Monthly Archives: June 2005

Writing from Mac

Well, right now I am writing this post from the Apple Computer Store at the Tampa Bay International Plaza shopping mall, home to Sharper Image, the Apple Store, and many other top notch stores. This is my first experience using a Mac of any type and I love it. Right now I’m using a Power Mac G5 on a 23 inch cinema display screen. Surprisingly, my website looks awesome on it. I can’t wait until I get my iBook.

I plan on purchasing a 12 inch iBook with 512 megabytes of memory, 60 gigabytes of Ram, iLife, and an internal Bluetooth module. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money for that right now, so it will have to wait a few months. Anyway, just wante dto let all of you PC users know exactly what you’re missing out on. This is simply amazing. And the store design is brilliant.

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Small Changes / MPH

Okay, well, as you may or may not have noticed, I made a few tiny changes to the look of the blog. Nothing that will get me an award or anything, just some simple pieces of flare, I guess you could say. First of all, I replaced the links menu with a list of buttons that link to my favorite websites, or sites that I believe are essential for designers and web browsers in general. If you think your site is worthy drop a comment or send me a message on my forums and I’ll get back to you.

Second, you may notice that little one.org banner at the top of the page. I recently placed that tiny little piece of code on all of my websites, save for my portfolio (still waiting for my hosting period to end, so I don’t really touch that anymore). Every day over 30,000 children die as a result of extreme poverty. Click that little banner and show your support. It’s maily a UK thing, but as long as I’m supporting a worthy cause it’s staying up there.

Finally, as a result of spam I have removed my email completely. Luckily the spam has slowed down to about 1 email per week, but I still don’t want to take the risk of putting my email back up and then getting fifty spam emails a day. So if you need to contact me just post a comment with your email, or send me a personal message on my forums, which require a quick and painless registration.

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June Links

Well, since Blogger doesn’t support a second feed for the links sectiont hey provide I’ll just have to make an entire post for links at the end of each month. As you’ll notice pretty much all of my links are web design and hacking related. And when I say hacking I mean the art of building things from scratch or taking other things apart and rebuilding them.

  • On MouseOut – Mike Davidson finally left Disney after four and a half years. Probably one of the biggest bits of news this month.
  • DC Hoops – combine Hoops and the DC shoes training facility for an insane video. Via Mr. Moll
  • Blinksale – The web app many designer have been waiting for. Firewheel Design brings us a tool that allows you to send CSS formatted memos, contracts, etc anywhere.
  • Mac OS on Dell? – this would be great for me, but Apple isn’t biting. Via Ground Zero News.
  • Billy Corgan – Billy Corgan, formerly of the Smashing Pumpkins just released a solo album, is making a movie, and plans to reunite the Pumpkins, without even telling them! Via Jaredigital
  • Mailinator – kill the spam. Kind of like Spam.la, only better. Via Shaun Inman.
  • Site Piracy – Digital Nirvana has been not only ripping designs like MORE LLC, but they’ve also been caliming to make them from scratch. They’ve ripped MORE, a Zen Garden entry, and a few other notable designs. Discussion here.
  • IE7 and Longhorn public demo – this should be interesting. I want to try both so bad.

Well, that’s the cream of the crop for links this month. I’ll have more around this time in July. If I find anything else until then I’ll add it to this post. Enjoy!

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Some ads

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Okay, well, I decided to make some advertising banners for the blog. I basically used a simple photoshop tutorial and added some text and slogans. What do you think? Oh yeah, this post was made using Photobucket’s blogging tool, which you can set up to send posts to your Blogger, LiveJournal, etc. account.

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Welcome

First off, I’d just like to say welcome to any users who may come across this blog at its new home. I’ve been planning a name change and redesign for quite a while now, but unfortuantely all I have been able to do at this point is change the name and URL. Now, welcome to Textonic.

Basically the name is derived from drinking. Tonic is a very notable drink, and textonic is your regular drink of text. What I’m trying to say is, on a regular basis you’ll get some really great articles, which will act as your drink of text for the day. Okay, I’m a little confused myself, but it sounds cool none the less.

That’s pretty much it. I have a few articles planned soon. Some will be project updates, and others will be media reviews and personal things. Currently I’m writing a newspaper article and working on a few new clients, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t post often enough.

