Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Planting Flying Meat Acorn Near Photoshop Elements Grave

Like most professional graphic designers, my career was measured in versions of Adobe Photoshop.

v2.5: I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer. The dad of a high school classmate was one. I went to talk with him about it. He worked out of his basement home office with a view of the lake, a room full of Apple gear, and telecommuted to Minneapolis. He launched Photoshop and showed me some of the crazy stuff he was doing with it. I left stunned.

v3: Spent far too long on the Photoshop Classroom-in-a-book tutorial as part of my least favorite college course – something about printing methods and preparing images for press.

v4: The first version I used in a professional environment auch auf Deutsche.

v5: Editable type, Multiple Undo. Those two features are reason enough to fall in love with it.

v6: Like Word 6, and Star Wars 2 – all the hope, promise, performance, and love of the previous version was an unsaved memory. This is the last full version I used and the beginning of my strained relationship with Adobe.

In 2002, my new digital camera shipped with Photoshop Elements v2 and then a couple years later, my scanner shipped with Elements v3. Aside from a few small omissions (inverse selection, select color range, etc), Elements was all the image editing horsepower I needed. It was my go to app, until I switched to the MacBook.

Elements never launched on the MacBook. It’d just bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce until I forgot why I opened it and Force Quit (a pretty good indicator of my image editing workload over the past 2 years).

After 15 years, my relationship with Photoshop officially ended today.

A while back, I downloaded Flying Meat’s Acorn and hadn’t opened it until this afternoon. While Elements was bouncing, I opened Acorn to take a closer look at a client website mockup. Instinct kicked in and I was pushing pixels, using the same key commands I remembered from Photoshop.

Before I hit Save the first time, I bought a license.

In addition to costing less than 1/10th the price of Photoshop, it was the most integrated web/desktop licensing experience I’ve seen. After completing the purchase online, a single click in the browser applied the license to the still running desktop app. Seamless. Fast. Amazing.

I’m one step closer to being Adobe-free and happier than ever.

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Crazed Small World

Just found out the very cool crazedlist.org (persistent Craigslist searching) is run by the same Andrew Payne I’ve been working somewhat indirectly with for about a year now.

Proving again:

  1. The world actually is pretty small.
  2. Every good web developer/designer has a really cool side project.

Monday, 2 October 2006

Shure is Quiet in Here: A Review of the E2c-n Sound Isolating Earphones

Noticing I get more work done with headphones on and music drowning out the rest of the world, I picked up a pair of Shure E2c-n Sound Isolating Earphones – thinking I wouldn’t need the music up so loud.

I don’t know how I could have handled airplane travel without them. The rest of the world is muffled away. Even with nothing playing, they turn the world down a couple notches. All the ambient noise of the cabin – fans, air, all of it gone. The screaming baby directly behind me? I barely know it’s there.

Ahhhh. Quiet.

They came with a number of different inserts, I found the orange foam ones most comfortable. Though, I still haven’t found the perfect position for them. With the iPod ear buds, I could just set them in and go. The Shure’s need a little wiggling before they’re comfortable and then, a little more wiggling after a while.

Thursday, 20 April 2006

NetGear Skype WiFi Phone Available for Pre-Order

I’ve been anxiously awaiting something like the NetGear Skype WiFi Phone. The potential is huge – if only to un-tether me from the laptop for podcast calls. This’d be great for taking calls around the house, out in the garage, or chilling in the backyard.

UPDATE 18 May 2006: Linksys just announced their WiFi Phone. Not specifically for Skype. Looks like any other SIP 2.0 protocol

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

What’s the Opposite of Tarjey?

When we lived in Evanston, there was this Target just a few blocks away. Stuff on the floor, expired milk in the aisle, very un-Target-like.

We got into the habit of asking people about whether or not a particular Target was “good.” We came back up here for a wedding and asked the clerk at the hotel where the closest Target was and if it was good.

She looks at us flatly, “All Targets are good.”

That may be. The Targhetto Project over at Magnetbox uses Twin Cities income and home sale data to calculate which one might be less so.

My local ranks: 145

Thursday, 23 February 2006

When I’d Pay For WiFi

There’s a showing at the house this morning.

Between waking up, tidying up, responding to the morning email, I wasn’t able to grab a decent breakfast (or brunch as I prefer). I already had a cup of coffee, just needed a network, someplace reasonably quiet, and some food.

Too many places with free wifi don’t have decent food, are loud, and generally don’t fit the bill. Driving around looking for a destination, I thought, “here’s an opportunity to sell me wifi and a quite room.”

I’ll bring my own coffee and pick up a sandwich someplace along the way, and I’ll give you $10/hr for a quiet room and a fast network.

Oh, I ended up at the Wilde Roast Cafe and had their bean quesadilla. Pretty tasty.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

Sam’s a Genius – National Geographic Lullabies Before Bedtime

A couple weeks after Cooper was born, Sam sent over National Geographic Around the World Lullabies. Of course, it went straight into Cooper’s playlist on the iPod.

Tonight Cooper was inconsolable. None of the usual settling down techniques were working and we were scratching our heads with what to do. Attempting to think strategically between screams is a very useful skill in times like this.

And when the going gets tough, the tough…refresh their RSS aggregator?

Well, I’m glad I did – in it, a well-timed reminder from Sam:

“…we played a National Geographic lullabies CD for him, both for his afternoon nap and at his bedtime”


I cued up the lullabies in iTunes, flipped the speakers to the radio (thanks to the Airport Express) in Cooper’s room, then ran down to rock him into it.

Update: Cooper slept through the night. Rock on.

Yes, Sam’s a genius.

Oh, and Sam on your cassette-to-MP3 problem: try connecting the cassette players output to the audio input of your iBook using a common 1/8″ jack (might need something like the Griffin iMic) and record into Audio Hijack Pro.

AHP can automatically start a new track when it hears the silence between tracks in whatever format you’d like. After that it’d just be a matter of burning the CD.

Monday, 28 November 2005

A Podcaster’s Christmas List

It’s the holiday shopping season and I thought it’d be useful to pull together a quick list of computer gear and accessories for the beginning podcaster. Things that would put the best foot forward and provide a good foundation to grow and expand…or not.

Anyway, I was pretty surprised at how low the final price was for all the gear (less than $2,000), and that if you already have a computer with an audio recording application, it’s less than $100 for the mic and cables to get you started. Amazing.

Happy Holidays.

Oh, and send me the podcast if you pull one together this holiday season.