I Love My Cupcake Browser Theme.

Which web browser do you use? There were several browsers I tried out in the past, but currently I’m sticking to Firefox. According to the stats as of December 2011, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer are the top three popular browsers in the list.

I don’t consider myself as a digital native, although I was introduced to computers in kindergarten at school. We all had to play around with old Apple computers under the guidance of our teacher. Do you remember using “Netscape” in the earlier years of your cyberlife? It’s the green logo, remember? Maybe some of you do remember or know, maybe not. The DS106 assignment I did this time relates to Netscape and the founder of Netscape.

Marc Andreessen :p by JD Lasica / SocialMedia.biz – CC Licensed via Flickr

The now multi-millionaire software engineer Marc Andereessen was a student and a part-time assistant of NCSA at the University of Illinois when he began his new browser development project. He was one of the second generation of the people who were introduced to WWW which Tim Berners-Lee created. However, at that time, the web browsers like Unix was expensive and they weren’t available for the general public. So Andereessen’s aim was to build a better user-friendly browser that everyone could use. As a result, he and his co-workers produced the Mosaic web browser. It was released to the public in the year 1993. There was a legal problem over the property of the Mosaic browser between the University of Illinois and the company Andereessen co-founded with his business partner. Mosaic had to be renamed to Netscape Navigator soon after its release.

I didn’t know until I read the information on Andereessen and Netscape that Netscape was originally named Mosaic. As you may have recognized, Netscape exists, but it’s no longer a popular browser. Netscape engaged in the Browser war with Microsoft, which became interested in the Internet business and hopped on the bandwagon. Then, as you can see, Internet Explorer won the war and became the dominant browser in the market.


Here’s the assignment detail:

Design Assignment: What the Font?
A common exercise in design school, take typographical elements (perhaps even the words of a story) and bring them to life.

Since we’re doing The Pioneers section, I wanted to continue on working on DS106 assignments with the pioneers theme. I don’t think I’ve seen an Andreessen post yet, and that is why I thought this article will be a good one to do. My design is a portrait unlike the rest of the posts that people have done. I wasn’t so sure how I would interpret the assignment mission, though there’s some typography essence in the image (the word NETSCAPE being blown away).

Now I’ve become slightly more experienced with using the image manipulation application, the time spent for creating the assignment has been reduced than before. I’m also eager to try new things.

( The white caption in the background is taken from the familiar Pioneers page).


Patty Pioneers – Weiner eating a wiener.

Original scanned photo by telehistoriska - CC Licensed via Flickr

Visual Assignment: Patty Pioneers

Simply put, this assignment involves editing a picture of any Computer Pioneer so that it looks like they are eating/about to eat/holding a burger or similar types of fast food.

After this morning’s class I thought I’d do a post on Weiner. I decided it was about time to move on to DS 106 assignments since we are ending the section in one week or so. My first intention was to start off with the easier creative assignments, but technology was intimidating me. It has been quite a while without touching any photo editing software. I have had experiences with Photoshop back in my high school years, because I was one of the yearbook editor. However, I couldn’t suddenly buy Photoshop and I never worked on freewares like GIMP or Inkscape. Both of them were installed in my laptop somehow, though I had no clue how to use them. It took me a few hours to begin the whole assignment, and I had trouble going through the process. I failed a few times, but thanks to the Internet Pioneers — I with helps from tutorial sites I actually got something done!

Whenever I see a dachshund, I always think “a hot dog is walking on the street”. As you know, the name hot dog derives from their long body that looks just like a wiener. I doubt that there are hardly any hot dog stands or shops out there using proper pork and beef mixed wiener sausages. Hot dog is fast food, right? It’s quick and easy to prepare. So I added a hot dog, a bottle of coke, and a plate of french fries in Norbert Wiener’s picture. In the original photo, he is holding a cigar between his fingers.

