Monday, September 30, 2013

tablet in the wild

Well if you must know, owning a tablet is like owing a truck. You are now a useful citizen. Buy a truck and everybody you know wants your help to move something. So the secret to peace and a truck or peace and a tablet is how its decked out. A polished floor on the bed, chrome wheels and really clean interior. "Dude, l was going to call you but I figured you didn't want to mess up your ride." Yes, your truck is a ride. That's like driving your living room sofa.

Your tablet requires some finesse. Have internet but don't develop the habit of using media access services with the sneaky cost extraction methods. Don't use tablet as a phone. If people know you can do all things on your tablet then it might as well be a junky truck. Yeah, they can use their smart phone.............a smart phone is a car, a tablet is a truck. The idea is this tablet is not a mobile access point for others. Families however will have to implement a sharing plan. Oh, what the heck, hook it up to the max and pass it around. Tablet it forward.

I have officially entered the tablet cult. Knowing passerbys always ask "Is that an iPad or Kindle?" "Why no, it's a ZX4j brainwave emulsifier and neutral net stabilizer." You see the smart phone is a "Tweet" machine compared to this.

I had a thought and question as I was going to bed. Instead of running into the dining-room, firing up the laptop (5 minutes), I grab the tablet (1 minute), jot and internet and shut down (10 minutes). The more time I spend with the tablet, the more handy it is. I think I am a teletubbie. I am also getting the hang of drawing, it's a feelie kind of thing. Spend time, doodle, let the tablet into your work flow, less is finally more.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

tablet of the roving artist

Making progress here. I find my tablet useful when I get an idea and can jot it down in text and in picture and in drawing. I want to explain why computer science is a science. The concept is very simple for a user. Follow the exact instructions and get repeatable results. That's it!! Works the same way every time. It's a recipe, no guessing, measure, stir, put in pan and bake, eat it.

One thing I needed to do was transfer a drawing made on my laptop to my tablet and vice-versa. First the transfer, a cloud app called "Dropbox" is handy. I get 2 years of use free. I load the app on laptop and tablet and share the cloud storage, who knows where the server is, but it works great. I could also use a flash drive.

Then the file format. On the laptop Gimp can import, export, save as, etc. On the tablet there is Photoshop Touch and Autodesk Sketchbook and ArtFlow which can import, export in a number of formats. So far I've transfered pictures but not with layers intact. I can work around that but I will read the instructions (RTFM) to see if I can transfer pictures with layers intact.

I should know how to do this, you know how guys are. I put my flexible ego down, pick up the instructions and step by step do it as prescribed. It hurts like hell. I have flashbacks of my old supervisor who said to me "you don't know a darn thing about this job, I am here to train you." The job wasn't that hard or complicated, but instead of schooling him on not bruising my sensibilities, I let him train me (his work-flow), hurt like hell. I got good enough (of course) to invent my own ways of doing things (my work-flow). In the Linux community there is a phrase RTFM which means "read the &#@&* manual". Linux folks are used to reading stuff then doing stuff (after first trying blindly and screwing up everything), so RTFM is a word to the wise. It is also perceived as a forum curse word.

Hey there's a Google app called Voice Search, I just tried. It links to your microphone and to your Google browser. You speak what you want and Voice Search finds it. It works but don't slurrr-yrrr-werds or you'll get strange results.

Well let me go, lots of playing around to do. And I have some projects in mind for you digital artist in the Lorain Ohio area. I want to start an interest group of digital enhanced artists, mostly local. Then maybe an African consciousness book reading and discussion group also local. I'm pretty open but Lorain is lacking in black cultural exercise. This is weird for an area known as Station 100 of the Underground Railroad. (We haven't fully escaped yet and fading away.)

Sunday, September 08, 2013

the crystal tablet predicts

Well it's unofficial, desktops are ancient technology, laptops are old school, and tablets are very hot. Not knocking smart phones, the 10 inch tablet is a tad bit smaller than a standard sheet of paper.

The 10 inch screen is just big enough, the virtual keyboard is fine but with a dock and wireless keyboard, ooh! Looked under the hood (via spec sheet), dual or quad cores for multi-tasking, solid-state memory, flat long life batteries, touch and stylus technology.

Beats the heck out of a slate and piece of chalk. I got ebooks I am actually reading, instructional video clips. I can jot notes like I do in my paper sketchbooks.

This thing is about 3/16" thick. This means they could add a lot of technology and it would be just a little thicker. Come on, its not as thick as a good book yet, can't imagine what else they could put in this thing. It does most of what most people do on a cellphone and computer, just not with big honking hardware.

I got a pic I've been working on, learning how to draw on the tablet. The app is called ArtFlow. It is free from the Google Play app store and only $4.99 to unlock extra features. Lookie!

