Monday, December 12, 2011

Knot November 2011


I have the great privilege of working with the teens at Victory Baptist Church in Loganville, GA. Last month I decided to challenge my Sunday School class (7th - 9th Grade guys) with something that really turned out to be a lot of fun. We wanted to make sure that everyone in the class could tie a necktie. At first I intended this to be a one week lesson; however, I soon realized that was not going to happen. Thus “Knot November” was born. hahah!

It was really quite interesting - I felt like a “real” teacher. I gave a simple assignment, and was then given a multitude of hilarious responses and excuses. A few examples for your entertainment:
“I know how but, my mom usually ties it for me“
“If I untie it, then I will have to tie it back again”
“Is this right....is this right....is this right...ughhh!”
“I did it exactly how you said, but look.”
“My dad doesn’t wear a tie, I don’t need to wear a tie”

We went over a few different knots, the 4 In Hand Knot, the Half and Full Windsor, and the Pratt Knot. We also learned some deadly sins for ties, one - NEVER leave your knot tied after its used. You should have seen some of their faces as they were forced to untie a knot that their mother had tied for them.....probably several months ago. To make the event more fun, we added a challenge and some incentive. The ties we were practicing with, I had collected from men at church. I told the guys, if on the day appointed they could tie one of the knots learned, they could keep the tie they picked. I also created them an official “Knot Expert” card with their mugshot.

All in all, a very memorable experience. Hopefully a learning one too. I want to congratulate every one in my class - they all were able to tie at least one of the knots we had learned! Knot November 2011 was a success.........through and through!

Here is a quick video recap of Knot November, Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Down in Georgia - Part 2

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The drive up to Brasstown Bald was done in the dark, but as I was heading west to Dawsonville I was really able to see the bright Fall colors. I have been up to Helen several times in the last few years during this time of year, but never this far North. The trip to my next stop was only about an hour, but the scenery was so beautiful I was hardly in a rush. Coming out of Blairsville was mostly rolling landscape, but it eventually turned into the curvy up and down roads that I remember as a kid. I also got to go through downtown Dahlonega. There was much more green in the trees than at the top of Brasstown. It made for a beautiful blend between all the earth-tones and a bright blue background. The blue sky is beautiful in itself, but my Circular Polarizer really makes it pop in my photos. I was looking forward to using it. And I was really looking forward to my next stop, the tallest cascade in the Southeast, Amicalola Falls.
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I did stop a few times on the way to take some pictures of the scenery, but eventually made it to Amicalola Falls. I had read on the GeorgiaParks.org website that there are a lot of visitors this time of year and there may be a lot of people. I found this to be very true as I pulled into the park. I was glad I was there on a Friday and not on the weekend; there were cars everywhere. I made my way to the small parking lot and fought the crowd for a spot. There seemed to be a lot of Buick’s.....im just sayin. The top of the Falls was right by the parking lot, I almost walked past it. Kind of anti-climactic when I found out that was it. I then found a stairway that lead down to the base of Amicalola Falls, and started down them. The sturdy wooden staircase zigzags along the side of the falls, but there were really no good spots to get a picture of it. This trek was probably the most colorful part of the day though as I was just beneath the canopy of colored leaves. The sun was shining bright and really lit up the path with bright orange, green, and yellow colors. About a 5 or 10 minute decent and I came to the base of the falls. The staircase wrapped in front of the falls and then continued on down. This made for a very convenient spot for taking pictures, however there was little creativity that could be done. Since you have to stay on the staircase, every angle of picture you take has already been taken before. I also had to wait in a line of sorts to get to the spot I wanted to shoot from. Nonetheless, still a beautiful site to see the falls surrounded by the autumn colors. I got a few pics and headed back to the truck.

Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in the southeast at 729 feet.
If you want to see the falls in HD watch this on YouTube.

