Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

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Adventures in Computing

I’m trying to upgrade a website logo to the new version (it is incorporated into the layout).

As I’m getting ready to upgrade the logo, I had to get the old Photoshop master image files off my old desktop.  Since I started having video card issues with this old PC, I hadn’t used it in a while. Of course, Norton AntiVirus 360 is now expired and Windows wants to update.  All I want is a few image files.

For some reason the laptop (which I am using now due to the video card woes) and the old desktop won’t network together as they used to (the very last time I used the PC).  Oh no!… The normal broadband connection won’t work.  So, I grab the USB wireless modem from the laptop and use it on the desktop.

While I am downloading a free antivirus solution from Avast, Windows is updating.  I install Avast Free and sometime after, things start misbehaving.  If I click on the start button, my mouse will only show the menu if I hold the left mouse button down.  I am anxious to reboot once Windows is updated and Avast is installed.  Then, I notice that not one of the browsers work (Not IE, FF, Safari, or O).  I’m a bit worried.

I managed to copy the files to a 4GB flash jump drive, but the laptop can’t see the files.  Huh?  Yeah, it’s like looking at a whole different drive, with different files and directories!

Upon rebooting the old desktop machine, I am presented with the video card issue at login.  Lovely.  Will I make it in to copy those files?  The keyboard won’t work.  Oh, wrong one.  I make it in and it was like the malicious hacker security fix that Windows downloaded worked because all systems are fine again.  Except Norton seems to have trashed my networking setup and I still can’t connect via wired broadband.  Avast doesn’t see the PPOE connection with my modem, so I can’t register, but the start menu works and I can actually use all my browsers.  I copy a mess of files over to a new 8GB flash jump drive in case this is the last time I can access this old workhorse of a system.

But as I am doing this file copying, I am switching between the HDMI connections of the laptop and desktop on my monitor (actually, it’s a TV).  I notice that my favorite wireless mouse is opening files on one computer as I am using it on another computer.  That is strange, since the wireless receiver that the Microsoft mouse and keyboard use is plugged into the laptop.  But, the mouse is actually functioning on the desktop, too!  And there is no wireless receiver on the desktop.  The mouse must be burrowing a hole through the old network connection between the two computers, that has since somehow disappeared?  So now I have to be careful what I am doing on one computer, because the same mouse actions are being repeated on the other computer.

I put this mouse aside after starting a system scan using Avast on the desktop.  I grab another smaller notebook wireless Microsoft mouse that I use when I am on the road.  It works when I plug it into the laptop and doesn’t seem to control the desktop mouse.  Whew!

I insert the 8GB flash jump drive and Windows wants to scan it, says there may be a problem with it.  Did I take it out too soon and corrupt the file structure?  The scan takes forever, but the drive is OK and I can finally see and copy over those image files.  Heck, I put that directory in 2 places on my laptop’s hard drive, just in case.

Get this, my work night has just started!  I wonder what will happen next.  I bet Avast needs to be updated before it can really find anything, but doesn’t see my PPOE modem based internet connection.  And I still have to straighten out the networking issue.  But once it is done with this scan, I’ll just power the PC down.  I have to get that logo updated tonight, afterall!  😉

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April 16, 2010 Posted by | Computing, Internet, The Human Condition | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Rip-off an Artist?

I am so tired of the current state of society.  Humans no longer matter and we take a corporate attitude of greed and protect-your-own-ass because no one else will.

Actually, there are real people who will stand-up and fight together and stick-up for each other.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that it should have never gotten this bad.

I see this all the time.  I designed a website that not only exceeded the needs and specs of the client, but it does so well beyond any parameters, including my own.  As I am just a freelance artist, it’ll never win any awards (I can’t afford to enter the webbies, etc… I am not surviving on what I get paid now) and only the client’s customers will ever really see it.

Ever hear the phrase “Charge a Corporation Twice or more what you would anyone else for the same work.”?  It is so very true.  Although lulled into thinking I could work with these people, they broke the original contract.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a contract in writing.  So *I* kept every promise and delivered an extremely search engine optimized, user friendly, interactive website  based on the MODx content management system/framework.  This is the most extreme I had ever gone with CSS, Sprites, Fly-out menus, minimal graphics, reduced graphic sizes, etc…

But in the long run I screwed myself because I didn’t have a written contract.  And it would have protected me, because these people were absolute abusers.

