Browser Tab Amnesty #2

I finally updated my phone. The old iPhone 7 had a damn good 5-year stint, and hobbled across the line with a tired battery, a broken microphone (an issue that plagued the iPhone 7, so I read), and a case with all its silicone worn off. Worst of all, in the last weeks, the glass cracks expanded to the point of being able to see the insides, which is a tad gross when you anthropomorphise objects as I do. 

This time around, I decided not to copy everything across to the new phone. It’s a tidy iOS trick to restore all your previously backed up states and settings, but I wanted a fresh start. Back in the UK, setting myself up anew, looking at potential opportunities. It’s a new chapter. A new start. 

That said, the old 7 was also a bit of a mess inside too. Weird settings I changed and shouldn’t have, useless apps in folders that I couldn’t be bothered to sort through, cookies and caches that I can likely do without, and most of all, an enormous Safari tabs debt that I couldn’t face ignoring any longer. 

I couldn’t just delete it either though. I’m a bit of a tab hoarder. First self-diagnosed when the iOS tab limit was just 33! I like to use them as a soft reading list, reference file, idea jogger, and even a sort of serendipity engine when I stumble upon a long-forgotten reference that for some reason resonates, even more, many months later. 

So here we go again, following my first Browser Tabs Amnesty from long ago, with another, which will be followed by many more as I finally make my way through the now rather increased tab limit (which is 500 apparently, and I think the old phone was near it 😬). 

Tom Gauld draws lots of lovely robots.
I did this image search a looong time ago while daydreaming about a little philosophical comic strip project. I’ve long loved Toms work, ever since seeing what I think was his first exhibition at the old St. John Street offices of SEA. In later years I was lucky enough to share a studio with Tom and got to witness his work and processes first-hand. Since then though, an occasional image search of his work is all I have to scratch the itch. Lovely stuff, as always. 

Oat The Goat. An interactive, browser-based kids story from some very smart folk in New Zealand.
This was limit-pushing browser-based work when it first came out, so much so, that my browsers (iPhone and iPad at least) could hardly manage. Thankfully it’s still up and working, and on revisiting, it’s as impressive as ever. Simply beautiful animation, illustration, storytelling and voice work (listen to it being read, it’s magical). All that, on top of the brilliantly crafted build. Just look at these resources. 😍

DSM-5, aka. the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, aka. The ever-expanding project to catalogue all human traits for classification as ‘conditions’.
A weird reference to have kept, opened after reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. I think I was fascinated by his descriptions of what it is and what it represents. That the manual is both essential in helping to diagnose and treat serious illnesses, as well as a tool for pharmaceutical companies to use as a shopping list of new conditions that they can possibly push helpful drugs for. I may have misunderstood all of this, however, but the manual remains very interesting nonetheless. I’d love to have a browse one day. 

Itty bitty sites are contained entirely within their own link. (Including this one!). 
I remain to be fascinated and impressed by this project, while still unable to imagine a use for it, personally. Have a look at the length of the link once it’s open in your browser. That’s all the ‘code’ for the page and its contents. Clever, huh! Feels like something for, which I only just stumbled across today (see, a serendipity engine, I told you). 

An effective 60+ year-old responsive design guideline from Coca-Cola.
I refound this image when teaching about responsive website designs a few years back, when such ideas were still proving difficult for many to get their heads around. It feels like an ideal explainer for print designers to understand the notion that what they design for the screen cannot remain fixed, and instead must adjust in interesting ways. 

The Future Library. A newly planted forest, for paper, for a book to be printed in 100 years time.
And no one will read the book before then. I adore this project. It touches on so many ideas and speaks clearly to so many issues. Even just the fact that I will never live to see it be produced. Just brilliant. 

A nice recycled leather handwoven herringbone rug. 
Quite a change of pace to the previous link, but there’s an ecological theme running through. Mostly, it’s just a nice looking rug.  

Steve Jobs resisted third-party apps on iPhone.
An old reference, even for an old set of browser tabs, but it’s as useful and valid as ever when explaining ideas of iteration and pivoting to students (who are often wedded to the feeling that their ideas and work are ‘done’ or ‘finished’ or simply beyond improvement). I still marvel at it myself, that Jobs didn’t want third-party apps on the iPhone, meaning that he didn’t envisage the app store, or have any real inkling of the estimated $41.5 billion 2021 value/revenue (🤷‍♂️) of the Apple App Store. For me, this one example illustrates the really exciting prospect, that ideas are out there, waiting to be tried, tweaked, and developed, into potentially unimaginably valuable things. 

I want an artist made mechanical automata, please.
These things mesmerise me for some reason. Take a visit to the Southwold Pier Under the Pier Show for large scale real-life examples (or visit Maybe it’s to do with how utterly analogue and in-person these objects are. So far from anything web, app or tech-based. Oh, and I found another tab with a site selling nice automata kits too.  

Control Panels. In praise of dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs.
Look! This one’s so old, it’s a Tumblr! Again, I’m slightly mesmerised by control panels and don’t really know why. I loved the Lego ones as a kid, and always take a ton of photos when I come across some in real life. I just need to be careful that the fascination doesn’t let loose at (where I need nothing but want everything). 

Lovely robots by Tom Gauld
Oat The Goat
Coca-Cola advertising manual at Letterform Archive: Vertical and Special Treatments
Lego control panels
Cafeteria La Termica Museo Nacional Energia Ponferrada Spain, by me.
Teenage Engineering pocket operator modular 400