2008 – 2009



June 13, 2009:

PHP Text & Graphics, Frank Turner

Frank presented a demo of the text and graphics capabilities available to us using php. This is the way to go if you want to rotate pictures, and rotate text on your page. Also this is the answer to outputting your favorite font without converting it into an image.

The text–to–graphic header utility that Frank demo’d last Saturday is available for use or download at: web-pager.com/PHPGRAPHICS/TEMPHDR/header.html

May 9, 2009:

Typography, Cat Johnson

Cat held a showing of “Helvetica” by Gary Hustwit.

April 11, 2009:

Testing Websites, Frank Turner

Frank presented on a way to test sites in all browsers on one computer. Here is his synopsis and philosophy on the subject:


Maybe you can have it all!
Computer virtualization is likely to revolutionize the way we use computers. This technique is being used now by major server operators. For them, virtualization reduces power consumption, provides load flexibility, and speeds system reconfiguration.

How does that benefit the average computer user?
Maybe you are a Mac user who would like to run that Windows application. Or perhaps you are a Windows user who would like to run a certain Mac application. Even a Linux user might want to run one of those commercial programs from Mac and Windows land.

Well, now you can.
Virtualization software from VmWare, VirtualBox, and others allows you to run entire “guest” operating systems on your current machine. The guest system thinks it is running on real PC hardware but in fact the virtualization software provides a simulated hard drive, simulated sound card etc. Now you can run any software native to the guest system in a window on your Desktop.

Are there downsides to this?
The Mac, Windows, Linux enthusiasts may have to quit the operating system wars. The pros and cons become moot points when you can run them all, and at the same time. You would use whichever OS/Application made the best sense for the job. You do need enough RAM memory and storage space for multiple systems. They may be virtual but the resource requirement is still real.

Why is this not front page news?
There is a problem with the DRM (copy protection/eula restrictions), which Microsoft and Apple maintain. If you buy a copy of the Windows OS you actually do not own it, just a license to use it on one machine, one time. Once installed it cannot be moved. Apple is even worse. The OS is bound to the specific Apple hardware it was installed on. None of this is conducive to multiple installations in virtual machines. All Linux OS systems are free and open and since they are popular in the server market those early virtual system users have not been impacted by the Microsoft/Apple cartel.

The future is here.
Just as high priced CDs with invasive copy protection eventually succumbed to the new digital realities, I think Microsoft and Apple will eventually be forced to re–examine their restrictive policies or be faced with rampant piracy. Actually, if many people found it advantageous to run multiple OS systems their sales of operating systems could increase. Apple could even get a share of that Windows PC market!


Business Practices for the Web Developer, Lynn Zephryna

Santa Cruz Web Design by d’Zign

Lynn presented on some of the business/client/hosting etc. issues that we all encounter. Contracts, getting payment from clients, non–website marketing, taxes, business license, Fictitious Business Name, etc.

March 21, 2009:

PHP Data Collection, Frank Turner

Using PHP forms to securely gather data and receive emails.

Blueprint CSS, Diane Jones

An explanation of the grid-based system of structuring web pages.

February 2009:

Integrating Paypal Into Your Website, Jason Watson

Jason took us through the motions, step-by-step, of how to integrate Paypal into our sites, taking the mystery out of it for us.

IE Bugs, Mimi Wessling

Mimi did extensive research on resources to turn to when encountering problems when IE browsers do not cooperate. Swatting IE Bugs.

January 2009:

Search Engine Optimization, Steve Penny

Steve Penny Green SEO Santa Cruz

Steve Penny was our first professional presenter from outside our group, and was appreciated immensely. Steve gave us valuable insight from his practical experience as an SEO expert.

November 2008:

Search Engine Optimization, Cat Johnson

Cat gave a very informative talk on SEO, which has become an essential skill in our field. Read Cat’s blog

Self Care & Massage, Lynn Zephryna

Santa Cruz Web Design by d’Zign

Lynn gave an overview of how and why we should take care of ourselves, tying it into the quality of work we can offer our clients. We ended with a (too short) training on giving each other seated massage.

October 2008:

FireFox Web Developer Tools, Bill Daitchman

Bill gave us a practical demonstration for debugging and refining web sites with the Web Developer tool bar functions.

September 2008:

Accessibility, Michael Wescoat

Michael gave us the lowdown on accessibility issues, including current legislation and the potential impacts on web development.

Color and Design, Michelle Spahn and Margaret Murray

Margaret and Michelle covered the spectrum of color theory, contrast, and appropriate color schemes for websites.

August 2008:

Installing a Local Server, Frank Turner

Frank explained the intimidating process of installing a local server, and its usefulness for web developers.