There were some colorful trees near the parking lot, so I decided to play around with my camera before calling it a day. Anytime I go out on a photo shoot I like to get a unique image that I can use to make an album cover. This picture below is what I came up with as the Photo Album cover and header for my blog post.
It was quite fun getting these spinning pics, and probably entertaining to watch for those nearby. If I had’ve know how cool they look on screen, i probably would have stayed there spinning for hours trying to get the perfect shot. My goal was to focus on a single leaf and then blur everything around it. I didn’t get exactly that, but it was fun experimenting with my camera settings. For the photographers out there- put your shutter speed to about 1/20 and continuously snap the shutter and you spin in a circle. It helps if the subject is directly above you as it was here. Be sure your ISO speed is not too high as that will reduce the bluuuuuurrrrr that you get in the pic. Also, you may need to use manual focus if your autofocus is going crazy as you snap so many pics while moving.
Well after all of this, it was time to head to the house.


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I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure, and I hope it inspires you to take a trip to north Georgia before the winter sets in. There was still some green in the trees but with the cold temperatures being more prevalent I’m sure the leaves will be gone soon. I would say that the first couple of weeks in November would be the optimum time to see the fall colors at their peak. It’s an easy trip and it’s very rewarding, even if it’s just a day trip like mine. As you can see I only made two stops, Brasstown Bald and Amicalola Falls, and it was well worth it. If you live in the Loganville area, Brasstown Bald is only about 2 hours away and Amicalola Falls is less than that. Plus there are plenty more options for you to add to your journey. For example Helen, which was on the way for me, or Vogel State Park, which is very close to Brasstown Bald. No matter where you decide to adventure, I hope you are able to take a gander at the beautiful fall down in Georgia.


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To see these Pics and More click here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Down in Georgia - Part 1

Every year, when the leaves start to change color, I remind myself that I need to get up to north Georgia before the Fall is over. This year was no exception, and last Thursday I decided to plan my adventure. I decided to try and catch the sunrise somewhere, and then get some pictures of the fall colors.
FallDowninGA-2011-09-27-18-21.jpg
My Friday started early, way too early. The first part of my trip involved beating the sun to the highest peak in Georgia, Brasstown Bald. I left a little before 5 and about 2 hours later I was in the parking lot at the base of the peak. It is about a 1/2 mile trail hike to the 4,784 feet above sea level overlook. I got my camera bag and tripod and headed toward the trail. When I got to the trail start, I was surprised by the “Caution : Ice” signs and yellow rope everywhere. I strategically found a way around the ropes and made my way to the trail. Ironically, I slipped on some ice when doing so, haha!
As I made my way up the trail to the top, I began to realize a couple things.
One: “It’s really cold...........in fact.........was that snow on the ground? yes.......oh my!” - Apparently it had snowed quite a bit the day before.
Two: “This is not a normal 1/2 mile hike......this trail is a constant incline.......ok, now I need to jog......ok, I think I need to walk.”
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Finally I made it to the top of the peak, and to the overlook patio. The patio was covered in snow with up to 2 or 3 inches in the corners. I had made it in plenty of time before the sun hit the horizon, but I could already tell that the conditions would not be very good. In just the 1/2 mile hike from the parking lot, there was a lot of cloud cover and wind. Not great for getting a sunrise shot. I made my way to the eastern overlook on the patio and setup my camera.
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After my heart rate slowed from my race up the mountain, I soon realized that it was stinkin’ cold up here. I had 6 layers, and the bitter cold was still getting through. I was glad that I had grabbed my gloves as I left the house, but they only helped a little. And it’s really hard to take pictures with frozen phalanges. I called my camera all sorts of bad words as I tried to hit the the shutter button with my ice-cubed fist. hahah! Really though, the view was amazing and no picture could do it justice. I always think of Psalm 50:1 when I see a sunrise, and know that these are the sights the author was writing about.


Above is a timelapse video of the sunrise from Brasstown Bald's Eastern overlook.
It is about 90 minutes compressed to 2 minutes.
Click to view on YouTube to see in 720 HD.


