Monthly Archives: August 2008

Craptaculous…

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Yesterday I actually remembered that I had a summer reading assignment. Of course, all the required books were not available at any library near me (like I’d ever go to the library… bleh). I reserved several books at several places, hopefully they’ll be in stock b September. My other options are to read Angels and Demons (one of the books on the list) in Russian (slow to read), or go on Sparknotes and get some info and BS my way through the assignment. Honestly, why must they force us to do these dreadful assignments? I mean, I get plenty of reading, and I write more in my log than I ever do for school. However, the fools who signed up for AP English have to write a 10 page report. Then again, I could just not do it… school’s not that important to me.

Also, I got a brand new CD/DVD burner last week. The main reason being that my Mac’s slot-loaded Superdrive  can’t read/write mini CD’s/DVD’s.

And I’m never going to finish my portfolio site at the rate I’m going… At this point, I just want to finish it, and move on to more interesting projects.

I’ve also upgraded to CS3, as it works a lot faster on Leopard than the previous versions. Even though the older versions crashed once a month, I still wasn’t happy. So far, CS3 runs very quickly, and has had no crashes. Plus the new features are kind of nice, especially in Illustrator CS3, which added a usable eraser, along with an easy-to-use paint bucket. The unified interface is a great improvement, as well as the closer integration of the CS3 suite. Another greatly appreciated feature is a real full-screen mode, that closes up all the gaps between the panels and the canvas, meaning no more accidental clicks on the desktop.

I’ve also started drawing the beginnings of my webcomic. I already have 8 issues done and ready to go. I still have nowhere to display them on, though. I’m probably going to buy a new domain for it, as well as make a new ComicPress based site for it. The quality of my art has also improved as well, and my character poses aren’t nearly as stiff. I was surprised what a difference line thickness makes. Before, I used to use a 4-5 px brush for the lines. This time, I tried using a 2px brush, and the effect is amazing! Here’s a small screenshot to keep you all entertained.

And yes, I’m well aware that my “Art” section is nearly empty. I’ll fill it up when I have the time.

Guitars and such

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Oh boy, another big post. The concert on Friday was just amazing. While the sound system was a little out of tune, and the subwoofers were too powerful, the bands performing were still amazing. While the opening act was by some unknown band, the other bands were pretty damn good. Bleeding Through was perfect, and Bullet for my Valentine was simply… wow. It’s one thing to listen to a perfectly mastered studio version of a song, but hearing that same song live is an amazing experience. I actually lost track of how many times the lead guitarist changed his guitar… I could still hear the concert ringing in my ears even several days after the concert passed.

Yesterday (Monday) I went to my local Sam Ash (music store) and got myself a nice new Fender acoustic guitar. It’s a fairly typical 6-string guitar, but it sounds great, especially when a skilled person plays it. I’m still learning all the ups and downs of guitar playing, and maybe in a few years I’ll be half-decent. It’s still a fun experience learning it…

I hate roaches. I really do. They get in the way of things, and they’re like walking minefields, especially at night, when they’re not too visible. While they are really easy to kill, they make quite a mess, especailly the ones that are 2 inches long. Ugh.

Sadly, there’s only about 3 weeks or so left until school begins again… I’m not too happy about that. It’ll be yet another year of sleeping in class, drawing in class, being an idiot in class, making fun of the teacher in class, and a failing in class. At least I have my iPod Touch, which should take the edge off the massive boredom that ensues in every school day. Worst of all, this is my junior year, meaning SAT’s. I absolutely hate SAT’s. I’ll make another post about them shortly. The only bright side is that I have “Intro to Web Design” class next year. That class promises to be quite entertaining. Especially since I’ve learned hundreds of new hacks and exploits this summer.

I’m also planning on rewriting my DZine News System from scratch. This time around it will utilise databases rather than plain text files. The reason is that text files are impossible to archive, and a news system isn’t muh use if it can’t archive previous posts automatically. I expect the new News System to be done in a week or so. As usual, it will be clean, usable, and have minimal size.

Another possible (read: possible) project once I finish the current queue will be an advanced proxy site. Kids these days are putting up simple proxies all over the place… most of them powered by a simple PHP script called Zelune. Of course, it’s really slow, can’t load Flash, chokes up on logins, and can’t handle much JavaScript. Now I found a new, different script, called Glype. It has everything, including JavaScript, Flash support, and it doesn’t mess up pages as much as other proxies do. Trouble is that it costs about 18 dollars. However, I’m still buying it, as it’s totally worth it. The Board of Education better watch out… their tyrannical rein over the computers will soon fall… *cue evil laughter*

To all the MySpace users…

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STOP USING ILLEGIBLE, INACESSIBLE, UGLY AND INVALID LAYOUTS!

