The Wright Family Blog

What's Going On With The Wrights?

My Photo

Experienced web designer and developer who's worked with a wide variety of project scopes and budgets. Passionate approach to overall user experience and emphasis on consistent look and feel within projects. Understands value of clear, consistent branding and messaging. Experienced with practical applications of HTML, CSS, Flash, audio/video, interactive media, content management systems, e-commerce and social media.  Accomplished graphic designer, creative/technical/conceptual illustrator and animator. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Do-Everything Phone

I've had my smartphone, specifically my iPhone, for three months now.
Previously I had a simple Nokia model with few features. I hardly
carried it with me and when clients called it, there was a good chance
I wouldn't have it with me or would be unable to hear it ring.

While I had kept up with the media coverage of smartphones, I did feel
a burning need to jump into the pool. Besides the costs, I just didn't
think I'd have a need for a better phone; email had become my main
communication tool with customers. I began to tune most of the media
coverage out since I had no real interest.

That changed when I got my iPhone in July. As a birthday gift of
sorts, it took the place of my iPod Classic which I handed down to my
daughter. It also meant my crummy Nokia phone could be used more often
by my other daughter when she needed it and my son would get his
oldest sister's iPod Nano. Everyone but my wife would benefit!

While I was well aware of the iPhone's music, web browsing, email and
camera features, the rest of it's usefullness really surprised me.

The map app with GPS means I'll likely never get lost again. The
variety of sports apps mean I'll always know the score. The Internet
radio and music streaming apps mean I don't need to carry as many
tunes with me. The radio apps mean I can listen to many of my favorite
stations wherever I'm at. The Wikipedia apps mean I can always look up
facts or answer a trivia question. The YouTube app comes in handy when
looking up a popular clip or 80's music video. Google apps mean I
always have my to-do list, photo catalog, feed reader and more with
me. The weather apps give me accurate forecasts instantly and
revealing radar maps. The ebook apps let me finally read Tom Sawyer or
other classics for free. The clock app has become my chosen alarm and
timer. Instead of texting, I use the email app. Oh, and the great
games offer a welcome diversion for me and the kids.

There are a ton of additional apps and features I've left out or are
just discovering. More coming every day.

How did I ever get by without a smartphone?

Monday, February 26, 2007

iPhone Early

Was Apple's commercial for the iPhone a little early or what? Still
several months away from the rollout. Very unlike Apple to do so.

iPhone Early

Apple rolled out the first official commercial for the iPhone last
night during the Oscars. It's the first time, in memory, when they've
introduced a new product so far ahead of its rollout. Either they
can't contain their enthusiasm or they feel they will gain some
strategic advantage in doing so. Whatever the reason is, it's sure to
garner a massive amount of hype before the June introduction.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Apple's Trick to Get You to Buy a Larger iPod

Apple recently announced the availability of movies through iTunes
and I think I've uncovered a diabolical plan of theirs to get us all
to buy new iPods! How? Well, they now offer all of their TV shows and
movies in a larger resolution. 4X by their measurements from the old
format. While this takes considerably longer to download that the
older videos, customer perceive this as a great quality improvement,
which it is.

For those who watch these videos and movies on their iPods, there's
absolutely no perceptual difference in quality. The iPod screen only
shows so many pixels, actually half the amount of the new videos.
People watching on their computers, or through other means will
notice a nice improvement.

Unless I'm mistaken, when you transfer one of the new videos to your
iPod, it doesn't convert the resolution down to better fit the
resolution of the screen. What happens with all the data and extra
resolution that you copy over each time? It fills up your iPod! I
know it's easy to manage content with iTunes, but I'm thinking Apple
knows people tend to horde media. It won't take long for those with
video iPods to fill up those suckers with 250MB half hours TV shows
and 950MB movies.

The proof is in all the freebies they are giving out on iTunes. There
are several new episodes of shows that they entice you with. While
they obviously pay for the bandwidth that episode of your show uses
to download, it pales in comparison to the profit they make on a 80GB

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Amanda's Recital

Here's a video of Amanda.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Traveling Lady Opens

Amanda appeared this past weekend in The Traveling Lady at Cornerstone College. She's got three more shows this weekend. No singing this time, but a nice bit of dialogue. Certainly good experience before she tries out for Gypsy or Jane Eyre in a few months. Small cast and only one set. I'm sure she'll have a hard time saying goodbye to the cast again after Saturday night's show. She gets pretty close to the other castmembers.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Autumn Weekend

Spent a relaxing kid-free weekend in the Traverse City area recently with another couple from our college days. Spent Saturday mostly on Old Mission Pointe doing a bit of wine tasting at a few vineyards. Took the photo below at a lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. The fall colors were starting to show. Might be the last nice weekend for awhile.


Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Summertime Schedules

After a rather long and wet spring, the Wright family has officially transitioned into summer. With the girls out of school and Deb done with most of her volunteer activities, I too have slid into a different routine. The evenings are often a great opportunity for me to spend time with the kids outside after a family dinner. I'm trying to keep an earlier schedule so that I can afford to leave the office on time. Time will tell if I can continue to do so, but it's nice getting to work earlier and having more of an evening. Just makes the day seem longer.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Hamster: Found!

After no signs of the lost hamster for four days. He was finally found! In the basement of all places! We all seached the main floor; behind the stove, fridge, washer and dryer and even dishwasher. No sign of the little critter. I knew he couldn't just disappear. We mentioned the missing animal to some friends who came over and their son made a trip to the basement to look for it. After no signs, the kids continued to play. After awhile, Nicole came running up the stairs with Ham the Hamster! He had found a way into the basement afterall (mabye through a hole in the floor for a pipe from the fridge). The funny part is that he was found alive inside a canning jar on a shelf in the basement! He must have worked his way down the shelves (or fell) and wound up in the jar, for how long we don't know.

He was happy to be home and spend several minutes chowing on food in his cage. His partner didn't look so pleased to see him, but Amanda was very relieved!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Hamster On The Loose!

It had to happen. One of the girl's hamster made a break for it this
evening while traveling around the house in its exercise ball. While
the girls were cleaning out the cage, they noticed an empty Hamster
ball on the floor. A quick look for "Ham" the hamster has turned up
nothing. He's got to be on the main floor, perhaps behind the
dishwasher or oven. Hopefully he'll wander out on his own very soon! If
you happen to see a hamster that answers to "Ham" hitchhiking on the
side of the road, please give us a call.

Summer Movies

It doesn't feel like summer here yet, but our family is looking forward
to at least two big movies coming out in the next few weeks. Both are
expected to be summer blockbusters. The first is Shrek 2, which I can
enjoy as much as our kids, especially due to the computer animation
throughout. The second is the third installment of Harry Potter. Deb
and the girls are big fans of the books and movies. I'm sure both will
become immediate members of our DVD library when they are available.

Birds of a Feather...

The family of birds that invaded our grill are now three members larger. After I saw the mom fly out of the grill this past weekend, I opened the top slowly to see if the five eggs had hatched. Three had and the youngsters were nestled quietly on top of one another.

We've missed a few prime grilling evenings, so I hope these baby birds grow up to be fine outstanding members of the bird community. Click on the photo below for a larger view.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Spring Thunder

A reminder of the warmer weather here is the occassional thunderstorm that wakes the kids at night. I don't remember being that afraid of them when I was young, but at least one of the kids always seem to hear them. I guess it's natural for the sound to be scary, but there's just so little a parent can do about them. Trying to dowplay them doesn't help either!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Rodents as Pets

Two furry little hamsters now make their home at our house, courtesy of Nicole and Amanda. They used their allowance to buy them along with all the supplies. They bought them this past Monday and already the cage has been moved from the girl's bedroom (too noisy at night!). Adam is quite enthused also. There will certainly be a few adventures along the way as they begin to take them out of the cage and tire of cleaning it.

No Spring Grilling!

Looks like a family of birds have invaded our grill! Deb was surprised to discover them one day recently when she opened the top. The mom was there to greet her! Seven eggs are contained in the giant nest, though the nest looks like it was built to hold alot more! We'll leave them be and try and remember to not fire it up some night just out of habit...

What's a Blog?

Welcome to the Wright Family blog! For those of you new to the world of "blogs", they are similar to regular web pages but are easier to add information to. This easily allows journal-like entries to be posted. There are more and more blogs appearing on the web every day. Many journalists use blogs to post their stories or small bits of info immediately to the web. Two blogs that I read fairly regularly are Tech:Knowledge and BlogMaverick.

I'll try and keep this updated with the latest happenings in our family. I'll be updating this at least a couple times a week and posting pictures occasionally.