Adobe Photoshop Unmasked: The Art and Science of Selections, Layers, and Paths

I love books that inspire you to explore Photoshop in new ways, and Adobe Photoshop Unmasked, from Nigel French, does just that. It ignites curiosity and guides you through mastering Photoshop by understanding layers. (posted by Jennifer Apple)

Working With Shadows In Photoshop – Photoshop Tutorial

Happy New Year! And here’s a little present to start it off right – a working with shadows tutorial from Photoshop expert Mark Galer, extracted from “Photoshop CS2: Essential Skills.” (posted by Jennifer Apple)

3 Free Clips From Total Training For Photoshop Elements 5

Total Training has released Total Training For Photoshop Elements 5, a new 6 hour DVD video series designed to help users master the extensive capabilities of Photoshop Elements 5. If you’d like to see some of the DVD lessons, you can view 3 free clips that Total Training has provided us. (posted by Jennifer Apple)

NAPP Launches “Darkroom” – New Lightroom Magazine

The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) has announced the launch of Darkroom – a how-to magazine for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom users. (posted by Jennifer Apple)

In the First Week of New Year’s, My SearchDay Gave to Me:

12 speakers speaking, 11 bloggers blogging, 10 scribblers scribbling, Nine Diggers Digging…

Chris Sherman

Feedback form for contacting Search Engine Watch Editors

Looking forward to 2007

Well, I’m finally back in town after the holidays. Let me tell you, I’m glad to be home. Between multiple holidays and taking my grandma to her cancer treatments in Ann Arbor, I was gone far too much of last month.

My Grandma is doing well. They used an experimental new procedure called radio frequency ablation to remove the meta-static colon cancer tumors from her lungs. This procedure is amazing compared to the standard treatment. The doctors at the University of Michigan were impressive. We’ll know the results in a couple months when her lungs look a little less like scrambled eggs. We’re hopeful.

I’m not much for retrospectives. Looking forward into 2007, I have a few major goals. I joined a gym today. I’m going to get a new laptop and refresh my development environment next week after MacWorld. I want to get at least a beta release of WACT out by May. I have to prepare for php|tek. I need to find a new place to live by this fall. (Ann Arbor?) I want to move by the end of the year.

I loved all my christmas and birthday gifts this year. (My birthday is December 28th.) This year I pointed everyone to my Amazon.com wishlist and I ended up with a ton of good books to read. Jason Gillmore from Apress also sent me some web development books. My to-read stack for 2007 includes:

  • The Promise of Sleep – A survey of the subject of sleep for laymen, written by a top sleep researcher. I’m almost done with this one. This book has a bunch of sleep deprivation horror stories and a good survey of what is known about sleep, which is not much. Its incredible that we know so little about something we spend so much time doing. Its also amazing how many people have easily treatable sleep disorders that don’t even know it. Do you snore?
  • Don’t make me Think – Looks like a nice overview book on web usability.
  • Domain Driven Design – Recommended by Jason and Marcus. How did I get this far without reading this book?
  • Da Vinci Code – Wasn’t on my wishlist, but I’ll read it anyway. I read so little fiction these days. Where is a beach when you need one?
  • Getting Things Done – I’m almost through this one. It is a testimony to the power of the ideas that this book expresses that so many people recommend it, despite its being so incredibly dull. Useful? Yes. Inspiring? No. But, then I’ve read enough of these self help / personal productivity type books for a lifetime. Anyone want to buy a Franklin Planner? I used mine until I got a cell phone.
  • Practical Subversion – I’m really liking subversion. If you haven’t tried it, do so. I’m hoping to combine this with Greg Beaver’s book, The PEAR installer manifesto — the book on my wishlist I most wanted that I didn’t get, to create a new deployment process.
  • Pro CSS Techniques – A CSS book that tackles maintainability? I’m really looking forward to this one.
  • Pro MySQL – The last MySQL book I read was a couple years ago, yet I use it almost every day. I’m due for a refresh. This one looks good.
  • Pro PHP Security – Never hurts to brush up. This one looks like it has alot on encryption, SSL and SSH; not strong areas for me.
  • Pattern-Oriented Software ARchitecture Volume 2 – The first volume, A system of patterns, is one of my “always within reach when developing” books. Nice to add to the set.

Thanks for the books, guys. I’ll have in-depth reviews of some of these here in the future.

Happy New Year.

Defensible Traffic & Reliable Income Streams

Is your site defensible against algorithmic shifts and other shifts that could hurt your income potential? Andy Hagans offers a quick quiz to test the stability of your site.

Domino Domain Monitoring pros and cons

SearchDomino.com contributor Chuck Connell provides an overview of Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) and outlines strengths and weaknesses of the Notes/Domino 7 administration tool.

Who Is In Your Address Book?

Address Book. ?Contacts. ?Personal Directory. ?Little Black Book. ? There are many names for it, but no matter what you call it, essentially this is the place where you store the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of your friends, family, and coworkers.

In Lotus Notes, your personal address book is the database names.nsf.
Image:Who Is In Your Address Book?

Did you know you can have more than one address book?

Over the last 10+ years of using Lotus Notes, my address book has built up quite a list of names! ? I use my address book as the primary source for all my contact information, both work related and personal. ?I also synch my address book to many things, such as my BlackBerry. ? Many of the people listed are names I don’t want getting in the way when I am addressing an email. ? Similarly, many of these names are people I don’t need clustering up my phone.

The solution was simple. ? ?Similar to the way we archive old email, I decided to “archive” my older contacts. ? ?Here is how you do it:

1. ?From the Notes menus, choose File – Database – New. ?(or press CTRL+N)
2. ?In the dialog box, leave Local as the Server, and enter a Title and File Name. ? These can be whatever you would like. ? “Friends and Family”, “Secondary Address Book”, “Old Girlfriends”, etc. ? ?The most important thing is that you choose “Personal Address Book” as the template, as shown by the arrow in the screen shot below.

Image:Who Is In Your Address Book?

3. ?Press OK, and Notes will create the new database for you.

Now we want to transfer contacts from your original Address Book, into the new one you just created. ? As with any change, you many want to make a backup before doing this, just to make sure you don’t loose any data!

4. Open your original address book, names.nsf. ? Select the contacts you want to move. ? From the Notes menus choose Edit – Cut. (or press CTRL+X)

5. Open the new address book that you created in step #2. ? From the Notes menus choose Edit – Paste. ?(or press CTRL+V)

Now you have a nice and “clean” primary address book, and an archive that you can look up any of the old names if/when you need them.

Domino Address Book with 40,000+ Pretend Names | Blog

UBL Methodology for Code-list and Value Validation

Ken Holman sent me copy of the latest draft of the OASIS/UBL Methodology for Code-list and Value Validation, which is a pretty good use of Schematron. It looks like a neat and workable solution to a problem that is somewhere…

The XQuery Chimera Takes Center Stage

tile imageWelcome to 2007! This week Simon St.Laurent gives us an interesting report from the XML 2006 conference.

JSON vs. SOAP :: A War Worth Waging?

… and then it hit me… ongoing � JSON and XML The Arguments Are Over � There used to be an argument about whether platform-neutral, language-neutral data formats were important, or whether distributed objects were the right answer. That’s over:…

Dear Everyone,

You *ROCK*!!! Lawrence Lessig Details to follow later today, but when you add our offline campaign to the online campaign (and assuming we solidify some pledges made in the final week), we will have bested our goal of $300,000 by…

ANN: DITA 2007-West registration discounts through January 15

Hello: Registration for the DITA 2007-West conference (February 5-7, 2007 in San Jose, CA USA) is currently $800 for the full 3 day conference. Early

Click Here

The Lotus Notes User Interface (UI) is made up of several different elements. ? Today I want to describe the four elements shown in the screen shot below. ?I’ll describe the areas the arrows below are pointing to, working from the top of the screen down to the bottom…

Image:Click Here

The top arrow points to the File Menus, and the second arrow points to the Toolbar, which contains Toolbar icons. ? Most likely you are accustomed to these two UI elements, as most programs use these.

The next row contains “Window Tabs”. ? Lotus Notes has had a “tabbed interface” since version 1 in 1989. ? As I pointed out last year, I find it amusing that now tabs are all the rage in other programs such as web browsers and chat clients.

The fourth arrow points to the Lotus Notes Action Bar. ? Action bars (and the Actions Buttons they contain) are available at both the Notes datbase view level (as shown above) and the form/page level (shown below).

Image:Click Here

As you move from one Notes database to another, the file menus, toolbars, and window tabs stay pretty much the same (they are some contextual changes) as they are associated with the overall Lotus Notes interface.

However, Action Bars are unique to the specific Lotus Notes database you are in. ?The database’s developer decides what actions are most appropriate for you to use. ?For example, in your mail file you have Actions such as “Forward” and “Reply”, while in a Discussion Database you have Actions like “New Topic” and “Response”.

If you like to use your keyboard more than your mouse, you can access Action Buttons by pressing the ALT key and the number corresponding to the Action Button as shown below. ? I describe this feature in more detail in the tip Extended Accelerators.
Image:Click Here

I wish more programs had Actions similar to the way Lotus Notes does.

GMail CSRF/XSRF(Cross Site Request Forgery) flaw fixed.

First, Happy 2007 to all. For GMail team, 2007 started with an exploit and they fixed it immediately. Googlified first discovered this serious exploit in GMail which lets your contact list to be stolen. Using a form of cross scripting,…

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator

Let me start by wishing you all a very happy new year! May 2007 be a year full of inspiration and creativity! Today I’ve picked another topic from my list of requests that readers of my blog send in: swirly curls. Lets add some trendy elegance to your illustrations! Here we go…

Step 1 – Draw a spiral

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator - step 1

Go to the Toolbox and hold down the mouse on the Line Tool so the other tools are revealed. Select the Spiral Tool. Now click and drag a line from the center point outwards. Instead of click dragging you can just click to get the Spiral Options box and enter the spiral radius, decay and spiral segments and click OK. I’ve used 80% of decay and 10 segments. If you click drag the spiral, remember that you can move the spiral while dragging if you hold down the spacebar. Give the spiral a stroke and no filling. Copy the spiral and paste it in front: go to the Edit menu and choose Paste in Front or hit command/control + f. Now select the Rotate Tool and click the center point of the spiral and drag the spiral to the right to rotate it a bit.

Step 2 – Transform the spiral into a nice curl

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator - step 2

Select the Selection Tool (black arrow) or hold down the command/control key so you get the transform handles. Scale the spiral as shown in the image so you add thickness to the spiral from the center point out and you’ll get a nice curl in the end. Select the center points of the 2 spirals. Use the Direct Selection Tool and drag a rectangle over the anchor points, make sure no other points of the spirals are selected. Go to Object > Path > Join (or hit command/control + j) to join both paths. Now do the same for the 2 ending points of the spirals.

Step 3 – Add a fill and put the curl in place

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator - step 3

Click the double arrows right above the colors in the Toolbox to swap the stroke to a fill. Change the fill to your preferred color. Now drag the curl in place. Rotate the curl if needed so it forms a fluent line with the object you attach it too. You can select both and choose the Add to shape option in the Pathfinder palette if needed so they become 1 object.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Maybe this can be done in another way by using a special brush instead of copying the path, transform it and join the points, not sure. I haven’t experimented with that. I just get perfect curls when I use this technique.

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator

For those who missed the final result of this illustration, check it out & download a desktop 😉

Ottawa Dot Net User Group Meeting

How sucky is it to wake up on the first day of 2007 not with a hang over, but a head cold! Well, from personal experience, it’s not much fun. And I’m home in Seattle where I could just turn on the fireplace (it’s electric), and curl up and watch TV. I’m up in Ottawa, where I got to spend a great New Years Eve with some good friends. I’m staying for a few extra days to do a user group presentation on IE. If you’re in Ottawa, or know anyone in Ottawa, let them know, it should be really interesting. I’m going to talk a bit, then really dig into some fun code. I’ve included the description of the session below, along with the registration info. I’ll post the slide deck tomorrow after the presentation. Internet Explorer 7 took us over 5 years to…(read more)