Whoops, I forgot to post the staff meeting for over two weeks! Not a lot has happened, but there is related news.
The templated website package has caught the eye of an illustrator friend, who knows he needs to get on the Internet but is not quite sure what to do. The price has risen effectively to $250.00 from the original $50-$75 range, which is still a good deal but covers more of the effort involved. I’m doing a barter, however, because I just want to see this guy get on the Internet. In exchange, I’ll be getting some illustrations I can use for my other products, such as the Groundhog Day Resolutions stuff. I’ve needed a groundhog illustration for quite some time.
A great deal of the Agenceum material is turning out to be pretty handy as I slowly put together my “main” design site (which is secret for now and under development…shhh). I’d call it “light graphic design”. As I mentioned before, the experience of trying to meet the $75.00 price point may not have paid off directly, but it helped establish a base of new and refurbished techniques that I am applying daily: a vastly improved intermediate knowledge of CSS, an improved understanding of what people are looking for in a website, and a slight refinement of my development process. Keep moving, keep making…that’s what Agenceum has taught me so far.
As the current round of projects comes to an end, I foresee the next stage of Agenceum to be marketing process and execution. I have a passing knowledge of what marketing should be, but the actual put-your-feet-on-the-ground and pounding pavement is something I’ve never done. I need to experience it and push past my comfort zone. I hate bugging people for my own needs, so I shy away from cold-calling. However, there’s a middle way of doing this that is much more about mutual benefit.
Technology-wise, I’ve gotten my stand-alone LAMP server running in a Virtual PC Virtual Machine (VM), which is cool because it means I can develop dynamic applications in PHP without actually having Internet access. This is an important consideration when I’m working remotely without Internet. I don’t need this capability all the time, so it’s good to just turn it off. And, since I’ve installed CentOS 5 as the OS in the VM, a lot of the configuration I do in there is applicable to my Media Temple (dv) 3.5 setup, with the exception of the Plesk-related system variations (Apache configuration, for example).
The brief dive into C# and ASP.NET got hung up earlier this month, but it was nice to get reacquainted with the development environments. Visual Studio is a very nice Integrated Development Environment (IDE). C# is a pretty nifty language, too; combined with the VS IDE, it’s a lot of fun to work with. I found myself trying to adapt it to work with HTML/PHP, without much success. I was even willing to try Microsoft’s Expression Web 3 IDE for this, hoping to find a better HTML authoring environment than the increasingly-tired Dreamweaver CS4. However, EW3 reliably crashes on my computer when I open a file dialog box. It may be related to my anti-virus software (Avira Antivir Premium) not liking it, as I actually get the dreaded BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH in the avipbb.dll module if I right-click anywhere in file window. And it happens only in EW3. The other source of BSOD is my M-Audio Fast Track Ultra Pro driver, which does not handle wake from sleep well; otherwise, my machine (an older MacBook Pro 17 booting straight into Windows 7) is very stable.
So that’s the update! Not much else going on with the Agenceum front. I should contact two clients to see if they are still in backburner mode.