Monthly Archives: February 2009

Art and Wikipedia

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Here is today’s artwork. It was my first serious attempt with watercolors, and I’m happy with how it turned out. Inking kind of ruined it, though. I feel it would have been a much better picture had I not inked it.

Office Guy

Office Guy

I first sketched it in my moleskine sketchbook with a 6H pencil, and then inked it. I first made sure that the ink was waterproof, which it was, so I proceeded to color it. I still have to work on my character poses, though.

I’ve been quite sleepy for this entire week, which is kind of strange, because I get more than enough sleep at night. It’s hampering my productivity, as I haven’t been able to make any progress on any designs. I’ll try going to bed earlier and see if that helps. If not, then I’m just going to have to resort to coffee to keep my brain working.

Wikipedia is a good source

Yes you heard me right. I fully support Wikipedia as a legitimate source of information. Many claim that Wikipedia is inaccurate, but I’ve been using it for many years with no problems. Most vandalism (anybody can edit) is obvious and is removed very quickly by Wikipedia’s team of moderators. Frequent vandals are banned from editing, which keeps vandalism rather low. Factual inaccuracies are quite few, as Wikipedia requires citations to legitimate sources in all of its articles. Wikipedia also gets right to the point, and most of its articles are organized into sections, making it quick and easy to find all the information you need. With Wikipedia, there’s no need to waste time wading through boring books and primary sources. Wikipedia is internet-based, which means as long as you have internet access, you have Wikipedia.

Now if only Wikipedia would get that long-overdue design update…

Personal Preferences

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I spent most of today reading other people’s blogs, and I got an idea of what to write. Many people write about what they prefer and why, so I figure I should do the same here.

Browser Preference

Even though I’m a proud Mac user, I prefer Firefox as opposed to Mac OS X’s own Safari. I don’t mind Safari though, it’s a very good browser, especially for a browser that comes with the OS. Why do I prefer Firefox? Well here’s why:

  • It has Firebug. I find this to be a crucial feature, as it gives me the ability to dissect websites very easily.
  • It has “View Background” in the right-click context menu. This is perhaps one of the reasons why I’ve stayed with Firefox over the years. Being able to see what background images a websites uses has become an obsession of sorts for me.
  • I like its download manager more than Safari’s.
  • I prefer its extensibility and skinning features. I can easily make Firefox look like Safari or even like IE. Safari can’t do that.

Operating System Preference

Now this part may start a huge flame war in the comments area, but I simply must write about why I prefer Mac OS X. More bulleted lists, yay!

  • It works. Everything just works, so I can spend more time creating and less time troubleshooting.
  • The UI is consistent. Everything has the same colors, and same control scheme. The toolbars are all arranged identically. File always come first, Edit always comes second, and so on. Preferences can be accessed in any program by clicking the program’s name in the toolbar and selecting Preferences.
  • The apps are amazing. Now I know Windows has a much wider array of applications, but Mac has some pretty awesome applications too, such as Transmit, Coda, and TextMate. I’ll probably write an article about my favorite Mac apps later.
  • It crashes less. No matter what I try to do on it, it always stays completely stable. It still works just as fast as the day I bought it, even though the hard drive is almost completely full. All this with just 2gb of RAM.
  • It boots quickly, and isn’t bloated with unnecessary garbage.
  • The search tool is actually useful in finding stuff. Unlike the Windows tool, which takes forever to find anything.

I barely ever use Windows these days, except for some IE testing. Now I’m sure people are going to try to disprove some of the aforementioned points, but I stand by my opinion.

Website Updates and Personal Life

I’ve made a few quite little changes to the blog. The admin comment styling is less in-your-face than before, and I’ve made the gravatars better-looking, with CSS-based “picture frames.” I added a back to top link to the footer, which will smoothly scroll (with the magic of JS) the page to the top. I added a sitemap to the blog, which should make the search engines happy. I also started adding sub-headers and lists to the posts, to break up the big walls of text commonly seen on this blog. I’m also debating on whether or not to remove the <abbr> tag, as most of my readers are fairly tech-savvy. The blog finally has a favicon, yay.

I’ve also made a new personal logo for myself. It’s stupidly simple, but it looks nice and is a long-overdue update to my badly-drawn avatar picture.

I received my report card today at school as well. I’m pretty happy with my grades. I got mostly A’s with a few B’s and one D. The D was in math, which I am naturally terrible in. The new semester started today, and I’m pretty happy with my new schedule. All the difficult classes are in the morning, and the afternoon consists of easy classes, such as English, Art, and OPTA (free period). I’m still missing a gym class thanks to the vast intelligence of my school’s guidance counselors. For gym I’ll probably choose badminton, as I’ve started liking the game and have become a pretty good player. I’m also going to make it a goal to draw at least one good sketch per day. I’ll be posting them on the blog daily. If I fail to do so, feel free to pester me.

It’s still snowing outside, but a snow day is highly unlikely in NYC.

3Cogs Update

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After much thinking, I’ve went ahead and scrapped the entire 3Cogs layout I had up until this point. I decided to go in a completely different direction in terms of design, a cleaner and sleeker direction. I expect the design part of it to be done by the end of this weekend.

I’m doing the design in Photoshop, which is a personal first. I always used Flash for all graphics and designs (even though it was never meant for that purpose). One reason I strayed away from Photoshop was that it screwed up colors upon exporting, but I’ve solved that, thanks to Viget’s color-calibration tool. Hopefully I’ll be able to crank out fancier layouts with Photoshop…

Dell is also preparing to venture into the smartphone market, like so many other computer manufacturers. However, their entry might actually be quite good, as Dell made rather good Pocket PC’s when they had their Axim product line a few years ago.

Also, ForTheLose has been updated with a slick new design. Go check it out, and leave a comment or two.

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