Design, Programming, Music and Life

Monday, May 21, 2012

Changing the world can be done one idea at a time.

     When it comes to having an impact on the world around us, we have very limited resources for changing things in a traditional sense. Yeah, we can think of the next big thing for whatever you are into, but hunches are, most of us will never go anywhere with the idea. What if I told you that regardless if your idea goes anywhere, it can still make a difference, would you still come up with more ideas? I think we should come up with ideas more often as a society. So what if you can't profit from it, the important pat is that you went through the process of thinking of it.

     Let me explain the basics of it for you a bit more. I have come up with tons of ideas and inventions, but I'm not blind to the fact that I'm not the only one who has had that idea either. For every idea come up with, there are at least 100 other people in the world with that same idea. Why? Because these ideas we have are brought about by commonalities in situations, environment, production, design, etc. for every problem solved, there will be more problems or ideas on how to use it. In the past, ideas have been safeguarded and kept secret because of the thought of gain. I believe we now live in a society where this is not needed as much and if we are to continue to evolve as humans, we should learn to share our ideas. After all, if you sit on an egg too long, it spoils anyway. Our ideas are the same way, they spoil if we keep them for too long without further developing them.

     When it came to inventions in the past, we had little choices as to what to do with our ideas, and the majority of those options would make it so your invention never saw the light of day. That has also changed now with the dawn of Croudsourcing and Croudfunding services like StartGarden, KickStarter, etc. the question is no longer about what a few company exec's think of your idea, it is what the public thinks of it.

     Remember that your idea is not unique, and shared by many others across the globe, no mater how smart you are. This means that it is a race to see who can catch the public's eye about the idea first. This also means that the rate of new ideas needs to ramp up a bit too. The more you use your creative muscles, the more you can do with them. So even the act of coming up with a new idea once a month and publishing it somewhere can facilitate a greater change in the world around you that you can imagine. Try it for a while, trust me, you will see the difference if we all keep at it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fantastical Friday

2:35 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , , , No comments
So the week has trickled by and as usual, I tried to keep pretty busy. I am almost done with the first website that I was contracted to work on. Sent in the invoice for what work I have completed so far, then also sent an estimate for the added work remaining on the site.

There were a couple items that were not done, but I at least did find a workaround for everything but the menu. In the end, the only option I had to do a dynamic menu with some drop down functions required the system to be built using sections and categories. Unfortunately this system was not. If I pulled any options from the database, as soon as the client would edit or add an article, the menu would have pulled the wrong data, so that sucked.

Did I mention how much I hate oldschool PHP? Well I do. It's not a fun language to work with when your fixing other people's screw ups. I wont mention it again for a while now. I'm done.

I have a weekend ahead of me now, got Family Fun Night at the kids school, planning on being there. Then I have a whole weekend with my wife planned. Maybe I'll drive her crazy... about me ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Web Work So Far

Over the weekend, I was able to find a couple opportunities for web design and maintenance locally, so that was just awesome. I was also able to start working on ClientX's first website today, and although I got off to a rough start, I quickly got my bearings with the ancient art of PHP and Smarty templates, and got through 3/4 of their requests for the week. That was just my first day working on it too, so you could say that I had a rather productive day. One thing I do to help my productivity while I'm working from home is to set a single tone reminder to go off every 30 minutes. As I'm working, I will let it go through one or two dings before I get up and take a break for a bit. This also helps me stay on task when I'm away from my work, reminding me that I have to get back to it soon.

With this client, I am dropping a whole lot of hints to move towards a better CMS, instead of the custom made one they are using. I can imagine that they have spent thousands of dollars in the past per update because each time they want to add a new function, they have to hire a coder to code that function. Why? There is a whole world of components for systems like Joomla out there that are cheap to implement. That would save the client thousands of dollars over the next few years. Heck! They could even do most of this work themselves if they went that route.

 Another thing I'm kind of liking about this job, is that my contract reserves me the rights to blog my work, and even gives me the rights to all of my code too. This way I can share it if I want to. If I ever figure out how to implement a drop-down menu into this ancient system, I do plan on sharing the menu-box.tpl file. It's been a tough one so far, so I can't be the only one looking for a solution.

 That's about it for today. Things are moving, just have to wait for the road to go up the hill :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

IDEA - Artprize Poster

The people over at released their pick for the 2012 Artprize poster, and many will agree with me when I say that it did not go over very well. The poll was over 75% against it. Coming from their perspective though, they only had a select few submissions for this years contest, so I'm sure the picking was slim.

As an artist in this town, I felt that I had to do my part to show what else Grand Rapids has to offer when it comes to art and poster design. So I have decided to design another poster, instead of being one of those artists that just complains about something and does nothing to better it. This poster really does have a 3D effect to it, and won't produce migraines.

Leave a comment if you like where this is going ☺

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Revamping the resume

4:10 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , , , No comments
So I decided that I need to make a resume that shows who I am and not just what I can do. I think with this first draft I can say that I'm on to something far better than what I had. Now to just cost out printing this thing. Don't think I would need anymore than 20 copies, but the ecconomy does kinda suck, so I'd better make it 50.
This is just step one in reinventing my resume too, all I have done here is shifted forms. The true innovation starts when I start to run out of ideas, that is where the magic happens. As far as this round goes, I might print off a couple and present them around town, but with this form factor, I will also be able to mail my resume as is, afterall, it acts as its own envelope.
Well, its time for a smoke break and then I'm heading out with the fan for some fun. Later peeps!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A day away from technology

10:08 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , No comments

I was thinking that today would be a great day to spend away from the computers. And because of this I ended up spending a lot of time with my daughter outside and ended up also going on a hike with my 2 sons and my youngest son's cub scout troop.

We went out to a little nature preserve in Cannonsburg Mi. today. I had lots of fun remembering all of the plant species we passed by as well as hunting for the perfect walking stick, which I found twice :) I was also able to grab a few good photos and capture a few good memories with the boys. My only regret the whole time is not being able to smoke on the trail, it helps me ground myself sometimes when you of my element.

Had a pretty productive day around the house today too. Got the dishes done, house picked up, and I was even able to get to some of the yard work today too. So I do have a decent sense of accomplishment from today, that should help me when it comes to revamping my resume tomorrow. I just haven't had enough hits from it in its present form.

As I was working on my friends resume yesterday, I realized that I am probably over complicating my resume quite a bit, and I could possibly get it down to a single page that SHOWS who I am, and not just what I can do. I'm taking it as a design project. See how I can reinvent the resume. I have plenty of ideas, just have to get them all down and sort out the good from the bad, then sort the winners by cost. We will see what I come up with :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strident Reminder

2:38 PM Posted by Jon West No comments
So I started working on this song a week ago, and I wanted to get it to a point where I could release a studio edit of it. It is a good mix of instrumentals, heavy guitar and a bit of Drum n' Bass. Hope you all enjoy it :)