Now, let me tell you that I did bid low to get this job because I thought I would enjoy it, but I had no idea that anyone could be so rude, condescending, back-stabbing or ruthless.  Instead of treating me like a business partner with a humongous stake in  their online success, I was belittled and chastised as if a lowly underling employee.  I had never been treated with such disdain by a client, before.  The terms of the original contract agreement was breached on several occasions and the deceit I experienced was unconscionable.  It’s a surprise that I was able to complete the project at all.  And I had no recourse because the agreement was verbal and I trusted them.

But the project was finished, despite themselves.  Not only was it finished, it was done right (despite themselves): the way I wanted it done (which was well beyond what they had asked for).

But now I know why to charge 2 or 3 or more times the price for a corporate gig.  Either you are working for a committee, or you are working as a mere employee with absolutely no rights or benefits (like a slave).

The extra money covers the extra hassle of writing the contract, and in dealing with a committee or being treated like a peon.  And the contract protects you from getting the shaft, spiteful delays for meetings, etc…  Now I know.

I told them I would not work for a committee, that I would work with just 1 person in delivering them a site beyond what they expected. I did.  But not without giving in to allowing a second person in to the mix who berated me and crucified me to “corporate”, her bosses.

These employees have “corporate” on the brain because they are so scared of losing their jobs.  The girl they added to the communication chain was apparently the company bulldog.  And she thought she was right, no matter what the facts are.  In the end she twisted everything into lies, was dismissive and disruptive just to “show me” a thing or two, and delayed the whole design & development process, incredibly.

Today I was on the phone with her to reach the other party, the guy I actually get along with, in order to make the site live.  He’s gone for the day.  As I am talking to her, she grunts her displeasure with me and dismisses me by hanging up the phone without so much as a “Goodbye.”

Previously, I had always worked with the business owner and entrepreneurs such as myself where we were smart enough to understand and communicate with each other.  If only the masses could communicate, they could educate themselves.

Then, I run into this article on “Smart Planet” how artist’s should watch their own asses because it really is OK to steal someone else’s artwork!:  How a thief defends theft: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/how-to-protect-your-copyrighted-images-on-the-web/3684/

I am so angry this guy works there, at “Smart Planet”.  He’s telling us to watermark our artwork if we dare to put it online?  And all we are doing is trying to give our best work.  He says we could disable the right-mouse on a web page?  That makes our visitors angry because that right mouse button does a whole helluva lot more than save images, it is a vital tool for any web user.  He says to make a robots.txt file to steer the search engine bots away from our images… I did that once.  Not only did my images no longer show-up in Google Images, but my graphic design rank plummeted, and some search engines (such as the wayback machine) showed my web pages with all the images blocked out with a gray window over them.  Heck, I said stay away from crawling there, not to not show them on my pages!

There were plenty of lame excuses he gave, but they were all just excuses.  But it was interesting to see the criminal mind at work, how he could so effortlessly come up with any excuse and act as if it was actually a convincing argument.  Hey, fella, the reason Murdock gets away with it is because he owns Fox, not because it’s right, true or factual.

Listen, you self-centered “dogs” out there who don’t give a crap about anyone but yourself, it isn’t me or another artist that is “going to get you and bring you down”, it’s your own criminal activity and stupidity!

We artists are trying to give you are very damn best as a matter of pride in ourselves and our work.  And you treat us like we aren’t worth the same as you, that we are under you, your class, your level of achievement?  You rip us off for no good reason and excuse it as if we could do anything about it?

Where has morality gone?  What has happened to our ethics, and why do we dismiss them in order to make a point on TV or in a blog?  We used to be civil to each other.  Corporate America is NOT a good thing.  It seems to embrace ignorance.  But no one is fooled by Sarah Palin.  Being dumb is just plain dumb, no matter the excuse.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Brands, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Internet, Media, Social Communities, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment