cystems launch

4 01 2010

I kick-started 2010 with the launch of a project I’ve been working on for a bit now: the rebranded website of our family business, Cystems Inc. The site went live on New Year’s Day and let me tell you, there is just no better way to start a new year than feeling totally productive and accomplished! So with that said, check out the website here at cystems.ca and feel free to give me any feedback/comments.

via Pop + Shorty

Anyway, building the site reminded me of my early days working with HTML…way, way back during the time of AsianAvenue (which I have just recently discovered is now known as “AsianAve”). I know there are a number of you who still remember that site (don’t lie now!). It’s probably the first social networking website that I was ever involved with and now looking back on that, it’s easy to see the seeds of this whole social media/social networking revolution. I remember back in the late 90s to the early ’00s (yeah, it’s been that long), all my friends and I would be on this site 24/7…it was the Facebook of that time, no doubt, and that’s where I first learned the magic of markup languages. We’d all show off our “AA page” whenever we had a new layout up or any other kind of new addition. We’d write about our thoughts and about our day to day life…like an unrefined version of how we blog today. And we’d write on “guestbooks” just how we’d now write on each others “walls” or write each other a “testimonial” (remember Friendster?).

So even though I cringe at the thought of my AsianAvenue days, the truth is that I owe a lot of what I’m doing professionally to that time in my life. It’s funny looking back and tracing the path of technology at a time when it was just bursting at its seams and being in the middle of its incredible explosion right now.

…But anywho, just thought I’d share some memories with you before I shamelessly plug Cystems Inc. one last time! Check it out, check it out!

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Disappearing Ink: Thoughts On a Dying Art Form…

15 12 2009

“The bundles of paper are bound by brittle elastics, stuffed into broken-down shoeboxes and shoved under the bed.

Flowered notepaper displays the familiar swirls and curls of a childhood best friend who moved away. One glimpse and I am 12 again, ripping open envelopes and fretting over who has replaced me.

A teenage boy’s first declaration of love is hidden in a page of scrawl, the three brave words less daunting to put on paper than utter aloud.

My father’s quirky upright script is as distinctive as his blue eyes peering from a family photo. As a kid, finally managing to decipher it was as exhilarating as winning the 25-yard dash on track and field day.

There are a colleague’s reflections in fountain pen, so handsome they could have been written by a medieval scribe. Camp letters scribbled in haste by a son who couldn’t wait to get back to his canoe. Words that slump with the homesickness of a sister living half a world away.”

— Andrea Gordon


I read this article about “The Death of Handwriting” (excerpt above) earlier today and man, did it hit me like a ton of bricks! I know it sounds silly but I was actually fighting back tears as I was reading it. As a (hand)writer myself, losing this art is like losing a loved one. Growing up, handwriting was something I tried hard to master…yet something I always detested because it was forced upon us to learn in school. “Cursive?”, our class would moan, “…why learn it when printing is sooooo much easier”. It was hard and it was ugly. But as the years went on, we had no choice but to embrace it and I remember a time in junior high when my girlfriends and I would compare our handwriting with one another. “Ohhhh I like your ‘G’…let me see if I can copy it!” And so we would try to imitate each other…picking and choosing the letters and styles that we thought were ‘pretty’…each one of us trying to find our identity through penmanship. I remember distinctly, at one point, all of our writings actually looked oddly similar. Until those days of imitation stopped and comparing with one another was no longer a priority… Read the rest of this entry »