Pre-con stress currently consuming Flipper.
Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Last night I attended my first Web Standards Group meeting, I was pretty excited as I was very keen to learn more from the last speaker who presented on HTML5 and XHTML2. I even brought a notebook in hopes to take some notes and report back to this weblog. Unfortunately, I came away with nothing new Mainly, nothing new I couldn’t have found out with a quick Google search.
Guess I can’t complain though, the event was free after all. These events seem to occur a few times a year in Melbourne, and given that they are free I haven’t completely closed myself off to the idea of attending again. Not to mention if you’re feeling social, these are great events to network at and just meet people in the industry. Which for me is a big plus given so few people at my current job are really into the web design and technologies
I contemplated whether or not I should upload a silly photo for the post, or a serious one. Since I’ve already bombarded my other accounts with goofiness, figured time to be a little serious. That and I kinda like the lighting in this photo
As you can see my Snow White costume is finished, I wore it to Supanova and you can click here for all the details you want (and probably some you didn’t!)
The photoshoot while not great, was fun! I had literally 7 little children follow me around, like A-chan mentioned, it was like working in Disney land! The kids thought I was real lol
Back from Egames Expo 2008 with little to report, but at least I has a new costume? Chai Xianghua from Soul Calibur 2! I actually really love this costume, the cut of the top and I think the brown looks surprisingly good on me (makes me want to dye my hair brown!) Head over to Extreme Motion to have a look at all the photos from the shoot, I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t finish the sword in time, and for some reason I forgot to wear the earrings too! *sad* Oh well, next time! I’m sure this costume will make another appearance some time down the line~
Egames was meh, probably all the exciting people were gone playing Lich King lol. Another gaming costume already finished, just need time to shoot it!
Back from Oz-IA in Sydney, it was lovely meeting a lot of new people, and catching up with some old friends I met at Web Directions earlier this year~ I only wish I could have stayed for Web Directions South in Sydney too
I’ll make a proper post about Oz-IA later on, this week I’ve been extremely busy with cosplay. As many of you know, Manifest is this weekend. And it probably will continue to be busy, I was lucky to find two new clients for T3M (more about that later) and will be trying to produce three new costumes for the two upcoming conventions, plus my own holiday. I’ve got a great new concept in the making, but I high doubt any of it will come into fruition until later this year or early next year. Either way, I have a lot planned
That aside, I’ve been sorting through some thoughts of mine for a while now. Exactly what direction I want to take this weblog and my other sites. Those who know me know my hobbies are a bit “scattered”. The things I enjoy don’t often link together nicely, and yet I’m passionate about each and everyone of them and want to appreciate them equally.
It’s pretty obvious that I adore web design and fully intend to continue down this path as my life-long career. But I also am a dedicated classical pianist, and I’d love a place to ramble on about my highs and lows (esp during my concerts) and if you’ve seen my personal website, you’d know I have semi-serious intentions of composing some pieces myself. However, I’m also a cosplayer / fashion artist and I loooove this too! I want to feel free to post about my troubles, my progress etc. And finally, on a personal level, I like to post about my current obsessions such as video games, shoes, hand bags and make up and travel (or atleast potential travel, I don’t get away as much as I’d like).
At first I thought I could just make seperate weblogs for all my interests! But… can you imagine what a nightmare that would be? Trying to maintain 4-5 different weblogs? It seems a bit silly to be honest. I’m working on a new solution to address this problem, tho I suspect it will take a lot of work, esp because I would need to go through older posts. Hopefully once I find some time between costumes, work and clients I’ll be able to create a new layout for it all
Having been a fan of Rove Mcmanus for many years now, it was a real treat to finally be able to attend on of his shows live! Plus, it was a real eye opener as to how shows are really conducted.
For instances, after intense security scans and checks we finally made it to our seats where we were “taught” to how loud to clap, cheer and laugh (the louder the better!) and even if we didn’t find something funny to “clap worthy” fake it for the cameras! hehe.
