I Want to Know Your Thoughts!

Hey gang!

Each and every week, until the sun bashes into the moon--crazy as it may sound, those are the terms of my contract--I'll be recording a free weekly episode of Deke's Techniques. With a few additional episodes exclusively available to members of the Online Training Library. Which irritated dekeOnline member SpaceKat, who called me a capitalist ho'. No no no, I'm not offended. In a tough economy and everyone has to make a living. Even me.

But here's the thing: I've now recorded 26 episodes of this free weekly series--by way of example, the image below shows a detail from the results of the upcoming April 19th episode, "Deke's Techniques 016: Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing"--with only modest input from YOU, the consumer of this weekly product. Please, help me out and get engaged. Comment here and tell me what you want. And I, in return, will give you what you need.

Deke's Techniques 016: Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Martini Hour 101, In Which Deke and Colleen Have One More for the Road

It's last call, dekeItarians. Yes, it's time to have one more for the road before we shut down the dekeLounge. In honor of our final show, Deke and I thought we'd reflect on what we've learned over the last two years of trying to do a weekly audio-only podcast while consuming the requisite amount of martinis. There are lessons here that extend way beyond podcasting, into everyday life, in fact. One of which is go out with an enormously huge graphic:

The Last Call for Martini Hour

Here is what we learned in 101 episodes of Martini Hour:

13. Listen to your co-host. (Thrown in last minute as a bonus reminder for Deke who wasn't listening.)

12. Lure your guests with cocktails (and know their drink orders in advance). And you never know what Bryan O'Neil Hughes is going to need. Could be cranberry juice, could be an entire bottle of champagne.

11. Take your shoes off. (It's a symbolic gesture for being relaxed and in the moment.)

10. Don't jostle the microphone. (Even if you're pretending there aren't any microphones.)

9. Turn off your phone. (Be present. Vibrate doesn't count.)

8.  Drink slowly. (Also known as the Honorary Jeez That Tom Hogarty is a Consummate Professional, Even in the Face of the (male) Host's Drunkenness Rule.) Also, learn from your mistakes.

7.  Be yourself and curse freely. (Especially if you have a guest like Jay Maisel, Sunni Brown, or The Polite Canadian who broke the f-word barrier, Karen Gautier.)

6. Find a Serbian. (They can say your curse words before you're ready to and make threats if you need them.) 

5. Create very elaborate graphics. (With all the implicit pressure of being a Photoshop expert.) By the way, this item contains the only Photoshop tip in the entire Last Call show, but you wouldn't want Deke to leave the 'lounge without a geeky Photoshop technique.

4. Show up on time. (And I used to stress about this, until I realized that, once I embraced it, Deke's propensity for being late gave me a half hour more of prep time.)

3. Know your metrics. (We have no idea.) Unless it's a labor of love, then who gives a shit? And spit takes and other wonderful anecdotes from listeners (like JeremyV) beat metrics any day.

2. Hire a great band and obey your bandleader. (The Pimm's quartet rules, Buddy keeps us honest, and we think you should have the option to have soothing jazz with your tech talk.) If you need help, find Buddy Saleman at Potrero Post.

And the most important advice we have for creating an audio-only, martini-infused, tech podcast taped in a cocktail lounge...

1. Work with your best friend. (Someone who will have your back, let you experiment, and put up with your shit.) 

And our final toast was very easy (if long): Cheers to our crew, our sound mixologists (Dragan and Maggie), our intrepid bandleader/director/chief psychologist (Buddy), and our beloved taskmistress who manages to stay beloved whilst kicking our respective asses (Toby Malina).

Plus our Adobe peeps who let us be irreverent and still showed up to talk to us: Tom Hogarty, Russell Brown, Jeff Tranberry, and especially Bryan O'Neil Hughes and John Nack---who came back time after time and acted like it was a privilege. And Ginny from Eldeman who often drove various Adobe folk up to San Francisco despite her better judgment. 

Our O'Reilly peeps, who once included Martini Hour on my annual review (as a positive accomplishment). Plus wonderful O'Reilly authors who stopped by to chat: Sunni Brown, Mikkel Aaaland, and Peter Krogh.

The awesome folks who are part of our family: Michael Ninness, Garrick Chow, Mordy Golding, Chris Orwig, David Blanter, Anne-Marie Concepcion, and James Williamson.