Seriously, just because you can customise a layout doesn’t mean you should. If you’re the idiot who uses a layout with dark red text on a black background, or if you’re the retard who uses neon-colored layouts, you don’t deserve to use the internet. Does your layout have non-standard cursors, colored scrollbars, frames, sparkles, or animated gifs? Well then, do yourself a favor and delete your MySpace account and cancel your internet service, because you sir, are a complete moron. Just because you can copy and paste crap layouts from “FREE MYSPACE LAYOUTS!” sites, doesn’t mean you should. And you teenagers claim that you have a sense of “style.” If you can’t make your own layout, then either hire a real professional to do your page, or leave your page the default way. I mean, Facebook’s doing pretty good, and it doesn’t allow any page customisation…

Mega Post!

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This is going to be quite a long post, so be prepared to read.

This week was quite busy, actually. I still have to finish my Web portfolio and add little JavaScript Effects to it But that’ll have to wait. Currently, I’m working a web design job for a client. It’s turning out quite nicely actually, and should be finished in a few days. I’ll try to find some time tomorrow to go and finish up my portfolio site, it’s been standing unfinished for almost a week now. After my project queue is cleared, work can finally begin on TechBase.

In other news, I got a new iPod Touch last Sunday. It is purely amazing. I think I’ve had it long enough to give a basic review of it. The Touch looks prett good, as do all Apple products, but I highly advise a case and a screen protector. While the screen stays pretty clean and doesn’t scratch easily, the back picks up grime and scratches all too easily. The interface is easy to use, I never read the manual, and I was cruising through the Touch within minutes of opening it. One minor gripe is the need to connect it to the computer before using it for the first time. The 2.0 firmware update addressed pretty much all of the issues in previous firmwares. It’s now possible to install apps without jailbreaking (although I wouldn’t mind jailbreaking either). The current app library is rather small, but there are still some really cool (and useful) free apps out there. You just have to find them. Now the animations and effects may seem a bit overdone, but they are on overall pleasing, and don’t really interfere with use. In fact, the graphics and animations are so well done that they don’t get tiring, even after a lot of use. The onscreen keypad is easy enough to use, and highly accurate, once you give it time to learn your writing style as well as your common mistakes. Music and video playback are top-notch, as well as the full Safari web browser, which even has support for multiple tabs. When you connect the iPod Touch to your computer, it automatically syncs calendar info and contacts, as well as Safari bookmarks. The battery is strong enough to last several hours while browsing the web and listening to music. You could read the whole Penny-Arcade archives and still have plenty of battery power to spare, which is surprisingly good for a device that’s made up of mostly screen. The iPod occasionally crashes, but it’s not often enough to be a real issue, and it happens mostly when using apps. These little bugs will probably be fixed in the next update. Now if only Apple gave a wall charger instead of a USB charger… To me that’s not really a problem, as I spend most of my waking moments on my Mac. The iPod Touch is powerful enough to be classed as a PocketPC (or PocketMac, if you want to get technical). It’s a good choice for those who want the iPhone innovations without the annoying (and pricey) AT&T contracts.

Note that I’ve added a Twitter feed to the homepage of this blog. Since I have a Twitter app on my iPod Touch, I’ll actually be able to update the feed often enough for it to be of some actual use.

On Friday, I’m going to be going to a concert. Starring in it are Bullet for My Valentine and Bleeding Through, which I consider to be two very good bands. It promises to be an interesting experience, and I’ll try to take pictures if I don’t get my phone knocked out of my hand in the standing room.

And that’s pretty much it for now… Oh yeah, and I also saw “The Dark Knight.” I write about it later, as I’m too tired to type anymore…

AOL sucks!

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Let me start off this post by saying that if you still use the AOL program, please stop. I have compiled a list of reasons for why it flat out sucks.

1) It’s outdated. 9.0 (the latest version) was released over 2 years ago.

2) It’s a resource hog. AOL can bring a fast computer to an almost complete stop.

3) It eats up hard drive space. AOL installs everything, including a ton of stuff that you’ll probably never use.

4) Bad page rendering. AOL is similar to Internet Explorer 6 in it’s atrocious page rendering. It only has partial support for CSS and web standards.

5) It has to “connect” to the internet every time you start it, even when you’re using high-speed internet.

6) It crashes/quits periodically, for no good reason.

Alternatives:

Run only what you need, rather than the AOL software. For general browsing, use Firefox. It’s available for nearly every Operating System ever made. It has tabs, a search bar, and thousands of themes/plugins to extend its looks and functionality. It’s also a lot smaller in flie size and doesn’t hog your processor. For Instant Messaging, just go and download the standalone AIM client. It has way more features than the AOL program. If you’re still using an @aol.com email, you can get onto your AOL mail through a regular browser. Go to aol.com and log in to access your mail. There’s really no excuse to be using the AOL program in the 21st century.

I hate MSN!

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I really hate MSN right now. In the past few days I’ve been using it, I keep getting these “Message could not be sent because an error with the switchboard occurred” errors… several times in an hour. It gets really annoying to have to retype (or copy and paste) the message several times for it to work. Then, there are the times when MSN is down completely. I hate MSN, but I’m forced to use it because several friends of mine use it. If you’re reading this and you use MSN, then please switch from MSN to AIM. AIM isn’t all that different from MSN, and it almost never has errors.

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