08
Apr
10

blog nine

Sorry this post is getting out a bit late (I’ll have to post another one tonight after class in order to meet my quota of ten for the semester. . .how did I go from being way ahead to being behind?).  Anyway, it has to do with our foray into the world of CSS.

According to Dreamweaver’s “Help” section of the program, CSS stands for “Cascading Style Sheets,” which basically means that they are style sheets/templates/forms (whatever word you need to use to best understand the concept) that you can use to create pages for your Web site, without having to “redo” your pages each time you want to make a new page. As we saw with the practice we did on Tuesday, they make life a bit easier when you’re building a Web site that will have pretty much the same look throughout. Also, according to Dreamweaver “Help,” CSS helps to make the appearance of your site consistent across all (or at least most) browsers. CSS gives you control over how elements appear (including color, placement, size, etc.), without having to go through and create each element individually. DIV tags are apparently a quick and easy way to use CSS elements on your pages.

According to w3schools.com, CSS

  • Styles define how to display HTML elements
  • Styles were added to HTML 4.0 to solve a problem
  • External Style Sheets can save a lot of work
  • External Style Sheets are stored in CSS files
  • On this Web site, they basically tell you that HTML was intended to be used for certain elements, but not for others (like formatting) and that it essentially lightens the load of the Web designer, as the HTML codes do not need to be repeated (or even copied and pasted!), since they can be saved and opened through CSS filing. Also, to underscore what Dreamweaver “Help” said, “CSS defines how HTML elements are to be displayed.”

    Luckily for all of us, Dreamweaver already files CSS elements. We have the flexibility to change them at any time, from page to page, if we wish, but they are already filed in the simpler system. With CSS, even newbies like us can build Web sites without having to memorize or reference (or worse, repeat!) numerous HTML codes.

    More of my infinite wisdom to come later this evening, based on what we discuss in class today (and possibly some of my preliminary research findings!). Don’t faint in anticipation.

    01
    Apr
    10

    blog eight

    Sigh. . .section three. I have posted my proposal for the final section of my Web site (you can link to it here), but I’m not sure really where to go from there. To summarize that page: I have begun to gather articles I think might be of interest to me (based on titles, abstracts, etc.), I have narrowed down my idea of what I would like to write about (literature via hypertext. . .possibly the aesthetic value of paper versus electronic media or the differences between the actual activity of reading static text versus hypertext. . . ?), but I’m not sure where my opinion lies yet. The Landow book has helped me get a start on where I’d like to go with this section, but I think I need to find more tailored information (hopefully I chose relevant articles!). I plan on doing some more reading and Web-surfing in order to get a better grasp on what I would like to say about my topic, because I just don’t know enough about hypertext and its future impacts yet. (I do plan on slaying Kindle and other E-readers, but I don’t know how I’ll work that in yet.) So if anyone knows anything about literature and hypertext and would like to help me out, I’d appreciate it. And if anyone needs to bounce ideas off of someone, I’m game.

    23
    Mar
    10

    blog seven

    Not that any of you are reading anything but news about the national health care bill passing, but here’s a post anyway…

    After reading the latest assigned sections of Landow, I have a somewhat better understanding of hypertext and Web authorship/readership. I thought he made a significant point when he noted that print writing requires “closing off connections and abandoning lines of investigation that hypertextuality would have made available” (131). Essentially, were a print writer to attempt to include all the diversions that hypertext allows, their essay could become a whole new animal altogether. However, Landow asserts (with support from Derrida) that “the linear habits of thought associated with print technology often influence us to think in particular ways that require narrowness, decontextualization, and intellectual attenuation, if not downright impoverishment” (132). But I disagree: though the medium (of print) itself may follow this pattern in its delivery, all text requires a reader and all readers are going to make different associations, leading to different interpretations and different directions. I believe that the mind is capable of hypertextual associations, regardless of the medium from which they read their text. Landow notes that “selection is one of the principles of effective argument,” which I also believe to be true (133). In fact, I think that all hypertext does is “clean up” a disordered, unfocused, or weak essay (in print or any other media) and turn it into a more orderly, subjective read (something print already has going for it, though obviously without the ability to cohesively and concisely employ all the author’s ideas in the same location). Still, one could argue that both the inclusion of all somewhat relevant lines of thought (whether in hypertext or in print) would 1. do the very thing the Landow said weakens a strong textual argument (go off on tangents) and 2. create an entirely new argument with different centers and areas of emphasis (therefore communicating a different thesis or focus altogether).

