Mac vs PC

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2009 by designed4u2

I will make this short.  Buy a Mac!!!!!

Ok I will make it a little longer than that.  I have been a PC user for around 15 years and I was able to do basic things on it.  I just purchased a used 24″ iMac computer off of eBay and I love it.  In one of my posts on podcasting and vodcasting I tried over and over to put a video together that was worth watching and it was a horrible experience.

I bought the iMac and set it up (plugged it in) and then the magic began.  I plugged in my printer and it worked perfectly.  I have to mention that this is the same computer that I bought a year ago that on my pc would say that it was unable to find the printer every time I tried to print.  I was told that it was a driver issue so I downloaded the newest drivers for the printer on my computer and it still didn’t help.  When i called the tech. department for the printer they told me that something must be wrong with my computer.  They were right it wasn’t a Mac.

After I plugged in the printer and it worked perfectly I plugged in my Sony Cyber-shot HD camera/video camera and it installed instantly without a hitch.  I easily imported all of the pictures and videos and then I watched a quick how to video on making a movie on iMovie which came with the computer. After watching the video I set aside around an hour to put a video together but the whole project only took about 10 minutes to do, and my wife kept commenting on how incredible it looked.

Thank you Apple iMac for improving my computer experience forever.

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My video project

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2009 by designed4u2

I was asked to make a video in class and something went wrong with the program that we were using so I decided to make a video at home with my camera.  I tried several programs to put the video together and I was unsuccessful over and over.  Finally I came across avs video editor which I thought was the same thing as avs video converter.  I kept trying over and over to make avs converter edit my videos and it would do a portion but not what I needed.  After 3 hours of trial and error with all kinds of programs I made it work.  Here is my youtube video!!!!

This was the first time that I have ever added a video to youtube and that part of it was pretty easy.

Overall,  this experience was very tedious and frustrating.  I now know that I need a new iMac to make these videos.  If I had ilife with imovie or some other great video software I would have been able to finish the whole project in under an hour.

Web Standard Based Design with CSS and HTML

Posted in Web standards with CSS and HTML on November 26, 2009 by designed4u2

This week I am going to take a look into what Web standard based design with CSS and HTML is and what it does. At this point I don’t know anything about it, and we shall see how collective intelligence can teach me how to know it and possibly use it. Let’s get started!

We almost always have to start with a basic Wikipedia definition just to see where it will lead us.

Web Standards – Wikipedia says that it a general term for the formal standards and other tech. specifications which describe parts of the World Wide Web.  In recent years it has been associated with a set of standardized best practices for building websites and we design.  This definition says to me that we should follow these rules whenever building a website.  I will look into it a little further in a few minutes.

CSS Cascading Style Sheets are a style sheet computer language used to describe the look and formatting of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can be applied to any kind of XML document, including SVG and XUL.  I could go on and on with that definition but CSS is very complicated and it can do a large variety of thing including color, format, layout and so on.  Just remember that CSS specifications are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium.

HTML which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML is the encoding scheme used to create and format a web document. It is used to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists etc as well as for links, quotes, and other items. It allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms.  HTML is an amazing tool for building websites and it is something that will take a long while to learn,

 CSS  and HTML are the necessary technologies for building Web pages: HTML  for building structure, CSS for style and layout

While researching CSS I came across a CSS and HTML validator.  This website will tell you if you have done your scripting right or wrong.

If you want to get started learning how to write CSS and HTML here is a tutorial at the W3C website that will teach you the correct web standards way. 

 Another website with courses on learning web development is webstandards.org

This last site that I will mention is w3schools.com. This website is filled with many free courses of instruction and it says that it is the largest web developer site on the net.

I just tried HTML for the first time with the w3shools.com website and it was really easy.  I only changed the heading and then I added a paragraph to it.  If it stays that simple I could get good at that in no time.  I suggest that you try it!!!!!

I just tried CSS with the same website and I am actually starting to understand the difference between the 2 of them.  Try it and see if you notice the difference!!!!!

For those of you that are impatient or have decided not to try the exercises that I tried, you should. If you didn’t the difference that I found was that CSS basically added color to the layout.  I now can see that CSS will be much more difficult to understand because of the amount of different aspects that it adds over what HTML offers.

The funny thing about all of this is that I now know that I could learn everything that I need to know off of the web for free!  I guess the only real reason to go to college is to get the official document.  This is an amazing time we live in with all of this free knowledge out there for anyone that has the desire to learn.  As long as we make sure to learn using the appropriate methods such as web standards we should be successful in web design.

Are You “Tweetarded?”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2009 by designed4u2

As you can probably guess by the title I have been asked to research the new form of social networking formed around Twitter.  I will try to answer a few basic what, where, why, and how questions but I also want to get a little deeper into the whole Twitter phenomenon.

