Awesome! Miniaturize Anything in Photoshop!

Finally having some free time being the holidays and that im done with school, I have the freedom to mess around with all the stuff I have been meaning to do. I saw this article on digg about a tutorial to miniaturize pictures in photoshop, and tested it out. What do you think of the results. Its really easy to do this yourself, it took 5 minutes and looks pretty legit!

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Little Feet Helps Ad Readability

Serif=good. Sans Serif=bad.Every newspaper and magazine as well as most books are printed in Serif font. They use it to help their readers’ eyes connect with letters on a page. Serif fonts have letters with little feet that helps the eye literally finish seeing the letter. Your job is to give your ad every chance of being read and being acted on. Always insist on serif type for all your ads.

p.s. Send Six Apart an e-mail asking for serif font on our blogs!

O Job, Where Art Thou?

Now that I’m done with school, im focusing on my job search full time. Ive found its really hard to decide on what career path to pursue knowing that you need to get 2 years of relevant experience to allow you to move into a successful position. I’m still going to stay at KPBS as an IT Admin through January, but I need to find a full time position somewhere soon.

One thing I have noticed is that every job wants you to have a couple years of experience…bringing to mind the fact that I’m trying to get the job in order to gain experience in the first place! Its a Catch 22 never ending cycle in that I can’t get a job without experience, but I can’t get experience without a job! WTF! They sure dont prepare you for this in school when a counselor is blowing smoke up your ass telling you about walking into a position making 60k year right out of school.

Anyway, the main reason for this post, is because of a recent experience I just had in the job search. I was contacted about a position as a Global Messaging Operations Specialist (GMOS) at a company called SMS.AC. Now, before I go into my experience with this company, let me tell you what I found out by doing a little internet research, in addition to my own previous personal experience with them.

A quick Google search brought up a this link. Apparently they don’t have the greatest reputation in the blogging community. Another interesting review of the service brought up this link. To quote from the article,

“Funnily enough if you rearrange the letters [of sms.ac] you get ‘SCAMS’.”

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So you can imagine my interest when I was contacted by one of their corporate recruiters. Not to mention that in the past I had been charged by my cell phone provider for an Instant Messaging service that I was not using. After doing some research and arguing with Sprint, I found out that this company allows people to send messages to my phone from their account on their website, and I am charged to receive them, something like $.50 per message!

So all negative connotations aside, I was hesitant to check out this job. Regardless, I decided to attend their information session. I’m pretty limited as to what I can say about the experience, due to the fact that I signed a Non Disclosure agreement before going into the session, but I can say a few general things about the experience. They hire based on compatibility with the companies “revolutionary” corporate culture. No cubes, no hierarchy, no politics. Appealing in a work place, I must say. But when I found out NO technical aspects of the job, something seemed fishy. No one could answer what exactly the job requirements were, and what skillset was needed to fill the position. I assumed as a Global Messaging Operations Specialist, I would need to have some network administration skills, experience with network monitoring, implementation, and troubleshooting. But…apparently not.

The next morning, I was contacted by the recruiter again, and asked to commit to beginning their grueling interview process. He asked “did you have a great time last night?” ” Yea, I replied, except that all I learned about was how awesome it is to work here, I really have no clue as to what the job I would be doing is”, and unfortunately all he could do was reiterate that it is so awesome to work there because of their culture.
Well, awesome corporate culture doesn’t sign my paychecks. I told him im looking for a more technical career and a way to put my 5 years of getting an Information Systems degree to good use. I dont think that a flashy office and overblown title will make me feel successful, and make me feel that all my hard work has paid off. Plus, I really took to heart some advice my boss Dave gave me…”go with your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right about it for some reason, its probably true.”

So, its back to the drawing board, looking for a job. I know something will come up soon, its just hard to sit back and relax through the holidays knowing that I need to plan out the rest of my life….but at least ill be doing it at a respectable company.

