Friday, August 29, 2014

Solution to a Problem - Online Articles - people don't read the whole thing.

1) Cut out the noise - don't write for the sake of writing or for "content" People will go back to you to feed their "content" addiction and the need to constantly check something electronic, but in the long run your original quality will be lost and people will go away.  (Corollary - Ridiculous number of emails = junk mail- throw them away. If it is important they will call.)

Noise (my) examples:  
- reviews of equipment written by those who have never used the item. They just read the brochure
- "reviews" of movies and items that are really advertisements
- FYI emails
- Tweets
- 2hr movies that would have been great at 90 mins
- many textbooks

2) Write like a screenplay - efficient - fewer and better words

3) Intelligence is only PowerPoint deep. In the military we found that people who saw a PowerPoint presentation and rattled off "facts" tried to play themselves off as having a full understanding of the subject. We called them PowerPoint Rangers.
- People are reading very little and tweeting or forwarding the article to others who "might be interested" - to seem more intelligent.
- A good article is so rare as is in depth investigative reporting.
- We have become "experts" on things that we have never seen, used, or done

In a world governed by ads and clicks - we need to push back and find the real gems out there and make sure people who are hungry get them - and read them. Don't sell out for ads. Integrity. Choose your words carefully.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Safari or Firefox with Top and Bottom Tab bars

Safari or Firefox with Top and Bottom Tab bars

When we think we often follow several trains of thought at once. When we search online there are many times when I have two trains of searching.

The top tab bar is one train of thought. The bottom is the second. It is like having two separate Safari or Firefox window, but they are both up at once. You can split them apart if you want.


Also - the ability to save chains of tabs. This would be handy for those searches that you never quite finish or that you have to go back to. (Podcasts or instructional videos - one leads to another, Equipment reviews - one leads to another, you get the point)

Why Design?

Ok - Let's start with WHY?

Short answer - to push things forward.

True Story - Three Displays. That was me. My original design for display layout is was exactly what is now the Navy Common Display System(CDS). Look it up! Mine looked almost exactly the same, except that the desktop was wood since 3D Studio could render wood grains like no tomorrow and grey objects looked flat.

It is funny that the biggest impact that I have had on the world so far is the way that I set my rendering workstation form 1991-1996. It carried on into my designs.

I was working for the Navy. I was designing the latest and greatest Combat Information Center for the Next Generation Surface Combatant.  At that time the main displays were the AN/UYQ-21 and something that looked like the older version of the AN/UYQ-70. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) had been paid a significant amount of money over the years to come up with a workstation design. The system that they had come up with looked like the Star Trek the Next Generation workstations with one main display and one off to the side.

Well - to keep it short, my workstation consisted of 3 displays(and 3 separate computers). I was using 3D Studio from the Yost Group at the time. It is now 3dsMax from Autodesk. The display on the left was the computer that was doing my rendering. It produced data(the rendered images) for my animation. The middle display (and computer) was what what I was currently working on, usually the latest graphical element in my design. This computer had the biggest monitor and the best graphics so that I could see what I was working on. At the time there were no LCD screens. We had a huge flat screen Nanao for the middle monitor. The third machine to the right was where I kept my notes and archived all of the backups and images that I might need for the rendering. I moved the files between the three machines on Bernoulli drives. We were between 90mb and 150mb bernoullis by the time I left the Navy.

Well the way that I worked carried on into the way I set up my workstation. I wish that I had pictures of my original design, but what I do have are the later designs that were part of the same presentation for the "Next Generation Surface Combatant" from the American Society of Naval Engineers(ASNE) conference in 1995. There were several Labs built based on my original designs. I still have copies of that, but since it is still used I can't show them here. There is an online reference to the work and someone else's look at my workstation here:   on page 784. On page 785 is a much less exciting (much much less) of my original CIC layout. I found one of the renders from the video here and I have posted the back page from it below

Well this workstation was copied and studied for years apparently. It mades it's way into the Aegis training center and many different named workstations over the years. DD X, DDG-51,  DD 1000
My work was done between 1991-1998, but the original drawing was a wooded version of Navy Common Display System(CDS). Jose and Trish can verify ;)
My original drawing - prior to the 3D renders

The new CDS (Common Display System)
The 3D renders literally looked exactly like the above CDS, just with a wooden looking console.

Ah and now Lego has caught on.

Lego Dispatch Center - Dispatch Console


I plan to put up designs that I believe will be useful.  If they in any way inspire you -Take them and run with them!

The idea is to build ideas and share ideas. If you want to share - please do. If someone wants to help build a site that it free and free of ads that is dedicated to creative design content and not just writing for the sake of content - please contact me and we can set that up.