Video Training for ColdFusion MX Web Application Development

In this week's edition of ColdFusion Weekly, Matt Woodward and Peter Farrell interviewed Michael Dinowitz of House Of Fusion fame regarding the current state of ColdFusion Development. The conversation spanned several themes from the recent surge in the ColdFusion job market to existing and upcoming training resources to the firm backing of ColdFusion by Adobe among its stable of products.

One particular item that got my attention was the availability of ColdFusion MX video training on CD-ROM, not from one but from two independent sources, Lynda.com and VTC or The Virtual Training Company. This is the first I've heard of either of these training resources, so it pays to listen to ColdFusion Weekly!

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My First Print Photo Publication is a Magazine Cover

Cover Photo

Shortly after publishing a collection of photos in the online Concord Magazine, the Editor of the New England Print & Publisher magazine contacted me to request that I submit some area photographs for the cover of the upcoming April 2006 edition.

Initially he suggested that I submit new photos of the Spring season, but when I shared some of my existing photos from last fall he latched on this night shot of Concord Center. He requested to crop it down to a vertical shot appropriate for the cover, so I agreed.

Embedding License in Digital Photo with XMP MetaDataThere was no monetary compensation for the use of my photo, although I'm quite happy with crossing the threshold from amateur to professional photographer. I released the photo under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Here's how to embed license and copyright data into a digital photograph using XMP with Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop CS2.

This photo was one of my three entries in a local photo contest in Concord.

Website Design Professional Training on DVD

TotalTraining.com has released a great line-up of DVD video lessons including Advanced Dreamweaver 8 and Extreme Website Makeover. Read about how much I like training from this company.

Master Collection: Total Training for Advnced Dreamweaver 8
This design training helps you go beyond the basics and dive into the advanced capabilities of the industry-leading web design tool. Efficiently layout, develop, and maintain standards-based web sites with the industry-leading tool.


Total Training for Website Design - Extreme Website Makeover
These video tutorials equip you with the skills necessary to turn an ordinary website into one thats content-rich using popular web design and development tools: Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Contribute, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Stacking up the IT Certificates

If you're in Massachusetts, you might want to know that the Boston chapter of the IEEE is holding a 21 hour course on an Introduction to Java Servlets and JSPs, using Head First Servlets & JSP as a guide. This local chapter of the IEEE has a fantastic continuing education program. This Servlet and JSP class will run on Monday nights from late April to May at the Sheraton in Lexington, right off Rt 128. The price is very reasonable at around $550, a bargain at less than $22/hour.

The course perfectly complements the Java and J2EE certificate program that I'm taking at Boston University on other nights. In fact, the IEEE course on Servlets and JSP overlaps with the BU classes on JSP and Servlets.

Using these complementary courses to propel me, I expect to take the Sun Certified Developer and Sun Certified Web Component Developer exams at the end of June.

In mid-April I'll retake the hottest certificate exam, the RHCE. (Update: Mission Accomplished!)

In May I'm scheduled to finally attend the Moving Up to ColdFusion MX 7 and Advanced ColdFusion MX 7 at RemoteSite Training, and I'll follow that up with the ColdFusion MX 7 certificate exam, too. This will be the first time I've had ColdFusion development classes since 2000 with Fast Track and Advanced CF4.5.

On a couple upcoming weekends I'll be taking the Stanford Computer Security Certificate Program, an 8 hour online course in Computer Security Principles, Introduction to Cryptography, and Secure Programming Techniques. The course is concluded with an online exam.

Once these Server and Programming courses are over, I'll add to my 40 hours of Photoshop CS2 training from TotalTraining and try to knock out an Adobe Photoshop ACE certificate this summer or fall.

I feel like I've been progressing well on many related technologies, ... getting my ducks lined up, so to speak. This will be the year to knock them all in.

A Main Street Point of View - Concord Museum holds photo contest

More information here, but Anderson Photo is hosting a photo contest of Concord's main streets while collaborating with the Concord Museum. The museum is hosting a show of the same name, and I gather that the contest is a way to draw attention to and benefit both parties.

I stopped by Anderson Photo just this morning to provide my 3 entries printed in their original aspect ratio on heavy weight archival matte paper. The rules do not state that the photos must be 8x10", nor do they say that they must perform the printing and matting. Rather, the rules suggest that they will do the matting for you if you provide an 8x10, and they specifically say it is permitted to submit photos in print form. They firmly let me know that the prints are required to be 8x10 and that they must do the printing in glossy or satin, but not matte. Rats!

You can imagine that I was rather unhappy when I was abruptly told that my 7x10" photos were not acceptable and that Anderson Photo must do the printing. I tried 3 times to contact the owner Lynda Anderson but she was not available since she arrives late in the day, but then was out walking her dog when I called at the time I was told she'd be in, and she has not returned my email inquiry on the matter.

