The graphic designer’s blog. Blog about new technologies orbiting around graphic design
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  • Monthly Archives: August 2007

    August 29, 2007, 4:26 PM

    Download TurnFlashAnother article in the “website verification” series right after another one on the subject. Especially as I hadn’t updated my blog for some time ( I was spending a lot of energy and time creating a new look and feel for my website – Don’t hesitate to go and see it to tell me what you think about it ).
    Web browsers change the behavior of web pages, but the way they show up also depends on what is activated or not (or even installed). Some people deactivate javascript to prevent spywares, making some websites such as this blog unusable, but it’s easy to do some tests, especially with Mozilla where javascript deactivation is easy to find (Tools > Options > Content). But that’s something you cannot do with Flash, once installed the only way I know of would be to uninstall it every time to test how your website looks without it, and how Flash detection scripts behave. That’s something nobody would do. Fortunately there is a free utility (for PCs) which enables you to deactivate Flash temporarily, to see how the page shows up on a browser without Flash installed. It’s called TurnFlash. Unfortunately it only works with Internet Explorer, but that’s good enough.
    Download TurnFlash

    , 3:55 PM

    Safari 3 downloadThis post is mainly for people like me who create webpages. Creating a website is much harder than it seems when you don’t know any of the technical stuff, aesthetics are one thing but you need to make sure everybody sees the same thing, if the pages are made in html and not flash. Therefore you need many web browsers on your computer, and if you have more than one computer it can be useful to keep outdated versions of the browsers just for test purposes. But unless you own a Mac, even when you do that you don’t take into account a part of the visitors, the ten percent who use Safari. I hate Safari. When I was working on a Mac I was using Mozilla. Therefore I’m not advertising for this software, but it can be very useful for test reasons. The thing is, nowadays, even though you cannot download an older version of that browser, you should know that Safari 3 just came out for PCs. Funny to see that they even the Mac interface for their Safari Windows port, it looks exactly the same as on a Mac system (but luckily without the biggest shortcoming of Mac browsers: there is a button to maximize your window, as with any other Windows application). Safari 3 download

    August 20, 2007, 4:45 AM

    Au secours j'ai un blog!! “Au secours j’ai un blog” (Help! I’ve got a blog – sorry it’s a French blog and the English quality is not very good as it’s a Google translation) is a website about graphic design which deserves to be visited. Unlike mine its is not about the technological aspect of graphic design, but about the actual creations, in every media field. Those who like magazines such as Pixel (French graphic design magazine) should find things they like in it. It’s nice to see a graphic design blog with graphic content which is not that of its creator, especially when the selection is made, in my opinion, with taste.
    Au secours j’ai un blog!!

    August 19, 2007, 5:57 AM

    Julian BeeverI’ve discovered this artist’s work randomly while I was surfing the web, and I find it worth knowing. It’s a sad thing that his website is not up to par with the quality of his work. Living with his era, he doesn’t paint on a canvas but on the pavement, and where it becomes interesting is when it plays with your senses, making you believe that the two dimensional floor actually has a depth to it. It’s sad I’ve never seen his paintings in real life, but the pictures are impressive. Of course for this kind of work pictures enable the perfect spot for the illusion, as in reality with a bad angle the illusion would be broken. Still, in our day and time, when people want get rid of any notion of beauty in art creation, where rebellious movements thirsty of breaking a way too strict academicism have become academicism themselves without event being aware of it, as that’s the kind of Art you learn in Fine Arts schools, as in our day and time there is a dictatorship of ready-mades and happenings, this kind of creation, interacting directly with the spectator’s emotions, is what in my opinion is real art.
    Julian Beever’s website

    , 4:48 AM

    MalikiAfter a busy week, between freelance work and search for employment, I haven’t been able to post anything here. I make use of the week-end to do that.
    Internet revolutionizes habits. Not only is it a full-fledged communications tool, but it also tends to become the new way of doing things traditionally intended for other medias. You could think about low-cost video advertisement especially prepared for the internet, using Youtube and its likes. You could think as internet based animation, thanks to Flash, such as Happy Tree Friends, which I have already written about. But another type of creation is interested by internet: comics. Sure you cannot earn any money that way (or maybe you can through advertisement if you have enough visitors for that?) but it enables you to become known, without having to go through a publisher, which can prove itself to be extremely selective. If the quality of the content is good, the writer gets encouragement from the readers who come and see his work, and then with a lot work already done and an already existing audience, publishing companies are not out of reach anymore. Therefore a lot of people are launching their webcomic, and amongst them you can discover some jewels. One of these is Maliki’s webcomic. Well drawn (if you like maga style that is), short and funny stories.
    The website itself deserves being seen: much more than a blog, you will notice the animated character whose colours you can change, the different sections, one of which enables you to use Maliki as a doll, a bit like the Simpsons movie avatar creation section I’ve already written about.
    Maliki’s webcomic

