Archive for August 2008

West Valley College Cocoa class fall 2008

The cocoa programming class at West Valley College has returned. Sign up now.

“Page 62”

3 units
Co requisite: CIS 97.1A
Acceptable for credit: California State University
Programming Apple OS applications in Cocoa is
explored in this course. Using an object-oriented
paradigm, Cocoa builds graphical-user-interface
applications to run within the Apple Macintosh
operating system. Cocoa relies upon object-ori-
ented concepts: Objects, Classes, Methods, and
Messages as well as the collection of classes
called Frameworks. Students in this class begin
their work on simple applications and, by adding
features and re
inements create more advanced
applications. Credit/No Credit Option

The specific class you want to search for is:


There’s probably a lab course you will be compelled to sign up for. Last semester it was:


I don’t know if that last part of the course is correct because I can’t register quite yet. If you took the class already, you may need to have Pat Fenton intervene on your behalf with admissions (like me)… Hope to see you there!

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print on demand showdown: Zazzle vs. Cafepress – part 4

well, as you can tell from parts 1, 2, and 3 of my comparisons of Zazzle and CafePress in regards to their print-on-demand services on black and dark t-shirts, it was kind of a toss-up as to which one was “better”. Now in part 4, I can show you the effects of one washing in a normal day-to-day kind of situation.

First up is Zazzle, since they were 7 whole days faster delivering my order:

Img 0048 Img 0049-2

If you click through and view these photos, you’ll see that the solid red color in the “sidescroller” t-shirt is not consistently covered with the original color that was there when I got the shirt. Kind of a disappointment to me. Still not a bad looking t-shirt, but not even close to the quality you would get with silk-screening. The “tea”-shirt (haha) actually fared better, probably because it’s a continuous tone image versus the relative solid color vector image in the first shirt. These shirts are actually being shown after two washes.

And now for the Cafepress shirt:

Img 0047
Uh oh. Now here’s a big problem in my opinion. After ONE wash, every solid area of color is cracking. This is totally unacceptable for a product that I would sell to people. So, at this time, I really can’t recommend cafepress for black and dark color shirt printing. I’m not totally sure Zazzle has the right action going on their game, but at least their shirts (which feel nicer to me, and are tagless) are free from the cracking problem that cafepress’ shirt is doing already… I would expect this cracking to happen even in silkscreened shirts after 20-30 washings, but after only one wash seems to indicate that there’s still significant room for improvement. This cracking problem certainly isn’t going to get any better from here on out, so this really isn’t the kind of product I want to promote.

So, the 2008 print-on-demand showdown winner is:

* faster order fulfillment
* customizable
* nicer shirts
* no cracking after 1 wash

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sneak peek: wildstyle font

Flysketchworkflow-2008.08.11 18.19.10

here’s a sneak peek at a font I hope to release later this year. it’s a block letter wildstyle. I’ve been wanting to do this kind of typeface for a long time, and fontstruct seems to be one way to get it done. It’s a little stiffer than I’d prefer it be, but I’ll see it through and maybe take another stab at it later in life.

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jatropha tree

I would prefer to stop coal burning plants and make a serious effort into solar, geokinetic, and geothermal sources to generate the energy we need. I just read a story on about a kind of tree that you can press the seeds of and have it produce fuel oil you can use without any further processing. Sounds awesome! I read the story all the way through and by the end, the math was bugging me. I did some thinking and some relatively weak number crunching. By my rough calculations, you would have to plant over 60,000 plants, just to supply the fuel required to run the 4 tractors mentioned in the story.

  • 4 tractors
  • 120 gallons each
  • 480 gallons of fuel per day
  • 2,400 gallons per week, guessing on 5 days of work per week averaged over the course of the year
  • 124,800 gallons of fuel = 2,400 x 52 weeks in a year
  • jatropha plants produce 2 gallons per tree per year, so:
  • 62,400 trees would be required to produce just the fuel required to run the 4 tractors mentioned in the story. Not even taking into consideration the energy required to process the seeds.