And literally during every commercial break, instantly 6-7 people would rush on to stage, fix Rove’s hair and makeup, adjust his clothes, wipe down the desk to ensure no finger prints and so on!
Despite what you see on TV, the set is very very small! Tiny almost, but thanks to how the camera angles the picture, it gives the impression the room is much larger on screen.
All in all, I had a great time I’m so happy to see that Rove seems to be really friendly and considerate off camera too.
BTW! I’m so sorry for the lack of updates the last two months, I work full-time at IBM and that job has really been keeping me on my toes lately! Hopefully things will start to settle so I can focus on the other areas of my life soon
Today was I fortunate enough watch the MSO (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) perform, with Robin Ticciati (exceptional young talent, only 25!!) as the conductor and the famous Emanuel Ax as the pianist. The pieces were:
Frank Bridge’s The Sea
Frederic Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2, Op.21
- Allegro vivace
Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No.5 in E flat, Op.82
- Tempo molto moderato
- Andante mosso, quasi allegretto
- Allegro molto
I’m only going to talk about the Chopin piece, mainly because that was the one Emanuel Ax performed in, this entry would be far too long if I reviewed the entire performance. And after all, I am a pianist
This particular Piano Concerto is easily one of Chopin’s more popular pieces, I had previously listened to Dong-Hyek Lim‘s version of it (a pupil of Emanuel) and loved it, so I was sure the teacher would be the same, if not better.
I think my only complaint was during the first movement, now and then I felt like the piano bits were getting lost within the orchestra. Though this could be how it normally should be, since I’ve only listened to the piece live once, all the other times were via recordings which are usually altered to enhance the piano.
I really loved the sweet recurring theme, it adding this dainty touch to an otherwise powerful and strong piece.
My favourite movement was the third, I’m just a sucker for any piece that pushes a pianist’s technique and Emanuel’s was exceptional, left me in awe. I found the piano part far stronger than the previous two, and I love how smooth, yet fast the interchanging was between the orchestra and piano, extremely precise.
After the concerto, Emanuel surprised us with an encore and performed Chopin’s E Minor, a beautiful slightly sombre piece. This is a very popular piece among my peers at my piano school so I’ve heard it played many times, but no surprise Emanuel’s version ranks high on my list
Overall, a musically enriched day! For any locals who are classically inclined, I highly recommend attending. There is a second session going on, this Monday (16th of June) at 8pm, at the Melbourne Concert Hall~!
Last Friday I was lucky enough to take the day off to attend Melbourne’s annual Good Food & Wine Show, I had a blast as I do each year (been attending since 2006). Mountains of foods to sample, to buy, lots of interesting tips and shows to watch. I wanted to make this post earlier to encourage any Melbournians to attend if they can as the show ended on Sunday However there are more to come interstate, check out the website for dates. If you love food (and who doesn’t!?) this is worth it, entry fee is not that pricey, and is well worth it for the experience alone
Over the weekend, managed to spend a little time on eXmotion and finally added photos and reports for Manifest 04, 05 and Minifest 06. I will be adding Manifest 06 and Animania 06 soon, and then I will finally have to get around to writing up reports for the rest that don’t currently have links! I also did a short, but interesting photo shoot over the weekend, it was just me in my normal clothes, but it was the first test night shoot I tried (and I learnt a great deal), so I will upload photos soon
I was lucky enough to attend Web Direction’s first Melbourne based conference last week on Thursday and Friday, and I had a blast! I thought I’d do a quick review/rundown of my experience.
I attended Andy Budd’s workshop on Gureilla Usability Testing. It was a very useful class, it taught us about how we should understand and accommodate our users. I loved how Andy began the class, I found it very similar with the way Donald A. Norman’s introduction was in his book “The Design of Everyday Things”. (which is a great book for web designers).
Andy brought out three wine bottle openers, and picked three people from the class to use all three on different bottles and the class observed how people will give different reactions to the same objects, which just goes to show how our users could potentially be reacting to our own websites.
