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Archive for February, 2012

Professional Development Journal: 2012-02-27

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a quick update:  Last night I began and completed through Chapter 3, Lynda.com‘s WordPress 3 Essential Training.  Total time was about 3 hours.  Tonight, my goal is to finish at least another 3 chapters.  My goal is to finish this course by the end of the week! 🙂

How To Make Ten Million Dollars In Gold With Photoshop!

February 13, 2012 2 comments

Photoshop Tutorial Thumbnail - Gold Effect
2012.02.12

Hey guys.  Welcome back!  Tonight I just want to real quickly talk about a cool tutorial I found on YouTube today.  I was searching for a “Gold Text” effect Photoshop Tutorial when I came across this one from IceflowStudios:

Photoshop: GOLD Bling!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87CGbLRpHoo

One thing I liked about it from the git-go was he begins by saying most tutorials on how to make gold effects are insufficient.  I did the tutorial with him step by-step and was happy to discover that he explained everything very coherently, step-by-step and in the end I had a had the string “$10,000,000” in glimmering gold metal!

Just to give you a quick Idea, Here is the photograph I started with (fig. 1.0):

fig 1.0 - Photo: $1Million On Display

fig 1.0 - Photo: $1Million On Display

The only edits I had to do to prepare the original photo was just simple cropping.

Then, I typed my text “$10,000,000” in Hobo Std font because it has a nice thickness to the letters, and because that’s what the narrator says to use.  Here I am using crisp, 60 pt (Fig 1.1):

Fig 1.1 - Typing $10,000,000 in "Hobo Std" font.

Fig 1.1 - Typing $10,000,000 in "Hobo Std" font.

Finally, we have the finished product (Fig 1.3).  From start to completion it only took about 30 minutes — 4 minutes to view the tutorial the first time to decide if it had merit, 10 minutes to perform the steps once, and another 15 minutes or so troubleshooting and tweaking my settings.

Without further adieu … BEHOLD! … I give you: $10,000,000:

Fig 1.3 - Finished Product: Attraction of $10,000,000

Fig 1.3 - Finished Product:The Attraction of $10,000,000

TIP:   You may find it useful, as I did, to save your completed style for use on future projects.  The narrarator explains how to do this (it’s not hard by any means) very well.  I would go further, though, and suggest that as the narrator goes through the steps to get to the final “Gold Bling”, you may find it helpful to save a new style every so often, as the intrermediate steps, as each one is added, creates a new and wonderful effect in its own right.

This was a great tutorial and I hope it helps you complete whatever project of yours requires a great gold effect!

Live Joyously with Many Blessings!

– CodeSlayer2010

Be excellent to each other!” — Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Related Links:

http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/rip-offs/10-things-your-tax-preparer-wont-tell-you-22581/

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/09/24/how-to-create-a-million-dollar-business-this-weekend-examples-appsumo-mint-chihuahuas/

http://izismile.com/2011/05/31/where_can_you_hide_one_million_dollars_cash_13_pics.html

Excel 2003 – Change Cell Color Without VBA, Using Conditional Formatting.

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment
English: Use of user-defined function in Micro...

Image via Wikipedia

2012.02.10

(NOTE: This article is currently just a stub … )

So, this is what I was up to tonight.  I researched and learned the following techniques:

  • Excel data validation list from named range in another worksheet
  • Build drop-down menu in Excel
  • How to delete duplicate rows using in-place filtering
  • Keyboard shortcut for entering and opening drop-down menu in an Excel cell (Hint: <ALT+down arrow> to fully open menu)
  • Is it possible to do a case select statement (aka: switch statement) in Excel’s native formula apparatus?  Short answer – No.  To do something like that you have to use VBA.  … Incidentally, I’m falling asleep otherwise I’d have done VBA tutorials, but that’ll just have to wait for another blog entry.
  • And finally … How to change background cell color without using VBA in Excel 2003

Now, folks, you may be wondering “Why would the CodeSlayer go to all the trouble?  What fancy project does HE have brewing?”  Well, get ready to assuage your thirst for answers because I’m about to show you what all this learning was for…. And here it is (see fig. 1.0):

fig 1.0 - Music Spreadsheet with Moods

fig 1.0 - Music Spreadsheet with Moods

To accomplish one of goals of sorting all my music pages that are sitting around in various piles, I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet.  I designed this spreadsheet fairly simply.  Notice it has columns to indicate song name, artist, whether I can sing it, play it on guitar, have the lyrics, or have the tablature.  I’m using a basic binary tally method (either box has a “x” indicating “yes” or it is empty, indicating “no”).  But, you’ll also notice a column called “Mood”.

