Author Archive for

05
Feb
10

My new Flash web design portfolio

Hey everyone!

My new portfolio website is now up and running. It was created entirely in Flash because I wanted to add tons of interactivity and show how fun Flash developing can be! If you want to learn more about me, please check out my flash web design portfolio, and tell me what you think! If your browser doesn’t support Flash, you can download the free adobe flash player here as well. Thanks for visiting!

Julie's Web Design Portfolio Home Page

Julie's Web Design Portfolio Snapshot

15
Oct
09

Elders of the Internet

Eeek! Haven’t updated in a very long while! Term 2 was just extremely hectic and crazy… and fast! But now I’m back to the old blog, and this time, I’m going to use it to share some of the things I’ve worked on in these 6 months, as well as the odd posts about funny and neat things I see going around the Internet. Which reminds me of something I saw on a British television show, The IT Crowd. The two guys, Moss and Roy, are tech dudes from the IT department and Jen is head of the department, despite knowing nothing about computers at all. Moss and Roy have a little fun and take advantage of this:

I wonder who else is on the Elders of the Internet panel? Stephen Hawking seems like a good candidate. Maybe Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web? Bill Gates even?

24
Jun
09

Final Projects

One week left until summer break, and I’m both stoked and dreading it. Just want to finish the final projects and exams, and get Term 1 behind me.

Thought I’d share what I was working on for my Photoshop poster project. It’s a event promo poster for a fictitious magic show, with an Alice in Wonderland twist to it. It was one of my favourite books as a child, so it was really fun to work on.

Inspiration

I got the idea for the design from a lot of things. In that Acrobat class where we talked about colour calibration when changing an Illustrator file into a PDF, the instructor had this picture (I guess he made?) of the Cheshire cat. I thought it was really neat, how everything weaved up while the text wrapped around the image. It was a cool idea. (Thanks Mike!)

Cheshire Cat

Also, what better way to find ideas for creative design than playing videogames? One in particular that sparked my interest was American McGee’s Alice by Rogue Entertainment. It’s a creepy spin on the classic tale we all know, presenting a much darker and twisted side. The Cheshire cat in this case is not a fat, plumpy purple kitty, but an emaciated skeleton with a devilish grin and an earring.

American McGee's Alice

American McGee's Alice

My Project

In my case, I decided my “Cheshire cat” would be a tiger, to keep with the tiger-jumping-through-ring-of-fire magic show theme. I also got some more ideas for another poster I’m going to try to work on during some down time. Oh yeah, I guess I should actually show you what I made!

Magic in Wonderland

Magic in Wonderland

(It’s a super huge file, so I had to convert it to a JPEG, hence the fuzziness.)

Anyway, I’d love to see what other people have been working on too! From what I can see from sitting at the back of the class, spying on everyone’s laptops (hehe), there’s some impressive stuff out there!

19
Jun
09

Response to “The Core Rules of Netiquette”

This is a review of two of the points that I could relate to the most, mentioned in “The Core Rules of Netiquette” from the book, Netiquette, by Virgina Shea.
"Netiquette" by Virginia Shea

"Netiquette" by Virginia Shea

Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth

In my boyfriend Stephen’s old house, he shared a basement suite with two other roommates. The place had a downloading limit of 30 gigabytes split 3 ways, which isn’t very much at all. It didn’t help that one of his roommates, Robbie, loved to download. He’d spend the entire day locked away in his room downloading who knows what. We couldn’t even get Google to load! Lucky for Stephen, a complete computer geek, he was able to access Robbie’s computer and control the amount of bandwidth going to his computer. In the end, Robbie was kicked out of the house for going over his allotted download space.

Don’t Hog the Bandwidth

Respect. That’s one of the first life lessons we learn from our parents and teachers. We see it written all over the schools, and it’s the top rule we hear whenever we are given a list of rules. Another prime life lesson: sharing. We’re all familiar with these principles. Remember that Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated? The same goes for the rules of the Internet. Even with the advent of super-fast high-speed Internet these days, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one in cyberspace. There’s a limit to how much data can be transferred at a given time throughout the network. When you live or work with other people under the same roof, using the same server, you all share the bandwidth. So if one person takes it all, everyone else will suffer.

Rule 5: Make Yourself Look Good Online

I have a few friends who write emails or text message in a way that’s not anything like how they would talk. This girl I used to work with, was a very good case of this. She’s a quiet, shy, soft-spoken little girl, who would never raise her voice above a whisper. But in her emails and messages, you would mistake her for a completely different person. She uses words like, “ballin’” and “homies” – things that I have never heard her say before. Most of her words contain at least one number and are no more than 5 characters long. It’s astounding to read this, and then actually hear her talk.

Different Language Online

I find that many people who communicate on the web, through chat rooms and messaging services, for example, use shorthand writing. You know the kind:

•    ROFL
•    TTYL
•    BRB
•    IMO
•    GR8

It’s become a completely different language. Sometimes I find myself asking, “What does that stand for?” It’s embarrassing. Have our lives become so busy that we don’t have time to properly type full words anymore? We’re not getting charged per character. I guess this is part of the evolution of writing. We don’t write or speak in Old English nowadays, so maybe 10 years from now, we’ll all have this “net lingo” down, and we’ll all be talking and writing like that.

Behind the Screen

Online writing is deceiving because we can’t actually see the person and hear the tone of their voice. Misinterpretations are bountiful in web writing because sarcasm is almost impossible to detect. Also, you are being judged solely by how you write. This may be a good thing. You can talk to millions of people from around the world without even having to brush your hair, because how could they possibly know? No need to make yourself physically presentable.

