How Glasses Change Your Personality

Hey

You may have seen this floating around on the internet, but I decided to post it. Its a rather amusing set of images (4 in total) that show the difference a pair of glasses make. Although they are cartoon drawings they are funny, and I love them. You can go here to the source of the image I have found although I don't think it is the original. Clicking the image below will bring up the full size versions for you to view in its full glory.


I wish these were on a t-shirt, they are really cool.


Funny Warning Signs

Hey

I cam across this really funny site that lists new (fictional) warning signs. I think they are really funny being the geeky nerdy type that enjoys these types of things. I have listed some of my favorites below. If you want to read his blurb you can check the guys site out here. Also you can check out his flickr page for more warning signs.

I wonder how long it will be before we see these sort of signs in every day life.




Cool Little Time Waster

Hey

I like wasting time on the internet. People are so creative and come up with the most amazing things. Anyway, I came across this really cool site called myoats. Let me explain what it does. In its basic form it is a drawing tool. You get a circle which you can apply your artistic flare to. But everything you draw is mirrored. The amount of mirroring depends on the settings you apply. You have all sorts of brushes and tools which you can use to create your shape. It is create fun. All I can do is make is spiders webs. I've include some pictures below of some of the top images people have created. I don't think I have that much time to make mine that good.




Inside-Out bears

Hey

What happens if you cut a teddy bear open, unstuff it, turn it inside out and restuff it? Well you get a inside out teddy bear. The results are surprisingly cool. If you head over to Kent Rogowski website you can check out all of his bears that he has mutilated. I really like them, the ones below are my favourite.



Creating A Fullpage Magazine Design

Hey

Looking through magazines I love the layout that they create. As a result I wanted to design in Photoshop a simple and elegant flower / camera design the you could use on an actual brochure . It is a very simple to do and it doesn't use much Photoshop trickery. If you want to download all of the files and the final .psd you can use the source file here. If you are ready then lets begin, i'm sorry it is not upto me usual detail of standard but I am short on time.

Step 1) The first step is to create your canvas. I have picked A4, set the dpi to 300. So you can use it for print.

Step 2) The next step is to add in some pictures. The idea behind this is that the pictures will go in a short of slant, hence why have positioned them as they are. The pink flowers you can find from here. The Aperture icon you can find in the source pack, as it is taken directly from the application. Reduce the flower picture every so slightly so the camera lens shows through. Use the crop and rotate tools to move the images about.


Step 3) Add in a another flower as shown in the image below. You can find it here.

Step 4) Add a fourth image, this time the flying bugs. To make it slightly different, add a small marquee area a part of the image and use the move tool (v) and use the arrow keys to move the slightly to the side.


Step 5) On a new layer add in a white square. As shown in the image below.


Step 6) Rotate the layer so it cuts off the above images at an angle.

Step 7) Select all of the pictures you have added and put these into a group. Layer > New > Group. Reduce the opacity of the group to about 30%. This will wash out the images.

Step 8) As a small improvement, add a new layer mask for the bugs layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All). On the layer mask use the black brush tool to remove some of the image. Try and match it up this the slant.


Step 9) Within the group, add a new layer. Fill the colour as a dark green. This will automatically be faded out. If the green shows through on other places and is not covered by the white, go onto the white layer and use a brush to fill in the missing areas.


Step 10) As a final touch add in some new image, (here, here and here). On each of these image I have cropped the images by selecting a rectangular marquee around the area I wanted, inverted this selection (Select > Inverse) and deleted this area. As a final touch I have added a white stroke.

If you want to spend more time I would suggest adding in a new layer behind each of the images and using the rectangle tool. This would remove the curved edges of the stroke.


Step 11) To finish off add in a curved rectangle, radius 40px, add in a small image found here, and some text. The text is Lucida Grande. Add a small black stroke to the shape and change its colour to a very light green. Erase the very corners of the image so it matches the curve.



Step 12) As a final step add some text. Use the Lucida Grande font for the text. Ive used Lorem Ipsum to pad the page out.



I think the final results are really cool. It was very simple to do and it can be applied to anything. If you want to download the source pack you can do here. Or click the image above to see the full resolution version.


