Charles Morris

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Published Works by Charles Morris


Recent posts from the Charged Newswire Blog



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Workhorse’s new plug-in hybrid pickup truck

June 20, 2017

An electric pickup? There isn’t even a hybrid pickup available from any major manufacturer. Over the years, we’ve reported on a few smaller companies with electric pickup plans that have delivered with varying degrees of success. Trendsetter Tesla has recently announced plans for an electric pickup (Model P?), but its offering is not expected to hit the market for at least four years. Meanwhile, Workhorse, an Ohio-based public company with about 115 employees, is way past the talking stage.

New Eagle and Inventev develop electric Ford Transit

May 10, 2017

The business case for electrifying commercial vans would seem to be a no-brainer. In the real world however, pilot projects are plentiful, but substantial orders have been slow to materialize. More than one promising startup has gone under while waiting for fleet customers to take the plunge. Meanwhile, Michigan-based New Eagle has quietly thrived, making control software and systems for a variety of applications, including traditional ICE powertrains and hydraulic equipment.

Echo Automotive aims for the plug-in fleet sweet spot

June 12th, 2014

The commercial fleet market offers opportunities for a smaller company to carve out a niche developing a powertrain solution, without the need to build the sort of massive manufacturing and marketing infrastructure that an OEM in the passenger car market needs. Echo Automotive has a unique proposition: it has developed a “bolt-on” solution designed to offer fleet operators increased efficiency and lower costs with a minimum of installation hassle.

Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher on the future of the leading electric motorcycle company

May 14th, 2014

Electric motorcycles are one of the most interesting stories in the EV world today, both because of their recent impressive accomplishments on the racetrack and because of the future potential for high-volume sales, especially in international markets. Ashland, Oregon-based Brammo is one of the leading makers of two-wheeled EVs, and its story has much in common with that of a certain other up-and-coming EV manufacturer.

Tom Gage on Tesla’s early days, ZEV mandates and V2G technology

April 7th, 2014

Tom Gage is one of America’s true EV pioneers. He’s perhaps best known as one of the designers of the tzero electric sports car that provided the inspiration for the Tesla Roadster. However, that is far from his only contribution to the electric mobility field. Charged recently caught up with Gage for a chat about California zero-emission mandates, the early days of Tesla, building powertrains for BMW, and his latest venture, integrating EVs into the power grid of the future.

Telefonix bets on Level 1 commercial charging stations

April 3rd, 2014

While most of the discussion about commercial EVSE seems to revolve around peoples’ desire for ever-faster charging, Telefonix has taken the opposite approach, producing what is designed to be the first true commercial Level 1 charging station on the market. Telefonix has a long history in the aviation business, making retractable cord reels and other electronic products. If you’ve ever pulled the phone out of the armrest on an airplane, you’ve used one of Telefonix’s retractable cord reels.

2014 Cadillac ELR: technology trickling up

January 20th, 2014

No other vehicle brand has been mentioned in as many classic movies and blues songs. And a Cadillac remains the top seller in the large luxury sedan category, beating out even trendy Tesla. The new plug-in hybrid ELR represents a milestone in automotive history. It also defies the traditional wisdom that innovation starts with the luxury vehicles and trickles down to the mass-market models. GM has taken the opposite route, honing its electric technology for three years in the Volt before incorporating it into the Cadillac ELR two-door coupé.

EVs for share or rent?

October 27th, 2013

The world’s transportation ecosystem has hundreds of species of vehicles, each one adapted to the requirements of its particular niche. Some niches are clearly well-suited to EVs, and others are probably not. Some see car sharing as a killer app for EVs. Others are skeptical. And what about traditional car rental?

BMW’s new i3

September 12th, 2013

The i3 is the first EV to offer a range-extending gas engine as an option, and it’s the first vehicle to make such extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The i3 also represents a milestone for the market. It’s the first production EV from any of the upscale German brands, and only the second European EV to go on sale in the US.

