Scanning Images for the WebAs versatile as the World Wide Web is, it sure doesn’t support very many graphics formats—only three, in fact. (Aside from Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVG, supported by HTML5, but that’s another story.) Internet browsers support only three bitmap image formats: GIF, JPEG, and PNG. The type youshould use depends primarily on the type of image (its content), you are saving.

The following description of each file format contains information sometimes critical to achieving the best possible quality, information such as the file’s properties, and its best uses. But first, here’s a word about compression.

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Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer Review and RatingsIt’s been almost a year now since we reviewed and raved about Epson’s flagship all-in-one inkjet printer, the Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One. It was fast; it had a remarkable feature set for so small a device; and it printed stunning-looking images and business documents. It was, as we noted at the time, a remarkable piece of engineering with just one flaw (albeit, a significant one): It cost too much to use.

Here in October 2013, Epson sent us the XP-800’s replacement to evaluate, the $229-list Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer. On the whole, the XP-810 is the XP-800 reheated, with a few cosmetic changes and a $50-lower suggested retail price. However, this new Small-in-One has the same ink-inflation issue as its predecessor, which kept it from winning our Editors’ Choice nod. It uses the same ink cartridges as the XP-800, with the same projected yields. That means it also rings up the same high cost per page (CPP).

Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One PrinterThat really is too bad, because otherwise, like the XP-800 before it, we really liked this highly attractive little dynamo. As mentioned, it’s loaded with features, among them an auto-duplexing document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing two-sided documents unassisted, as well as the ability to print labels on appropriately surfaced recordable CD and DVD discs. When it comes right down to it, there’s not much this little all-in-one can’t do—and what it does do, it does well.

Don’t mistake this for a business printer, however, or a model meant for reams of text-document output. Like the XP-800, the XP-810 is above all a photo printer, and like most photo-centric models, its per-page cost of ink is higher than that of many business-oriented AIOs. That said, as we also noted about last year’s model, the cost per page (CPP) is even higher than most other photo printers, too. That issue—the soaring per-page cost of ink—is our only real complaint about this AIO.

But it’s a really big one that, unfortunately, relegates this otherwise impressive piece of hardware to our long list of good “occasional-use” AIOs. In other words, it’s a great printer as long as you don’t print a lot. Compared to several somewhat pricier, higher-volume inkjet AIOs, such as HP’s $399-list OfficeJet Pro 276dw Multifunction Printer, the more you use this machine, the more it will cost you. (We’ll talk more about this model’s CPP in the Setup & Paper Handling section, later on.)

Still, there’s a lot to like about the XP-810: It’s attractive and compact, it prints well (especially photos), and it comes loaded with connectivity options, making it a great match for light-printing small and home offices that need to print often from mobile devices. It works, too, for offices that need immaculate photo and document output, as long as the cost of printing them is not a primary—or even secondary—concern.

Read full review at Computer Shopper.

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New ed2go Adobe Muse course announced

(Camarillo, CA – March 22, 2013) Journalist, author, and online course instructor William Harrel and eClasses (eClasses.org) have teamed up once again to announce a new online course. This time, the subject of the class will be Adobe’s new WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Website design app, Muse.

The first session starts on April 1, 2013 and you can sign up or get additional information here: Introduction to Adobe Muse.

Harrel teaches Website design and animation at over 3,000 colleges, universities, and other online outlets, and eClasses is one of the world’s largest and most successful online course publishers.


What is Adobe Muse?

Adobe® Muse™ software enables designers to create HTML websites for desktop and mobile devices, without writing code. Design web-standard sites, like you design print layouts. Use familiar features, hundreds of web fonts, and built-in tools to add interactivity.  Then, publish with the Adobe Business Catalyst® service and redeem site hosting support, or publish with any hosting provider. (Source: Adobe.com)


Course Overview

This new course, which is under development now, will be entitled: Websites without Coding with Adobe Muse, and will consist of six-week sessions (two lessons per week) covering the following material:

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Muse

  • Overview: Designing Websites in Muse
  • Plan Mode – Starting a Website in Muse
  • Design Mode – The Page Design Interface

Lesson 2 : Creating a Basic Site in Muse

  • Mastering Master Pages
  • Working with Boxes
  • Typography: Working with Text

Lesson 3: Using External Content with Muse

  • Using and Formatting Word Processor Text
  • External Graphics and Images
  • Digital Sound, Video, and other Media

Lesson 4: Working with Widgets

  • Creating Compositions
  • Web Forms
  • Making Menus

Lesson 5: More Widgets and Templates

  • Creating Expanding Panels
  • Slick Slideshows
  • Using Templates with Muse

Lesson 6: Using other CS6 Programs with Muse

  • Using Photoshop and Fireworks with Muse
  • Using Photoshop Buttons with Muse
  • Using Edge Animate with Muse

