Crazy like a box…

Posted in General at 12 pm

This week has been nuts. Crazy nuts.

After the SF trip, the stress of a rather discouraging situation with a potential new employee at work, a Ray of hope in that mess, a project due Friday that I started on Thursday, a freelance project gone way far astray, little sleep and poor eating scheduling, the situation with the new class I’ll be teaching at PSU, I’m here on a Friday at 1:00pm just begining to feel a bit better.

I’ve got a couple of more article ideas in mind for the WebDev section that’ll get to soon. It struck me this morning that I’ve been keeping up with about one article a month. That’s kind of interesting. I wonder if I could parley something like this into a magazine gig, online or otherwise.

Time to contact Tidbits?



Digitizing Images

Posted in General at 1 pm

I’ve published a bunch of different things that I’ve been developing in the past week amongst a period of my life that has been rife with stress, both personal and professional. Educationally, these peices have been very valuable for myself, in that they allow me to put down in an ordered format these concepts that I’ve been using professionally, and in a form that I can refer to for years to come.

Today’s article is on Digitizing images for Multimedia work, be it web sites or CD-ROMs. The steps are generic enough to be used by many people, but specific enough that you can follow them step-by-step and come out with a good image the first time through.


Any and all feedback on any of the articles I’ve posted would be welcome and responded to.

Also note that I quickly whipped up a way for the XSSI Library to have ‘Printer-Friendly’ versions of the pages available. I’m pretty happy with how easy it was, and well it works. It only took me about 45 minutes to implement for the entire Library, and now that it’s set up, I don’t have to update it for every page, it’s an inherent part of the site’s structure. Damn cool stuff, even if I’m just tooting my own horn. http://www.ordersomewherechaos.com/rosso/xssi/

I think I might add this to FPO so that the WebDev section can be used this way. Would anyone want this? Let me know.



Posted in General at 1 pm

Nov 28 Sun (01 PM)

In case you missed it, I wrote two articles late last week:



The first is on the contents and process of creating a branding package. The second is an overview of how to use SSIs (Server-Side Includes) to develop a consistent layout for a web site.

Tomorrow I’m jetting off to San Francisco for a meeting int he bay area. There’s this big company that wants us and one of our partners to give them an in-person presentation of their project. We’ve got a pretty good chance at getting the contract, and I’m assuming that it would cover the cost of flying the three of us down there (D, A and myself.)

We’re off to lunch…




Posted in General at 12 pm

Nov 27 Sat (12 AM)

Some people channel their energy into art, poetry, or destruction.

I make web pages.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Well, at least you can benefit from my psychosis, without having to deal with me directly. I just posted a couple of articles about branding and coportate identity in the WebDev section. They’re the two links at the top of the menu here:


This morning I post a pretty good overview article to XSSI Library as well. It goes into how to use XSSIs to develop a consistent and efficient page layout for a web site.


If you get something out of them, drop me a line. I’ll be sitting here listening to Tender Prey.



SVG vs. Inertia / HB

Posted in General at 1 pm

Nov 24 Wed (01 PM)

I came across a recent article about Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and the topic is just really starting to gain my respect.


The article goes into depth about the graphical system that SVG makes available for the web. It builds quite beautifully on the back of Cascading Style Sheets and the code really could be hand coded, though it would be slow.

I’m realy hoping that SVG catches on with some of the major vendors soon. The ability to export SVG from Illustrator and Freehand will really make the technology usable. Then we’ve got to get the support for it in IE and Mozilla.



Dmoz seems to have a good page to start looking for info on this and the www-svg mail list archives has some great discussions as well.

My biggest question though is if it will get used. I noted a few entries ago that I thought that the industry as a whole was getting stale, and lamented the fact that having a new broswer version released every 9 months is keeping new technologies from getting integrated quickly like they used to. For all the bugs and user interface problems, both frames, JPEGs, Animated GIFs and JavaScript all climbed on to the web after NS 1.0, but all of them quickly spread to be supported by browsers or used by web pages.

But these days with Mozilla taking 2+ years to go from 4.0 to 5.0, and MS slowing the release schedule of IE, these new technologies are unable to sustain the hype that’s required to energize both the browser developers and the site developers.

Here’s to hoping that even at the more relaxed pace of 1999 web browser development, some of these great technologies will eventually be available for us to deploy.

Everyone should wish Amy a Happy Birthday today! <mailto:giovanni (with an ‘at’ sign) spiritone.com> She’s my beautiful Goddess of the Stars, and I want eveyone to know how very much she means to me. I love you babe!



Severe Awe

Posted in General at 12 pm

Nov 19 Fri (12 PM)


I just got back from a meeting with Brad Hansen at PSU. The class that I’m going to be teaching next term is ‘Authoring Digital Media’. I was under the impression that it was just one of the classes that are part of the Multimedia Developers Course at the University, but it turns out that it’s actually the Final class in the course.