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I was able to get a few decent pictures, but not what I was hoping for. I also took my pocket vid cam and was able to get the sunrise on video. When the sun had fully lit the land, I could really see the beauty. From the overlook patio you can see out very far in every direction. The fall colors were apparent no matter which way you looked and the trees near the overlook were still covered in ice. Really a beautiful sight to see. I stayed up there for about 2 hours enjoying the scenery and snapping pics.
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As I headed down the trail to the parking lot, the snow and ice began melting off of the trees. I dodged the frozen drops as i quickly descended down the trail. From the parking lot you could again look out over the mountains of north Georgia and see the fall colors. And looking back up toward the overlook tower you could still see the bright fall colors meet the white ice in the tree line. What beautiful sights to see from the highest point around. It was definitely fall down in Georgia and I was so glad I got to see it in the mountains this year. The first part of my adventure was over, but as I headed toward Dawsonville and Amicalola Falls the beautiful scenery would only continue. (Read Part 2 - Click Here)
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To see these and more pics click here:

A Whole New Web



Did you hear any of the fuss about Flash content on the web over the last few years? If you are like me, all the web lingo tends to go way over my head. All I know is that I like cool websites. I don’t really care how they are made. I know a little about HTML, but I try to avoid it as much as my websites will let me. However, as much as I dislike coding talk, I found a website the other day that made the subject become almost interesting. ( ahhh - but only for 1 blog post )

Flash, JavaScript, HTML5, WebGL are all buzzwords about how a website is created, on the backend. Over the next few years these, and probably other technologies are going to make surfing the web a whole new experience. We will see better, more dynamic websites, that are simpler and faster on the backend. The folks at www.creativejs.com have kinda started a community site for JavaScript aficionados. One of the things they do, is search the internet for cool and creative examples of this new web tech in use.

Instead of talking about the backend of a website, I am going to take the advice of my last blog post and Let the Pictures Do the Talking - Or in this case, games, videos, demos, etc. If you’ve got a few minutes, check out some of these interactive websites on the link below. Most are pretty simple to figure out. I will have to say that for me, the 3D racecar is the coolest, and Sinuous a close 2nd. Here is a video of my browser as I tested out a few of the games. (music during the video is from the game “Sinuous”)


Link to article:

Links to Games:
1) http://www.sinuousgame.com/
2) http://rappdaniel.com/experiment/cubed/
3) http://helloracer.com/webgl/

Thanks for reading,
Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let the Pics Do the Talking

VicDes.com_TUMBrochure-2011-09-21-16-44.jpgTeam Up Mentoring - Monroe, GA
Personally, designing brochures is one of the most difficult items that I work with. There are several reasons for this, but I guess the main one is that you often have to focus most of your time on text structure and layout. When this happens, the creativity portion tends to fly out the window. Well, I just kinda rediscovered a way to creatively approach a brochure design and thought I would share the story. If your stuck with a boring layout, you only need one special ingredient - PICTURES!

Everyone has heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I recently had a couple projects where those words rang out in my mind, and I am so glad they did. When I was asked to do a brochure for Team Up Mentoring in Monroe, GA I was not really sure which direction to go. At first I was just going to update the current design that they had with new pictures and a fresh look. However, when the director gave me tons of spectacular pictures to choose from, I knew I really needed to focus on these. The purpose of the brochure was to help create interest in their program and these pictures would be perfect for that. Really all I needed was a layout that “let the pictures do the talking”. I remembered a picture frame idea I had used several years ago on a flyer, and decided to give it a try.



With the abundance of great pictures, I think the Team Up Mentoring brochure design was a success. What’s funny is just last week I had another brochure design request. A friend of mine, Chris Waye, is helping set up a missions trip called the “UK Vision Tour”. He needed an informative brochure to hand out to those that might be interested in a trip to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Your probably thinking what I was thinking! What better way to convince someone to go to the these special places than with some awesome pictures! Once again, I was able to get my hands on some spectacular images to use in the brochure. And what better way is there to get folks signed up for a “UK Vision Tour” than to simply let the pictures do the talking.

