Posted Tuesday, March 08, 2011 1:07:20 PM by Jim Babbage
W00t! Happy to say I've been accepted as a speaker at the upcoming D2W Conference in Kansas City. I'll be talking about using Adobe Fireworks to wireframe and prototype mobile applications and web sites. It will be my first conference of the year, and I'm very excited to hook up with friends and make new ones. D2W is a designer/developer mobile workflow conference, it's goal being to improve communication and share workflow ideas between designers and application developers.
Early Bird Pricing in Effect
If you book the conference before April 1, 2011, you’ll receive a $95 Early Bird discount on conference registration.That’s right, until April 1, the conference fee is only $200! After April 1, the registration fee increases to $295 (still a great deal), so you’re saving practically 30% by confirming by the end of March.
And if you’re looking for more in-depth sessions, D2W has them as well:
- Introduction to Adobe Fireworks CS5 with Dave Hogue
- InDesign to iPad Workshop with Pariah Burke
- Creating a Portfolio With WordPress with Justin Seeley
- COOP Hands On with John Farrar
These hands-on sessions will run on Thursday July 14 as a pre-cursor to the conference, which begins on Friday. What a great way to whet the digital appetite!
So if you’re a digital professional and you’re hankering for a fantastic way to network and learn at the same time, reserve yourself a spot at D2W this July.
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2011 8:02:17 AM by Jim Babbage
I attended an excellent web cast last night, held by Dave Hogue. Dave is a user experience and interaction designer and uses Fireworks for building wireframes and prototypes every day in his position as Director of Information Design at Fluid Inc. in San Francisco.
In the web cast, Dave demonstrated several of the techniques he uses to keep his Fireworks files trim and organized, and shared many tips with us on how to streamline our own workflow process. This 30 minute web cast was recorded and is time well spent if you are learning about or working in the interactive design field. Be sure to check it out.
Posted Sunday, July 04, 2010 10:13:39 AM by Jim Babbage
I'm very happy to announce that my latest book, Fireworks CS5 Classroom in a Book is now available!
This revised edition builds on my first Classroom in a Book (CiaB), and covers new topics such as wireframing, working with Device Central, and exporting to Flash Catalyst.
Based on user feedback, I've also included more information on the relationship between Fireworks and Photoshop. The CiaB's are not intended to dig deep into other software. The focus needs to remain on the main product, but I did find more information about integration between the two programs. There are even a few improvements to integration since CS4.
I had an excellent Tech Editor; our very own Sheri German made sure this was the best book it could be and was an invaluable resource and friendly ear for me.
And as in the last book, I wrote too much, so there are two bonus chapters included on the disc that comes with the book, along with all the exercise files, so you can work right along with me in each lesson.
If you're new to Fireworks, I don't think you can go wrong by picking up a copy. And what do you know? Here's a handy link: Amazon.com
If you do pick it up, please let me know what you think of the book. I'm always looking for suggestions on how to improve it.
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:58:36 AM by Jim Babbage
Finally, the video training product many of us here at CMX have used on the Windows platform is now available on the Mac!
Camtasia lets you easily create engaging presentations, demos, software tutorials and even marketing videos. If it's on your screen, you can recrod it in action!
I've used Camtasia for Windows for many years and love it. Now that I've recently switched to the Mac platform, I can't wait to add this software. And even better, Techsmith is offering a special promotional price of $99 US. If you're an educator who teaches software to your students, you have to try out Camtasia.
To learn more, check out Techsmith's press release.
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 9:08:09 PM by Stephanie
Hey, the economy sucks and everybody's scared. What better time to work on your education, up your web skills and earn a little extra job security? There are several upcoming conference opportunities I want to bring to your attention -- as well as reasons you might want to do it at all. If you're smart about it, you can streamline costs and make it an affordable trip.
Are conferences really worth it?
For my business, conferences have been invaluable -- and I'm referring to the time before I spoke at them. Not only do you have the ability to learn about many different subjects all in one place, but the networking can also be a key reason to attend. I can trace most of the original opportunities I've had in this industry back to the very first conference I attended -- TODCon (which sadly isn't happening this year). I recently ran into some old pictures from that conference and it occurred to me just how much of my web beginnings started there. At TODCon, I met Matt Brown who was then the Community Manager at Macromedia. Matt bugged, errr, I mean encouraged me until I agreed to write an article for the DevNet Center (yes, my first, and I was petrified). I also met Angela Buraligia, Dan Short and Massimo Foti -- and those relationships led to my first paper publishing experience (Chapter One of Dreamweaver MX 2004 Magic by New Riders). Most importantly, I met Ray West who encouraged me to join the team who was starting Community MX, prodded me into my first speaking gig (a later TODCon) and has been one of my best friends and supporters. In fact, those are just the high notes of that conference. I also met people there that have remained close friends and business contacts. People who have introduced me in turn to other people who became sub-contractors and go-to folks for various solutions in my business. In my opinion, unless you know it all (haha), you can't afford not to go. You can't afford not to give yourself the opportunity for growth and connection "in this economy."