This is a quonset hut studio with a two cargo container living quarters on the side.

You know you can read all the tutorials you want but the real training starts when you start adjusting and tweaking things while you work through your own ideas. Usually I don't plan to make a pretty picture, just capture the idea, after all it is a sketch and I'm not thinking about a career in architectural rendering. Ha ha I'm free of that kind of striving. Now my artistic stuff I usually use a vector app and there I do aim for a bit of polish.

So here I started with a light pen line adding heavier strokes then using the air brush for washes. Some folks make good use of layers, I have to practice that. You can block out shapes on one layer and more definite forms on the next using the first layer as a guide. When you erase stuff often you worry you can't make the new stuff you draw match the stuff already there. This is just a mind trick, you drew the first part, you are drawing the new part, the SAME PERSON. Just like on paper you blend it together and move on. It takes a little time to wrap your head around drawing on a tablet. I think Deviant Art still has a tablet boot camp tutorial on their site to get you use to digital drawing.

I used CAD tools in my working life, a kind of vector drawing. Very different from this freehand drawing. Exploring and learning is very interesting.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

wearing technology, not

I stopped wearing a wrist watch because they rubbed me the wrong way. My cellphone is a phone, duh! My new tablet does everything the frizzbe does in the movie "Tron", except come back if you throw it or if it's stolen. Who's to say the tablet will be shrunk to a chip and grafted to your scalp? No need for checking in pay pass technology been here for years. If for chance you miss your daily romp pass predetermined checkpoints (hot spots), a hoverdrone will be tracking you trek. Is that seagull really a real bird?

Having a fully activated tablet is like owning a truck, you are now a useful person. No you can't call or txt me on my tablet, this is one of a few private spaces I have left. I would never get any art work done if I have to field calls all the time. So, for creative sanity my tablet is not well connected. The old school has served me well.

There are full body technofibers in the works. You can dress to be an antenna, a hotspot or a blackhole but I'd pay extra to be invisible. These fabrics do come with sweat or moisture warnings, you too could be a lightning rod.

What is the biggest blast in owning a tablet? Why the multiplicity of affordable attachments. Walk in any store, even gas stations, there are covers and plug ins galore. I drove a new rental car, ooh man the technology, but two brackets, some velcro and I have exceeded car tech and I can take it with me. No, it's not a purse, it's my tPC. Hey, I was in Sears and the sales people all had shoulder bags sporting iPads. I needed a ziggy-wiggy, they checked the stock room locally and state wide, on the spot.

Seems the glut of personal computing doesn't require a lot of power and internet connection bares the brunt. Still for heavy stuff like graphics and g, ga, gga, games, a desktop or laptop is cool.

Monday, September 02, 2013

digital appendages

911, what is your emergency? I need a doctor to remove a smart device from the hand of my husband. Calm down and give him a few days, the newness will wear off. No miss, you don't understand, the device has a strong pulse and my husband has fainted...... The medics rush in fast, whip out the paddles and apply them to the device. "Clear!" ZAPP!! The smoking device falls from the man's hand. Good thing we came, the device had a virus and your husband didn't have a backup. Oh, I forgot all about the clone in the closet! Lady it's always good to protect yourself and what about your kids? They're fine, they came into the world with wi-fi but my husband and I only had hi-fi. Tell your husband to stick with wired networks and cable till the ear buzzing stops. He can use the TV remote but not the garage door opener. If he has recurring symptoms he'll have to endure hunt-n-peck therapy on a manual typewriter to be reintegrated into the tech community. Mechanical levers, then tactile pushbuttons, then touch screens. Start him with gloves, then cut the finger tips off the gloves one by one. His capacitive discharge levels were unbalanced (that's a ph thing), watch the salt intake, stay away from tap and cheap bottle water. Hook a ground wire from his pants to the ground when he goes out but never bear footed, (bears can smell bear feet from miles away).

So, I just spent two intensive days at the Lorain Arts Council's 2ns Annual Black River Art Walk. It wasn't as packed as the first, but it was as fun. I used the camera on my Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet a lot, almost 100 pictures a day. I also discovered the video making tools and recorded several bands and two dance troops. It was weird holding the tablet, a big thick square of plastic with a little camera square on the back. Takes two hands and looks kookier than holding a cell phone cam. Gives assuming the position a whole new meaning. The tablet has a 5 mega-pixel camera and takes a 2592 x 1920 pixel picture. Good clear pictures just hold it steady but not zombie stiff. Snap it! 

Hey hey!! I just had to come back and add I just discovered that the same hand gestures that allow you to zoom in and out of a picture or web page also works the zoom in/out of the camera. The "Art Boss" asked me "You got zoom on that thing?", I looked in the manual and so it is. Two fingers on the screen and spread'em or pinch'em. It works, I'm too excited, let me stop.