1930-70 Design Ideas

Hey There

I love designing objects, 2D designs and websites, but every so often I really need a good source of designs to simulate the design part of my brain. There are hundreds of places on the internet which you can find designs, but I think that I have found a couple of places which have very old designs but are still probably relevant today.

The couple of websites I want to share with you have designs from the 1930 all the way up to the 1970. The reason for this is that all of the designs are simple, to the point and are probably very easy to do yourself. If you look at the design below you can see what I mean, it has simple colours a clear shape and a good message which the user will always need.


There are hundreds of websites which you can find, just Google 1950 (or your required date) and poster or designs and it will churn out thousands of results. A couple of the best I have found include 1940, Drive Past (this has hundreds), WWII Posters, Advertising Posters and finally Movie Posters.

Use them if you can, I just decided that it would be a cool idea to share these sites with you. I might do a tutorial on drawing one if I have the time.


Why Do People Still Use Windows?

Hey There

This is once again another rant but I feel that this one is very important. It kind of follows on from the post I made earlier this month about Why People Should Use Computers, this one goes on a slightly different topic of why do people still use Windows.

Let me begin by saying that I use a Mac, I love it. I made the "change" last year and have not regretted it. At this point in time I try and make as many people as possible use Macs or buy there own Macs. Usually price can be an option, so Linux is still a very good choice.

This idea behind this post came from reading about people woes about computer viruses. Viruses do seem a big problem for many computer users, they annoy you, delete data and generally cause mischief. I would like to know why people still use a product that has so many faults.

In the United Kingdom (and probably other places) there is a law that stipulates that a product must work as advertised and have no faults that are not mentioned at the time of purchase. Those might no be the exact words but it is something along those lines. But, when it comes to a Windows installation, common sense seems to be thrown out of the window. For example if you have a fresh install you need to immediately install a piece of extra software to help you run the computer "safely". Why do people continue to both with this. It is like buying a car, and then having to fork out some more money to buy a steering wheel. You can get free versions but they are never as good.

I think, before rambling on to much, the problem is down to laziness. People cannot seem to be bothered to change and look for a piece of software that works as promised. People every so often go out blind and buy the next Windows operating system. The point of this is why do you keep buying a shoddy product. I don't want to spend so many pounds to get a product that doesn't work. Until people realize that they are buying a product that is essentially broken Microsoft will keep bring out products that a faulty and are prone to breaking.

Finally, to sum up, I will give a couple of reasons why you should still be using Windows. I don't think any rant is worth while until all of the angles are analyzed. To this extent, the only reason Windows is any good is the games that it supports. All of the other software there is probably a version which you can use for Mac or Linux. You can use games on these operating systems but they are never so good since you usually have to emulate the Windows environment. Until the big publishers will get onto Mac or Linux and natively support these systems, Windows has only one use and that is computer games.

/rant


I Park Like An Idiot .Com


Hey

I laughed at this one when I cam across it. If you point your web browser of iparklikeanidiot.com you will be presently surprised. This site is pointing out all the baboons and morons who decided that there brain doesn't want to engage in the parking maneuver and decide to do it in any way that suits them. I find it really funny all of the pictures of peoples parking. Best of all you can buy a bumper stick that you can stick to offending cars. Check it out here.


Do Quick Calculations In Firefox

Hey

A friend told me today a really cool little trick that can be done within Firefox to make quick calculations. Using the in built search function within Firefox you can put in any small calculation and the answer is displayed. It is really simple to do. You can put in any maths function including plus (+) minus (-) times (*) divide (/) as well as brackets, square root (sqrt) and indices's (x^y).


It is a cool little trick, although it is probably easier to launch the calculator.app from the Applications folder.


How To Be A Good Blog Poster

Hey There

If visit this blog regularly, which I hope you do, I mentioned a method which I have sort of developed over the years for generating ideas. This post will be a follow up and will focus on being a good blog poster.

