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March 2007 - petrostudio LLC



One Comment

In Uncategorized

By petrostudio

Geek wood

On 28, Mar 2007 | One Comment | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

I think that only artists (designers, motion graphics pros, editors & compositors, music & sound effects producers, etc.) get excited about new software. You don’t generally overhear a conversation in a bar between two business blokes that goes like this:

Business Bloke 1: “You see that Microsoft is releasing Vista in like 87 versions?”
Business Bloke 2: “I know, doesn’t that make your cock hard?”

However, artists are a different animal. We get really stoked about new software. Why? Because, often times, it makes tasks that, previously, we’ve had to jump through hoops in order to make work. So a typical conversation between two artists might be overheard as:

Artist 1: “You see that CS3 is coming out?”
Artist 2: “My cock is hard.”

This can also be a let-down. Consider: jumping through hoops, spending hours or even days to get a project to look a certain way with year-old software, only to have new software come out days later that addresses those EXACT issues, cutting out the need for your brainpower and making the work you did a breeze – bummer.

Eh, it’s good and it’s bad. Creativity will always be a step ahead of technology, and half the features that are implemented in new software often look cool, but really would never be used. I can’t tell you how many of the “new features” in any given program I’ve never used. Take Photoshop. I know that program inside and out – been using it since v1. Yet, there is still stuff I learn every day that I can do with it. And there is other stuff that has been around for a decade that I would never use. Simple as that.

But this software release is different, in 3 fundamental ways. Adobe CS 3, in 6 different mixes. Viagra has nothing on Adobe this week.

1) It’s Universal. Intel Processor Macs, start your engines. Sorry, PowerMac G5 Tower… I think you’re getting replaced very soon.

2) After Effects CS3. This was the problem that has been avoided – AE7 just came out a short while ago, and we knew that CS versions of Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator were coming for the Intel chips… but AE? I don’t think any of us saw this coming, though we wanted it to.

3) Flash & Dreamweaver CS3. Can you say “copy Illustrator art directly into Flash without having to first save as an old EPS, open in Freehand and copy from there”? And can you say “export content from Indesign layouts as XML that AUTOMATICALLY gets tagged and formatted based on a previously made CSS file”? Ok, that one’s a little harder to say. What it MEANS is that you can create a brochure, select the contents and export them to a web format through Dreamweaver without ever actually coding, adjusting or typing anything. Just upload and charge the client.

Although there are tons of “cool features”, only a few ever catch my eye as stuff I’d really use. Some are things I’d really love to use, but never will. And others are nice to know that they are there, but I’ll never even greet them, open the door and sit down over a polite cup of tea.

And here’s the best part: Upgrading. Since going freelance, I’ve had to (of course) purchase software that previously the job would just have. The first time you do this, it hurts. CS, Final Cut Studio and the like are $1200+, or even more. But upgrading to the new versions? $440. I love it.

Of course, I’d love for it to be free to upgrade, like Chronosync, an excellent backup program I use (anyone with OSX, you need this). Even when Leopard and Time Machine come out, I’ll still use this. And once you buy it (it’s $30!) every subsequent version, update or fix – free.

So now that I have this tent problem, what the heck should I do with it? I need to calm down a little, since I can’t actually GET the software for at least a month. Well, there’s always Season 8 to watch.


A side note. My wife and I just watched The Departed. First of all, of course Scorsese deserved the Oscar. He’s deserved it before. But never mind that. I think this is one of the finest, if not the best, movies he has made. Not one performance is bad. Not one shot is boring. Not every question is answered. Not any minute drags. Go buy it. Now. Support fantastic, not just good, cinema.

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One Comment

In Uncategorized

By petrostudio

Jury Doody

On 19, Mar 2007 | One Comment | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

So, for those of you who have never had the privilege and honor to be called to jury duty, let me spin a tale for you of my last week’s adventure.

Now, I will say this. I know plenty of people who have spent days, count ’em, days, sitting and waiting for nothing to happen. My lovely bride is one of them. She spent 2 days in 2005 sitting in a wonderfully 1960’s appointed pew waiting for her name never to be called.

But that’s not me.

I show up Tuesday morning at 8:00AM, ready to go through security. I put my bags and coat on the conveyor, put change and keys in the bucket, and the lady (count ’em, 1) tells me to walk through the metal detector. It does not beep. I don’t even know if it was turned on. She doesn’t actually LOOK at my bags under the x-rays, as the conveyor is actually turning at about 50mph. I grab my crap and rush out of the way of the next person, who is being shoved through security as quickly as I.

Up to the 4th floor, check in and sit down. Rest of the “jurors” are supposed to roll in by 8:30 – they’re still checking people in at 10. You, supposedly, can use internet access through their wireless connection, but I think it’s powered by a mouse on a wheel, because I can barely get through downloading one message per hour when I just give up on email for the morning.

Good thing, because remember how I said some people never get called? That’s not my fate.

45 of us are called for a jury. We go upstairs and are greeted by about 10 sheriff’s deputies? We feel like WE’VE done something wrong. We did. We answered the summons.

Murder trial – 4-5 weeks. They have to fill 2 spots on a jury. No way I’ll get called, they’ll fill that easy. Wrong. Up to talk to the judge – looks friendly from afar but kind of like a robot in the Hall of Presidents up close. Scared, I can barely get the words “freelance artist” out before they dismiss my thankful ass… right back down into the jury pool.

Lunch. Another group is called… thankfully, I’m not in it. But I recognize several names. They start filtering in around 2, some very relieved. Third group is called – 50 jurors for a criminal trial. They can’t seem to locate juror number 34. Where is he? Oh, well, I’ll just called juror 51 to take his place. Guess who is juror 51.

I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it any more.

I actually walk to the jury room with a man that notes he was called all three times. Some people weren’t called at all. And 1 guy, I recognize, was called my two times. He can’t speak English at all, so he shouldn’t be there. Of course, he can’t tell people that, because (a) he can’t understand English, therefore can’t understand the rules and (b) can’t tell them that because… well you get the picture.

We sit in a vacant room for a while. A deputy tells us the courtroom we were supposed to go to was occupied, so we had to wait. Of course, we are sitting in a courtroom currently. I decide not to mention that.

20 minutes, the deputy comes back. The trial we were called for was settled. Yeeha! Of course, that just means we go back into the jury pool. But we are dismissed an hour later. And I didn’t have to come back the next day. Have you ever seen a happy dance? I did one.

So one day. Just one. I was more nervous than a whore in church the night before. It wasn’t so much the jury duty, but the idea that I was being forced to be somewhere. When you work for yourself, someone else suddenly telling you to be somewhere is traumatic. Plus, you can’t get any work done. But that’s not it, either… whether I had work to do or not, I want to be in charge of the schedule. Period.

Plus, Rian was in Jamaica looking at boobs. Not so much in the jury room.

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