Design, Programming, Music and Life

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Next Monday

3:29 PM Posted by Jon West No comments
So it is one week after I decided to change how a typical Monday goes, and I do have to admit, no day since then has been the same. This morning was filled with me taking my daughters to the dentist, because one of them was getting a couple teeth pulled. After that, we came home and rested, she was in way too much pain to go back to school I felt. Well, I shouldn't say that we rested, the girls did while I spent the rest of the morning sending out my resume. With the way the ecconomy has been moving recently, I am going to be working as a freelance designer again while I am still looking for a regular paying job. I am sure that there are plenty of single jobs to bid on or things in the area that could be done. I need to work on my website pitch a little though, I'm sure that I have gotten quite rusty. As for my pitch to, my Kudos website idea, I have high hopes for this idea, but I am not seeing enough traffic through their website to convince me that what they think is going to happen really is. I don't feel that StartGarden is being seen by enough investors to make it take off. This is the same problem I came up against when running through my "Thought Market" concept. Yes, it will gain traction over time and through word of mouth, but what sites like that really need up front is ad space on MSNBC, and CNN. They should start off by catering to the investors, but making the ability to post ideas still free. The other end of what StartGarden needs is a heavy social aggregation tool for the people who submit their ideas. On a side note, allow them to edit all their pictures after creating an idea. Allowing users to create an idea, then edit it till they feel it is ready for submission would also be a suburb solution. I don't want to come off as vain, but I could really help what you have going there quite a bit. StartGarden is an idea that I was working on years ago, just under a different name. And here I though that I would have nothing to say today ;) go figure, anyhoo, I will post something new soon, just have to work on finishing it up.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kudos idea - revision 1

1:48 PM Posted by Jon West No comments
Today I am revising an Idea I had posted on Google+. The reason for this revision is to make it simpler and easier to get off the ground. But to fill in those that haven't heard my Kudos site idea, here it is:

"Ok, New idea for today is... wait for it... myKudos, a web app that has two main categories, one for things the user has done, and another for things said about their work. the only stipulation for Kudos is that it must be positive. the user signs in, creates an account, and can either upload Kudos from school, work, Mom, etc or their own work. Any compliments about their work can be left in comments, allowing other users the ability to flag negative comments to be removed.

the reason for this app idea is to find a way to make a difference in society by making a difference on the individual.
it has been proven that reflecting on ones accomplishments is a great way to gain confidence and ease of mind."

Now instead of making it a web app, I will just start off with a simple multi user blog type backend, allowing the users to open up directly to their page. Their accomplishment will be posted in a thumbnail view across the top, and then listed with intros in the main content space. All controls for the site will be located on a simplified bar across the top, kind of like how Android 4 design specifications are. This will also allow a smooth transition into the mobile version of the site as well.
For computer browsers, you will have a collapsible sidebar on the left that allows for further organization and access to various groups or subscriptions. Which brings me to my next revision. Groups and subscriptions.

When you are on the public timeline, you can view all incoming Kudos in real time as Thumbnails attached to a brief intro. If the user views one, it will take them to that users page, where they can subscribe to their accomplishments. The groups are sets of people with like accomplishments, for instance you will have groups for Business Management, Design, Customer Service, friendship, family, etc. This allows users to also include or block themselves from certain groups too. This will only be on the public end.

I feel that I do also have to add that this site should be set up to deny any negative posts. If a post is made and flagged as negative, then it should be taken offline immediately and set up for review. If the post is found to be positive, then it will be made public again and blocked from any further flagging. In the case of people making things up to make themselves look better, I don't think we will have too much of a problem with that, those types are even easy to spot on Facebook.

I will post again soon on the monetization of this site and how it should be set up. If you like the idea so far, leave me a comment and help me convince myself it is worth a look into kickstarter.

