I just used my Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard to type up some history notes on my iPad, and I have to say, Apple knows how to make some smooth technology. I have never typed up anything with less effort and more pleasure. Having such a simple, elegant, and easy to use workstation (just my iPad and keyboard) made even something as boring as history notes fun! I could easily see doing away with my laptop altogether in favor of such a setup. Technology has reached a level where the focus has shifted from function, which has evolved to an adequate level, to form and the user experience. Apple has become a master of this, making their technology not just the most powerful, versatile, and stable but also the most pleasurable, elegant, and simple, which are three traits that the computer industry has seen much too little of. This tiny mobile computer gets better every day.
When I powered on my MacBook Pro yesterday for the first time since the release of the iPad, I felt like I was working on an unfamiliar and slightly obstructive interface. The power and stability of the iPad (and it’s spelling correction) quite simply blow all my other technology out of the water. My dad just came up to me and asked “why aren’t you using your computer,” which was sitting right next to me, and I replied, “because the iPad is cooler.” And it is. It really is. I have apps to access all the content across both my Macs and the three Internet servers I have allocations of, which is such a streamlined feature that I don’t know quite what to say. I can update all three of my WordPress blogs from my WordPress app. I can do basic image corrections with my Photoshop.com Mobile app. I can type up documents and presentations with Keynote and Pages. I can play a host of games that are so well made and responsive that I feel like I am on a computer. I can do everything that my Macs can do on my iPad, so in reality, I see no reason to even have a laptop. I need my iMac for my graphics apps (CS4 and FCS), but everything else I can do from my iPad. That is how the future will look. There will be uber-powerful desktops like my iMac that are for the processor-intensive media applications and then there will be ultra-portable web-based smartbooks like the iPad for everything else. Or at least that’s what all the people whose job it is to research that stuff say.
I meant to just say how great the wireless keyboard worker, but got a little sidetracked. Oh well, I like expressing how I feel on the subject of the iPad.
I downloaded the iPhone/iTouch/iPad SDK yesterday, so I am good to start developing apps, which will be easier than I thought. I have been an official Apple developer for a while, I just haven’t done anything yet because I never had an iPhone or an iTouch, but now that I have an iPad there is no reason I shouldn’t kick this whole app development thing into high gear.
I think I will stop rambling for now. This started out as a really long comment on this week’s post on the Mac Lab blog, but when it got to be essay-length I decided to move it to a new post.
Gosh, where did all the time go! I got so absorbed in writing this that I didn’t check the time. Time to go watch TV.
I have to say, technology never ceases to amaze me. I just found a WordPress app for the iPad, and it is SOOOOO cool!!!!!! This iPad really is a technological marvel. Man, this is cool! I might as well just sell my laptop, because I am never turning it on again. The iPad has almost completely removed my need for a laptop. I have my iMac for processor-intensive media stuff and my iPad for everything else. Apple killed an entire bread of computers when they released this device. Well, that’s all I have to say for now. I just HAD to try out the WordPress app.
I was going through my files just now, trying to trim a little off the top of my massive 68GB Dropbox folder, and I came across a couple of old images. A couple of weeks ago, I went out into my backyard and attempted some proof-of-concept work for the new kind of light painting Mr. Skocko had been encouraging. I took the 5D and one of the Mac Lab’s multicolored flashlights and walked to some cacti in my yard. The flashlight had suffered severe damage sometime during the chaos at Woodhaven Park, and so it would only give off a couple of colors (instead of 10). I set up the camera and shined different colored light at two cacti. The result looked good and I could easily envision what the final product would look like, so I files the images away without any work in Photoshop.
I found them just now, and decided to see what Camera Raw could do. And yet again, I learned something cool (synchronize settings across multiple images). Because the colors that the damaged flashlight created were only moderately exciting, I changed them significantly in Camera Raw, and put the Spot Removal Tool to good use. I happened to stumble across the exact settings that removed all unnatural color from the cacti, and so I decided to take that idea and run with it, tailoring the remaining editing so as to reveal only the light on the ground. I merged them in Photoshop, which proved more difficult than I expected, as the different angles of the light proved difficult to combine in a pleasing way. I like the finished product, but I didn’t put much effort towards it, as I have more important things to do (I uncovered some tutorials on focusing I had made a while back too). More on those tutorials later.
Another Update: There are six new movies on this page (in and around the focusing section).
On March 27, the first day of Spring Break, Philip, Christian, Zack, Aaron, Kyle, and I met at Woodhaven Park to combine our efforts in a light painting extravaganza. Well, everything didn’t exactly go as planned. We did get some cool images, but nothing as good as I would have hoped. Read more about the activities of that night here, because this post is devoted to the images that were captured that night.