The Fotolia crew who provided our graphic fodder as well as providing Patrick Lor live (live-ish) from London.

Guests extraordinaire who came back more than once, proving either their loyalty or insanity, including Chris Breen, Ben Long, and the incomparable Photoshop Diva Katrin Eismann.

The people who dared to sit with us in front of a live audience: Scott Kelby, Terry White, Jay Maisel, Ben Wilmore, Jack Davis, Dave Cross, Matt Kosklowski, Corey Barker, and John Paul Caponigro.

Our international contingent, including Jason Levine (who is out of country enough days of the year to qualify), Serge Jespers, Bob Van Duuren, and Wouter Vermeulen (aka Sinterklass.) 

The wizard who immortalized us in his latest artwork, Bert Monroy.

The Design Mastermind himself, David Futato. 

And friends who came through for us: Rebecca Peizer, Dave Naves, Mark Brokering, Stu Maschwitz, and Terri Stone. 

And mostly, our wonderful listeners who let us do something we'd never done before a supported us the with the best feedback, friendship, and encouragement. Cheers beyond cheers, my friends.

Please sit and have a drink with us one last time. Here's the regular-quality audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. Here's the high-res version; you'll want to download rather than stream. And don't forget our usual plea to subscribe via iTunes.

Au revoir, mes amis. Thanks for letting us do something fun, wacky, and yet meaningful (to us at least). And thanks to my best friend Deke for the laughter, tears (never on air), and lively conversation. 'Night, Deke. Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Martini Hour 100, In Which We Fulfill Our Three-Digit Destiny with Nack and Hughes

At last, we've reached the episode that fufills the prophecy begun when we chose to add two leading zeroes to the number of our first show, the now classic "Martini Hour 001, In Which Colleen Spills Her Drink." Normal podcasts would probably be celebrating the big 100th episode, but since this is our penultimate episode, we're feeling more sentimental than celebratory. Appropriately, our last guests, the Bette Midler and Robin Williams of Martini Hour, if you will, are our old friends Adobe's John Nack and Bryan O'Neil Hughes. (You'll have to decide which is Bette and which is Robin.) Having these guys in the lounge one more time provided an opportunity to reflect on their favorite moments and milestones in their experience of creating the mysterious, complicated, fabulous pixel manipulating juggernaut, Photoshop. 

Martini Hour 100: John Nack and Bryan O'Neil Hughes on Developing Photoshop

Here is the obligatory partially complete bulleted list of the sentimental and insightful (as well as the ridiculous) things that made up our last guest infused episode: Read more » 

. Tagged with:

dekeSpeak January 25, 2011

This Is dekeOnline
The Newsletter of Things Deke: January 25, 2011

Hello, friends:
Read more » 
. Tagged with:

Seven Days in Venice

With any luck, dekeOnline feels like it's been humming away like the seamless beast that it is. In which case, I cheerfully admit, it's been doing so largely without me. Last week, I was away on one of my rare vacations. This time in Venice. You may know Venice from tales of its canals and Mediterranean sun. But latitude-wise, the city is roughly even with Mongolia and Nova Scotia. Toss in lots of water, copious fog, and a few Adriatic winds, and you have one of the coldest Winter cities I've ever visited.

Which was a good thing. Witness the HDR composite of Ponte Rialto below (captured with an Olympus E-30 and merged in Photoshop's HDR Pro). I count 14 people on the south side of the bridge. Based on my experience traversing that bridge, there's a very good chance every one of them was Italian. In the Summer, the Rialto is jam-packed with tourists of all stripes. But in the Winter, it's just you, a few Nativi Italiani, and the indigenous denizens of Venice. Which means, for a few heavenly days, you can rid yourself of Americans.

Ponte Rialto at sunset

Nothing against the Dear Old U.S. of A. I'd sooner live on the moon than anywhere else. But charming as Americans are in the wall-to-wall box-store opulence of The 50 States, they tend to be boorish imperialists abroad. As if to supply proof, the one American at my hotel: A) asked the dining crew if the complimentary breakfast included waffles, B) woke the housekeeping staff late at night to request fluffier pillows, and C) inquired of me one day if I had been to the "Doag's House." (He meant the Doge's Palace.) Once I got to know him, he was a great guy. But I really wanted to take him aside and entreat him, on behalf of Our Great Country, to stop being such a dumb shit. Read more » 

. Tagged with: