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PCC Multimedia Club 2008-2009

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Another challenging and exciting year is about to begin and I want to welcome you to the Multimedia program at PCC. Our Multimedia Club’s officers have stayed in touch this summer and we plan to make this our best year yet. But before I tell you about our big plans, I want to give you some advice.

I can sum up my advice to students in the Multimedia program in two words; GET INVOLVED. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be involved in something besides your studies. The field of multimedia requires equal parts study, networking, collaboration and volunteering. Luckily, PCC’s Multimedia Club has got you covered.

Beginning October 6th, 2008 we will be holding “Multimedia Mondays”. During these gatherings there will be presentations (social media, technology, what’s hot, etc.), networking opportunities, brainstorming sessions and just plain fun. But wait, there’s more! Each one of our club’s officers has made a commitment to help fellow students all year long, through our (unofficial) mentoring program. Some of us “old salts” will be available to mentor new and returning students throughout the year. We not only have experience with the courses, but insight into what’s happening in the real world.

Other plans this year include various fundraising projects (we like to help charities), joint meetings with other PCC clubs, event hosting and much more. Feel free to give us your ideas. Show up to a meeting, contact us with your ideas, or simply stop me in the hall or lab. PCC Multimedia Club wants you!

Doug Coleman

PCC Multimedia Club President

Editors Note on Tomorrow’s iPhone DevCamp Post


**EDITOR’S NOTE**  I am very excited to be covering an event like this year’s iPhone DevCamp for my new blog.  But due to Apple’s iPhone SDK Non-Disclosure Agreement, not much can be said about what is (or is not) going on with applications being developed for the iPhone.

Developers and programmers who rely on a free exchange of information in order to learn to build new applications, are being asked to remain silent about the company’s iPhone Software Developers Kit.  That’s the word on the street and I’m sure they have their reasons.[Note to self;another post on those reasons]

I have been warned that the mandatory minimum sentence for violating Apple’s NDA is a thourough ass-beating from a couple of Steve Jobs’ thugs and if I live through that, they would excommunicate me from the Apple cult community and banish me from the internet. The rebel in me sees this as a challenge.  After all, I can take (or give) a good ass-beating.  Even the threat of getting the bejesus sued out of me doesn’t really scare me because, as Jim Goings (who is not my lawyer) pointed out; “you don’t need no stinking NDA”.  He’s right.  I haven’t yet signed up for the iPhone SDK, so I am under no obligation to abide by its non-disclosure agreement.  The fact is, any attention I might get from Apple, especially negative attention, could gain me lots of readers for my blog.

If I want to write for a living, I need that attention.  And while any gonzo journalist worth his notebook should jump at this perfect chance to stick it to the man, I have reasons for playing this one straight.  My main reason is that I do not want to jeopardize any person’s chance to make money on their applications.  These people work hard, often in obscurity, to get a chance to make some real money for themselves and their teams.  The other reasons also have to do with respect.  Respect for Jive Software, who provided the venue for this event.  Respect for those who organized and attended this event.  And above all, respect for a community that has nurtured and been very kind to me in my new career. For these reasons, I purposely choose to puss out and provide tomorrow’s content censored according to the iPhone SDK’s NDA .  DC**

iPhone DevCamp 2 Comes to Portland


The largest gathering of iPhone owners at the iPhoneDevCamp in San Francisco. Can Portland beat this?

The largest gathering of iPhone owners at the iPhoneDevCamp in San Francisco. Can Portland beat this?

Good news!  iPhone developer geeks do not have to travel all the way to San Francisco for DevCamp 2.  There will be a live satellite event at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus that is open to the public and is free.  For those of you who are not familiar with iPhone DevCamp, here is a brief explanation from iPhone DevCamp.org:

iPhoneDevCamp 2 is an upcoming not-for-profit gathering to develop applications for iPhone and iPod touch using both the native SDK and web standards. This is a follow-on event to the first iPhoneDevCamp, held in early July 2007.

iPhone DevCamp Portland will take place August 1st through August 3rd on the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College Map Link.

