Category: Blog

Cut & Paste Files on a Mac!

Yes Virginia! There Is A Copy-Paste Function To Move Files In The Mac OS!

I’d love to take credit for this one, but the source is another website. My Adam the computer science major and I debated this one. I have to admit Adam, you were correct!

The Short Answer

If you want the short answer and are a seasoned Mac user:

  1. Select files you want to move in the Finder.
  2. Select “copy” or use the key commands “Command-C”
  3. Open the place where you wish to move the files to in the Finder.
  4. When you wish to move them, instead of the standard copy command “Command-V” instead use”Command-Option-“V””
  5. The files will be moved to the new location.

For more instructions on how this works, here is a link to the source website:

Fix Apple Keyboard Function Keys

Ever have one important key go out on a keyboard and don’t want to buy a new keyboard over one key? Here is a way to work around a broken command, control or option key by remapping another key to do it’s job. This is on a Mac using Mavericks 10.9.5 OS:

Go to the System Preferences located in the Dock:

Locate the Keyboard setting

At the bottom of the dialog box, select “Modifier Keys”

After clicking on “Modifier Keys’ you’ll see the default settings for the command, control, option and cap lock modifier keys. By default they all match their original name, but they can also be remapped to do the same thing when other keys are pressed.

Remap the key of your choice to the new modifier key by changing the function the key applies. In my case I changed the control key’s function to “option key”

Exit the settings by clicking “ok”

Now the key you remapped will apply that broken keys function. In my case now my control key acts as the option key.

Secure Your Website & Improve SEO

Google has announced they will be giving preferential ranking to secure websites over sites that it considers insecure and those having “mixed content” or secure and insecure items.

  • How do I know if this affects my website?
  • If you have a HTTP based website it affects your site.

One indicator is seeing an icon of the letter “i” in a circle in your url address bar at the top of your web browser. This indicates a website is insecure according to Google’s new ranking criteria. The traditional “http” website prefix will also be different on a secure website. A secure site is indicated by the prefix “https” vs. “http”. This issue is easiest to fix in WordPress based websites by locating and installing particular plug-ins and the understanding of how to configure them.

Google’s intention is to increase security for users of the Internet. One disadvantage is the change may cause problems with a website’s previously established search engine rankings. This is particularly true in the area of social media popularity and traffic rankings. Either choice creates problems:

  • Make the change to a secure website and meet the new Google security standard, but potentially hurt previous SEO efforts
  • Ignore the new security requirements and keep previous social media SEO, yet have your website appear insecure.

I personally feel the benefit in my particular situation lies in following the path of security laid out by Google. Since they dominate the SEO and Search markets, they will set the standard and eventually the benefits of keeping those social media benefits will be outweighed by the loss of SEO benefits and customer confidence that your website is secure.

*A safe middle ground might be devising a strategy to inform your social media channels of this change and start planning on ways to circumvent some of the social media dropoff. Consult with your digital marketing and web development consultant on creating a plan to inform, prepare and then make the leap from insecure HTTP over to a certified and secure HTTPS website.

Protect Your Rights!

Show your stance on social issues in a way that makes a difference: Your financial support. This link contains links to and descriptions of organizations and agencies that are reputable and make a real difference. Even if you can only spare a dollar, those dollars enable these groups to protect the rights of many Americans.

Airbrush Wolf

MichaelCaseyWolf1990Before there was Photoshop, there was airbrush! I remember spending many hour learning to airbrush, until I discovered Photoshop. It was amazing what you could do with it compared to a traditional brush and it added an “undo” button! This wolf painting is an original work I created in airbrush and fine sable brushes for a commission for a friend in 1990. Sorry about the transparent white signature over the wolf, just trying to slow down art “borrowing” of my work online. Hope you like it!

Where are the basic business practices?

Common complaints from customers about their experiences working with website designers:
The following are the most common complaints I hear and my responses about how we do business:

  • The designer doesn’t call us back or respond to emails.

We check texts, messages and email daily and respond directly and quickly.

  • They said they were a website designer, but they don’t know what they’re doing.

We have been designing websites, digital media and marketing for over 20 years and I have taught digital media and design at a college level for six years. Unfortunately there are “website designers” out there who just install WordPress or buy some software and call themselves a “website designer”

  • They don’t care if the website has problems, even when they are told about it!

We care very much about everything we create and our customers. We are primarily are a word-of-mouth business and your opinion means very much to us.

  • They did a poor quality job for a fairly low price, but the website isn’t presentable and they won’t fix it or refund our money.

We take pride in our work. That would be unethical and something we don’t do. I’m always sorry to hear a customer had that experience.

  • They did a basic job, but now want significant amounts of money to finish it.

Our estimates are very clear, we define our work, the project and hourly rates, etc. There are no surprises at the end of the project. Some web designers will underbid on projects to get the project, then later add on expensive fees to finish the work and hold the client’s website hostage.

  • They have another full time job which is their priority and don’t keep up on our website.

We have multiple clients, but I am committed to my customers. Casey Digital Design which is my only full time business. I understand the need for a full time job, but their employer deserves their attention and commitment.  The customer also deserves the complete commitment of the website designer to devote quality effort and attention to their project.

  • They designed our website the way they wanted and didn’t listen to what we needed.

When we design a website with our client, their goals define the “function” or the core concept that is our guide for designing the “form” or website. We work together with our customers and I assist them in creating the digital communications and website design that works for them.

  • They can’t be reached and we can’t gain access to anything!

We share and communicate everything we’re working on with our customers. I never liked the idea of the “webmaster” that keeps control of everything.

  • We want to leave, but the designer won’t give us the passwords or basic website files.

When we complete a project, we provide all passwords, usernames and a database/file backup of the entire website to our client on DVD disk.  If all fees have been paid for the website, the client should have access to all relevant usernames, passwords and files. * Check your original agreement on ownership of the website design itself. In some cases it is the intellectual property of the designer by default.

Unplug and Verify!

Verify every variable before presenting to your potential customer!

Many things can be different between your office and a presentation room. These are things you may not notice or take for granted, until they become a problem on location at the time of presentation.

Since I been surprised by this type of experience myself, lately by both Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, I highly recommend some preliminary verification, setup and preparation. When you are presenting work, especially through Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office remotely, there are some things you might want to walk through first:

  • Is your laptop battery charged?
  • Do you have an AC adapter and all required projectors, connectors and adapters.
  • Will your presentation application require Internet access to function on location?
  • Will it require a username and password?
  • Are you 100% sure you have the correct username/password required?
  • Will you have Internet access to present at the location?
  • Will it be easily available both on location and in the particular room in which you’re presenting to the customer.
  • If you need it, will the person you’re meeting with have the Internet password? (I advise you avoid needing it in the first place. It can be annoying to an interviewer or client to have to locate a password for you.)
  • Don’t assume anything. (I would suggest completely disconnecting your laptop or device from the Internet and network, then seeing what would happen if you had to present completely disconnected.)
  • Are there any other surprise passwords needed on-site? Any there any network drives your computer is linked to in your office network that won’t be available? Is there a VPN password, Internet log-in or even something as basic as a laptop login or an Internet plugin that may be required?

I have seen all these things delay, interfere or stop presentations.

  • What if the power goes out, you drop your laptop, the battery wears out or your hard drive fails? Avoid disaster easily by always bringing a hardcopy backup and be prepared to use it!
  • If your audience has to wait more than 2 minutes due to technical issues, fold up the laptop and hand out your attractive collateral and meeting guides that you brought just in case.
  • Laugh it off, apply your natural charisma and present your material. (This is much more impressive to your client than making them wait. No presentation is worth waiting very long for while you “fix the problem”. The client rightly expects you to have done all that before you arrived.  Trying too long to “fix” a presentation will make you run over your allotted time and says to your client that you don’t value their time.)

Inland Empire About Reincarnation?

200px-inposA throwback to my more film and media centered days. I just saw this film and the performance by Laura Dern is amazing! Although I felt it made a big request of the viewer. You had to watch and experience it and suspend the need to literally understand it, since it often made no sense as you absorbed it all.  This was a challenge in a highly disturbing and mind bending film like Inland Empire, three hours long that sometimes it lapsed into Polish with no subtitles, which pushed you as a viewer to read facial cues and watch the character’s eyes and expressions to follow the story.

I felt it absolutely had to be related to reincarnation. In the film she is thrown back and forth between places, people, the past and the present.  It seemed she was remembering multiple past lives, sometimes symbolically and sometimes as images, visions or confused fragments. I felt Lynch was also commenting on the hard social role of women over time and their suffering over time. Besides bringing up the possibility of reincarnation, he also addresses why it might be a disaster if we could remember our past lives.  The film shows how it might be identity and reality shattering to glimpse through the veil of time and identity (pierced with a burning cigarette?) At one point in the film Laura Dern yells “Did you know me before?”  What a fascinating film regardless of how you interpret it.

Excellent Art Book for Artists

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 3.53.12 PMFellow artists: Want to pick up some great tricks all in one place to improve your work without commiting a lot of time and money ? Check out Mike Hoffman’s book called “Secrets of Drawing by Hoffmann” at his Mike Hoffman’s Etsy Store Online

Easily Combine Movie Clips in AE

ae ccSay you have a bunch of digital video clips that you want to put in order to create one combined movie in Adobe After Effects?  

  1. Name them sequentially
  2. Make a new project
  3. Drag them into the AE project window
  4. Select them all
  5. Drag them over the composition icon down to the base of the project window on the right
  6. A dialog panel will appear and in that check the box that says “Sequence Layers” and ignore the rest.

This will put all the digital movie clips in order in your composition timeline.  After that you can edit them or just create a composite movie by adding the whole thing to the render queue, selecting your settings, the movie name and the location to save the file.  🙂