Sydney Gallery School To Lose Gallery

I’m a part-time fine arts student at Meadowbank TAFE, also known as the Sydney Gallery School. I’ve just found out that the gallery that is used for student exhibitions is being shut down by the College Director. Main reason being that there will no longer be someone constantly at the gallery, and that person is being moved. While there is normally a teacher or 2 around, it was the Clerical Officer that was permanentley stationed there, who not only did the day stuff and FIne Arts course enquiries, but also Fitting and Machining and Welding enquiries. The Clerical Officer, and all other clerical staff, are being moved to another block on campus in a centralised location.

Here are the reasons for moving all clerical staff to one location:

  • Upskill C/O’s.
  • Free up accommodation in sections.
  • Provide better flexibility/equity and systems support to teaching sections.
  • Meet an increasing demand for clerical support
  • Operate within defined budgets

Some how I suspect it’s got a hell of a lot more to do with the last item than any of the miserable other excuses, sorry but I don’t see how it helps to upskill people, provide better flexibility and support or meet increasing demand for clerical support. The Sydney Gallery School has offered to rotate clerical staff in the gallery to help with upskilling, and are more than willing to look at other comprises but of course the College Director won’t have a bar of it.

I think one of the funniest suggestions came from College Management, they said that the gallery could be hired out to students or outside interests, however this would mean that the gallery would need to turn over $80 000 to employ a Gallery Director. Fucking wankers!

This is just ridiculous! Ok Mr/Ms Fucking College Director, now what do you call the school?

Protests can be sent to the Minister of Education and some others I’m sure.

Adobe Not Releasing Universal Binaries Of Current Software

Adobe have posted this question and answer PDF regarding Adobe products running on the new Intel-Based Macs. Looks like the Photoshop TV guys were right, a Universal Binary will not be available for CS2, Adobe will instead focus on making CS3 compatible with both Intel-Based Macs and the current Macs. CS3 could be available in the next 18 – 24 months if you look at Adobe’s rack record for major releases.

On a slight tangent, my 17-inch PowerBook arrived last week and I love it!

The Dreadful Embarrassment, Now In Purple!

Like most creatives who prefer working on Apples, I’ve been hanging out for some sort of concrete evidnece that the Adobe CS2 suite will run well/much better on the new Intel-based Macs under the Rosetta emulator, or that Adobe will release a Universal Binary update. Well I need a new mac within the next week, and decided to just go ahead and place an order for a 17-inch PowerBook any ways. I’ve also managed to find a two-tone purple laptop bag over at the Crumpler site named, The Dreadful Embarrassment.

However, it’d still be nice to know when Adobe are going to make that Universal move. I have no concrete evidence, but the guys over at Photoshop TV have this for us to mull over: No Intel-based OS X version of CS until CS3?

And on another tangent, you can now get a diploma in advanced studies in character animation over at Animation Mentor.com.

The First Duel Core Apples

Bad punning aside, Apple have announced the first intel core duo macs: the MacBook Pro and iMac.

I’m currently in the market for a beefy-ish laptop of the Apple variety, and was only deciding whether to buy it out right with student discount, a 17 inch powerBook, or lease it for 2 years and upgrade to a new intel mac after a revision or 2.

When I started going through the Apple site, (and yes, the home page, iMac and MacBook Pro pages are significantly wider than the rest of the site. Bye-bye to the must fit in 800 x 600 mentality), I thought “yeah, screen’s not quite as big as I want it, but hey I still want one.”, especially after noticing that it’s pricing is almost identical to the powerBook, “well hey, it’s newer and 4X as fast or so they are touting, and the same price. Fuck it, go pro!”

Then I started reading about Rosetta and Universal stuff, and my head started hurting as I’m a designer/illustrator not a computer geek, and thought shit I’d better find out if my Adobe products, ie the main apps I’ll be using will be fine. At the time of writing this, I haven’t been able to find anything about it on the Adobe site, they seem too preoccupied with the whole Macromedia merger, which is fair enough. I’ve read snippets on various Apple rumour sites and what have you that if you’re an occasional Photoshop user, you won’t really notice any sluggish performance, but those who use it frequently will. I’m not finding this very encouraging.

Theres’s a comparison of guts so to speak between the powerBook and MacBook Pro here: Comparing the MacBook Pro to the PowerBook G4
Hmmm.

Me thinks powerBook will win for me, but hey Apple have to start some where with the new beasts. I hope those who buy the new breed are happy customers.

