Going global with QuarkXPress 7

Article as it appeared in email

Written for the the premiere issue of a newsletter by software publisher Quark, this article discusses their flagship product’s globalization-friendly features.

Review: Lineform

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Review: Intaglio

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Review: EazyDraw

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Aluminum: Common Metal, Uncommon Past

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about how Aluminum went from being a precious metal (in its elemental form) to being cheap enough to use as a construction material, focusing on the 1880’s work of two chemists who discovered, almost simultaneously, the process to extract it.

Introduction: “In the mid-1800s aluminum was more valuable than gold. Napoléon III’s most important guests were given aluminum cutlery, while those less worthy dined with mere silver; fashionable and wealthy women wore jewelry crafted of aluminum. Today aluminum is a critical component of modern life, found in airplanes, automobiles, soft drink cans, construction materials, cooking equipment, guardrails, and countless other products. The difference between scarcity and abundance (and between obscurity and ubiquity) of this metal depended solely on scientists’ ability to find the way to release it—the third most common element in the earth’s crust by weight—from its ore.”

Building WingNuts in Xcode with OpenGL: Freeverse Creates a Great Mac-only Game

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a game. Copy available on request.

Intro: “The 11-person team at Freeverse, Inc. might be small, but the company has scored big with the action arcade game Wingnuts 2: Raina’s Revenge , which won the 2006 Eddy Award for Best Game and was named runner-up for the 2006 Apple Design Awards for Best Mac Game. Freeverse created a fun and addictive game, and according to the development team, the road to outstanding creative development was paved with Apple technologies such as Xcode, QuickTime, Core Image, the platform’s OpenGL implementation, and Mac OS X as a whole.”

From Student Project to Retail Distribution: Lineform Uses Xcode and Core Image

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a graphic-design tool. Copy available on request.

Intro: “Will Thimbleby didn’t set out to write an illustration program. He needed to create drawings for a project, but he found he couldn’t afford the market-leading application and was unable to find a lower-cost option that suited him. So the 25-year-old doctoral student opened Apple’s Xcode tools and built his own.The result is Lineform, a vector drawing program that challenges the features of pricey competitors while sporting a far more accessible interface. His homegrown “scratch-an-itch” project won the 2006 Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Student Product, and soon after was picked up by software publisher Freeverse, Inc.”

Imaging the World: The State of Online Mapping

First page of article as it appeared in print

A feature article for Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE.

Abstract: “Consumer sites such as MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps, and Google Maps compete to improve their interfaces and data relevance to better appeal to the browsing public. But innovation in online mapping isn’t limited to these household names. Sites for the public good, such as those the US government manages, provide graphical access to data buried in such sources as the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the decennial census. Meanwhile, community mapping sites let the public provide local details, find nearby colleagues, and organize information in ways unknown 10 years ago.”

Cannabinoids: A Secret History

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about the chemical history of cannabinoids — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — touching on medical and legal issues. No longer available on the Chemical Heritage site.

Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in Museums and Galleries

First page of article as it appeared in print

My first feature article for the “Applications” section of Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Abstract: “Just as online shopping is a bellwether of advanced online technologies, so are museum and gallery showcases for the best in computer display and interface technology. In the first case, commerce demands that speed and reliability get priority, in the latter, technological invisibility is foremost. The museum experience is an unusually tactile, sensual one, and the standard keyboard-mouse-and-screen setup might seem out of place. This trend toward sensual involvement is particularly noticeable in tabletop displays, as they appeal to two aspects of familiar daily life: the horizontal surface as a workspace, and hand gestures (or common objects) as tools for manipulating information.”

Stanford University Tech Briefing: lynda.com and Drupal

Screenshot of my slides from the talk

A “Stanford University Tech Briefing” about Drupal, given mostly to people who were already using it for departmental websites. Sponsored by lynda.com. Published description: “lynda.com and Drupal — Tom Geller, lynda.com. Do you have lingering questions about your Drupal web site? In this session, lynda.com trainer Tom Geller answers some of the most often-asked questions about entering and managing content in Drupal. He’ll show you the fastest ways to get images on the page, how to attach files, and how to enable hidden features of Stanford’s Drupal installation that let you extend content beyond Pages and Stories. He’ll also take your questions; give you a peek at what’s coming in Drupal 7, due for release in the next few months. Finally, Tom Geller and lynda.com representatives will help you get the most out of training videos on lynda.com, with a particular focus on Drupal and Drupal-related courses.”

