My appearance on Great Day SA.
I was a poor college student when the original Macintosh came out in 1984. I was studying graphic design and commercial art and I learned the old school way, setting type with a photographic typesetting machine, using X-acto knives and hot wax to do paste up and Rapiograph pens to draw lines.
While I was in school the entire graphic design business changed, the combination of Apple’s Macintosh computers and LaserWriter printers, Adobe PostScript printing language and Aldus PageMaker desktop publishing software threw out all those old tools. These new tools were cheaper, easier and let the designers have an incredible amount of control. My university added a Mac lab for the graphics students the year after I left school.
I graduated from school with solid fundamental skills on outdated technology. To continue in this field I needed to get a computer and learn how to use this new publishing software. So in 1990 I set out to buy a computer. I consulted with my future wife about the purchase. I didn’t have an opinion on what kind of computer to buy, but she did. She had been working for a designer in Alamo Heights and they used Macs. Mac SE30′s to be exact. And she was sold. As some might say, she drank the Kool Aid. She convinced me and we set out to buy the best Mac we could afford. We got a bank loan for over $5,000 and bought a fully-loaded Mac IIsi, a laser printer and 14-inch color monitor.
This computer was sweet. 20 MHz 68030 Motorola processor with an optional 68882 FPU (Floating Point Unit). The standard version of the IIsi came with 1 megabyte of RAM and a 20 megabyte hard drive. Yes, megabyte. But I wanted the best experience possible so I bought an upgraded model with 5 megs of RAM and a 100 megabyte hard drive. I even upgraded to the new System 7, not yet called the Mac OS, that had just come out. It was computing power of Star Trek proportions!
This was the computer that I learned on. I learned Adobe Photoshop and Aldus PageMaker, Quark Xpress and Adobe Illustrator, Fractal Design Painter and Aldus Persuasion. Using this computer, and my next Mac (a Performa 637CD) and my next (a Motorola clone) made me into the “Mac Guy”. I learned Macs well enough to get a job at River City Silver, a professional photographic lab that used Macintosh computers. People asked me questions about the hardware or the software and I could figure it out or find the answers. I was a true believer in the platform even at times when the prospects were dim for Apple and the conventional wisdom was that the company was a stiff breeze away from oblivion.
I recently posted another article to the International Academy of Design & Technology’s IADT Buzz blog about some great Web Development resources you should consider. The article, entitled 4 Web Development Resources You Should Be Using, discusses the great web sites JotForm, Layer Styles, CSS 3.0 Maker and Hongkiat.
One of the best things about working the World Wide Web is the wealth of knowledge and resources at your fingertips. From the World Wide Web Consortium’s dry listings of the technical specifications of HTML, CSS and other Web standards to A List Apart’s articles exploring the cutting-edge of Web design, you can find information that is right for your level.
Read the entire article on the IADT Buzz blog.
I have a new gig working at the International Academy of Design & Technology as the Program Chair for the Web Design & Development and Internet Marketing programs. The Web Design program is fairly self-explanatory, but many people are confused about what Internet marketing entails. I recently wrote a blog post about IM. Check it out…
IADT San Antonio offers a full Bachelor degree program in Web Design or Internet Marketing as well as degree programs in Graphic Design, Fashion Merchandising, Advertising Design and Merchandising Management.
– The Laughing Luddite
Hey Luddite: Just like the old VHS versus Betamax debate lost in the fog of time, these are simply two confusing and competing standards. The DVD-R was originally developed by Pioneer in 1997 and is supported by most DVD players. The newer DVD+R (plus R) was created by a group of companies that became known as the DVD+RW Alliance in 2002.
All modern (2004 and later) drives can use both. DVD+R is newer and probably technically better, but if you are making DVDs for distribution DVD-R is safer with older computer and standalone DVD players.
I attended MobiCamp SA on Saturday and learned a lot about working with mobile devices. I led a discussion about iPads to kick off the sessions. Jennifer Navarrete (@epodcaster) has posted most of the audio of the session and you can listen to it here or just click below.