Lesson 7: Interactivity: Triggers and Targets

  • Making Mouse States
  • Interactivity Triggers
  • Page Navigation with Targets

Lesson 8: Creating Sites for Mobile Devices

  • Repurposing Existing Content
  • Formatting Content for Smartphones
  • Formatting Content for Tablets

Lesson 9: Stylizing Type with Typekit and Web Fonts

  • Decorative Type with Typekit
  • 3D Type and other Special Effects
  • Working with Web Fonts

Lesson 10: Advanced Web Design Techniques

  • Accommodating Flexible Browser Widths
  • Embedding Google Maps
  • Embedding HTML Code

 

Lesson 11: Working More Efficiently in Muse

  • Getting the Most from Master Pages
  • Sharing Content between Pages and Sites
  • Sharing Muse Content between Media Types

Lesson 12: Publishing Your Muse Websites

  • Publishing to Adobe Business Catalyst
  • CMS Integration on Adobe Business Catalyst
  • Publishing with FTP

Check back with us for updates and projected course release dates.

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New ed2go Adobe Muse course announced

(Camarillo, CA – January 19, 2013) Journalist, author, and online course instructor William Harrel and Education to Go (ed2go.com) have teamed up once again to announce a new online course. This time, the subject of the class will be Adobe’s new WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Website design app, Muse.

Harrel teaches Website design and animation at over 3,000 colleges, universities, and other online outlets, and ed2go.com is one of the world’s largest and most successful online course publishers.


What is Adobe Muse?

Adobe® Muse™ software enables designers to create HTML websites for desktop and mobile devices, without writing code. Design web-standard sites, like you design print layouts. Use familiar features, hundreds of web fonts, and built-in tools to add interactivity.  Then, publish with the Adobe Business Catalyst® service and redeem site hosting support, or publish with any hosting provider. (Source: Adobe.com)


Course Overview

This new course, which is under development now, will be entitled: Websites without Coding with Adobe Muse, and will consist of six-week sessions (two lessons per week) covering the following material:

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Muse

  • Overview: Designing Websites in Muse
  • Plan Mode – Starting a Website in Muse
  • Design Mode – The Page Design Interface

Lesson 2 : Creating a Basic Site in Muse

  • Mastering Master Pages
  • Working with Boxes
  • Typography: Working with Text

Lesson 3: Using External Content with Muse

  • Using and Formatting Word Processor Text
  • External Graphics and Images
  • Digital Sound, Video, and other Media

Lesson 4: Working with Widgets

  • Creating Compositions
  • Web Forms
  • Making Menus

Lesson 5: More Widgets and Templates

  • Creating Expanding Panels
  • Slick Slideshows
  • Using Templates with Muse

Lesson 6: Using other CS6 Programs with Muse

  • Using Photoshop and Fireworks with Muse
  • Using Photoshop Buttons with Muse
  • Using Edge Animate with Muse

Lesson 7: Interactivity: Triggers and Targets

  • Making Mouse States
  • Interactivity Triggers
  • Page Navigation with Targets

Lesson 8: Creating Sites for Mobile Devices

  • Repurposing Existing Content
  • Formatting Content for Smartphones
  • Formatting Content for Tablets

Lesson 9: Stylizing Type with Typekit and Web Fonts

  • Decorative Type with Typekit
  • 3D Type and other Special Effects
  • Working with Web Fonts

Lesson 10: Advanced Web Design Techniques

  • Accommodating Flexible Browser Widths
  • Embedding Google Maps
  • Embedding HTML Code

 

Lesson 11: Working More Efficiently in Muse

  • Getting the Most from Master Pages
  • Sharing Content between Pages and Sites
  • Sharing Muse Content between Media Types

Lesson 12: Publishing Your Muse Websites

  • Publishing to Adobe Business Catalyst
  • CMS Integration on Adobe Business Catalyst
  • Publishing with FTP

Check back with us for updates and projected course release dates.

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Introduction to CSS3Several years ago, cascading style sheets (CSS) revolutionized Web design. CSS freed Web designers from depending on woefully inadequate HTML tables to create highly stylized Web pages. It provided us with the means to format and reformat multiple pages from one single set of styles, thereby liberating us from the tedious task of formatting one page at a time. Enter CSS3, the next generation of Web design. Special effects, animations, transitions, gradients – all the content we’ve traditionally fallen back on graphics and animation software to achieve are now at our fingertips through CSS code. CSS3, the first revision to cascading style sheets since the advent of handheld smartphones and tablets, is here, now, ready for prime time. Don’t miss William Harrel’s Introduction to CSS3 eClasses.org. The first session starts April 16, 2012. See you there!