I submitted the idea to StartGarden :) If you are interested, endorse it :P

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turning lemons into lemonade

8:59 PM Posted by Jon West 1 comment
     The reason I did not post anything on the 25th was because it was my day off and I resigned from my job. I had been there almost two years, helped out in many ways, and never had a single complaint. It was no longer a challenge for me anyway. I can't go into any details without having lawyers knocking at my door, but I can say that I enjoyed the experience.
     I am looking at this as a new start. a chance to get to know my family again and find what really drives me and my arts. I have been spending all of my energy channeling my creativity into logic and stats that I feel I have lost touch with part of myself. It's like driving in the rain really, some people can't drive too well in the rain because the rain and windshield wipers distort the view too much, and others can drive through a whole storm without even turning on the wipers. I tend to be the latter, because I look around the drops on the windshield to see a clear path in front of me. Why cant i do the same with my life? I knew something in my life had to change in order to make some waves, but I had no idea that I would end this week without a job. Oh Well :) If life gives you lemons, Make some Lemonade!!
     As it turns out, this turn of events has sparked a little creativity in me, I started on my business cards, and even got them finished and printed, they are in the mail as of this weekend :) My next venture is going to be setting up some web space, then i can work on a nice original design for a portfolio site. I'm thinking I could  bring out Swift3D and put something attractive together, give some of my HTML5 skills a test.

IDEA - 3D Printed Business Cards

So I have been working on getting a new business card design put together, and I took a different road this time. Instead of starting with the usual PS, or Paint.NET, I started with Cinema 4D, and made my design into a model. This 3D Model can now be made in a 3D Printer. Now the benefit to this is that it has texture, it is sturdy, and it is very appealing to the eyes.

The purpose of this form factor is for advertising my mobile app skillz, I wanted to pick something that would scream that on sight. After pricing it all out using a two step method, it will come to about $4.00 a card or just over. This just means that I get to start off with a cardboard knockoff ;)
I am working on a few more ideas like this one, so I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Web site adventure

6:55 PM Posted by Jon West No comments
So I have been tooling with an idea for a while to get a web site up and running. This website idea has plenty of potential, and would not cost that much to start it on my own. I could build it myself, using what limited knowledge I have of HTML, Java and ASP to do it, but I am not confident that my skills would do the idea justice, and I want this to be capable of success as soon as it hits the ground.
I would be willing to partner up with someone on this venture, I have minimal reserves about that, but the fact stands, that they need to be a letter coder than I am for this to work.
My old friend Matt could throw this idea together within a week or two tops, it's really not that complicated at all. Now if I could only pitch the idea without giving it away ;)

Keep posted, I might throw some of my mockups or a kick starter project out there. We will have to see.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Outside of the box confirmation

12:51 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , , No comments
So I was browsing the web, looking for some more Augmented Reality designs when I came across this page: And there it was, number 7), I had done this years ago as a test for some of the new AR tools hitting the market. Who would have thought that my foul attempt would make it to a list like this :)

So maybe I will start on my Augmented Reality project I have been planning. Thanks for a little confirmation there peeps ;)

Not just another Monday

10:08 AM Posted by Jon West , , , , 1 comment
So today is just another typical monday, but I am refusing to let it be typical. Today's plan is to do everything a little bit differently so my normal routine is put off. This should force a bit of a creative spark if I do it right.
Now I don't normally work on music this early in the week, but today I did, and I started with Jazz. Came up with a few basic chords and rifts, just have to get the harmonics right and soon it will become a song :)
Willow and I also spent a little bit of time doing stretches and exercises, well, she did a couple stretches and then tried to grab my face for a while while I was doing sit-ups. Then she passed out soon after that.
We will see how the day goes, so far it's a nice adventure :)

Update: I was able to create a good dozen plus parts for the song, just have to export them to my desktop and start throwing them on a timeline and adding some effects. Good day so far :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Long weekend

I'm planning on starting my schedule change this upcoming week, which means that I will have worked a bit more than I am used to before I get a day off. So I am taking my time relaxing before I log into work tonight.

I hope to start work on one if my website ideas next week, still have to price out a hosting service that will work well for it. I've already decided to use a version of community builder for the user side of the site. Not sure if that is the best decision so far, we will see.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Google+ widget WIP

12:36 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , , , , , , , No comments

So I have been working a bit more on my Google+ widget for iOS. Right now I am using it inside Dreamboard and it is very usable. Sometimes though, the frame likes to use the screen size instead of the window size, but I will figure it out. I think it is not too shabby for only spending 20 minutes on it a month :) Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get an offer for something that will help me afford more time on it. (hint,hint) Here are some pics of what I have so far.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dusting off the resume

So I have been working as a team lead in technical support for a while now, and after getting this far already, I realize that this is not where I want to be in life. So I am once again passing out my resume to see what is available out there. I would love to find something in design or sound engineering but I will probably take something else it it comes along first. I can do art and modeling for game design so there is always that option too.

We till see what the future brings :)