Black iPods and iTMS Oz

This has been a pretty big couple o’ weeks for Apple. New iMacs, new powerbooks, new G5’s and pro photography app Aperture all released. But for me, it’s new black video iPods and iTunes music store in Oz that’s really taken my fancy.

I see a white pod, and I want to paint it black… FINALLY! Black! Apple why has this taken so long! I’ve seen the black iPod Nano in the flesh, and that black is damn sexy! I mean Steve Jobs is always in black, so why not the pods up until now?

I of course have one of these babies on order, so I’m debating which would be the best/quickest/pain free-est option for exchanging my ye olde 3rdGen 30GB iPod for some bucks. Same goes for ye olde Sony Cyber shot camera.

ITunes Australia: Sony BMG have not signed up as yet, which is unfortunate, I think, well I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head which bands with Sony BMG I like. $1.69 per song, some albums going for $16.99. Is this too much? I don’t know. I guess I’d have to try the store out first to see how it goes.

Update: I got my iPod yesterday along with a camera connector. It is gorgeous and makes my 3rd Gen iPod look like a brick-like fossil. It does come with a flimsy case. This will have to do until I can find one that is more suitable. I used the new iTunes site to purchase Bjork’s Oceania video, store is quite nice to use, and the video playback on pod is great. You don’t get an AC adapter for non computer charging though, which sucks.

The camera connector works pretty good too so far.

Technology

Wish Come True?

Making Firefox Mac Behave Like IE 6

The web developer toolbar for Firefox is a fantastic tool for all us web devy people. Imagine being able to toogle a switch and have Firefox simulate how IE6 win renders html. Yeah, that’d be pretty fantastic, especially for us coding on a Mac.

Justin Palmer is proposing we get some people right on developing such a tool and have people donate money to the developers for their efforts. I’m All for it!

See my whinging comments.

Latest Goodies

My Guitar Pick Earrings and Sky and Snow Postcard and Pin Set arrived today and I am very delighted indeed! Pixelgirlshop.com even threw in a cute badge and kitty hair tie. The photo was taken with my snazzy new Nikon Coolpix 7600 7.1 mega pixel camera.

New camera will be accompanying me to the Web Essentials 2005 conference tomorrow and friday.

Bigger kitty and pick photo, the limited edition card is not pictured, but rest assured is very cute.

I’m also very amused with Rhymes With Ditty, and getting settled in with the Adobe Creative Suite 2.

Dell vs Apple Monitor

Apple stuff vs. anything always stirs some heated debate between the 2 camps. This one, Dell, have they no shame? is no different.

I’m glad to see that Dell monitors can finally compete with well, any ones basically. Majority of our office is Dell workstations with the worst cheap ass LCD monitors, and by the looks of it, the worst cheap ass graphics and video cards. People were actually asking for their previous cheap ass CRT ones because they couldn’t find a setting that wouldn’t ghost, or give them a headache.

I however managed to get a lovely Apple Cinema Display. I am the designer, I have to make judgements based on colour, placement and pixel perfect-edness both for screen and print on a day to day basis, so I refused to toil no longer on under par graphics cards, coupled with bad screens with colour casts you can’t get rid of. No I didn’t demand an Apple Cinema Display, but it was on the list of possibles, and I got lucky.

I don’t intend for this to turn into a Dell/Intel vs. Apple thing, (though it probably will, and especially after this: I’ve worked on a Dell laptop before, and it was very clunky and slow and bloody irritating and GRRRR! It’ll be a cold day in hell, before my CPU becomes a Dell!*).

I love my monitor, I’ve had it for almost a year now, I love it’s crystal clear-ness, I love it’s out of box colour accuracy, I love it’s wide screen proportions, I love how it looks, and yes, I am pre-disposed to the way of Apple.

I haven’t seen this new breed Dell monitor in real life, but hey, maybe it’s worth a look-see as a lower cost design quality monitor at home…

*Pre-emptive-anti-stoopid-comment-tactic: Yes I specifically stated the CPU part, not the monitor. Don’t comment and say this part and the last are inconsistent.

Read it again!

RIP iPod Mini

iPod nano killed the iPod mini-star. It’s smaller, has a colour screen and comes in black! Finally! I can only hope that this means a black iPod is on the way so us black lovin’ folk don’t have to resort to buying the U2 iPod for that reason*. Robot Johnny wishes for black pods too: iPod, uPod, we all pod for iPod

Potter Pod. This is kinda cute, I’m sure some hard core fans can get their pods in the colours of their fav Hogwarts house somewhere.

All those years of mac rumour sites speculating about an Apple phone got a step closer with iTunes mobile. No special Apple branded hardware, it’s a Motorola thing with an iTunes interface.

I also like The iTunes 5 Announcement From the Perspective of an Anthropomorphized Brushed Metal User Interface Theme

*I like U2, but I’d like more storage and black for money.

Not So Good Past 24hrs

They say bad things happen in 3’s:

  1. My adapter for my ye old clamshell iBook carked it last night. I was not impressed to find that just buying the one they currently sell with newer iBooks would work. Luckily, www.batterymall.com.au seems to have what can help me get a bit more life outta my iBook, and for 50 bucks as opposed to $129 for new adapter. I should get it this week-ish.
  2. I had a minor car accident this morning with a minibus/van with some teenagers going to school in it. No no it wasn’t a P-plater hooning around in it, I think it was a teacher driving. Luckily no one was hurt, and damage to my car is very minimal. Teacher now knows to look before attempting a u-turn from off the road.
  3. My cat went in for his dental this morning, which the vet told me he would one day be needing. He also has dandruff on account he won’t eat anything other than dried cat food, so vet suggested an aloe vera bath. I’ve bathed my cat twice before and I think the scars down my back are finally healed, so I figure, yeah go on you guys do it. Jasper was suppose to be ready by 6:30pm this evening, but he’s still drowsy from the anasthetic, so they’ll be keeping him overnight and bathing him tomorrow. So it’s a kitty free night for me :.(

Unrelated: Warning: iPods may damage your hearing [BugMeNot]. Yeah, who’d have thunk that listening to your portable music player or radio in mobile of choice too loud for too long would cause hearing probs? Thanks SMH, you’re the best!

Rejected Limited Edition iPods

The Mil-lemon Train

8:50am – arrive at train station with intention of catching the 8:57 to get to a station which will let me catch the express 9:07, which will get me to work by 10-ish.

9:00am – announcement made telling commuters the 8:57 is running 20 mins late. Go to plan B: wait for 9:14 train.

9:04am – watch express train zoom past.

9:14am – finished coffee and make up application. Look up and see the 9:14 which happens to be a millenium train approaching.

9:16am – look up, train in same spot as 2mins ago approx 500m from the platform. WTF?

9:20am – train hasn’t budged. Boy these signals must be really fucked up!

9:22am – announcement made saying station don’t know WTF is going on.

9:25am – announcement made saying the millenium (mil-lemon) train has broken down. I grab keys and drive to work.

GRRRR!

Mug Etiquette in the Work Place

Mug etiquette should be a subject that one is forced to study before entering the work force. One would think that things such as not taking somone elses big purple mug with black cats on it, is commonly understood by all office workers. But no.

I have thusly compiled some rules for the uninformed, or just plain stupid:

  1. Thou shalt not use other peoples mugs. If you have not brought in your own mug, there’s normally the (scummy) office set specifically bought for the likes of thee.
  2. Thou shalt not use other peoples mugs, and then keep them on their desk. This is stealing*.
  3. Don’t lick stirring spoons. Have you seen who you work with? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  4. Don’t steal other people’s coffee and/or tea. Yeah I know your office is cheap and will only spring for some freeze dried grit, but don’t take other people’s decent stash. It’s not nice, and it’s stealing*.

*If your personal hygiene is of a low to troll standard, this technique might help you get a mug/coffee/tea of your choosing for free, as the rightful owner may feel that it is best to cut one’s losses and keep their health.

Lucie’s Miscellaneous Entry

www.designersinhouse.com – a mailing list for all you inhouse web designers out there wanting to whinge to each other about your similar occupational gripes.
I often find it hard to get my company to pay for training/seminars, so I was surprised when my half-arsed request to go to Web Essentials 2005 was granted with a positive full arse, and one of my co-workers for company.

New macs are out: iBook and mac mini. That’s great Steve, but where the fuck is the Australian iTunes store?

I’ve finished Harry Potter 6 and I liked it alot. Aside from character names, I think the most used word in the book was “snogging” due mainly to Won-Won. This interview with JK Rowling over at mugglenet, is worth a read, but make sure you finish the book first.