I see the value, but I can't afford it right now.
- Economize by finding a conference close enough to drive to or one where the flight costs are lower.
- Save money by finding a roommate to share hotel costs.
- Take advantage of early bird and discount pricing.
- If your boss won't pay for the whole excursion this year, perhaps she'll split the cost with you. Negotiate. Show her the value you can bring back to your job.
(And remember, everything associated with the conference you choose is likely tax-deductible.)
OK, I'm convinced. What's coming up?
Glad you asked! There are several conferences coming up in the next couple months that are not to be missed (and yes, I'll be at all of them ;)). In chronological order, here they are:
Voices that Matter (VTM) is a conference put on by Pearson (parent company of Peachpit and New Riders among other imprints) in San Fransisco. It's next week - April 27-29, so you need to act on this one quickly! The two tracks in this conference pull together many of your favorite authors. The sessions allow for question time, but one of the beauties of this intimate conference is it's very easy to have lunch with one of the speaker/authors or to catch them in the hall to talk. Take advantage of these speakers -- in a good way -- they don't just write your books. Many are designers, developers and Web consultants just like you. Tap their brains while they're available to you in person!
No, I won't be at this one. My son has finals this week and I couldn't chance being on the road while he didn't get out of bed. LOL But Greg and many others will be there. I was at WebDU last year and it's a really well-run conference with great speakers. If you're on that Southern continent, make a dash for it. May 21-22 in Sydney. Lovely, not too cold, good speakers. :)
InControl is put on by AIGA Cincinnati in, you guessed it, Cincinnati, OH on June 11 & 12. There's one track each day and I have to say, they've really gone all out to pull together a great speaker line up. If you register before April 23, you'll be entered into a drawing for Adobe CS4 Master Collection. That alone could make your trip worthwhile. :) Early bird pricing is available until May 11th, saving you $100, with even more savings for AIGA members.
Web Design World brings a great group of speakers together for three days in what we hope will be a sunny time in Seattle. ;) Sign up by June 3 for a $200 discount. If you use my code - S9W12 - you'll save $395 off the standard price of the three-day Web Design World Passport - and I'll donate $100 to Habitat for Humanity. Everyone wins there. :)
So there you are. Four chances for you to bring some mad web skillz back to your business or our boss. And "in this economy" how can you afford not to?
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 10:45:03 AM by Jim Babbage
Well, MAX San Francisco has come and gone. What an experience; 5000+ geeks attending a single event!
Seriously, it was a great event and I had the opportunity to meet and mingle with many new people. There were also a few networking opportunities as well. Both my Fireworks Mock Up labs were full, and I saw several other very interesting sessions and labs. I for one, was very impressed by the number of Fireworks sessions that were available.
Yep, the secret is out! :-)
On my return, I was informed by a very happy publisher that 28 copies of my book sold in the MAX Store during the event, which made me very happy as well.
I know I promised pics much earlier, but I've just gotten around to getting them online. So if you want to see a few shots from the event and a few from the aquariums at the California Academy of Sciences, head on over to my flickr site.
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008 9:00:01 AM by Jim Babbage
Fireworks CS4 finally began to answer the problem of designing and exporting standards compliant web pages, with the inclusion of a new export feature, CSS and images. This feature was an enhanced version of the Smart CSS extension which was available for FW CS3.
Well, the shipping version of this CS4 feature still had some issues. but luckily for us, Fireworks evangelist Matt Stow worked with Adobe to improve the export script.
You will find his article and the new export assets on Adobe's web site:
This article and the support files are definitely worth a read.
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:19:52 AM by Jim Babbage
Well day 1 has come to a close (for me, anyway) and it was quite a whirlwind! The keynote session this morning was pretty cool. There's some pretty amazing stuff happening with AIR, FLEX and Flash in terms of development projects from companies like Disney Interactive and the New York Times Company.
I thought MAX was big last year; the attendance this year is even higher! I'm told there are over 5000 people attending the event.
