Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Things are looking up

I won the Self-Study Cover Design Contest held by St. Louis Community College. Yay! Peace Sign Now I'm just hovering around my mailbox for the nice $250 check I should be receiving soon. I'll also be posting my concept design here. Too bad the colors will be changing to complement other recent printed material being sent out by the college. The package being sent out has some nice rich colors, so I'll be looking forward to the changes my design will be going through for the final production.

A friend of mine sent me an email containing a freelance opportunity here in the city. It's a web design job, and according to the email, they may or may not be looking for the designer to do any real coding. I'm pretty good with HTML/XHTML, and I've been researching CSS more extensively nowadays, but I can't do a lick of javascript. Crying The lack of coding may be a relief, but we'll see. There weren't many details in the email, but I should know for sure once I email the person in charge of hiring at the agency.

Speaking of coding, it's time that I learn Javascript. It's been a standard language to create many useful tools in not only web sites but weblogs. Bloggers use javascript to hack their blog's layouts in order to create a more individual look and add better funcionality to their blogs. And I'm not talking about adding some cutesy analog clock to your site; I'm talking adding a fully functioning calendar hack that links to all of your blogs current and past entries. I've picked up a javascript book from the library. It's pretty big, and I may not get through all of it. I plan to find better working examples on the web that will help when I can't understand something in the book.

I've been looking at CSS more and more lately. I want to improve on the little bit of what I already know. I'm going to challenge myself by implementing a CSS-styled no-tables layout in my next site revamp. It intimidates me a bit. I love having very graphical web design, and I didn't mind using tables to create image borders for my content. But if there's a better way of presenting my site without all the nested html, then I'm all for it. As simple as my current layout is, it's all a bunch of manhandled mess. That and it's beginning to load slower, and that's a no-no. It's time that I catch up with everyone else who's been doing web design for as long as I have. Frankly I don't want to remain ignorant when there's so much to learn, so it's time I change my attitude and habits.

I also want to use Flash again for my web site. My copy of Koolmoves has been sitting idle for far too long. I've just now started using it to create a digital portfolio I can present to prospective employers. It feels good to play with Koolmoves again. Now there's a slide show tool that I'm using to create separate slides for my work (design, photography, etc.). The portfolio flash site itself will be simple, because I plan on turning the swf file into a projector file that I can email to employers as a demo reel so they can save it locally. it's also been time that I separate my opinions from my work.

Before I go, I want to share a site that provides free hosting of MySQL databases. FreeMySQL.net is totally free, and the admins don't restrict your use as long as it doesn't violate anyone's rights or break laws. You can give them donations to help keep the service free. There are sites that offer free PHP and MySQL hosting, but if you've met your database quota (should there be one), then FreeMySQL.net is a good place to host the rest of your databases.

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