Accomplishments

Aluminum: Common Metal, Uncommon Past

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about how Aluminum went from being a precious metal (in its elemental form) to being cheap enough to use as a construction material, focusing on the 1880’s work of two chemists who discovered, almost simultaneously, the process to extract it.

Introduction: “In the mid-1800s aluminum was more valuable than gold. Napoléon III’s most important guests were given aluminum cutlery, while those less worthy dined with mere silver; fashionable and wealthy women wore jewelry crafted of aluminum. Today aluminum is a critical component of modern life, found in airplanes, automobiles, soft drink cans, construction materials, cooking equipment, guardrails, and countless other products. The difference between scarcity and abundance (and between obscurity and ubiquity) of this metal depended solely on scientists’ ability to find the way to release it—the third most common element in the earth’s crust by weight—from its ore.”

Chemical Heritage Foundation
Article
September, 2007
3200 words

Envisioning the Wind: Meteorology Graphics at Weather Underground

First page of article as it appeared in print

A feature detailing how the website Weather Underground manages data, produces weather graphics, and collects crowdsourced information to put together its content.

IEEE
Article
September, 2007
4000 words

Real estate in an unreal world

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about real-estate tours in the “virtual world” of Second Life.

San Francisco Chronicle
Article
September, 2007
1500 words

A star with a tail: Stellar streak tells of 30,000 years of history.

Article as it appeared on the web

A news story about an astronomical discovery.

Intro: “Astronomers have found an unexpected treat on a star first described more than 400 years ago – the streak of a 13-light-year-long tail. The tail, the first seen of its kind, could provide clues about how celestial bodies are formed from the material spat out by such aging stars.”

Nature.com
Article
August, 2007
600 words

Conversions, Part 3: Marketing converted properties as stylish and practical

Article as it appeared on the web

The third part in a series of three articles about how old properties are being used for new purposes. (Note: As of August 2013, these articles are incorrectly attributed to another author in the byline, but are correct in the footer.)

Inman News
Article, Series
August, 2007
950 words

Conversions, Part 2: Speculation in condo conversions: South Florida’s cautionary tale

Article as it appeared on the web

The second part in a series of three articles about how old properties are being used for new purposes. (Note: As of August 2013, these articles are incorrectly attributed to another author in the byline, but are correct in the footer.)

Inman News
Article, Series
August, 2007
1000 words

Conversions, Part 1: Changing building’s use presents challenges and rewards

Article as it appeared on the web

The first part in a series of three articles about how old properties are being used for new purposes. (Note: As of August 2013, these articles are incorrectly attributed to another author in the byline, but are correct in the footer.)

Inman News
Article, Series
August, 2007
1100 words

Checkmate for checkers

Article as it appeared on the web

A news story about checkers being “solved” — that is, proven that it’s possible to draw against even a perfectly played game.

Nature.com
Article
July, 2007
600 words

Going global with QuarkXPress 7

Article as it appeared in email

Written for the the premiere issue of a newsletter by software publisher Quark, this article discusses their flagship product’s globalization-friendly features.

Quark
Article
July, 2007
1000 words

Lots of Frustration: Buying government-seized properties can be more of a nuisance than it’s worth

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about tax auctions in the Bay Area, for the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle’s real-estate section.

San Francisco Chronicle
Article
June, 2007
2000 words

Review: Scrivener

Article as it appeared on the web

A review of the text editor/organizational program for writers.

MacLife
Article, Review
June, 2007
600 words

Review: Adobe Illustrator CS3

Article as it appeared on the web

A review of the popular illustration program.

MacLife
Article, Review
May, 2007
650 words

Cannabinoids: A Secret History

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about the chemical history of cannabinoids — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — touching on medical and legal issues. No longer available on the Chemical Heritage site.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
Article
May, 2007
3000 words

Plastic sheet delivers wireless power

Article as it appeared on the web

A news article about wireless power transmission.

Intro: “Annoyed by the tangle of power cords under your desk? A sheet of plastic invented by researchers in Japan could one day make for tables and walls that power devices placed on them — without any need for wires or plugs. Computers could be powered through the desks on which they sit, for example, or flat-screen televisions through the walls where they hang.”

Nature.com
Article
April, 2007
600 words

Review: EazyDraw

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

MacLife
Article, Review
April, 2007
400 words

Review: Intaglio

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

MacLife
Article, Review
April, 2007
250 words

Review: Lineform

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

MacLife
Article, Review
April, 2007
300 words

From Student Project to Retail Distribution: Lineform Uses Xcode and Core Image

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a graphic-design tool. Copy available on request.

Intro: “Will Thimbleby didn’t set out to write an illustration program. He needed to create drawings for a project, but he found he couldn’t afford the market-leading application and was unable to find a lower-cost option that suited him. So the 25-year-old doctoral student opened Apple’s Xcode tools and built his own.The result is Lineform, a vector drawing program that challenges the features of pricey competitors while sporting a far more accessible interface. His homegrown “scratch-an-itch” project won the 2006 Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Student Product, and soon after was picked up by software publisher Freeverse, Inc.”

Apple
Article, Case study
April, 2007
2000 words

Imaging the World: The State of Online Mapping

First page of article as it appeared in print

A feature article for Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE.

Abstract: “Consumer sites such as MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps, and Google Maps compete to improve their interfaces and data relevance to better appeal to the browsing public. But innovation in online mapping isn’t limited to these household names. Sites for the public good, such as those the US government manages, provide graphical access to data buried in such sources as the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the decennial census. Meanwhile, community mapping sites let the public provide local details, find nearby colleagues, and organize information in ways unknown 10 years ago.”

IEEE
Article
March, 2007
5000 words

Building WingNuts in Xcode with OpenGL: Freeverse Creates a Great Mac-only Game

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a game. Copy available on request.

Intro: “The 11-person team at Freeverse, Inc. might be small, but the company has scored big with the action arcade game Wingnuts 2: Raina’s Revenge , which won the 2006 Eddy Award for Best Game and was named runner-up for the 2006 Apple Design Awards for Best Mac Game. Freeverse created a fun and addictive game, and according to the development team, the road to outstanding creative development was paved with Apple technologies such as Xcode, QuickTime, Core Image, the platform’s OpenGL implementation, and Mac OS X as a whole.”

Apple
Article, Case study
March, 2007
1800 words

Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in Museums and Galleries

First page of article as it appeared in print

My first feature article for the “Applications” section of Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Abstract: “Just as online shopping is a bellwether of advanced online technologies, so are museum and gallery showcases for the best in computer display and interface technology. In the first case, commerce demands that speed and reliability get priority, in the latter, technological invisibility is foremost. The museum experience is an unusually tactile, sensual one, and the standard keyboard-mouse-and-screen setup might seem out of place. This trend toward sensual involvement is particularly noticeable in tabletop displays, as they appeal to two aspects of familiar daily life: the horizontal surface as a workspace, and hand gestures (or common objects) as tools for manipulating information.”

IEEE
Article
September, 2006
4000 words