Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Archives by Month: August, 2004

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during August, 2004.





New Web Design Usability Article

Mastery, Mystery, and Misery: The Ideologies of Web Design is the latest website usability article by Jakob Nielsen. Whether or not you agree with everything he’s written in the past, in this new article Nielsen covers some terrific points about what works and what doesn’t work with sites. I think we’ve all visited far too many sites that don’t seem to consider users or perhaps they don’t understand much about how to create a user-friendly website. Below are some snippets from Nielsen’s new article. (411 words, 1 link)

10:24 am, pdt30 August, 2004





More Insightful Photoshop CS Tutorials and Books

There’s so much to explore and inspire you just by playing around within Photoshop. Here are a couple of recent Photoshop CS tutorials and books that I discovered as I looked around for new and improved features with Photoshop’s Dynamic Brushes. (399 words, 8 links, 3 images)

12:29 pm, pdt23 August, 2004





Tips for Traveling with a Digital Camera

Meandering through the website mentioned in my previous post, Amazing New Shadow/Highlight Tool in Photoshop CS, I came across Lessons from the Field: Avoiding Some of the Perils of Digital Photography, by Ellen Anon, an insightful article about venturing out or traveling with a digital camera. You’ll find five invaluable tips to help you avoid problems with downloading images to your laptop, compact flash card readers, external hard drives, batteries and external power sources, and more. Her helpful tips can help you eliminate potential problems, especially when you’re away from your computer traveling. (359 words, 9 links, 2 images)

08:19 pm, pdt10 August, 2004

Categories: Photography, Photoshop





Amazing New Shadow/Highlight Tool in Photoshop CS

Have you ever taken a photo that ends up too dark or the highlight is too strong while the shadows are too dark? Haven’t we all?! The new Shadow/Highlight tool that made its debut in Photoshop CS is truly amazing and incredibly helpful with adjusting shadows and highlights. Today I explored this new tool further with a variety of my photos and was astonished with its powerful capabilities. Used in combination with other helpful tools in Photoshop CS, you can more easily transform your photos to be better balanced and even spectacular. Below are a few helpful resources to help you gain some insight into using this new Photoshop tool, with a few thoughts tossed in along the way. (470 words, 8 links, 1 image)

05:32 pm, pdt 9 August, 2004





Comment Spammers Persevere, Including Adding New Tricks

An automated spam-bomber attacked my weblog last week and again in a much bigger way over the weekend, with comment denials every 6-11 seconds, as reported in my Movable Type Activity Log. Thankfully ALL 93 attempts were futile, however, thanks to Jay Allen’s MTBlacklist. A new tactic, "spam piggybacking," is also on the rise. (830 words, 10 links)

07:00 am, pdt 2 August, 2004





Exciting New Photoshop Plugin for ESA, NASA Space Images

Imaging scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) have created and generously provided a free Photoshop plugin, the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator v1.01, to allow all of us to work with FITS images1 from the European Southern Observatory and NASA. Although optimized for 16-bit support in Photoshop CS, this free plugin for Windows PCs and Macs will also work in Photoshop 7 and Photoshop Elements 2. As I meandered around, I also found alternatives to opening their FITS images for those who don’t have Photoshop. (866 words, 14 links, 1 image)

01:01 pm, pdt 1 August, 2004

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I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books,, (Canada), (UK), (France), (Germany), (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

 Book cover: The Design of Sites, Second Edition : Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience. By Douglas K. van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong. Prentice Hall PTR (December 14, 2006). 

Book cover: Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS, by Dan Cederholm.

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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