Tag Archives: software

Finally Launchpad Makes Sense

So when Steve Jobs gave a preview of Lion (AKA Mac OS X 10.7) he talked all about how they were bringing features from the iPhone “back to the Mac.” One of these was the icon screen, which on the Mac is called Launchpad. All I can remember is that when I first installed Lion and looked at Launchpad, it was an irretrievable mess, so I tried to forget that it existed.

Then, I decided to do a total wipe of my hard drive and start all over. (This was motivated by the fact that sometimes my computer would get stuck and just hang on processes that shouldn’t have been a problem.) But this time I installed my apps very selectively and in order. I then cleaned up Launchpad as things came in. And now, it’s so lovely and wonderful that I just can’t stand it!

Also, I had to deal with my desire to categorize everything. In this case, I tried organizing the games (which I basically never play) in several ways, until finally I decided that they didn’t have to get categorized at all but could just have their own pages and be in alphabetical order. Ahhhhh….

Anyhow, I’m so happy with it I thought I’d post a few pictures.

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Max & Me

A simple patch in the software Max

I just made my very first patch in Max (v. 6), otherwise known as Max/MSP/Jitter, which is brought to us by the fine people at Cycling ’74. I feel like a proud papa! (If you click on the circles — in Max, that is — they’ll light up in order of connection.) I’m just following along in V. J. Manzo’s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music: A Practical Guide to Developing Interactive Music Systems for Education and More (where I’m part of the “and More” crowd). Here’s the book:

This is significant because I’m going to be taking a self-organized course next semester at the University of Utah in an attempt to learn how to (eventually) do data visualization with Max. Should be fun… and it’s very nice to be off and rolling!

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Flash Is Slowly Dying?

Well, interesting news today via TechCrunch: Apparently Adobe has decided that Flash for mobile devices (i.e., phones and tablets) has been a colossal failure and is pulling the plug. As the article points out, Steve Jobs famously panned Flash in an open letter entitled “Thoughts on Flash” in April of last year. Well, his words appear to have been prophetic (or at least timely).

Sooooo, no time like the present to finish my Flash homework and get cracking on HTML5!

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Photoshop-Induced Cognitive Failure

[The above image, “Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X” by Francis Bacon is illustrative of my current mental condition.]

Well, my last post was all about how wonderful Photoshop is. This one is about how overwhelming it is. Ay yi yi! It’s all very, very confusing – masks, channels, layers, fidgets, blotters, who knows what. I can’t keep it straight. I guess the upshot of this is that it gives me much more compassion for my statistics students when they get lost.

(On the other hand, I DO intend on going back over all of the class materials, the PDFs, Adobe’s own online tutorials and some of the tutorials at lynda.com. I’m sure I’ll get this all straightened out.

I am, however, excited to be working on my collage!

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My Old Friend, Design

Today in FA3000, Design for the Web, we talked about general principles of design. It was nice to see references to research – know your audience, what they want, how they use computers and the web – and to functionalism – know the purpose of your web site and work to meet it for your intended audience. Both very refreshing. But what was really nice was having a quick (about 10 minutes each) overview of design, especially color theory and typography.

I took a color theory class back when I was an undergraduate Industrial Design student at BYU back in 1985. (That coincided with the time when I generally didn’t go to my classes, so things didn’t go quite as well as one would have hoped. Oops.) Nevertheless, I had my color cards and I could talk harmonies at least for a little while. I may not have my Pantone stack anymore, but I did have an interesting déjà vu experience last year while attending a conference on computer science, of all things. Actually, it wasn’t so shocking because it was VisWeek, the data visualization conference (which was, conveniently, in Salt Lake City last year) and so there was, in fact, a big turn out for the talk on color theory. I learned all about the differences between RGB and CMYK color systems (basically, screens vs. print) and the incompatibilities that exist between them. The speaker… oh, wait! I took the notes on my computer! Let me look them up… Ah, the speaker was Theresa-Marie Rhyne and her personal web page is called Theresa-Marie Rhyne’s Viewpoint (and it’s at http://web.me.com/tmrhyne/Theresa-Marie_Rhynes_Viewpoint/Welcome.html, at least until Apple shuts down MobileMe next year). She talked about RGB and CMYK, as well as the Munsell system (which I believe is the basis of the HSB – Hue, Saturation, and Brightness – model, although Munsell used the terms Hue, Value, and Chroma; and in which the color orange did not exist, just “red-yellow”), and the Pantone system. (I also just looked up Munsell in Wikipedia and found a huge number of color systems; more systematic coverage is at the article “List of color spaces and their uses“.)

Okay, so lots of color theory available. Here are several online color tools mentioned by Martin (my FA2000 and FA3000 teacher – Hi, Martin!), Theresa-Marie, or things I found on my own:

I also have some nifty color apps on my iPod Touch:

And there’s a lot to say about fonts, too, but it’s late and I’m getting tired. For right now, I’ll just mention a few other apps I have that are wonderful:

Lovely stuff. By the way, I just found out that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple (although he IS staying on as Chairman). Who knows what that will mean for the Apple faithful like me. We’ll see.

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