So, if you’re reading this on anything other than the rss feed, you’ve noticed the new site design. I explained a bit of it in another post, but to run through it again but I’ll go into a bit more detail here.
I’m about to go live with the overhaul of the site, but I need to test this so that Blog posts don’t end up on the FRONT page, but only on the Blog page. Hopefully it’ll work! If you’re reading this on the old blue site, the hack has been in place for years. I’m hacking the NEW template and I need to test it.
Late last night I installed a new module that will check for an iphone and load up an iphone friendly news page. Right now it’s fairly limited, mostly because I had to then install a script on the front page that checks for an iphone and sends you over to the new format. The problem with this is there’s is now no way for iphone users to view the full site. I’ll likely just mess with this a bit and turn it off until the developer makes a switch so that you can flip back over to the full site. For now though, I’m going to leave it on. If you’re reading this site with an iphone, feel free to comment on this blog post and give me feedback.
Tonight I made more tweaks to the site, and enabled the new Reviews and the new Tips sections. They’re not really NEW, but they’re links to the searchable news engine for any tag that is marked Reviews or Tips. Eventually I’ll get fancy headers for those sections instead of just the text, but for now it’ll be the text.
Also, because of the way the OLD site is made, every old page has a header on it. Instead of going through and editing every header, I simply added links to the new page from each Old main section, so if you land on an old section, you can easily get to the new section. Eventually ALL the sections will be WordPress pages except the front page of the site, so it will all be searchable and dynamic.
Yes folks, it’s me, the long lost creator of this site. I haven’t bloged in a LONG time, but I’m finally back in the swing of things on the site. Besides a few news stories here and there (which Ken has mostly been taking care of) the site really hasn’t been updated. Today I upgraded the news engine to WordPress 2.6 and fixed some glitches in the look of the news pages. I also fixed the blog link so that it now simply links to a category listing (yeah!).
You’ll see other new things over the next month or so. I want to add a wordpress downloads page, so that the downloads are tracked. Right now that portion of the site is simply a hacked together HTML page. I also plan on dumping the old reviews into the wordpress system (and maybe removing the really old ones) and making that a category listing also.
I had originally planned to move the site to Joomla, and I may still do that, but for now, it’s staying as a WordPress/HTML site. Eventually I’ll update the front page to a more modern look and get some of the side bar boxes automated with wordpress widgets (If I can get that working).
The last new item will really keep the site fresh. I joined the PRMac site and installed their news plugin into our site. That means I get press releases automatically, and they go into the drafts folder of the site. Now I can simply double check one, add an image to it and post it. That means you’ll finally see decent news at decent intervals on the site.
Thanks for sticking with us through all the dead times, we hope to not repeat that again!
Well, here I am again, posting after not posting for months. My blog has always been something I’ve mean to do more often (say, once a week or so) and then just never get around to. Anyway, on to the topic…
This year has been a whirlwind, boot in good and bad ways. The early part of the year saw a great boost in sales with the release of PowerBlue, and my Mac consulting business was doing great. We did so well that I decided to replace my badly aging machines (My main production machine was a Dual 867) with some new hardware. I’m now the proud owner of a 17″ MacBook Pro and an 8 core Mac Pro tower. That’s the good news.
The bad news is consulting dropped way off, and I manage to get any other themes out this year except Galleria, which is more geared toward showing off photos and less of a general business theme. So, I’ve been really busy retooling PowerBlue for Keynote 08 (and adding iPod and HD sizes to it) and doing lots of Joomla based web development. This is going to be a good thing in the long run, but it’s pulled me in so many directions that my head is swimming most days (You try doing on site mac consulting, AND Keynote theme creation AND web development all in one day!). Anyway, the PowerBlue 08 layouts are now complete (short of a few look through’s for mistakes) and all I have to do now is update the extras, build the installer and update the web page.
The PowerBlue upgrade should be reasonably prices (around $10 I think) and the whole package still won’t cost much more than Frames does now (there’s another theme that’s due for an overhaul in 08).
