ShittyRail

ShittyRail is a spoof site on CityRail and it’s pretty funny as the home page indicates:

The ShittyRail network helps you arrive fashionably late at your destination…

Strong Bad Arcade

A new game category has been added to the blog, so I thought it very fitting to post a link to this Strong Bad email, complete with some flash games at the end featuring everyone’s favourite sexy mexican wrestling mask clad guy — Strong Bad.

If you don’t who Strong Bad is, than your are seriously missing out and I pity you in tremendous amounts. You also need a recent flash player and to check out the rest of homestarrunner.com. There are also other games worthy of playing in the games section, such as Trogdor the Burninator!, awxome cross and population: tire.

Gorey Anchor Art

At the same time The Unstrung Harp was being published, Gorey was embarking on another project, one which turned out to be part and parcel of a major change occurring in the paperback book industry: designing the covers for the new Anchor Books.

Looky-looky! Online postings of covers by Edward Gorey. Check out Those Gorey Covers!

Farewell Shag

Sigh! The Shag exhibition wraps up this weekend in Sydney. Josh Agle aka Shag will be at The Studio for Official Book Signing, 2-4pm this saturday aka tomorrow.
If you haven’t checked out this exhibition, do it! You have to see a Shag painting in real life to truly appreciate the actual colours and textures. The only downer, was that a few paintings weren’t finished in time for the Sydney show. These are going to be shipped directly to Melbourne damn it! But they will be in the catalogue at least.
Bye, bye Shag.

City Fail For Free

A joke for your amusement: City Rail! (b-boom chiing!)

I’m not going to go into too much detail on the bullshit that has been subjected to us weary commuters. Driver strikes, gas leaks, cancellation,s etc, etc, etc. Good thing I got me an iPod, that’s all I’m gonna say.

So, to bring some sort of grin to our faces and extra dollars back in our wallets, City Rail will be offering (drum roll please): Complimentary Travel for Regular Commuters. Further details here: How To Redeem Your Free Travel.

City Rail, I would say thanks but I won’t. You’ve fucked up too much of late. We commuters deserve this as well as a reliable public transport system, not one that goes screwy when there’s some rain or it’s too hot or whatever.

So now that just leaves the question of what to do with my extra $37 next week. Let’s see, a cd, or dvd, or drinks, or astro boy figures, or kenshin figures, or new headphones for iPod, or more frangipani sea salt body scrub (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), or it could go towards my monthly massage… who knows at this stage. The possibilities are as endless as the value of a $37 weekly rail ticket.

OOOHHH!! Check this out a feedback form on City Rail service. Do I really need to tell you what to do with this, my angry hate filled friends?

High School Teachers Not Educated On Copyright Or Morality

I received an email from someone in California about some stationary they bought while in Australia a year ago, with some black and white Australian animal sketches that I did apparently. They wanted to know if there was anywhere in California they could get some more of these items.

I was dumbfounded. Huh? Then I cast my mind back to when I was in high school, there was a teacher who asked if I’d do some sketches for him to print out onto stationary and sell at the markets. I was of course going to get a fee, although undecided at the time. I did the sketches but the teacher then informed me he wasn’t going to go ahead with them after all.

At least that’s what he told ME…

This had to be what the Californians were talking about. My name must be on the pieces some where, so they’ve done a web search and come up with my website and email. I replied asking if they could remember where they got them from, “Paddy’s Markets”.

I’m not quite sure what pisses me off more, the fact that I’m being ripped of by a teacher (whose name I can’t remember), or that very shitty artwork can be traced back to me. Like I said, I did these when I was in high school, they’re crap!

If anyone else seems to have purchased any of these items with said artwork could you please email me with info on where you bought them. I’m not going to blow your head off or sue you, hey you didn’t do anything wrong. I just need more info. Maybe even a scan of the actual item so I can see where my name is or something.

Guess where I’m going this Saturday…

Nathan J Exhibit Online

The Nathan J exhibition, Girls and Other Scary Things, has been posted online at the Outré Gallery web site. I would link straight to the appropriate page, but the site uses frames and some annoying javascript that takes you back to the home page with frames even after you open just the content frame in a new window. GGRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Any way, it’s accessable from the exhibitions link. There are some nice prints and with some equally nice price tags. I also reccommend the blind boxed mini tree house figures. Their cute factor is very high!

