The USB Type C

Future. When you first run that word through the encyclopedia that is your mind, this image may pop up:

Or maybe it’s this one:

Rapper “Future” Hendrix is all for the new USB C connector

But for anyone interested in technology, the future is really something much, much smaller. The USB Type C is the emerging industry-standard connector, a connector which does what USB connectors do best: transfer power and data. This USB C, unlike previous iterations of the USB, is able to be connected no matter whether it’s oriented up or down. Although lightning connectors, (big shout-out to Apple), which also have this feature, have been in the game for years now, no USB connector has ever been able to do that. Gone are the days of struggling to plug in your phone charger in the dark, half asleep, before going to bed.

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The new USB C comes in a sleek, more oval type of shape, as opposed to its predecessors, which have a more trapezoidal shaped connector.

The most exciting feature to come along with the USB C is the implementation of Thunderbolt 3 technology. The Thunderbolt 3 protocol allows for data transfer as fast as 40Gbps bandwidth, reduced power consumption, and the ability to move as much as 100 watts of power. This means you can use these small connectors to supply power to and charge a whole laptop. In fact, new Macbooks have already implemented the ports.

https://images.techhive.com/images/article/2015/03/macbook-usb-c-cable-big-100572542-orig.png

 

Finally, the USB C brings something completely new to the table for data-power cables: it transmits video signals. Gone are the days of HMDI to USB to VGA adapter boxes. Instead, the new USB C will allow you to connect directly from a USB cable to a HDMI port.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41CVppSv8ML._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

So, be on the lookout for these bad boys. Your definition of the future may not be the same as the next guy’s, but one thing is for certain: The USB type C connector is revolutionizing the technology world.

Excel can help you excel

It’s that time of year again! No, I don’t mean the twinkling lights, bells, and candles. I mean the last minute projects, study sessions, and calculating our grades hoping that we are passing.

Don’t tell me you haven’t yet added up your points in class to see how bad you can actually do on your final exam and still pass. If that’s your struggle in many of your classes, it can be pretty time intensive and tedious calculating, and then recalculating, after every new grade you get, especially when you could spend that time actually studying.

Well, if this is you, I am about to introduce to you the wonderful world of excel. Setting up an excel sheet to calculate grades is helpful to make such calculations and even track your progress throughout the semester. It is not difficult to make and will save your time in the future. So, if you haven’t yet discovered this beautiful tool, you are in for a wonderful surprise.

Open up excel (it is probably good to have your syllabus on hand), and use title the first four columns your assignment/title, grade, weight, and earned points. Enter the weight as a whole number and not a percentage.

Next enter in your score for the grades you have received. Enter them as a decimal or convert them to percentages by clicking the percentage sign in Home.

Next, calculate your earned points by multiply your score by the weight. Use the formula shown in the picture. Copy that down to each title.

  

If you have a grade that is calculated by multiple assignments. Calculate the total score of that separately (you can make a separate table on the same sheet to make it easier) and then insert that score into the main table.

Next sum the total points by typing the formula shown in the picture. You can then change your scores to see how your grade will change. For example, I can see what my final grade will be if I get a 90% on the final.

And that is the basis of it! There is so much more you can do in excel using formulas and tables and such, but we’ll save that for another time. Hope this helps as the semester comes to an end.

Adobe Illustrator Draw, the app!

Adobe Illustrator Draw, the app

Adobe Illustrator Draw is a phenomenal app, and if you’ve never heard of it, you have been missing out!

This app allows you to create vector artwork on your phone or tablet (available on both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store). It’s especially useful for people on the go who may not always have their laptops on them. You are allowed up to 10 drawing layers and 1 photo layer. There are 5 built-in vector brushes for you to create. Another great thing about this app is that you can send your creation right to Illustrator and Photoshop to continue on your laptop. It supports several of the different styluses on the market including the Apple Pencil, Adobe Ink, Adonit Jot Touch, Pencil by FiftyThree, and the Wacom products.

Check this awesome app out for yourself and as I always say at the end of my blog posts, happy creating!!