If you don't no already, blogs are website which people use to share, discuss and show ideas. I think them as personal diaries. They vary in nature and content, but the best ones are the ones that are regularly updated with quality content. Why updated regularly you ask? It's simple. People, who enjoy your blog, will want more. Have you ever visited a blog that has a couple of amazing posts and subscribed to there RSS feed (my RSS feed is here by the way) only to find out that it is never updated? People get frustrated and leave. A good blog poster/author, will be a person who will write and publish posts regularly. By regularly I don't mean every day, but every couple off days in a uniform fashion. I try to post every other day. This means I have one day of rest and to find or think of something cool to write, and one day to post and promote. This also has its rewards of being a regular poster.

The rewards of regularly posting are plenty. For example you will get returning visitors. These are great, as the more subscribers you have and the more returning visitors, the more chance a person will click and ad or what ever. Another advantage is Google rankings. Google, as seen by many as the big daddy of the search engine world, likes to crawl your site and visit new content. The more it visits, the more information it puts into its search engine and the more chance it has of passing visitors to your site. This is all down to the regular postings that your make.

The final part of how to be a good blog poster is the what you should write. If you post regularly that is great, but having good content makes your blog even better. Ever heard of the saying content is king. Then your should make your content as good as possible. People will not read your blog if it is full of spam, or worthless posts that are not worth reading. To be a good blog poster you need to write good quality posts that people will like.

So, it beautifully finish this post I will summarize what I have said. Write regularly, write good quality stuff. If you do this successfully you should start to see visitors returning and your blog becoming more and more recognized.


How To Get Internet Explore 6-8 To Render CSS Correctly

Hey

Fixing the problems in Internet Explorer may have just been solved with a little javascript hack. I am really glad I found this website. It may be a temporary solution to a problem that may take a long time for Google to fix. What happens, as many of you should know, is that Internet Explorer has terrible problems at rendering pages with complex CSS. I use Firefox so most of these problems do not seem to appear.

This hack is a simple bit of javascript code that instructs any Internet Explorer browsers 5 through 8 to render different elements on the page in a different way. It is added to the code of the website. You can find the website with all the necessary bits and bobs here over at Google Code. You have to download and host the code on your own site, but the files are not to large.

At the moment I cannot vouch for the reliability or how successful this piece of code is. I currently don't have any old versions of internet explorer installed on any of my PC's. When I get around to installing an old version of IE I don't think the javascript snippet should cause any problems. By the looks of things it has been tested throughly.

Its worth while checking out if you are into web design at all and hate the problems associated with Internet Explorer.


How To Get Ideas

Hey

Ideas are what makes the world tick. Without ideas nothing would ever get done or progress made. The world as we know it would come to a grinding holt. It is a pretty certain fact that some people are born bursting full of ideas and on the other end of the spectrum there are people who are stuck fast in no idea land. Ideas, I think, are usually linked to the creative juices within the body. Nearly every day people will need an idea to complete a task, the task always varies but the best idea will usually be a success. What I want to talk about in this post, is a method for the idea challenged that I think will help you to come up with new and possibly exciting ideas. I use it all of the time and nearly all of my blog posts come from this method. You might be different but the same principle can be applied in your own unique way.

These couple steps or techniques are in no particular order, they just popped into my head in the order they are written in. But this first step is usually the most important. Have a pen and paper or some other method of writing material with you at all times. Ideas come and go in a flash, and if you don't have a piece of paper or similar with you will forget it. Unless you have a photographic memory (mine lacks film most of the times) you will never remember the idea, just the essence of it and usually how cool the idea was. Never the idea. I remember reading some where that the popular children's author Roald Dahl always had a piece of paper with him. His books have wild imagination in them. I also remember that he once scribbled down on a tissue with lip stick one of his best selling ideas. Every one around him was wondering what he was up to. But ideas fade as fast as them appear, so you always need to be ready. You know that dream you have in the middle of the night where you sort of wake up with a cool idea. You should have a pen and paper with you at the side of the bed. All you need to jot down is a couple of words or a sentences to remind you. Pen and paper is a must.

