Inside Higher Ed:
Next Steps for E-Texts. As in ‘textbooks.’
Create 3D images with your camera. Requires both an application and a specific web plug-in to use, so this isn’t something for general use.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Review. Read it through to get all the good stuff. My mouse wheel adjusts brush size on-the-fly ... don’t know why the reviewer missed that. The gradient filter is great for lightening dark directional shadows. The judgment of RAW images ... the Aperture output looks, upon close inspection, to be unsharp masked a bit, compared to Lightroom. Subjective, of course. The reviewer clearly prefers Aperture. I’m sure screwing with defaults will alleviate any such issues.
Upgraded to Lightroom 2.
I love it when this kind of thing happens. The gradient tool immediately proved so useful on photos from yesterday’s shoot, it’s saved me a significant amount of production time already. And that’s without reading a manual (yet).
Lately, when upgrading software, my mind has been casting back to my experience with the first Macintoshes and MacPaint. Drawing little black and white children’s sketches with that big fat round brush. The liveliness of the mouse interface was just so exciting. Features that seem so minor now.
Storms in the clouds leave users up creek without a paddle. The counterpoint to all the glowing ‘cloud’ articles we’ve seen of late.
Curious, most curious.
Digital Web Magazine:
Review: Web Form Design by Luke Wroblewski. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one, see if it lives up to this review.
Build Your Own NASA Apollo Landing Computer (no kidding). “The Apollo AGC itself is a piece of computing history, it was developed by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and it was a quite amazing piece of hardware in the 1960s. It was the first computer to use integrated circuits (ICs), running at 1 Mhz it offered four 16-bit registers, 4K words of RAM and 32K words of ROM.”
To learn Git,
there’s now GitMagic.
Github advice for Windows.
Wasted incredible time trying to get SSH access to Github. Don’t make my mistake ... visit Drew Blas’ directions.
Adobe greenlights Lightroom 2. $99 upgrade price from version 1.x.
I’m getting hits from Cuil.com.
Online word processors.
I’m an old word processor curmudgeon; I started playing with computers via an old Singer punch-paper-tape word processor back in the ‘70’s. When you cut-and-pasted for real. I’ve been using Darkroom (Windows variant of WriteRoom for Mac) and TreePad Plus (allows for organizing of written content) for writing, of late. I prefer a stripped-down word processor for most things. Word is just too top-heavy. I sometimes feel like those ponderous menu bars are sitting on my brow, obscuring my vision. I’ve always felt that for any word processing functions beyond the bare basics, one should be using a desktop publishing program. It’s easier to fancy up a document there, than digging through haystacks of menus in a word processor. God knows, the only thing missing from the top word processors are automatic-boilerplate-writers and USB cappucino-makers, but the menus that would be required to work them would drive you to drink.
Why contemplate an online solution? The problem always seems to be that I never have the complete set of documents I need on any given system I run. Some document is either on another computer, my little USB widget (“Where did I put that damned thing? I didn’t drop it at the coffee joint, did I?”), or someplace else no matter how often or faithfully I try to synchronize systems. Online solutions such as Google Docs and Zoho Writer never appealed. The interfaces are more prominent than the content area, making writing difficult. Distracting.
Now I find Adobe Buzzword is supplanting my previous favorites. I’ve been using it for couple of weeks now, since having to find a quick way to open a .docx file at a client’s location ... and I really enjoy the simplicity of the interface. Even in beta stage, it has that Mac sort of design smoothness to it. The choice of Minion for typeface works well for me - I prefer a serif - and a serif other than Times Roman, Georgia or Garamond. The table function is particularly well thought out, IMHO. Not too much, not too little. In the natal days of word processors, columns were a royal pain (my old Jacquard systems used things called “traces”, where you had to calculate the character # for each column right margin and column left margin). This table widget is a joy, the drag and click features. Reminds me of the first time I used Pagemaker 1.0. Response times are good, I’ve never been slowed down by a ‘net connection. I’ve made the mistake a couple of times with “Print”, using the browser’s print function rather than Buzzword’s, which gives me a lovely headered-and-footered blank sheet.
Bottom line: The interface gets out of my way enough so I can concentrate on the writing, yet there’s enough capability here to meet my immediate formatting needs. I’m not losing my documents. A photographer once told me, if you can’t take a good photo with a particular camera, dump it and get another. The tool helps drive creativity, and you want not just good tools, but ones which reward with joy in use. I’m writing at a clip with Buzzword. It’s a good tool for me right now.
I really have only two suggestions for the beta. I’d love to see heirarchical filing of documents, a la Treepad Plus ... and the ability to export files in batches, perhaps in .zip format. So’s I can drop a copy to my local disk quickly, in case I want to do offline editing.
Consider Buzzword “Recommended.”
Knol. Wikipedia competition, supposedly.
Major Sites Fall Victim to Web Hijack. Check your weblog for SQL injection.
Redmond Developer News:
NY Times, The Lede:
Damn the missiles, forget the nuclear issue ... Iran is misusing Photoshop! No war over digital alterations!
ZoneAlarm now has a workaround for the MS Security Update issue.
You can find it here.
Beware today’s Microsoft Security Update. KB951748, July 8, 2008. Prevented all my PCs from accessing the internet (which is why I haven’t been posting). If not for the Macs I have in-house, I would still be checking cables.
Removed it (via the CP), and all is fine.
What a pain in the neck ...
A day later: My problem is likely contained somewhere within this bulletin. Looks like ZoneAlarm (all versions, as well as some other brands of firewall) is conflicting with the update. ZA’s recommends (which include deinstalling the update).
PTLens now available for Lightroom, Aperture and more. PTLens corrects distortion.
Judge Orders YouTube to Give All User Histories to Viacom. And what have YOU been watching? Tsk, tsk.