Tuesday, October 30, 2012

InDesign delight

I'm having a ball with this new InDesign CS6. Of course the learning curve is huge as I was used to using applications such as Microsoft's 'Publisher' on a Microsoft 'Windows' platform but I do remember how powerful other platform's such as unix and linux were compared with the more popular but less efficient Microsoft products.

No! I'm not about to bag the heck out of Microsoft, not that they don't deserve it but I am having a wonderful time with my iMac which is running OS X v10.8.2 Lion with a 3.4 GHz  Intel Core i7 with 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Memory literally right next to my Trooper Pry-GFX8123 AMD FX 3.1 GHz Window 7 with 16 GB Memory and Dual liquid cooled Radeon HD 6800 Graphics cards - Gaming Machine.

Both are really quick machines but the graphics on the iMac (nothing special, stock standard actually) are simply blowing away the gaming machine which needs to constantly have the drivers reloaded. Windows 7 updates require frequent restarts and invariably require that I remove one display driver and refresh the hardware configuration which in turn reloads the missing driver and re-sync's the display thereby fixing it once again.

Having bored everyone to tears with the above comparison, brought about primarily by Microsoft's launch of 'Windows 8', I will boor everyone just a little longer as I say that I am looking forward to trying out this revamped old platform but am more than a little sceptical of the old 'Microsoft Hype' as I recall frustrating and unrealistically expensive flops such as 'Vista' and other equally frustrating and equally expensive, previous 'incompatible' platforms such as 'CE',  'Windows 2000' and the early 'Windows 98'. But.... I'll be trying it on the Trooper since I no longer have a use for it and not on my laptop which I do use frequently, after all one does not place a valued tool at risk on the advice of a known prevaricator.

While catching up on overdue assignments with Grenadi and having tremendous fun in the process I have been boosting the learning curve through '' and I do believe that this is what is making it so enjoyable. Yes there is a small cost but I do have to say it is without doubt the best value for money that I have ever received. I find the video tutorials well structured and the Authors delivery without exception to be fantastically clear and concise. I have learnt so much in a very short space of time and with the ability to bookmark both movie and time code I have any information that I need to review or revisit well organised and easy to recap... believe me at this stage in my life this is essential, the old brain is not the sponge it used to be, sadly!

Today I submitted my fourth Grenadi assignment a couple of days ahead of time but I'm about 4 days behind on the fifth tutorials. The weather has been a little overcast with the odd fine sprinkle making it ideal study weather so I've no doubt that I'll get caught up this week. 

Ronnie and I are hoping to spend a couple of days with our little girl and her family for her 31st birthday this weekend. We might even get a chance to take some good photographs with a bit of luck but if not, ....not to worry there is no rush:)

Till next time, God bless.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Enjoying Grenadi

You are probably wondering what a Grenadi is. Grenadi School of Design is the institute that I am doing my course through. The course that I'm doing is 'Advanced Diploma in Advertising and Graphic Design (Online)' which is a three year full time course using multimedia. Grenadi's main campus is in Melbourne Victoria but I have noticed that there are quite a number of students from my neck of the woods (so to speak) undertaking the same course. I have managed to look at each of their profiles and have to say they did make me feel old, outclassed  and not just a little daunted. I quickly pulled my thoughts into line though with old cliche's like "you're never too old to learn" and  "I have the advantage of (a helava lot more) life experience''.  The most important thing though in all seriousness is to have fun with it and enjoy myself.

I must say that whilst I still suffer from self over-performance expectations (I think in part brought about through an unrealistic desire to win my Father's ever elusive approval. Dad used to say, "Aim damned high so that when you inevitably fall short you're not seen as a total failure but remember Peter that a miss is as good as a mile and if you're not first you may just as well be last")  I am slowly learning to ease up on myself and have some fun. Even my children say that I'm mellowing and I can't tell you how much that encourages me. I suspect that whilst I have never wanted to put that sort of pressure on my own children, I probably have even though I have made a point of telling them how proud of them I am and how much I love them. They are the best!

Anyway I digress, back to Grenadi. So whilst it has only been a week of study, I have managed to thoroughly enjoy myself and catch up on two of the three assignments that I was behind on. The first assignment has even been graded and "Satisfactory" will do me just fine,  I'm feeling pretty stoked.

I have a couple of home projects on the go so I'll take some time out to work on them today. My Bonnie Ronnie want's an arts and crafts area for her scrapbooking and we also need a small photographic studio. We have decided that utilising the same space for both is not practical so we will use the garage for the photo-studio and one of the bedrooms for Ronnie's art's and crafts. We want to try and make the photo-studio portable but we need to familiarise ourselves with the equipment thoroughly so it's going to be setup in the garage for a while initially. The plan is then to take our little photo-studio on the road as we offer our niche market services to small business as a low budget but cost effective professional marketing and advertising service. 