Ok, you have a pen and paper with your at all times ( I use post-its). You now need to generate ideas. I have found through many years of school projects that you need to be doing something else to get the best ideas. There are many perfect situations through out the day which you can use to let your mind wonder. Day dreaming, I think, is the best thing you can do when you have a spare moment or half hour. So the first step to getting ideas is to make time or use other time to not think. As well as this you usually never get the best ideas by thinking really hard about what you need to do. It has been proven somewhere that you mind can do many things at once. Your mind can also process complex problems in the background. Have you ever thought to your self when doing something completely different, the answer to some complex question. I know that sounds a bit double dutch but it happens. So, to summarize, the best ideas come when you are doing something else. But how do you coax these ideas out of your brain.

There are loads of small times when you produce good ideas. But before I go into this remember, don't go to day dream about a specific thing, the good idea will never come. Personally the best tip to think about is to never think. So when are there times to let your mind wonder. My favourite is on the way home from school. I walk. I could get the bus or even drive but that means I am home in 5 minutes. You can't day dream and generate good ideas in 5 minutes. You need at least half an hour. That is why I walk home from school. It takes half and hour. This is half and hour in which I can do nothing else expect think and walk. About 25% of my ideas which I use on this blog and other things come from walking home. Apart from the good exercise my mind can wonder all it wants and I come up with brilliant and fantastical ideas, one of my favorites is the MMOFPS I wrote about a while back. Upon walking home over the period of a week I gained a whole setting story and ideas. I jotted these down. Some points, of course, were embellished later. Good idea generator number one.

The second generator idea location is in the bath. I don't know why but the relaxation of siting in my own bath water for an extended period of time seems to generate the best ideas. Relaxation does help. I also find walking relaxing so that is why I think it is another good idea revenue stream. Baths let you and your mind relax. The other alternative is a shower but that always seems to be rush, rush, rush. Take your mind off things. The only problem I find with baths is that noting stuff down is a little hard. Water and paper don't really mix, I end up with mush. So after getting dry noting the bath idea down is the first priority.

Finally I will like to conclude this post. It seems I should be writing a feel good book. To conclude. For ideas you need to do something totally unrelated, simple and relaxing. Your mind needs to be free. I have found that baths and walks are best for me. But you could be totally different. If you talk the train to work, look out of the window. If you have to sit down for 30 minutes for a bus, relax and look out. Ideas come naturally and the good ones can never be forced. If you have any idea making tips of your own, please leave a comment.


Why People Should Learn To Use Computers - In Comparison To Cars

Hey

I have been sort of mulling over this post idea for a while, I sort of got the idea one day thinking about computers and about learning to drive cars. I have recently passed my UK driving test so the two sort of came magically together. What I want to discuss (with myself) and mostly project my rant onto you, is about why people should learn how to use computers. This will be gently mixed into why people learn to drive cars and the comparisons between them.

With the advent of cheaper and cheaper computer parts the price over the last couple of years has dropped significantly for personal computers to be affordable for the average home owner. There are the uber fast ones but that is what I define as a seperate market. These "average" computers have become popular and as a result nearly every house that can afford a computer has a computer. I don't know exact figures but there are lot of computers. As a result of this cheap computing there are a lot of people who use a computer that really don't know what they are doing. This is a big problem. I don't mind people using computer, that is great, one of the best things that has happened.

The problem with people not knowing the basics of how a computer works means a lot of problems for people who do know how a computer works. Some people do like other people who have computer problems and earn a lot of money off them. I consider my self quite computer literate. I know my way around a computers files and I know what most things do. Most computer problems I could fix if I had the time and the resources. As a result I get called a lot by friends and family who want my help. I am 99% sure that if every one went on a basic course about computer hundreds of simple computer problems could be solved because people have the knowledge.

Lets take my first example and analogue to a car. Every one in the United Kingdom has to take a driving test and meet a certain standard to be able to legally drive a car on the road. Every person upon passing there test has enough knowledge to operate a car as intended. Hopefully they will also know how to avoid situations which could be fatal. On regards to computers people seem to throw caution to the wind and go in like they can do nothing wrong. Usually something important that will usually take a long while to fix will be damaged in some way that it takes ages to fix. What people don't seem to understand is that computers should be treated in a way to learning to drive a car. You don't go head on into it, you learn what things do, gradually build up a knowledge base and hopefully not kill anyone in the process. This principle should be applied to computers but it isn't.