 Here is a synopsis of Wikipedia’s definition of Twitter.  Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey in 2006 and quickly gained notability and popularity worldwide.  Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read messages now known as tweets. Users can send and receive tweets using the Twitter website, Short Message Service(SMS) or external applications.  Twitter is a free service where users can tweet text based posts of up to 140 characters to any of their followers.

To have a 140 character limit message and a link to a website, a user will need to use a URL shortening service such as tinyurl, bit.ly, and tr.im, and content hosting services such as Twitpic and NotePub to accomodate multimedia longer than 140 characters. The 140-character limit on message length was initially set for compatibility with SMS messaging, and has brought to the web the kind of shorthand notation and slang commonly used in SMS messages. What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. Twitter is an information network that tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.  When you go to post a comment in the box it says ” What are you doing” right next to it.

I attempted to shrink a URLthat I had from a business that I was involved in and here are the results from Tinyurl.com

TinyURL

was

created!

The following URL:

http://www.exfuze.com/blast

has a length of 27 characters and resulted in the following TinyURL which has a length of 26 characters:

http://tinyurl.com/y8e4odc
[Open in new window]

Or, give your recipients confidence with a preview TinyURL:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/y8e4odc
[Open in new window]

Yes, you see the incredible shrinking power:  it went from 27 characters, all the way down to a tiny 26 characters.

 I know its Mind Blowing!!!!!

The truth is that it was very easy to shrink my URLwith Tinyurl.com.  I just entered my URL into the box and out came my smaller url.   I think that the concept is good and maybe sometimes the outcome would be smaller than that.  I have seen many URL’s that are much smaller on Twitter.

 Here is a quick video that explains Twitter called “Twitter in plain English.”

So far my Twitter experience has been interesting.  I agreed to follow the people in the sign up area that it recommended for me and somehow I have followed some pretty strange people.  I have football players, rock stars, porn stars, professional businessmen and average everyday people.  I am still trying to grasp the concept of how to do a search on twitter that actually gives me the results that I am looking for.  I you watched the short video above you would see that the basic concept of Twitter is to let friends know the mundane things that you do everyday.  I think that would bore most people enough that they would quit. I guess that’s why only 40% or so on average maintain their Twitter accounts out of the millions signed up.

I am so bored with this subject right now and fighting to stay interested enough to break through the nonsense and find some useful reason to Tweet.  I will keep going for the sake of Twitter.

In  my search to find something useful about Twitter I found many why not to Tweet videos.  I have to display one to be fair to both sides.  Here is the video titled Why Twitter Sucks!  This video does have many solid points about why Twitter is a wast of time.  I will warn you that it does use some semi- harsh language towards the end of the video.

Now that I found the negative video I figured that I had to give a positive video to equal things out. This video is entitled 10 reasons that Twitter is great for business.  In the video he describes 10 reasons that Twitter is great for business.  I have a few of them that I will write down for you readers.

  1. Positioning your brands.
  2. Real time search.
  3. Advertise podcast links and drive traffic to your site.
  4. Improving customer service.
  5. Communicating with your market or marketplace.
  6. Increase sales by running Twitter only deals.
  7. Helps to connect you to leaders in the marketplace.

I know that I was long-winded as usual but I felt that I had to try to give both the good and bad sides of Twitter.  I am sorry to say that Twitter hasn’t grown on me like the other subjects that I have studied but I am told that it will.  Do we really need to know for example what a friend or co-worker is having for lunch?  No probably not!  I do think that if we can tap into the positive networking and word of mouth aspects of Twitter then we can find it just useful enough to sift through all of the “bulltwit” that comes with it.

As always I am interested in your thoughts and comments on the subject.

 

Mashups

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2009 by designed4u2

I am on a quest to solve the, “what the heck are mashups” question. I will start with a brief description from Wikipedia.
Mashups have one of four different topics.

  1. Digital mashups are a digital media file containing any or all of text, graphics, audio, video, and animation, which recombines and modifies existing digital works to create a derivative work.
  2. Musical mashups are the musical genre encompassing songs which consist entirely of parts of other songs.
  3. Video mashups are a video that is edited from more than one source to appear as one.
  4. A Web application hybrid mashup is a web application that combines data and/or functionality from more than one source.

Let’s take a look a little deeper in to a web mashup using Wikipedia’s definition of web mashup.

a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data. An example of a mashup is the use of cartographical data to add location information to real estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct web API that was not originally provided by either source.

Now that we know what Wikipedia describes a mashup as let’s watch this much easier to understand video about what a mashup really is.  This video was put together by Executive Editor, David Berlind, from ZDNET.

If after watching that short video you find yourself still not understanding what a mashup is I am attaching another video below.  I don’t know if or how these people got permission to do this video mashup but it really gets the point across of what a mashup is. 

Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard of Britney Spears, and most people also know who Gwen Stefani is ( She was in the band No Doubt and she had a very successful solo career).  This next mashup has merged both of their videos together and it was done extremely well.  Once the first 90 seconds or so goes by the video gets to the mashup.  This video is easy on the eyes but no so easy on the ears, and yet it is still enjoyable.