Of the hundreds of pictures we took, I have worked on ten that I feel are good enough. The first two are buried in this post (but here are links anyway: Tree | Grill). As for the other eight, they are coming right now. It took me two weeks to find time to edit these images, but I have finally gotten to them.
Christian, Mark I: This is a new type of light painting that I first saw here. I have tried it on several occasions, but only started getting the hang of it while at the park. I manned the 5D, Christian posed, and Philip passed a lightsaber behind him. Learn how to do it on this page.
Christian, Mark II: This is the same concept as the first image, just with a different pose and slightly different settings. We never really got good at this type of light painting, but I think these two images are good enough to be posted.
Tree, Mark I: This is a lengthy exposure taken around 10pm. It is actually four different pictures that I used Photoshop’s Photomerge feature to combine. Right after Kyle and I finished taking the four pictures, the sprinklers came on. Yikes.
Tree, Mark II: This was taken a little earlier in the evening and I kind of like it. It was still too late in the evening to get a spark picture, but I think it turned out good enough.
Truck, Mark I: This was the first picture I edited from that night. Philip creatively used rubber banks to strap two of the Mac Lab’s multicolored flashlights to Kyle’s remote-controlled truck, and then drove the truck in circles. It produced a very cool effect, but actually being able to drive the truck in circles posed some problems.
Truck, Mark II: This is the same idea as the previous picture, except with a lantern substituted for one of the flashlights. Zack took this picture while Kyle and I were at the other side of the park taking landscape shots.
The Grill, Mark II: This picture was one of the parts of this image. I liked the uncombined version so much, I decided to work with it separately. Among other things, I extended the airplane line in the background across the entire picture, which Kyle suggested. I like it a lot, and think it is the only truly great image to come from the night. It looks darker than it really is.
Overall, I think that we got quite a few good shots from that night.I didn’t go to MLSS™ today, so I made up for that by editing eight new images and finishing the main Photoshoping of the VHS 840 poster (it looks really cool!!!). While editing the photos, like usual I learned a few new things, including the power of Photoshop’s Actions panel (which I had known about for a long time but had never tried). Oh the time saved!!!!
IMPORTANT!!!!!!!: Don’t forget what happens on Monday! Be at the Mac Lab at 8 am to see it streamed live on the big screen (bandwidth permitting). 1 Day, 12 Hours, 55 Minutes, and 25 seconds and counting….
Help Needed: Due to the fact that Kyle R is no loner a part of CRDESIGNLAB, I need a new name. The C in CR stands for Canel, my last name, and the R stands for Rodenbo, his last name. If and when he Kyle rejoins the blog, the old name will be restored, but until then, I need a new name. I am asking for suggestions.
I haven’t done much since my last post, so this post will probably be brief. About a weeks ago I took a few photos of flowers in my backyard, but the wind was blowing and so they were not sharp. I have not had any great quantity of new material to work on for over a month now, as far as photography and light painting as concerned. I have been focusing more on my other classes and the time I have spent on the Mac Lab has been devoted primarily to the video team. I have made good progress on the 840 poster for the fast-approaching standardized tests, but I think it is supposed to be a surprise of sorts, so I won’t show you what I have done.
Today, I made a sample eBook in InDesign as a proof of concept. After I figured out the basic concept behind how eBooks are made, I was able to successfully format one relatively easily. Kyle and I volunteered to assemble the Mac Lab eBook, so I got a taste of the amount of work that is going to take (a lot). I loaded the sample eBook on my iPad via iTunes, and it looks great. You need software like Adobe Digital Editions (which is free) to view eBooks on your computer, but it looks best on portable devices like the iPad, iPhone, or iTouch. Although it will work on a device like the Amazon Kindle, my test eBook has color images, and there are no eReader devices currently on the market that can display color.
Don’t forget to head over to the Mac Lab Media site, the new home of the Video Team, which I am co-administrating with Kyle and Danny. Just so you all know, CRDESIGNLAB was made a one man blog a few days ago. Also just so you know, CS5 will be launched on April 12th, so be on the Adobe website at 8 am to see the new software.
Today, the world changed. Well, the technology world anyway. I say this as I look back on the past from the new era of personal computing. I write this from my Apple iPad.
This afternoon, at around 2 pm, my Dad, sister, and I drove to the Fashion Valley shopping mall and walked into an Apple Store. We were there to see the new iPad, just like the hundreds of other people there. My Dad was determined to wait for the 2nd generation model, which will likely be released around Christmas. We left the Apple Store with a piece of the future, and a case to store it in. We were stunned by the simple beauty and elegance of the iPad and the ease with which it emphasized the relationship between man and machine. We paid the $700 because even though there will be a better version in six months, what we experienced with the iPad was so revolutionary, so unprecedented, that it clearly represents a milestone in the evolution of the computer.
