Sorry I havent posted in forever!

Trevor A Mueller's Site
Check out my friend Trevor’s site, I helped design it for him.

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Creative content and the will to work

I don’t believe that one has a finite amount of creativity in them. This is greatly liberating, to some extent, because even though sometimes the inspiration doesn’t flow as fast as I would like I know there is always more. Moreover I think that creativity tends to flow from different sources and in different directions from time to time, and that much of the time we can direct it, once we find the lay of the land. But unfortunately there are two factors in our lives that are not infinite: time and attention.

So one of the things, with that in mind, is that my time and attention are often misspent. In my case they sometimes are poured into introspection and planning that toward goals that may not be achieved. Especially when in practice, I tend to act impulsively discarding the plans that I have carefully crafted. This means two things to me 1. I do not produce work on a regular basis that does not have my immediate attention. 2. I do not focus my attention on things that I would be working toward.

What does that all mean? it means that there are a lot of projects that I would like to work on that have gone un-worked-on for a long while. this blog, and my vision of what site will actually be here in the long term, and other creative sites that I do like The Adventures of Scott and Exile Comics.

I would like to change that, but I am not sure how.

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At the Studio 01

At the Studio 01

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So it looks like its time for me to blow the year plus of dust off of this blog, I think this is going to end up being where I come back and start blogging again, and I would like to start uploading Zero Sum here too, if anybody wants to see it.

I’m going for thrice weekly on the blogging thing, including Zero Sum when I update, we’ll see how that goes.

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rockstarrobotSo hey, me and mikes awesome project has started! so point your podcatcher at rockstarrobot.com

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This is a project start. be warned

I start projects all the time. sometimes rarely I finish them. but its good. Instead of having the idea rattle around in my head I will get them out, so I am announcing today that Sunday or Monday I will be starting a _______. Hmm, I cant seem to say it _______, yep. oh well, you will find out Monday. I have a collaborator on this too, so those who know Hiddy, he will be there.

In crappier news I think I have to take my macbook to the doctor to fix the LCD backlight’s annoying flicker.

Also this blog is now being syndicated on my Facebook so look out for it there, of you do things there.

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HDD dude!

I bought myself a 250 gig External USB HDD at the big yellow tag for 99 bucks on sale. I know backup is not exciting, but I am glad to have it! Its pretty cool too. its the Western Digital “My Book” because it looks like a book (duh)


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CSS, XHTML, and the temple of doom: part 2 Lets layout some design, and laydown some code!

So back on the webdesign train! Today we are working on taking a design and working with xhtml. The mockup Layout of my page So the first thing I do is take my mockup that have made in photoshop, and I break it down into logical parts. usually this is done just in my head but here Ive divided it out in a wireframe layout. The areas that have the black lines around them are DIV elements in most cases. If you havent used this tag its a very handy tag that basicly, makes up the skelleton of the site (I know I know purist xhtml people say that most designers overuse them, but they are a great tool). the “div” in div stands for “division” so its really the logical choice item to divide our page up.

Now for a little behind the scenes on xhtml. If your not used to it it can sound daunting, but its not that hard. For example you might have this piece of code in html: (sorry, the code examples are images because wordpress messes with your HTML because it wants everything nice so browsers dont choke.)

code example

But in xhtml, that code is a no-no, because in xhtml all tags need to be closed like this:

XHTML Code Example

See how the paragraph (p) tags are closed just like you would for a link using the anchor tag (a). Now you might be wondering whats going on with the img tag, in the first one the tag is just closed with the normal /img tag which makes sense if every tag in XHTML needs to be closed like I said. In the second image tag however, there is only one tag there and it ends with a slash before the ending angle bracket. That’s a self closing tag, that can be used whenever you would normaly have a tag with no text inside it.

Okay, so lets lay down this XHTML. This step is about 2 things: content normaly and structure, but not looks. For now I am going to be using lipsum text as a place holder for content, as this is for a site that I dont quite know what the final text will be. Structure is the real focus now though, and what we want to do is break it up into logical chuncks that we can jocky around later. Starting with a blank template (I just tell Dreamweaver that I am using XHTML 1.0, and it generates the template but its not hard to write yourself.)

XHTML Code Example

Next, lets set up the DIV tags that give this document structure. I’ll give each div an ID while I am at it, these IDs atributes will help me later when I am doing the CSS style. I put notes in so that you can see which div is which, and I added one div from my initial layout at the top of the page: (you can click the guide if your confused where things will go.)

div guide XHTML Code Example

ResultsOkay, now we just fill in the deets, and here is the result. To see the code, click View then Page Source (in firefox). “But Scott,” you say, “that looks like crap!” Well thats what CSS is for. this gives us a framework to fill in the rest of the site.

Awesome, next time we play with CSS and make things pretty. One last thing though, although this tutorial itself is written by me, the design that I am making is for work. Therefore the code is Copyright the Regents of the University of Michigan. This means while you can use the code as an example, you may not use the code on your site. Sorry. I was going to do this with a personal project so this wouldn’t come up, but this way I was able to kill two birds with one stone, and honestly I dont have time for my own web projects right now. So dont use this code directly, but use it as an example to help write your own!

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Firefox exploit’d!

It makes me sad to say that there is a Javascript execution triggered exploit that will allow an attacker to own a machine by exploiting the browser. This news does not sound that shocking, browsers are the point of entry for most malware, but this time its Firefox. Cnet reports that black-hat hackers presented this flaw at ToorCon, a hacker conference. As it stands the flaw supposedly effects windows, OS X, and Linux, although the information is sketchy and I cant find any first hand accounts. I suspect that OS X and Linux have a smaller damage footprint, as long as one is not running as root, and especially if your not running as a admin user. remember scripts run with your permissions, so the lower you can run day to day, and just escalate as needed (which can be done easily in OS X), the better.

The hackers who claimed to know 30 other Firefox exploits, were asked to report the weaknesses to Mozilla and even to claim the $500 bounties on exploits, but the hackers declined saying that they would do more good creating a network for black-hats.

The fly in the mustard is that one of these guys works for six-apart, the blog company that makes movable-type, Type Pad, Vox, and Live-journal. Something like this makes or breaks a companies reputation. Right now I say that it looks really bad on six apart. Your company should have a policy that all found critical security exploits from are handled in a responsibility manner as a term of employment.

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Thinkin’ out loud. ’bout food

I for some reason was wanting to come up with a menu for some sort of meal (four course, apparently) I was thinking a round the world kinda thing so each course would have a local. now to fill in the blanks…

Salad: Arugla and frizee, apple, dried cherry, blue cheese, basalmic vinaigrette
Entree: Broiled Mahi-Mahi, peach mango salsa, green tea basmatti, grilled green and white asparagus


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