Wacom Love

I LLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my new graphics tablet, a 9×12″ intuos 2 in deep purple (it even comes in purple!). I’ve been using it for about a week now and don’t know how I’ve handled drawing with a mouse for so long. I’ve even been coming into work earlier, (this is in part due to me needing more time to redesign and code my website which I now don’t like too much), but also to work on some drawngs for a flash quiz.

It’s captured a bit of attention at work due in part to it’s size. “OOOOO!!! Did work pay for that?” They ask in awe and sly curiosity. “No”, I flatly reply, “They didn’t”, even though I will be primarily be using it for work. Company’s insurance will cover it incase something happens to it while it’s at work, all though they weren’t sure if that was possible for a couple of days because it’s not work’s property, i’t MINE! When I go, so does the tablet.

Our operations department did try to get the company to buy said tablet for me, but company said “Na!”, so I thought, “Fuck you! I’ve been creating vector illustrations for our new website, icons for other clients and am currently working on a flash quiz, I need something to help me get this work done faster and easier. I want one for myself at home any way, so fuck it, I’m buying one!”.

Worth every penny, and the bungled address saga which made the delivery of tablet far more annoying and lengthy on my end.

Panthers Only On Safari 1.2

Sigh! Apple, Apple, Apple! What are you doing!

Safari 1.2 has been released, but if you’re not running Panther then you can’t. Yes, yes I know same goes for Safari 1.1, and not a peep was made by me. I don’t know, I was too busy to notice, and was kinda hoping that Apple would rectify this shortly. Then I thought that maybe the 1.1 release were just minor changes to get it to run on Panther, I don’t know, like some porting thing or something. I don’t know, I’m not a geek, I’m a designer. Maybe this is the case for 1.2 also, maybe, maybe not…

Is Apple intentionally doing this to force users to upgrade their OS? Will users keep having to upgrade almost every time there’s a new Safari release, like a certain Microsoft company you might know about will be doing with their browser from now on? (security patches are of course the exception).

Is this not good or am I just whinging? Maybe some answers will turn up here someday.

G5 Violated!

“How I PC’d an Apple G5”

There are NO words to describe my utter shock and abhorrance for this dickhead. He gets a G5 for a GIFT! Who the hell gets a G5 for a GIFT?

Ok that’s not what I’m truly shocked at. He dissembowels it so he can whack PC bits in it so he can run Windows XP, apparently he wanted a Dell (Dill or Hell) not a G5!

Where are the Apple police when you need them!

Nathan J Book Coming To Sydney Very Bloody Soon!

The Nathan J exhibition is only on in Melbourne. That sucks pretty darn hard, but hey, us Sydney siders get to swoop down and gorge ourselves silly on the Shag exhibit and Shag related goodies first, so that’s pretty cool. You know what enhances the coolness of the impending Shag exhibition? The fact that you can buy the Nathan J book/catalogue of the Melbourne show, you know, the book I said “I fucking want” in this entry here. That’s pretty fucking nice of those wonderful Outré Gallery keepers.
On a totally unrelated note, I finally succumbed and bought myself a graphics tablet. How the hell could I resist? I mean they come in deep purple these days. The theory is it will be delivered to my place of employment tomorrowish.

Booble (Giggle)

www.booble.com was launched today.

Yes, Booble is a fucking funny play on Google. Google is the webs kick arse search engine. Booble will be the webs kick arse adult content search engine. Illegal and extremely hard-core material have been filtered out.

You have got to see the logo, fucking funny.

Check out this article, Booble takes a poke at Google for some background info and a chortle.

Booble! – tee hee

Grey HP Pods

Gee it’s certainly taken me some time to blog about the whole Apple licensing their iPod hardware to HP thing. I could crap on about how this is a good thing for Mac users, PC users, HP, Apple and every one who wants an iPod, but Mr. Gruber says it far more eloquently than I so here: The H-Bomb. Todd Dominey also says it betterer than I: The HP / Apple Dance.

Like Gruber, I think the fact that the HP iPod will not support/play WMA files is a complete non issue. I also find this article Hewlett-Packard: No WMA for IPod, just some more indirect Apple bashing. Oooooo! You can’t play WMA files! Why the fuck would you when mp3 and AAC are both superior and platform independant? Maybe I just think this as I don’t buy music from the iTunes store or other such stores. If I like something I buy the cd and let iTunes turn it into a cd quality mp3 or AAC playlist and whack it on my iPod. Just a thought, why don’t Napster and other such people offer mp3’s as well or instead of WMA? Why are these people jumping on the proprietry band wagon? Maybe I’m just out of the loop…

Any way, you can checkout the HP branded iPod in HP grey in this video on Cnet.
WMA – HA!

Shag’n Nathan J

Straight outta the Outré Gallery‘s newsletter:

Outré will be publishing a full-colour 48 page book on the work of Nathan entitled “Scarygirl: Art by Nathan”. This will be one of the very first monographs in the world focussing on vinyl as a new artistic medium. It will include reproductions of Nathan’s working sketches, illustrations and beautiful, detailed photographs of his vinyl work.

I want this fucking book. I want this exhibition to come to Sydney but alas it appears that this is not the case. Nathan J will only be available for Melbournians viewing pleasure, damn it!
HEROES AND MONSTERS: NEW WORKS BY SHAG, Sydney Opera House: 30 January – 24 February 2004.
Meet Shag in Sydney:

  • Saturday 21 February at The Studio for Official Book signing, 2-4pm
  • Sunday 22 February at The Studio for Closing Celebration, 6:30-8:30pm, and then following for DJs and dancing at The Opera bar until late (free admission)

Of course many Shaggy related items will be available for all your impulsive Shag needs. If you want to buy original paintings you are too late. There was a list, you could’ve joined the list, but it’s closed and the paintings are spoken for. Sigh!
The countdown is on!

Details Of Changes…

AAMI has made some changes to some of their policies. Details of changes…

Car Insurance Policy Changes

Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes… Details of changes…

A bit drastic I’d say, but fair.

Let see how long it takes them to realise that they’ve fucked up a tad.

Optus Are Fucked Because…

1. They took 2 weeks to port my telstra number to their Opt-sucks shit, which I was told would take 3 days max.

2. Their customer service staff on both phone and in store give you the run around. I have only encountered 1 helpful lady and 1 guy who could actually tell me what was going on, although he was still bloody annoying because he kept apologising in that monotone ‘I don’t care’ voice, out of 15 or so phone calls.

3. It is now January 2004. My mum and I submitted the change of ownership forms with 100 points ID in October 2003. It still hasn’t been done even after receiving an sms from Opt-sucks saying that my change of ownership has been actioned on the 14/10/03.

A phone call last month to see what the hell is going on turned up some other guy who said the info was there it needs to be processed, and I’ll email the dept. to do it and we’ll give you a call. Needless to say I received no such call.

Of course amongst all these phone calls, I have to have my mum to give authorisation because the account’s still in her fucking name. I don’t think I need to tell you how annoying that is.

Today’s phone call was more informative, the guy informed me that the account had been separated, but the ownership hadn’t been changed. Would be nice if I was informed properly about this in the sms or previous phone calls. No info had been submitted, I would have to go into an Opt-sucks store. I rang my Opt-sucks store. They told me Robbie was handling it and would chase it up. Robbie had since October to chase it up. What the fuck was Robbie doing? Oh I have a phone call.

It was Robbie he needed to confirm some more ID details and he’ll get back to me when he’s finished chasing it up.

Why am I still with Opt-sucks you ask? Well, they are the only mobile service that gets decent reception when I’m at home, and I would like decent mobile reception when I’m at home because I use this phone for both personal and freelance business calls. I don’t want my clients to have my home number, and I don’t do enough freelance business to warrant getting another phone line.

Stay tuned for more Opt-sucks antics or read about my previous entry: Port This!.
For the purposes of effective google searching (see Red wolf comment): Optus, Optus, Optus, Optus, Optus. Oh and Optus.


Community Service Announcement: If you’ve got serious issues with your phone service provider that you have been unable to resolve, it would be well worth your while to have a chat to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Mute Tourettes

Got this through our gag mailing list at work with this image:

Dear All,

I don’t normally make a habit of forwarding charity e-mails, but this seemed to be a particularly good cause. I know it touched me personally. Mute Tourettes Syndrome has long been in the shadow of its more famous sister-disease, Tourettes Syndrome, and although much rarer, is even more tragic in its consequences. While a child suffering from Tourettes has difficulty in containing its anger and frustration, a child with Mute Tourettes suffers the opposite fate, and is unable to express their true feelings. There is, however, an answer. A great deal has been achieved by the Mute Tourettes Foundation using new art therapy techniques. However, their work can only continue with your help. Just $5.00 will keep a child supplied with crayons for a whole day. $10 will provide them with enough paper for a week. Please give what you can to help this deserving cause. Thank you.

Please open the above attachment so that the benefits of your generosity can be appreciated.

Photoshop No Longer The Tool Of Choice For Counterfeiters

Photoshop rips heavy cultural symbols out of artists’ phrasebook
Photoshop CS Adds Banknote Image Detection, Blocking?
Photoshop BS

Yep, the latest version of Photoshop, (Photoshop CS), now automatically detects US currency and prevents you from manipulating, copying and pasting it.

Paint Shop Pro 8 has also followed suit.

This handy site contains links and facts about using bank note images for countries around the world. And if I’ve read the US guidelines correctly, you can use illustrations of US currency provided you follow these guidelines.

So why is Adobe restricting law abiding Photoshop users?

Mini iPods, Many Colours

Colourful mini iPods have been unveiled at the current Macworld Expo. The mini iPods come in silver, gold, pink, lime and blue, alas there is no purple. They hold 4G worth of music and/or data and is even smaller than your standard iPods. The buttons have been integrated into the scroll wheel, which is actually a click wheel on these things so I’d be interested to see how this goes. Not sure if I like the idea of them reinventing the scroll wheel, it’s a fantastic usability and design feature of the iPod that helps set it apart from all the other wannabe iPods.

Accessory madness has already hit the mini iPod range. You can now buy an armband to shamelessly flaunt your shiny new mininess. Not sure if it’s such a bargain though, a full iPod with 15G capacity is $299 USD, where as the mini iPod holding 4G is $249 USD. You’d really have to love the colours and really, really, really, really need something that bit smaller.

New iLife has also been released with a new app, GarageBand, which allows users to record and mix their own tunes. But wait, isn’t that what Soundtrack was/is for? Hmmm… maybe. GarageBand seems to be the really, really, really, easy way to record, for example, with one cable you can just plug in your guitar and go off! Which has sold me, not sure how soundtrack does do this or if it can.

More stuff was announced but you can read about it here.

Back To Work (Sigh!)

I am back at work after 2 weeks of… not being at work. The time was spent/wasted on some freelance work, numerous family do’s, quality family fueding at the beach house, drinking with friends and family (note: drinking and family do’s go hand-in-hand, this is necessary for maximum sanity retention), photo taking wanderings and Lord of the Ring-ing. How many freaking close ups of Froddo’s freaky face do we bloody well need I ask you!

I say my time was spent and wasted simultaneously because I of course did not do everything I had intended, such as drawing, getting my resume up to speed and getting a new portfolio together. Oh well.

The Xmas haul was so-so. I got a cool purple bag and ring box. Everything else was pretty average. I guess no one read my Xmas wishlist entry earlier, which in hindsight was still far too short. I mean I forgot to add the graphics tablet, a better digital camera, some furry cat ears on a head band, a rice cooker (my mum can’t cook rice and when she does she puts steak spice and peas in it for christ sakes!), and heaps of other crap I can’t think of right now.

At least work was pretty easily eased into. Non-threatening coding and batch processing some photos was all that needed doing. The absence of the entire project management dept., (2 people) is also a blessing. What, just those 2 people gone make you happy? Why yes, yes it does beacuase they are both fucking nightmares to work with.

On another note, my friend Simone will be singing at the Hard Rock Cafe on Crown St, Surry Hills, 7 till 7:45pm 6th Jan. Go see her she’s good and she can write her own music, but not dance, she refuses to dance, but that’s ok.

OOOOO! Look at that, it’s home time!

Lucie’s Xmas Wishlist

All I want for xmas =

dual 2GHz G5
23″ Apple studio display monitor
17″ PowerBook G4
Belkin iPod Media Reader
The Adobe Creative Suite
Maton electric guitar, MS2000 DLX in purple grape burst
This Nathan J print, or this one
Nathan J Scarygirl and Toycat figurines
This Shag print, or this one, or any of his books
Anything from Emily the Strange
A new day job (in illustration)
A house
A cat hair picker-upperer that works superbly

Which Came First? The Business Card Or The Logo? + Cereal

I’ve had an interesting couple o’ days with a freelance client I just picked up. I got the go ahead on tuesday-ish. On wednesday afternoon I get a call from the other person I’m working on this project with. Let’s call them Red Wolf. So Red Wolf calls me just as I’m leaving day job / full-time work early ’cause I felt like shit, and informs me that client X wants new logo by friday so he can whack ’em on business cards, and that I should give him a call. You bet I should give this guy a call. Who the hell decides to organise logo design three days before he goes to print? I’ll tell you who, people who think design is just about some pretty shapes ‘n’ colours. These are the people who think that they are also designers because they know some, or own a copy of Photoshop. AAARGGGGHHH!!!!!!

You know what, there are designers who take this approach, and I pity them. These guys only see the surface of what their craft is / should be, in fact they don’t even see it as a craft. Then there are the designers who take a good, well thought out and researched approach to their work. These are the guys who make informed and educated descisions on colour, shape, typography and etc., as well as using their artistic and intuitive sensibilities. What can I say there are designers, and then there are good designers.

Sigh! Everyone thinks they are a designer. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but chances are you are not. Using the lastest fonts won’t help you, neither will using white, grey and orange. Knowing basic concepts or buzz words such as consistency, usability, font, pixel or rounded corners isn’t going to perform any transformations either.

Logo is done now and I sent off an .eps and .ai files to client X so they could shove them infront of their print guy. I then got an email back with him saying he couldn’t open the files. Then another saying I opened it in Photoshop, but it’s cropped weird can you fix this. This e-mail was met with some grinding of teeth, and responded in such a way as to educate him succinctly and diplomatically on the ways of graphic design and print. All seems fine now.

On another note, I’ve actually been eating breakfast at work in the mornings now. Our ceo’s son got a whole swag of mini cereal boxes for free. They kinda fell of the back of a truck.

iPod Battery Comes Clean

Hurrah! Not too long ago my attention was drawn to this. Did you click, read and watch? No? Well you’ve got some attention span issues, (or low bandwidth). To recap, guy buys first generation iPod. 18 months later battery only holds charge for 1 hour. Not good. Apple will replace battery for something like USD $255. He is advised to just buy another iPod. He’s not happy and makes a clever video documenting his response, which was to cleverly stencil iPod’s unreplacable battery only lasts 18 months onto as many iPod posters as possible.

ipodsdirtysecret.com has now been updated with some good news. Apple have dropped battery service to USD $99 for out of warranty pods.

This price is far more reasonable. Whether or not ipodsdirtysecret.com was soley responsible for Apple’s price drop is still up for grabs. But it sure is a bit of a coincidence…

Hats off to the brothers Neistat anyways!

But just in case, off I go to purchase some Apple Care for my iPod.

Silly Source

I’ve just had a client asking me for some source files from some mini flash quizzes I created some months back. I was silly and didn’t make it clear as to who owns the source files. I thought they just wanted the swf files, the final output for the web site, not the source files so they can just take my work and do whatever the hell they want with it, such as bastardise my stuff. The client doesn’t really know what a source file is or does. This took a bit of time explaining, but I think I got there.

This client asked for these about 4 months ago, and told me they only wanted them so they could change background colour. I said that will only take me an hour anyway. Client was fine with that and said they’d get back to me with the new colour and never did.

Any how, the client and I are not tearing strips off each other which is nice, and it should be all resolved in a couple of hours when they meet with the new company they are now taking their business over to. If they can recreate what I did for cheaper, then fine. If they want to use my source files, they pay.

I particularly found this article, When you’re asked for artwork files, quite useful in helping me sort my head out so that I could call back the client in a calm and coherent manner.

Yes, before I do any more freelance work I shall be looking at addressing this in the beginning like I should’ve.

Silly.

iPoddy

iPod’s Dirty Secret (Quicktime video) tells the story of a 18-month-old iPod with a dead battery. Apple will fix it…

This guy bought an iPod about 18 months ago and the battery is now dead. Apple charges about $255 to replace the battery. So he goes around and adding this info to iPod posters. The battery saga is not cool but:

a) iPod runs on essentially a laptop type battery. It will lose its ability to recharge over time, as do PDA’s, mobile phones and laptops.

b) There are other options for when your babys battery dies, you are not at Apples mercy. Yes opening your iPod means you kiss your warranty kaput, but unless you’ve bought Apple Care, iPod probably aint going to die within warranty time (1 year).

The article I’ve linked up the top of this entry has some links worth checking out including this one www.ipodbattery.com.

This is something Apple should look at, either dropping the price of replacement batteries (somehow), or making DYI kits available. Or maybe this is something Sony could look at as the internal batteries are Sony. They’ve just missed out on creating something iPoddy so they might as well capitalise on the accessories.
Some other iPod accessories worth checking out is the back up battery by Belkin. With this baby you can power your other baby with 4 AA alkaline batteries, for about $70. Nice one.

Another stroke of genius is this baby, the Belkin iPod Media Reader. You can transfer images from your digital camera to your iPod on the go so you can free up more room on your camera. Now this is a fucking must have if you’re like me and carry both iPod and digital camera everywhere you go, and it’s $200. Yes another fucking nice one.

Cine-mac-tic

The new 20-inch iMac has been released. That’s right, the flat panel iMac now comes in 15 “flat screen”, 17 “widescreen” and 20-inch “cinematic” screens.
$3,898.00 AUD will get you the new 20-inch iMac with a super drive (DV-R/CD-RW), which I think is pretty good. For under 4 grand you’ve got a dvd burner and nice big screen, and you know the screen/video card combo is good cos it’s a mac.

That’s just one of the reasons I like macs, good quality screens and video cards are just fucking standard. No fucking around with inferior video card and a reasonable monitor, or just shit monitor and a half-assed video card like in Microsuck land. Hey and don’t say oh just get good stuff put in it, I’m a fucking designer. I just want to get a good machine that I enjoy using, I’m not a geek who wants to spend every spare second of my time needing to beef up inadequate design machines.

Rant over.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

New Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban trailer released. This site also looks quite pretty.

You can also check out www.azkaban.com where currently you can see an animated wanted poster of Sirius Black, and post sightings.

The third movie isn’t due to be released until 4 June 2004 though. At this stage Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), will be 30 when the 5th movie is released. It’ll be Beverly Hills 90210 all over again… AHH!! Imagine Aaron Spelling producing a Harry Potter movie. Not a covered navel in sight and Tori shamelessly paraded around as Hermione.

My Aunt, The Italian Yoda

Some relative of the family passed away today causing much confusion. The first confusing episode was caused by the highly unimaginative Italian tradition of naming sons and and daughters after dads and mums. It took my mum almost two hours and 20 phone calls to figure out which Stella Something-or-other died. It’d have been much quicker to have photos with a name on the back sent out to respective family members via carrier pigeons.

The second part of the who died saga, was how to discern what responsibilities certain family members have now. For example, an Italian tradition is to basically have a house/place open for three days where other distant family members can come to pay their respects, or hold crying competitions. These gatherings of course, need to have food available, sometimes even a full blown dinner. Yes, I know any excuse for a feast. My mum and an aunt were very confused as to whether they needed to provide the food or not, the social standing with this particular deceased relative was very much in the grey area apparently.

Every Italian family does however have an oracle to consult in situations like these, an Italian Yoda if you will (normally female), and I’m sure my aunt Yoda has steered my mum in the socially responsible, and acceptable direction.

Now how much to spend on the flowers is a totally different thing altogether…

The Adobe Florist

Adobe’s CS range means new software, new packaging, new name and of course new icons. Checkout the icon for Illustrator CS posted on What Do I Know.
Hmmm… pink flower = a vector illustration program. Adobe what the hell are you thinking? Okay, so it goes with new packaging, but it says nothing about what the application does. If they wanted to keep flower graphics from the packaging, then surely they could’ve done something to it to show hey, it’s a vector illustration program. Even if the flower was drawn in Illustrator, (maybe it was?), or showed node points or a pen tool, or even use the same masking technique from the packaging.
Guess I’ll have to download the tryouts just to see the rest of the bouquet. They should at least have a purple one.