Norbert Wiener has an unique biography. The story of him being the child prodigy is interesting enough, but what appealed to me was the transformation of his ethics against science and politics. I think he is an almost underrated contributor to the fields of cybernetics, mathematics, and extensive studies he related to them. He has won significant awards and honors. However, I have a feel that people tend to pay attention on the sophisticated form of outcomes the more modern pioneers have produced. Perhaps, his partly Jewish origin had kept him away from further prestige and celebrity. I didn’t know him and thought that the originator of Cybernetics and electonic communications should be noticed by everyone. Also, along with accumulating some facts about Wiener from online readings, I realized that truly intelligent individuals seem to have similar human philosophy. They all work for the establishment of a better human society by applying what they specialize in. As I mentioned before, Wiener is a remarkable personage. His near-rebellious attitude towards the government and questions on the ethics of scientists distinguishes Wiener from the other pioneers we have covered so far.

The Anguish.

Visual Assignment: Make The Untranslatable Understood

Use the Random Words with No English Translation tool (http://lab.cogdogblog.com/nowords/) to generate a word that could be better understood with a photo or image. Find a creative commons image or make your own, and include the word somehow in the image (using a desktop photo editor or web tool like Aviary or PicNIk). Then share it with someone and ask if it makes sense.

anguished soul :p by kelsey_lovefusionphoto – CC Licensed via Flickr



This is my third DS106 assignment for the section. The image looks quite plain without any extra captions and effects, but I wanted it that way. I hope people can kind of guess what the word “toska” means by just looking at the image.

Toska – “At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning”

Before I restarted the assignment, I already had another image half done waiting in my CIS folder. That was suppose to be used, but I suddenly felt the desire to manipulate another photo instead for this assignment. It’s obvious that I haven’t spent too much time on this piece compared to the other posts I’ve done. I thought a messy complicated composition wouldn’t fit the picture, and therefore, the image was kept simple. The process was just about doing the glowing effects around the text to give a cold, but burning impression.

Everybody has the moments of anguish at certain times of their life. I often feel restless inside without a clear answer to why I feel like it. Sometimes you can’t really find the specific reason for feeling so disturbed. Even so, I think there are external and internal causes for feeling “toska”. We all live under pressure; the good and bad stress come into us at once. I imagine, that the same spiritual anguish must be lurking in the depths of every soul.

By the way, I fixed the tagline for this blog. I misspelled the word “newbie” incorrectly…!

What’s the Plural Form of Computer Mouse? Mice?

It’s Sunday night and I’m sitting on the sofa of my living room weary from a busy weekend with my laptop in front me. Yes, I’m finally doing my very first blog post! I’ve been brainstorming a bit and had an idea of what I wanted to write, but I couldn’t find the right timing to sit down and actually start blogging. Anyway, this article is devoted to Douglas Engelbart and his most famous invention — the mouse.


Out of the three Internet pioneers Engelbart may be my favorite. “The Mother of All Demos” (hypertext!) has interested me for two major reasons: 1) the invention of the mouse and some ubiquitous computer technologies; and 2) his lifelong contribution to the field of computer science. I might not have had the chance to write this article freely without his innovation. It’s the same for online telephony. Maybe we won’t be enjoying communicating on either Skype or Windows Live Messenger or any popular software. Engelbart has received many important awards for his achievements which gave significant impact to all our cyber-life. Other notable pioneers are also continuing to pursue their research and career, but I’m impressed by Engelbart’s vitality at the age of eighty-six.

Now, I’ll move on to what I really want to share with all of you. There are some unusual unique designed mice (ex. the extravagant handcrafted wooden mouse) out there that are just fun to look at.

paradox mouse Unusual Computer Mice You Probably Havent Seen Before

The Steampunk Mouse

Which mouse do you wanna try out? I’d probably pick the “Makeup” mouse or the “Jelly Click” mouse from the list: “Unusual Computer Mice You Probably Haven’t Seen Before”.

I think Engelbart wouldn’t have thought that his invention would transform into such art pieces. However, there’s a possibility that mice may disappear. I found some touch-sensetive tools such as optical mouse rings and the new five-fingered mouse. The recent trend in the market is to make everything more compact (what’s up with the newest generation of iPod nano?). Consequently, these toy-like types of tools may take over the role of Engelbart’s ingenious invention in the near future.