So remember, next time you’ve got a project where words just won’t do the job - let your pictures do all of the talking!

VicDes.com_UKVisionTourBrochure-2011-09-21-16-44.jpg UK Vision Tour 2012

PS:
If you would like more information about these click the pics or the links below.

Team Up Mentoring, Monroe, GA:
http://www.teamupmentoring.org/

UK Vison Tour:
http://www.totheisles.com/uk-vision-tour-2012/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Football Season = New Good Commercials

Every year about this time I remind myself that Preseason NFL football is meaningless. I mean goodness, just last year was the perfect example. The San Francisco 49ers were 4-0 in the Preseason. They would end the Regular Season with one of the worst records in the NFC at 6-10.


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“And to my only son Chauncey I bequeath my Direct TV......”


I am not here to bore you to death with sports statistics (though if you stay tuned I will give you some interesting numbers at the end)***. The NFL and its multibillion dollar majesty will bring out the very best advertising that everyone has to offer. You see all the corporate bigwigs know that people watch the NFL, and therefore people watch commercials during the NFL. So I guess Im trying to get everyone excited that the 2011 “OFFICIAL COMMERCIAL SEASON” is just around the corner.

I don’t know about you but I just love commercials! Wait.....let me take that back. I love gooooood commercials - yeah! And i get really stressed out when I see bad commercials. Like just the other day I saw a commercial with an indy car and a base jumper. It made no sense whatsoever! I began to rant about how awful the commercial was, and I couldn’t stop until I had convinced my roommate to agree. Anyways, back to happy thoughts.

With the new “OFFICIAL COMMERCIAL SEASON” just around the corner I thought I would share some of my favs so far this year. I know I will forget a few, but had to compile a 2011 Fav’s list recently to share with a friend. So here is what I’ve got so far.
Please let me know what you think about these, and send some links to your favorites. I do love a good commercial!

FUNNIEST:
DIRECTV - The Will
(featuring Chauncey......hilarious facial expression. I love it.  Chauncey is not the only star of the latest set of Direct TV commercials. There are several "characters" that spin the benefits of using Direct TV - The Whale, The Truth, Russian Guy.  If you get really bored, they are all worth watching. )


 
MOST CREATIVE:
Fox Sports South - BP with Chipper
(I know im a Braves homer, but this is a really good commercial, especially since its a regional one. These regional commercials are usually really bad trust me! I also give kudos, because this was really cheap and easy to put together. Two words that “the network” managers love to hear. Im pretty sure this was done in about 5 minutes at spring training this year. Plus it cleverly show’s Chipper’s favorite hobby to Braves fans)





MOST PROFITABLE:
Burger King - The New Whopper
(Finally a good quality fast food commercial. Im amazed at how many big corporations waste tons of money on bad advertising. Burger King went from slightly humorous “tiny hands” and “creepy King” commercials to HD footage of their Whopper that will make your mouth water. I actually want one right now!)



***Interesting NFL facts for sports nerds:
•2011 Chicago Bears went winless in all 4 games in the Preseason - yet they would finish with one of the best records in the NFC 11-5 (only trailing my beloved Falcons which choked after a 13-3 season, uggghhh!)

•2009 NFL revenue was a wopping $7.6 Billion dollars!

•2010 revenue has not been released yet, but are estimated to be over $8 Billion!

•Of the 32 NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys are worth the most at $1.65 Billion

•I don’t know if you have heard, but they built a new $1.15 Billion dollar stadium last year.

•The bottom of the list is Oakland ($797 Million), Minnesota, and my beloved Atlanta Falcons. Probably because of their ties to the Georgia Dome.

•According to Reuters, the 2011 Super Bowl commercials will cost around $3 Million dollars for a 30 second spot
      Most of this info is from this Forbes.com article
      http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/02/nfl-pro-football-business-sportsmoney-football-values-09-values.html

      Thursday, July 21, 2011

      OSX Lion uncaged!

