Webmaster Jam Session 08 Wrapup

I’ll be posting notes from Friday and Saturday within the next day or so. Wi-fi was spotty at times due to the number of devices trying to connect to the Loudermilk network, so I stayed unplugged for a majority of the conference. (It wasn’t critical for me to be on.)

I’m really glad my coworkers were able to come. Josh and Phil walked away feeling more empowered and inspired to do better work. Jeff walked away with a greater understanding of what it is we designers do. Next year, I hope PowerServe can become more involved in the conference. We had fun with all of the folks who came out to hang with us at Fandangles on Friday night.

I had a GREAT time and met lots of great folks, and made a lot of new friends. When the Webmaster Jam comes rolling around in 2009, I will definitely be there in some capacity.

I’m not sure what the next conference I’ll be going to will be. I’m looking at the Future of Web Apps (FOWA) in Miami FL in February and South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) in March.

Webmaster Jam Session 2007

Webmaster Jam Session 2007

I got the go ahead last week to register for Webmaster Jam Session 2007! I’m really looking forward to attending the two-day conference. (I don’t get to leave the office all that often.) The speakers list is impressive! There’s going to be so much going on… so much to learn.

I’m especially looking forward to Bryan Veloso and Dan Rubin’s “Design is in the Details“, Jeff Croft’s “Typography: Beyond the Font” and so much more… I follow the blogs of so many of these designers and developers… it’s going to be sweet to learn from them face to face.

I’m making the trek alone as of right now. If you’re planning to attend, let me know!

Year Three

It’s not a huge deal, but I like to keep track of this sort of stuff… Yesterday marked my three-year anniversary at PowerServe. Since graduating high school in 1996, I’ve worked ten different jobs. I spent, on average, about 17.7 months at each job. Early on, many of the jobs I had only lasted around four to six months, and for a while I worked more than one job…

I worked as a graphic designer for Old Dominion University’s Mace & Crown for 6 months. I worked as a 3rd shift stocker at Food Lion for 4 months. (Working from 11pm until 7am really sucked!) I took elementary and middle school pictures for Lifetouch for 6 months. I worked as a data entry clerk for Norrell Staffing for a year. I was the Managing Editor/Webmaster for Quail Unlimited for 2 years 6 months. During the time I was working, for QU I also worked part-time for Blockbuster Video for a year and a half to feed my video addiction… I also worked part-time as a webmaster for the Department of Political Science at Augusta State University for a year and a half. From there, I went on to Double-Dot.com for 2 years 11 months. Spent a year at The Alison Group, and then by sheer chance landed a job at PowerServe, where I’ve been for 3 years and counting…

It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s been a heck of a journey for me so far. I’m grateful for the time I’ve had here so far and look forward to growing even more with the company. I couldn’t have wished for a better place to end up.



It’s 12:30am, and I’m giving up on trying to install CS3 for the night. I’m tired and frustrated. Updating software shouldn’t be this difficult, nor should it take as long as it does. Just installing the smallest app, Contribute CS3, takes over an hour because of all of the “Components” that need to be installed. This is complete and utter nonsense.

When I upgraded from Photoshop 7 to Creative Suite I didn’t experience any problems. When I upgraded from CS to CS2, I experience no problems. Now, because I – like so many other people – decided I’d like to try out a Beta application from Adobe, I’m getting screwed out of hours upon hours of my time – because their software simply doesn’t work like it should.

I expect more from Adobe, and frankly this situation is making me seriously reconsider upgrading the rest of the designers in our office.

Tomorrow morning I’ll need to spend some time trying to make sure CS2 works like it should. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I waste any more time trying to install CS3.

Using Extensis Suitcase for Windows

I’ve been pretty busy as of late, so I didn’t get around to writing this review because I didn’t fully make the switch from Extensis Suitcase 9.2 to Extensis Suitcase for Windows 11 until this morning. I’ve been delaying the switch for a couple of reasons:

  1. Upgrading to the new version didn’t replace Extensis Suitcase 9.2. This is bad, because it didn’t copy over all of the font sets I had created in 9.2. Recreating my font sets took time, and that’s something I haven’t had a lot of lately.
  2. A number of fonts I had loaded into 9.2 were being referenced in my C:\WINDOWS\FONTS\ directory. When I loaded the new application and copied fonts in for the first time, a number of the fonts wouldn’t activate because they were already in my system folder. I am not sure if Suitcase 9.2 did this… but it was a nuisance to go in and clean those fonts out of the system font folder.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way… Suitcase 11 seems to be working pretty well. Auto-font activation works well with both Illustrator CS2 and Photoshop CS2. (I haven’t had a need to try out InDesign CS2…) I’ve got about 600 fonts activated currently and it appears to perform pretty well given it’s current load.

I haven’t seen much in terms of difference between Suitcase 11 and Suitcase 9… other than the addition of the “Font Vault”. I’m not sure if that’s a compelling enough reason to get most people to upgrade.

Basecamp + Quickbooks Integration

We’ve been using Quickbooks Timer to keep track of time spent on projects for ages. It’s not bad, but it’s pretty unstable at times. We use Basecamp for project management. We’ve been using it for nearly two years now… The Time Tracking functionality is one aspect of Basecamp we haven’t ever taken advantage of… But that may change with the release of Chronopipe.

Here are some of the features it promises:

  • Import Time from any Basecamp Project to any Customer and Job in QuickBooks
  • Match Users in Basecamp to Employees and Contractors in QuickBooks
  • Match To Do Item names in Basecamp to Service Items in QuickBooks
  • Specify a “catch all” Item for Time that doesn’t have a match.
  • Import with the same set of parameters more than once, without duplicating entries.

I am definitely going to need to try it out. It could be a great addition to our team…

Things To Do

I feel disconnected from the design and web community of Augusta. I don’t really have a desire to get involved in the local AdFed, but there isn’t anything else out there in this area. Perhaps this presents a good opportunity to fill a void?

I’m thinking about contacting Adobe to start an Adobe User Group (AUG) for the Augusta, Georgia/Central Savannah River Area. Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be an AUG. It could be something more along the lines of what they are doing in Alabama. I know of a few local designers that read my blog from time to time… would any of you be interested in getting involved in something like this?

I’m also going to start the process of getting certified in one or more Adobe applications. Considering I’m mostly self-taught in Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver, I think going for certification in one or more of those apps would help to solidify my knowledge of the applications…