Connecting Europe’s charging networks

September 12th, 2013

In many ways Europe grows more integrated every year, but for the auto industry, the fragmented nature of the market remains a major headache. This is certainly the case when it comes to public charging. Different countries, and different regions within countries, have implemented widely different government policies to encourage the rollout of chargers.

Lite-On enters the US EVSE market

July 11th, 2013

You may never have heard of Lite-On, but it’s quite likely that you’re using one of the company’s products right now. The Taiwan-based group is the world’s biggest manufacturer of LEDs and power supplies for consumer electronics. It’s stealthily moving into the EVSE market, and it expects to be able to introduce cost savings that will let it reach its goal of total domination.

EVs in paradise: plug-ins and island markets

July 11th, 2013

Islands make perfect EV habitats. Driving distances are generally short, the need to ship supplies from the mainland keeps gas prices high, and the level of green consciousness tends to be high. Island governments around the world are taking steps to encourage EV adoption, and many are finding that EVs make more sense in conjunction with renewable energy.

estonia charging

Nationwide: Estonia’s network of fast chargers

May 22nd, 2013

The Baltic tiger has built a technological and economic showpiece: the world’s first nationwide network of DC fast chargers for EVs. It’s the largest fast-charging network in Europe, and the largest single project of its kind in the world. Its only rival is in much larger Japan. The Estonians opted to go for a turnkey solution, and selected ABB to build, install and operate the chargers.

EVs in Geneva

Supercars, hybrids and EVs on stage in Geneva

May 22nd, 2013

European roads teem with small cars and diesels, but hybrids are still a fairly rare sight, at least here in Switzerland. From the looks of the lineup here at the Geneva Auto Salon, that’s about to change. Ironically, the green-garlanded electrified models are sharing the spotlight with a huge selection of gas-guzzling super-sports cars.

What’s up with wireless EV charging

February 19th, 2013

Wireless charging is one of the hottest topics in the EV world these days. Several companies have systems on the path to commercial availability, including Evatran, Qualcomm and Momentum Dynamics. Many more companies are researching wireless applications - over 40 organizations are involved in the SAE committee that’s working on a set of wireless standards.

Ford’s new plug-ins

August 19th, 2012

Ford’s launch of the Focus Electric, Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi was a major milestone for the American EV industry. Ford is approaching the EV market differently than GM and Nissan - its Power of Choice strategy positions its plug-in models as members of a family of fuel-efficient cars, in which the powertrain is just another option.

The state of EV charging

May 16th, 2012

Electricity is the best way to power our vehicles in the post-fossil fuel era. Compared to other technologies (biofuels, natural gas, hydrogen), electricity is the most efficient, and our best shot to be truly sustainable. However, there’s a more immediate reason why automakers are placing the bulk of their bets on electricity: most of the required infrastructure is already in place.



Books


Open Road’s Best of Belize (3rd edition)

Open Road, 2013, ISBN-10: 1593601735

Eco-touring in the Maya Mountains and Mountain Pine Ridge, exploring the wilds in the Crooked Tree sanctuary, the ruins at Altun Ha and Xunantunich, an excursion to Tikal across the border in Guatemala, serious R&R along the beaches of the Placencia Peninsula and the inside word on diving off the Cayes. Great hotels and restaurants are included for all price levels.

Open Road’s Best of Costa Rica (4th edtion)

Open Road, 2012, ISBN-10: 159360162X

Co-authored with my brother Bruce, this is the most popular of my guidebooks, now in its fourth edition. Includes complete itineraries for eco-touring in Monteverde, Tortuguero, Corcovado and other national parks, the best Pacific Coast beaches, a guide to the wildlife of Costa Rica, and reviews of hotels and restaurants for all budgets.

Open Road’s Best of Honduras

Open Road, 2007, ISBN-10: 1593600690

Complete itineraries for one-day, weekend, one-week and two-week trips to whatever part of Honduras you’re visiting, from jungle eco-tours and ancient ruins along the Ruta Maya to old colonial churches and villages and white sandy beaches. The Bay Islands boast some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Details of hotels and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.