This can also give way to dangerous situations, such as people lying about who they are and what they really look like. I’ve had friends go on my computer and fiddle around with Windows Messenger and Facebook statuses, pretending to be me. It was harmless and all in good fun, though, but I’m sure if it ever got into the hands of a stranger (or enemy!) then I’d wouldn’t be as forgiving.

So when writing on the web, be yourself! Write like how you talk In normal, everyday life, and be aware of the other person you’re communicating with. Go ahead and make yourself look good, but don’t lie about who you are.

Here are some other books on Netiquette you might find useful too!

11
Jun
09

Take Care Of Your Photographs

Metatags/Keywords: photos, photographs, backup, online photo storage, flickr, photobucket, share, blog, organize, scrapbook, photo albums, film, digital

Subject line: Backup Your Photos for Free Online

If your house was on fire and you could only take one item with you, what would it be? For many, one of the first things we would say is our photo albums. Unlike a cell phone or Playstation, photographs are irreplaceable. They capture memories of specific moments in time, tell stories, and create new ones.

Share Your Photos Online

Online photo storage sites provide a fast and convenient way to backup photos. Many are free! Try Photobucket or Flickr. They include features such as:

  • organizing to make searching through hundreds of photos a breeze
  • storage for up to 10,000 images, and hours of video
  • creating slideshows and adding special effects
  • sharing with others
  • linking to blogs and websites

Old-Fashioned Way

Or you can do what I do and make scrapbooks! If you’re more of an arts and crafts kind of person, and not a big technological geek, then do it the cut-and-paste way. I like having something I can hold on to, rather than putting all my trust into the internet. Privacy is also a big issue – something the internet can never guarantee.

Either way you do it, it must be done! Putting in some time and effort will save you from a lifetime of worry and woe. You can find more information on photo backup and discuss the pros and cons of film and digital backup methods on my most recent blog post, Film Vs. Digital.

06
Jun
09

Film Vs. Digital

Keeping an online photo site is like keeping a photo album, except not as private.

As a kid, I loved keeping journals and making scrapbooks. They were a way of keeping mementos and remembering past events. They served as an outlet for my personal thoughts. I could easily hide my books under the bed or behind the dresser, and know that they were safe from prying eyes.

The Good Old Days

I remember taking polaroids and getting pictures developed at the store. It was always an exciting time, not knowing how the pictures turned out. Taking pictures and not getting a preview of it is fun! You never know what you’re going to get when you open the envelope. It was nice having the hard copies. I used to post pictures all over my bedroom wall and look at them everyday!

Collage of photos my friends made for my birthday.

Collage of photos my buddies made me for my birthday. It took forever to make!

The Draw Of Technology

Now I find that I’m falling away from the old-fashioned photo albums and scrapbooks, and being drawn towards online technology. Digital cameras are great, but I do miss my old 35mm film camera. I still keep a scrapbook, but printing out the photos from my digital camera is such a task, I tend to put it off. I rarely get printed out versions of my photos. Instead, I keep my photos on my computer or share them online, where they sit in a folder somewhere.

Digital photography has its benefits though:

  • You can choose which photos you want to get printed out, saving loads of money.
  • The ability to edit means no more bad photos, hooray.
  • You can combine images and add text.
  • Fast and easy way of organizing your photos.

The problem with online sharing today is that there’s no privacy. Anyone can access your information. Even things that have security on it have a way of getting out. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is great, especially for sharing information quickly, and that’s a major bonus. Just say goodbye to privacy.

Computers also have a tendency of failing out of the blue, so if you don’t backup your photos, everything could be lost. They say if you have photo albums, you should make a copy of the pictures and store them outside of your home in case of a fire. In the case of a computer failure, you could upload them to a free online photo storage site, like Photobucket or Flickr, and they’ll be there forever. Unless the site goes corrupt of course.

Photographs are probably the most prized possession to most people. They’re irreplaceable, so take good care of them!

02
Jun
09

PowerPoint Troubles

Sure they’re handy, but when it comes down to making PowerPoint presentations and flowcharts, be prepared for some major hair-pulling.

I’ve never touched PowerPoint before. I was always an old-fashioned poster board kind of person. I’m not too crazy about teachers who use it because it makes me completely lazy. Honestly, knowing that all the notes are up on the screen and that I can just print them out later, I tend to not pay attention or write my own notes. Don’t know what is it about PowerPoint presentations; maybe it has something to do with the standard blue screen/white font that every instructor uses. Well, I’m sorry, it’s boring. They can never hold my attention long enough. PowerPoint? More like SnoozePoint to me.

Does anyone else feel empathy here? I know I have definitely had some of those same thoughts. It really does feel like you’re being held hostage, that’s how torturous it is for me!

Then when I found out we could make flowcharts in Powerpoint, the words, “oh joy,” came to mind. It took me a good four hours to finish one simple little flowchart. It wasn’t even the planning of the content, it was making sure the boxes lined up perfectly, and fit right on the page. Some of the problems I’m having with PowerPoint flowcharts are:

  • Fitting everything on one page. I’m using font size 5, and it’s tiny!
  • It doesn’t let you quickly zoom in and out, unless there’s a keyboard shortcut I don’t know about. I tried using Photoshop shortcuts in there, with no avail.
  • Those connecting arrows don’t go where you want them to. They’ll be the death of me, I’m sure of it.

So if there’s anyone who likes making PowerPoint presentations and flowcharts out there, I need some tips and advice! I want to be your friend. 🙂