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Burnout, watch your back

Okay, I recently got my hands on an early, full version copy of FlatOut, an awesome, new, destroy-all racing game, similar to Burnout, the leader in this genre. How did I get an early copy, you may be asking? A friend of mine let me borrow it. How did he get it? I have no clue and don’t want to know. Anyway, this game is awesome.

I haven’t played much of it yet, but from what I can see the main point is to destroy your car as much as humanly possible while trying ot complete insane stunts and races. The best part, almost every single physical object in the game can be destroyed, and it doesn’t disappear after you destroy it. It just sits in the middle of the road or whatever waiting for stupid drives to come by and smash into it. The game is so addictive.

During races you have nitrous boosts, which last quite a while and are great for head on crashes. Now if you can only manage to get a hold of the OPM demo, then I suggest driving around backwards instead of finishing the race. This way, the demo last longer and you get to beat your car to a pulp while mercilessly throwing unsuspecting drivers through their windshields. In one sense, the game reminds me of childish antics from games like the Dukes of Hazzard, but in another sense it reminds me of Burnout 3 and Takedown. In fact, reviewers even mentioned that “Burnout should be rather concerned”. At the IGN Best of E3 awards it took home runner up for Most Innovative Design and Biggest Surprise.

Now, races may be fun, but the stunt challenges are what really make the game enjoyable. On the demo you can perform the high jump, in which you drive your car straight up a ramp, and then using a special type of nitrous boost you launch your driver through the window, competing to see how high you can make him go. You have three tries, and at the end of them your distance is counted up. My current record is 318.6 Meters. Pretty good, huh? Though I haven’t quite figured it out, I believe the nitrous used in stunts is stored under the seat, and when hit it pushes the seat up, launching the drive through the windshield. It makes me wonder whether the people who made this game were even concerned about seatbelts.

Overall, the game gets a 9 out of 10 in my books, and is definitely woth $50, for the fun factor if not the gameplay itself. The game is produced by Empire Interactive and Bugbear Entertainment Ltd and is out in stores now. The game features 36 terrifying tracks and 16 fully upgradeable cars, along with unlimited damage and more, plus an awesome soundtrack. You can visit the FlatOut website at flatoutgame.com.

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Choosing a Host

After searching for months for a quality host I decided to document what I have learned so far. Everything from domain name choice to customer support and more. First off, I would like to say that I have no affiliation with any of the hosts mentioned in this article, and have not been paid to promote them. Though, why would anybody pay a blogger with three other visitors to promote their website?

Finding a reliable host is probably the first major challenge a designer, or anybody running a site for that matter, must face. You need to have something that can support your traffic, files, and offer everything you need to get your website off the ground. Originally I was using a small host called EHost Pros. Now, they did well in supporting my very small site. But when it comes to traffic support and all around features the company just wasn’t cutting it.

When searching for a host you want to look for something affordable that has PHP 4+ support, along with a good amount of MySQL databases, uploading space, and especially bandwidth. I suggest something around 70 gigabytes of monthly bandwidth if you plan on launching a large site, and around 30 gigabytes monthly transfer for smaller, usually personal sites. You also want to check on features and see who else is hosting with the companies you are looking at. It’s a good idea to host with a company that has some popular clients. In the end I will be using Dreamhost, a very popular hosting company that has clients like Devil’s Details and others. I also recommend Media Temple, probably one of the most popular hosting companies around.

Now, domain choice is a very important part of setting up your website. You need to choose something that is simple, effective, and most of all, easy to memorize. A simple tip, go with a .com extension over a .net extension. When searching for a website most people automatically use a .com extension with any web page. It makes sense and currently is the most popular extension. Now, you need something short. If your company or website has a long name, try using abbreviations or acronyms. If it were available I would use wfd.com instead of webfuziondesign.com, or even wfdesign.com. Pricing is another important issue. Usually a registrar will only cost you about $10 for a fully supported domain name, which you’ll have to renew yearly, depending on your plan. In most situations your web host will provide your domain name.

In essence, choosing a web host and domain name is a very important matter, and should be done with care. Once I make some money I will personally be signing up with Dreamhost, and will be closing this blog to make room for my WordPress based blog. If Google ever release a downloadable version of Blogger I’ll use that instead. Speaking of the Blogger system, I need to suggest that to somebody. Hopefully this article has been helpful. Unfortunately, I’m not that good at putting my thoughts to words. I plan on writing a full set of these articles once I get my finalized site set up.

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