I ran my first Fireworks Mock Up lab this morning and it went over very well. I'm very happy to not ethat both labs are at capacity (50 people per lab). It is so awesome to see this kind of interest in Fireworks!
It's been a blast hanging with friends; Danilo Celic, Joe Lowery, Alan Musselman and Aaron Beall, Stephanie Sullivan and Greg Rewis and may others. I haven't seen some of these people for months (or longer) so it's nice to get a chance to talk face to face.
This evening, Alan and I tooled around a bit in his car, taking a few night shots of the Bay Bridge and just enjoying the local scenery.
I'll post some photos soon on Flickr and update you when they're online.
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 12:25:54 PM by Jim Babbage
I'm very proud to announce that Adobe Fireworks CS4 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques will be available October 20, 2008. It was a heck of an experience and I owe a big thanks to Kim Cavanaugh who was my tech editor.
You can learn more about the book here: http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321562879
I'm very excited about the book. I think it's a great introduction to Fireworks.
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:29:01 PM by Jim Babbage
TODCon will be here very soon. Yep, I'm counting the days. OK that's not the secret.
It'll be great to hook up with some CMX friends and regular TODCon attendees and speakers. Well, that's no secret either.
I've written the last three CMXtraneous blog posts! That's more of a shock than a surprise, though.
I'm pretty stoked about the Fireworks public beta. The Fireworks engineering team has done a phenominal job. It's to the point now where I don't like going back to CS3. Yeah, not really a secret there either, the way I've been blabbing all week long about it.
The secret is my second TODCon session. It will be a live demo of the new features in the Fireworks Public beta! We'll look at some of the cool features you've read about in my recent articles as well as Kim Cavanaugh's piece on the Path panel. Based on what you've read and heard this week, I hope you pull up a chair for my session.
Alan Musselman from Adobe will also be presenting a session on Fireworks. He'll no doubt have some very awesome and cool stuff to share as well.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. I'll be the guy with the loud shirt and - new this year - a limp (sprained my ankle and pulled a tendon a couple weeks ago YEOUCH). Feel free to have pity on me and buy me a martini or at least help me to the gift shop for a new fashion statement. ;-)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 8:21:30 PM by Big John
I just completed a 9 day trek deep into the Sierra Nevada wilderness, where many interesting things may be seen. I'll spare you the usual tedious mountain peak shots and proceed directly to an amazing phenomenon rarely caught as an image.
Below is a photograph of the elusive mountain ape in its natural surroundings (Evolution Lake in this case), where you can clearly see three prime specimens "displaying" for the females. What superb luck to witness it!
The females appear to be using body pigments of some kind (perhaps colored mud), revealing a hitherto unsuspected sophistication. Do the males wash off this pigment as part of the display? Alas, I arrived too late to view the early part of the ritual, and was soon compelled to retreat due to the risk of being discovered myself.
Exhausted by the exertions of the trail and the giddy excitement of my discovery, I had to rest upon a high slab near Muir Pass.
Next year I hope to return and learn more about these magnificent but endangered beasts. Until then...
Posted Monday, April 23, 2007 5:54:22 PM by Jim Babbage
I was lucky enough to score a ticket to Flash in the Can Toronto, which opened this past Sunday and continues through till tomorrow. I haven't attended this event in years but was glad I made it down there this time.
I hooked up with Tom Green off and on over the day on Sunday and then we were off to dinner with Betsy Weber and other good people from TechSmith for dinner that evening. Techsmith is the wonderful company which has brought us great programs such as SnagIt for screen capturing (and more) and Camtasia for screen recording.
Tom was non-stop entertainment, let me tell you, as he narrated in gut-splitting humor some of his travel adventures. He really needs his own cable show.
One seminar I attended was of particular interest. Led by Kevin Airgid, the session was titled Relationships + Skills = Money. With a moniker like that, it was no wonder the room was full.
And Kevin delivered, too; for 60 minutes, he spoke and answered questions about how to be successful as a freelance web designer. It was a very enlightening seminar, and I was more than a little proud of myself to note that when it comes to billing and building client relationships, his approach is similar to mine. I also learned many things that I'm going to put into action over the next little while.
Much of his advice comes from his book and - with the support of fitc - Kevin has made his Web Designer's Success Guide freely available in PDF format. It's chock full of useful advice and definitely worth the read.
This session alone made the time spent at FITC worthwhile and I'm planning to head back again on Tuesday. Sadly, today was a teaching day so I could not attend any sessions.
Hanging out at the event has also made yearn for TODCON, coming this June. TODCon is my favorite event, and I schedule work and vacation around it so I never miss attending. It's a great opportunity to learn, network and hook up with good friends, people who I do not see nearly enough throughout the year.