I’m really loving savage chickens. Here’s one of my fave’s creativity.
patchoforange has very nice sketches, including cute kitties.

bye-bye

New Colour iPods

New iPod range

iPod Photo has now become iPod and iPod U2 also gets the colour and photo capabilities. What gets me is the capacity differences, it’d be nice if there were a 40GB or something in between the 20 and 60GB ones. Maybe Apple are trying to sell more top of the range pods by only offering fence sitting people like me, who would look at entry level products and go, ‘I’d like a little more than that, what’s the next model up’, to buy the top of the range, ie most expensive model, as the mid option. (Then again, when I purchased my iPod, I went ‘fuck it’, and got top of the range at the time). I’m not sure that made a lot of sense but hopefully you get the idea.

The whole paying extra for a damn firewire cable sucks alot.

Podcasting stuff in the new iTunes is a good idea, I hope it doesn’t suck.

Savage Apple Chicken Words

If you love chickens and post-it notes AND weird humour, then savage chickens is the comic strip for you!

I have been very quiet about the whole Apple switching to Intel processor thing. Partly because I’ve been too busy at work, and TAFE assessments, and partly because I don’t understand the intricacies of system architecture and computer bits and what have you. Again I defect to Ol’ Grubey for what seems to be pretty in-depth light on the subject. But faster laptops = good surely.

I would like the world to know that MS Word screws up images, and that whacking some jpgs of lets say, web site designs that you expect people to code as pixel exactly as possible sites off is really fucking bad. There’s really nothing wrong with sending through images in .jpg, or .gif or .png format without the MS Word fuck-tionality.

City Rail Logo Enhancements

I’ve been looking at the City Rail logo and have thought of some enhancements that would truly reflect the quality of service they offer their commuters.

Crude – yes.

Childish – yes.

Truthful – fuck yeah!

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Pros and cons on the new job vs. old job

New:

  • Pro: I get to draw little people for a good part of the day, and design the rest
  • Pro: I get to travel
  • Pro: I get to work with designers
  • Pro: I get paid more
  • Con: It’s in North Sydney (pain for me to travel)
  • Con: I have to work on a DELL!

Old:

  • Pro: I get full creative control over internal projects, including drawing
  • Con: I don’t get full creative control over projects for external clients
  • Pro: internal projects getting more priority
  • Pro-ish: possibility of travel
  • Pro: Will be heading new team of designers, currently training junior designer
  • Pro: Just been offered same as new job
  • Pro: It’s near central station
  • Pro: I have a G5 and a nice cinema display monitor

Arrggh!!! Decisions!

iTunes Australia Coming (one day)!

Russell Crowe got our hopes up in this article: iTunes music store set to open. Today is Friday and it’s not open. But here’s some other articles stating that it will open in mid june.

iTunes Australia ready to launch?
Still no Australian iTunes Music Store
iTunes Australia – the Crowe let it out of the bag…

While they seem to be agreed of the month it’s opening, the cost per track seems to be up for grabs with 99 cents per track through to $1.80.

There’s a quote from someone that is getting used a lot in these article stating that if it’s $1.80 per track, or too expensive they’ll stick to Big W for $17. Well yeah that makes sense, I’d buy all my cds from Big W too if I could always find what I wanted. Big W is great for top 40 stuff, which 90% of is crap and quite frankly $17 is too expensive for crap.

Unrelated but Appley side note for aussie readers who saw the late night channel 10 news bit on the Nokia phone that will apparantley give the iPod a run for it’s money even though it’s over $1000 and only holds 3,000 songs. WTF? How much did Nokia pay for that advertorial?

Friday Stuffs

I can’t believe it’s a Full size stuffed Tiger – Only $149 with the purchase of a new CPU or Tiger OS X!. So what are they gonna offer for MS’s Longhorn?

Succint article on: The Difficulty with Originality
Li’l Brudder vs. Li’l Brudder

John Gruber’s: Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Adobe’s ‘FAQ’ Regarding Their Acquisition of Macromedia

Howl’s Moving Castle trailers. Same guys who did Spirited Away.

Marvel® Images Available Through Corbis

I found this while trying to find some reference photos of a doctor’s medical bag.

Marvel® image licensing available through Corbis. That’s kinda weird/cool and I’m not sure why or which one it is yet. But hey, one of the 2 companies saw an opportunity and are taking it.

More on this when I have far less work to do and feel as though I can construct coherent sentences later.

Ok you mac freaks, Tiger is coming!

Safari Display Badness

Grrrr!

I’m working on some print styles for a site, which invovles hiding or showing a version of the header for print or screen. Not a problem, I says. I’ll just use the handy media=print and show the correct header. Gecko family, IE and Opera all pass with flying colours. Okay, now it’s your turn Safari. No header.

Huh?

After trying everything I could possibly think of, I turn to Google and find this: Re: CSS (display: none;)

Noooo!

Further googling came up with this: Print media oddity.

It basically involves positioning what you don’t want to show on screen waaaaaayyyy off screen until you print. It’s not how I’d like to get around it, but I don’t have time right now to find a better remedy.

You have been warned.

The Circle of Work

Work has decided that yes, we need another designer, but no, we can’t afford one. Solution: hire a graduate. But do we want to PAY to put an ad in at seek? No. Solution: go to closest uni. People applied, I set some a task, some did the task. I tell work which 2 I’d like to interview approx. 2 weeks ago. Work are trying to figure out if we can hire a junior designer. GRRRRR!!!!

TAFE term ends this week, so it’s back to 5 day working weeks again for the next 2 weeks. Shit hey.

Oh well, it’s friday and I haven’t blogged in quite some time due to large workloads (see above bitching) resulting in less time. But here are some quick amusing links:

Fontlab Boobery
New look slippery truffle

Stuff That Is And Isn’t Cool

Working on weekends = not cool.

Getting paid extra to work on weekends = not highly cool. See previous point.

What if… = very cool.

Hacking your CSS to accommodate Internet Explorer = not cool at fucking all!

Getting Unstuck = cool.

Brain dead-ness = not very cool. But it helps drown out hysterical, whingy, control freak co-workers.

Forgetting to buy decent green tea leaves for work = not cool.

www.zefrank.com = coollishly funny.

sleep = cool indeed.

The Misc Entry

iPod Stuffs:

New iPod mini and iPod Photo range. Checkout that battery life! Nice. I’m glad the colours in the mini are more vibrant, however … (see colour point in next paragraph).

This wallet for iPods is one of those things I would buy if it came in any decent colours, like, black, purple, turquoise/cereluan blue or rasberry red.

Misc:

Tim Burton Fonts. I think you’ll find the first font very Smashing Pumpkins-esque also.

The Matt Groening Apple Guide. I don’t know about y’all, but I love Life in Hell (the comic strip by Groening). I think it was Juice magazine in Australia that I was buying as a 14 – 17ish teen, not only to read about your rock stars, but to read the Life in Hell comic strip. Being 14 -17ish I also found it necessary to cut out and stick appropriate ones on my folder. Seeing Matt and Apple join forces certainly makes you feel fuzzy inside.

TAFE:

I’m doing a statement of attainment or something like that at TAFE in fine arts. It’s one day a week and all I do is draw. There are of course (pardon the pun) pros ‘n’ cons.

PRO: less time at work
CON: 20% less pay

PRO: I’m not doing any coding, boring client work or duking it out with bad co-workers
CON: 30% more work

PRO: I’m drawing all day
CON: I lug arround heavy shit to the top of un-airconditioned rooms

PRO: I’m eligible for student discounts on yoga classes
CON: I’m not eligible for student discounts on travel

Macs For The Masses

Yep, that time of year again, time for a Mac conference. Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod shuffle, the Mac mini and iWork.

Lucie’s quick takes on these:

iPod shuffle is the size of a pack o’ gum, has no screen but can run on 2 AAA batteries when the internal one is drained, and has a flash based memory unlike the iPod. Love the battery thing, would be nice to see that incorporated to the rest of the iPod family. With the $150 price tag surely this baby will catch the eye of even the most cynical anti-iPodders.

What do you do with excess igloo shaped iMacs? Crush it into a small rectangle, trim off the monitor and keyboard, finish it off with that famous Apple styin’, and voila! Mac mini. This ‘puter is BYO mouse, keyboard and monitor/tv. It’s also the cheapest Mac ever! So if you’re a Windows iPodder, you might want to take a longer walk on the Apple side.

iWork is Keynote (slideshow program), and Pages (word processor). It’s cheap and Pages imports and exports Word docs. This is very good and means that you don’t need to fork out a lot of cash to create and view Word docs. Yay!

Side note: I like the new graphics on the iWork and iLife boxes.

The Big Bad Yoga Cult?

