Tuesday, June 14, 2011

iCloud, uCloud

So Apple moves towards the Cloud—happy day! Honestly, I didn't know what the Cloud was until those commercials with those people stranded at the airport said it. It's also interesting that commercial is for Window 7 but I'll digress on that. I've been using the Cloud since... forever? Seriously when's the last time you can remember not having total access to everything you've ever downloaded no matter where you were? Ah, iTunes... right. Bit of a problem.

I'd never backed up anything I'd bought on iTunes. I stupidly believed if anything ever happened to my computer I could access the MP3s I bought through my Apple account through a different computer. Nope. I first realized this huge problem in 2005(ish) when I switched jobs and didn't think of taking the music I downloaded on my work computer with me when I left. Imagine my surprise. I can't have something I bought within an environment that provides me with just about everything imaginable? And Apple never fixed that! It's odd that it took Apple so long to get on board with this idea—at least for MP3s and downloads. But I don't know the legal issues involved, frankly I don't care. I want access to all my files 24/7. I expect it. Hell I even demand it! Now as a devoted Mac person, I get to have it. Happy Day!

An interesting topic turns out through all of this though. We've all been using Cloud for years, whether we knew it or not. But the main company we all use to buy and listen to music hadn't. With iTunes we bought music, we had it on our hard drive, and in a sense we owned it. But now we don't have to. We still buy it, but now it can be accessed from anywhere. So do we still think we own anything? Or we just have access to it all the time?

I'm not sure what this means really. I know that I need to change my way of thinking when it comes to marketing within publishing and design. I'm interested in how I'm going to take an idea I use every day, an idea I wanted to happen for every company I'm heavily involved in and make it work for my job. Is the future of publishing just a big 'ole paid-per-check-out-library? That'd be pretty awesome. It wouldn't sell many books, and I'd be out of a job, but I'd love all the access to all those sweet words.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Design Fundamentals

When I first was learning Flash, I knew I'd need a ton of help. I took a formal class at FIT for a month and I've still only scratched the surface of that program. Hell, the only ActionScript I know is to make something loop 3 times and/or stop. While I could continue to Flash 2 through formal training, sitting through 3 hours a week in a classroom after working just plain sucks. Why not take it to the web? Arguably the best source for information regarding any computer program is Lynda.com. I've used Lynda to get quick updated Adobe Suite CS features "What's new in CS5!" and learn entire new programs. Unfortunately for me I can't really afford a year long all access membership—but my job can.

My request for a Lynda.com account has finally been accepted! Last week I was given my log-in and password, it's been a video filled adventure ever since. First up, tackling web design fundamentals.

I'm a bit embarrassed about my lack of web design experience actually. I say I wasn't old enough for the birth of the Internet, that's true. But I'm also too old to have taken part it its current form. Facebook didn't exist when I was in college, and my email address wasn't a gmail account until well into my first office job. I don't think I missed the birth and quick acceleration of web design, I obviously went along with it as a consumer, but that's just it a consumer. Starting to acknowledge the internet and its many forms of architecture is daunting! Did I mention I only know 2 Action Script codes?!

Luckily for me, a nice man put together a Web Design Fundaments course to just sort of lay out the entire "...Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design." Oh Christ. 

After an hour of videos explaining what are: URLs (Ha!); DNS; DTDs; XML; RSS feeds; JavaScript; AJAX; PHP, .NET, JSP; SQL; CMS; and JPGS, GIFs, PNGs (those I know!) The realization has quickly set it that I need to first learn HTML and CSS. It's going to be a long, long, long road. I have a lot of catching up to do.