Publicious Links: The Squirrel Bombing Edition

OK, let’s just get it over with.

squirrel-falls

squirrel-fenway

squirrel-soldiers

squirrel-bull

squirrel-nana

squirrel-beachroad

Ever since he was first spotted, that damn rodent’s been following us around all summer. Now on to the links.

First up, my latest post at InDesign Secrets, Document Differencing.

Layers Magazine has an article on using Conditional Text in InDesign. Aside: ten years later, I still hate the phrase, “in InDesign.” AwKward.

What do you get when you cross Mad Men with Illustrator? Sketchpad, a 1963 computer illustration program created by Ivan Sutherland at MIT.

Thanks to mehallo.com for the heads up.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow (leopard, that is). Here’s a PDF on Adobe’s Creative Suite compatibility with Apple’s new version of OS X.

Elpical has a product called Claro Layout (which I haven’t tried yet) which gives you the ability to optimize and enhance your photos from within InDesign.

Vectorsonfire.com has a vintage Ford Thunderbird drawn in Illustrator that is so awesome it’s either going to inspire me to refresh my vector skills or make me never touch the Pen tool again. Too soon to tell which.

Examiner.com has a story about some members of the UK Parliament considering a ban on Photoshopped images for ads targeting kids. They’re upset about the widespread Photoshopping of already attractive people into poreless, wrinkleless monuments to Barbie-doll perfection. Here’s an interactive example of the typical process. Of course, this has been going on for a long time, witness the these pics of 18th century First Lady Dolly Madison:

Before

Dolly-1.0

After

Dolly-2.0

Prompting Ben Franklin to say, “M’lady, thou art a hottie.”

Designussion (i.e. Design Discussion) has 13 Amazing Vector Cartoon Tutorials.

If that wasn’t enough for you, Designreviver has 50 Illustrator Cartoon Tutorials.

Ever heard of Flash cookies? AKA cloud cookies? Apparently some sites now keep cookies on your surfing habits on their machines. Thus removing the last shred of a hint of the illusion of privacy. Might as well just post your browser history on your Facebook wall.

Wish you knew more about CSS? Existingvisual.com has 250+ Resources to Help You Become a CSS Expert. Hmmm, wonder if those resources include six months off from real life and a fresh brain.

Stumbleupon has the definitive list of Adobeans on Twitter.

Finally, if you just didn’t get enough rodent, here’s more squirrel bombing and an automatic squirrelizer app.

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Pour Me a Glass of Pixels

Saw this in the New Hampshire State Liquor store during our last trip up to VT and I couldn’t resist. Yes, I am the world’s first publishing tech oenophile.

adobered

adoberedlabel

Now I’ve got my eye out for a nice, dry PrinerGrigio, or Typefi Shiraz.

I once worked a freelance gig where a I’d come into work to find empty bottles and dried red wine circles on my desk. Apparently the late shift had all the fun. ‘Cept I think they were drinking Quark 20/20.

Publicious Links: The Dude, Where’s My Blog? Edition

And we’re back.

Sometime Monday the domain mapping that transforms mild-mannered “pubtech.wordpress.com” to it’s super hero identity “publicious.net” expired. Silly me, forgot to pay the bill. For about 48 hours, I was thinking I had offended some very important bots in Internetland. All the incoming links to Publicious disappeared and traffic was down more than 90%. It felt like Publicious had been put in solitary confinement.

After the inital shock, I said, “Oh well, whatever. Home alone at last. Now that everyone’s gone, I have all the time in the world and the whole internet to myself. Maybe I’ll just put on some Carpenters, kick back with bag of Cheetos, and check out SpongeBob On Demand.”

Every sha-la-la, Every whoa-o-oh, still shines.

patrick-carpenter

But then I got lonely. I finally figured out I should check one of the sites that links here and see what happens. Bingo. A hop, skip, and credit card payment later, I am once again master of my domain. Now, help yourself to some Cheetos. On with the show.

Might as well start with my latest post at InDesignSecrets.com, Snippet Style InJectors. I stumbled on this idea when I was preparing for a presentation last fall, and noticed that all the document resources used by a snippet get placed before the snippet itself. I said to myself, “Self, this could be useful someday.”

Drawn! the cartoon and illustration blog has an interesting video of an artist laying out a comic book in InDesign. You’ll never look at the Pencil tool the same way again.