I came across this article about bikram yoga: Health fears over cult-like hot yoga.

I’ve actually started taking these classes so I was interested to see what these concerns are. I really haven’t seen any specifics in this article except for it’s apparent cult-likeness. I think calling a style of yoga cult-like because it claims to detox your body is a tad far fetched even if it doesn’t detox.

There’s a blurb about how exercising in that heat is bad, but they don’t say what these bad things are. Dehydration is of course the most obvious, but you are suppose to have had quite a bit of water before you go, and are to take a bottle of water in with you to the class so that this doesn’t happen.

Then they say that asthmatics, people with heart conditions etc, shouldn’t be exercising in a 37°C heated room. DERRR!

And no, I can’t say that I look to yoga for intense aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. I don’t want that, that’s one of the reasons I’m doing yoga.

Well no one said it was for everybody. I’ve gotta say so far I’ve had more stamina from it, (I can run for trains a lot longer now), it’s good to loosen up the muscles after cramping oneself into very bad work chair, and of course the sense calm that comes from being told to only think of your breathing for 90 minutes.

New Year, New Stuff

Merry New Year to you!

Some quick stuff:

Semi-Permanent 05 is boasting Ashley Wood as one of it’s speakers.

iStories you can download to your pod to read on train or what have you. I have only taken a quick scroll, but there is certainly some weird stuff there. You use ’em with this app. I dare say Pod2Go looks slightly more informative.

Tetris on your iPod not sure whether I’m gonna attempt to install Linux on the pod. I have limited geek-literacy. But I love tetris. Now I’m torn!

I like Illustration Friday. It’s a simple and nifty little idea to help you get scribbling.

iSock It To Me! Baby!

iPod socks?

Yep you can buy a set of 6 socks for your iPod for 48 of your bucks. I suppose this seems like more value in comparison to iPod skins which are generally this amount and upwards. Oh and they’re colourful, the same colours that the iPod mini comes in, which kinda sucks if you bought a mini. I mean wouldn’t you want to deck your pod out in some other colour? Like purple or something? Although I suspect that’s what the colour on the end is suppose to be.

Link to one of those more expensive but cool iPod skins I was referring to: MacSkinz – Artist Series. They’d be even cooler if there was more variety in subject matter. Frank Kozik’s bunnies are cool though.

But if you did spend 48 bucks on 6 six socks you might not need to buy the iCleaner iPod Scratch Remover – Pro Kit.

Very unrelated aside: this is highly amusing.

iPod Lost, But Now Found, Praise The Little App Factory

Me ‘n my iPod had a bit of a crisis on Tuesday. Luckily a bit of help from Mat from the The Little App Factory and their glorious app iPodRip 3.7 came to my rescue.

Software update on my mac comes up informing me of a firmware update for June 04 G5’s and an iPod update. I studiously downloaded and installed these and everything seemed hunky dory. I reconnected my beloved iPod and iTunes starts up, only this time I get an unfortunate dialogue box saying something to the effect of the pod is corrupt, reformat it. Huh? I go, the Finder recognises it just fine. I restart hoping it was a lost gremlin in the works. Nope, reformat your pod and lose all your music. NOOOOO!!

You see I haven’t made recent backup of all my music on my pod, and I don’t want to loose about 10GB of music. BING! I had a light bulb moment. I have iPodRip, I can get all the music from pod using that and back up to my hard drive. I launch iPodRip. AARGGHHH!! It unexpectedley quit everytime I launch it.

Hmmm… no, not good. I look at the Apple discussion forums to see if this behaviour has coincided with my updates but couldn’t find anything. I checkout The Little App Factory site. Nope nothing there, well I’ll fill out the support form, you never know. I figure, they’re a small company probably based in the US so I won’t hear anything till tommorrowish. I can wait. 5 mins later I gets email.

How’s that for response time!

After some concise ‘n helpful goings back ‘n forth, Mat sends me a different version of iPodRip that will enable me to back up my music to my hard drive.
Fan-fucking-tastic! Pod has been reformatted and all musiced up.

Any how, iPodRip is essential for pod owners and has been included in Allume System’s The Big Mix also.

iPod-a-rama

It has been a while since I have blogged due to work loads. So here’s a quickie.

New pods:

U2 Special Edition

It’s black with a red click wheel and it’s gorgeous and I want one.

iPod Photo

It’s in colour, you can browse your photos. It even comes with an AV cable to connect it to a tv and bore every one to death with a happy snap slide show, just like Patty and Selma. And I want one of these too.

