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  • Looking for flashy web site templates?
    By on December 28th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    I was looking for web site templates and I stumbled upon EasyTemplates.com. The first word that came out of my mouth (literally) was “WOW!” after previewing this Flash template. This is only one of many Flash templates available from the site and it also offers traditional HTML templates, as well as e-commerce templates that utilize PHP and mySQL database. The templates are categorized to suit everyone’s needs.

    Why do I recommend these Easy Templates? You can edit the text, button labels, email form, background music, and pictures in Notepad or any other text editor. So anyone, even those who don’t know anything about Flash can make changes to personalize their web site. If you don’t want 100% Flash only website but rather a normal HTML website template with Flash elements at the top, Easy Templates offers templates with both HTML and Flash elements. There are also the more advanced Flash Templates for those that know Macromedia FLASH MX 7.0 , 8.0 or CS3/4. For photographers, with over 50 Flash photography templates to choose from, they can use these photo album templates made to show off their photographs, in a “Flashy” way.

    The price for these templates are also resonable that range from USD$42 for a Flash intro template or you can have your own full-blown YouTube-style video web site to share movies with friends or to your potential customers for a mere USD$199.

    Also want to note that EasyTemplates.com also offers its customers a 1-year free web hosting and for $1 per month from then on through Hostgator. Honestly you really can’t find a hosting service for $1 a month.

    So if you are looking for professionally done web site templates, be it written in HTML or Flash, take a look at what EasyTemplates.com has to offer.

  • What I think about Adobe Flex
    By on December 1st, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    I first heard of Adobe Flex from a friend through MSN chat. He told me it is one of many RIA technologies out there like Microsoft Silverlight, AJAX and JavaFX. Then it was during a team meeting my co workers started talking about Web 2.0, avatars and RIA. Since then, the words Adobe Flex have been stuck in my head so I have decided to take a look myself.

    Adobe provides a getting started guide with Flex 3, the current version of Flex which you can take a look here. It covers from building a basic application to a more advanced application. And by the way, you need to get a copy of the SDK (software development kit) in order to compile the xml-based MXML source code into SWF file (basically Flex creates Flash content just like any other Flash contents you see on the net).

    I won’t go too technical just like my other blogs as this is intended to be a overview. But I will write about the pros and cons.

    Pros:

  • Easy to pick up, if you know HTML then you will find it even easier to pickup since Flex consists of tags similar to HTML.
  • If you know java scripts, then you will also find Flex’s action scripts work similarly. But if you are no web designer, don’t panic as you can create a fairly attractive looking site using just Flex tags.
  • Create attractive sites with minimal programming and/or web design knowledge (of course its good to have some and since you are interested in web design you should KNOW some).
  • It is an open source framework so you can find many samples to use on your site.
  • Cons:

  • If you want to have even fancier and flashier effects for your site, the learning curve may get steeper. An example would be the Book Beta Demo, it supports transparency, page shadows and even page tearing! Honestly that demo opened my eyes, not just about Flex but RIA in general.
  • Even though over 90% of desktops with internet connection today have installed Flash Player (to play SWF file). It might slow down or even freeze older PCs, something to keep in mind when designing a Flex website.
  • I love Flex so much I have decided to redesign my site using it as well, its not done yet but you should get the idea :)
    Project Mobius

    As usual any comments/feedbacks are welcome and I hope you enjoy this review!
    webtechreview

  • For those thinking of getting into web design the Web...
    By on November 22nd, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    This is my first blog and first product review, I have put in a a lot of efforts into writing this. Ok, let’s get to the point.

    For your information, I have been a web/graphic designer for more than 10 years, I am not saying I’m a professional (skill wise) but I can say I know enough to judge that this Web Design Mastery is a good read for those wanting to know more about web design, promoting your own website, whether for business or personal purpose.

    From the site it shows you the topics that are covered extensively in 8 volumes. If you are really interested, you can just go straight to signing up for a free trial which contains 77 pages of the full 500+ page ebook and no I don’t gain anything from anyone by signing up for the trail version ebook and that’s not why I’m here.

    I got myself a copy of the trail ebook by signing up on the site, you can unsubscribe from the list once you receive a link to download the trail ebook through email (note if you are using yahoo or hotmail accounts, the email will most likely be in your junk mail folder). By the way its in a form of PDF, you will need Acrobat Reader in order to view it, you can get it here.

    I have read through the content and honestly, even for a trial version, it covers a lot of the concepts and ideas of how to plan, create and promote your website. I am not going in details about the content, if you are still reading and interested, try it out yourself :) But there are a few key points that I should point out:

    • Be passionate about what you do, in this case web design. You will be very disappointed if all you want is easy and quick money. There is no such thing, as least most of the time!
    • Don’t be cheap! Invest money to make money. Personally I think it also motivates you to work hard for the money invested.
    • Build a website in an ethical way, for example, don’t use images without the person’s permission.

    If you made it all the way down here, I am really happy because my blog was worth reading. It means a lot to me if you could leave me feedback as well, even the negative ones please as I want to improve and get better at blogging. Finally, if you are truly interested about web design, get yourself the trial copy now and start making that site that you have always dreamt of making. It is also rewarding to see your own creation for the first time. I hope I have enlightened you a bit about web design (I used these two words so much I know!)

    Feel free to check out my site!
    Project Mobius

    Thank you for reading and I will continue to try my best to produce quality reviews!
    Webtechreview

  • Technical – Second Life Contemporary Design
    By on November 12th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Ever since I have started and finished the Digital Building a week ago, I have been itching to design and start building another structure. I’ve been digging through countless number of architectural pictures to get some ideas on this design and I have stumbled upon Zaha Hadid, an extremely talented architect who creates impressive looking structures. I am amazed and inspired by her designs, jaw dropping, literally. Her Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Vilnius for its organic design as well as the BMW Central Building in Germany for its sharp and futuristic design.

    technical contemporary design technical contemporary design technical contemporary design

    I believe Zaha Hadid’s fan count has just increased by one. :) I’m sure I will fall in love with other architects’ designs as I study along the way but Zaha’s is my first.

    Anyway, back to my own design.

    The exterior design isn’t really based on anything in particular this time, it just popped out of my head all of a sudden. I guess this is like a by product of studying all kinds of designs from different architects. At first I couldn’t think of a name for this build but since it looks technical, at least from the outside, I have decided to call it Technical. People without reading this blog will most likely think I’ve built fighting pick-up truck.

    technical contemporary design technical contemporary design technical contemporary design

    In this design, I’ve used large one piece drop down windows from second floor all the way to the first floor. The main entrance in the middle separates the two sides with large pillars/columns. They are my attempt to create a more striking, bold and structured feel to the overall design. Sort of like a skeleton supporting the skin. I’ve decided not to wrap the skeleton with glass infront but I might change my mind on this. It shows striking, bold and structured feel clearer without glass but I also like the idea of being “revealing” where you can see it but not clearly.

    technical contemporary design technical contemporary design technical contemporary design

    For the interior, I based a little on one of Zaha’s interior designs but nothing close to “copycat” like, just some minor concepts. As usual, there is a lift that will connect both first and second floor. I have trimmed the surface area of the second floor in exchange for the ability to looking down to the first floor. I think having more open area also reduces the feeling of crowdedness and thus making the over all interior more relaxing. The lift platform on the second floor connects to the two suspended glass platforms, one on each side that leads to the rest of the area. In the middle are 5 large metallic columns with each suspended by a wire. I have chosen to use silverish metal texture in combination with the “glow” effect to transform the middle into the center of attention, I’m sure it would still be the center of attention even without the “glow” effect but I wanted the middle to be more dramatic.

    technical contemporary design technical contemporary design

    In my previous projects, 95% of the decorations / ornaments were not scripted, meaning they would not move nor react to user input. For the first time, I’ve scripted these 5 columns to rotate in one direction in a slow but noticable speed. I have set a timer of 5 seconds so that the rotation will alternate between clockwise and counter clockwise. I’m pretty happy with the result.

    I hope you guys like this one as well and I will be back to the drawing board pretty soon for my next project.




  • Daily rant – new Microsoft Hotmail design = hor...
    By on November 6th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Good news Hotmail users! NOT! Microsoft is now forcing us Hotmail users to adapt to the redesigned interface. Why break something that’s been working great for so many years? The first time I logged into Hotmail yesterday, I thought my page wasn’t loaded completely. But it was “done” so the only thing that could explain this was they changed the look and feel again.

    Some people said Microsoft products are generally hated and bashed by when they first come out, but frankly I disagree because I’ve had no problem with Hotmail (most of the time) until now and I had no problem surfing the net with Internet Explorer until I made the mistake of giving the buggy IE 8 Beta a try but that’s beta so bugs are expected and luckily I got a new computer and now using IE 7 instead. Finally, I have no complains using Windows XP either and no I am NOT a MS fanboy.

    Microsoft better get that option of going back to classic mode as soon as possible, I know a lot of people that are getting annoyed by the new design.

    Thank you for listening to my daily rant I feel much better now.

  • Digital Building – Contemporary Design for Seco...
    By on November 4th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    I finally had the time to get back to my architecture/interior design hobby recently. I’m actually not too happy with the exterior design of my previous design – Basic Blocks – Contemporary Home. It was just way too plain and I admit I didn’t put too much thoughts into it and spent nearly 100% to interior design.

      

    This time I focused on the exterior just as much as the interior and based my idea on the Digital Beijing Building by the talented Studio Pei-Zhu.

    I love how the blue lights are “escaping” from the gaps between the columns which really gives the digital as well as the “Matrix” impression to the whole design. In addition to having those blue lights on both sides, they are also visible and extend from the front of the building all the way to the back of the building.

      

    The building consists of two floors with each floor measuring approximately 40m long, 20m wide and 10m high. The prim count (the number of objects) is a bit more than usual mainly because of the “digital” design on the two walls on the sides. The two entrances are well hidden so people will not be able to see them and makes the “digital” flow from front to back without the entrances interrupting it. I have also made heavy use of the “glow” effect both inside and out for the extra lighting effect.

    Overall I am very pleased with this design (finally) and hopefully my next project will be just as fun and satisfying to design and build as this one. Hope you guys like this one as well!

    Comments and feedbacks are always welcome




  • Stewart Design – all your spoilers and auto dec...
    By on October 11th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    If you are looking for afforable car spoilers, Stewart Design has spoilers from 27 different car brands ranging anything from Acura to Ford. OEM paint job is also available for a resonable price. Aside from spoilers, Stewart Design also provides eye catching and professionally designed car and truck side graphics as well as rear window graphics.

  • The Web Tech Reviews layout redesigned!
    By on October 4th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    I apologize if some of you had problem viewing my blog this afternoon because I’ve been playing with this new layout Nano Theme designed by NET-TEC Hosting. I think the orange font color really stands out from the dark grey background. I thought the black/grey/white style is getting a little bit boring so I thought the orange would spice it up a bit. The layout overall is also cleaner and more organized, the old one was a little too crowded.

    Hope you guys like this new layout!