    As far as authorship is concerned, Landow states that if he were to have written his textbook in hypertext instead of in print, then he may have “sacrificed a certain amount of authorial control, ceding some of it to the reader” (135). Well-stated, I think, because with print, the reader is mostly at the writer’s mercy. This, however, can be a pro and a con, so I can see Landow’s argument. But, writing our textbook in hypertext would force him (and our professor) to take the chance that we don’t all read the same text (I mean, how do you assign hypertext?). In my opinion, to posit that hypertext has (or requires) any “home” body or text illustrates how conservatively and traditionally bound we are to the old (print) idea of an essay. If something is truly hypertextual, then it is a journey for the reader, and no reader’s journey is the same.

    16
    Mar
    10

    blog six

    So I think I may have been a bit ambitious with my plans for section two.

    I did manage to incorporate Audacity and Windows Movie Maker in my section two, as I am working on a synthesis project for another class using these two programs and this electronic format. However, I am struggling somewhat with my “hypertext” poem, as I’m not really sure what to do to it besides enable relevant links and notes. Any suggestions? I was thinking about using graphics, too, but I dont’ want to overload my site and make it slow (I’m sure that takes a whole lot of stuff to do, but knowing me, I’d hit that number and have an annoyingly slow Web site).

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing all of your section twos, but I just wanted to share my progress and pitfalls in case anyone would like to comment or commiserate.

    PS–I don’t know if anyone else was having this problem, but if you made a video in  QuickTime (Mac) or Windows Media (Windows) and need to embed it (and want to do so without using YouTube), there is a lovely step-by-step article on adobepress.com that can help guide you on your way. I may be the only one who still needed this but in case anyone else missed the boat, here’s a lifesaver.

    16
    Feb
    10

    blog five

    I’m not sure whether I’m here or there this week…I think my blogs have been up to date, but I know we’re also supposed to be creating additional pages here (and working on our Web sites on Dreamweaver, too!).  For now, please refer to my new page, peer review, which I’m not even sure is necessary. But until I get back on track, this post will have to do.

    10
    Feb
    10

    blog four

    Hello, all! Sorry this post is getting out about a day late (not that you really care but I’m pretending you’re a faithful, salivating audience). . .I blame the snow.

     For this post (fingers crossed that I’m writing about the proper topic), I’ll be writing about my journey on Dreamweaver. It appears that I have been able to successfully create a home page and (so far) two additional pages that describe my experience and knowledge concerning technology.

    On my home page, I listed the current and future areas of my Web site. I described under the heading “Section One” (as I have so creatively titled it) on the home page of my Web site, what can be expected to be found in that section. It is just a brief description of the requirements outlined by Dr. Kearney in the syllabus. There is a link there—as well as on the left-hand menu bar—to Section One. For convenience, Section One’s subpages also have links on the left-hand menu bar.

    On the link from the home page, titled “Resume,” I have listed a handful of common programs, Web sites, etc. with which I am familiar, and for some of them, how I became familiar with them.

    On the consecutive link (which, again, can be found on the left-hand menu), is a page titled “Goals.” On this page, true to its name, I have described how I would like to be able to progress with computers and writing for the Web and have provided a bulleted list of those goals.

    Still a work in progress, and some parts are subject to change. Actually, in my last post I described what my Web site would probably look like and I have already deviated from that (though not too drastically). I’m still dealing with the basics here. More interesting updates to follow, I promise. 

    Pretty straightforward, and more to come. (Hope it’s not too terribly boring!)

    02
    Feb
    10

    blog three

    Hello, all! Since I am usually one to only barely figure out how to upload videos or images, the idea of editing them (or PDFs!) seems to be a bit of a stretch. But I did find some helpful sites that offer free downloads for (as they claim) super easy editing. These downloads are tools that can be used to edit the pieces of the Web sites we are creating, to make one cohesive, attractive, functional whole. Enjoy!