This is a complete, hands-on class in creating Websites with CSS3. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Syllabus


Week 1 – Introduction to CSS3

  • What are Styles?
  • What are Style Sheets?
  • How do Style Sheets Cascade?
  • Evolution of CSS
  • CSS and HTML
  • CSS—A  Bunch of Rules
  • The Anatomy of a CSS Rule
  • Why CSS3?

Week 2 – CSS3 and HTML5

  • What is HTML5?
  • HTML5 Page Structure
  • HTML5’s Built-In Containers
  • Create an HTML5 Page
  • CSS3 and HTML5 Working Together
  • CSS3 and Earlier Versions of HTML

Week 3 – In Depth CSS

  • Class, Type, ID and Compound Selectors
  • Inline, Internal and External Styles
  • CSS Containers
  • CSS Rules for Adapting to Display Size and Device Type
  • CSS Print Media Formatting

Week 4 – Formatting a Page with CSS3

  • CSS3 Page Sections and Includes
  • Format Boxes with CSS3
  • Format Text with CSS3
  • Format Images and other Media with CSS3

Week 5 – CSS3 Special Effects

  • CSS3 Shadow and other Text Effects
  • CSS3 Box Shadow and other Box Effects
  • CSS3 Color Gradients and Fills
  • CSS3 Menu and Navigation Formatting Effects
  • CSS3 Background Effects
  • Use WebKit, Mozilla and other Browser Extensions with CSS3

Week 6 – CSS3 Animations, Transitions and Transformations

  • Create and Animate Simple 2D Shapes
  • Create Page and Object Transitions
  • Create Object 2D and 3D Transformations
  • WebKit and other Browser Extension Transformations

Week 7 – CSS3 and Mobile Devices

  • CSS3 Formatting Based on Screen Size and Device Type
  • Integrate CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Integrate CSS3 and jQuery
  • Media Quires
  • Viewport
  • Device Orientation

Week 8 – CSS3 Advanced Techniques

  • Fluid, Multicolumn Pages
  • Stylized Links
  • Format Form Fields with CSS3
  • CSS3 Sprites
  • CSS3 Drop-Down Menus

 

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Mobile Web Design at eClasses.org

Communications Technology Watch is happy to announce a new course on mobile design at the popular online school eClasses.org. The course covers Web design, but from the perspective of designing for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. We’ll look at creating HTML, CSS and JavaScript for handhelds. Companies, individuals and organizations that ignore the mobile Web user do so at their own peril! Mobile Web users are by far the fastest growing group of Internet users. This course is designed for students who wish to expand access of their company (or client’s) websites to the most modern of Internet users – people who use their mobile phones and tablets to access the Internet. The emphasis is on creating Web content that displays well and plays properly on the vast and ever-growing number of mobile devices available, today and in the future.

The course’s text book will be William Harrel’s newly released Mobile HTML, CSS and Javascript Development for Dummies. This is an 8-week course. Here is the course outline:

Week 1: Introducing the Mobile Web
  • What is the Mobile Web
  • The Mobile Web User
  • HTML on the Mobile Web
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) on the Mobile Web
  • JavaScript on the Mobile Web
  • Software and Utilities
Week 2: In Depth Mobile Technology
  • Types of Mobile Devices
  • Mobile Device Operating Systems
  • Mobile Web Browsers
  • Which Devices can do what
  • Define Devices by Class
  • Mobile Detect and Adapt Systems
Week 3: Creating Your First Mobile Site
  • Your First Mobile Web Page
  • Mobile HTML Page Structure
  • Mobile-Friendly and Mobile Specific CSS
  • CreateMobile Web Page Elements with CSS
  • Design Mobile Web Templates
Week 4: Interactivity and Multimedia
  • Create Mobile Web Buttons and Hyperlinks
  • Create and Format Graphics for the Mobile Web
  • Create and Format Digital Video for the Mobile Web
  • Create and Format Flash Movies for the Mobile Web
Week 5: Mobile WebKit Extensions
  • What are WebKit Extensions
  • Device Orientation
  • Artwork with WebKit Extensions
  • Special Effects with WebKit Extensions
  • Animations with WebKit Extensions
  • Other Browser-Specific Extensions
Week 6: Advanced Mobile Web Technologies
  • Introducing Mobile CSS3
  • FormatMobile Page Elements with CSS3
  • Mobile HTML5
  • Highly Useful Mobile HTML5 Tags
  • Automate Your Mobile Sites with JavaScript
  • Server-Side Scripting with PHP
Week 7: Automating Your Site with JavaScript
  • JavaScript Automation Basics
  • Detect Device Type with JavaScript
  • Adapt Page Content with JavaScript
  • Change Style Sheets with JavaScript
  • HTML Form Field Validation with JavaScript
Week 8: Creating a Mobile Quiz
  • The User Interface
  • Store and Retrieve Data in Radio Buttons
  • Store and Retrieve Data in Check Boxes
  • Format Your Quiz with CSS
  • Script the Form
Bonus Week:
  • Make Your Mobile Site Search Engine Friendly
  • Createa Mobile Search Page
  • Use Mobile Blog Themes
Prerequisites
Completed ‘Introduction to HTML’ (H101) and ‘Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets’ (H151). Knowledge of computer graphics, digital video, and Flash movies would also be helpful, but by no means required.
Requirements
  • Software: Aside from a text editor, such as Windows Notepad or Mac OS TextEdit, there are no required software applications to complete this course; however, you’ll find the following software useful:
    • Dreamweaver CS4 or later: You can download the latest trial version from adobe.com, but if you do, since the trial version is good for only 30 days, do not install it until the third week of the course.
    • XAMPPWeb server software. XAMPP is a free Linux Web server emulator you can use to test your Web pages. You can download it from: http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html . It comes in both Windows and Mac OS versions.
    • FTP client software: File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, software allows you to upload your Web page files to a Web server. You can perform this function with built-in Windows or Mac utilities, but will find this much easier with an FTP utility. You can download FileZilla for free at: http://filezilla-project.org/ . It comes in both Windows and Mac versions.
  • Webspace: You’ll need a website to which you can upload your assignments. There are several free Web hosting sites available. However, many of them place ads on your pages. This can be very annoying, but if you can live with it, so can I.