The other bad news is that I won’t make it to Macworld yet again. At this point I’m not sure if Ken will make it, but he usually finds a way to get out there.
Anyway, I’d like to thank all of you who bought themes from the site over the years, you’ve kept me going when things get tight, and you’ll keep me going on into the future. Thanks!
Finally. It’s been a few years since the current site went live, and it’s starting to get pretty stale. It’s half old HTML stuff and half WordPress hacked so it runs inside a shell on the front page. It was a decent attempt at a real news site, but it needs work badly.
Enter Joomla. I’m currently redesigning the entire site in Joomla and it’s going to make this current site look well, as bad as it always has been. No more wacked out margins, no more pasted in html pages. It will be one unified, dynamic, searchable site. The old site won’t go away completely though, the news portion of it (the wordpress part) will be stripped down and placed inside what Joomla calls a wrapper. This means, if someone follows an old link, or if you want to look for an old story, you’ll simply hit the link for the old news and it will load inside a frame in the new site. Nice and tidy.
Anyway, I’ve been chugging away at the Galleria theme and working on the new site along side it. The site is far from done, but I have posted a small screen shot so you can get an idea of how it looks so far.
I’m toying with turning on the user registration system and offering some tutorials and even discounts to registered users, so if you think that’s a cool idea, post a comment here and tell me!
Our newest theme is finally done, and at the moment it’s Keynote 4 (’08) only. The official release will be on Monday, but if you’re a fan of our work, you can find it here:
There’s a movie linked there, but it only really works if you let it completely load before attempting to watch it (it gets stuck reloading until it fully loads).
Look for a real page on our site and a real press release on Monday.
I’ve been tinkering with Keynote ’08 (by the way, the app itself is tagged as Keynote 4 in the about box) and it’s a love hate thing all over again (mostly love).
The good things are real time savers for Theme makers like myself. If most of your photo cutouts are rectangular, the new media Place holder function, combined with the new Photo Frames stoke function, are a complete replacement for the old photo cutout system. Heck, you can even make odd shaped placeholders, as long as you don’t want a frame around them. The only real need for photo cutouts now is if you want to make odd shaped cutouts with dressing or frames around them.
My only complaint with this new system is that you can’t use an image placeholder that’s grouped. I have a photo frame that resembles a slide, and I want the photo to sit behind it, and always move with it. That just won’t work with this system, so in my new theme, I’ll have to include instructions on how to use this image frame.
This brings me to another complaint…if you create your own custom Photo frame for use inside Keynote, it has to be installed inside the Keynote app itself. The drawback is, no one else will have that frame, and if they open your .key file, the frame will just be missing from around the photo. I’m hoping at some point Apple sees fit to notice when there are 3rd party frames installed and give you the option to move them into the .key file. When that file is opened on a new machine, Keynote would display it properly.
Another discovery I made just a few minutes ago is with the custom Keynote shapes many of us have been using in our themes lately. In Keynote 2 and 3, if you had a custom Keynote shape with a hole in it, and you chose to make it editable, the hole would go away, or the shape would freak out and get all messed up. Now, though you can’t create a shape with a hole in it, you can EDIT a shape with a hole in it, and the hole stays intact. This is a huge step forward in functionality, because it allows the end user to edit shapes without breaking them.
Anyway, we’ll be posting more reviews and other stuff over the coming days as we really tear into Keynote ’08.
I thought I’d post a blog entry tonight, mostly since I haven’t posted anything in a long while and the site appears dead (Doh! I hadn’t noticed Ken posted a few blog entries regarding his new toy).
I’m currently working on an ipod/dvd version of PowerBlue. The reason this would be a different theme than the standard is that it will be tailored for TV (and to a lesser extent, the iPod). Many tv’s have overscan (unless you’ve gone HD) and people have quickly realized that with a normal theme, they lose a lot of info around the edges of their slides when viewing a DVD presentation on a regular TV set. This version of PowerBlue will take care of that. It will also be tweaked for TV colors with things like 10% black added to the white text to tone it down for tv viewing with less flicker (white is especially bad on a regular TV set).
I’m also working on a complete redesign of the “portfolio” themes from Keynote Gallery. I basically started with the original theme as an inspiration, but the final will be a vastly different. It will also be more of a niche theme, made mostly for presenting photos (but it will contain bullet and other standard layouts, just in case folks want to use it for presentations). I’ve also got a chunk of Frames 2 done, but it’s not anywhere near being ready for a release.
Past that, the only other things on the table are more tutorials for the site. I have a TON of ideas, I just need to force myself to sit down and write them out (complete with screen shots).
We’ve been using our iPhone over the weekend with EDGE, WiFi, and voice and are, on the whole, pleased with the experience. The iPhone is one of those devices that you get and then, since it’s so easy to use, you spend most of your time thinking about how cool the future can be with this as a starting point. Just yesterday, I came up with three business ideas that center on the idea of a fast, WiFi enabled device in the hands and pockets of a fairly well-heeled populace.
Each day is bringing us closer to the release of the iPhone. And with each day, there’s a little more info coming out including today’s release of the rate plans. There’s no doubt that the decision to purchase has already been made by many and there are those that are still waiting for more details. However, there are a few specifics that I think are so far under the radar, that they’re not going to get the QuickTime introduction treatment or even a bullet point on the website. Here’s a list of a few things, some supposedly a given with no specific information and some that haven’t been mentioned anywhere. Even after we pick up an iPhone on Friday, some may still remain unclear, but these are what we’re looking for.
Finally, after 5 years with the same G4 tower, and over 3 years with the same G4 PowerBook, I’m finally upgrading. I’ve already got my new 17″ MacBook Pro, and tomorrow I’ll be ordering a new 8-Core Mac pro tower. No, these aren’t just for messing with Keynote on. I do Mac consulting as my day job, and I also do various web and video editing projects on the side. My new tower has to last me another 5 years, so I figured, why not go for the top dog. I’ll most likely post some speed tests once I get it. The best test I know currently is exporting the QuickTime timers I sell. They’re built in Keynote, and it usually takes hours to export the longer ones. It will be interesting to see just how long they take on the new tower.
yes, I’m a slacker. I let my blog go for weeks with no entries. To be honest, I actually have been busy enough that I forgot I even had a blog. In the last few months I have managed to make it to Nashville, TN twice, Las Vegas once (for Final Cut Pro level 1 certification) and Colorado Springs (to work for a client for a week at the Broadmoor, awwwwyeeaaahhh!). And I’ll be heading BACK to Vegas in a few weeks for the Apple NAB event (weee!).
In other news well…there’s be NO news on the Keynote front short of a few theme and extra announcements over the last few months. I have finally ordered a 17″ MacBook Pro so I can finally test out Keynote on a decent piece of hardware (and possibly take a look at Office 2007 to see what we’re in for when the Mac version ships later this year). I ended up getting the refurb of the current model, so no pretty box for me. Still, I saved a bundle and it’ll be a nice replacement for my 15″ 1.25 ghz PowerBook G4.
Anyway, look for more blog postings soon. I’m toying with some new story ideas and will likely hash them out in the coming weeks.
I keep meaning to post to the blog, and then I proptly forget to. And so it goes I guess when you don’t have a “real” commercial blog.
Anyway, on to more interesting things.
It looks like I’ll possibly be attending NAB this year (first time ever). I’m not only a fan of Keynote, I’m a fan of Final Cut Pro (I just got certified for FCP Level 1 a few days ago). I’m really hoping (along with most Mac fans) that Apple announces something BIG at the show. My guess (only a guess) is they’ll announce the release date of new 8 core towers, Leopard, and Final Cut Pro 6 (plus updates of all the included apps). I say announce because it would make sense to show them off at NAB, but wait until Leopard is done to ship them. Same with FCP. My guess is version 6 will require the goodies in 10.5.
