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Graphics

Dock weirdness

I noticed some weirdness on my MBP laptop yesterday evening. When I would CMD-tab to go from program to program, none of my other programs were there. I googled this and the best suggestion I saw was to restart the dock. From the terminal I issued the command killall -KILL Dock. The dock restarted and everything was fine. I'm not sure what caused it but I was working with some heavy graphics in Photoshop, so that may have had something to do with it.

Online Training Courses from Lynda.com

I just started taking some courses from Lynda.com (for about 4 months now) and I'm really enjoying them. They have some really great instructors and some really good courses. I've been using Adobe Photoshop more seriously for a couple of years now and recently bought CS4. Deke McClelland of deke.com is my absolute favorite teacher of all time. He has a great sense of humor and an un-matched working knowledge of the software. He is the ultimate mask-master.

Review of Feng-GUI

I heard about Feng-GUI from Command-N and I decided to give it a try. It is a cheap alternative to what they call “eye-tracking” which tracks where a user's eyes go while using your website.
It uses the colors and patterns of your site to assess where people would likely be looking while navigating your site. Their algorithm is based on actual research on what kinds of things capture peoples attention. I tested it out on this blog and also on one of my own websites called Western MD Birding and I attached some images below showing the results of both.
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Web 2.0 and Online Generators [100+]

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for online generators. I've only looked at a few of these so far but they look pretty useful for making web 2.0 buttons and graphics with rounded corners and generating gifs and code tidbits. Props to Eric for showing me this. Web 2.0 and Online Generators. The ajaxflakes site looks like it might be worth bookmarking too.
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Animator vs. Animation Flash Animation

I got a link from a friend to this flash animation. I'm not a big flash fan but I thought this was pretty cool. Check out Animator vs. Animation

Color Strategy

I came across a good article about considerations of Color Strategy in web design. I prefer to choose my own colors but find myself browsing a lot of designs on sites like OSWD.
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Family - Funny Money

Family - Funny Money - We are in the Money ! Our funny family is printing funny money. Shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone. I found this on a website called Festisite.

Learning HTML color codes (converting RGB to hexadecimal)

I've been trying to understand how html color codes (hex codes) work and how colors mix so I can experiment with my own color schemes more intuitively. I came across a decent article at sitepronews (Understanding HTML Color Codes) that explained a little bit about the hexadecimal part. It seems intuitve but I learned that the Hex option on the Windows Calculator can help determine the hex values.
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Crash Course - Image Optimization

I've been reading a lot about Image Optimization for the web over the past couple of weeks. This is something I can no longer ignore since wait times (while images are loading) lead to frustrated readers. I've improved some of my old Image Magick scripts (Perl). mogrify -geometry $size convert -density 72x72 -filter lanczos -compress JPEG -quality 80 $fntn
where $size is a x value and $fntn is the filename variable (both are passed in as arguments). The density is essentially the dpi. The lanczos filter is an effective compression algorithm. Perhaps the most interesting fact is that Image Quality is NOT a percentage. In fact it is somewhat meaningless in that it varies from program to program. It is a good idea to test the level of quality in an image to find the maximum quality reduction (which is positively correlated to byte size reduction) that doesn't visibly degrade the appearance of the image. That isn't as easy to automate.
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