Till next time - take care and God Bless.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playing Catchup

The last couple of weeks have had its high's and lows. My Bonnie Ronnie came down with the flu which would be bad enough but she managed to get an eye infection and an ear infection and of course she is a loving, caring and sharing person so passed on the inflictions to me.

I had planed to take Ronnie on BBB (Big Blue Bertha - our 1600 Kawasaki Nomad) to an exclusive restaurant on the Sunshine Coast for her Birthday with the surprise of friends that we have not seen for 20 years joining us for the day. Sadly however I had to cancel the reservation as the eye infection was getting worse. Unfortunately I practically live on these computers so the eye infection was devastating as I could barely read the screen even with magnifying glasses, the constant streaming and scratchy feeling drove me to distraction. This put me a further week behind in my course so now I have missed three assignments and am as many weeks behind. I've got to put nose down and bum up to catch up:)

On the bright side our friends of old were not at all concerned about our illness or infections and told me that wild horses couldn't keep them away so they hired a car to surprise Ronnie at home. When the doorbell rang I told Ronnie I couldn't see past my nose and she would have to answer it. Well, you should have seen her face when she opened the door to Bill and Fiona standing there singing Happy Birthday. Did I take photo's? wish I could have but my sight really was a mess and the last thing I wanted to do was try and focus a camera we did manage a couple of snapshots later for Facebook.

Today has been spent catching up on email, my favourite inspirational blogs, sorting a few more of the holiday photo's and converting all the MTS format files to MP4 for the Mac...... what a pain in the rear this is!

After lunch I'll have a crack at the first of these assignments - Aussie flag and wine commercial, should prove interesting but hopefully not too challenging as I'm still a bit wasted from this bronchitis.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to school

Well I should know within the week if my application to iLearn is successful. There are only 10 positions left for the 'Advanced Diploma of Advertising & Graphic Design for Multi-Media'. I'm so excited it's ridiculous... feel like a kid on Christmas eve.  Staying positive - I then have to suspend my studies through Murdoch University. I don't want to give them up completely just yet, sort of hang on to something I know is a walk in the park until I'm comfortable with the new road I've chosen.

In the meantime my Bonnie Ronnie and I have had a chance to get closer to our family, visiting children, cousins, aunt's and uncle's and since the grandkids have been on school holidays we have had a great time having them stay over, separately - a lot more pleasant to have some one on one time with therm. I take my hat off to Nat (my daughter-in-law and mother to the quads and Cameron) and Jay (my son) who live a life of organised chaos at best. In amongst this my son Jay and I have managed to find time to take in a couple of movies at the cinema.... life is AWESOME!

Locky (eldest grandson) had a bee in his bonnet over some 'Fireman backpack' and since he is only six he know's exactly what he is talking about whilst everyone else is somewhat at a loss. The weather was great and Ronnie and I wanted to spend some time with him at the beach whilst getting familiar with camera's and lens's etc. sort of combine our two loves, which we did. We subsequently posted a few photo's on Facebook to the family's delight. Every time we stopped to catch our breath Locky would ask if we would take him shopping for this 'Fireman backpack' and we of course would humour him by going into the shopping centres looking for this item each time we passed by a shopping centre, on our side (nearside) of the road. Needless to say half the weekend was spent wandering around in the various toy sections where dozens of substitutes for the desired item could be found.... all at the most outrageous prices (If I don't say this I'll be broke next week - lol) but no sign of the desired item which I must admit I was beginning to believe was a product of his active imagination.

Jay popped over early one morning to upgrade our security system and we all got to talking about this 'fireman backpack' which resulted in Dad promising to take Locky to Chermside Target (deduced by dad to be the 'tall target building' that Locky kept referring to.) These kids don't miss a trick I tell you, Dad was held to his word and sure enough the next time Locky visited, it was with his 'Fireman backpack' on his back. "This is not the exactly one backpack poppy" he declared, as he started pulling it apart to show me "..but it's got this cool ... um... canon". He was as happy as Larry!

Unfortunately when the girls Hayl's and Tilly stayed over, the weather was miserable and both had colds so we spent time indoors for the most part instead of the beach. At this age (six) they of course want to do everything one of the others has done and so Hayley would frequently ask, "Pops... can we go swimming at the beach .. um ... like .. Locky?" - must say I just love the way she call's me "Pops". We did manage to take them to the Redcliffe Pier so they could see the beach and the sea but the good weather window was small so the visit was short. 

Back to school for the kids tomorrow, me included.... well I'm young at heart and I am a student, haha!