Friday, March 04, 2005

Further Misadventures in Cyberspace

If you check my menu on the right where it says "Homework" (or "Portfolio," depending on the mood I'm in), you'll see my latest web design project:

Shall we gather at the river? An anti-tourist's view of Cincinnati, Ohio

Ultimately, it is required to be optimized for all major browsers, in both MacOS and Windows platforms. At this point, however, it works best in Microsoft Explorer for Windows. It works worst in either Opera or Foxfire for MacOS.

So far, the project I've done that's worked best on all browsers, and in both platforms, is this one:

Things With Strings: Musical Instruments I Have Known

It's a great feeling when, in mid-life and mid-career, you get a new lease on life. I've wanted to be involved in multimedia from my college days, when I sought an academic minor in multimedia, and was told that it basically didn't exist at UC at the time.

My son wants to go to the Art Institute of Washington someday, which is where I am now, only he wants to study Game Art and Design. In our discussions about the state of the art, we are coming to the conclusion that, in five or ten years, there will be very little difference between what each of us is doing. It'll all be interactive media, whether on the internet, or on a disc. And it won't just be fun and games.

One can only imagine by the end of this decade, being equipped with a personal multimedia player, the size of a notebook. Equipped with wireless e-mail, internet, and productivity tools, the user can put in a disc, and watch a movie, read a novel, or complete a training course, complete with recorded video lectures. The technology exists now, but it's still too expensive, still not readily accessible for the Average Joe, or others who are intimidated by computers. But someday, it will be as easy as taking a good book to read on a train or a plane.

There was a time when my profession of graphic design was considered rather arcane. Then came the nineties, and the collective raising of a nation's design consciousness to the equivalent of the average European. It gave my way of life a new respect, and things started to look up. One of my schoolmates from college, Michael Beirut, is now a world-renowned designer out of New York. I was told that he once commented that "what we do all turns into landfill eventually." That being said (and I trust I did justice to my former colleague), I believe there will always be a need for the print environment. But as the world moves slowly to the electronic media, I'll still be able to work for a living.

And you can't criticize a man for enjoying an honest day's work, now, can ya?

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