This is a nice Little App for pod owners. Link thieved from The Slippery Truffle. More specifically, this entry, with some entertaining and informative pod stuff.

Tortured Artist Incident #1 Zillion-and-4

I’m working on some artwork for our company’s christmas party invite. The theme is winter wonder land, we’ve hired some large fluffy polar bear cut outs (growly bears) for decoration and I though the invite should therefore feature a polar bear.

I opted for a very deceptively classy smooth Arctic background with stars, two scripty fonts, some cartoony penguins (think Japanese character stationery), dangling from and icy curly glacier with a polar bear trying to reach them so he can eat them. The polar bear is also thinking about a roast chicken as he is trying to eat the penguins.

I have received the following criticisms from my party organising colleagues before sending it out to the company.

1. The polar bear is too fierce/aggressive. Can you at least take off his claws?

How many friendly, cuddly polar bears without claws have you met?

2. I don’t get why the polar bear is thinking about chicken.

Have you been watching cartoons over the past 50 years? Man it’s a classic toon cliché!

3. But the fierce polar bear doesn’t go with the style and isn’t what the theme is about.

Obviously very new to the use of contradiction as humour.

Nothing has been said about my Santa’s sweatshop sign depicting a swoosh logo in candy stripes. I guess that one hasn’t hit the radar yet.

Maybe I’m being over protective, or these subtle things are too subtle.

GRRRRRR!!

Before:

After:

Dude Where’s my CPU?

New iMac G5 unveiled

But where’s the cpu? Dude it’s in the screen.

Wow.

Not too keen on the slot loading optical drive, but wow, that’s one hell of a design. Don’t know how effective the cooling will be, some Apple rumour sites have been speculating about cooling probs being a reason for it’s delayed release. But that’s probably me being too picky or paranoid.

Love that crisp turquoisey-ceraulean-blue Apple are using in their graphics these days. Apple’s visual identity evolves as their products evolve, but that’s another soapboxy design entry for later.

New G5: Week 1

Work replaced my cruddy windows box for a G5 with a 20 inch cinema display. Now this is a design machine! It’s whisper quite, very stable going between Photoshop and Illustrator and just the usual mac gorgeousness encased in aluminium. This machine makes other things possible that my old one had either extreme difficulty or impossibility doing. For instance, right now, I am working on a 14 MB file (not huge), in Photoshop, going between my text editor, (BBedit), FTP client (Rbrowser Lite), Mail, iCal, Safari, IE 5.2 and drumroll… listening to a CD in iTunes! Yep, I couldn’t have the equivalent apps open at once while listening to a CD on my old machine, Photoshop would slow up, screen might not render terribly fast. But not now, I can listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers — Live in Hyde Park (highly reccomended) and go about my usual work stuff no probs!

My other annoyance was the colour, screen, graphics card and their interaction or lack thereof, with graphics apps. Sometimes 1px wide vertical lines would appear as two even though I new this was not so. I couldn’t get the geometry totally right either. Colour calibration was not fun on previous set up, despite having Illustrator and Photoshop set up to use the Adobe 1998 RGB profile. If I had to take screen shots, I had to do this weird song and dance, converting everything from my monitor colour space to what I wanted, to back again! Go figure! Quite often saving for web produced weird results, but resaving it fixed it. Go figure! Didn’t quite help when two geeks from work gave it a shot either. They thought they new a little about colour management. Go figure!

Such a grand screen demands a grand desktop. I haven chosen the puprle spookiness of Ravenswood Manor from pixelhuset.

The screen is gorgeous! It even comes with it’s own aluminium grey coloured cleaning cloth! How cool is that! The clarity and colour is in-fucking-credible! And the wide screen format is equally useful, I can have my psd file with my code window side by side, or a browser window. Or whatever. It’s fan-bloody-tastic! Of course Expose also makes light work of finding the appropriate document.

As I have a snazzy graphics tablet, this means I can use Inkwell to draw or write anywhere on the screen and use it in other apps as I see fit. Nice. I need to play around with it a bit more, but still nice. I haven’t played around with Fontbook as much as I’d like to, but I love what I see so far. A useless but human detail I like is in the login screen, if you enter your details incorrectly it shakes the login panel left to right like it’s saying, uh-uh! Nope!. Go on all you Panther (10.3.5) users, try it. I’ve been logging in wrong on purpose almost every morning just to see it!

