CSS Basics – The First 5 Steps Towards Mastery

June 13, 2008

It was about four years ago when I began to study web design. I was taking a college course on the subject and it was nearing the end of the semester. A classmate and myself were partnered up to build a simple website about an imaginary company. After a bit of discussion, we decided that my classmate would handle the graphic side of the site, and I would tackle the HTML.
Later that evening I spent some time looking at different resources on the web. Almost all of them kept mentioning this CSS business. “What’s this?” I said. “Tables are bad?” It seemed to me that almost everything I had learned in class about building a website was wrong. Well, not quite wrong, just incomplete. It was like a missing detail in a story: the story as it was seemed great, but this new detail just added a surprising twist! That, my fellow web friends, is what CSS is. If HTML is the old story, then CSS is the new, exciting twist. If you will listen, I’ll tell you about the five first steps I took towards CSS mastery.
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Midweek Geek Links for 06-12-2008

June 12, 2008

Midweek Geek Links
It’s time for this week’s geek links!

  • If you’re interested in lighting for photography, head over to and check out their video on beautiful portraits with just one light. Then you can take things a step further and dive into the classic three light portrait.
  • Fans of Canon will be happy to hear about the announcement of the Speedlite 430ex II. No release date yet that I’m aware of.
  • Speaking of flashes, if you’re interested in ring flashes, you may want way to head over to Dave Cross’s blog and see his Ray Flash ring flash review.
  • If you’ve got your hands on a copy of The Moment it Clicks, by Joe McNally, you should totally pimp it. Though I must admit I didn’t put in the sweat and labor that Syl at did…I just took the advice in the comments; I went to Staples and paid them $7 to do it for me!
  • Lastly, Zack over at is doing a series on white seemless. Some good tips there on getting a nice clean white background.

Introduction to Off-Camera Lighting with Small Flashes

June 11, 2008

Many beginning photographers have a hard time justifying using/buying off-camera lighting, such as a small flash unit. After all, sunlight is free. And when the sun goes down, who doesn’t have a lamp that they can turn on? Plus, they just dropped their nice coin stash on a camera that has a perfectly good flash attached to it.

I’m not here to tell you that the flash on your camera is worthless; on the contrary, it does a great job of providing the scene with light. The unfortunate truth is that your camera’s built-in flash is placed in an awkward position relative to your lens. Thus, most any picture you take with your camera’s built-in flash will come off flat, unpleasant, and lacking depth and dimension–not to mention the likelihood that your subjects have a good chance of suffering the red eye disease.

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Comcast DVR – A Disappointment

June 9, 2008

Comcast DVRI’m on my second Comcast DVR (digital video recorder) and, sadly, I’m probably about to go swap it for a third.

Most of my Saturday mornings are spent checking out the week’s recordings and watching a few things… usually Battlestar Galactica if I had missed it during the week. Well, this past Saturday morning when I turned on the dvr everything seemed normal. However, when I went to “My Recordings” the display showed “0% Full” and “No listings Available” (which was also shown under the Scheduled Recordings menu).
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10 Tips to Get Started in Photography

June 6, 2008

If you’re just starting out in photography, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information and advice that is available. The important thing to keep in mind is that photography is an art, so everyone you talk to will have a different method or approach.

Here, I’ve outlined the 10 best tips I’ve received that are some basic guidelines. Without getting into the technical operations of your specific camera, these are some tips that you can apply to your photography regardless of what level you’re at.

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Midweek Geek Links for 06-05-2008

June 5, 2008

Midweek Geek Links
It’s time for this week’s geek links!

  • Love to read? Learn how to get away with reading at work. I was blown away when I first saw this website.
  • The latest release candidate for Firefox 3 hit the web yesterday. Head over to the Mozilla site to learn what’s new and how to check it out for yourself.
  • Steve Bass over at PC World posted an article explaining a few ways to make Vista and XP work the way you want them to. Some handy tips are presented there.
  • Want to build your own machine on the cheap? has an article on how to build a $150 linux machine (minus the keyboard, mouse, and monitor). They’ve even listed and linked to all the places they found their bargain-priced parts.
  • And finally, be a green geek and help out your local farmers by heading over to the Farmer’s Market Search hosted by the USDA. There you will find a current listing of farmers markets throughout the United States.

Recover Deleted Items in Outlook

June 4, 2008

With all the spam and junk mail out there, it’s easy to accidentally delete important email. If you’re using Outlook 2000 or later in an Exchange Server environment (ask your administrator if you don’t know), it’s easy enough to get it back.

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Change How a User Logs In to Windows XP

June 2, 2008

If you work in an environment with a low security risk, you may wish to set your computer to automatically log you in to your account at start-up. Conversely, you may rather have your computer require the login screen in order to use the computer, but are having trouble figuring out exactly where to change this setting in Windows XP.

Like many users, you may have tried going to your Control Panel and choosing User Accounts only to find a surprising lack of options regarding this subject. Read more

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