Miverity has a tutorial on how to build a Flash XML slideshow app for a website.

Smashing Magazine has an article on Ten Simple Steps to Better Photoshop Performance. Life is short, no time for beachball cursrors.

The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog has an good article on ebook format wars. Which one will end up the Betamax of the 21st century?

Speaking of which…

InformationWeek weighs in on the same ebook format issue, with a Sony v. Amazon angle.

Gigaom is ready to declare a winner: Adobe, because of Sony’s embrace of EPUB.

Relatedly (is that a word? if not, I just made it one) Digital Media Buzz has the scoop on Adobe’s Open Source efforts.

Thinking of using an online word processor? Read Linux.com’s comparison of GoogleDocs, Zoho, and Buzzword.

Quick, how do you make a dotted line in Photoshop? Sitepoint has some nice quick tips about using Photoshop brush options for dotted lines and such.

One NYTimes.com writer thinks the bloom is off the Rich Internet App rose already, with the arrival of Google’s Chrome. Please, don’t be evil, Google. Please.

Graphics.com has some ‘tony tutorials (as in duotone, tritone, etc).

Finally, if you’ve ever wished to see Photoshop and Illustrator battle to the death as giant transformer robots with foul language (and who hasn’t?) I recommend checking out GoMediaZine’s ongoing Photoshop vs. Illustrator series.

Google Juice Tastes Publicious!

It cracks me up that if I Google “CS5” Publicious is in the top spot.

Picture 2

So far, about 27,000 people have clicked that link too. That is some good Google Juice for this humble little blog. Hopefully not too many of them left disappointed or disgusted after they saw it was a gag. Maybe I should add a disclaimer.

And then there are tools like the scrapers who re-posted “CS5 Revealed!” after carefully removing the references to Publicious from it. Thanks guys. A link would’ve been nice.

Picture 3

Sigh. C’est la vie.

Hmmm, maybe I should do a “CS6 Revealed!” post…

Movie Review: Welcome to Macintosh

Do I smell popcorn?

Hey film fans, welcome to the first ever Publicious Movie Review. There aren’t a heck of a lot of movies that feature publishing technology, but last week I did catch one: Welcome to Macintosh.

Written and directed by Robert Baca and Josh Rizzo, this film is a documentary take on the history of Apple Inc., not just Macintosh, so the title is a bit of a misnomer.

I was really excited to see this film since I have been a MacHead for more than 20 years. My first Mac was a 512k-e in August of 1987, though I’m sure I used them briefly at school before that. The 512 lasted me until 1994 when I got a Performa 630 CD. CD-ROM baby, yeah! After the Performa came a parade of iMacs, a G5 tower, 3 laptops, and the current top dog in the household (more of a chihuahua), a 2.26 GHz 13″ MacBookPro. Since I use them at work too, I figure that for the last 15 years I’ve spent the majority of my waking hours sitting in front of Macs. So I was totally ready to love this film. But I didn’t.

sadmac

Welcome to Macintosh felt like a TV special. And a missed opportunity. Apple is a huge subject to cover, with an impact on technology and culture that people are passionate about. Maybe the filmmakers bit off more than they could chew. Or maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I’m one of those hardcore Mac geeks that wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than a Ken Burns 12-part Encyclopedia Macintoshia, complete with full-color booklet, and scratch-n-sniff pix of Woz’s garage.

The film starts out strong, with juicy details of the formation of Apple. Original logos. Lots of shots of ancient, wooden(!) hardware. But then it quickly dawned on me that the voices I most wanted to hear: The Steves, Jobs and Woz, were silent. There are no interviews with the two men who brought the Mac to life, and the film suffers as a result. It’s also missing input from lots of other folks who had a hand in the Mac magic. People like Susan Kare. She gave the Mac its face, designing the icons and graphics for the original Mac GUI. Susan designed the Mac city fonts, Monaco, Geneva, New York, Chicago, etc. and everything from the Happy Mac to the Command key icon. Wouldn’t you like to see her sketches or hear her stories and thoughts? BTW, Susan now does icons for Facebook. And you can buy sticky notes with her original Mac icons at MoMA store.org.

Another voice I want to hear is Jonathan Ive. He’s the principal designer of the iMac, Powerbook, iPod, and iPhone. He’s the guy who brought Jobs’ modern visions to life and helped resurrect Apple over the last decade. He’s responsible for Apple stores being mobbed with people who see little shiny things and must have them NOW.