Here is one more video example of a mashup and this technology is just amazing.  This is the game Torque 3D and I believe that this is a huge look at the future of technology.  Aps within Aps within Aps all running simultaneously with full accessibility to all of them at the same time.

Here is a step by step website on how to build a mashup

 Here are a few sites that you can get API’s to make your own mashups

Mashery.com

Programmableweb.com

After reviewing a large portion of information about mashups I think that I am in love.  I am amazed with the seemingly unlimited amount of options for putting API’s together.  I want to keep looking in to this area of web design.  Now that I am starting to see what is available in the web design industry I feel as though it is a never-ending career path.  As long as a designer can stay on top of the latest and greatest technology, he can have a fun career with unlimited potential. 

If you have any additional mashup information I would love to hear from you.

Podcasting and Vodcasting

Posted in Podcasting and Vodcasting on November 5, 2009 by designed4u2

The name podcast originated from the Apple Incorporated’s iPod.  A podcast is a digital recording of a broadcast available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player. 

At its most basic level, a Podcast or Vodcast is simply an RSS feed.  Users can subscribe to your feed through any of the standard RSS methods including news aggregators and readers and browser plug-ins such as Live Bookmarks.

An iPod is an electronic gadget that allows downloading files in mp3 or AAC (Apple iTunes™ format).  The term podcast does not only refer to the iPod anymore but to the software and hardware combination that permits the downloading and playing of files in a user defined time frame.

The name vodcast  is a video podcast in which downloading  video files is achieved by subscribing to a vodcast in one of  many available directory programs.  After downloading and saving them to a portable video player, users can choose when and where they want to watch the video, making them independent of television programming schedules.

This next video is for Audacity which is a free program available for Microsoft Windows and Mac users to make podcasts.

If you watched this short video you could see that this is a simple process.  The tutorial will show you how to add music behind your audio and how to adjust the volume so that one doesn’t overpower the other.  The music can also be set as an introduction to, in the middle of, or at the end of the talking .  This program looks easy enough so now you just have to have something worth podcasting! 

 lets try Audacity!  click here to download it

We have to add a plug in called Lame to it! click here to download it

 After a ridiculous amount of trial and error I was finally able to make Audacity work.  I didn’t have any wave or mp3 music files so I had to improvise. 

After all of that work you are going to have to take my word for it.  I can’t upload until I do a storage upgrade and money is tight right now. 

I guess you will have to settle for a picture of my computer screen showing that I did it.   

My Mp3 podcast

My Mp3 podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am downloading something called AVS Video Converter .  With this program I will be able to edit video and put it in different formats to suit my needs.  I was successful and I changed an mp4 to a Wave but I cannot put it on my WordPress without upgrading.  This AVS converting software which unfortunately is not for the Mac is great for converting files for vodcasts.

If you are more of a reader then here is a four page tutorial on how to set up a podcast and vodcast from  Developer Shed or devshed.com

1) How to set up Podcast and Vodcast

2) Preparing your media files

3) Publishing your Podcast

4) Distribution, Licensing, and Legal Concerns

Here are a couple of great links available for vodcasts  and podcasts.

vodcasts.tv

podanza.com

After a couple of days worth of researching products and doing tutorials I have learned a great deal about podcasting and vodcasting.  I can see that it will take some time to get used to the programs but I truly enjoy the two above and they seem to be pretty good for what I used them for. 

As a big tv watcher I don’t quite understand what is so exciting about podcasts and vodcasts but I guess that it is just another platform to let people and businesses get there voices and videos shared with millions of people.  Even after days of research I am still trying to grasp how to get recognized with millions of new vodcasts and podcasts every month.  I guess that if you just put something together that you enjoy or want people to know about then you may have a chance of someone seeing it and spreading some word of mouth. 

If you have any comments or information that will make this make more sense to me I would love to hear from you. 

Thank you,

Scott Neece

Designed4u2 Blog 

 

Additional Sources

Doyoupod.blogspot.com
808talk.com

I added a question to this link about how to make money using podcasts and vodcasts

http://radiantmarketingarticles.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/strengthening-faith-management-systems-in-your-small-business/#comment-8

Mobile extra

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2009 by designed4u2

 While searching the web tonight I came across this new information on Wired.com that I thought would be informative and worth publishing with my prior Mobile posting.

Android vs iPhone

 

I had mentioned in my blog or a response to a blog that the iPhone was a good phone, but the cell provider wasn’t the best. Now with the Android from Verizon, users may get the “iPhone” quality with the top cell provider to back it up. Read the article because it’s worthy!

I have found the idea that I had about the phone that projects on the wall.  Nokia has it on their 2015 concept phone.

And you all thought that I was crazy!

 

 

Here it is