Writing Articles

Screenshot from Writing Articles

In this course, author Tom Geller explores the process of writing articles and publications for businesses large and small. The course begins with a look at the preparation you’ll need to do, best ways to find assignments, and smart strategies for determining your article approach. Next, the course dives into techniques you can use to brainstorm angles, research, interview experts, finish a piece, and build your portfolio.

Regulators ask: What is Bitcoin?

Image of the article as it appeared online

An article about legal challenges to the decentralized virtual currency Bitcoin, specifically on how the question of its definition affects its place in law.

Freelancing Fundamentals

Screenshot from Freelancing Fundamentals

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

Control without Controllers

Screenshot of CACM article about the Touché sensor project

A feature article about Disney’s Touché sensor project, which explores new ways of controlling electronics with touch.

The Future of Free Speech Online

Image of the article as it appeared in print

A very brief article about whether survey respondents believe that technology companies in the democratic West will increasingly help repressive governments.

DARPA Shredder Challenge Solved

Screenshot of CACM article about the DARPA Shredder Challenge

A feature article about a $50,000 challenge issued by DARPA and its solutions, including quotes from the First and Second Place winners.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training

Screenshot of intro to Drupal 7 Advanced Training

This course teaches web site designers how to take their sites to the next level with a few advanced techniques and the free and open-source Drupal software. Author Tom Geller shows how to configure the most popular add-on modules; use *nix commands and an FTP program to manage a Drupal site on a web server; change its visual appearance using the latest graphical tools; automate and speed through common tasks with Drush; integrate with social media sites; and see how “supermodules” like Panels, Context, Rules, and Features open up new worlds of code-free development.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training was designed as a follow-up to Drupal 7 Essential Training and it also dovetails nicely with our other Drupal courses, such as Drupal 7 Reporting and Visualizing Data and Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce.

Topics include:

  • Moving a site from the development environment to production
  • Hosting a Drupal site
  • Moving databases with phpMyAdmin and Unix commands
  • Making site administration more efficient with Drush
  • Backing up site data
  • Moderating comments
  • Migrating from previous versions of Drupal
  • Working with themes
  • Creating variable layouts
  • Enabling social features
  • Creating an online store with Drupal Commerce

Talking to Machines

Screenshot of CACM article about speech recognition

A feature article about modern applications of speech recognition, in particular how they’ve combined with complementary technologies to produce such consumer products as Siri.

Cloud-based HPC

Image of the article as it appeared in print

A very brief article about a U.S. Government report on whether high-performance computing is cost-effective using cloud-computing techniques.

Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce

Screenshot of Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce

Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce shows how to build an online store using Drupal Commerce, a set of modules that extend Drupal. The course demonstrates the basics of configuring a store, processing a payment, and charging for shipping and taxes, as well as creating, displaying, and categorizing products. The course also explains how to integrate a store into a Drupal site, customize a store’s appearance, and increase site traffic using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Exercise files accompany the course.
Topics include:

  • Surveying the store-building process
  • Installing Drupal Commerce using Commerce Kickstart
  • Accepting PayPal payments
  • Processing orders
  • Understanding rules and line items
  • Listing and importing products
  • Managing inventory, orders, and customer profiles
  • Streamlining the checkout process
  • Launching a store
  • Offering product discounts
  • Analyzing site traffic with Google Analytics

Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data

Screenshot of intro to Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data

This course demonstrates how to use the Views module and other add-ons in Drupal to present dynamic, data-rich content. The course examines several real-world examples of effective data visualization and describes the Drupal data-storage model. The course also shows how to create, format, and style views; control access to data; improve data administration with Views Bulk Operations; and display content as custom maps and slide shows. Exercise files accompany the course.
Topics include:

  • Planning the data structure of a site
  • Creating record templates with custom field types
  • Connecting fields using references
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Varying how a view appears in different displays
  • Formatting views with grid, list, table, and jump
  • Creating multi-part views using attachments
  • Importing and exporting views
  • Extending views with relationships
  • Understanding and using location data
  • Exporting data

Supercomputing’s Exaflop Target

First page of "Supercomputing's Exaflop Target" article

A review of Asia’s recent ascendency in the Top500 list of the world’s leading supercomputers, and the supercomputing field generally.

The Promise of Flexible Displays

First page of "The Promise of Flexible Displays" article

Article about advances in electronic displays that can bend, be made in irregular shapes, and be produced through a print-like process.