 

Designers: Be Thankful

Whether you notice it or not, there’s a bunch for you to be thankful for as a designer of any kind. Here’s just a few things that could be on your thankful list:

Adobe Stock- This platform is a paradise for designers working with Photoshop or any photo editing software. It is essentially a database of high quality photos.

Macbooks- This may seem like a given, but many people fail to notice how much simpler Macbooks make designing. Their ability to execute tasks in Adobe and other programs, coupled with the simple user interface, makes them a handy gem in any designer’s arsenal.

Cintiq- If you are an illustrator, Cintiq’s will likely top your thankful list. Cintiq’s make it easy to write/draw to your heart’s content on the screen as you write or draw.

Stick to a Schedule

So there’s a few more weeks until the semester ends. All your final projects are due soon.

Have you Started? Do you know where you should start?

Let the Student Multimedia Design Center help!

If you go to the SMDC home page and scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see the Multimedia Project Calculator. 

You can type in what kind of project your working on whether it be audio or video, how long it needs to be, when the project was assigned and the due date. Finally Calculate.

The Calculator will give you a step by step plan on what to work on and when you should have that step finish. Also it gives you advise on what to do and what each step takes to finish it.


Stick to it and you will have your project done in no time!

Good luck over the next few weeks!

Ned’s Declassified Finals Survival Guide

Where’s the Ned’s Declassified College Survival Guide at? Nickelodeon missed a great opportunity there. Well, I’ll try my best to grant you with a Finals Survival guide instead, in honor of Coconut Head, Cookie, Ned and all the other good ol’ lads.

One week of class left. The time where you tell yourself you’re going to begin to study for finals early this year and that you will not cram for the five finals you have during finals week. As each day goes by you say, “I’ll just study tomorrow,” and you continue to ignore your responsibilities by laying in bed like a vegetable watching The Office.

 

In the blink of an eye, that week is GONE. Those finals that were like small pebbles on your conscience, so distant into the future, are now huge, burly mountains that will not let you pass, standing in between you and winter break. How will you defeat these horrifying, debilitating pieces of paper that hold so much weight on your future?

Ah, let me assist you in your time of need because this scenario is an accurate representation of my life as well. (I am a senior and I never changed my ways.)

TIP #1: Reserve Study Rooms in the Library

Reserve a space for you and your friends to study, utilize the white board and to have a quiet study space to organize yourselves. Talking out loud increases memory and will make studying easier for you so you aren’t cooped up, alone and sad.

Link: http://udel.libcal.com/booking/groupstudy

TIP #2: Use online tools to aid in memorization and organization

Using online tools is more efficient if you’re under a time crunch.

There are plenty of websites to assist you with memorization, organizing thoughts, brain storming and overall convenience of studying. GoConqr has a “Mind Map” feature that allows you to connect your ideas in a visual way. There’s nothing better than making sense of a Professor’s notes, and finally grasping a topic! Here’s the link: https://www.goconqr.com/en/mind-maps/

You probably have already heard of this one, but in case you haven’t, Quizlet is a fantastic website for making flashcards and to quiz yourself online. Link: https://quizlet.com/

I saved the best for last. Khan Academy has videos on any tppic you can think of, that visually teach you material in an easy-to-understand way. Try this out if those UD captures are not cutting it. Link: https://www.khanacademy.org/

TIP #3: Check out SMDC Equipment so you never have to leave the library again

Come on down to the lower level of the library to the SMDC with your student ID card. We are the smiling faces at the help desk in the center of the space. If we are not smiling, then you know finals are hitting us hard too.

Forgot a laptop charger? We have ’em.

Forgot a flash drive? We have ’em.

Need a hard drive to save a video project? (**Always use hard drives to save video projects.) We have ’em.

Headphones? Yep.

Phone charger? Yessir.

Note cards? You bet!

Left your sanity at home? We definitely do not have that but we can try to give you some of our scarce supply.

TIP #4: Help yourself by helping your body

In the midst of the hysteria, we tend to forget what our brains and bodies need too. Fuel, sleep, exercise. Want to make finals less painful? Don’t pull all-nighters. *Fun Fact:* you need sleep to consolidate memories. Eat breakfast to give your brain fuel to take exams. Go for a jog or walk around campus to increase circulation to your brain! These simple tips make a HUGE difference and will improve your final grades.