Okay not so crash hot stuff: white mouse and keyboard. I am a grot. It’s already dirty. The tower is heavy I can’t lift it. Alright that’s to be expected.

Now I need some accessories: some speakers, headphones, keyboard cover might be an option. A proper graphics tablet cover would also be nice come to think of it.

How to Get a Mac When You’re Surrounded by Windows

1. Rob bank
2. Buy mac

Or you can just rob a mac store up to you.

Or you can read on to see what I did.

I prefer macs. I’m a designer/illustrator, who can code without Dreamweaver. I’m an odd breed (job hunting and high school taught me that). I rarely use office apps, I spend my working days in Photoshop and/or Illustrator and/or Flash with a text editor, some browsers and an FTP app. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna throw a tanty and demand a Mac, I’ve worked at companies with Windows machines, but I prefer the company of macs.

As a web-based software-ish travel company, the office is of course mainly Windows boxes except for the developers and some of our production team with Linux, I think there’s some Sun servers etc. The office is very anti-mac, so getting me a mac was looking impossible. We’ve got an OLD iMac for testing, but it’s hardly a design machine.

One of the previous designers, (now a project manager), used to use a mac at work, but was replaced with a windows machine for cost reasons I think. This too was indeed a strike against me getting a mac. It was looking pretty bleak, until we employed a technical documentation guy, Vergil. He and his 12 inch Powerbook G4 have been a here about 8 months and this seems to have added more credibility to the mac in the eyes of the office.

I casually said that I would like a mac at an office challenges day, (meetings where we got to make suggestions to improve working conditions and processes). This seemed to have sown the seed in our finance guy’s head.

Design for Chunks

Design for chunks competition, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic.

What a fantastic comp! You design a sick bag, you are one of the lucky 20 winners, Virgin Atlantic print them and passsengers throw up in it! Fan-bloody-tastic!

Needless to say the site is full of double entendres of the vomity kind. I love this sentence in the copyright info:

Isn’t the blatant commercial exploitation of real talent enough to make any true aesthete sick?

Now for something truely sick, the Disney Dream Desk.

Colorcell

Check it out I’ve just created my own living colour cell over at Colorcell.
It’s an interesting site where you can create colour palettes called cells containing 4 colours. People vote for their favourite cells and you can view stats like the most popular cell for the day etc. Cells are ranked and are either alive and well in the living space, or dead in the cemetery. Of course there are only 100 spaces in the living space so it’s a fight for survival.
That’s the basic jist of the site. There’s more to it and it’s not unlike one of those digital pet things but not annoying.
Let’s see how long it takes for my cell to die. With any luck it’ll live on in the hall of fame.

Friday Apple Stuff

Ahh. It’s Friday.

Bono Moves to Preempt Thieves

Yep, U2’s new album Vertigo, due out in November, was stolen at a photo shoot. The guys are gonna release it to the iTunes music stores if it turns up online elsewhere, like on file-sharing networks. And I’m guessing if they can find it online too. Hmm…

Apple has taken the G4 powermacs off the web store. Yeah you can still check out their specs and whathave you, but click on the buy now graphic. I defy you to purchase one on this site, you just can’t. This means that work will now be purchasing me a G5 instead! (insert numerous sarcastic damnings of all sorts).

Next week will go down in history as the only one where I actually want to go to work. This one was the one I least wanted to go back to work as I spent the previous week doing life drawing and painting classes at The Rocks.

And finally, checkout how mac fans are showing their love ‘n’ support for Steve Jobs.

How many other CEOs of other huge techy companies spark such a public response?

Telstra Art Competition

Telstra ‘Paint a Payphone’ Art Competition
Telstra are running a competition, the winner will get their artwork displayed on selected Telstra payphones across Australia, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Prizes are very encouraging, with an iBook pack for 17s and under, and 10,000 bucks for 18s and older.
I wonder if this is one of those things that crap graffiti taggers* shun because it’s legitimate? I can see it now, the sensitive graffiti artist in the crap tagger posse enters comp with a gorgeous design, wins and gets thrown out of said posse for doing something other than write a bad alias illegibly.
* I am aware that graffiti art is not all people essentially lifting their leg and marking their territory. This stuff, I think, is crap. There is plenty of fantastic graffiti out there, including tags that are meticulously executed, with more attention to typography than a lot of designed stuff.