Another thing I found interesting was how Andy explained how people often tell you how they wish they would act, but don’t actually act this way. (e.g Majority of people will tell you they wash their hands after using the toilet, reality is only 50% of people do, think twice about shaking someone’s hand!) This is why observing human behaviour is so much more vital, rather than asking people what they will do, watch them actually do it.
Which is exactly what the whole class was essentially about, recruiting testers to literally step through tasks we create for them to when using our websites. Quiet honestly this isn’t a method I can carry out at the moment given my position, but all the same it was a great learning experience and something I will carry with me for the future.
The official day of the conference, there were a total of 10 lectures, but one only had time to attend 6. First lecture was Andy Budd’s “Designing the experience curve”, which I found to be one of the best and most engaging talks I have ever listened to. Andy really knows how to draw in his audience, make you seriously listen and want to know more. I really loved how his slides were not filled with words, but rather imagery that related to his talk.
Basically what I took away from his talk was how websites need to be built to grab their audiences and carry out what they promise clearly and efficiently. It was pretty heavy on the psychology of our visitors, which is admittedly an aspects of web design I had not previous given much thought and very extremely interesting.
Next talk was Andrew Kesper’s “ABC’s election site – making the most of dry data”, he walked us through the website, the problems he encountered and the technology used to create it. Thanks to Andrew, I have discovered “innerHTML”, which he showed helped him build tables within his website instantly depending on the data it was fed from an XML file. Not only was it great to see such a professional site still use tables, but this could easily saving developers many hours of coding!
Donna Spencer’s “Getting Content Right” was next, she’s a great speaker, a little too “dramatic” for my tastes, but she got her message across. Her focus as the title suggests was far more on the worded content on a site, not so much the design and development, which is my area of speciality. Still it was funny to see professional sites still express themselves in such a dry manner.
After lunch I attended Jackie Moyes’ “Converting research data into business speak”. Jackie obviously has a lot of experience in her area, and it was interesting to see how she was able to carry out her research and translate it into very easy to read tables, making it painfully clear to our clients exactly what their site needs, and what they don’t need.
Next was Jeremy Yuille’s “Web visualisation – do you see what I see?”, and what I loved about this talk was that fact that it did move away from the web a little, and very much focused on the graphical side, which is something I have lacked a lot of in my technical upbringing. I love how simple data could be much more clearly expressed through imagery, and I don’t mean just charts and graphs but imagery. It’s not something a developer like myself thinks about all the time, we’re always more focused with just typing out what we mean, but using crisp and well made imagery to explain the same concept is a great way to draw in your users, and actually keep them on your site for longer than 2 seconds.
Finally Robert Hoekman Jr’s “The essential elements of great web applications” was last, and I’m glad he was. It was a bit like saving the best till last. Robert is a famous author and I’ve already placed my order for his books on Amazon ;D He was my sort of guy, a techie like me. Not only that but he is an amazing speaker, I really hope to attend one of his talks again in the future, even if it is the same one, he is not only talented, but very engaging.
Plus, I absolutely loved his talk on WordPress and their solution to their low conversion rate, brilliant! lol
What I found interesting about Robert’s key points were that they were painfully obvious and simple. At the end of the day, our websites are all there to communicate a message, and it’s our jobs to make sure this message is completely intact when it gets to our targeted audience. Honestly I don’t want to give away his talk, but I highly suggest that if you are a dedicated web designer or developer, buy his book!
Had a blast! Not only did I meet lots of great people in the industry, I met plenty of people who had have started their own successful web design firms, something that is still a dream of mine. It was a huge learning experience, however being a user experience conference, it did focus on UX a lot. I’d absolutely want to attend again next year (so long as work is happy to foot the slightly below $1kAU entry fee like they so kindly did this year ). I’m keeping my eyes and ears open for a strictly web design/developer related conference in the near future
If any of you webbies can get sponsored to go next year, GO! And hopefully I will see you there