Well now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s all about Christmas now. The SAT draws closer and closer, and my grades in school are mostly good. I’ve gone back to using Flash CS3 and Photoshop CS3. Flash CS4 has a few things that are quite annoying, including: forgetting my keyboard shortcuts, subpar fit & finish, and an annoying UI. The first one might be only on my system, but the other two are probably not. There are some inconsistencies in the UI, and the whole press and drag value boxes are quite annoying. You have to click on them straight, and not move the mouse in any direction, lest you alter the value. It can make accuracy a very difficult thing to achieve. However I’m still keeping Illustrator CS4, because it actually has some good new features.
I sure hope it snows for Christmas.
Today I went out and got myself a nice new Apple keyboard.
It’s a really nice keyboard, and it’s a joy to type on. If only all keyboards were as well made and attractive as this one. I’ve also made some small typographic tweaks to the layout, and I finally finished the footer, with a Flickr feed and all. I also added “frames” for all the pictures, to make them look nicer.
In other news, through years and years of experience I have concluded that turkey is just a drier, tasteless version of chicken. That is all.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it.
For no apparent reason I drew a fat viking yesterday in English class. I’m also looking at purchasing myself a nice moleskine sketchbook, so I can have a place to draw, rather than on random sheets of computer paper and classwork (this picture was drawn on the back of a class handout). Also, Apple’s having a pretty big Black Friday sale tomorrow, with discounts of 15%! If you’ve been waiting to buy a Mac, tomorrow’s the right time. Hopefully I’ll post some more artwork in these coming days.
On Thursday, it’ll be Thanksgiving, meaning a long weekend and lots of free time. I might do something productive on Thanksgiving, or I might not. On another note, report cards are tomorrow. I probably did decently well in most of my classes, so I’m not that worried. It would all be perfect if it wasn’t for the fact that I have 3 school projects, as well as a ton of web projects. The SAT isn’t too far off, but I’m not going to go crazy preparing for it. I’ve also decided to drop Web Design class at school. I thought I could learn something useful there, but it was like one big Dreamweaver tutorial. And next semester that class is going to be covering Flash-based websites, which I absolutely cannot stand.
Speaking of Microsoft’s failures, they’ve decided to rebrand their search engine from Windows Live to “Kumo.” Leave it to Microsoft to choose the dumbest-sounding names for their products. I’m still awaiting the day when Google finally buys Microsoft. On the topic of Google, Chrome is expected to go final in early 2009. Hopefully they’ll have a Mac version by then. Google has also been discussing with OEMs the possibility of adding Chrome as one of the default browsers. Doing so would be a huge relief for web designers, and Microsoft would suffer greatly.
Windows 7, I won’t be reviewing it formally. It doesn’t have enough support/drivers for me to get the full experience. I will make a note about it, but no formal review. I’ll wait until the “official” beta to review Windows 7. Other than the whole coolness factor, Windows 7 is essentially useless right now, unable to even connect to the internet. CS4 I will review sometime soon.
Enough tech. Time to rant. First on my list is Gmail. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Gmail. It’s a whole lot better than AOL or MSN. I just don’t like that Gmail introduced new “themes.” Even though the themes are meant to be visually appealing, some of them remind me of the horrible layouts I see on MySpace. At least google hasn’t allowed custom themes… yet. While Google may be masquerading the themes as a user enhancement, it’s really just a sad appeal to get the MySpace kids.
Next on my list is MSN/Hotmail. I despise it. It’s down like half the time (though this might have improved since July), the design is ugly (and reminds me of Vista…yuck), and it’s completely unintuitive. The search feature is half-assed, and I have to wade through menus to do seemingly simple things like changing settings. I’m not even going to start on how it’s poorly coded. Plus it’s Microsoft, which earns it an insta-fail in my book.
Next on the Microsoft hate track are Zunes. You might know them as the poorly implemented, yucky iPod ripoffs. Their interface is butt-ugly (have you seen the font they use?!), and they have Wi-Fi, but no browser. Which kind of defeats the point of having Wi-Fi in the first place. Sure Microsoft says it’s for track-sharing, but it’s pretty hard to find another Zune user, so that feature’s pointless. The Zunes are pretty ugly and bricklike themselves. No matter how much Microsoft updates the Zune, it’s going to remain a failure.
Tomorrow some movie called Twilight comes out, and about half the kids in my school are going to cut class to go see it. Pathetic.
As of now, I have installed Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro, through Parallels. From my first impressions, it’s quite similar to Vista. The ribbon interface is everywhere now. Wordpad and Paint both have the ribbon interface. Paint has anti-aliasing now, although that might not be a boon for pixel artists. I’m also seeing a lot of shines everywhere, and the new taskbar. I’m still having issues with drivers, but hopefully that’ll be resolved soon. I’ll write up a full review (with pictures) over the weekend, after I’ve had more time to try out Windows 7.
Adobe finally released their CS4 trials. So far I have Photoshop CS4 and Flash CS4, and my initial impressions are quite positive. I especially like Flash CS4’s new UI. The properties box has been moved to the sidebar on the right of the screen, freeing up vertical space. The timeline has been moved to below the stage. This actually gives me more working room for the stage, which is especially good on 15″ screen. The new inverse kinematics tool is fantastic, as is the motion editor. I haven’t noticed any dramatic changes in Photoshop CS4, though.
Moving away from software/computers, time to rant about things. Lately I’ve noticed that people have been following the Twilight series like a religion. Half the people on Facebook now use Twilight quotes in all their statuses, which is pretty annoying. The craze has also been fueled by the upcoming Twilight movie. However, I still don’t get why people obsess over it. It’s just a book.