simon? This is where Smart-King comes in! Lately, I like the symmetry of my own name.

Posted by: Andrea Swalec on February 16, 2005 12:16 PM

I think that celebrity popularity can cause the increase, but it also seems to cause decreases depending on who it is. Check out how Adolf drops instantly in the 1930s or now Gigi spikes and falls just as quick. So interesting. You can also surmise information about immigration trends, for example the amount of people named Muhammad starting in the 70s. I’d be neat to see this data for other countries since this system is very US centric.

Posted by: Simon on February 16, 2005 1:07 PM

i love your name. the combination will still be rare.

Posted by: jim on February 16, 2005 3:25 PM

Bring it King! You stole all of my interesting tidbits that I was going to post. This is where the living together and sharing is bad. Stay away from my writing collection sneaky.

Posted by: meredith on February 16, 2005 4:41 PM

OMG! My name ranks even more popular than Simon?! That’s sad news. And I’ve only ever met a handful of Miguels my whole life — even in S. America!

Posted by: miguel on February 19, 2005 3:23 AM

the high point for Meredith was ranking 156 out of the top 1,000 names. Now it is back down being 351 most popular. Yow!

Posted by: meredith on February 22, 2005 11:59 PM

Meredith…..really he stole your post……when was your last post?

Posted by: gig on February 24, 2005 5:45 PM

Weekend of Love / The Gates

This weekend Meredith and I went to NYC to celebrate Valentines Day and our 4th anniversary. One of the key reasons I chose New York for our trip was to coincide with the opening day of The Gates, a giant public artwork in Central Park by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Twenty-six years in the making, the installation was awe inspiring and draped the park in a calm, magical feeling.

After walking around for nearly four hours it felt strange to leave the park. As exciting as the visual overload of Manhattan is everything was dulled in contrast to The Gates. This artwork isn’t about pure aesthetics, but that direct and fleeting experience. Augmenting that is it’s temporality since it’s only up for 13 more days.

Besides walking in the park we at delicious food, did some shopping, visited friends in Brooklyn and soaked up the city. I ♥ NY.

More info:
New York Times coverage
New York Magazine, The Passion of the Christos
The Gates in QuickTime VR

Flickr Tags: christo, thegates, gates, centralpark thegates, christo



I have been waiting for this post. Your photos are way better than any I have seen, especially the closeup of the fabric I had been wondering what they were made of. Just simple Nylon?

Posted by: ovidovi on February 16, 2005 2:25 PM

our lives are so parallel. i am going out there to see this for the final weekend, and part of that involves visiting rosemary, in brooklyn. i was *this close* tyo going out there for the opening. it would have been just like us to randomly meet at this amazing art happening. (love the nighttime shots; check ro’s page for her shots:

Posted by: jim on February 16, 2005 3:24 PM

Thanks Ivo. The fabric is just nylon, double ply and pleated. I got one of the 1 million fabric samples they were handing out in the park and Meredith bought a handbag made out of it, so I’m sure you’ll see it for real sometime. I hope you’re feeling better, I heard you were sick. Jim: When you’re there I suggest checking out the south side of the park first as it has the best layouts. It gets more sparse by the sides of the lake.

Posted by: Simon on February 16, 2005 3:47 PM

we plan on climbing the met, i know that much. also, i’m sad that i won’t get a free scrap. :-)

Posted by: jim on February 17, 2005 12:01 PM

actually i liked the north side so so much better. the reflections on the harlem meer were outstanding. the whole thing was amazing—it’s on my journal, too. i’ll be posting better pictures tonight or whenever i have time to do a proper entry about my trip. sadly, they were out of the bags made from the material. i guess that means meredith’s is a collectible.

Posted by: jim on March 1, 2005 1:59 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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