Notes to self about hardcore email, not for services where you drop your gnarly html in and they come out smelling like roses.
- If you want your emails to show up properly in Gmail you MUST inline all your CSS
- Tables, tables, tables. Tables inside of tables. Inside of tables. Unfortunately this is the most reliable way to get your email to show up properly across most major email client/browser/OS combinations.
- Try not to leave white space in your message body. Getting tagged by the spam filter will do nothing for the message you’re trying to project with your email.
- Keep it small. Smaller image sizes, less number of images. Faster load. dodge the spam filter.
- Add alt text to important images. Same reason.
- Assume that most people won’t have images enabled and design around that. Not everyone is going to be bothered to enable images. I don’t.
- Remember to test for known email client quirks
- CHECK EVERYTHING (major.) All (important) mail clients. All (important) browsers. All (important) OS.
Random note: I tried to have “Table” in brackets in the name but it borked. Database sanitisation anyone?
So recently I finally gave up my old Palm Centro and traded up for a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and one of the first things I thought about doing was ordering a new skin for it. I’ve broken this down into two sections for people who don’t like to read: The gist, and the nitty gritty.
- Cheaper than the rest pricing
- Purchasing through PayPal
- Shipped in given time frame
- A not very professional site: takes some thinking to navigate
- No image size help: didn’t know if the image would turn out fuzzy or not
- Confirmation email vague: No indication of whether or not product has shipped
- No tracking number for most orders
- Color was not as expected: product came out purple looking when my image was blue
- Image was grainy: probably due to no image size help
The Bottom Line:
You get what you pay for. For me, I’d go with someone else.
Last time I ordered any sort of skin (Not-so-new Mobile Phone Skin), I went with a site called Skinit. I didn’t pay much attention to details since the concept of skinning a phone was new to me, so things like image resolution didn’t occur to me when I was ordering and so I used a fairly small image that I already had sitting around on my computer. The site was fairly pricey (even with a coupon) and my biggest disappointment was when the skin arrived, I found a Skinit logo near the bottom of the skin. I would understand them having it if it were a FREE skin, but why would they even think of putting it on a skin I PAID for?! That was a year or two ago so maybe they’ve changed it since then.
Either way, I wanted to try a new service and see how they faired. After some poking around, I decided to go with Unique Skins, mostly due to price. This experience reenforced what everyone and their mother has been telling you since you were born: you get what you pay for.
I guess it’s a personal thing since I work on this kind of stuff, but having a professional looking modern design for a website that I’m buying from would make me feel much better about buying something from a site. The Unique Skins site is fine, but it doesn’t look that up with the time and the interface isn’t that easy to navigate through.
Fine. That’s not what I came here for anyways, so onto the skin editor! Here’s where the important stuff is. Uploading an image is fairly easy, but the one thing that bugs me is that there’s no help on image size. I had no idea if the image file was large enough for the skin because there’s really no way (other than eyeballing it) to tell if your image will come out looking sharp on your skin.
The payment process was pretty straight forward, no complaints there. There were some aspects that could have been better, but if you don’t care about your order after it’s shipped then this next part isn’t a big deal. Got my confirmation email as expected, but there was no confirmation email when the order was shipped and no tracking info included.
The first thing I noticed right off the bat was how red the print out was. The print job was pretty spotty and I could clearly see white spots dotting my skin. Disappointing, but I guess part of that was my fault. Application of the skin was fairly straightforward, but applying an odd looking skin is sort of pointless no?
I’m debating whether or not to take this skin off and try one from Gela Skins. I’ve heard tons of good things about them! Too bad I didn’t have a coupon this time…
Some custom character images for people on Aywas, first from left to right, up to down.
Request for the winner from the DA holiday raffle. This turned out to be a lot larger than intended, but I really liked the detail on the character. I started to color it briefly but found that blue and white was way better. Also, I wanted to practice (speed) shading since I’ve noticed I have a problem knowing when to stop :(
Recently, I had the pleasure of getting a brand new tablet. I finally settled on getting the Wacom Bamboo Capture after looking through all the specs on available Bamboo products at the time.