IT drives policy — and vice versa

Image of the article as it appeared in print

Reporting on a three-day conference about technology policy. This was my biggest case of preparation overkill: 12,000 words of notes went into a 575-word article.

Shaping the Future

First page of "Shaping the Future" article

Article about “claytronics” — ensembles of tiny robots that self-assemble into larger functional units.

Rebuilding for Eternity

First page of "Rebuilding for Eternity" article

Article about “e-heritage”, digitization of large-scale historical sites such as the Bayon Temple in Cambodia.

Migrating a Web Site to Drupal

Cover of "Migrating a Web Site to Drupal" white paper

White paper to help clients define strategies and tactics for moving their web site to the content-management system Drupal.

Beyond the Smart Grid

First page of "Beyond the Smart Grid" article

Feature story about sensors to monitor energy consumption and other environmental data in residences. (Published in Communications of the ACM.)

ACM China Nearing Launch

Page depicting the article (low-resolution)

News story about the Association for Computing Machinery’s expansion into China. (Published in Communications of the ACM.)

Drupal 7: Visual QuickStart Guide

Cover of Drupal 7: Visual QuickStart Guide book

A how-to book for Drupal beginners.

I started writing it in 2009, then shelved it, then revised extensively in late 2010 as the pre-release software changed substantially. It was officially published about three weeks before Drupal 7’s release.

  • Agent: Neil Salkind
  • Acquisitions Editor: Wendy Sharp
  • Production Editor: Nancy Peterson
  • Development Editor: Robyn Thomas
  • Technical Editors: Emma Jane Hogbin, Greg Knaddison
  • Copy Editors: Darren Meiss, Scout Festa

Drupal 6 Essential Training

DVD cover art for Drupal 6 Essential Training

In almost seven hours of video instruction, Drupal 6 Essential Training (originally titled “Drupal Essential Training”) covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal’s capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:

  • Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
  • Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
  • Managing users and comments
  • Setting and customizing themes
  • Exchanging content via RSS
  • Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
  • Launching a site and joining the Drupal community

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

Title card for Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

Drupal’s built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In over six hours of video training, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal’s Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:

  • Importing and manipulating data in Drupal
  • Presenting date-formatted information in calendars
  • Understanding Drupal’s data-query interface, “Views”
  • Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
  • Importing, exporting, and cloning views
  • Extending views with arguments and relationships

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 7 New Features

Title card for Drupal 7 New Features

Over two and a half hours of video that demonstrates changes to the Drupal 7 administrative interface and other enhancements that have come out of its three-year development period. This course covers its simplified installation process, new themes that will help kick-start design projects, the customizable shortcut bar that puts often-used commands in easy reach, update procedures that leverage its browser-based interface, and a new way of defining fields to create complex content types without additional modules.

Topics include:

  • Configuring the new Dashboard
  • Using contextual link controls
  • Exploring new themes
  • Reviewing the new modules
  • Understanding the expanded block system
  • Using images in content
  • Allowing users to delete accounts
  • Testing modules with the Testing module
  • Building themes using Drupal Gardens

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal Gardens Essential Training

DVD cover art for Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Over five hours of video training that demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia’s hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course covers how to leverage its pre-built page layouts and add custom styling, without having to learn CSS, using the Theme Builder tool, how to integrate rich site features, such as forms, surveys, and media galleries, and how to push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also shows how to transition a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  • Creating and managing content and content types
  • Embedding videos and other media
  • Publishing and subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Setting up blocks, banners, menus, and forms
  • Managing comments and spam
  • Tracking site usage
  • Duplicating and deleting sites
  • Adding custom domains

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 7 Essential Training

DVD cover art for Drupal 7 Essential Training

Over seven hours of video training that shows how to get the most out of Drupal, the content management system (CMS) that powers over a quarter million web sites. The course demonstrates how to download and install Drupal, add content and graphics to a site, change layout and design elements, control visitor interactions, and expand the site’s capabilities beyond what’s available in Drupal core. Discussion of established best practices in each step to ensure that a site remains streamlined, secure, and up-to-date. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  • Comparing Drupal with other content management systems
  • Understanding nodes
  • Creating basic content
  • Adding blogs, discussions groups, and polls
  • Subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Creating new content types
  • Managing users, roles, and permissions
  • Creating and modifying block regions
  • Adding menus
  • Extending site capabilities with modules

(Publisher’s description.)