So, if you've got some free time in June, mark your calendar and make sure to head over to TODCon. You'll never learn so much for so little . . . or have so much fun with a hundred or so other geeks. :-)
Posted Wednesday, November 08, 2006 8:58:00 PM by Big John
Today our article Newly Supported CSS Selectors in IE7 appeared, and by pure serendipity we got a note all the way from Brazil on this very subject.
Mauricio Samy Silva has created a PHP page that allows you to type advanced compound CSS selectors into a field and see the results live on the same page. Cool! Just what we need to cram those new combinator combinations into our craniums.
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 10:20:17 PM by Joseph Balderson
Looking over the Top 10 Worst Presentation Moments on some Microsoft blog, brings back memories... reminding me of a Worst Presentation Moment of mine. Boy was it a doozy.
It's the early 90's, and back then I was big into space advocacy, because it seemed like the next best thing to being an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle. I'm 21, and doing a major presentation of the latest findings of some unmanned spacecraft, I forget the name now, on behalf of the Mars Society, York University Chapter in Toronto. My co-presenter was a recent astrophysics graduate or something. I've got no university degree, no formal scientific training, but being self taught, what I lacked in education I made up for in enthusiasm as a volunteer for the society, so they gave me a prime presenting spot. Now I knew I could do it, because at the time I managed a small sales force selling security services door-to-door, so I was not shy in front of people, even if it was my first big presentation of this kind.
In the audience were physicists, teachers, students, astronomers, financial supporters for the society, and a few deans of the university. And they were all waiting for the latest juicy scientific details, because we got our info straight from JPL in Pasadena (this was before the internet, so you had to either subscribe to a journal or go to a lecture to get the latest news on this kind of stuff).
I got up to present, confident in my ability to deliver a presentation I knew by heart. But I had spent so much time the previous night absorbing the material, getting all the scientific details down, so nervous about the presentation, that I got almost no sleep. And the next evening, I was so hyped up on coffee and nerves, all that came out of my mouth was:
uh... ummm... and this is the ummm... uhhh...
My mind went completely blank. Three weeks of straight astronomy research completely down the tubes. I froze. I even got heckled to get off the stage by the sixth slide or so.
It was THE most embarrassing moment in my life. I so crashed and burned...
Luckily my colleagues sitting in the front row took pity on me and someone relieved me and did an impromptu presentation in my place, to this day I don't remember who it was, maybe the chapter president.
Prior to this I was involved in the society in a big way, and did a lot of volunteering with them. My embarrassment after that incident was so total that next month I resigned from the society's activities and never went back to a single meeting.
The good thing that came out of it was, I realized years later, I got over my fear of public speaking, for good. To this day I have absolutely ZERO fear of speaking in public, because I know, no matter how badly I screw up, nothing could be anywhere near as bad as that presentation.
What I learned is that no amount of preparation will ever make up for a good night's sleep. And until you screw up real bad, at least once, you never get any good at public speaking.
Posted Friday, June 09, 2006 12:08:24 PM by Stephanie
Announced just yesterday! MAX details:
When: October 23 - 26, 2006
Where: Venetian Resort Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Adobe will have over 90 different hands-on and workshop sessions presented by Adobe experts and other industry leaders on best practices and coming technologies. Currently, there are six tracks:
- LiveCycle and Acrobat
- Web Development
- Rich Internet Applications
- Mobile and Devices Applications
- Vertical Market Solutions
- Web Design
It doesn't appear you can register just yet, but you can sign up for email updates to notify you as information is available.
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 1:45:36 PM by Stephanie
This just in... It's official -- Adobe is not killing MAX. At least not this year. There are no venue details yet, but mark your calendars for:
Las Vegas, Nevada
October 22 - 26
Don't know where. Just know when. Keep your eye on this spot for information as it's released.
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 10:51:18 AM by Chris Flick
Yes, it's finally happened. Someone thought I was worthy enough to be interviewed. That person is Dan Smith. Dan and I got to know each other from being members in Webweavers - a Google Group e-mail list for everything related to web designing (and ruled with an iron maiden thumb by our very own Stef! LOL!).
Anyway, Dan hosts and creates audio interviews on his blog. He thought it would be interesting to let people know what I sound like and had the crazy notion others might be interested in hearing what my thoughts were on the wide variety of topics we discussed. It took a while to get all the logistics worked out, but you can finally hear our interview today.