      OSX_Lion_LEDdisplay-2011-07-21-08-59.jpg

      OK, so it looks like i was not able to preview all of the new updates for Lion before it came out. This could be because I procrastinated, the advertised “new features” were becoming less and less exciting to me, or a mixture of the two. haha! That being said, the time of observing the Lion while it is caged is over. The Lion has finally been set free for all (most) Mac users to use. If you are unsure about whether to upgrade or not, here is a checklist of things to consider:

      1. ”Lion runs on all Macs with a 64-bit Intel processor — this eliminates the very first MacBook and MacBook Pro machines Apple sold, the very first Intel based iMac, and the first- and second-generation Intel-based Mac minis.”**** - (This was news to me)

      2. You must have OSX 7 Snow Leopard to install OSX Lion
          • also, if you have done a recent software update you probably already have the “App Store” on your system.  It will be necessary to have this in order to purchase the OSX download 
        3. OSX Lion is about a 4GB download from the App Store, so make sure you have a good internet connection or you start the download just before you go on vacation!
            4. OSX Lion is a $29.99 purchase from the App Store
                • - NOTE!!! - This means you can use your iTunes gift cards to purchase OSX Lion! So you can finally cash in all of those unused Apple gift cards you got for Christmas. Also, for the deal nerds like myself, you can save a few dollars on the purchase price. How? Just google “iTunes gift card sale” and you can probably find a local drugstore, supermarket, or electronics store that is offering a deal on the cards. These places offer the gift cards at a discount just to get you in the door. I usually check www.dealmac.com for a Mac deals. If you can’t seem to find anything, there is always eBay. This will probably only save you a few dollars, but hey, you can make fun of your friends for paying FULL Price! Boooooooo!

              If you want some more info, i would suggest reading the link below for a Lion Review by Edward Baig of USA Today. It is rather lengthy, but who am I to bash someone for rambling in an article. After all the news I’ve read, I think best new feature would have to be the “auto-save” that Lion performs in the backround. According to Baig’s article, not all Applications support this feature right now, but it is probably in the near future. While this feature seems very very helpful, I still think I will wait to purchase the update. Personally, I usually wait a few weeks when these updates come out so they can work out all the kinks. This will be less of an issue now than those what had to jump from Tiger to Leopard, but kinks still do exist. In fact, Baig mentioned having some issues with his Wi-Fi with OSX Lion.

              **** http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/edwardbaig/2011-07-20-apple-lion-reviewed_n.htm - “Apple launches Lion, and it roars” - by Edward Baig of USA Today

              Everything considered, it’s just another phase of Apple staying ahead of the game. What will you do? Will you make the leap to Lion?

              Wednesday, July 13, 2011

              Vic's Peachtree Roadrace T-Shirt Design

              In Georgia, there is a staple every Fourth of July in Atlanta called the Peachtree Road Race. It’s a 10K race that has become the largest in the world even with a capped registration of 60,000. There are thousands more workers and spectators that also come each year. This is a huge economic boost for the city and brings in millions and millions of dollars in revenue. The race started in 1970 and its history over the years is very interesting. (Check it out here: http://www.peachtreeroadrace.org/press-center/history ) One of the things that captures the most attention each year is the official Peachtree Road Race T-Shirt. The main sponsor of the race is Atlanta Journal Constitution. Starting in 1995 they began to have a design contest for the shirt that was conducted through the newspaper. There is always a lot of intrigue with this. The design is revealed on raceday, when finishers of the race cross the line and recieve their goodie bags which includes the T Shirt. I have really only kept up with it for the past few years, but it is always interesting. They probably get hundreds of submissions, and then they narrow it down to a few. I know the past few years the AJC has put up a poll on their website to see which design is the most popular. Here is this years winning design - and a link to the 5 finalists: http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/peachtree-road-race/2011-ajcpeachtree-shirts/