What I think should happen is that every one that is new to computer has to learn to use them before they should be allowed to use them unsupervised. I know operating systems are getting better at locking down files, but there is always some bumbling idiot that manages to break the system in some way. With every one have a basic knowledge of computers you wont get situations were people don't no what start menu is, or what to do when you right click (this happens a lot in my experience).

Finally to conclude, this has once again become another post about me ranting on about some ideology that I believe in. If you agree of disagree please leave a comment using the supplied form below, under post a comment. I love to hear feedback and what you think.


Fruitful Time Task Manager - Product Review

Hey There

A while ago I mentioned that a cool new product is being released that I think will definitely help they way you work and organize your file. This product is FruitfulTime TaskManager for the Windows operating system. I've been lucky and have been chosen by the small company to be one of the first affiliates of this product. I like being an affiliate since I earn some money (being a student I am always poor) from every sales. Although this post will be about how cool this product is, I am going to do a balanced review of this product. I have just included my affiliate link since every time you buy a product I earn some money. The more money I earn the more effort and more posts that will appear on this post. Its a never ending circle.

Anyway, I digress as I always do. Fruitful Time TaskManager, as the name may suggest is a program (a very light weight program, may I add) that is used to help organize your life. It is the beginning of the new year and many people always try and be more organized. This program can help you achieve this goal that will not doubt end up getting broken at some point. Fruitful Time TaskManager is a cross between a spreadsheet (kind of, I needed an analogy of something with table cells), a calender function and a database. You can click any of the image for there full versions. Optionally you can view more screen shots here.


The task manager works as one might expect. You have on the left a list of tasks. I think you can have as many tasks as you want. Clicking on the new task button for a couple of minutes didn't seem to break the program. Overall the program doesn't crash at all. After you have added a new task and you have filled out all of the information such as Priority, Status, Start Date, Due Date, Progress and Tags (all of which can be ordered). You can add subtasks.


The subtasks section works in the same way as the main tasks section, you have all of the same headings and it can be used to break down bigger tasks into smaller tasks as you would normally do. All in all this keeps your main window size small. If you have ever used a calender program such as iCal, or Outlook, the "To-do" or tasks window can fill up quick. If you have a major task and it has hundreds of small tasks that you have added. The Task Manager keeps your window size down.

The Sub Tasks Section also enables you to have more options. For example you can add notes using the inbuilt text editor. References to files and webpages (on a separate tab), a light weight contact tab, where you can add contacts for your project. And finally a reminders tab, where you can set reminders. All of this works really well and once as you get the hang of it (doesn't take that long) it is quick and simple to use. The only problem with the sub-task that I have is the contacts tab. In the current build you cannot add any preexisting contacts from Outlook or another source, you have to add them manually. Its is only a small gripe which I am sure this sort of functionality could be added in later builds.

One of the final sections of the program is the tags section. Situated on the left hand side it is used to list all of the tags that are present on your tasks. One of the in "things" now on the internet is to tag stuff. A lot of websites (specifically blogs) have a section where you can tag a post or webpage. This serves as a easy way to organize things. I like personally like using tags. One of the strengths of Task Manager is its tagging system. You can add as many tags as you want to a task. It uses a dynamic method of check boxes for you to easily add tags to many tasks. The programs main strength with tags comes in the way you can filter and sort out different tags. It is like a search function, expect it is a lot easier to use.


If you are still with me and haven't become bored with me rambling on, FruitfulTime TaskManager is a great program to use. It is light weight (200kb download), fast and very easy to use. It comes with a built in help system (since the original version lacked such as feature and made the program hard to use for anyone that is new) this help systems guides you through in how to use the program. It is like any powerful database, except you don't have to program the tables, it is all done for you. As well as this everything is encrypted so it is hard for anyone to find out those important secret tasks on for that super cool secret project. Fruitful time does offer a password decryption service if you forget your password.

The Problems

No fair an honest review (you can always tell when people are making up reviews) would be anything with out the list of problems with a certain product. Thankfully this program doesn't have too many.