    August 11, 2007, 8:55 PM

    This video has been shared on many tech lovers websites, before people actually found that already existing technologies were used : a video projector, an ink-free stylus, and a work surface modified in order for react as if it were numerical paper. It’s impressive, especially for those who are more used on painting on big surfaces rather than a tiny computer screen, but there are a lot of drawbacks to such a system: the user’s shadow created by the projector on the work surface, the need of being in a dark room in order to see the image, the low resolution of video projectors, no pressure levels as on a real graphics tablet. This explain why this solution is not commercialized, especially considering the astronomical cost of a video projector. Especially when you have such a competitor as Wacom’s Cintiqs and Tablet PC with Penabled technology, which I’ve already spoken of in this blog.

    Website of the Maxell stylus used by this artist

    , 4:58 PM

    A.L.I.C.E.OK, it’s not really linked to graphic design but the geek side of me made me write about this. Especially as the website I link to uses the Sitepal technology I’ve already spoken about in order to look more realistic. A new phenomenon is in birth, chatterbots. What are they? Programs behaving like human beings who would be using instant messaging, like MSN. And it’s spreading up very quickly, as there is programming language created especially for creating them. You write a sentence, and it answers to it, respecting a certain logic. Up to some extent they are able to analyze your previous sentences, to seem the most human possible. Of course it’s still programming, not real intelligence. They often pack a load of nonsense. And it’s not really useful at this stage, more of a curiosity. This technology becomes especially impressive used in conjunction with Sitepal, it makes an avatar speak.
    Of course it hasn’t been invented just to satisfy curiosity, this kind of system can be used for interactive help systems, able to open a webpage based on the question you asked, to do some search in Google (or other search engines) to look for information…
    Chatterbot ALICE’s website

    August 9, 2007, 3:48 AM

    Happy Tree FriendsIt’s already a classic but everybody doesn’t know about them. A success story: this animation started as internet animations only, making use of Flash technology, to finish displayed on the TV / sold on DVDs. Such a success they modified the way they were making the episodes to add some post-production to the Flash animations, and the latest episode as shown as streaming videos instead of Flash. How dis they manage to do that with a free and on demand broadcast? Simply with a concept original enough to create a buzz over the internet, and by putting some advertisements before each episode, so that they could make some money out of them. The concept? Very cute characters and music, and Tex Avery style stories… but including some blood. To discover them I recommend the episodes from the Top Ten: Not only they are supposed to be the best, but they include some of the old full vector episodes, therefore cleaner, in the new ones compression makes them not as enjoyable watching.
    Happy Tree Friends official website

    August 8, 2007, 6:50 AM

    EOS 350 DThere are many types of digital cameras, and people who are not used to them will quickly get lost in the different offerings. I therefore decided giving here some explanations to help potential buyers’ orienting their choices.

    The article being very long, it is not on this page. It describes different types of cameras, compact, bridge and SLR, their advantages and disadvantages.

    August 6, 2007, 12:22 AM

    Snap shotsYou can find it more and more over the internet, this system enables seeing a snapshot of a website before going there. Very useful to avoid certain kinds of websites, just a quick look at the preview shows if it’s a site worthy of trust or not. It’s nothing exceptional, we’ve already seen preview thumbnails before. Yes but these only show up when you put your mouse pointer over a link you are interested in, in the shape of a bubble.

    This system has the big advantage of being free and very easy to install. But for having tested it and given up on it on this blog, it is efficient on simple website, such as a classical kind of blog. This website not being one because of the menu I designed for navigation, made out of DHTML, there is a conflict between both systems in Internet Explorer, creating a blinking effect which is most annoying.
    Snap shots’ homepage