              WinningDesignPeachtree2011-2011-07-13-17-09.png


              Anyway, now to the point of this blog post, hahah! I don’t know about you, but I love to read the comments on websites. There is no better place to find quality quips and one-liners than on these comment boards. For the past few years, it never fails that the days following the race there are tons of negative comments concerning the T Shirt design. I must admit, that I don’t really care for most of the design finalist, or the winning designs, but they are not terrible. Well, just a few days ago, I read a very good comment from someone that was obviously tired of the annual T shirt bashing. They suggested that all the “haters” are just jealous and instead of whining, they should send in their own designs. I thought that was a great idea, in fact I decided that I would work on a Peachtree T Shirt design myself. Below is a picture of what I came up with. It’s probably not “artsy” enough for the judges, but I tend to like things simple and sweet. What do you think? Maybe I will submit it next year. Who knows maybe I could be the one with 60,000 people hatin’ on my T shirt design. hahaha!

              PeachtreeT-Shirt-2011-07-13-17-09.jpg

              Friday, July 1, 2011

              3) Multi Touch Gestures

              MultiTouchGestures1-2011-07-1-15-12.png

              Gestures are nothing new to Apple fans, but this is the first OSX update that is promoting use on the computer. Rubber-band scrolling, page and image zoom, and full-screen swiping are all routine for those who have an iPhone or iPad. Some of the gestures have been available to those who purchased the Magic Mouse or the Magic Trackpad for use with their Mac. But with the OSX Lion update, laptop trackpads will now be gesture happy like the other Apple devices.


              MultiTouchGestures-2011-07-1-15-12.png

              If you are not familiar with the different gestures, Apple now has a pictorial on their website (http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/gestures.html) as well as a quick 2 minute video tutorial to show you the gestures in action on a laptop (see top right of gestures page).

              Once again, this is Apple being intuitive and making something that we would never have asked for. We would have carried on for the rest of our lives using the mouse to click and scroll! Again, I must say that Apple is promoting this feature and OSX Lion like it’s some kind of life changing update. Most of these updates, we would expect to be on the next OSX release. Well, even though I jest at the advertising, I will still enjoy the simple time saving gestures just like everyone else.

              Wednesday, June 15, 2011

              Kodak Zi8 Pocket HD Review

              MyKodak_Zi8-2011-06-15-23-04.jpg



               
              A few months ago I was doing some research on the pocket video cameras. My church had an upcoming teen activity that I wanted some good video footage of. I wanted a small video camera that was High Definition, and that would allow me to upload files to YouTube in a short amount of time. I also wanted something rugged enough to withstand the elements of a little mud and water. I was going to be in the middle of the action of some very muddy events.




              The more info I read, the more I realized that this would be the perfect tool for my project. They are inexpensive, very mobile, and capture quality HD footage that is easily transferred via USB or SD card. Now, the only problem was finding out which one to buy.

              There are several quality pocket video cameras on the market, but all of the reviews I read rated the Flip and Kodak cameras at the top. I was slightly discouraged that the creator of the Flip cameras, CISCO, was going to stop production. Also i found that the Flip camera’s memory was not expandable. I have really gotten used to plugging in SD cards straight to my Mac, instead of using the cumbersome transfer programs that come with the latest gadgets. Kodak had 2 different models that I couldn’t decide between, the Zi8 and the Zx3/Playsport. After reading a ton of reviews, the Zi8 seemed to have a superior picture quality. Many people mentioned their surprise with the HD footage even in low light conditions. I also found that the Zi8 was the only model with an external microphone jack, which ended up being a major selling point since I was planning on doing interviews. On the other hand, the ZX3 camera was literally built for the extreme conditions. It is supposed to be waterproof up to 10ft, and it has a very sturdy shell. I have to share this awesome review i read on the Kodak website, It’s great!