Right now they’ve got 176 trees growing.. somewhat short of being free from diesel purchases. Every little bit helps, and I’m of the mindset that it’s better to do something *now* rather than say that since there’s no perfect solution, we should do nothing. Definitely do something now… just.. keep looking for better solutions. I mean, I guess I should be happy that there are people looking into biodiesel fuels that use a plant that isn’t something I already eat. Using food crops for fuel instead of food is the dumbest idea we’ve had in a long time.

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happy 080808!!

print on demand showdown: Zazzle vs. Cafepress – part 3

Flysketchworkflow-2008.08.08 13.18.03

So after receiving my order from Zazzle and from Cafepress I came to some very inconclusive conclusions. The chart above outlines my findings. Overall, both services have their plusses and minuses. Next time I need to design a black or other dark colored shirt, I’d probably make a decision based on the graphics, and the number of shirts i was going to purchase, and if they needed customization at all, and what my budget was, and possibly time of the year the shirts would be worn primarily.
zazzle has a pretty nice interface, lots of customization options. They were definitely was faster… 7 whole days faster. Zazzle’s print quality didn’t suck, it just wasn’t “awesome”. They offer customization options and a wide array of garments to print onto. They give you tools to help promote the products you’ve designed, but they were more expensive.

cafepress’ print quality is bordering on awesome, crisp and clean. But the overall color coverage seemed to be less dense. You can set your own prices at cafepress, and the thoughtfully sent washing instructions. If price is a concern when doing a print on demand black t-shirt, cafe press wins here.

Overall, I’m not terribly confident on the longevity of these shirts from either vendor. I think they’re both fine, but they’re probably best as a prototyping device. If you have a client that you want to demo a shirt design to, either service might work fine, I just probably wouldn’t bet my branding budget on these as a final product.

In part 4, I’ll wrap up with a comparison of post-washing results from both services.

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print on demand showdown: Zazzle vs. Cafepress – part 2

Well, fully 7 days after my order arrived, my cafepress order finally showed up. ) Now I have something to compare and contrast to the first order.

Img 0045-1

So my first reaction was to the relative thinness of the shirt relative to Zazzle’s black shirts. It really does feel like a lighter weight shirt. As my wife rightly pointed out, “if you’re layering, that should be ok.” The second thing that I noticed was how much nicer the quality of the print is versus Zazzle’s output. It looks like a very similar process where they take the alpha value from the png file and print a white ink first, then do a CMYK inkjet print over the top of that… and presumably do some kind of heat treatment to set the inks. I’d have to go back and check my source files for resolution, but its *extremely* unlikely that I would send low res files off to zazzle and really high res files off to cafepress, even on accident. I just don’t roll that way. It’s high res all the time for me. So when I see the nicer quality print from cafepress, it really makes it hard to declare either one of these services as “the winner”.

So on to cafepress’ commission policy. They let you set your commission to any value you want, even to set it to $0… which can reduce the price of the item to a more palatable number. I’ll be honest, zazzle’s prices are kind of a shock considering you’re buying a t-shirt. cafepress isn’t much better, but at least I can optionally set the price for my customer if I want. Cafepress wins here, imo.

In part 3 I will outline a chart of some of the pros and cons of each service.

One note about cafepress’ print on demand for thing like this bib… they’re using a heat transfer process that does not use transparency data in your graphics… so the first time something like this bib gets dirty and you send it through the wash, the un-printed-on portion of the transfer absorbs some color and it becomes apparent that it’s a heat transfer… which sucks. I think they’re using a newer process to print directly onto light/white shirts that doesn’t employ this technique… which is good. This old method really blows. Cute design, though! Baby’s first turntable! )

Img 0044-1

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Justin Kane’s Eden

My brother in law Justin is working on a short film. I just got the green light to post it, so here it is.

Eden (4th pass rough cut) from Justin Kane on Vimeo.

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Robert Hodgin is awesome

Solar, with lyrics. from flight404 on Vimeo.

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