They must have some real confidence in my skills, because the course is to tie together all of the development, production, and design courses that lead up to this final class.

I’m in awe. Severe awe.

Wish me luck with this one. More details will be coming shortly.

Also , if you get the chance, check out what Dave at UserLand is doing. He’s put together a page that lists which web-logs and journals have been updated in the past hours. It quite interesting. <http://subhonker2.userland.com/weblogMonitor/> I think this has been the most effective site that he’s put together from his shop yet, and certainly the most useful for me. It’s fun checking in and seeing who’s updated recently.

One important aspect though is the fact that there are only a few sites that have registered, 60 or so at the last count. I really think this will remain effective only if this group is kept under 100.



MacQuarium / First Job

Posted in General at 2 pm

Nov 18 Thu (03 PM)

Eric’s parting gift to me was a Mac SE. He threw it in when I bought a coffee table and end table that sort of match Amy’s futon. The Mac is now sitting in the hallway, but I do have a plan for it. For years I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to put together a Macquarium <http://lowendmac.net/compact/macquarium.shtml> and now I finally have the start for the development of such a project.

The SE has just 1 mb of RAM, and a 20 mb hard drive. About the only thing of use on it is an ancient version of Norton, and the screen saver, After Dark, of course. I hadn’t see the ‘Starry Night’ screen saver for years. It’s little stars, lights for the buildings and the flashing light at the top of the tower brought back memories of my first real job doing graphics.

It was at a small copy and print shop, called ‘Mike’s Copy Shop’. I was hired at the Grants Pass shop in… 1992, shortly after graduating. As I recall, my ‘portfolio’ at that time was this disgustingly ugly ‘Literary Magazine’ that I had put together for the High School. My only real saving grace was that I had also put together the school’s newspaper for the previous year. I had a few of those with me as well.

Mike took me on and I used it as an opportunity to learn more about PageMaker (It was the DTP software of choice… no really. Stop laughing. I can still hear you giggling.) and Freehand. It wasn’t till much later that I picked up Photoshop, because at the the time, all I had were Black and White monitors. Greyscale really, but thinking back, I can’t believe that I came out with what I did using that setup.

I will say this: producing 10 – 15 business cards, brochures, newsletters, etc. five days a week for a few months is an incredible way of learning about graphic design. I was knocking out layouts and logos and designs at a pretty incredible rate.

One thing I would have benefitted from would have been taking samples and discussing them with a mentor of some short. I certainly didn’t have an ‘eye’ for design when I started, but it was there that I began developing some skills at recognizing good design from bad design. I probably would have developed faster with a bit of guidance.


Tripping the Light Fantastic

Posted in General at 9 pm

Nov 17 Wed (09 AM)

Each night this week I’ve been watching the documentary series on PBS, ‘New York’. It’s been completely enthralling, highlighting aspects of the culture that spawned such an enormous city in such a short time.

It’s rather appropriate as well, as one of my co-workers, (and if we had hung out together a bit more very likely a friend) is returning to his home town of NY, NY this week. Yesterday in fact was the last time he’ll be in the office, picking up the last remenants of his work space and packing up and shipping his G3 Mac back to his new home.

(Note to self: if I ever move cross country, Amtrack apparently will ship 2000 pounds of material for just $700. Wow.)

Eric has been a wonderful foil for my own work, and we had established a good interaction. We’ve got two people coming in to replace him, neither of which have his full range of media skills, but then again, we’re not paying well enough to get someone like that.

There have been some big promises of huge projects on the horizon at work but it all feels like tilting at windmills at this point. Others have been whispering in my ears of late. I’m comfortable for now, so I’m not taking an agressive posture. But I do hate waiting for life to happen rather than happening to life.

Good luck Eric! Great way to be aggressive…



Culture Note

Posted in General at 9 pm

Nov 11 Thu (09 AM)

Please note that Tinky-Winky is now blue. All versions of Tinky-Winky (obviously a version 1.0) previously available in purple are now discontinued.

That is all.




Posted in General at 11 pm

I’m at the computer lab at PSU, waiting for a student, perhaps his name Godot.

I’m in the process of developing my new personal calling card. I’m going to start moving some of my stuff to bad-seed.org, moving the Nick Cave stuff to the side. I’ve gotten the card to a point that I like and I should have it finished off by the end of the week. My old cards were getting a bit old and they have my old e-mail address on them. My new card will only have the web site and my e-mail on it. That way I won’t have to worry about updating the phone number when we move.

I think the bad-seed motif might be a bit over the top, but I’ll try to keep it toned down a bit. I want the design to be compeling in just black and white. I think I might do something with the back of the card as well.

Gotta go. Here’s a favorite link for the: <http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/microsoft-findings.html>