              “I lost it {his Kodak Zx3} winching out a car from the median on the highway during a snow storm we had just after Christmas (it was my Xmas present). Well I just found it today, I'd looked for about half a dozen times and they had even mowed that strip of median and it missed blades. Here's what it looked like when I found it and after I cleaned it up. Turned it on and it worked like a champ and the battery still had charge on it after almost two months in the grass, rain, mud and snow."

              HaHa! They need to call this guy up and give him a sales bonus, or get him to make a commercial or something.

              Ultimately, I settled on the Kodak Zi8 for several reasons: I really liked the external mike feature (though i didn’t end up using it for this project), I was impressed with all the reviews, and I found a refurb. on sale for 65$ - including shipping. I was a little scared about the durability of this model in the mud, but it held up nicely. I included a picture of my cam so you can see the elements it had to face. haha!

              One last thing I must mention, just for the electronics geeks like myself, is the frame rate. While most of these camcorders advertise 1080p HD quality, the framerate at these setting is not very good. If you are filming something with quick movements, the motion will be very choppy. I would suggest dropping the settings to 720 HD which will allow you to increase the fps from 30 to 60. I used the 720 HD/ 60 FPS setting in all of the teen activity videos, and it seemed to work well.

              Overall I am extremely satisfied with my purchase of the Kodak Zi8, and the versatility of the new pocket video camera. The only specs about these cameras that really holds them back is the framerate and limited zoom. But to me, the price that these are going for easily outweighs these limitations. It will be interesting to see how these pocket cameras progress. I am guessing they will have to provide some really good features to survive, since all the new mobile phones are upgrading their cams to HD. It’s still amazing to me how you can cram quality HD video, in such a small package.

              If you want to check out the Kodak Zi8 in action, below are a few links of some of the footage I was able to capture during our teen activity and at a Braves game I went to. Be sure to increase the quality setting on the YouTube player to get the 720 HD picture.




              More Action Vids
              http://youtu.be/JRprsWHdsZw

              http://youtu.be/HdSNRcu5h2Y

              Monday, June 6, 2011

              Apple OSX Lion released in July

              OSXLion6.2011Pic-2011-06-6-21-49.png

              Steve Jobs announced today at its Worldwide Developer Conference, that OSX Lion will be released in July. (This is actually earlier than i was expecting, i guess i will have to hotfoot my New Feature reviews haha!) The new Macintosh computer upgrade will cost $29.99. Also, if you check out Apple’s new OSX Lion page, (http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/#video-lion) they have just added some more info and pictures about the new OSX features. There is even another one of those cool Apple videos where you can get a visual of some of Lion’s features in action. There is a tutorial video of how Multi-Touch Gestures will be used as well.

              If you click the link below, you can read a USA today article that sums up the events at the Worldwide Developer Conference today. The major news was mainly concerning the new iCloud services; however, there is also some mention of OSX Lion and the new iOS. A lot of new information on all three of these subjects is easily available on the updated Apple homepage (www.apple.com)

              http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011-06-06-apple-icloud_n.htm

              It looks like the battle between all the big electronics and technology players is really beginning to heat up. It will be interesting to see what goes on this summer; Apple just showed a few of their cards today.

              Friday, May 27, 2011

              OvernightPrints.com updated site


              I just bought some biz cards from OvernightPrints.com for my trip to the HOW Design freelancer conference next month. I have ordered some biz cards and postcards from OP before, but it was a pain to get the files to their site. They have recently made some adjustments on the site and now have a simple and quick interface for uploading files, I really like it. I would suggest downloading their Photoshop or Illustrator template file, before you order. If you use their file as a base, it is already the correct size, with helpful tips and guidelines already in place. They also have online tools for those who want to create stuff online, but i have never used them. Let me be straight with you,if you link to the site through this blog post I will get a "discount credit" on my next order. (Thats why the text looks wierd) Normally, i wouldn't like giving out props to a company just for a little discount, but i have used OP several times and they always do a good job. The quality is very good and even better the price is right. They have a promo code going this weekend "MEMORIALS" that will really save you a lot. My order was just 100 biz cards with pretty much all the options you can add, and it came to under $20 including shipping. That is a pretty good price, especially since i know the quality will be very good. So anyway that's the end of my plug for OP. If you want some business cards or postcards designed for you, hit me up for quote. Besides logo design, business cards and postcards are my fav things to work on.

