2004


Reservoir Dogcows Website

New website design for our World of Warcraft Guild ‘Reservoir Dogcows’.

http://www.dogcows.net/

Moof! :)

Update: They changed web engine to different one than Geeklog and is now different looking. You can visit my mirrored site with full design at
http://homepage.mac.com/adambetts/website/dogcows
If you’d like to see what forum look like, click all links with (<–Working Link) tag.

Note: this is a fake site for design preview purpose so you’ll see a lot of incomplete and non-working elements.

As per request, most of the comment spams are sent to a galaxy far, far away.

If you still see some spams around here, be sure to let me know!

Hmmm, can you smell some pixels cooking? :)

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately..

Business:
  • Fitness Health Weblog
  • Icon Project for OS X software
  • Two other website designs
Personal:
  • A secret project I’m working on for OS X. Mockup stage is almost done.
  • Expanding MacThemes.net (Sidebar Navbar, Ad Banner, etc)
  • Spent lot of time playing World of Warcraft.
  • Got Battlefield 1942. Great game but I definitely need lot of practices.
Projects I’ll work on soon:
  • More smileys for Adium X
  • More Screensaver Flags. I plan to contact the original author of flag screensaver to see if we could collaborate on this and perhaps offer more features / choices / packages.
  • Website design for WoW Guild I’m in

After I’m done with most business projects, I’ll shift my attention to personal projects. It’s been a long time since I’ve done an icon set, OS X theme, etc :(

Dashboard in Mac OS X 10.4When I first heard of Dashboard in upcoming Tiger Mac OS X, my initial thought was meh, not for me but I was wrong. It’s amazing that any web designers / developers can easily develop a widget using just XHTML / CSS for interface. No Javascript or XML bullshits.

Look at the source code of Stickies widget for an example of how it’s done. Here’s a compressed version of the whole things including plists. (Thanks to Erik Veland for posting them)

I think comparing Dashboard to Konfabulator is a little silly. Read this well-written article from Daring Fireball. He explained why better than anyone can.

If you’re a developer looking to build some decent, full-featured widgets such as Dictionary, etc., send me an email! I’m itching to contribute some graphics.

Up now at Apple Motion – Quick Tour

Jaw-dropping simplicity! The attention to details is truly amazing.

While I don’t use any third-party Photoshop Plug-Ins such as Eye Candy, Xerofex, etc, they do have a bad name for “cheating” the graphics. To me, this is not exactly true because Plug-Ins are created to assist you completing the graphics, not becoming the center of attention like many thought. There’s no such thing like one click = finished piece.

If you want to use third-party Plug-Ins, go ahead! But.. make sure that applied plug-ins only steal less than 10% of attention in finished piece. The more attention it steals, the more amateur it looks. If you don’t want it to look too generic, customize the applied graphic separately by smudging, lowering contrast/saturation, etc until to a point where they doesn’t look too “plugins-ish”.

Shadow/Highlight DialogRequires Photoshop CS

So you want to brighten your photo without doing complex manipulations?

Meet Shadow/Highlight. You can call him “The Light Man”. He can create lights out of nowhere and like to eat shadows for breakfast. Got some dark photo? ‘The Light Man’ to the rescue…

Original Photo enhanced by Shadow/Highlight1. Choose Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight…

2. In the Shadow/Highlight dialog box, set Shadows Amount to around 30%. Darker photo = higher Shadows Amount.

Highlights is not always necessary but it’s good for reducing the amount of whiteness in photo.

I don’t use this feature that often but it’s essential to all kinds of photographers.

During the 5 hours driving back to my home with Jetta 2000 yesterday, I hit a young deer very hard at around 75 MPH. It was raining pretty bad that day so visual distance isn’t great. Everything went slow motion after I saw that deer’s eyes..

Luckily, I turned right a bit and hit him by the corner of my car’s body frame instead of middle. If he hit my car in the middle, my car’s bumper and hood would have been crushed like a cheap soda can and windshield all cracked. I also could have been hit by a large truck following me. Adrenaline Rush saved the day.

Amazingly, the damage on my car is very minimum. The only thing that is damaged is plastic in the tire area (maybe worth around $100) and some bended plastics. There’s lot of blood and fur all across the side of my car. My leg’s pretty sore after flying off the seat (even with a belt on) and hit the driver’s wheel. Very bad headache too.

I did plan to find a nearby policemen so I can ask him/her to fill out a report but changed my mind as I remember that any nature-related accidents get a 25/75 chance of being covered by insurance company. If they’ve decided not to cover it, my monthly insurance bill will be much higher. Around $100 for a plastic part isn’t a big deal though.

Truly a scary experience.

Adobe CS’s icons are currently the most hated icon set and personally I’m not sure why. I thought it was a nice changes from previous icons where they are too cluttered and cheaply done. Of course, it takes time to remember which icons belong to what applications but after that they’re fairly easy to remember. I also like the fact that they’re more consistent with each others instead of giving each of them their own colors.

If you hated it, how come? Do you replace the icons with something else?

I got accepted as a beta-tester for Blizzard‘s World of Warcraft a few days ago and I’m very, very addicted to it already. This is the kind of game where you wish you could stop doing anything just to have more time playing it. Even non-hardcore gamers will love this game.

Going back to WoW…

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