So what the heck does this have to do with Keynote!? Nothing, though I suspect we’ll see iWork 07 and iLife 07 come out at the same time. And I suspect Keynote will also require the goodies in 10.5. I’m really hoping too that Apple sees fit to add an Export to iPod/iTunes function in Keynote so we don’t have to do a double export (once to a movie file, then through QT Pro into the iPod format) in order to make iPod movies.
Anyway, just my thoughts for the day.
I finally moved the news system to WordPress 2.0 (our server won’t support 2.1 yet). This opened up access to a bunch of new plug-ins, one of which lets us not have to moderate comments any longer (though if your comment has certain key words in it, it’ll get tagged for moderation).
I also installed a Digg plug-in, but for the moment, it only supports manually adding it to a story, so if we write a story that we think has a chance on Digg, we’ll add the button…if YOU feel like a story should be dugg, post the Digg story url in the comments and we’ll add the button right away.
Other than that, look for the official product launch of PowerBlue tomorrow morning (and pray the new plug-ins don’t break anything!).
I posted one little geeky story on Steve’s use of what was most likely a new version of Keynote and it spread all over the internet. You can find the story on the news page (I’m too lazy tonight to link it here). First macRumors posted it, then Tuaw.com, then DaringFireball gave us a tiny mention (which totally shocked me) and there have been sightings in languages I can’t read all over the web. We got Dugg, but not enough to end up anywhere you could find us without searching hard (though I did add a Digg This plugin to our news system).
All this BEFORE I released the new PowerBlue theme. Too bad I wasn’t a little more prepared or I might have been able to ride the traffic wave. I’m hoping it continues a bit more now that the theme is actually up on the site for sale.
By the way, this is the first theme release in nearly two years for us. Now that I’m back in the swing of theme making, I hope to release a few more this year (or at least get all the old Keynote Gallery themes up for sale again). Also on the list of things to do is upgrade the news system to WordPress 2 (2.1 is already out). That should make things a bit nicer, at least for the comments (no more moderating the comments!).
Anyway, I had my brush with Mac fame, and managed to finally get a new Theme out for sale…overall it was a good week
UPDATE: We’re going to have a big sale coming Monday, but I noticed a few of you bought the theme already at the full price. I sent the coupon code to my Yahoo list, but forgot to post it here. Sorry about that! If you want a nice discount on anything and everything in the store, put in the code FIRESALE and you’ll save 25% off anything you buy. Also, look for the “Theme Collection” to be updated with the new theme (with a new price of $99.95). The press releases will go out Monday, but I’ll be updating things on the site over the weekend.
With all the traffic coming from MacRumors today, I thought I’d post another blog entry. I’ve been working long and hard hours over the last few weeks, trying to get our new PowerBlue theme ready for release. It’s darn near ready, though I’ve hit quite a few little snags along the way (and in the process found a few Keynote bugs). The web page is nearly done, so I thought I’d post it here for our fans to take a look.
The tabs at the bottom of the page aren’t quite done, and of course there’s no price or link to the store as I haven’t even built the installers yet, let alone uploaded them. I’m in the midst of creating some demo slides for a sample QT movie, and then I have to finish making a tutorial that will come with the theme. As I’m already getting questions about the theme, you’ll see the last tab is for an FAQ. Some of the questions are things like, “Can I change the color of this theme?” or “what about circular cutouts?” Since those two are easy, I’ll answer them right here…YES, you can change the colors on this theme. All the photo cutouts are Keynote shapes with holes in them, so you can easily change out the background file in your .key package and the entire theme will change. As for the circular cutouts, with Keynote 3′s new Mask with Shape tool, you can easily mask your photos with a circle shape and add a shadow. It’ll look just like the photo cutouts that come with the theme. This works because the shadows of the cutouts are cast OUT away from the cutout and not inside it.
Anyway, look for a release in a few days (maybe even tomorrow if I can get the samples done). As always, expect a fair price for a whole lot of functionality and extras.
EDIT: We’ve posted the demo movie on that page now, so you can get an idea of what the theme looks like in action.