I knew that I would be mainly looking at the Bamboo line since it’s the most affordable and gets the job done. If you’re way more awesome than I am and want a better version, the Wacom Intuos is probably where you want to visit.
There are three tablets in the current Bamboo line: the Connect, the Capture, and the Create. The main differences between the three (besides the price) are the touch capability and the size of the tablet. The Connect is the only one without the touch capability and the Create is the only one with the larger workspace.
I ended up picking the Capture because it’s got touch capability and I probably wouldn’t have had enough desk space for a bigger tablet. They get cumbersome! If you’re going to be using the tablet with a mac, this is a nice touch because all the swipes are supported. Granted, the surface isn’t as smooth as the mac, but at least you won’t have to shell out extra dough for the swipe mouse unless you already have one.
The one odd thing about the tablets are that the Connect comes in a black and green color, while the other two come in silver and black. I would have preferred to have the black and green scheme, but then I would be giving up the touch functionality. Boo.
If you’re a developer, another noteworthy addition to the Bamboo may be the ‘apps’ that Wacom has added to its software. Nothing too interesting, but if you want to try your hand at developing apps for the tablet, have at it!
But if you’re like me and think that there’s not really a point to creating tablet apps, then… on to the results!
Easy touch disable - Sometimes this feature really does get in the way, so with a touch of a button… away it goes! It’s not new though, since previous versions of the Bamboo line have this feature.
Plug & Go - Basically all you need to get started. Of course, If you’re using things like pressure sensitivity or mess around with button functionality you’ll need to install the software that comes with. If you’re just looking to use it as a mouse then you don’t really need anything else.
Wireless feature - It’s not something I have at the moment (wireless kit sold separately.) Can’t say if this is definitively a good or bad thing. Since it sounds cool in concept, I’m just going to stick this here.
Short USB connection - This may or may not be a good thing, depending on your preferences. If you’ve got the tablet right up next to your computer that’s probably a good length for you. If you’ve got a keyboard tray or a large desk, you’ll need a longer wire. Luckily, the wire’s just a regular mini USB to USB connection so in theory it should be easy to swap out.
Bamboo tablet software - One of the things that got very annoying very quickly was the bamboo tablet software which, for me, launched on startup. It was worth going through the first time around, but you’ll probably want to uninstall it sooner or later.
Thickness - This tablet is much thicker than the last tablet I had (Bamboo Pen and Touch) and not in a particularly good way.
No more eraser - The eraser side of the pen is different from previous versions of the Wacom tablets. There’s no longer a physical ‘eraser’ that pushes down as you’re erasing something. Also, I don’t know if this is related, but I can no longer get the eraser feature to activate when I turn the pen over. Hmm. Is it gone forever?
Oversensitive (?) - Sometimes when both touch and pen are enabled they tend to screw around with each other. For instance, enabling screen savers with the pen is virtually impossible for me. I either have to disable touch, or put the pen down and swipe.
The Gist Of it
Sadly, there isn’t much to say about this tablet. There isn’t anything particularly new or wow-ing about this tablet. Kind of disappointing. So…what does this all mean? It means that although this tablet works more or less the way to need it to, if I could pick again, I’d rather go back to the Bamboo Pen and Touch.
A sort of holiday inspired speed painting that got out of hand. What does this look like to you? I had a friend say it looked like a bat-dog D:
The ‘correct’ answer is supposed to be a baby reindeer that’s sitting in the snow.
It’s December everyone! Time for the 7th annual free entry art raffle! Interested? Just leave a message on this post and you’ll be automatically entered. It’s that simple. Winner will be chosen on Dec. 20th, Happy holidays everyone!
I realized like two thirds of the way through coloring it that it looked much better in one color. Random sketch that turned into a lion.
Something you might see if you go cloud spotting. The terrible name streak continues… dum dum duuuuuum.
For those who don’t know what this is supposed to be, it’s a weird attempt at a cloud dragon. I originally wanted to do some mufasa-like cloud picture, but obviously I deviated a lot from the original goal. Oh well.
I tried to set the image around sunset time, so all the clouds are pink. I need much more work on color theory.