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Entries in Macintosh (40)

Wednesday
Sep052007

Ecto 3 Icon Design

In the flurry of activity here, I've not had a chance to mention the release of the new ecto 3 application icon I've designed for Adriaan at Infinite Sushi:

;Ecto

Working on this one was quite fun, going through the sketch process, until we came to this solution of a box with items you might use for blogging inside. It was a different approach for a blogging app icon, but that's just what Adriaan liked best.

Fireworks & Upscaling
I designed the original icon as a standard 128x128px icon, then later in the process, Adriaan needed a 256x256px version for other uses. I took the opportunity to refine the details, like adding actual lines of text to the documents.

Because I used Fireworks' vector tools to build this icon, it was relatively easy to upscale the 256px icon from the original 128px icon. The initial up-scaled icon wasn't perfect, but good enough to save a god chunk time rebuilding the icon from scratch if it were a 128px bitmap icon.

Thanks Adriaan for working with me on this fun project! :-)

Monday
Jul232007

SOLD: LaCie 250 GB External Hard Drive $100

201887116.jpgThis week I've secured 2 gently used LaCie d2 250GB hard drives, with Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and USB interfaces. I plan to keep one of them, and am offering the other up for sale here to Rohdesign readers.

A quick check on the web showed prices for new 250GB drives between $125 and $150. since this is a gently used drive, I'm asking $100 plus shipping for the drive.

All firewire and USB cables, power brick and software CD are included.

Specs:

• LaCie d2 250GB External Hard Drive (300790U)
• FireWire 800
• FireWire 400
• Hi-Speed USB 2.0
• Ultra-quiet, heat dissipating design
• Stack, rack-mount or stand upright
• 7200 rpm
• 8 MB Buffer

"Combining all of the leading interfaces into one drive, the LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface now also comes in higher capacities to handle your most demanding projects and storage needs. It can be easily shared among multiple users and environments and is conveniently plug & play.

With up to 800Mbits/s per bus and up to 64MB/s per drive burst, it's ideal for a variety of professional applications, including digital audio/video, graphic design and system backups. It can be conveniently stacked, stood upright or rack-mounted, and it's specially designed to be ultra-quiet and dissipate heat."

Udpate July 24th, 2007
I've now sold the LaCie hard drive. Thanks to everyone who sent in requests!

Friday
Jun152007

Friday Tidbits: Pudding, Journler & Northern Room

Here are a few Friday tidbits to share:

Ataraxis Pudding Launches
stack.jpgPudding, a tool crearted by Michael Sica, launched last Friday. It's a web-based tool for sharing creative work with others. Pudding allows you to post images of your work in a private account, for clients and colleagues, to view and comment on. It comes in many flavors depending on your needs, free 30 day trial and a tour to see what Pudding can do.

Journler Gets 4.5 Mice from Macworld!
Journler Icon DesignMy friend Phil Dow's wornderful mac application Journler just received 4.5 mice from Macworld, in an August 2007 review. I've talked about the icon I designed and how I love the application — so it's very nice to see a great guy like Phil, seeing success and critical acclaim for the hard work he's invested in Journler.

Good Tunes: Northern Room
onlyseconds.jpgA few weeks ago I came across the local Milwaukee band Northern Room, via my good friend Joe Phillips. They have a great sound, which I quite like. I'd categorize their sound as similar to Snow Patrol, U2, Coldplay, and O.K. Go. Check out Northern Room on iTunes, Purevolume and SonicBids.

That's all — have a great weekend everyone!

Friday
Mar232007

Journler Mini Review & Icon Design

Journler Icon DesignI've been using Journler a great Mac OS X journaling, tidbit-capturing, swiss army knife application for the past several months, and it's high time I share it here on the weblog.

On Thursday, Journler 2.5 was released, a major milestone for the app, including many new features, a new look and feel and an icon I designed with the developer, Phil Dow.

I love this multi-purpose capture tool, as I can store all sorts of useful information in one place. I can keep track of logo projects here, standard templates for emails, references to recipes and even links to external files.

I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface of Journler's capabilities. It integrates to iLife, I can capture images, video and audio, it uses of the 'Services" menu to capture information from other applications, and has a 'Journler Drop Box' folder for an easy way of importing or linking files to Journler.

Like NetNewsWire (another favorite app), Journler features a built-in webkit-based web browser, so I don't need to leave Journler to check out a weblink.

Here's a screenshot of how I have Journler setup:

journler.gif

Phil has a nice approach to purchasing Journler, with a donation option for personal use, and a $24.95 if you use Journler for business purposes. Not bad.

If you're a Mac OS X user, interested in finding a tool to capture the snippets of your life, a place to write journal entries, and more, check out Journler.

It's highly recommend, even if I'm a little biased about the icon design. :-)

Wednesday
Mar142007

HoudahGeo Icon Design

houdahgeo-icon.pngJust this week I've completed the application icon for one of my MakaluMedia clients, Pierre Bernard of Houdah Software, on his latest beta application HoudahGeo. In June 2006, I designed the icon for Pierre's first OS X application, HoudahSpot.

HoudahGeo allows you to geocode photos with latitude, longitude and altitude information. Take your photos, "pin" their locations on the earth, then export information to EXIF tags or Google Earth KML files, letting you can see the images in Google Earth.

Sketches
Pierre and I started working with pencil sketches, using a globe with photos stuck to the surface, and a satellite in orbit around it, as you can see below:

houdahgeo-sketches.jpg

1. In my first sketches, I focused on a single satellite, beaming information to/from photos on the surface of the globe. At this stage I hadn't worked out continents or exact placement of the photos, but knew I liked this general idea.

2. Here I played around with the idea of both a satellite and a camera orbiting the earth, and had by this round, started exploring continents and image locations a bit more. In the end, we discussed the camera+satellite option and felt the camera was redundant and not necessary to get the message across.

Production Icons
Next I went to production, using Fireworks to create the vector-based artwork. After a rough first draft, Pierre had an idea to try a pushpin in place of a satellite, though in the end, we felt the satellite just worked better.

With each successive revision, the earth was refined, satellite tweaked, highlights, glows and adjustments made. Here I've placed the first 4 revisions together to give you an idea how the process generally works:

houdahgeo-icons.jpg

The final adjustments and tweaks happened on icon v5, including a size up of the earth about 5-6%, lightening of the satellite's pulse glow and a few adjustments to photo locations on the earth itself.

Fireworks as Tool of Choice
The construction if icons using vectors in Fireworks, greatly assists in these kind of subtle tweaks. Because all of the elements are created as vector items, they can be easily sized up and down with no degradation of image quality, or moved around without worrying about re-applying masks or filters.

For comparison purposes, here is the final, winning HoudahGeo icon v5:

houdahgeo-icon.png

Thanks Pierre for choosing to work with me and MakaluMedia on your latest Mac application! I had a great time working with you on another fun icon project. :-)