Jun 5 2009

Always check for coupons before you order…

The advice that one of my friends always told me was to always check for coupons before you order anything. I used to think, yeah, right, that there would be coupons for what I wanted, but I am just one among many on the web, so there are people out there, that not only post coupon codes, but blog about them apparently.

I was ordering from iStockphoto because the job was a pro bono, and decided the heck with it, I would look for a coupon, and found one that saved me all of 15 dollars of a $70 order. I was very pleased. I just did a google search for coupons, found one that suited my purpose, and used that. 

Now, to just remember to do it every time I shop.

Apr 21 2009

Writing iPhone apps in your spare time

What does one do for a hobby? Most hobbies cost money. You have to buy something, even if it is only swimming, goggles, flippers, swimsuit. I do knitting in my spare time, and that can get quite costly.

My brother, who has a PhD in physics, and is one of the most brilliant people I know, has decided that one of the things he is going to do with his spare time is write iPhone apps. Yes, there is an investment in doing that too, but most of it is time.

He has decided that since he is a programmer, which he is, and that code is code, which it is, all he has to do is is learn to write code for the iPhone apps store, and he can have passive income coming his way, and thus, that is what he has done.

He has named his company, or at least the company for this first product he has made, Aerende, which he said was a Middle English word for message or errand. I have helped him create his website, so he can show off his apps. His website comes up first when you search for it on google, as well as about the first few links. You can find it by power searching in ITunes, or going to Apptism, which also lets you find apps.Picture 5

Who would have known that the iPhone could sprout a cottage industry, but then, we could say the same thing about eBay, or any other system that allows you to sell your wares around the world.

And I do mean around the world. When he launched his first app he found he was selling to people from Singapore to the UK.

Feb 10 2009

Loopy finder problems with OS 10.4.11

I am writing this to spare others the problem I have had over the past few weeks, since doing a system update. The problem is that I would be typing, and suddenly the finder would loop and come to the top. Or I would have an open window, and the window would close and the finder background would go away. This kept happening every other minute. I would be typing an email, and discover that half of what I had typed wasn't there, because now the finder was on top again. I would scream, restart, and look for a solution. 

Finally, doing this search "problems with OS 10.4.11 finder brought up the answer, and here it is.  The short answer, after you read down the list, is 

"In your system preferences go to the bottom and click on the Stuffit AVR option. Click the Stuffit AVR tab on the left, and click the "STOP" button. "

That was it. All the other solutions I have tried have done nothing to help.

Now, as they say, I have my life back.

So, hopefully, you will too.

Jan 15 2009

When budgets get cut, and newsletters get taken away

The budget came out for next quarter and the newsletter I work on was not there. I found this out today as I was getting the latest issue together. Odd to think it will be the last. I have been working on it , in various forms for nearly five years. Perhaps more. I have been working for this client for at least ten years, on this and that. With this gone, I have no more work I will be doing for them. All my other contacts have left.

I have been pondering how I should feel about this. It feels like an ending. But, I feel ok. I just picked up some new clients, that unlike this one, seem to have work for me.

On one hand, I wonder if I should worry, as the economy takes work away from me. All I can do is just keep going, I suppose. At least, it was through no fault of my own.

It felt weird working on the newsletter, this last time, thinking about all the changes; all the people I have worked on, as the company got acquired, then acquired again. Each time, people got laid-off, jobs went away, and still I had this little newsletter.

So, is that the indicator of the state of the economy? Two recessions, and rounds and rounds of lay-offs before the flood waters rose and plucked this one last job that I had from the company?

As I said, should I read anything into it?

I’ll let you know.

Jan 14 2009

Twitter spam

I recently started a twitter account just for the social media reason. Always good to look into things that my clients are using. I had linked to several people that I wanted to follow because they were famous and interesting, or I knew them personally. 

So, I was surprised when I started getting people telling me they were following me that I had never heard of, and who I had no reason to follow myself. Usually one reciprocates, when one gets these notices, but after looking at each one, I realize they have nothing I want to read. Guy Kawasaki, yes, I love reading his little tweets. Some guy who I've never heard of who has an agenda of some kind that I am not interested in, no, sorry. I don't want to be added to the list of your followers. Sheesh.