We discussed using the iPad with iWork, Quick Office, Air Mouse Pro, Photo Loader HD, Photoshop Express and plenty more.
More discussions from MobiCamp San Antonio are online at CinchCast.
Thanks to all who attended and shared their knowledge. I know I learned a lot and look forward to the next one.
Hey Mac Guy: For my husband’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary, I put together a slide show in PowerPoint. Starting with when they met and going forward through present day. My MIL LOVED it and I thought if I could get all the photos into an anniversary hard-back book for her she would love it too. No sweat I thought. I used Shutterfly once before to make a calendar and it was very easy. For whatever reason, I cannot get this book to work out. I have tried going to other websites and I’m still not making any progress. Either I can’t crop the photos like I want or if I crop before I upload then the photos look distorted. I gave up for about 2 weeks. I sat down again tonight and am still not making any progress. I don’t want to work with those sites (shutterfly, snapfish…) anymore but I also don’t want to give up on the project.
The husband had the idea to put this together in MS publisher (we don’t have Macs) and then take it to Staples to see what they could do. That would be easier, but I have no idea of if they do that type of thing or what it would look like.
Any ideas or advice would be apprecitated.
— Book Squirm
Hey Book: Naturally, I would recommend using iPhoto on a Mac as it is super easy and the books are great. Short of buying, borrowing or stealing a Mac, consider investing in Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.
This software (retail $99) has the closest functionality I have seen to iPhoto’s ability to make books and calendars. Check out the Photoshop Elements 9 – Explore What You Can Do page to see some of the capabilities. Be sure to hit the “Create a photo book” link while you are there to see a demo video. You make the book on your computer and can take your time. Once you are done, you can upload and buy it through the software much like iPhoto. They partner with Shutterfly or Snapfish, but Adobe’s software is much better. You can also print the book at home if you choose.
You can download a 30-day fully-functional trial version from Adobe’s site to see if you want to pay for it. Many stores sell PSE for less than the retail.
I have used Photoshop Elements before and it is a rocking good program. Most of the functionality of the $699 Photoshop CS5 with the addition of photo organization and project features. Can’t be beat for the home user.
— Couch Commander
Hey Commander: There sure is, and best of all it is built in to the operating system if you are running Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or above. The feature is called Screen Sharing and you turn it on in the Sharing pane of the System Preferences of your desktop computer. Check the box next to Screen Sharing and adjust the settings as desired. You can then connect from the laptop either with iChat of through the Finder.
This feature works on your local network or over the Internet. Not only is Screen Sharing worthwhile for controlling one of your own computers remotely, but it is an excellent tool is you provide technical support for other Mac users. No longer do you have to ask them questions about what they see on screen, just have them fire up iChat and see what they see.
You’ll find a good overview of the process on Cnet or check out this video of the feature on eHow for more details. Unfortunately, Apple’s official help document, About Screen Sharing, only has meager information on this subject.
Hey Mac Guy: My Mac is acting up. It kinda froze on me so I shut it down. When I try to restart it all I get is a white screen and then an icon of a folder with a question mark on it blinks on and off. I’ve never seen this happen before. Thoughts?
— Winkin’ Blinkin’ Icon
Hey Winkin’: This indicates that the Mac cannot find a hard drive with a “blessed” System folder. Put in the Mac OS X install disc that came withyour Mac and it will boot from that. Once you get to the install screen don’t reinstall the Mac OS, look at the menus at the top for a Utilities menu. Pick Disk Utility and run the Disk Repair option on your hard drive (probably called “Macintosh HD”). Restart and hopefully the problem will be solved. If not, make an appointment with a Genius at the Apple store and they should be able to fix it quick.
Hey iDad: Tell your daughter to check out MilliAmp (formerly iPodJuice.com | 210-568-7473). They know iPhones and iPods backward and forward, they offer less expensive repairs than Apple and they’re just nice folks. You can walk in to their San Antonio shop at 5890 De Zavala Road, suite 107. If you aren’t in San Antonio, MilliAmp can take your device by mail, repair it and then ship it back.