Everything about the iPad screams cutting edge. Everything from the lightweight but robust aluminum and glass enclosure to the shockingly responsive multi-touch display and beautifully slick interface represents the future of the computer. Apple has once again found a way to fundamentally alter and improve the way we interact with the digital world.
As all those people who had the honor of trying the iPad before it’s launch said about their own experiences with the iPad, when I walked into the store, I thought, “what would I ever use this thing for?” And yet after just a few hours with this ultra-cool device, I say, “just you try to take it from me!!! I can’t live without it.” I can’t remember the world before it.
One thing I was especially unprepared for was the web. The iPad revolves around the Apps, but the Apps revolve around the web, so the iPad revolves around the web. And it is the web which the iPad does best. Safari is by far the most important of the many thousands of Apps in the Apple library. All I can say is that the future of communication and personal computing is in the web and portable devices that offer a window into the web effectively will dominate the future. The iPad is one of those devices, and the first real mobile computer.
The last thing I want to mention was the last thing my Dad and I tried while setting up the iPad. The Apple Sales Rep said that the standard Apple wireless keyboard would work with the iPad, and so we decided to give it a try. We turned on the Bluetooth, and as my Dad powered on the keyboard, he said, “If this works, it will be the death of the computer.” The keyboard worked, and just the way a keyboard should work. He pushed the iPad’s box and wrappings away and positioned it and the keyboard on the desk. While surveying his new workstation, my Dad said with a smile, “This is the death of the computer.”
The iPad is the death of the home computer as we know it. It is the first computer that lives on and for the internet and in a world where people live through the internet it will overpower and replace the old home computer. It will not replace the powerhouse workstation that is needed to edit videos or run Photoshop, but even Photoshop is going online. The rest of the software world will either follow in Photoshop’s footsteps or be replaced by something that does. The leading technology researchers and analysts have stated that the future is in the web, in cloud computing, in the internet. Apple has accepted this and embraced it. The other computer companies will either follow in Apple’s footsteps, or be replaced by someone who does.
My iPad is amazing. It is the future. It is Apple.
Up until today (Thursday) at 9:00pm, I had not really been on Spring Break, as I had a massive 20 page research paper (Specialties for AP U.S. History) looming over me. After about 20 hours of work, I have finished it. So now my Spring Break begins. Ahhhhhhh! Freedom!!!!!!
The first thing I said I would do this Spring Break is make live-action light painting demonstrations. Well, some of them have arrived. I have about ten different videos filmed, but so far only four have made their way through Final Cut Studio for editing and sound boosting. It just so happens that those four have to deal with painting with beams of light (lightsabers). Please remember that I am new to making tutorials, so don’t expect them to be perfect. Check them out here. No one tell Danny that I have Final Cut Studio or he’ll make me work more. Let’s see how long it takes him to find this.
While editing the light painting demonstrations, I realized that those lightsabers of mine look really realistic when filmed. So, today I filmed some fight sequences to see how they would look. The idea needs refining and superior editing skills that I can deliver at 11:00pm , but the possibilities are cool. Man, those lightsabers look real.
All my time has been put towards this research project, so I haven’t touched Photoshop since Saturday. I’ll make up for that in the next few days.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was an interesting day. We (the video team) filmed the anti-bullying video for the iVIE awards. Read more about it here and here. I learned two things. 1) We can film an entire video in 4 hours. 2) Danny has anger management issues. Ok, so I learned that last thing a while ago. Those anger management issues were exacerbated by the fact that the fire alarms kept going off and ruining our shots. Oh and then there was the other thing (5D. Sensor. Cap. Off. For. A. Minute. ARGH!!!!!!!!). I am trying to forget that last thing. I won’t say who did it to save them the embarrassment and the wrath of Mr. Skocko, but it wasn’t Danny or me. Except for a few minor issues, the day went well. We got some Oscar-worthy behind-the-scenes clips too.
Tomorrow (Friday), I am going to Borrego Springs with my Dad and sister. I will try to do some standard photography, but the day is supposed to be a relaxing family trip. We will be back by the time its dark, so I hope to light paint a little afterwards. (If only we were there at night. That would be some amazing light painting and photography!!!!)
That’s it for now. Rally together and help push this little site over 5,000 hits. I (as it seems CRDESIGNLAB is now a single-man venture) am only 31 hits away from the 5K mark. If all had gone as planned, I’d be in Greece right now.