Periodically, I come across something unexpected while searching for resources for my classes. I have been testing out one such app (iPad only – sorry Android). It is called Project Luca. I thought it might be worth mentioning this to others. I have plans to incorporate this into our CMWEB 115 class (Writing for the WWW). Let’s first examine the output. I put together a quick article describing the National Web Design Contest held in Kansas City in June, 2014. This was created on my iPad in under an hour. Note the effects one can employ when including images (how they move relative to the rest of the page). Yes, you do have to apply to gain early access (readers of this weblog know I tend to be an early adopter). Let’s examine the iPad app in a bit more detail. Read more »

Photoshop Mix

At our September Web Professionals and Adobe User Group meeting, Brian Anderson gave an excellent presentation on his Raspberry Pi Bramble (clustered computers). After the meeting, we had a follow on discussion about the need to teach how to develop applications to run on multiple computers at once. We also discussed how this might be used in various applications. Of course, I neglected to mention one example where this already happens. I thought it might be appropriate to continue that discussion in this weblog post.

I previously reviewed the iPad app Photoshop Touch (Photoshop Touch cheat sheet) and (Photoshop Touch for iPhones). There is another interesting app – Photoshop Mix which also runs on the iPad. Photoshop Touch allows one to make a number of edits on an image using the local processor. As long as you are connected to a network, Photoshop Mix allows you to offload some of the processing to Adobe Creative Cloud servers. Enhancements (such as straighten, shake reduction, and content aware fill) require a significant amount of computer processing. Being able to use external servers is a significant “game changer” for image manipulation. Let’s take a look at Photoshop Mix is more detail. Read more »

upper Deck Railings

My son and I spent the majority of the weekend building custom railings for the upper deck on his house. I captured a series of time lapse photos (using my GoPro camera) and have created a couple of videos. I thought you might enjoy watching us work. I took the same 770+ photos and generated 2 separate videos. The first compresses the entire weekend into 1 minute. The second compresses it into 2 minutes (roughly). Yes, I chose different audio. Yes, I have the copyright to use this audio on the web.

I am curious which you prefer (the 1 minute or 2 minute version). Both versions were created using only Photoshop CC 2014. Read more »

Phone Scam

Readers of this blog probably know that I teach security topics. Since I recently experienced a rash of phone calls, I thought I would share my story with others. I do not recommend toying with the sorts of people who make these calls. I was just doing a bit of academic research to see how far this would go.  I decided to include a bit of commentary throughout to help you understand the process such individuals go through to make you perform actions you really shouldn’t do. Here is what transpired over the course of a few days.

First call, my wife answers the phone because I am teaching. Caller asks for me by my first name and tells her there is something amiss with my computer. Wife notes caller id is blocked and hangs up on them.

Commentary: just like any cold sales call, it is best to be rude and simply hang up. Don’t waste your time.

Second, third, and fourth calls – happen while I am in the middle of something. I let these go to voice mail. No message is left.

Commentary: I plainly see that the caller id is bogus (a random 4 digit number appears in each case). Frankly, if it really were that important, don’t you think a message would be appropriate to leave on voice mail.

Fifth call – ok, I have a little time this morning. Let’s play along (really not a good idea unless you can say no to very strong social engineering). Let’s see how this transpires. I have changed the wording a bit, but you will get the gist. Again, my recommendation is to simply hang up on these fools.

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Behind the Screen – Adobe Acrobat

When I have the time, I try to provide feedback in the way of audio comments on student assignments. As we started the fall, 2014 semester, I also did this. Comments I have received in past semesters (from students) indicated that they prefer this sort of feedback. They have told me they feel like it is one on one review of their work. Personally, I find that I often provide more information via audio that I would typically type in a document. Essentially, I use Adobe Acrobat to create this feedback. I thought it might be helpful to share the overall process I use. Yes, there are many other approaches to accomplish this. Here is my workflow. Read more »

Adobe Sketch

I recently reviewed the Adobe Ink and Slide hardware I obtained in June, 2014. I thought it might be appropriate to cover some of the apps which take advantage of this hardware in greater detail. For starters, I wanted to focus on the free Adobe Sketch app. While I certainly can’t claim to have any graphical abilities, I do continue to practice and doodle.

Adobe Sketch Logo

This app is only available for the iPad. While you do not technically need Ink and Slide to use the app, there are a number of features which work best with the Adobe hardware. Read more »

Starfish flower opening

We have grown a Starfish flower (Stapelia gigantea) for a number of years. It typically takes about an hour for the blossom to fully open. The open blossom measures about 5 inches across. While it is covered in hairs, there are no spines. I took a time lapse series of photos with my GoPro camera today and converted it into a short video.

Read more »

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