Open Road’s Switzerland Guide

Open Road, 2006, ISBN-10: 1593600534

Snowcapped mountain vistas and flowery lakeside promenades; thrilling winter sports and summer walks; fairy-tale villages and modern cities alive with art and music; a fascinating mix of Germanic, Gallic, and Mediterranean cultures. Whether your budget runs to a luxury hotel or to an inexpensive but scenic hostel or campground, we’ll help you get the best value for your money.

   

Streaming Media Bible

Wiley, 2002, ISBN-10: 0764536508

I contributed three chapters to this book by Steve Mack. This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of streaming media, from the capture, creation and optimization of source media files, to encoding and serving files over the internet. Throughout the book, the streaming process is dissected and separated into its component pieces: original media creation, encoding, and serving.

Creating Web Pages Weekend Crash Course

Wiley, 2001, ISBN-10: 0764548719

Learn to build Web pages - fast! This book covers all the skills necessary to create a simple but full-featured Web site that includes attractive text and graphics, animation, audio and video, and automated user feedback. I discuss several WYSIWYG editors, but also offer a good grounding in standard HTML. Includes examples of XML, dynamic page generation, and streaming media.

HTML in Action

Microsoft Press, 2000, ISBN-10: 155615948X

I contributed a chapter to this book by Bruce Morris. This is an advanced guide to HTML programming and other Web-related topics, for individuals and organizations who want to create more visually appealing, technically ambitious Web sites.




Older Print Articles


Deploying Wireless Applications

InfoWorld Magazine, March 2000

Wireless Inside and Out

Computer Currents Magazine, July 1999

Web Site Marketing Dos and Don’ts

Computer Currents Magazine, April 1999

Working in Western Europe

Transitions Abroad Magazine, January/February 1999



Triporati Destination Guides


Switzerland

Switzerland

Revised July 2012

This small country has it all: a colorful carnival of cultures, picture-perfect villages, wonderful food and drink, and the most spectacular scenery in Europe. Plan to spend most of your time in the breathtaking Alps, but don’t miss the lovely lakes and the vibrant cities.

Honduras

Honduras

Revised July 2012

Less famous than nearby Costa Rica and Belize, Honduras offers similar attractions with lower prices and fewer crowds (for now). This is adventure travel, but all the beauty of the tropics is here in abundance - stunning beaches, colorful coral reefs and rainforest-clad mountains alive with birds and monkeys.

El Salvador

El Salvador

Revised July 2012

El Salvador sees far fewer tourists than her neighbors, making it ideal for those who want to get off the beaten path. The Pacific beaches are perhaps the biggest draw for visitors - deserted, breathtakingly beautiful strands are easy to find, and surfer culture flourishes.

Nicaragaua

Nicaragaua (co-author)

Revised July 2012

This isolated island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua is the perfect place to experience the country’s scenic beauty and culture, far from the tourist hordes. Life here is quiet and slow-paced. The few inhabitants spend their time fishing, farming and making traditional handicrafts.



Online Tech Articles


In the late 1990s, my Brother Bruce, my nephew Kief and I created one of the first online magazines, the Web Developer’s Journal. As one did in those days, we handled everything ourselves, from hosting to site design to graphic editing to ad sales to traffic analysis. I was using a huge variety of Internet development tools on a daily basis, and I wrote scads of articles (and a book) about my experiences, both for the WDJ and for other online and print mags.

In 2000, our company was acquired by Internet.com, which at that time was an online media empire, and all of our content was subsumed into their vast universe of web sites. Since those long-ago days, that company has gone through several acquisitions, and its network of sites has been completely rearranged several times, with the result that some of my articles are still out there somewhere, and some are not. I’ve reproduced a few of my favorites here.

The Internet Company is Dead (June 2000)

This was my take on the situation shortly after the Big Internet Crash.

The Internet Makes Good Business Sense Obsolete (November 1998)

This is a rant that I wrote during the height of the Big Internet Boom.

A Plea For Editors (May 1998)

A rant about the lack of proper language skills on the web and beyond.

How to Build Lame Web Sites (January 1998)

Invaluable techniques for wasting money and driving customers away. I wrote this back in the early internet days, but a lot of it is just as applicable now.