One of the problems I have found is the lack of a recycle bin or undo feature when you are deleting tasks. As you get to use the program and are becoming more proficient at using the program you will need to start deleting tasks. Usually you don't need to keep year old tasks. The task manager does have a delete feature. But the problem is that once a task is deleted you can never get it back. I think this is a slight problem since if you have a major task with 200 subtasks and you delete it in a crazed 3 in the morning stint of work, you will be really annoyed. I have mentioned this to the guys, I have no word yet when this will be implemented.

Although this fault/improvement doesn't seem much of a problem, it could be one improvement that would make the product a million times better. This is Mac and Linux support. I'm on a Mac for most of the time, having this sort of program would work wonders. I currently use iCal for the tasks but it is never very good for listing tasks as Fruitful Time Task Manager is.

Conclusion

To conclude every one needs a Task Manager to manage there tasks. Post-it notes have there limitations. Fruitful Time Task Manager seems to fit this role perfectly. As mentioned the program is powerful, light and works perfectly. There are a couple of minor niggles, but I am just being picky.

There is a free trial download which you can use. This limits you to adding only 5 tasks but it is a must if you want to try before you buy. It is priced reasonably at $49.99, which seems to be a good price for what you get. You can get it at a cheaper price of $39.99 if you are a student. There are family and cooperate editions if you have more than one computer or are buying for many people. You can view the price page for more information.

I have my copy bought and installed and I am beginning to use it more and more and from the first release it is getting better all of the time. My home PC is starting to become a major part of organizing myself, since my workload is becoming larger and larger. I really can't give this product any more praise. Please leave your comments on what you think of the product and if you have purchased it. Check out the TaskManager website here for more information.


Why Blogs Should Be Focused On One Thing

Hey There

This post will probably end up more of a rant than anything else (look at my last one). But I wanted to air my view and opinion about blogs and why they should have a purpose. My blog isn't as focused as I would like. So this blog seems to contradict what I am saying. Anyway lets move on.

Why

Blogs seems to be one of the main types of website on the internet today. A long while ago the internet was all about information, website that you visited to gain knowledge. But that has changed, for the better. As a result blogs have become more and more popular. A lot of people have blogs, there are hundreds of them out on the internet today. A while ago I remember reading a post saying th hundreds of thousands of blogs are made each day. A lot of them don't survive. This is down to two reasons. The owner not putting enough effort in, and the blog not being focused.

A blog should be focused on one (or a couple of related things). The main reason for this, I feel, is that is you visit a website that tries to do everthing, it won't be good at anything. There might be a Chinese proverb along those lines. The reason for this is your visitor (and Google rankings, but that is another story). If you want to try and get a visitor to your website, you website has to be about something specific (this specific thing is also called a niche).

Lets take and example of a would be visitor to your blog. A blog (if you don't already know) is like a personal diary, expect every one can read it and you don't keep it under the bed (unless the server is under the bed). A would be visitor has probably come across your site from some one or something that is related to you site. Lets say this user wants to visit about tiny bugs from the Amazon. You are the blog owner and are a tiny bug fantatic who goes to the amazon a lot and knows a lot about the subject and as a result, for fun, want to set up a blog about his tiny bug experiences in the Amazon. If your site is all about tiny bugs, a user would be interested. They (upon first visiting your site) recognise that your website is about tiny bugs, as a result they will return again and hopefully as a frequent visitor, wanting to find out about tiny bugs from the Amazon. This is good.

On the other hand if you post about tiny bugs from the amazon and the latest car from down the road, and possibly a couple of other unrelated subjects. You can confuse, possibly annoy, would be visitors. Another example of this could be Microsoft, the big computer giant. Personally, I saw it as the big one in computer operating systems, they trying to increase there power decided to move into other areas. As a result they don't really work, or are not as good as they are in other services (take for example there search, I think it is terrible, it never works well enough for me). The same applies to a blog.

Conclusion

Hopefully my message of trying to stick to one subject has come across. I know that this blog doesn't have a purpose. I am going to try and tailor it to such. Just remember if you are going to set up a blog try and keep it small in regards to what you cover. You could cover anything.