Who we get instead are the affable Andy Hertzfeld, the BS artist/evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and Ron Wayne (the original 3rd co-founder of Apple) along with Jim Reekes (made the Mac startup chime) and Leander Kahney (author of  Cult of Mac). They provide some interesting anecdotes, but in the history of the Mac, they’re the supporting cast. The stars are missing. Reekes is pretty entertaining, though. He comes across like Apple’s version of Dwight Schrute. Sardonic does not begin to describe this guy. He seems completely unimpressed by Apple and the people who love their products. He is the sour antidote to the saccharine MacWorship that is always lurking when Apple is discussed.

My other main problem with the film is that it’s too hardware focused. People love the Mac because of the experience of sitting down and using it. Since it’s inception, it’s been the coolest, most beautiful, most fun way of interacting with a computer. We love it mostly because of the operating system and software. What about MacWrite? MacPaint? What about System 7? Mac OS X? I don’t think the word “Finder” is never even mentioned in the film. With apologies to Mr. Ive, you could stick the Mac OS in a boring beige case, and I’d still use it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Ive makes it sexy, but I love this thing for it’s brains, cleverness, and sense of humor. Maybe the movie I’m looking for is Married to Macintosh.

Despite my objections, I’m still recommending anyone who likes and uses Macs to see Welcome to Macintosh. It’s worthwhile, but it could be soooo much more.

Welcome to Macintosh is available on DVD for $19.84. Cute.

You can also follow Welcome to Macintosh on Twitter or Facebook.

So to sum up,

Pros: Great subject. Good early history of Apple. Reekes channelling Schrute.

Cons: No Jobs, Woz, Ive, Kare. No Mac OS!

Rating: 2½ Macs 2-half-macintosh

Publicious Links: The Birth Surfer Ticket Edition

3 o’clock – roadblock

Hey Mr. Cop, ain’t got no

(what you say down there)

Ain’t got no birth surfer ticket on me now

-Bob Marley, Rebel Music

In recent weeks, a growing mob of “birthers” has besieged Publicious World Headquarters, demanding to see my paperwork. They claim certain irregularities in my published documents call into question the legitimacy of my right to blog. Well, to them I say, phoooey!

However, you the loyal readers have a right to know, so to end this controversy once and for all, I am posting a scan of my original, unaltered, notorized blog certificate. I hope this will serve to prove beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt, that I am the legitimate owner of this blog.

plish-birth

Feels good to get that out in the open. Now, on to the links!

Some things are OMG, others are WTF, most are somewhere inbetween. Here’s the OMG-WTF Spectrum to help you sort things out precisely.

New Era Cap has a fun Flash RIA for designing your own baseball cap. It’s also a contest and if your design wins, they’ll manufacture the cap (there goes that crowdsourcing again. lazy bastards). Anyway, if you really want to trick out your design, you can download PSD and AI templates and go to town.

Picture 1

Speaking of RIAs, Sitepoint has the 18 Coolest AIR Apps for Designers.

The Graphics Fairy has a free vintage (Victorian) clip art and a fun idea/project for the kids, making a game of concentration out of your favorite graphics. My kids would probably prefer the Creative Suite icons…or SpongeBob.

Smashing Magazine has the A-Z of Free Photoshop Plug-ins and Filters

Tutorial Lounge has 25 Astounding Typography Tutorials.

Deke McClelland is posting a Top 40 Photoshop Features Countdown over at Lynda.com.

Now that people have had a chance to use Flash Catalyst, they’re starting to uncover some glitches in the Creative Suite-RIA connection. I stumbled on an interesting post about gradient fidelity and FXG generation tools.

Inkscape is a free, open source vector graphics tool (that I haven’t had a chance to play with yet). If anyone has tried it, please let me know your experience and opinion of it.

Divine is a tool that gives you the ability to convert Photoshop documents into WordPress themes. Sounds interesting. too bad it’s PC only, or I’d be trying it at this moment.

Digital Photography School has a basic tutorial for how to use textures to enhance photographs. Very simple technique that can yield great results.

Finally, after spending the better part of a weekend like a dog chasing my digital tail, I posted the Top Ten Reasons to Quit Out of InDesign and Call It a Day (or Night). Know when to say when, my friends.

That’s it. Till next time, be well, and if a birther jumps out of the bushes and demands to see your paperwork, hand ’em one of these.