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Showing posts from July, 2013

First impression of the new SmugMug

I was excited to learn that, this week, there is a major new version of SmugMug. SmugMug is one of the leading photo hosting services, widely used by professional photographers who sell prints. I used SmugMug many years ago but gave up on it after a while because SmugMug's canned themes were, well, pretty lame, and customizing your site required the use use of a slew of CSS (web formatting code) hacks. Headache city. I switched to Zenfolio, which had a (slightly) more intuitive theme editor with a graphical user-interface.

Anyway, this week SmugMug got a significant facelift and I am pretty excited about it. Or I was until I started working with my 14-day trial account. A couple quick first impressions.

1. SmugMug's new themes are quite attractive, certainly moreso than Zenfolio's old themes, although not more attractive than the themes available from many other services, like 4ormat or Squarespace. 4ormat and Squarespace are really just portfolio sites, that is, they don&…

It's the artist, not the tool

Remarkable story about Hal Lasko, a 97-year old guy who makes beautiful art with the Microsoft Paint app from Windows 95.

I'd call his style techno-pointillism, but whatever you call it, the pictures are pretty. Reminds me of what is probably the most famous bit-mapped drawing ever, Susan Kare's Japanese Lady, which was made in the original Macpaint app and used to help sell the Mac in 1984 and afterwards.
Anybody can learn to use one of these bitmap paint programs in about two minutes. But very few people ever use them to make something beautiful like Lasko's or Kare's drawings. Their work provides a dramatic demonstration that it's not the tool that matters, it's the artist using the tool.
It's not quite the same thing, but check out also this article about the kids who are formed an orchestra with instruments made from junk from a landfill.

Back to Blogger

Never mind that earlier post (from a little over a year ago) about this blog moving to Wordpress. I didn't know what I was talking about. Anyway, I'm back using Google's excellent blogging service, Blogger. And I've finally gotten a permanent URL for this blog, something I should have done, um, years ago!

While I'm at it, let me mention that I'm delighted to have found (here) a simple fix for Blogger's line-spacing problem: A single line of CSS code. Life is good.

If you're looking for what I wrote from mid-2012 to mid-2013, go to the Wordpress blog, here.