Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book Covers for 1984 12-14-09

These are different book covers for 1984, the novel by George Orwell. This book is set in a bleak future where a totalitarian government enforces control by eliminating privacy and instilling fear in its citizens.

This is the Indonesian cover for 1984. It may not necessarily fit with the story, since people in the book aren't necessarily bar-coded. However, it may symbolize how people in the book are not seen as individuals.

The big, colorful balloon-type letters against the blank background don't exactly fit with the tone of the story. As stated earlier, this story is about a bleak, dystopian future. The letters give off a cheerful tone.

This cover is stark and simple, with a single piece of torn paper saying "Nineteen Eighty-Four". It doesn't give us much information about the book itself. However, that may be a good thing to stir up the curiosity of those wanting to read the book.
This cover shows Big Brother juxtaposed with the tagline, "Big Brother is Watching You". In the lower-left corner, there is a rat. The rat is an important symbol in the book, but revealing what it symbolizes may spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet.

This cover was shown to us in class. Let me say that this cover is both unintentionally hilarious and inappropriate in many ways. First, the woman in the foreground is supposed to be part of the "anti-sex union", and yet she's wearing a cleavage exposing uniform, which ends up being seductive. Second, the man in black seems to be wearing a disturbing type of leather uniform, making him look like an S&M man. Also, everyone seems to be wearing sleeveless uniforms, even though they wouldn't be wearing this in the book. This cover is pretty unfitting. In fact, the cover makes the book look more like pornography than anything.

This cover is fairly recent. The cover depicts an eye in the middle of what appears to be a Communist-styled poster, evident in its use of black and red. The eye is supposed to symbolize how everyone in the society is being watched by Big Brother.

Alternate Book Covers for Brave New World 12-14-09

This entry is about different book covers of the same book. This book is titled Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The book is about a futuristic "Utopian" society in which people were all cloned, conditioned and placed into different social groups. The cloned people are all free to take drugs called Soma and participate in non-conceptual sex.

This cover uses the tagline: "The mighty novel of a soulless, streamlined Eden, and two who escape it". We believe that the two people in the cover are supposed to be the "Adam" and "Eve" of the story. This couple starts to escape from modern society into a more "primitive" place, just like in the Biblical book of Genesis. It is not clear who these characters from the book are.
The human limbs with the body of mechanical parts is somewhat reminiscent of Dada(an early 1900s art movement that rebelled against everything), yet at the same time, it symbolizes the mechanical nature of the futuristic society in which the book takes place.

This cover was inspired by Futurism, an art movement that embraced the increasingly mechanized society. More specifically, it may have been inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang movie Metropolis, which also features a futuristic society.
This book cover captures the futuristic nature of the book and the humanoid "robots" symbolize the clones and how the clones were conditioned, or rather "programmed", to obey the society and to appreciate their own social class at an early age.

Playstation Portable Models 12-13-09

This journal entry will be about the different models of the Playstation Portable. There have been four models, thus far. First, let's look at the first three.

The first PSP model, also known as the PSP-1000, is the bulkiest of the three. The control stick is also bulkier. They've flattened it in the newer models. The newer models(2000 and 3000) have more features as well, including built-in microphone and more hard-drive memory than the 1000.

Now let's look at the PSP Go.

The PSP Go is the smallest and youngest PSP model. Unfortunately, there is no UMD drive and gamers will have to buy and download games from the Playstation Network(if they have a PS3). This may prove frustrating and costly for people who already own games bought from the PSN.
In fact, this may be Sony's equivalent to the iPod Shuffle(see previous entry for details). I would rather take the PSP-3000 over the PSP Go, because of more functionality, just like the iPhone vs. the iPod Touch.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

iPod models 12-12-09

This journal entry is about Apple's MP3 device, the iPod, and its different models. The iPod Classic, Touch, and Nano have screen interfaces, but the Shuffle doesn't, which may make it hard to know what song is coming up, unless you've memorized the order of the song track. Though, if I may, there may be a misnomer. If anything, the Shuffle and Nano should switch names, because the Shuffle is the smallest iPod model, and the word "nano" implies tiny size.

Overall, which model does the general public like the most?

After multiple fights on Googlefight, it seems as if the iPod Touch is the best or most popular iPod model.

Oddly, the iPod Touch, the most functional model, looks almost like the lost twin brother of the iPhone. In fact, this article from AppleiPhoneReview states that consumers will have a hard choice choosing between the two, but also points out that the iPod touch has less features than the iPhone.

I'm not sure which to go for, either. The iPhone only has 8GB of space, but has phone functionality. The iPod touch has 16GB, but less functionality. It's a balancing act.

Which one would win in It seems that the iPhone is the overall winner. It seems that overall functionality is better than file size.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Google Chrome 12-11-09

This is the video ad for Youtube Chrome. I'd like to thank Thomas Shackelford for sending it to me.

Anyway, I've just watched the ad, and I think that Google was very creative in showing how their web browser works. For example, they used a Rube Goldberg device to show a metaphor in how fast the website is. In another segment, they had balloons labelled with "dangerous" symbols as a metaphor for viruses and malicious software. Then they popped the balloons with sharp objects, but the browser "window" protected the viewer from getting splattered by the gunk from the balloons. This illustrates how Google Chrome can protect your computer from viruses.

At the end of the full video, a "menu" shows up and it uses annotations as links to different parts of the video, just like in the Youtube videos.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Online Egg-timer 12-11-09

This is an online egg timer that I have found recently. I think that this very tool itself combines Mr. Mannheimer's lectures on "time" and "metaphors" into one.

It deals with time, since you can set a certain amount of time in this screen to do what you have to do. This is also a metaphor for a real countdown timer that is usually found on microwaves, digital watches, etc.

The stop watch in this picture is a metaphor for a real hourglass, which was formerly used to tell and/or measure time. Speaking of which, I actually set this timer for 2 min. and 1 sec. as a reference to N201.

You could also make a game out of this countdown timer, such as "how many letters can you type in (number of) minutes and (number of) seconds?" or "how many words can you write in(amount of time)?" Anything is possible.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Red Robin Food Customizer 12-9-09

This is the food customizer from the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers website.

I think that this is pretty interesting, because it allows you to make continuous changes to your burger or meal of choice until you pick the one that's perfect for you...that is, if you go to Red Robin or plan to do so.

Burger King and Five Guys' burger chains also allow custom burgers with multiple extra toppings, but this customizer is better than both, in my opinion, because it has a wider range of condiments and toppings than those chains. It also lets you see the caloric intake of the customized burger or food of choice, so it's perfect for those health-conscious "calorie watchers".

This is pretty much a literal example of Mr. Mannheimer's food metaphors. He might like this. :)

Evolution of 12-9-09

Recently, I looked through for the the past designs of the Netscape website. Netscape used to be one of the early browsers in the World Wide Web's history. It had since "died" as a browser and lives on only as an AOL-owned website.

Netscape 1996

The website started out simple and was actually only a platform from which Netscape could sell their software and offer downloads of their browser.

Netscape 1998

In 1998, America Online(AOL) bought Netscape and the site's design had changed. It was no longer just a platform to distribute Netscape software. The website now distributed AOL Instant Messenger and had more topics to cover.

Netscape 2009 compared with 2009

After Netscape discontinued its browser service, AOL redesigned its website. The design actually looks almost the same as AOL's main website and offers the same services.

Works Cited

"Netscape -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 09 Dec. 2009. [].

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Evolution of 12-8-09

I've searched through for old versions of today's websites. Today's entry will be a bit unorthodox, because today, I will be discussing Deviantart is a type of online community where you can submit digital or traditional art, gain feedback on said art, and make friends. It also has a forum and chat rooms. I have first experienced Deviantart around 2005. 2000

This site was much smaller back then, and featured less art as well. It also has a small list of categories of art in the left column of the site.

Deviantart 2009

The site has become very popular and now displays thumbnails of art. Just like its 2000 counterpart, it still contains a list of categories of art in the left column. However, they have added more subcategories to each one. It also shows what art has been popular, how popular and for how long.

Vischeck 12-8-09

I'm taking a break from "Evolution" blog entries to introduce people to this website called Vischeck.
Vischeck is a website devoted to colorblindness.

It has a colorblind image simulator that simulates three types of colorblindness:
  • Deuteranopia(red/green colorblindness; the most common type)
  • Protanopia(a less common type of red/green colorblindness)
  • Tritanopia(the rarest type of colorblindness; blue/yellow colorblindness)
This is a normal color wheel:

This is how the three different types of colorblind people see the same wheel:



Deuteranopes and Protanopes see a normal color wheel only in shades and tints of blue and yellow.


In contrast to red/green colorblind people, tritanopes only see a color wheel in shades and tints of pink and aqua.

I think this site is interesting, because it allows us to empathize with colorblind people and see what they see.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Evolution of 12-5-09 1998

I've recently searched through's Wayback Machine in order to look for old designs for the search engine, or in this picture, as it was formerly called, Ask Jeeves! Jeeves was the butler mascot for the site until 2005. As for the design of the site, it was very compact, as were search engines such as Google and Yahoo!(see previous posts). 2006

This design was after the website phased out its mascot Jeeves. It was renamed to and had a simpler layout than the older design. And used two main colors: red and white. 2009

The current design for the site now advertises "today's deals and has selectable backgrounds". However, it remains as simple as the 2006 design. It seems that and Google followed the same parallel path when it comes to "keeping it simple".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Evolution of 12-2-09

Recently, I have searched through to find old versions of websites in order to trace their evolutions. Today's blog entry will focus on is the eponymous home website for the internet provider America Online.

This is America Online's logo. It is mainly blue. This is another element to consider when look at the evolution of the site. 1996

This website design was from the holiday season of 1996, which implies holidays such as Christmas. The red in the site represents one of the main colors of Christmas. It also represents poinsettias, the flowers that are usually present during Christmas. There is blue in the links on the left hand side of the site, which match the colors in the logo shown above. This is also very simple compared to later versions of the site. 2008

Note: the CSS in this design is messed up because of the archiving process. 2009

The current design of the site has a modified logo, but it maintains a bluish color, just like its old logo. It, like and Yahoo!, forewent simplicity in favor of the "wealth of information; poverty of attention" theory referred to in the blog entry. It also features a search engine at the top of the page, like Yahoo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Evolution of Wikipedia 12-1-09

Recently, I have searched through to find old versions of websites in order to trace their evolutions. Today's blog entry will focus on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a collaborative website where users contribute information from other sources to a certain topic or topics.

Wikipedia 2001

Wikipedia, at its beginnings, was very expansive and organized, but not exactly as streamlined and diverse in audience as the later versions.

Wikipedia 2008

Since then, Wikipedia has evolved and caters to more than one language. They even created a new logo, which resembles a globe made of puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces symbolize the information that the user contributes to a biography, concept, or topic, making a more complete picture of the world and its history as a whole.

Wikipedia 2009

One year later, Wikipedia expanded even more and allows for more languages. How far will this trend continue? Time will tell.

Works Cited

"Wikipedia -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Dec. 2009. [].

Evolution of Altavista 12-1-09

Recently, I have searched through to find old versions of websites in order to trace their evolutions. Today's blog entry will focus on the search engine Altavista. Altavista, according to Wikipedia, had existed since 1995, before Yahoo and Google("AltaVista").

Altavista 1996

This was the earliest version of Altavista that I could find on the Internet Archive, since the oldest year was 1996. This version is very compact compared to a future version.

Altavista 2001

This version was the newest version that the Internet Archive had for "". This version was more complex and expanded than the older version and has more topics. This was before Altavista was bought out by Overture Services and Yahoo! in 2003. However, according to Wikipedia, Altavista actually has an alternate web address:

Altavista 2003

This was in 2003 after Overture and Yahoo had bought Altavista. The search engine has become almost as compact as its 1996 counterpart.

Altavista 2009

Altavista 2009 is virtually unchanged from its 2003 version. The top tabs have become fewer in number in order to reformat the site in order to streamline navigation even more.

Works Cited

"AltaVista -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Dec. 2009. [].