Bucking the Trend – London 2012

With all the talk of the new £400,00 London Olympic log, flying around and a building consensus of it being naff. I thought I would wade in and say its good and more importantly I like it.

You may wonder why I like it so much, well its quite simple. There is not another Olympic logo like it. Fair enough other Olympic logos work and indeed look good (see here) Only problem is they all look the same, they all have the same elements and all show some kind of recognisable symbol or mark, that is of the host nation. I like the London 2012 logo because its different, simple and there is nothing like it, even if it was a little expensive.

The Most Helpful Applescript Ever.

iTunes LogoI have a ever growing iTunes library, but sometimes when importing stuff, the ID3 tags go all wrong, or in the in Japanese/Non-English Characters. So like many geeks I hate having to mess with each ID3 tag individualy even if iTunes makes it easy. Solution CDDB and a little script from dougscripts.co. You simply go to the playlist, run the first script which searches CDDB to find the album your playing, then you run the second script that then copies the page details and puts them in your ID3 tags. Voila! your library is nice and perfectly formed.

Switch To Something Other than IE

Browse Happy logo
Devthought – Guillermo Rauch’s Blog » IE7 still creating problems for developers?

5 Reasons to switch from IE to something else:

  1. Its Horrible confusing and counter-intuitive (in versions 5 – 7)
  2. Its unSafe See Here
  3. It causes headaches on a monumental scale, I only play with web design its not a serious job and it give me headaches I can only imagine what it does to the poor developers that design sites for a living.
  4. Pop-Ups – whilst installing Google’s toolbar and using pop-up blockers built into the latest version IE its still not good enough, with a couple of firefox extensions you can block anything you don’t want easily and you can even stop the annoying “Zap Me!” ads
  5. This is the simplest of all the reasons, its made by Microsoft and therefore supports there own proprietary software and activex controls, which should really be named entry points for spyware and nasty painfully hard to remove software that you simply don’t want

Simply put switch and make your life more productive and Kill Off Bills Browser

Podcast Replace Classrooms?

RSS Headphones - Podcasting
In the beginning, the iPod let you listen to every CD you owned, even when you were stuck on the Red Line. Then Steve Jobs said, “Let there be video,” and lo and behold, you could watch “Lost” die a slow, overwritten death on a two-inch screen. But while people seem content to load their little devices with as many songs and TV shows as possible, podcasts (think of them as radio programs that you download) tend to be neglected.
Listen and Learn With Podcasts – washingtonpost.com

The Answer = Not anytime soon
Why? it all falls down to the mentality of the person learning and the fact that listening to a podcast is a passive occupation, were as good learning will always be active.

Increasing technology use within schools, colleges and university’s can do nothing but help the way we learn and consume that learning materials. Being able to access course materials 24/7 is a great resource to have but you don’t remember the stuff you do aswell as you would from a classroom.

I think there will inevitably be some invention that takes podcasting and vidcasting out of the passive domain into the interactive and maybe then we can consider replacing the classroom. Until then I think classrooms are safe.

How the JT Blob was made.

How the JT Blob was made - Screen 5As you can see from the new design, the blob is taking more of a centre stage. So how did I come up with the idea? and how did I make it.

Designing in general can seem complicated and daunting but with just a few photoshop techniques in your toolbox. You can create a logo for you in a couple of hours or less.

You start with a blank sheetHow the JT Blob was made - Screen 1
Like all good things its best to start with no computer, a soft pencil, rubber and blank sheet of paper will do. Start by just randomly sketching something and then start working that into a logo (say you initials for example) You can spend as long as you like making this drawing look something like how you want it, but it doesn’t have to be very neat.

Say Cheese
Next step take a photo of your design (or scan it) I tried drawing my logo free hand straight on the my fantastic Wacom Intuos3 tablet, but it never looked right. This way works best for those of us who aren’t 100% confident with the graphics tablet. How the JT Blob was made - Screen 2

Follow the Yellow Brick Road
How the JT Blob was made - Screen 3Now for the slightly more complicated bit, open up your photo in photoshop and start using the pen tool, to trace over your logo. You can find a fantastic tutorial on the pen tool over on PixelPerfect
How the JT Blob was made - Screen 4You can then continue and play with the path till its perfect (this is why you pencil drawing didn’t need to be perfect)Then fill the path with a gradient by creating a gradient layer and using the path to mask it. Repeat this process until all elements of your logo.

Add a bit of text and you have yourself a logo. Its not that difficult, really. The harder part is making your website match your logo.

New Look, New Ideas

Jack Tams BlobI have been a bit low on the postings lately, hopefully I am about to change this. New theme new ideas (thats the idea) I now intend to keep content fresh and also make it easy to get to the content on the site. As you may know/see this new theme is based on hemingway and is a big contrast to the old website. The idea is to get all the content on the site is places were its easy to get to and easy to share and bookmark. Only time will tell if the theory will work out OK. I plan to post every other day or maybe more depending on what I feel Like.

Does Blogging Improve Your College Work?

I have been pondering this one for a while and I just can’t seem to get it resolved in my mind, like most things its double edged.

In my case i think that blogging has significantly improved my written (pity I didn’t pick a-level english) I also find it easier to write longer more in-depth things that I would ordinarily just leave well alone.

Think of it, outside of the blogging context though. You write lots, you get better at writing, blogging is just an extension of that writing skill. You then have the flip side, the fact that you can get so into the blogging and other related things on the web that you then spend less time working and more time blogging. The key would seem to be getting the right balance of blogging and work, lets say the blog to work ratio. In my case I would love to spend every living moment making stuff for the web, and blogging. Alas I need to work because I aren’t doing particularly well on the maths side of things but Computing is entirely other story.

Sorry for disjointed nature of this post, and the fact it would seem to posting for postings sake but I think it’s genuinely instresting to actually see what benefits you get from blogging. We all want to blog or do we?

“Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put on stage and asked to say it.” Mr Plummer

forget office, Oo.org get ThinkFree Office

I have dabbled in many office applications google’s offerings microsoft open office and some i cant even remember.

I am amazed at ThinkFree Office it is exactly what a web app should be and the learning curve is 0 cos it looks just like office on you desktop. Wel done guys, and ThinkFree Office is my default Office of choice.

And I got this from 5 minutes using it.