Mastering Photoshop CS2

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Mastering Photoshop CS2

I’ll be attending the “Mastering Photoshop CS2” seminar in Atlanta on August 21st. It looks to be a pretty cool mix of classes. It’s been a while since I attended a seminar specifically on Photoshop, so it’ll be nice to be able to “sharpen the saw” with tips and tricks learned from this seminar.

Learn the ingenious techniques that experienced Photoshop professionals use every day to accomplish amazing effects with a minimum of effort. Discover a faster, better way to use Photoshop®. No hyper-technical jargon, no beginner basics – just class after class of “real-world” techniques that will advance your skills and make you more productive than ever before. After an enlightening day with Deke McClelland, your confidence in your Photoshop skills will be at an all-time high.

The last Photoshop seminar I attended was several years ago. It was geared towards users of all levels, but without fail, it seemed like all of the advanced sessions I attended had beginners in them that monopolized all of the speaker’s time with question after question. Hopefully this seminar will work out better than that…

MySQL and Site Stability Issues

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I’ve been having some technical issues with the website over the past few days. If things are acting up for you, please let me know. I had to repair the MySQL database today and that appears to have resolved part of the problems I was having, but time will tell whether my site will remain stable or not. If you happen to notice any issues with the site in the meantime, please send me an email at: chris ‘at’ cdharrison ‘dot com or IM me on GoogleTalk using ‘chris at cdharrison dot com’. Thanks for your help and your patience.

Adobe Lightroom Beta Available for Windows

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If photography is your thing, you might be interested in Adobe Lightroom.

Project: Lightroom™ is Adobe’s effort to engage the professional photography community in a new way, giving you the opportunity to kick the tires and shape the feature set of a new tool being created just for you. Ultimately, we want Lightroom to be truly built from the ground up by photographers, for photographers, helping solve your unique workflow challenges.

Adobe Lightroom Beta is now available for Windows – snag it here.

Combatting Blog Spam

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Blog spam is a huge problem. Akismet estimates that 93% of comments made on blogs are usually spam. That is a ridiculously high amount of spam! A little blog like mine doesn’t receive a lot of traffic (maybe 20-30 visitors a day). Yet, since my conversion to WordPress several months ago, I have received well over 600 spam comments (versus about 50 legit comments). It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I realized that maybe I should check on which posts are being affected. Know what I discovered? They were posts about WordPress.

I love the Akismet plugin for WordPress. It works well, and I have yet to deal with a spam comment on the front-end of my site. It’s caught every bit of spam I’ve ever received through this site and makes dealing with it very easy.
So, what did I do to take care of the spam – so even Akismet wouldn’t have to deal with it? That was easy, actually. I disallowed Pings and Comments on the posts attracting the spammers. Problem solved (for now at least).

Better Living by Giving

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Better Living by GivingLet’s face it, most greeting cards aren’t that great. Better Living by Giving aims to change that, with a twist. They’re looking to make a difference:

We started this company with passions for great design, art and music, nested with a need to make a little difference in this big world. We looked inside to see what made us happy. It was actually very simple. Helping make others happy made us happy. And so this became our mission.

Designing cards and getting to work with talented creatives are just icing. The best part is knowing someone will help someone else feel better. That’s the beauty of giving cards.

What an awesome concept! It’s hard to believe that something like this came out of Augusta. But then, the two people behind it – Linda and Brent – are stars in the Augusta design community. While I was with The Alison Group, I worked under Linda’s supervision – and she is one of the most talented designers I’ve ever met.
So, if you feel like helping out a great cause, and would love to get some very well-designed greeting cards in the process, check out their site: http://www.betterlivingbygiving.com

Nobody loves me, it’s true.

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Windows 98 LogoIt’s a sad, sad day for fans of Windows 95/98/Me *gag*. Effective today, Microsoft will no longer support your antiquated operating system(s). Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade or possibly a switch?

End of support for Windows 98 and Windows Me – Effective July 11, 2006, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me (and their related components) will transition to a non-supported status. After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support options or security updates. Microsoft is not offering a custom support agreement for these products.

One Month Down

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Saturday marked the end of our first month in our new home. We’re not completely settled in yet, but we’re getting there. I wish I could say it’s been completely stress-free, but it hasn’t been. Our house turned out great, but I’ve struggled with dealing with the contractors working on our street. We’ve had several contractors use our backyard as a cut-through. Some even ran over our sprinkler heads (which prompted me to put string up around my yard to keep them out).
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had several neighbors move in on the street. We haven’t met them all, but we’re glad to see traffic on the street other than contractors. So far, it’s a pretty good mix of people. uite a few couples are around Kim and my age. A number of them have children.

The thing I’m most excited about though, is being closer to friends and family. Scott and I have already started talking about “Lost” parties in the fall when Season 3 of Lost starts up. I can’t wait.

Wherefor art thou, Basecamp?

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UPDATE: It appears the problem has been resolved. Though I am still curious to know what happened…

Is it just me, or is Basecamp (and all of 37Signals’ websites) down now? None of their sites is resolving for me now. I know they just moved their servers recently…and perhaps this is related to that move somehow.

A TraceRoute is showing that one of their servers is unreachable…

69.36.39.150 ASN=18462[Destination Unreachable] burnham.37signals.com.

I’m sure similar tests on other URLs would yield similar results.

This outage concerns me because we use the Premium level Basecamp plan to manage all of our projects. When Basecamp is offline, it effects our ability to work efficiently (especially given our dependancy on this app now…) It begs the question now … what will 37Signals do to compensate users effected by their outage? And is a hosted offsite solution really the best thing for our business? I’m not sure, but ActiveCollab is looking pretty good right now…