04 March 2007

The Art of Extortion

As I was preparing the letters A through H for the blog entry about Art Text, an idea hit me. It was almost like those old-days kidnapper's note! Supposedly to conceal their handwriting, kidnappers of bygone days would clip letters from newspapers and magazines to spell out their ransom message. They would then wrap the note around a brick, drive by the kidnapped person's family, and toss the package through the window.

The cartoon marked my debut with ATPM.com as a contributor. Previously, I was only a proofreader, a good one at that, I might add. The March 2007 issue of ATPM.com has both the Art Text review and the cartoon. I asked for the cartoon and review to be separated by a few articles, so that the reader wouldn't be instantly make the connection between the two. However, it didn't work out that way and the cartoon appears right in front of the review. Hopefully, the combo is still a treat for the ATPM readers. The title of this blog entry is a link to issue 13.03 of ATPM.com.

In the office, I'm probably the most technical person in the department. I have a knack for learning technical matters quickly. Well, everybody probably claims that when they go to job interviews. I suppose only my colleagues can second my claim. One down side with knowing more than others is that when you yourself have questions, the likelihood of someone else having the answer is not that great. At home, I use the Mac most of the time and usually can solve my own technical issues, not that there's much to solve. Getting involved with ATPM is a great way to learn more about the Mac. As I ran Art Text through the torture tests to find its weak spots or just to break it, then proofread the entire beta version of the e-zine, I learned a few things about the Mac that I didn't know. For instance, when programs copy info the clipboard, they can provide multiple versions of the info. In the case of pictures, the different versions can translate to different formats, e.g. JPEG, PDF, or TIFF. Art Text only used PDF and subsequently what it puts into the clipboard wasn't available to other programs that don't paste from PDF. I also learned that because of the different magazine formats ATPM issues, e.g. PDF vs. web, different publishing processes were involved. Errors or typos can be found in one format but not in the other, just because the tools used in one process may be smarter in the other. The staff members of ATPM include Mac programmers and professional graphic designers. I am sure there's much to learn from them as I continue getting involved with ATPM.

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