    Some of the Web sites I found in my research: 

    PHOTO EDITORS 

    PhotoScape 

    • Viewer: view photos in your folder, create a slideshow
    • Editor: resizing, brightness and color adjustment, white balance, backlight correction, frames, balloons, mosaic mode, adding text, drawing pictures, cropping, filters, red eye removal, blooming
    • Batch editor: edit multiple photos
    • Page: merge multiple photos on the page frame to create one final photo
    • Combine: attach multiple photos vertically or horizontally to create one final photo
    • Animated GIF: use multiple photos to create a final animated photo
    • Print: print portrait shots, carte de visites (CDV), passport photos
    • Splitter: slice a photo into several pieces
    • Screen Capture: capture your screenshot and save it
    • Color Picker: zoom in on images, search and pick a color
    • Rename: change photo file names in batch mode
    • Raw Converter: convert RAW to JPG
    • Paper Print: print lined, graph, music and calendar paper
    • Face Search: find similar faces on the Internet
    • Photoscape is provided free of charge

    GIMP 

    • Painting
      • Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.  
      • Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
      • Supports custom brushes and patterns
    • System
      • Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
      • Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
    • Advanced Manipulation
      • Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
      • Editable text layers and channels
      • Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
      • Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
    •  Extensible
      • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
      • Over 100 plug-ins already available
    • Animation
      • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
    • File Handling
      • File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
      • Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
    •  Much, much more!

    AUDIO EDITORS 

    Audacity 

    •   Record live audio
    • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs
    • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together
    • Change the speed or pitch of a recording
    • And more! See the complete list of features

    Free Audio Editor 

    • Powerful audio recording feature and noise reduction tool
    • Edit audio files visually and apply various effects easily 
    • Easy to use interface will get you started editing in just minutes
    • Real-time effect preview is supported
    • Burn your sound files to CD
    • Tools include speech synthesis (text-to-speech)
    • Completely Free

    VIDEO EDITORS 

    iMovie 

    • Organize: import your video and organize it just like your photos
    • Edit: drag and drop to start, precisely edit with ease
    • Enjoy: browse and view your video all in one place
    • Add details: choose titles, transitions, and effects
    • Enhance: make home movies look like Hollywood masterpieces
    • Premiere your movie online with a click or burn a DVD

    Zwei-Stein 

    • up to 64 Video Effects per Video/Image Clip (up to 64 of which can be auxiliary output pins)
    • Opacity Generators (RGB/Chroma/Green and Brightness Keys)
    • Cropping (Rectangle, Circle, Oval etc… with Adjustable Edge Smoothness)
    • Matrix Effects (Key/Opacity Smoother, Edge Detection, Blurr all with adjustable matrix size and all except key smoother with adjustable blend factors)
    • Rotation with adjustable angle, and adjustable full rotation count
    • Color, Opacity and Chromacity Adjustments

    PDF EDITORS 

    Free PDF Editor 1.3 

    • edit and create documents
    • no need for Acrobat writer or a printer!
    • can work from a USB flash drive
    • insert text, image, and shape; drop, resize and move PDF elements with mouse to create final document
    • change PDF text fonts, color, size, style
    • supported formats are BMP, JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, ICO, etc.

    iceni.com 

    • Edit PDF like a Word Processor  
    • Make changes to paragraphs and columns of text
    • Copy and paste graphics and text between PDFs
    • Spell-check PDFs in 20+ languages
    • Search & replace in long PDF documents
    • Make corrections to hidden text in scanned OCR PDFs
    • Use tabs, margins and indents controls for better layout

    A few notes on the jargon Dr. Kearney used in the assignment instructions: 

    • “2.0” (wikipedia.org…what? This is informal, right?) refers to a Web site that allows interaction: partial authorship by the viewing audience. 2.0 includes social networking sites (like facebook and myspace), video-sharing sites (like youtube), wikis, blogs, and other web applications. 1.0 provides the “network as a platform,” offering static Web sites, as opposed to the more dynamic (read: active or interactive) Web sites of 2.0.
    • “Creative Commons licensing” (creativecommons.org) “Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. [They] provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.” 
    • “the GNU project” (gnu.org) “The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU operating system.”

     Basically, I think these three definitions and the aforementioned free software go hand-in-hand. The GNU project seems to support the free-download software we were assigned to research. Creative Commons licensing sounds like a much-needed safeguard for those who wish to create, use, manipulate, etc. on the Web, and 2.0 sites enable people to do so very easily.

    Whew! A lot to read (and a lot to compile!). Enjoy surfing, dudes.