Update: Can you imagine how ticked off I was after all this hassle from Andersen Photo that when I arrived to see all the contest photos on display about half of them were NOT in 8x10 format. Why did they give me such a run around for then? /END RANT

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Flickr Photographer's Press Badge

Flickr BadgeFlagrantdisregard.com has a wizard to help you generate your own (unofficial) Flickr Photographer's Badge. Wear it whenever you venture into the urban wild with camera in hand. I plan to laminate and wear mine in one of my conference badge holders. You never know just how far it might get you!

Badge Maker: Create an Flickr ID badge using your digital photographs
Make your own (unofficial) Flickr badge. Print it out, laminate it, wear Flickr with pride! Show the world how truly photographically geeky you really are!


Once I generated my badge, I downloaded it locally as JPG, opened it in Photoshop CS2, added a layer to the image, and used a Graphire Tablet Pen to add my signature (due to security concerns, I have now replaced the image with a fake signature using a font). The final version was flattened as saved in JPG again. Someone has conveniently made a suitable backside of the Flickr Badge to give it that professional look!

See also:
The Photographer's Right
Your Rights When You Are Stopped or Confronted for Photography

Get Yours: Video Introduction to Total Training

Think Geek, Think Total TrainingNow that the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group is registered with Total Training, I've received a box full of introductory DVDs with a couple hours of sample lessons for learning products such as Adobe Photoshop CS2, After Effects, Illustrator, and more.

If you would like to receive one of these DVDs (by snail mail), please contact me with your name and mailing address. I'll send a "Video Introduction to Total Training" DVD to you by regular mail.

The Online ColdFusion Meetup Group holds free online events with Adobe Breeze Meeting on a regular basis with ColdFusion topics presented by ColdFusion gurus. If you've never used Breeze Meeting, get a quick overview here .

From the Total Training Introduction Video DVD label:

Presented by top experts in their fields, Total Training's CD- and DVD-based video series offer informative, memorable, and fun explorations of some of the most popular and powerful software programs available. With an in-depth and graphical instruction, Total Training gets you up to speed on the basics, and then helps take you to the next level.

Enjoy this introduction to Total Training, and get a first-hand look at how our video production instruction is changing how users look at their software, for the better.


Read about how much I like using Total Training DVDs.

Panorama Maker from ArcSoft

ArcSoft Panorama MakerI recommend ArcSoft Panorama Maker to create 360∞ panoramas from your photos. Output format is Quicktime (.mov), Flash (.swf), or just as a single large image (.jpg). The Quicktime movie evokes the sensation of being inside the image and looking around since you can zoom in, pan up and down, and pan sideways. The Flash output can only pan sideways.

There are several features I like very much. Other than the choice of output format, I like the Automatic Exposure Correction in case the lighting varies between adjacent images, and the Fine Tuning that you can do by selecting a region and then moving three reference points into synchronized positions in adjacent images.

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Outlook for my professional development

Since I began supporting ColdFusion customers for Allaire many years ago I've taken a wide range of computer and web development courses in local universites and vendors, as well as many internal training classes on Macromedia products. Except for a few vendor certifications though, I have no advanced degree or similar milestone to demonstrate my aptitude and achievements in computer or web technology.

I'd like to be able point a tangible and definitive milestone to demonstrate my technical level to others, as well as to satisfy myself when reflecting on the subject. To address this need, I've committed to a 6 month Master's Certificate in Java and J2EE from Boston University. I think a Certifcate from an accredited university carries much more weight than most vendor "certifcates", so much so that I wish the naming convention was different because you can't compare a 60 minute multiple choice test with a 6 month program. At any rate, the BU Master of Java & J2EE Certificate includes the following sequence of courses which could be broken down into two sub-areas:

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Adobe Production Studio Premium software released today!

From the press release about the new Adobe Production Studio:

Adobe Systems Incorporated today unveiled Adobe Production Studio, an extension of the Adobe Creative Suite family of products. The most complete post-production software solution available today, Adobe Production Studio combines full new versions of Adobe's world class video and graphics applicationsAdobe After Effects 7.0, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, Adobe AuditionÆ 2.0, Adobe Encore 2.0 (also announced today, see separate releases) and the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Adobe IllustratorÆ CS2with time-saving innovations such as Adobe Dynamic Link that deliver a highly efficient workflow experience. Adobe Production Studio also integrates Flash Video (FLV) export capabilities to provide video professionals with a new, fluid method of delivering content to the Web using this ubiquitous Web video standard.


Read the entire press release in the Press Room on Adobe.com.

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