I hate Sudoku

I hate sudoku for the following reasons:

  1. It is really, really stupid. Who has time to sit around rearranging numbers in a box? Its like a rubics cube for idiots.
  2. If you mess up, and you are using a pen, you are screwed. Unless you have white out. But even then, it leaves an annoying mark in the box and screws up the rest of the puzzle.
  3. They are really hard. Sara is evan a math person who sees numbers everywhere like she is in the matrix. That is why she can do the puzzles. I cant figure them out at all.
  4. Sudoku sucks.
  5. I hate it.
  6. At first i thought you just had to write the numbers 1 through 9 in each box to solve the puzzle. I completed one of the difficult puzzles in about 2 minutes using this method. Then i found out that you also have to have them across each row and column. This made sudoku a little harder, and more stupid.
  7. How the hell do people make these? Normally I can figure out one box, but then realize that the person that created the puzzle must have messed up because none of the other boxes work out right. There are a lot of errors in these puzzles, making them a complete waste of time.
  8. There are a lot of websites that offer online sudoku puzzles. These are all completely stupid and MUST be avoided at any cost. Why? They are a complete waste of time. Computers should be used for real work, like blogging about awesome topics, NOT wasting time doing retarded puzzles like sudoku.
  9. Sudoku is a stupid word. What does sudoku mean anyway? I’ll tell you. I looked it up at a translation website, and the actual Japanese translation is “Waste of Time”.

I hope you have learned something from this public service announcement regarding Sudoku. Thank you.

Contemplation and Reflection upon Graduation

So I finished 5 and a half years of college on Thursday. I completed my last test, turned it in, walked outside and sat on a bench. I had no idea what to do next.

I really can’t describe the feeling of being done. I wasn’t overcome with the need to celebrate, go get hammered….nothing. I just felt kind of empty. Hit by a realization that my education that had been a part of my daily life for the past 6 (and 12 more before that) years, was finally over. I hate to say that I actually feel like I am going to miss being in school.

I have always said that I was looking forward to graduation because I wanted to work a job, come home at night and not have homework to deal with. But is that really the case? In reality, its just making me feel, well….old. My way of celebrating graduation was to go home, drink half a bottle of nyquil, and sleep for 14 hours. WTF is going on with me?

Graduation is another milestone, right of passage, and through achieving it I have been institutionalized to believe that I am now capable of handling everything the real world is about to throw at me. I can design and implement an Information System from the ground up. I can create 20 pages of Data Flow Diagrams for said system. I can design a complete PHP-based SDSU student community website and put together a fully functional marketing plan for it. I can tell you how to set up a subnet on a campus network, decide what type of firewall would be most effective for it, and install it. Hell, I am even in a Professional Business Fraternity that has completely prepared me for job interviews, presentations, business etiquette….right?

Wrong

I am prepared for nothing.

I don’t have a job lined up, I don’t have anything set in stone. The only thing I am really assured of right now is that I have no idea what I’m doing or what to do. I guess this $50,000 education really paid off! However, that depressing and confused diatribe aside, there are a few things I’ve learned that I know will help me succeed in the coming month…education or not. The following things I didn’t learn from any book I read…more from actual experience bullshitting my way out of one compromising situation or another:

  1. Take Responsibility. For EVERYTHING YOU DO. Even if you really don’t. Let me explain…This one has helped me get out of trouble more times than I can count, but only when dealing with adults. By adults, I mean someone older, roughly 40+. Its simple, really, if you think about. Everyone has an excuse for everything. Why you were late, why you didn’t turn in the homework, why you missed class. Well, adults are sick of hearing it. So turn the tables with a little reverse psychology. If you mess up, tell the authority that you take complete responsibility for your actions, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Most people are so shocked to hear someone actually own up to their own mistakes (apparently its such a rarity in todays society), that it will get you off the hook. If you don’t believe me, just try it. 60% of the time, it works every time.
  2. Don’t believe anything that school counselors tell you. LOOK IT UP YOURSELF! I can’t tell you how many times I have been screwed around by a counselor who told me to take one class or another, which ended up completely wrong. The schools try and make graduation requirements as confusing as possible to trick you into taking additional classes so they can make more money off of you. Avoid this whole problem: go online, get the requirements yourself and figure it out. That way, you can take it to the counselor yourself and show them what you are doing to graduate.
  3. Approach everyone that you meet as a potential networking opportunity. Look at everyone with the question “What can they do for me”. You never know what hook ups someone is going to have, or where they might work. Listen to what they have to say, because it just might pay off. I really had this reinforced by my buddy Nick Urbani, over at eBoost.  He is a networking/schmoozing genius, and him and I have had a lot of success with this technique.  For example, I just met some drunk idiot at a bar a couple weeks ago, and when he found out I was a web designer he went off for 15 minutes about this great idea for a website he had. I let him ramble and pretty much ignored everything he said. At the end of his inebriated rant, I found out he was a distributor for a beer company and was doing a promotion at the bar that night. I ended up getting all my drinks comped. Case in point, do what my dad told me…at any job, meet and get to know everyone at every level of the company, because you never know when it might come in handy knowing the janitor or a secretary.
  4. In a job interview, keep the interviewer talking as much as possible. My dad taught me this too, and I have tried to use it in every interview I have had recently. The more you keep the interviewer talking, the more they will remember you. They also dont pay attention to shortcomings in your resume or interviewing skills, but will remember what you had in common. (Hopefully this tip will get me a job in the upcoming month).

Im sure I will have more to add to this list sooner or later. These were just some things I had to get off my mind. I hope everyone has a great Holiday, and wish me luck in the upcoming job search!

Apple – Making people smile

So recently I was watching the television and I happened to see one of the new Apple commercials that highlight the differences between a Macintosh and a “PC”. The commercial was humorous and defiantly made me laugh. The creativeness, comedic ness, and sheer intelligence just make me admire Apple that much more.

The commercial in a short sum up goes like this: Christmas time, Mac and PC are standing there. Mac is stylish a weird metro way while the PC is an annoying Christmas shirt. Now this goes along with the sheer fun humor of the series of commercials obviously.  Now of course Mac is going on the moral high road and giving PC a generous gift, a photo-album full of different pictures of Mac and PC. PC hints he wants a “C++ GUI Programming Guide.” Sure enough PC hands a gift to Mac and it’s the C++ GUI Programming Guide. Commercial closes with Mac looking slightly amazed and PC very proud.

Now anyone that knows a little about the history between these two companies can laugh and get the joke. If you’re not sure what it is, look at this. Check the first three lines enjoyed being clued in. Now what impresses and amazes me is the way in which they play it off in a playful yet arrogant manner to the viewers and critics. I am what I consider a dual user – I run a G4 PowerBooks 17’ and an Athlon 64 X2. Both computers are equally powerful yet I want to get another laptop, this time a PC. This is my weak attempt at qualifying me as a worthy candidate to talk about this.

The commercial defiantly makes me laugh because it reminds me that it’s almost a tragic circle of irony. Mac started the GUI system, Windows borrowed from it and refined it (this continues on for many years on both systems, windows being on PC’s of course), Finally Apple decides to switch it up and use a fresher and more sleek look for its GUI, Windows sits and watches for a few years and then once again borrows it again. This time some people are noticing the similarities and saying something, but every now and then you talk to someone and they think its new innovation. Now we see Windows dominating a market and expanding into other venues of software and hardware development while Apple, the original innovator, squanders in its market share. This does take into the count that their share is growing – but in a very slow pace. I took into consideration and disregarded it.

In my eyes this is the biggest example of innovation sparking creation and competition. And in turn, creating intellectual theft on the now epic scale. It is amazing to see what we consider allowable as consumers and businesspersons. It’s my opinion that Apple realizes this and in turn thumbs its nose at Windows, its own customers (for not realizing this and carrying them out a shallow market share), and the computer user/enthusiast society. But i’m not offended; at least they got me to laugh.

To see the commercial –            1) http://www.apple.com/getamac/

2) Click the picture labeled “Gift Exchange” on the lower part of the                 screen

December 15, 2006 – jOSH – 2:55am (PST)