2004 Consumer Colour Forecast

What? Cinder Blue, Deep Arctic, Champagne Bubble with a dash of Newtral and a hint of Soda Green? That is so 2003. Get the new 2004 Consumer Directions Palette from the CMG (Colour Marketing Group).
Haven’t been able to find any swatches yet but shall keep you posted. Names such as Jolt, Grow, Tickle, See and Coppertunity are quite intriguing.

Behold, Multiple IEs Together in Harmony

One for the web people, this guy has made the impossible possible. He has found a way to have IE5.01, 5.5 and 6 installed together under Windows XP, 2000, Server 2003, 98 and ME. (awe inspired gasp and eyes filled with hope…)

For those who aren’t aware, you can’t run different versions of Internet Explorer — on Windows. This causes incredible arse pains when web designers and developers need to test their work to make sure it’ll work in as many configurations as they’ve promised.

No more going onto this machine and then that one, and asking someone else how sites look and work, and bribing them, or just crossing fingers and offering virgin scarifices to the browser gods — please, please work, I beg you!

But I digress. I myself have not had the chance to try this out, but all the feed back on the site is incredibly positive.

Best/Depressing Client Quotes Ever

I checked with a friend and they said there definitely is a rainbow effect in photoshop, why did you tell us there wasn’t one?

This gem along with a gazillion others can be read here. This truly is the holy grail of stupid client quotes guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and then feel depressed because I’m sure many designers have heard the same shit before.

Damn you stupid clients!!

Yes it’s Melbourne Cup day!

Yes it’s Melbourne Cup day! Yay! My company sweep allocated horsies are Tumeric and Schumpeter. I have absolutely no fucking idea how to pronounce either of them, but they’d better do very well indeed.

On another note, a major-ish web site redesign I spent countless hours designing and coding with clients, project “managers”, programmers and QA people, went live yesterday. I have some very mixed feelings towards it. A lot of my judgments regarding the design were overuled by the powers that be. Countless revisions and changes were made, from small text changes, colour, useability issues, interface design, icons etc. I spent a hell of alot of time working on these but in the end apparently all that mattered was what the client wanted, whether there were more efficient, appropriate approaches, techniques and conventions or not. And what the client wanted, was a rip off of their competitor(s) with their corporate colours slapped in place and rounded edges everywhere.

The aspect of the redesign that I am the happiest with, (but by no means imply that there isn’t room for improvement), are the icons. This project afforded me with a chance to create/illustrate/stylise a small set of icons which are now happily finding their way across this companys’ other sub-sites. Illustration is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I can remember. It’s this interest/passion that got me into design in the first place and is what I want to do.

No the client didn’t go with my preferred design, colour scheme or header and footer treatments, but the icons were the part of this design that both myself, (and my company entourage) and the client, (plus their many, many, many, many layers of red tape and stakeholders) could agree upon. This was the part of the design process that I enjoyed the most, and that kept me going despite the internal politics.

Go Schumpeter and Tumeric!

Bloggers Beware

This is reasonably fucked.

Did you read the article? If not basically this guy got sacked by Microsoft because of this blog entry entitled Even Microsoft wants G5s. The article contains a happy snap of some G5s being unloaded from a truck. That’s right, just some computer boxes in a truck, no people, no MS references in sight, accompanied by some text about someone getting new toys at Microsoft. Microsoft didn’t like this, or the offer to remove the post and gave him the boot.
I think this quote says it all really:

Good. That means that as it’s your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you’re no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus.

Yes indeed, bloggers beware especially if you work for Microsoft or Macrosuck.

New iBooks and Computer Love

Mmmmmm… new iBooks from Apple.