Recently I’ve started to think that perhaps by continuing to sing songs like “She f***in Hates Me” or “I’m a Creep”, that I’m, by the Law of Attraction and Law of Concentration drawing those types of life experiences to me, which is emphatically NOT what I want!  Thus, I’m endeavoring to not only figure out what songs I have in my possession (to keep from wasting time re-downloading the tab or lyrics), but I’m also attempting to identify what songs express the type of vibes I want to be sending out and attracting back to me.  In this case, “Positive” and “Attractive” classifications are desired.

I’ve completed about 80 songs so far, and it’s been a work in progress, with a bit of layout refactoring here and there.  But overall, it’s been an enjoyable task so far… There’s just something completely fulfilling about seing something through to completion.  This is the type of task I believe famed motivational speaker Brian Tracy (who I’ve been listening to religiously on the way to work as an excellent alternative to the uber-negative, snarky talk radio personalities) might classify as “C” priority level, I am doing as much as I can each weekend until it’s done.  That amounts to about 4-6 hours a week.  My goal is full completion within 3 calendar weeks.  Then I’ll need to use about as much time for the 2nd phase, which is scanning all my papers to pdf files.

So anyway guys and gals, that’s the main project I worked on in free time at home tonight and I just wanted to share that with you.

Many blessings and Prosperity,

– CodeSlayer

Lynda.com PHP MySQL WAMP Project: Widget Corp – Progress Update – 2012.02.07

February 8, 2012 2 comments

Widget Corp tutorial progress (2012.02.07 - 1)

Hello folks.  I’ve been doing a Lynda.com tutorial called PHP With MySQL Essential Training.  I’ve actually been doing aboutg 2-8 hours per week of the multiple, sequential lessons that are involved in this excellent hands-on tutorial for about a month now.

At this point, I have completed all the basic PHP and MySQL material, and now in Chapter 13, I am creating a content management system from scratch.  I enjoy doing this video tutorial very much, though at times I have to pause to screen for 10 minutes or so to type in code manually from what’s on the screen.  When you subscribe to Lynda.com (around $30/mo) they have subscription options that provide you the example files to save you all the typing.  But, I firmly believe that, at least for me, as a relative newbie who is trying to understand all the mechanics of web application development with PHP & MySQL, the absolute best way to learn is to type everything manually.  In this way you basically link the code concepts together in your mind so that you can now type in various code modules by heart if need be.Image representing lynda.com as depicted in Cr...

At work we are using a Zend MVC-based framework, so I have practical experience in maintenance coding and creating small new features — mostly break-fixes though.  But I’m like a trained monkey — I don’t really know the mechanics and the logic of why to do things, only that somebody told me “if this, then that”.

I’m sure that sufficient for some coders, but sufficient isn’t good enough for me.  My goal is EXCELLENCE!  Therefore, I ask as many questions as I think I need to (after having already done as much research as I could on my own).  There’s no shame in my game.  After I get an answer I write it down in my journal and then I have my own “reference manual” that I can consult if I forget a step or need to recall that information down the road.  I have found that having new information written down actually results in a lesser likelihood of needing to refer to it in writing, and a greater incidence of ingraining in your brain by habit. I’m really happy with my progress on this project which I will refer to from now on as “Widget Corp”.  Basically, when it is all done I will have a highly refactored, efficient, and effective code template/framework for building customized CMS‘s.  I’m pretty psyched about having an actual “web application” that I can display to the world via my website. That image above is a screenshot showing what my app looks like in Firefox 3, locally on my Win XP machine.  Future improvements I intend to look into are:

  1. Figure out why it is bulleting blank lines.  (NOTE: I tried doing echo/exit in the code but no avail so far)
  2. Refactor to be Object Oriented.
  3. Refactor to use MVC.

Anyway. that’s all stuff down the road.  My goal for completion is March31, 2012.  Wish me luck!

Until next time, HAPPY CODING! 🙂

CodeSlayer2010