What I have found most interesting, on twitter, is the rss like feeds from the BBC and other places, that put up recent headlines.  I guess I am not a twitter person. I noticed that I haven't updated my twitter post for about a week. But unlike Guy, I don't do great things. I work, I have a family, I don't make breaking news. :)

Unless people want to know when I feed my cats. 

Dec 8 2008


As I said in a twitter post, which I need to update, on Friday, Dec. 5th, at 3pm, it looked as though Yahoo IM had taken out Adium, the multiple carrier IM software that I use. Because not all of my contacts are on Yahoo, though most are, I had to find on program that would allow me to log in and be there for all of them, because, sometimes, an email is not quite the what I need.

For those few hours on Friday, when I realized that Adium wasn't going to be working, I downloaded version 3 of Yahoo IM for the Mac. Even though the message I had gotten on Adium was that all of Yahoo IM was down, on Yahoo's own system, it worked fine. There was talk, on Twitter, the only place where people were talking, that perhaps it was Yahoo trying to get people to stop using programs like Adium, that allowed users to have several carrier's IMs going at once.

I am happy that all is back to normal for now. Makes life a lot easier.

Nov 10 2008

Throughts on CS4 Dreamweaver

Oh, I had high hopes, when I installed CS4. I plunged into right into using it, then it a road block. Whereas before, I could add a background image to a cell from the design pallet, that option seems to have vanished

I searched around, and finally had to go back go CS3.

Also, because I am running on a G5, which was oh so fast, what 2 years ago, the newer applications are all built for faster and faster machines, thus they load slower and slower on my Mac.

So, for now, I am going to use Dreamweaver CS3, Fireworks CS2, and Photoshop CS2. I have tried Illustrator CS4, and it is just as slow as all the other versions, and they dont' appear to have removed anything I need.

More detailed reports as I go along.

Nov 8 2008

Twitter, is it still hip if it is mentioned by Steven Colbert?

I have been resiting using Twitter, but as you may notice, I now have a twitter link on my blog, so who knows, I might yet be dragged into the 21st century.

Oh, I reisisted when my younger collegues strated using it, and when my peers started using it, but when I started seeing it mentioned on WIC and SFWoW, I figured it had gone mainstream.  Social Media, Web 2.0. When do we have time to work if we are following people's tweets all the time? Perhaps that is the sign of an economic downturn, everyone has time to follow their tweets around.

And then, on Indecision 08, Steven Colbert made fun of Twitter, by pretending to do so while he was co-hosting the show.

It must be mainstream now.

Now, to just find something to twitter about.

Oct 28 2008

Cs4 first day

I boldly rushed headlong and installed CS4 today, within hours of taking it from FedEx’s hot little hands. Last time I waited a month or two and so fellout of warrenty or something and so wasn’t able to return fireworks when it wouldn’t let me upgrade.

Right now I’m waiting for fireworks to work, putting through it’s paces. I’m underwhelmed. Don’t know why it is hung up. Perhaps it doesn’t like me.

On the good side, so far,dreamweaver is working fine.

More reports as I explore more.

Aug 20 2008

Converting to PMS from CMYK

I don't know quite where to start on this story. I got a call the other day from Ohio, which is unusual in itself, because I don't know anyone there. It turned out that the Ohio Pet Fund was looking for a new design for their license plate, and needed someone to convert a drawing into Illustrator. Since I had written about how I had learned Illustrator early on, and had posted the say, she found me.

And, it probably would have been enough to write about that, how amazing that is, but there is more. I did the design, first with gradations, but then I started looking at license plates (which seemed odd to my brother and his family whom I was visiting for the weekend, and noticed that there weren't really gradations there. So, I redid it, taking samples of the colors and drawing what I saw.

She loved it but…, and there is always a but, she wanted it not in CMYK but in PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. 

So I Googled  how to convert, but most people had no answer. They kept talking about PMS to CMYK (which is super easy), but no one was writing about how to do the opposite. I went through three or so pages until I sound this great little java script that you can drop into your illustrator scripts.  The page is called John's Scripts for Illustrator and has a whole bunch, including the one I was looking for.

Now granted, it isn't automatic. What it does is analyzed the CMYK colors and then makes a suggestions for a match, which you have to decide on. It would be nice if it were automatic, sort of like a filter, but hey, it saved me starting and starring at the screen and trying to guess which pms was closest.

Ah, the power of the web.

Of as my 14 year old daughter likes to say 'What did you do on computers before the Internet?"