The new iBooks now house G4 processors with speeds of 800Mhz, 933Mhz and 1Ghz with 30 – 60 GB hard drives. These guys are also shipping with OSX.3. Price wise these laptops are very tempting for me, starting at $1,899 for the low end model and $2,599 for the high end one, yes that’s aussie dollars! Oh my god an entry level Apple laptop for under 2 grand! It’s making me seriously think about giving up my indigo clam shell iBook I’ve grown to love. Maybe it could be re-purposed…

So, with entry level laptops running G4 processors now, does this mean a G5 laptop is on it’s way soonish?

On a slightly unrelated note, computerlove.net is running a poster contest for those visually expressive people out there, with first prize being an iPod.

Simpsons = Bad, Writhing Sluts = Good?

Here’s something that makes no sense to me, my aunt won’t let her 14 year old son watch the Simpsons but she’s taking him to see Christina Aguilera? Surely you get more good quality, humorous, entertainment from the Simpsons instead of watching Madame Aguilera writhing around while miming?

What’s with this cruel and unusual punishment?

Who Needs Graphic Artists?

The Page Design Genie.

According to this article Xerox is currently developing:

…automated document design software that takes the text, graphics, and other elements that might be parts of a complex document and flows them iteratively into example page layouts.

Users can define rules such as corporate colours, logos etc, and the software will come up with what IT perceives as the best designs.

So some software could be making design choices in the near future. I don’t like the idea of software essentially telling people that good design can only be achieved by following certain formulas. I can just see it now. Bigbad Co has fired their graphics department leaving it all up to the most junior person in the company and this software. This person is now dubbed the whatever-they-are-AND-graphics-guy. (His first task might be to design himself some new business cards – possibly.) Guy inputs photos, text and diagrams and lets the software do it’s magic. He presents 3 designs to Bigbad Co. I can see a couple of different scenarios here. a) Bigbad Co loves ’em all because a computer can’t be wrong, or b) Bigbad Co asks for a gazillion changes and ends up spending hours hitting the “design it” button until they get the design “they” think is right.

On the other hand it could turn out to be a valuable time saver for when you want to see a certain design applied to say different page sizes or orientation.

Xerox are also looking at developing it for other media such as web and PDA.

Dell-ishly iPod-like

Found this article about a new MP3 player from Dell on Daring Fireball.
In short it looks as though Dell are trying to do the whole Apple iPod thing including the music store.

Mr Gruber is unimpressed and so am I. (Mind you my experience with Dell machines are hardly pleasant. So far the only good thing I can say about this manufacturer is that they make computers in black.)

Natural Selections

Natural Selections: Colors Found in Nature and Interface Design is a concise article on what is possibly my favourite design element — colour. (For those of you who are not designers/artists of some description, and quite possibly some who are this may sound a bit mad). It’s also an element that clients are very wary with and almost always go with the *safe option, ie blue grey and predominantly white — maybe a smidggen of orange or red.

When clients come to me asking for a new web site or interface they have such bold ideas for being fresh and eye catching, something with a personality of it’s own. In the end all they seem to want is what’s *safe or what their competitor has with a slight twist. Colour is not something clients want to stuff up because it has such an immediate and emotional impact on how users see the company.

Yes sometimes safe colours are appropriate, but it seems to me that this IS the sole reason they are often used, leaving us with some bland unmemorable designs, almost indistinguishable from one site to the next.

*Safe, ie neutral light colours that won’t offend and in many cases don’t impress either.

No X Please We’re Adobe

Adobe will soon be attaching their own acronym to the newest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive and InDesign. The new releases will get CS (Creative Suite), whacked on the end. At least CS makes some sort of sense I guess, not like Macromedia and the whole MX thing. What the fuck does that stand for? Does anyone know? Macromedia Xtreme? Making Xylophonics? Monkey Xex? Marketing Xuberence? And what is it now that it’s MX 2004?
Adobe have obviously overlooked the X factor while racking their brains. For instance, Macromedia Studio MX, Windows XP and Mac OSX all use X’s. Either that or they just wanted to make sense… Mac OSX does make sense, with whole X as the roman numeral for 10.

Adobe’s CS range will be shipping at the end of November.

Too Many PowerBooks, Not Enough Money

Apple has just released their new G4 powerbook range.

Nice little sub menu to navigate through the powerbook area, when you roll over each silver beast to the right, the screen flips up.

I guess this means we will have to wait a little while longer for G5 powerbooks…