              Wednesday, May 25, 2011

              2) Launchpad

              Screenshot2011-04-01at6.05.31PM-2011-05-25-00-49.png


              Next on the list of new things for OSX Lion is LAUNCHPAD!!!
              Personally, this feature seems to be very dull, so I added the exclamation points to keep you interested. haha!
              This is really just another feature taken from the iPad and iPhone operating systems. It allows for quick and easy access to your computers applications including groups and folders. One cool thing is that It does take advantage of the new gestures that will be available in OSX Lion. While Launchpad sounds cool, and will be familiar for those with iPhones and iPads, I’m curious why Apple thinks it’s such a big deal. It’s not really a new idea because you can accomplish the same thing in Snow Leopard. I have a similar setup on my Dock that allows me quick access to my Applications folder. If your curious, here is a quick video of how I access my Apps.




              Saturday, March 26, 2011

              1) The Mac App Store

              Screenshot-TheMacAppStore-2011-03-26-18-41.pngOSX Lion - The Mac App Store


              Im not really sure why this is the first thing mentioned on Apple’s list for improvements in OSX Lion, but we can discuss it anyway. I am curios as to how many people will actually use the App store on their computer. My guess is that Apple wants to make everything very familiar to customers who have an iPhone and are looking to buy a Mac computer. What better way to sell apps than to make the process exactly the same as what is done on the iPhone. I did find one thing that is very interesting. According to www.appshopper.com and their top 200 list, app sales for the iPhone and OSX are significantly different. 12 of the top 15 apps for the iPhone iOS are games ( e.g. Angry Birds, Words With Friends, etc.) while there are only 2 games in the OSX top 15, Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. The target market for the OSX Mac App Store is clearly not the same. The top OSX apps seem to be mostly Apple iLife applications like Pages, iPhoto, Keynote, etc. Also, these OSX apps are much more expensive. 7 of the top 10 are $14.99 or more, including Aperture which is $79.99. Also, it’s looking like many small software companies that already have software available online, are joining the Mac App Store to help sell there stuff. Popular programs like Pixelmator, Things, Rapid Weaver, etc. which have always been available from the company website are now found in the Mac App Store.

              If you are a lover of Apps for the iPhone, iPad, or OSX, i would suggest visiting the AppShopper website mentioned above. They have all sorts of interesting information about apps that are available, including a Blog and a What’s New page. Also, I am interested in hearing about your thoughts on the OSX App store. Have you purchased something from it? what are your thoughts about it?


              Update: 5.26.11
              Just read this article online - about The Mac App Store and Games
              http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20044432-37.html

              Thursday, March 24, 2011

              OSX Lion Preview - New and Improved

              New_and_Improved-2011-03-24-16-32.jpg

              With the release of OSX Lion speculated for sometime in the next few months, my curiosity has been raising about the new features.
              Many products claim to be “New and improved” ( including the animal crackers i just finished), but none have been able to deliver like the latest products from Apple. Both young and old are familiar with the new iPad, the iPhone, and the already iconic iPod. But Before any of these were ever even thought of, Apple was making a great operating system for the Mac line of computers called OSX. Beginning with 10.0 “Cheetah” in 2001, and 10.1 “Puma” later that year, Apple had a truly created a “new and improved” computer experience. Since then, they have upgraded to a new cat every one or two years bringing us to the king of all operating systems, OSX Lion.

              Over the next several weeks i am planning on breaking down the new features that have already been announced (see them here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/lion/), and giving you an unbiased preview of OSX Lion. I am curious to see what the excitement level is for this new OS as there are more Mac users than ever before. I hope you will enjoy these posts as well as contribute your thoughts on the new features.


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