 

Books:
Required Book: HTML, CSS and JavaScript Mobile Development for Dummies

 

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HTML, CSS and JavaScript Development for Dummies at Amazon

If, nearly 20 years ago, when I first started designing Web sites, you’d have told me I’d be writing a book about designing World Wide Web pages for cell phones, I’d have told you to lay off the crack. In those days, cell phones did nothing other than make and receive calls. (Besides, very few people could afford them.) The Internet, which most of us accessed through dial-up modems over inadequate copper phone lines, was a slow and temperamental Never-never land.  I, like everybody else writing about information technology (we didn’t call it that then), was still amazed when my mobile calls connected.

But here we are sliding through 2011 with a round of mobile devices that can handle the Internet nearly as well as full-blown computers. Mobile Web surfers have become a force to contend with. It’s time for Web designers and the companies they work for to make their Websites mobile-device friendly. In this new Dummies book, available at Amazon now, I’ll show you how to do that.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com

 

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Go to Computer Shopper Review

A great little printer with an excellent cost per page (CPP)

Once again Kodak releases an economical small office printer that offers great print, copy and scan quality and excellent cost per page (CPP) at a terrific price. Read the review of this Editor’s Choice at ComputerShopper.com

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Formatting Two Columns with CSS Widget

Two Column Widget

 

 

If you want you pages to appear magazine-like, displaying text in a two column format, you can use this HTML and CSS page to achieve the two-column effect (simply replace the boilerplate text with your own):

The code:

The code for creating a two-column Web page with CSS

Simply change the CSS to modify columns, text, and background color.

Posted by WilliamHarrel.com

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Ultra modern new medical Website

February 4, 2011: We are pleased to announce the debut of the totally redesigned SpineCenter.com, home of Dr. Chiu and the California Spine Institute and Medical Center. SpineCenter.com was our first Website design project. We had limited skills and limited technology at our disposal. Still, we thought it was one most beautiful and most technologically advanced Websites of the day. But then the Web was so new then that everybody was awed and really didn’t notice how garish and fundamentally simple our Websites were. The new SpineCenter.com is about 80 percent Flash. It’s loaded with dynamic and entertaining special effects, has hours of digital videos describing and depicting the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery procedure, photo galleries, presentations–you name it. And it’s all arranged so that everybody–visiting medical professionals, potential patients or students–can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. This new site is the culmination of all we’ve learned after over 20 years of design.

High quality streaming video, including surgery in action.

High quality streaming video, including surgery in action.

BThe new site is a completely scripted AS3 and XML modular Flash design, complementing CSI’s ultra-modern Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery (MISS)  and physical rehabilitation center, located in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Chiu is the primary developer of the Micro-Discectomy and Laser Thermodiskoplasty MISS procedures for eliminating pain from herniated spinal discs.

The new site is resplendent with content on spine surgery, MISS and Medical Laser technology–complete with videos, presentations, research and other information designed for medical professionals and the general public. It branches at the home page to accommodate professionals looking for technology solutions and providers and non-professionals looking for alternatives to conventional “open back” surgery.

“We have been tacking on new information almost weekly for many years,” says Dr. Chiu. “It has become a huge maze of mismatched designs [reflecting the styles of the several different designers employed to update it] and outdated material mixed in with the new, pertinent data.” It’s time to bring it all together in a format where users can find what they need without hunting and pecking.” Dr. Chiu added that he is excited about the work so far and eager to get it up and running.

The site is now in service. Feel free to go take a look: You can find it here: www.spinecenter.com

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