The interview consists of a wide range of topics such as how I got into web design, information about the two books I helped write with Tom Green, the 'Bots autistic benefit book I participated in (and wrote a blog about not too long ago) as well as some of my thoughts about web comic strips - including CMX Suite! - and a whole bunch of other stuff!
So if you're interested in hearing what I sound like, now your curiosity can be appeased. :-)
Category tags: Blogs and Blogging, CMX Suite, Community MX, CSS, Designing for the Web, Dreamweaver, Education, Macromedia News, Midnite Madness, On the Personal Side, This and That, Using the Web, Web Business
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006 7:43:16 PM by Big John
It's the little things that get you.
The day started normally, as I arose to go fetch a load of horse dung (from a friend who owns several of the big guys), for use in this spring's garden. The air was crisp, the sun was shining low, and all was right with the world.
I arrived on time, and Les was inside his house practicing on his saxaphone. We both play in the same band. Les is so experienced that he sometimes serves as director, and a hard taskmaster he is. Knock knock, and he comes out, insisting on helping me bag. What a guy.
We got straight to work, and commenced to engage in deep intellectual discussions, whilst scraping up the stuff not mentioned in those exciting western epics. The time flew by. Soon there was a big pile of bags.
When we had a full load, I threw the bags in the van. The physical work done, we got down to serious dicussifyin', and then it happened. There was something tiny in my throat, and coughing was not helping. After a while the tickle eased up, but a new problem appeared. I realized I was rubbing my left eye far more than usual. It got worse. And worse. Soon the right eye was involved too.
Not being the panicky kind, I broke in, to "mention" that there was something amiss with my eyes. Mere moments later, you would have seen me, arms akimbo, stumbling into the house to irrigate my protesting pupils in the first wet concavity I could find.
Mind you, this western boy does NOT get allergies! And yet, here was proof positive that invisible airborne "pollutants" could easily lay me low without warning. Oh no! Somehow I pulled it together, and hied on back to town with the goods. There, my wise old landlady applied aloe vera to the affected orbs, and it got a little better. But even now, many hours later, the painful puffyness persists.
Was this a Judgement? Have I become complacent, thus inviting a stern universe to apply some "real world schooling?" Don't know, don't care. All I know is, I'm really, REALLY, tired of this crap.
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 2:38:35 AM by Big John
You've all seen them, the "puzzle" games. Myst was the trailbreaker, leading to a mess of other titles. Some of them are very good and some stink on ice. They all shared one factor tho, namely that they were applications, and therefore a bit complex to create.
This had the effect of restricting the pool of talent that could be applied to the art. Well, those days are over. Thanks to the spread of Flash, huge numbers of folks may now turn their hand to the interactive puzzle format. Things are starting to happen in a big way.
Maybe you have seen "The Crimson Room" and other similar escape room puzzles. Those are great, but some truly insane artist/fiends have recently begun to produce exceptional work that goes way beyond mere "rooms".
Take for instance Hapland and Hapland 2, created by a nameless Brit maniac. This twisted individual seems to understand what puzzle people really like, and has created two games with only that stuff. These are really hard! Oy.
In a more artistic vein (but not an easier one) is The Archipelago, an amazing example of how rich Flash can get. Jonathan May is the author, and he's also got "The Dark Room" in there, but it's nothing like the other room puzzles. There's a "Return to the Archipelago" too, which has unique and superb visuals along with infuriating puzzles to solve. Very nice sound effects and music too!
I am definitely looking forward to an explosion in this genre, or should I say "dreading?" Hrmmmmmm...
Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:38:59 PM by Stephanie
I really thought we were done with this. At least I thought that larger, more professional sites had changed. Browser sniffing. Locking people out of web sites due to their browser choice. What happened to presenting an unstyled page to those who choose a more current browser? What about screen readers?
Case in point -- National Geographic. As some of you know, I home school my sons. This morning, I was helping the eldest with some Grasslands research for Biology class. I Googled what appeared to be a great link. However, when I hit it, this is what I got:
Your Browser is not supported
The Following Browsers are supported:
Please download one of these free browsers and try again.
Internet Explorer 4
Internet Explorer 5
Internet Explorer 5.5
Internet Explorer 6
Yes, I have access to a PC. And yes, I went to the page and know that the main portion is an "interactive" map -- albeit a very slow clunky one. I wonder if they actually tested it in Moz-based browsers before they locked everyone except IE and NN out. Perhaps, they could allow the rest of the page to load? Maybe I'd like to see and use the sidebars, even if they've created something in the main area that no browser but IE and NN can handle? That would be swell.