This will be a satellite event, linked via streaming video with the main event in San Francisco.  The event will be held in three rooms of PCC’s state-of-the-art Multimedia Lab.  The venue offers free Wi-Fi and access to 40 Mac Pro terminals running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

An agenda and further information can be found at: iPhoneDevCampPDX.pbwiki.org

Food, meet and greets, and other considerations are being planned and anyone interested in providing sponsorship for this event should contact myself dougcoleman1@gmail.com or Dean Martindale. Look for more information and breaking news about this event right here on the Multimedia Misfit.

Special Thanks to Dean Martindale for putting this together, visit his blog: webguypdx.com

Upgrades to MM Lab at PCC Cascade

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You do not have to go to an expensive state or private school to get a great education in multimedia.  Portland Community College’s Multimedia Program offers accessible and affordable training in multimedia design and development.  After all, your education is what you make of it, regardless of where you go to school.  In fact, I have seen other more expensive options that offered far less.

A couple of weeks ago, myself and several members of the PCC Multimedia Club tore down the old Mac lab and installed brand new Apple computers and software.

From an email by PCC Multimedia Coordinator Greg Walters :

“The PCC Multimedia Center recently upgraded it’s computers and software to the latest and greatest that our industry has to offer. Brand new Apple G5 Towers, 20” flat screen monitors, 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, Final Cut Studio 2, Adobe CS3 Design Premium, and much much more. We also recently got state approval of our Video Production Certificate this past month, which we will begin offering to students along with our current Multimedia Certificate and Associates of Applied Science degree in Multimedia. What better time to be a multimedia student, eh?

If you have any questions about classes, events, degrees, and/or advising here in the Multimedia program, please don’t hesitate to contact us. All of our current information is available online at: www.pccmm.com

However you choose to pursue a multimedia education, be sure to network with fellow students and become involved in your community’s multimedia network, or “scene”.  One great way to do this is join the PCC Multimedia Club.  We are still sorting through administrative issues on our website, but you can contact meand I will get you set up.  Look for more posts about the exciting things we are doing in our community coming soon.

Things For You To Do While I’m On Vacation


I know my thousands (ok, maybe a dozen) of readers will not know what to do this week when I go camping and become unplugged.  Don’t worry people, I’ve got you covered.

First of all, if you live in Portland, for god’s sake people go outside!  We get precious little sunshine around these parts and if you are as pasty as I am, you need it.  Geeks can find wi-fi in many outdoor locations in Portland.  Or better yet, give yourself a break from it.  The night after I went offline for an entire day once, I slept like a baby.  But if you just can’t pry yourself away from the ‘ol “Google Box”, here are some cool things to do this week:

1. Join my club!–  PCC Multimedia Club needs new blood.  This summer we are volunteering at FreeGeek to build computers for needy students and have big plans for this fall.  You do not need to be a student to join.  Contact Greg Walters, PCC Multimedia Club Coordinator and get started.  I hear the club President is really cool!

2. Geeky Gatherings–  Like I said before, Portland is a great place to be if you are into multimedia/tech/internet.  There are at least three events that I would go to if I were going to be in town:

Substance Summit ,  ( Wednesday July 9th, 3:30pm, Lucky Lab beer hall )
The first in a series of conversations with the Portland creative community to help each other understand how we can be more inclusive, collaborative and effective.

