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.

Publicious Links: The Bing Hits Edition

You probably know that Microsoft has released its own search engine to try and topple Skynet, er, Google. A few days ago, in the WordPress stats I started seeing referrals from Bing.com. Literally, Bing hits. Heh. So I searched for “Publicious” on Bing, and we got 9 out of the top 10 spots. Righteous.

If you weren’t totally exhausted from all the Flash Catalyst stuff I posted last week (or if you ignored it completely) you might want to check out Adobe’s summer-long eSeminar series on the Flash platform (Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst). Please don’t call them “webinars.” Eeeech. Ugliest word ever.

If you want to see what some people are actually creating with all this Flash stuff, check out Smashing Magazine’s 50 Beautiful Flash Websites. Don’t forget to follow Smashing Mag on Twitter for tons more.

Here’s my post on InDesign Secrets about continuation of Adobe branding into our geeky lifestyles, Coasting Into A Suite Life. By the way, I’m all for it. I’d buy some InDesign bedsheets in a heartbeat.

By the way, yesterday was Adobe Patch Day. Get’cher security updates while they’re hot.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, unless it comes in a Bezier box. Best Design Options is offering 100 Websites Where You Can Download Free Vector Graphics.

While you’re up, can you grab me a few free patterns from the PatternCooler? Thanks.

With all that money you saved on your vectors and patterns, you can head over to FlashDen and purchase some little Flash applications. It’s a little app market where developers can hawk their coded wares. Even if you don’t intend to buy, it makes for some fun window shopping.

Want to influence the future of Photoshop? Take John Nack’s survey. Vote early and often.

Gurus Unleashed has a really cool new feature, a monthly wrap-up of the best news, tips, tutorials, etc for your favorite graphix apps. Here’s the May wrap-up for InDesign/InCopy. You can also find wrap-ups for Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, MacPaint, etc. Just kidding, I think the MacPaint news would be pretty sparse. Then again, I could dominate it…

Whoever says print is dead is all wet. Literally, now that you can get almost anything printed on a shower curtain. These will be the coolest thing in the bathroom till we get shower curtains that are tv screens.

Or you can get a monitor that’s bigger than a giant flatscreen TV. It’s only $8,000, and so big it has to be curved around you.

Finally, I leave you with some high art, from Prepress Pilgrim, an excerpt from the world’s first prepress romance novel.

Flash Catalyst Iron Man Train-athalon

Back ’07, I went to an Adobe MAX conference in Chicago with Eric. Had a lovely time, enjoyed the vocal stylings of Richard Cheese, and was intrigued by a little thing shown in one of the keynotes, called Thermo. It was a tool that would allow designers to work in their designy ways, and build UI for Web applications without having to write code. Filed it away until recently, when the buzz about it became so loud it penetrated the constant meowing of my Siamese cats. Renamed Flash Catalyst, the application is now available for free beta testing on Adobe Labs.

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the “wicked awesome” Flash on Tap conference in Boston (more to come on that!). One of the Adobe keynotes featured a demo of Flash Catalyst (henceforth “FCat” in this post). It looked even cooler than what I had remembered from Thermo days in Chicago. You can use layered AI and PSD files as the basis for your interactive designs. And when the design changes, you can re-open a component in Illustrator or Photoshop and make your changes. That is frigging sweet. But even that wouldn’t mean much if FCat generated mucky sucky code. Happily, we are promised that the code FCat generates is rock solid and clean as a whistle. OK, sign me up. Time to start playin’. Just one problem. How do you learn it? Fortunately, with the release of FCat on Labs, there is a flood of tutorials and talk about this new tool.

So, I give you the Flash Catalyst Iron Man Trainathalon. Only the world’s strongest eyeballs and mouse fingers will survive.

Start with Kevin Lynch’s FCat chat at Web 2.0.

Then go peruse Adobe Labs own list of tutorials.

Click over to Lynda.com for Mordy Golding’s freebie introduction to FCat. And for Bonus Mordy, read his essay on MogoMedia.com, Futuristic Hype or Realistic Future?

Back to AdobeTV for FCat videos.

Then hop on your bike and pedal over to the newsstand or library to check out issue 155 of Web Designer magazine, featuring an introduction to FCat.

Go to the FCat Help page on Adobe.com, and download the PDF version of the Help.

Watch FlashBlog’s a 2-part video tutorial FCat.

Then partake of O’Reilly’s Inside RIA screencast on FCat.

Chug a RedBull. There are miles to go!

Put on your swimsuit and take a deep dive into Peachpit’s lengthy article on FCat.

Then towel off and get ready to climb a mountain: Ryan Stewart’s Digital Backcountry blog, for a tutorial in both text-based and video versions. If you’re like me, and have some serious Mac OS beachball issues, you might want to check out Ryan’s Flash Catalyst performance Tips.

After all that, splash yourself with some cold water and read some posts that are not so enthusiastic about FCat. FlashMagazine’s middle-of-the road take on FCat, We Say No To Flash Catalyst Until.., and Catalyst or Catastrophe?

Fortify yourself with a bite from Wikipedia’s page on FCat.

Sprint for the finish line: FCat’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Did you make it? Good! Rest up, kiddo. Tomorrrow we start the ActionScript 3 Steel Cage Learn or Die Death Match.