EDIT 2: Looks like we’re shaping up for a Monday release…we’ve got a few other goodies lined up too, so it should be an interesting day.
First things first. Microsoft might not know digital audio players, but these CHAIRS are COMFY! I’d rather be here than in the press area anytime any day. So, now you know that there’s no iWork ’07 yet, let’s look at our other friends that we use to help us make fantastic presentations.
On the morn of yet another Macworld and the Keynote world is all abuzz! Not with some new silly celly or media gadget but with what a new version of iWork may hold for us. While the Pages people may be scratching their heads in wonderment, we at least get a sneak peek at the new features from Steve Jobs himself! Well, not personally of course, I’m talking about those prior “special events” where the “presentation app” that Steve is using does some things that I can’t accomplish in my copy of Keynote. While, some of the obvious additions to Keynote can be gleaned from that, I’m not here to talk obvious, like new transitions or animation modes. No, my predictions will be features that no one (probably not even Apple) has thought of! But, before we rush headlong into what’s coming, let’s take a look back and see how I did with last year’s predictions.
1) Bulleted LISTS!! – well, there were improvements to how bulleted lists are handled, so let’s call this one dead on!
2) New export option! – What do you know? Two for two! Well, I was wrong about playing cards and luncheon meat..oh, and glass, BUT there WERE new export options! We’ll call this one a tie.
3) Keynote Player for Windows! – Isn’t that what Boot Camp does? I’m gonna say this one is too close to call.
4) Special PowerPoint export! – I don’t think anyone will disagree that the PowerPoint export is indeed “special”. I’m giving this one two thumbs up!
5) MPEG display fixer-upper! – Sure, I got the color wrong, but it did get fixed! This one gets filed under yassir youbetcha!
And the extra special beta tester news? That was right on the money so I’ll call that one cash on da barrel-head!
And now, for what you’ve all been waiting for, this year’s list of “New Keynote Features”
1) Synched presentations!
Many have battled with this particular issue for some time, and Apple has come through with a solution! Using the iSight camera and the built in bluetooth, Keynote scans to determine how important a certain presentation is (judging by the number of people attending and how many bluetooth devices they have) and will, at some random point, crash wildly and ceremoniously, sure to “sink” any presentation! Not a feature that I’d want, but I’ll just say next time, make sure your spelling is correct in your feedback to Apple.
2) Special “Al Gore” mode
You didn’t think that Steve is the only guy that had access to new versions of Keynote, did you? Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t JUST the presentation parts of his documentary that used Keynote. The entire film was set up as a Keynote presentation and simply exported to QuickTime!! The only downside is that when using this mode, your presentation can only be about Global Warming
3) Price Break!
This is EXCELLENT news. The new version of iWork with all it’s spiffy new features will probably retail for $199.99. Not to fear, though, as users will be able to upgrade their old version of iWork at a reduced price! (Proof of purchase will be whether or not you’ve got the money to buy it.)
4) New LINK options
Keynote currently offers ways to link to other slides and even other presentations. This feature will be greatly expanded in Keynote 4 to include links to fingerprints found on various objects, links to foreign assets, links to nefarious plots and scams, links to government conspiracies and at least one Link to the Past (in coordination with Nintendo).
5) One more thing…
To add a hint of surprise and a bit of splash to ANY Keynote presentation, the newest version will now add a “One more thing” slide to the end of every presentation. The thing is, no one, not even YOU will know if it’s going to pull up an image from iPhoto of your last root canal, a video from iMovie of that fall you took on the first icy day, or that guilty little tune that you claim not to like but has the highest rating AND play count of any song you own. This is guaranteed to make the night before any presentation as anxious as the one that happens in January!
So there you have it, another senseless complete waste of time from the fun-loving folks at KeynoteUser. Here’s hoping that these predictions are as accurate as the ones from last year and that, if nothing else, you at least got a little chuckle from our antics. We’ll be watching the Keynote carefully today and will report back any REAL info we find.
Happy Macworld Day!