CHIFOO Meeting: Understanding the Multi-User Experience ( Wednesday July 9th, 6:30pm, Techtronix Building 38)                                                                                                                                                      Presented by Jen Young & Matt Arnold, Second Story.  “Jen and Matt , members of the stellar Second Story Studios team, will show how understanding people’s needs and tendencies—and the learning curve for people that must be managed in multi-user experiences—can be squared with innovations offered by ever-changing technology and hardware, design obstacles and opportunities, and the desire to wow visitors while offering designs that are appropriate to the content.”

iPhone 3G & App Store Launch Party: ( Friday July 11th, 6-9pm, Platial, Inc. )

“In celebration of the iPhone 3G & App Store launch, join members of the Portland iPhone community…”
* Check out the new iPhone 3G
* See demos of App Store applications
* Meet members of the local iPhone community

3. Investigate the Portland geek scene:  Portland is literally crawling with ambitious, creative and talented geeks.  There are several local blogs and websites I have discovered lately and read every day.

Silicon Florist is my favorite local blog lately, and not just because they used some of my coverage of Demolicious, but because they cover Portland tech news that may slip through the cracks of Read Write Web, TechCrunch, etc..  The “…Willamette Week for the Portland tech scene”, if you will.  Rick Turoczy, a big player in the Portland tech scene, writes this blog.

Portland is Awesome is …”a celebration of the many fun and interesting things in Portland, Oregon. Many of the Portland blogs just seemed too corporate, so I thought it would be cool to start a new group blog where people can blog about anything related to Portland. It doesn’t even have to be “awesome”; we can talk about anything happening in Portland.”  Super-blogger Dawn Foster writes this blog and also writes another great local blog, Fast Wonder.

PDX Web Innovators is “…a technology-agnostic group where you can meet like-minded web people without the excuse of a networking-only event.”  They do great things for the Portland web scene.  I am looking forward to their next event and using their great website resources.

Twitter is how I keep in touch with what is going on in the PDX  tech scene.  Some my local favorites are @brampitoyo (this kid has his finger on the pulse of the PDX scene), @marshallk, @geekygirldawn, @turoczy, @caseorganic, and others.  Check out my page and see who I am following.  My very favorite so far is @corvida

4. Put up a page or join a group on PortlandNeighborhood.com:  “Portland neighborhood social network. Meet other Portlanders, view Portland pictures & videos, join a group, have a discussion, and more!”  This is a very new Portland site and has much potential.

5.  Leave Me a Comment:  Let me know what you think of my blog.  Let me know what you would like to hear about in this blog.  If this is all unreadable crap, let me know that too.

There you have it, something geeky and fun to do until my next post.  Look for more good stuff next week.

Web Pages the Misfit Way

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Why would any self-proclaimed website designer like myself use a WordPress blog template? The answer is easy. Because they do a pretty darn good job of designing their blog sites and that frees me up to concentrate on content. Besides, the type of website “design” I do is not really pure. By that I mean that I don’t usually start with a blank page, lay it all out, write the code and attach a CSS file, etc. I usually start with a template in Adobe Dreamweaver , choose a color scheme (COLURlovers monitors and influences color trends), choose an appropriate font and start plugging in content. Choosing fonts for web use is easy. There are only about seven fonts that really work in all browsers, so I use one of them (Arial, Comic Sans MS, Georgia, Courier New, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Verdana). This is hotly debated among font nerds but trust me, these are best if you want everybody to be able to view your pages in all browsers. Remember, computers can only display the fonts that are installed on that computer. The average internet user does not have all of your fancy fonts installed on their computer.

Once I find appropriate places to put content, I go to town. Making graphics, finding and linking pages, writing, taking and optimizing photos, making animations, video editing and music are the fun things I like to do. It is usually pretty easy to insert these things into an html page.

When I run into any trouble with the inner workings of a page (often), I call upon my trusty sidekick, Robin (after all, I am Batman). She tidys up my mess and makes it all work. If my design isn’t working then it is easy to plug the content into a new design. This is also what having a WordPress blog site does for me. I can concentrate on content and leave the real design to the pros. I have designed a couple of pretty cool looking websites by slicing up a Photoshop document and importing it into Dreamweaver. There are many perils accociated with this method, so I warn against it. I will write about that in a future post.

Until I can get my hands on a copy of Adobe Thermo, or until someone throws a big pile of money my way, that’s how I roll, dog.

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