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thornysarus's blog

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

10 tips from an old-school designer

I scored my first design job when I was about 14 years old. A local T-shirt shop owner got tired of me hanging out at his place and taught me to cut color separations. Before long, I was handling layout for his customers and even doing design work on the side. I loved it. Little did I know then that I'd still be doing it, and still loving it nearly 30 years later.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Mourning the loss of a friend: Freehand

Maybe old news to some, and maybe the writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but I remember a time when Freehand was the only illustration app available for the Mac. That is if you don't count MacDraw, which no one ever does, even way back in the day. When Freehand hit the streets, it was the most amazing thing any of us had ever seen.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Heavy-weight file emailing solutions reviewed

heavyfileI'm sure we've all been in a situation where someone's waiting on a file, but for any number of reasons including large file size, email just isn't a viable solution. In this case, I usually just toss it on the server and email the expecting party a link where they can download the massive file. Simple enough, but if you're server is like mine, at any given time it's always at near-capacity. So, what to do (aside from actually cleaning out the server, of-course)?

Well, the good news is that there are several free, web-based services who offer to upload and deliver these large files in short order. And a few actually do so with out much hassle.

We've selected six of these services and compared them based on similar criteria. For each, we registered (if necessary), timed the upload of the same 50 MB, CMYK tiff file, and then timed each download. Other considerations were limits to file size, relative ease of use and whether it was possible to notify multiple recipients of the file's availability from their site. I also included the results from my personal server, via FTP just out of curiosity (see Speed Report graphic).

I also should note that these test were performed on a Macintosh G4, v10.4.8, with a 1.8 Ghz processor, 1.12 GB RAM, with an Ethernet-to-DSL internet connection. We also used Safari for these tests, so your mileage may vary depending on your configuration. Also, no other internet activity was going on while these tests were being performed, so the results should be fairly indicative of optimum performance for each service.

In order of personal preference:

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Bad Ads

This morning, my son came in with this ad, torn from the local paper (really... it was torn, as he and his friends were actually fighting over it).

Go ahead and take a look... I'll wait.

After one look, I knew what I had to do. Scan it and post it to CB. :)

Here's my thoughts:

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Workflow: and other ramblings

So many times we creative types get caught up in discussing the nuts and bolts of design, troubleshooting, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and we tend to skip the mundane, day-to-day stuff. After all, discussing billing, project management, gantt charts, etc. doesn't make for lively conversation. At least in my opinion, it doesn't. My accountant may beg to differ, but I digress.

I recently had an interesting discussion concerning workflow with another designer and I thought I'd continue it here on CB. By "workflow," I mean how projects are handled from start to finish. Now... I have to say that I've been freelancing (exclusively) for over 10 years and my workflow is a direct result of trial-and-error. And while your mileage may vary, I know what works for me. So, I thought I'd share and get your thoughts on the matter.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

The Money-Shot... :)

Ok... I was designing a credit card for a new client using provided, hi-res photos of a pile of US Currency when I got this error:

[img]http://www.e-zign.com/dropbox/wtf.jpg[/img]

After doing a little research, it seems that Photoshop CS has an algorithm built-in that recognizes images of various currency and will prevent you from accessing the image.

My first reaction was "WTF Mate?" :)

You can read more about it [url=http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/08/0111228&mode=thread]here.[/url]

To save you all some time, here's the workaround:

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Widgets of Mass Destruction?

In the haze of post Tiger explosion, Macworld reports a potential vulnerability in Safari.

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