Jeff Croft

I’m a product designer in Seattle, WA. I recently worked at Simply Measured, and previously co-founded Lendle.

Some of my past clients include Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and the University of Washington.

I’ve authored two books on web and interactive design and spoken at dozens of conferences around the world.

I’m currently accepting contract work and considering full-time opportunities.

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March 2005

  • Blog entry // 03.28.2005 // 3:05 PM // 12 Comments

    Thank you, Microsoft, for IE5/Mac

    As much as I wish we didn’t have to contend with it anymore, it’s important to realize that when Microsoft’s Mac team released Internet Explorer 5 for Macintosh, five years ago today, it was by far the most advanced browser on any platform — and it remains one of the most significant browser releases ever. It is to Tantek and his team that we owe a great deal, for IE5/Mac was the first browser to offer any really notable CSS support, as well as provide many innovations that are now commonplace in all browsers (DOCTYPE switching and PNG compatibility come to mind). Us standards advocates should remember, as we begin to drop IE5/Mac off the list of browsers we actively support, that if it wasn’t for this release, with its Tasman rendering engine, none of us would be where we are today.

    Thank you, Microsoft, and especially Tantek Çelik, for showing us the way. IE5/Mac was truly one of the best and most important products Microsoft ever released.

  • Blog entry // 03.28.2005 // 10:47 AM // 6 Comments

    Mac OS X plus TiVo: Ideal Mac media center?

    Many a blog post has been written about folks’ desire for a Mac OS X equivalent to Windows Media Center Edition, including a few here at However, after receiving my Mac mini and pairing it up with my TiVo Series2, I wonder if I don’t already have a nearly ideal “Media Mac.”

  • Blog entry // 03.24.2005 // 3:10 PM // 9 Comments

    Want a PSP?

    If you’re one of the many who are drooling over the brand new Sony PSP, released today, don’t forget that you can get on free (and help me get one, too), through Gratis’ I’ll just leave it at that — no more begging, I swear. :)

  • Blog entry // 03.23.2005 // 3:38 PM // 20 Comments

    Calculate the odds of making your hand — on the spot.

    I’ve not made a poker-related entry in a while, and I just read learned a nice method to estimating the odds of making your hand in Hold ‘Em, so I thought I’d post it here. I’m not sure who credit for this method goes to, but I picked it up in an article by Clonie Gowen, a professional poker player from Texas (you might know her from her win on the World Poker Tour’s Ladies night a couple years back).

    In order to determine the odds to your made hand, you must first know two things:

    1. What hand you are you are trying to make (straight? flush? trips? etc.)
    2. How many outs you have. An “out” is any card that can make your hand. For example, if you are holding K10, and the flop is QA2, then you have four “outs” to make your straight — the four jacks in the deck.

    Once you know these two things, a very simple two-step process that any math flunky like me can do will get you a good estimate on your odds of making the hand:

    1. Multiply the number of outs you have by the number of chances you have to hit the card (so, if the turn and river are still to come, multiply by two. If only the river is left, multiply by one).
    2. Double that number.

    An example: if you are holding QJ and the flop has a K and a 10, you have eight outs to make a straight (four nines and four aces). You have both the turn and river to come, so multiply your eight outs by two: 16. Then, double that number, and you have approximatley a 32% chance of making a straight.

    Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not the same as having a 32% chance of winning. A straight may not win. There could be a flush possibility on the board. Even if you make the K-high straight, someone could have made an A-high straight. Or, the board could pair and someone could make a full house. You get the idea. We’re only calculating the odds of you making your hand, not the odds of you winning the pot. It’s still up to you to figure out if your made hand is a winner or not.

    But, it’s a fast and easy way to determine the approximate odds to making the hand you’re looking for. This method is typically correct to within two percentage points.

    A couple more examples:

    • If you are holding two clubs, and there are two clubs on the board after the turn, then you have 9 outs to the flush (nine more clubs in the deck). You’ve got only one chance to hit the flush (the river). You can skip step two (multiplying by one is rather pointless), and then double it (step three): you’ve got about an 18% chance to make your flush.
    • If you have pocket threes, what are you chances of making trips? You’ve got two outs to the trips (two more threes in the deck). You’ve got five chances to hit one of them (flop, turn, river). 2x5=10. Double that: about a 20% chance of making trips with a pocket pair.
  • Photo // 03.15.2005 // 1:51 PM // flickr

    Rock Chalk.

  • Photo // 03.15.2005 // 1:51 PM // flickr

    Rock Chalk.

  • Blog entry // 03.15.2005 // 9:54 AM // 7 Comments

    SXSW for the Absent

    Since I was unable to attend SXSW, I’ve been enjoying vicarious living through Flickr, where there are quite a few photos posted of the event. It’s nice to get a good look at some of my online buddies in action, especially those that don’t often show up in pictures. Here are a few sets I’ve found from my Flickr contacts to tide over those of you who, like me, are stuck at work this week:

    In particular, this photo by Jeremy give you a quick look at the mugs of a lot of standards-o-sphere folk. It also demonstrates that most of them are total nerds, and The Z is so nerdy that even the nerds are leaving him out of their clique. Poor guy.

    I’d imagine there will be more coming. I hope so, anyway. If you’ve posted your SXSW pics, feel free to drop the URL in my comments. It’s quite a lot of fun to see you all!

  • Blog entry // 03.14.2005 // 1:23 PM // 15 Comments

    People who are at SXSW suck.

    As most of my peers (or at least fantasy football competitors) spent their weekend traveling, blogging, getting their geek on, and partying in Austin, I was relegated to my usual: Aggieville. Not that I’m complaining. I had a great weekend, actually. I admit to being jealous of yous that are in Longhorn-land right now, but I’m making the best of it.

  • Blog entry // 03.09.2005 // 1:32 PM // 4 Comments

    Catching up.

    Hello all. Just wanted to drop a quick note to say that I apologize for the lack of updates recently. I’ve been pretty busy with client work, and frankly, haven’t had a whole lot to say. I’ll get back to the usual mad posting schedule as soon as possible.

    My free Mac mini showed up today, proving once again that Gratis is legit. I’m still waiting on my free iPod shuffle, though — seems the supply is pretty low. Having gotten a free iPod and Mac mini, I’m confident I will get the shuffle, too — I just don’t know when.

    Finally, since I’ve been getting e-mails about it, i want to let everyone know that I’m not going to SXSW. I really, really wanted to but it just didn’t work out with my work schedule. I hope everyone has fun there next week, and I hope to see plenty of party pictures in your various flickr accounts. Someone should take a picture holding a sign that says, “We wish you were here, Croft.” It would really make my day. Especially if the person holding the sign was naked. That would be funny.

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