Work can’t be fun

Dan Pallotta writes that worry isn’t work, and that our attitude of self-punishment equalling responsibility is flawed.

We have to rethink what it means to work and to be productive. We have to disentangle self-hatred from responsibility, self-criticism from self-care.

What does re-thinking mean in this case? Start thinking of being hard on yourself as being irresponsible. Start thinking of wasting half of your brain power on fantasies about your own destruction as self-indulgent. Conflate self-negativity with laziness. Start thinking of time for yourself as being responsible. Start thinking of a healthy mid-day meal as essential to your productivity, time away from your desk as productive.

It also doesn’t hurt to find a job doing something that you love. They say you never work a day in your life.

Vitamin soup

An article from Richard Morgan about his experiences in seven years as a freelance writer.

Freelancing requires such strict adherence to toadyism, to sycophancy, to the grubbiest, lowliest submissions. It is an on-spec life and it is full of what can only be described as insane serendipity (or serendipitous insanity).

An interesting read if you’ve got any designs on being a freelance writer.

The first digital camera

The first digital camera

Steve Sasson created the world’s first digital camera in 1976, while working at Kodak. He discusses the development of the camera in this video.

It was a camera that didn’t use any film to capture still images – a camera that would capture images using a CCD imager and digitize the captured scene and store the digital info on a standard cassette. It took 23 seconds to record the digitized image to the cassette. The image was viewed by removing the cassette from the camera and placing it in a custom playback device.

Given Moore’s Law, they estimated that it would take 15 to 20 years before such a camera reached the general consumer. The patent file contains a description and drawings of the apparatus.

Madden history

The story behind Madden NFL and how it became a video game dynasty (via marc). EA saved more than $35 million by reverse engineering the SEGA console, and signing a deal that guaranteed they wouldn’t give the technology to competitors.

Hawkins assembled a team to reverse engineer the console — that is, figure out a way to make EA’s games run on Sega’s hardware without its technology or approval as a way to avoid licensing fees altogether.

The game has evolved far beyond it’s modest roots, and can be somewhat daunting to play for the first time. I find the same thing when I try to sit down with one of the newer incarnations of the NHL series, compared to the console game. In the versions I played as a kid, you could pretty much just shoot, pass and check. I imagine most of the EA sports games are like that these days, drifting more towards simulation than arcade style play.

8 Faces magazine

8 Faces in the wild

My copy of Elliot Jay Stocks’ new magazine, 8 Faces, just arrived in the post this morning. I was lucky enough to snag a copy during the short period before it sold out. Given the nature of the online typography community, I had a feeling the limited print run would be snapped up in short order. There is still a pdf available for purchase if you’re interested.

The magazine is devoted to typography, asking eight leading designers which typefaces they would use if they were limited to just eight for the rest of their lifetime. It features interviews with Erik Spiekermann, Jessica Hische, Ian Coyle, Jason Santa Maria, Jos Buivenga, Jon Tan and Bruce Willen & Nolen Strals. It also features an introduction by John Boardley and artwork by Able Parris (available for download).

I’ve had the pdf sitting around for a couple weeks, but have avoided reading it, because I wanted to see the magazine in print first. Can’t say that I’m disappointed for waiting, there’s been a lot of care and effort put into it. Elliot has written an article about his experiences with getting it published. The magazine is gorgeous and I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading the entire thing.

Typefaces of the decade

Paul Shaw picks the ten typefaces of the decade.

It is not a list of my favorite typefaces, nor is it a list of the most popular typefaces. Instead, it is a list of typefaces that have been “important” for one reason or another. However, I am not going to provide my reasons. Instead, I am going to let the readers of this blog see if they can figure out the contribution that each of these ten faces makes. This list is not definitive. It is only a suggestion. There are several other typefaces I reluctantly jettisoned because I wanted to keep the list small.

As with any such list, there are bound to be those who agree and disagree with the typefaces. He provides the rationale for each of his choices in one of the comments.

I am not a big fan of a number of faces on my list–some I detest and others I just find ugly–which is why it is not a list about popularity or about aesthetics but about something more elusive. There is a bias in my list toward typefaces that are functional, experimental or somehow the “first”.

You’re your own boss now

Connor O’Brien takes a look at your day as a freelance writer.

Alright, now you’re out of bed. You’ll work two hours later to make up for the wasted time. Or maybe you’ll just work a little harder during the day. Yeah, that’s it. Don’t work longer, work smarter. You read that somewhere.

Or your day as pretty-much freelance anything. It’s all about motivation and self-control, which can easily go flying out the window.

Bill Murray interview

Dan Fierman snags a rare interiew with Bill Murray.

I don’t think a director, as often as not, knows what is going to play funny anyway. As often as not, the right one is the one that they’re surprised by, so I don’t think that they have the right tone in their head. And I think that good actors always—or if you’re being good, anyway—you’re making it better than the script. That’s your fucking job.