^You walking into your exam after getting 7 hours of sleep and eating breakfast

Well, the mini Finals Survival Guide has come to an end. It definitely was not as entertaining as watching a show about awkward middle school students, but I hope it helped in some way!

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Two simple steps to keep the Student Multimedia Design Center cleaner

Hello fellow students. The week for the final exams is approaching and  we are sure that all you hardworking students would be using the student multimedia design center located inside the library to ace your tests. We couldn’t be more glad that you are using the resources that we provide to study. But as Uncle Ben would say, “With great resources  comes grate responsibility” and we couldn’t agree more.

Here a list of things you can do to make sure that you keep the Student Multimedia Design Center cleaner for you and your fellow students.

1.Do not bring any liquid inside the SMDC area if it doesn’t have a lid on it. We don’t want this to happen.

If you have already bought a soda can(technically soda cans don’t have any lids) or something of those sorts, then we would recommend you to go upstairs in the library commons and drink it over there.

“Can I just chug it?” No.

2. Please do not eat anything inside the Student Multimedia Design Center, in fact anywhere inside the library except the library commons. Imagine seeing chips crumbs when you are about to start studying at a desk. Yup, its not a nice sight. So make sure you aren’t contributing to this. Also a nice person is responsible to clean up, after all of you are done using the library to study. Please don’t make their job harder than it already is.

So if you see somebody eating something you should be like:

 

Check Equipment Availability Online!!

With finals right around the corner everyone is rushing to the library to study and grab equipment for final projects! But we’ve all run into the situation where you come down to the Student Multimedia Design Center only to find that the equipment you need isn’t available. Save yourself that disappointing trip to the library and check our website to see if the item you need is available!!

On the right hand side of the SMDC web page will be the list of tools below. Click on “equipment kits”!

Next, you’re going to select the category of the item you want! Lets say you want a Mac laptop, you’re going to click on “laptops”.

This will lead you to all of the laptops we have to offer. You will select “check availability” of the specific one you want!

Here you’ll be able to see a list of the Mac laptops that are available! If they are all checked out then it will say that none are available!

Now that you know about this amazing feature on our web page, you can save yourself a trip to the library!

The magic of Visme

As finals are approaching, it is likely you have several presentations, papers and reports due. If you are struggling to find that unique spin to put on your project, that will set you apart from everyone else, you have come to the right place!

 

An online multimedia platform called Visme is what you need to help get you through. Visme allows you to make presentations, info graphics, web graphics, social graphics, resumes and other professional looking documents all in one place!

 

Let’s walk through how it works.

 

Begin by choosing the template and theme that you want. In our case, we will choose an info graphic template.

After you choose a theme, you then have the option to change the font, text, theme color, icons, graph information etc.

 

This is what mine looked like after I changed around the graph style, theme color and icons.

As you can see, it is the same original template, but by changing a few minor things it’s got a whole new look. Visme is a great tool to help you make professional looking, high quality projects, that can be used in school, internships, jobs and beyond!

Adobe Capture, the App

Adobe Capture CC is a necessary app for anyone creative. This app has the power to capture and turn photos into a multitude of things like color palettes, typefaces, patterns and shapes compatible with Adobe Suite.

Have you ever seen a stunning color in person and wished you were somehow able to save it and use it for future use? Capture has got you covered. You can use Capture to grab the colors of any image. Once the colors are selected you can then save them into a color palette and access them using your adobe ID. That way you can then transfer them to Photoshop, Illustrator etc..

Image result for adobe capture

Adobe Capture also has the power to analyze a typeface in an image and then match it with the closest known typeface. You are then able to open that in Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop.

Interested in making a trippy pattern with a certain image? This app can make it happen too. Once a portion of an image is selected the app will then allow you to create a simple pattern with it and open it in photoshop or illustrator.

Image result for adobe capture

Adobe Capture can even transfer images into vector shapes which you can then use in Illustrator and Indesign!

Image result for adobe capture

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