Articles Published in the Web Developer’s Virtual Library:

Toss out your Tables! CSS is the scene! (May 2001)
Simply stated, using CSS for page layout is — once you get the hang of it — much more powerful and much simpler than using tables.

Next Wave of the Web: Streaming Media in Web Sites (April 2001)
This month Charles turns his attention to the front end, as he discusses building a Web site that incorporates streaming media.

Next Wave of the Web: Streaming Media Service Providers (March 2001)
In this month’s column, Charles looks at the issues involved in hosting streaming media, and considers the benefits of dedicated Streaming Media Networks.

Next Wave of the Web: Building the Perfect Radio Station - Part 2 (February 2001)
In this month’s column, Charles examines a couple of existing sites that allow partially customizable online radio, and discusses the technical means to make our perfect radio station a reality.

Next Wave of the Web: Building the Perfect Radio Station (January 2001)
The “need to be entertained” has joined the hierarchy of human needs. Who hasn’t complained that, even with a hundred cable channels, there’s never anything good on TV or the radio? In this month’s column, Charles discusses the Perfect Radio Station.

Next Wave of the Web (December 2000)
The Web, rapidly becoming fully audio-video capable, will gobble up all the audio and video media (radio, TV, recordings), just as the computer gobbled up the typewriter. The Next Wave of the Web discusses the Internet’s ongoing transformation into the universal medium.

Banner Ad Management Software (November 2000)
Most top-end ad management outfits now offer both outsourced ad management and software solutions for Web publishers.

SOAP, the Simple Object Access Protocol (October 2000)
This XML-based protocol could revolutionize the process of developing Web applications.

Building an Internet Radio Station (September 2000)
If you’re thinking of setting up your own Internet radio station, here’s how to do it.

Building Languages with XML (August 2000)
Create your own custom XML vocabularies.

Are search engines dead? (July 2000)
Here’s why search engines so often return reams of irrelevant documents, and a possible solution.

What’s wireless to a web developer? (June 2000)
What does the wireless trend mean to the designer of Web sites? Plenty.

Let your business model be your guide (May 2000)
Web sites exist for different purposes. The right way to do things depends on your business model.

Digital Distribution of Music (April 2000)
How can a small record company, music retailer or artist market music online?

Keeping the Search Engines Happy (March 2000)
Avoid being caught in the middle of the battle between search engines and spammers.

Web Audio 2000 (February 2000)
As the Web converges with TV and radio, “watching a program” becomes as common as “browsing a site.”

A Look at the Web Development World Ahead (January 2000)
Web design is changing. Head for the woodshed today, or the unemployment office tomorrow!

We’ve submitted to all the search engines. Now what? (December 1999)
Search engine submissions are a good start, but to really build traffic, you need to do much more.

They’re lookin, but they ain’t buyin! (November 1999)
The final step of the online buying process - actually placing an order.

Build Traffic Through Good Site Design (October 1999)
The most important traffic-building technique of all is site design.

Email-based Public Relations, or Mailing Lists for Web Sites (September 1999)
Email-based mailing lists complement a Web site by increasing traffic and extending the usefulness of the site.

There’s gold in them there log files! (August 1999)
Use your Web server log files to direct your traffic-building efforts and measure your success.

Writing for the Web (July 1999)
Writing for the Web is not the same as writing for print.

Designing Winning Ad Banners (June 1999)
Design attractive attention-getting banners using graphic tools like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro.

Accepting Credit Cards: Getting a Merchant Account (May 1999)
Credit card merchant accounts, creating order forms, choosing a payment processing system.

Content Management Tips and Tricks (April 1999)
Quick ways to streamline your content management without taking the plunge into a truly dynamic site.

Designing Attractive Web Pages (March 1999)
Should Web sites follow standard design principles? Not always, but you have to know the rules before you can break ‘em.

The Browser Wars Plod On (February 1999)
Explorer 5.0 and Communicator 4.5.

Audio for the Worldwide Web (January 1999)
Adding sound to a Web site, with the pros and cons of various formats.

Navigation 101 (December 1998)
A simple, understandable navigation scheme is critical, and has a direct effect on the bottom line.

Step Right Up! (November 1998)
There are a lot of scamsters out there targeting you, the Webmaster or Web publisher.

Articles Published in The Web Developer’s Journal

Web Audio Workshop
The Latest and Greatest in Internet Sound

How to Sell Your CDs Online
Producing and selling your own CD would have been a crazy dream a few years ago. Now, thanks to the Web, Everybody’s Doin’ It, just like that brand-new dance. Here’s how.

Executable Musical “Postcards”
This format lets you include graphics, text and links with your audio, and it will work on any computer with no plug-ins and no hassle. A new technology? Nope. The oldest one in the book.

How to Put my Music on the Web?
A step-by-step tutorial to preparing existing sound recordings for online distribution. The tools you need, the formats to choose - now get out there and do it!

It’s a Musical Stampede
The major record companies are dinosaurs, and the Internet is a huge asteroid hurtling toward their cozy little Earth. Will new technology do them in? No, a new business model.

The ABCs of Building a Web Site
A Tutorial for Absolute Bottom-floor Beginners
    What is a Web site, and where does it live?
    What the Heck is HTML?
    The Domain Name Game
    How do I add pictures to my Web site?
    Amateur Web Sites - the Top Ten Signs
    Promoting Your Web Site

The More Things Change...
Dealing with change orders is a problem faced by every business that does contract work, from lawn services to aircraft manufacturers. It’s a very common problem in the Web development business, for several reasons.

A Do-It-Yourself Web Kit
Like any craftsman, a Webmaster or Web designer needs a set of good quality tools. Unlike most other crafts, a lot of fine Web tools are cheap or even free.

A Virtual Recording Studio on the PC
Audio technology has exploded in the past few years, and many people are still confused as to exactly what they need to record professional-quality audio on the PC. And how about audio on the Web?

An Internet Parable
Is designing Web pages like playing the guitar?

Microsoft FrontPage - Friend or Foe?
Is What You See really What You Get? FrontPage may give you more than you bargained for.

Dynamic HTML - So Near and Yet So Far
Netscape or Microsoft? I’ll take the one in the middle, please.

The Web in 1998
Will ad banners become passé? Will most Web sites start charging subscription fees? Will cost-per-click become the prevalent advertising model?

Product Reviews

Photoshop 5.5
NewHoo Becomes Open Directory Project
Hit List 3.0
Ad Juggler 3.1
Laplink 7.5
Corel WebMaster Suite
Opera
Streaming Real-Time Quote Systems
Quicken and QuickBooks
Canon Powershot A5

Book Reviews

Internet Audio Sourcebook
Secrets of Succesful Web Sites
Web Sites That Work
Creating Killer Web Sites
Creating Dynamic Web Sites
HTML 4.0 (No Experience Required)
Instant Dynamic HTML
HTML in Action
Information Systems Project Management
AMA Handbook of Project Management
Getting a Project Done on Time
Web Commerce Cookbook
Internet Commerce
The Microsoft Merchant Server Book
Frontiers of Electronic Commerce
Electronic Commerce - A Manager’s Guide
Build A World Wide Web Commerce Center
How to Program a Virtual Community
Building and Maintaining an NT Webserver
The Internet Marketing Plan
The Art of Electronic Publishing
Increasing Hits and Selling More On Your Web Site
ActiveX Sourcebook
Developing Databases for the Web and Intranets
Introduction to Local Area Networks
Shockwave
Learn Digital Photography in a Weekend
Electronic Highway Robbery
The Painter 4 Wow! Book
Start with a Scan
Maximum MIDI
Beginning Java

Articles Published in The Tapeless Studio

Digital Audio FAQ
MIDI Primer
The Antex StudioCard AV Pro
Digidesign’s AudioMedia III
The Frontier WaveCenter
The Multisound Pinnacle
The Card D+
Big DAADi
The MIDI Express PC
SAWPro
Cakewalk Pro Audio 8.0
Samplitude Studio
DART Pro
Finale